Chugging Along
A Silly Little Millimeter Longer

On Our Fifth Anniversary of Cruising We Have Really Big News

Five years ago on October 18, we left Maine, heading for the Cape Cod Canal. As I write this, we are anchored in the San Blas on the 17th of October. The Digicel system here has been generally horrid and our personal Digicel situation has been worse. We have had to rely on the kindness of now friends/former strangers in order to borrow a dongle. We put my phone's SIM card in the dongle and raised it up the mast and got WIFI down below. (When Digicel worked.) Unfortunately, my SIM card needs to be renewed and I can't get my password to work. Since they insist on texting me and I can't receive a text here...well there you go. I am going to get this off via SSB today.

Tomorrow we are going to sail (motor?) back to Linton Bay where we plan to stay for 7-10 days. We hope/plan/have scheduled helping Alice and Steve on Ocean Star go through the Canal. Unfortunately, I didn't contact them 6 days ago when I was last able to get on line, and haven't been able to reach out since. This frustrates me. When we were at anchor in the Berry Islands in the Bahamas nearly five years ago I wrote about how uncomfortable I was with being disconnected. At least there we did not pay to have two SIM cards with expectations of actually making contact with anyone. Digicel is not my favorite company.

Yes, I do have posts written. With stories and photos. They will be published. I promise.

So that's my explanation/apology/gripe about connectivity. Let's move on to the big news.

Instead of leaving here in November and slowly making our way north via Belize, Mexico, and a number of islands between here and Florida...(drum roll, please)…
We will take La Luna back to the US. We plan to sail to Fernandina Beach and hope to stay there for a while. Those who know us, know that EW often tells a story in which someone said he should have "adopted" me instead of marrying me. That's a huge exaggeration, but I am younger than he and not yet ready for retirement. Before we left we estimated I'd have to go back to work in a real job at about 5 years. The time has come. Best case scenario is that I get a great job (that does not require hose and heels), while EW works on the boat and finds a two day gig on the water.

When he's not filling the cruising kitty, he'll be working on the boat. La Luna is 30 years old and-while she clearly loves this life and definitely has more ocean crossings to enjoy-she needs some TLC. Before we purchased her in 2002, she hadn't done much sailing; and while we lived and worked aboard we only took her out on weekends in the summer and for at least one 10 day sailing vacation. Heck, she got more nautical miles under her keel in 2014 than she did in 5 years of cruising during Maine summers. It's only fair that we take the time and money to provide for her needs.

We had decided to head back to the states in June, after a leisurely cruise, but that just isn't practical. For one thing, most of these countries charge hundreds of dollars for entry fees, and that's $1000 to $2000 that can go to La Luna. In addition, most of the areas we'd like to visit are well north of here, and we can simply sail back down as far as we want once I'm ready to retire. For another thing, I felt it would be better to get back and look for a job sooner rather than later, and EW agrees.

So, for the short term, we will go to Linton, meet up with Alice and Steve (fingers crossed), provision up, and sail back to the San Blas all before November. We hope that the light hurricane season comes to an early end, that the northerly winds hold off in November, and that we have a good weather window for the 1600 mile sail to our destination. If so, we'll be in the US before Thanksgiving.

Finally, NO! We are not selling her nor are we done cruising. In fact, since we'll be living aboard, we will still be "At Sea" and this blog will continue. After all, we aren't the first cruisers to take a working hiatus and we won't be the last. It's all part of the adventure.


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Keith white

Will be glad to have you as a neighbor. Why did you choose Fernandinho? Also wondered if you knew about Stuart, Fla. I think that is where we'll do our work/ repair next summer. Sunset Bay marina, Stuart, Florida. Jobs should be better too. And it's a real busy area for boating, marine businesses, etc, yet very laid back town. We like fernandina too. There is a good day boatyard in the area. And it's friendly.

Keith white

Above "day boatyard" should read "diy boatyard near fernandina"


Might get a chance to see you two again , off to Mexico for winter and back to Florida in Spring :)


We so so understand the "not age of retirement" yet! It is all part of the journey. PS We stayed in a small marina called Nettles Island in Jensen Beach. It was $400 a month on a dock and included water, electric, and pump out. Its just after Vero Beach and we ducked in when Stuart was full up - and stayed for 3 months (Dec 22-March 22) . Of course we know that was a few years ago. Also, not a long term solution since transportation is not great although there is a regular bus! We ended up borrowing a car. It was sparse but cheaper than many other places we found in Florida. We went into Fernandina spent the night on a mooring there, pretty swift current right there and took a while to catch the mooring. But we were newbies. Looking forward to seeing your next year! Best, Dora


Don't do it! 5 to 9 sucks. Trust me I know what I'm talking about...

Keith white

Don't get me wrong, I like Fernandina a lot, just curious why you chose it. It's an affordable area. There is a good DIY boatyard nearby, and the folks are friendly. Plus you have access to all of Fla and Ga within a day's drive. We have loved exploring by car.

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