Conjuring up cruising plans is fun. If we’ve learned anything from reading about this lifestyle, though, it is that you have to be flexible. Weather is apparently a thing that dictates where you go and when you go and how long it will take. So, with that said, here are our thoughts on the plan as of February 2016.
We will fly to Florida and spend 3 to 4 weeks prepping, cleaning, repairing, and moving aboard. The boat is currently out of the water in Moore Haven, FL. We’ll do part of the work while it is still on the hard and then sail it up toward Jamie’s parents’ area in Satellite Beach, FL.
May 2016 – August 2016:
We plan to cruise up the Intracoastal Waterway, focusing more on little towns in an effort to save some of our city tourism interests for the fall when hopefully things will be less crowded. We expect to reach Cape Cod, Massachusetts sometime in June, which is where Chris’s parents live. Jamie has to take a trip out to North Dakota to finish out requirements for her master’s degree and also plans on visiting Dani in Bozeman, Montana. We hope to make it as far north as coastal Maine before the weather cools off.
Some serious consideration is being given to spending a month in Boston before heading south. We’ve found at least one reasonably priced marina that would be a great jumping off point to leisurely visit the city. By early November at the latest, we’ll start the trek back south with the intent to be in Florida (or if we left New England sooner, possibly the Bahamas) by Christmas.
We are planning to spend this year in the Caribbean. At this stage, the plan gets much hazier as it is dependent on our comfort level with the boat and sailing along with possible repairs/upgrades and where it would make sense to take care of those issues. We also are assuming we’ll want to sail south come hurricane season in June. That might mean Grenada, Aruba, Costa Rica or other spectacular sounding tropical locales. (It is cold in Germany as I type this…can I go there now?)
This is when we predict we’ll be ready to start our circumnavigation heading west through the Panama Canal. There are so many options that until we know ourselves as cruisers, there isn’t a great reason to try to firm up a specific plan. We do expect to complete the circle in 2021 or 2022. The next grand adventure when we’re back to the U.S. is for Jamie to attend a psychology doctoral program…unless we just can’t bear to leave cruising behind and in that case, perhaps it will be round 2!