Thursday, May 15, 2014

Caribbean Limbo State Of Mind

Some of you have inquired about our exploits since our last post in February. True, we have not posted anything; and that is because so many options and variables have arisen we could not keep up with the changes and report on them with clarity. We have been presented with sailing options: on other peoples sailboats for fun; on other boats for pay; and again on others to be entrepreneurs again running charters; or opening a brew pub on a classic motor sailor called Narwhal!  Various sizes, from 50' to 70' all different types of boats, from mono hulls, to catamarans and trawlers. We have been weighing the pros and cons of the various offers. 
Sorting out what is best for us and Leap, has put us in a Caribbean limbo state of mind.

We were offered the opportunity to sail a 53'ft Amel Super Maramu from St Petersburg, FL down to Grenada in the Eastern Caribbean, which we accepted. In preparation for departing we first had to find a safe berth for Leap in Roatan and then secure her. Which entailed taking the sails and bimini down, cleaning, drying and deflating the dinghy, and readying the outboard all to be stored down below. Closing up all thru-deck holes to secure against bugs and rats. Securing in an airtight locker all dry goods so as not to attract said critters. Pack our safety and snorkeling gear and a few clothes. Also make sure we had reliable sources to keep an eye on Leap and report back to us if there were any problems. The dock master where Leap is berthed and fellow cruisers have been checking on her and emailing us with updates. Most recent email mentioned, "Leap looks good, but lonely."  

Leap at dock prior to dismantling.

We took the time upon our arrival stateside to visit family in Beckley, West Virginia; parents Dean and Sue; sister - Dena  and brother - in -law Todd with son Carson. Our three children, Burklin, Bryna and Bryce and Burklin's daughter (our granddaughter) Jocelyn and new son-in-law John Rothe, also came to Beckley which made for a delightful and much needed family reunion.

Road trip: L to R.  Bryce, John, Jocelyn, Bryna, Burklin

We celebrated the marriage of Bryna and John. The wedding couple were married in a civil ceremony on Mar 20th and are planning a romantic beach ceremony in the near future somewhere along our cruising course.  

Burklin and Jocelyn.    Jocelyn was ring bearer

We attended the ceremony from Roatan via FaceTime. Oh how we love technology.
Below is a picture of us on Bryna and John's TV screen face timing post ceremony over  lunch and champagne toast. We look very serious as we are trying to configure our internet to see and hear each other.

The whole gang in Beckley

We returned to St Petersburg after the family reunion to begin preparing the Amel for departure.
As of today 5/15, we are still in St. Pete. The deadline for casting off dock lines and heading south is next Wednesday 5/22. We have a few last minute items to take care of in preparation for sailing, but in the end, it is up to the owners whether they will sail or wait for another day. 

The Amel and her name is Ati

We finally cast off on Sunday May 25th. It will not be a pleasant sail as the trade winds will fight us all along the way. It would have been better to go north this time of year and wait until after hurricane season to head south. We would like to make it to St Martin if at all possible but the fall back plan is a good hurricane hole.
The first recommended port for a hurricane hole will be Luperon Dominican Republic. We will have the tracker on for those that like to follow along.