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