Memories and Milestones

We’ve celebrated many major milestones over the last few weeks – one year living onboard, a year since leaving Cowes and then since leaving the UK. We’ve been in the Caribbean for 7 months and it’s been truly wonderful. The perfect place to find our feet – short sails, friendly mostly english speaking islands and most importantly lots of lovely sailing families. The kids have made so many new friends and thankfully seem to be truly settling into this way of life. I notice it in the little things – they make Lego catamarans, talk about their dream outboard engines and use the VHF radio more naturally than a phone.

It’s hard to continually say goodbye to people but we are starting to take a new path and it feels really exciting. Patrick and I sailed in the Caribbean 13 years ago so it’s always felt a little bit familiar but today we head west to Bonaire. The vague plan – you may have heard the old cliché that cruiser’s plans are written in the sand at low tide – is to briefly visit the ABC Islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao (but oddly not in that order!) on our way to Colombia where we hope to spend sometime exploring inland. Then it’s off to Panama to discover the San Blas Islands en route to the mighty Canal!!! And then the Pacific…

So here is the latest round-up – according to Stella we can now get the following sea-dog tattoos: a swallow which is equal to 5000 miles and a fouled anchor for crossing the Atlantic. Apparently a shell-back turtle is next for crossing the equator – wow we are becoming true salties…

Total nautical mileage: 7218
As the crow flies from Cowes: 3967
Total engine hours: 520
Top wind speed: 40+ knots at anchor in Clifton Bay on Union Island watching the boats drag around us and enjoying our new anchor!

Total days: 366 since leaving the UK!
Nights at sea: 33
Nights in marina: 43 + 16 on mooring buoys
Nights on the hard: 3
Nights on anchor: 271 at anchor

Favourite thing about living on a boat?

Patrick: Waking up in the place you want to be all day. No traffic, no ferries, no deadlines.
Anna: The wonderful cruising community filled with lovely warm and kind people
Stella: Meeting people from all over the world
Fin: It’s fun. I don’t have a favourite thing, I like all the things except school!

Favourite places you’ve visited so far?

Patrick: Englishman’s Bay, Tobago and Sal Rei, Boavista
Anna: I’ll have to add Barbuda and Les Saintes at the bottom of Guadeloupe to the growing list
Stella: Adding Barbuda to the list
Fin: Can’t do that one – every place!

Biggest challenge?

Patrick: Still trying to get to the bottom of the boat jobs list
Anna: Getting a good nights sleep!
Stella: Tying a bowline and concentrating on school!
Fin: Boat school

Best new discovery?

Patrick: Christophine, solar panels
Anna: Guava ice-cream and banana daiquiris
Stella: Doing a hash and eating gnips in Grenada
Fin: Fresh coconuts straight off the tree

 

7 thoughts on “Memories and Milestones

  1. Hiya – great to see you guys all looking so well – a year at sea already! Glad you made it away from Antigua – looks a real mess up there. Life all good in cowes – just back from 2 weeks down in Cornwall so been enjoying plenty of beach time – just a little chillier than some of the ones in your photos! On that note do you mind if Spinlock use a couple of your shots as there are some great photos on your blog. Also id be keen to send out some replacements of the new models of the Cento for Fin and Stella – are you likely to have a contact address when you get to Columbia – or is it best if I hand deliver them to you .. !

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    • Hi Myles – great to hear from you. We are safely in Santa Marta in Colombia – thankfully far away from the devastation of Irma but feel quite sick looking at all the photos! Very happy for you to use any photos of kids etc – let me know if you need originals. Current life jackets holding up really well although rather grubby now but very happy to model new ones for you – a personal delivery to the San Blas islands next month would be ideal!!! Or a week in Cartagena at the end of this month? Alternatively (but not as fun) we’re planning a fleeting visit to the UK en route to SA at the end of the year. Lots of love to all xxxxx

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  2. Ah very jealous spent a great few months around Santa Marta and Tayrona a few years ago … ouch make that 23years… Worth getting up into the Sierra Nevada Mountains if you have some time, managed to get lost up there for a while on an overambitious and underprepared trek with a friend! San Blas would be lovely but a factory in Asia is more likely next month unfortunately. Let us know when you are back, would be great to catch up and we can sort out the new jackets. Thanks for the photos – will share when we use them so F&S can bask in their fame!

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  3. Wow wow wow!! What an amazing year. And the next one sounds as if it’s starting off full of fab adventure. Glad to hear you are out of hurricane alley. Hope all your boat friends are safe too. Lots of love, Team Bradley xx

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