Why We Cruise
I've been dreaming about cruising since I got my first sail boat 13 years ago. I started reading sailing magazines and for the first time learned about this lifestyle, before that I'd never heard of such a thing as traveling and living on a boat! I've always loved to travel, I especially like to sail, but I'm also very much a home body. So this actually fits me quite well. I get to travel and yet I'm always at home. And I just love boats - tinkering around with boat projects, walking around the docks looking at boats, reading about boats... well you get the idea.
In the fall of 2008 I figured out that I could go coastal cruising while still working. Coastal cruising is where you travel around but stay near shore. So we made a plan and had our Hunter 280 moved from Oklahoma to Grand Rivers, Kentucky. We spent several months meandering down the Tennessee & Tombigbee Rivers until we made our way to Mobile, AL. where we spent the winter. Early spring found us crossing Mobile Bay and into the Inter-coastal Waterway (ICW) which runs along the Southwest coast of Florida.
From there we traveled east until we arrived in Carabelle, Florida, where I made my first overnight trip reaching Tarpon Springs, FL on the West Coast in about 26 hours. We spent several more months meandering down Florida's West Coast - truly a lovely place - amazing natural beaches and barrier islands, before reaching the Florida Keys.
We spent about 2 years in the Florida Keys - Marathon at mile marker 49 - which is about midway down the Keys, most of the time anchored in a tidal creek - Whiskey Creek, a short dinghy ride to either the beach or town. It was a great place - very quiet - a bit of a dead end street :-) Occasionally kayaks or fishing boats wandered by - but for the most part it was just us, the birds and fish. We could take the big boat out to Sombrero Reef in about 45 minutes - for some superb snorkeling or just snorkel or swim in the anchorage too.
During our stay in Marathon, we bought another boat and took a long time to sell our old one - almost a year! We had lots of work to do on the new boat - a 1983 Allmand 31. They call it a refit--- quite possibly because the captain is ready to have a fit after spending all the money and living in a construction zone! Nearly every single thing on the boat was replaced, rebuilt or discarded.
I was able to quit my stressful job at IBM in June 2011 and become a full-time cruiser! We traveled to the Bahamas and back 3 times, exploring most of its islands. We've been up the US east coast as far north as Washington, D.C. and as far south as the Dry Tortugas. This year we left Miami in January, spent a couple of months in the Bahamas and then set sail for a tough beat to the Caribbean. We are spending a few months in Grenada before heading west. We plan to continue cruising as long as I'm able. We hope you enjoy joining us on our journey vicariously and welcome your comments and feedback.