The “Plan”

It was brought to our attention during the holidays, when we had the joy of seeing many of our relatives, that several people close to us don’t know what we’re doing. Not that we know what we’re doing, but for anyone who might be interested in where we hope to be in the next few years I thought I’d offer our “plan”. You’ll see shortly why I keep putting that word in quotes.

Firstly, no long voyage by sailboat can ever be scheduled. You can set your sights on a destination, but sometimes you can only hope the conditions will allow you to get there as intended. We love this, however. We’ll have plenty of time to explore, so most of the following itinerary is somewhat of a crap shoot.

John-Michael leaves the Army National Guard after 29 years of service and 20 years active duty on June 7, 2015. By the time he retires we hope to have our home in the French Quarter sold, along with most everything in it, and already be living aboard. We will also sell JM’s car before departing. Depending on how much more prep will be needed to get the boat seaworthy, we’d like to be in Key Largo by the end of the summer.

Route 1st legThere, I will continue my scuba training to get my instructor certification, and JM will work on getting his captain’s license. If all goes according to schedule we’ll be able to sell the last car and leave the U.S. close to the end of hurricane season.

From there we’ll start island hopping! This is where the “plan” will cease to exist. We will sail when the weather is good to places we’ve been reading about for years, or maybe to places we’ve never heard of until some new cruising friend enlightens us. The main idea is to first visit the BahamasRoute 2nd leg Bahamas and Turks and Caicos, sail to Haiti (JM insists we visit since he fell in love with the country when he was there in 2010), sail east, stopping in the Dominican Republic and the Spanish Virgin Islands, check out the Leeward Islands and then head south exploring many of the Windward Islands of the EasternCaribbean. Route 3rd leg Haiti Dom Rep PR Virgins and Eastern CaribbeanOur southernmost point will likely be Trinidad and Tobago before we sail west stopping in the ABCs (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao) and Colombia. From there we plan to sail to Panama and Costa Rica.

We do know that we have to be south of the hurricane zone by June 2016. We’ll be spending most summers in the northern parts of South America and/or most of Central America (where we can visit JM’s family in Costa Rica).

Route 4th leg Trinidad ABC Colombia Panama CR

Eventually we’ll cross one ocean or another, but that will be years away. There are so many places in the Caribbean to explore!

Route Big Picture

To answer a question we’ve been getting a lot – we will not be returning to the U.S. by boat for many years. When we do come back it will be via air, but we really don’t know when that will be. That means, if you want to see us, you should come to us! Flights to the Caribbean are cheap from New Orleans! We have a cabin ready for you and promise that if we know you’re coming, we will be more than happy to, once again, have a plan to follow, but only so far as when to pick you up at some thatch-roofed, tropical airport. After that, you’ll be on island time.

10 comments:

  1. Congratulations! You are an inspiration for living dreams! I am in Tampa and would like to catch up with you in the Keys! I look forward to vicariously “riding along” on your journey.

    1. Have a nice trip and wonderful staying in those great islands. I like your navigation plan. You guys have choosen an excellent way to transition from the military life. My only recommendation is to always respect the seas by not taking things for granted, be prepared all the time and listen to local fishermen and sailors. I’m sure you will enjoy a lot the trip. It will be a life time wonderful experience. Fair winds and following seas.

      1. ¡Muchas gracias, mi Capitan! Great advice about listening to local fishermen and sailors. We will always do that and wait for favorable weather windows.

  2. Wow….what a wonderful idea! I’m so happy for you guys! Many people talk about following their dreams, but few actually do anything about it! We’d enjoy following your adventures from afar. The girls will be psyched to hear your news and I’m sure would love to keep up w/you as well. Renee’ is sophomore @ UNO & working at Macy’s @ Lakeside Mall, Lauren is the manager of Abercrombie & Fitch @ Lakeside as well. Taylor is taller than Richelle and will be a freshman this year! All our love, best wishes, & prayers for safe travel. Hope to see you before you go! JJ

    1. Thanks! This has been in the planning and prep for over ten years. We’re so excited that it is actually about to really happen this year. Hard to believe your “kids” are all grown up!

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