Cruising Life, Cruising with Kids

Elli shares her thanks and logbook from her family's year of cruising (Part 2)

Elli wrote us to say thanks for all the support and inspiration she has received from Women and Cruising, and from our 12 Sailing Families.

Back after a year’s cruise, her log book entries vividly bring back the reality of cruising.  Part 1 of this 2-part post was published on Oct 14.

5. Buenos Dias! – Luperon, Dominican Republic

‘In an island nation whose economy is driven by agriculture and tourism, it’s perhaps not surprising that poverty is real and evident in every small town and village we have driven through.

Yet by all appearances, this is also a country that is also able to provide for its people in ways that we have not encountered since our trip began.

This is a country of warm, happy, constantly smiling people… Music and laughter flows freely and everyone, young and old, is always eager to lend a helping hand.’

6. “Orlando Bloom Sand!”, aka Sandy Cay  Exumas

‘We have something special planned for the girls today… Just 15 miles from Georgetown rests a tiny island called Sandy Cay (also White Cay in some charts). Most of the island is underwater at high tide. At low tide however, the water recedes to reveal a stunning expanse of pristine white sand beach.

It is here that Gore Verbinsky, the director of the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy shot a favorite scene from the trilogy’s second movie. Movie’s soundtrack in the CD player, we turn on the engine and glide out of Elizabeth harbour…’

7. Sandy Cay  Exumas

‘I walk on deck, mug of steaming coffee in hand, a little before 6:30am.  Off our bow, a sweeping expanse of white sand beach… Silhouetted against the blue sky ready to erupt with the day’s first light, scatterings of palm and indigenous casuarina trees, so perfectly placed they appear painted on the landscape.

I gingerly place bare feet on starboard deck moist with morning dew, and grab the lifelines with one hand, mug of coffee still in the other.  Something in the clear turquoise water catches my eye but it quickly swims away before I can identify it.

I sit on deck, close my eyes, and listen. It doesn’t happen often on a trip like this, so when it does it’s nothing short of a symphony of music to the ears.  What sounds like hundreds, perhaps thousands of birds are heralding the beginning of another glorious day in the Bahamian out islands.  Eyes still closed, I move with the boat’s gentle swaying, now also aware of the waves gently lapping at the white sand just a few feet off our bow.

I am all at once acutely aware of how much I will miss mornings like these once back on land and am saddened by the thought that we are already heading home. I open my eyes as the sun’s first rays peek through the casuarinas and warm my face.

Below deck, David and the girls are still asleep and part of me wants to rouse them, to share this moment with them, to show them what they’re missing.  I don’t.  I close my eyes again, letting the sun’s rays wash over me and privately, peacefully, selfishly, savor the moment.’

8. Warderick Wells Mooring Field – Exuma Cays Land & Sea Park Headquarters

‘We radio the park office, receive our mooring assignment, and proceed into the stunning mooring field, carefully following the band of darker blue water arching into the protected crystalline lagoon.

The site is stunning the second time around. Today there is not a breath of wind in the protected mooring field and we can easily distinguish sea grasses, small coral heads, bigger fish and positively enormous rays casually swimming in the pristine waters surrounding our boat.

I am momentarily distracted by the indescribable beauty that surrounds us but my eyes are still trained on mooring ball number 7, boat hook at the ready, as David glides Wind of Peace closer and closer…’

9. Homeward Bound (Meghan)

‘At precisely 12:50pm, we pass under the Francis Scott Bridge, as all four of us in the cockpit now, look up at the steel structure in complete silence.  Baltimore City’s skyline rises above the harbor’s waters ahead, and the grassy hillside of Fort McHenry slowly comes into focus off our port bow.

Coming home means different things to each of us, but it’s clear that we each recognize the significance of passing under this bridge…

We didn’t travel as far as we had hoped and we didn’t travel as fast.  But for exactly eight months, one week and one day, we experienced a lifetime of memories.  Nobody knows we’re home a day early and we need time alone to slowly absorb the reality of being home again.

Tomorrow, we will begin to unpack most of our belongings from the boat that has carried us to our dreams… and back.’

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