We’ve been gone for nine days shy of six months. This has been the trip of a lifetime. Many mornings I wake up and marvel at the fact that we have made it this far. We’ve traveled 3,242 miles. We’ve traversed 34 locks. We’ve covered almost countless rivers, lakes, canals, the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean and several seas. Oh, and we’ve touched bottom three times, had to be towed off once and damaged four props. When we arrived in St. Petersburg Laura and I turned to each other and both marveled at the fact we’d made it that far. Since then it’s just gotten harder to believe that we are where are and doing what we are doing.
We are aware of how fortunate we are to be here. We try hard to help the girls realize how fortunate they are as well but I worry constantly about our success in that department. That said, we have been able to be quite successful in providing the girls with the experiences we thought would make the trip worthwhile. As Molly’s fourth grade class began studying the civil war we found ourselves in the midst of civil war battlefields. More recently as part of the first grade curriculum Maddy started studying habitats. We are currently floating in one heck of a habitat. We’ve seen cows swimming in flooded rivers, fall in the Tennessee Valley gorge, Taylor Swift’s recording studio, dolphins jumping in our wake, houses built on stilts, the biggest cruise ships in the world, sea turtles, sharks, eagle rays, the bluest, clearest water you can imagine, six toed cats, Molly throwing swords and so many hundreds and hundreds of things I can’t list.
Now we find ourselves in the Bahamas hopping from cay (pronounced key) to cay each with their own beauty and charm. Today we arrived at Treasure Cay with one of the most impressive beaches I’ve ever seen. The sand couldn’t be softer or finer. The water off the beach is a beautiful blue-green. We travel from one postcard to another.
Laura and I have spent a lot of time thinking about what’s next for us. Do we continue travelling south? Do we go to Eleuthera? The Exumas? We’ve had a few occasions recently to be reminded of the limitations of our boat. It is a tremendous amount of living space for us. It’s also relatively efficient for a boat of its size. What it’s not is a great sea boat. It’s not comfortable in rough conditions and it doesn’t inspire confidence. We’ve talked about travelling further south into the Caribbean but with our current boat both Laura and I don’t feel like that’s likely to be a great idea. We’ve thought about looking at different boats and I think it’s likely when we get back to Florida that we will do some looking. We’ve made a lot of improvements to this boat and it would be difficult to not be able to benefit from all those changes. So, if we are going to make a change we need something that is clearly a better boat for us and for the cruising we hope to be able to do. That’s likely not an easy task.
For now we will just continue our cruise through paradise enjoying our time here and soaking up the experiences and beauty.