Tomorrow we will point our bow towards Florida and sail away from the turquoise waters of the Bahamas. With any luck, 28 hours later we’ll pull into a slip in Fort Pierce where Kairos will rest, awaiting her next crew. Our sailing adventure is coming to an end and we are full of mixed emotions. Even though we knew our transition to the cruising lifestyle would be temporary, it’s still incredibly sad to see it come to an end. We’ve fallen in love with the resourceful sailing community, the incredible beaches, and the genuine island people. It almost seems impossible to walk away from it all. But at the same time, we are looking forward to some of the comforts associated with land life and we’re excited to see where our next adventure takes us.
We knew when we moved on board last January that our transition into a cruising lifestyle would be temporary. The cruising kitty we built up after selling our house in Denver would eventually run dry and we would need to find employment again. I think that knowing this adventure is finite has helped us overlook the negatives (there are a couple) and really appreciate every incredible moment of this journey. It hasn’t always been easy, but it’s always been an adventure and that is exactly what we set out to find when we left the dock last February.
We knew we needed something to keep ourselves busy this hurricane season. There’s only so much beach paddle ball we could play. So, in addition to knocking out some boat projects and chasing waterfalls, we started working towards our OUPV (Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessel) licenses. Also known as the 6-pak license, the OUPV license allows the holder to captain uninspected vessels up to 100 gross tons with up to 6 paying passengers. We don’t have any grand plans for using the licenses, but it’s something that might come in handy in the future.
An Unexpected Trip to Martinique
We had previously decided that Dominica (blog post to come soon) would be the farthest south we would venture this year. We’re planning to sail back to the States before hurricane season and we’re looking forward to spending some more time in the Bahamas with its plethora of white sandy beaches, mahi mahi, and lobster. However, we’ve already learned how quickly plans can change while cruising. It seems like mother nature and boat maintenance are constantly creating obstacles and we’re no longer surprised by delays. But we never would have predicted the events that occurred on the morning of Friday, January 13th that caused us to make an unexpected trip to Martinique.
We had heard that strong northerly winds in December wreak havoc on otherwise calm anchorages, but we had never experienced this first hand. Last season we didn’t leave our safe harbor until February and saw normal trade-winds most our way south. We saw that these ‘Christmas winds’ were in the forecast, so the first chance we got, we booked it from Nevis to Deshaies, Guadeloupe. We planned to ride out the strong winds in a well-protected anchorage while munching on baguettes and sipping espresso.
After 5 months at sea, our first season sailing is winding down. As we finish prepping Kairos for storage on the hard in Puerto Rico, we reflect on all of the gorgeous places we’ve visited. We’ve loved almost all of the 50 plus anchorages that we have visited over the last 150 days. We’ve seen pristine sandy beaches, inviting turquoise water, breathtaking mountains, and lush forests. We’ve met some crazy cruisers and some incredibly sweet locals. We’ve hiked, swam, fished, lobstered, and snorkeled our hearts out. We’ve experienced a lot, but for one reason or another these locations stand out as our top five favorite anchorages. They are listed below in chronological order.
When we first revealed our cruising plan to our friends and families, they were full of questions. Regardless of how we phrased it, explaining that we were quitting our jobs and selling our house so we could sail the Caribbean with our two dogs made us sound crazy. A cruising lifestyle can be strange and has its own challenges. For us, it’s all a part of the adventure. Below are the answers to our 10 most frequently asked questions.