One Year

Excerpt from the logbook of Compass Rose:

Oct. 28, 2009
10:05  Departed Galesville, Maryland.  West wind 10-12 most of day.  Began motorsailing app. 1 1/2 hours north of Cove Point.

17:30  Anchored Solomons Island.  Engine passed 4000 hours.

End of quote.

Thus starts our voyage.  What it doesn’t tell you is the misery of the previous two weeks.  The weather was cold and rainy.  We found leaks that we thought we had fixed.  We had renters in our house, but we still had gear to buy and install.  We had a car and pickup truck to sell, but the car was absolutley full of gear we needed to store on board and we needed the truck to run final errands.

Somehow everything got on board, the vehicles found new homes, and we were off.  We got out onto the Bay and turned south.  The sun peeked out.  The temperature was a little cool, but very comfortable, and the wind was on the beam.  We set the sails and got the autopilot working.  It was like the workweek was over, the weekend was here, and finally, finally we could relax…..

…..It’s been a long, wonderful weekend.

The trip to Hampton, VA was three days of easy sailing.  We decompressed.  Jim Beaudry made sure we had a slip waiting for us at a “friendly” rate and he and his wife Melinda loaned us their van to run last minute errands.   Their help was the boost we needed.  We can’t thank them enough.

Our friends Peter and Beth van  de Geijn met us in Hampton and stayed with us to Cape Canaveral.   They were an immense help – especially in the one and three night passages off the east coast.  It’s hard to find better sailing companions.  We can’t thank them enough.

And what would a trip like this be without a Dickerson connection?  We arrived in Oriental, NC with Don and D of Southern Cross waving to us from the dock. They found us free dockage and free bicycles.  They collected gear that we had shipped to their house.  They gave us free run of their laundry room and showers.  They made sure our stay was comfortable and fun.  When you buy a Dickerson, the support and comraderie of the owners group comes free.  Thanks Don and D,

In Cocoa Beach, FL, we caught up with Mark and Michelle on Reach.   Mark and I owned sister boats and had known each other for some time.  They did the Bahamas the year before and were old hands by now.  We “loose buddy boated” with them the rest of the way to Grenada.  Sometimes we went our own ways, and sometimes we travelled together.  In many ways they were our mentors, helping us to find our place in the cruising lifestyle.  But more importantly they were our friends.  Soon they will head west and we will head north.  We will miss them.

Thanks, M&M.  Fair winds.

So when you are facing the big passage with a once-in-a-lifetime weather window who do you call? Brother Dave.  On Friday he was asking for time off work.  On Tuesday he was on a 4 1/2 day passage from the Bahamas to Puerto Rico.  We choose our crew with great care and Dave was the guy we could leave on watch and know the boat was well cared for.   We were happy to introduce him to the wondeful Bahamas weather and Puerto Rico south coast cruisng.

Finally, I want to mention our friends Dave and Trudie on Persephone.  They have shared the anchorage with us here in Mt. Hartman Bay and it looks like our plans for the coming year are in sync, so we should see a lot of them going back up island.  It’s great to have good traveling companions.

So what have we learned?  Well, for one thing, long tail down = sheep, short tail up = goat.

You can get fresh croisants delivered to your boat in some of the French islands.

The best fishing seems to be at the top and bottom of the islands where the water goes deep.  Especially if there is a squall on the horizon.

The sound that comes from a steel pan drum is unbelieveable.

If you really want to make sure you catch a fish, stop at the fish market the day before and fill your freezer.

Stuff breaks at the worst possible time. 

The last people into an anchorage always think there is room for one more boat.

The average cruiser will give you the shirt off his back.  If there are holes in it he will mend it first.

Local food, local music, local people – miss them and you might as well stay home.

What was our favorite island?

The one we are at when you ask the question.  The Bahamas and Caribbean islands have been an incredible experience.  The islands have been beautiful and the people have been wonderful.

What would we do differently?

Start cruising younger.

Would we do this again?

We are not really sure – ask us again a year from now after we have collected more data.

Fair winds and following seas,

Eric and Jackie on Compass Rose

Oct 28, 2010, Mt Hartman Bay, Grenada

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4 Responses to “One Year”

  1. Jim Beaudry Says:

    Congratulations guys!! We have been following every word for the past year, I’m jealous! Looking forward to hearing about you voyage North. If you make it back up this far, make sure you plan a visit.
    See you on the internet…
    Jim and Melinda

  2. Barry Creighton S/V Crew Rest Says:

    Eric and Jackie,

    Personally and on behalf of the Dickerson Owners Association, we congratulate you and thank you for giving many of us a dream to share and inspiration for the future (and energy to sand brightwork).

    Your log and recounts continue to be “best of breed” and most of us read them regularly. Please keep them up as you RTB (return to base). I’m sure the journey north will be just as rich.

    Best,

    Barry ad Judy

  3. Dave Lair Says:

    Rick:

    (Yes, I’ve known him over 50 years now, and once upon a time he was “Rick”)

    You’ve had quite a year, I’ve looked in on your experiences as time allows, and I’m very happy that you have gotten the opportunity to experience something as remarkable as your voyage, and that you have a partner like Jackie to share it all with.

    Back here in the snow belt, it has been quite an interesting year, not always, but sometimes, in a good way! Grandkids are lined up in nice chronological order at this time of year – 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6… and 4! All nearby, and all maturing in wonderful ways.

    Being able to follow your adventures gives me great insight into a life being lived by a long-time friend that is just about as far away from my own reality as is possible, and I’ve really enjoyed reading about it. Love the recent pictures you’ve added too. Be well, and hope to see you again some time, my friend.

    Dave

  4. Pierce Says:

    Eric & Jackie,

    It is Oct 2012 and I am for the first time, reading your blog. This entry (after scanning many) was a great to find… a summary of your first year. Now, on to read more.

    We are currently in Solomon’s Island on our way south to the Bahamas for the 2nd time after 6 years doing other things. We just weathered Hurricane Sandy and are waiting for the rain to stop so we can re-rig and continue south. I look forward to figuring out where you to are at the moment.

    Best Regards,

    Pierce and Ruth
    aboard Wabi Sabi

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