Since my goal accountability for 2012 is personal, I won't bore anyone with the details, but I would like to share a few of our 2012 highlights.
- My son Phillip joined us for a few days while we were in the Bahamas, we later visited him in Boston, and he joined us in Florida for Christmas – those visits were without doubt the high points of the year.
- I was able to attend my niece Carol's wedding in Las Vegas where I was joined by my oldest, dearest friend Frank for a few days of fun.
- We spent several weeks during hurricane season visiting friends and family in Oklahoma.
- We finally made it to the Bahamas and enjoyed a few months of amazing adventures, sailing, snorkeling, exploring, and meeting lots of new friends.
- I had a “spa” week during our stay in Hopetown visiting our friends on Jamoco, with daily yoga/Pilates classes on the beach, and afternoons by the pool.
- I actually sailed across the dreaded Gulf Stream two times. While the first trip across was rather harrowing, the trip back was a quite pleasant, reminding me of the ever changing character of the ocean.
- We were able to spend a week visiting our dear friends, Ruth and Dick Connaughton on Cape Cod.
- We enjoyed a fun, relaxing train trip from Oklahoma to Boston, and then another from Boston to Sanford, Florida.
- We enjoyed two weeks gunk-holing the Florida Everglades enjoying abundant wildlife and starry skies.
- We were able to complete 99% of the refit projects on the Glass Slipper, including a new engine and sail wardrobe.
- We added a new crew member, Prince, a chihuahua/fox terrier mix, rescued from the animal shelter in Sanford, FL, and already shaping up to be a good sailor and watch dog.
Our travels aboard the Glass Slipper this year took us from the Florida Keys to the Everglades, then up Florida's west coast to Fort Myers, across the beautiful Okeechobee waterway to Stuart, FL, up Florida's east coast to Titusville, then back down to Lake Worth where we crossed the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas West End. From there we traveled across the Bahamas Banks to the Abacos, then down to the Exumas as far south as Georgetown, before heading north and east to Bimini and then back across the Gulf Stream to just outside Lake Worth. We traveled offshore to Fort Pierce, then up the ICW to Jacksonville and down the St. Johns River to Sanford, Florida. Finally, in the closing weeks of 2012 we reversed our course and traveled from Sanford, back through Jacksonville and then down the ICW to Titusville. That's a lot of miles for a couple of girls in a small boat!
When I try to decide which place we visited was our favorite I'm at a loss. Each place was awesome in a different way. Of course the Bahamas with its clear water, white sandy beaches, and abundant reefs come to mind immediately, but then I recall the Everglades. Although the water was murky, the birds, turtles, dolphins, and abundant trees more than made up for it. And then there's the St. John's River, a magical, place, where we saw few other boats, but lots of wildlife, had nice anchorages and inexpensive dockage. Even the ICW (inter-coastal waterway) has it's highlights, alternately traveling through highly populated areas looking in the backyards of gorgeous waterfront homes and wilderness. We were certainly blessed to be able to experience such a variety of places.
So now I'm trying to think of any low lights and I must admit I'm digging hard. I'm sure there were some, but they are not at the forefront of my mind. I think cruising is like that, sure there are bad times, things that were scary, but we tend to forget them as soon as we arrive at the next great place. Generally they're only remembered at cocktail parties when sailors like to trade tales.
Well, I suppose there was that inlet in Lake Worth where we pounded our way out the Atlantic and I feared the boat would come apart at the seams. (I learned she wouldn't). Then there was that cut in the Bahamas where the current was so strong I feared we'd be swept onto the rocks. (I learned to wait for slack tide). Or that spot at the West End where the waves were so steep I could barely control the boat and I feared we would be knocked down. (We weren't). We had some terrible rolling, uncomfortable anchorages where you questioned the sanity of living on a boat. We weathered through a few bad storms with high winds and scary lightning, but thankfully none while underway, only while swinging safely on our oversized anchor.
So what's up aboard the Glass Slipper for 2013? The first few days of 2013 will find us sailing down Florida's east coast, possibly as far as No Name Harbor, (just below Miami) where we will await a weather window to cross the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas. We hope to visit several Bahamian Islands that we missed in our previous visit before heading on to the Turks and Cacios in late spring. Then it's on to the Dominican Republic for hurricane season, and more of the Caribbean late fall. Of course we'll also spend some time visiting friends and family in Tulsa and Boston.
We hope you join us on our adventure. We have some new technology aboard this year that will enable us to keep our blog up to date as we travel too remote places. Share our site with your friends and family. Let us know if you want to crew. It's shaping up to be a great 2013 aboard the Glass Slipper! We hope your new year is blessed too!