Thinking longer-term

Well, my hopes for retiring in the 2011-2012 timeframe have evaporated. My most recent prediction is mid-2014. And I think I’ll stick to that prediction whether or not I can “afford” to retire. Having a relatively committed timeframe means that we can start working out a serious schedule of what we need to do in order to be ready to cast off the dock lines. Because of the distance we live from Dream SeQueL (a couple of thousand miles), we simply haven’t been able to get all the experience and learn all the skills we’ll need even for modest offshore cruising. And we know that, but we haven’t until now figured out how to overcome it.

Barbara came up with the beginnings of a great plan to which I agreed instantly. We’re now planning to sail from our home dock in Clearwater Beach, on the Gulf coast of Florida not far from Tampa Bay, to the Bahamas in approximately October 2011. Because it will be our first crossing of the Gulf Stream and, in fact, our first true offshore passage, we’ve asked our sailing friend to join us for part of the trip.

Barbara and I plan to sail from Clearwater Beach around the southern tip of Florida to an appropriate departure point on the Atlantic coast of the state (e.g., Ft. Lauderdale). Once we’re there, we’ll fly Earle from Tampa (or St. Petersburg/Clearwater) to our departure city to join us on the outbound leg over to the Bahamas. After we arrive there, we’ll fly Earle back home (because he can’t just take a few weeks off work), and we’ll spend a few days cruising around in the Bahamas. At the end of that period, we’ll return to the Atlantic coast of Florida by ourselves (waiting, of course, for a friendly weather window) and then back around to our home dock.

Assuming that goes well and we’re not overwhelmed with a true passage, what next? Barbara’s suggestion is that we plan to go, a year later, to the northern Carribean. That’ll probably mean that I will have to take a couple of months leave of absence from my job, which I don’t think that’s likely to be a problem. We haven’t started working on the routes by which we’ll sail down to the islands and back to our home dock, but one thought we’ve considered is to go down via the Bahamas and probably ducking around to the south of Hispaniola, then returning via Jamaica and around the western end of Cuba.

Any and all advice, guidance, stories, etc. regarding this plan will be gratefully received.

3 comments to Thinking longer-term

  • Bill Casnovsky

    Jim,

    I purchased Abisag from Pete Witzky several months ago and am in process of renaming her. Just received updated Coast Guard Documentation. Would like to update the Passport Owners Directory. Please advise. BTW, I like your plans to sail to the Bahamas.

    Thanks,
    Bill & Linda Casnovsky
    Austin, Texas
    Passport 40, Abisag (soon to be Beau Navire)

  • Jim

    Bill, thanks very much for your comment. I’ve already updated the Passport database with your boat’s new name and listed you and Linda as the owners; the update to the Owner’s Directory will follow in due course. Other information that I like to capture is your contact information (e.g., mailing address, email address, blog address if you have one for the boat), hailing port, USCG Documentation number, plus anything else you’d like to have recorded in the comments, such as configuration or history or plans. And congratulations on acquiring an excellent boat!

  • Jim, info per your request:

    mail – 15105 Pheasant Lane, Austin, Texas 78734
    Hailing Port – Austin, Texas
    s/v New name – Beau Navire
    Hull ID – PKY400630284 (hull#63)
    USCG# 903366
    Interior Configuration: V-birth Master Suite. Head & separate shower on Port side aft of v-birth
    Exterior – rebuilt dodger & added new bimini with joining bridge.

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