We’ve visited friends and family. We’ve taken care of some boat chores and routine maintenance. We’ve had assorted medical appointments and received the go-ahead from Jeff’s cardiologist with a one-year follow-up (vs. the six month reprieve she gave us last time). So it’s time to sail away again! It’s been great to settle in for a bit and see everyone, but we’re excited to head out and continue exploring. The “Where is Pegu Club” map has been cleared, and we’re ready to lay some fresh tracks down on it.
Where are we pointing our bow this year? As you can imagine, this has been a topic of extensive conversations on Pegu Club over the past two months. We really like the Bahamas and want to spend more time exploring the various islands, particularly those south of Georgetown. We were so close to Cuba last time that we had talked about going there on this second go-around, but the recent policy change by the current administration has quashed that idea for the time being. It’s probably better that I withhold my thoughts on that one.
What about continuing farther into the Caribbean? We’ve tossed that one around. We spoke to some former Shenny members who have sailed the route we were thinking about, and are currently on the west coast of Mexico. Island-hopping south is against the prevailing wind so we bought a copy of “The Gentleman’s Guide to Passages South” by Bruce Van Sant. He is the purported guru of minimizing your chances of getting a good ass-kicking by Mother Nature as you move south from island to island. The whole idea is really intriguing and certainly doable. But there are some drawbacks, and I would also like to spend time in Maine or Nova Scotia next summer. That’s very unlikely to happen if we sail further into the Caribbean this winter.
In the near-term we initially thought we would point the boat north to explore a few areas of New England that we haven’t yet been to, then hop offshore to Cape May, NJ. But then we talked about all of the spots on Long Island that we had to miss last season, and we really do like the trip down the East River. Honestly, having the ability to go anywhere can lead to a touch of analysis paralysis. So all we know for now is that we’re going to see where the wind blows for a bit.
We do have a few plans. We definitely want to spend September exploring the Chesapeake. We know we’d like to be in the Bahamas ideally by Christmas. Other than that, it’s all up in the air. It’s a far cry from the detailed schedule we had when we started out last September.
There’s a saying we’ve heard several times over the past year: “A cruiser’s plans are written in sand at low tide.” At first I thought the saying came about because traveling by boat is so dependent on the vagaries of Mother Nature, and that’s true.
But it’s not just the weather that changes our plans. It’s finding a great town that you just don’t want to leave. It’s the perfect anchorage with the gorgeous beach that you have all to yourself. It’s what happens when you ask, “Hey, what’s over there?” and decide to point the bow in that direction to find out. So we’re going to keep it loose with some rough parameters in place.
Let’s see what happens!