Bob and Brenda’s most excellent adventure. The end of a chapter…

Sants-Montjuïc Yesterday at 06:00 I took Brenda to the dock and waiting taxi to begin her journey to our “land home” in CT.  Except for a brief trip home for Christmas, Brenda and I have been aboard Pandora together  for eight months, beginning on September  11th when we moved aboard, until May 9th. Our trip took us a long way.   We experienced most of the Intra-Coastal-Waterway, all the way from Eastern Connecticut to Ft Lauderdale across to the Bahamas and as far south as Rum Cay and Long Island which sit on the Tropic of Cancer.   We made many wonderful friends along the way and visited most of the major areas of the Bahamas and covered nearly 3,000 miles, about 1,000 miles of that in the Bahamas.

prednisone to buy uk While the trip has been remarkable in so many ways, there is no doubt that I share Brenda’s excitement about heading home.  Our plan was to make this trip a long one and then, in future years, split our time between land and see.  Next winter we plan to spend about three months in the Bahamas with a month or two in Maine this summer and next.   In between we will spend some time in eastern long Island sound home waters and the Chesapeake.    I wouldn’t want to miss the Annapolis Boat Show, would I? As we have been doing for years, I will make the really long runs with crew and Brenda will join me for the duration once the boat is in place.  This approach has worked well for much of the nearly forty years that we have been cruising together. My plan now is to have my friend Craig join me this Saturday to spend a week sailing in the Abacos.  After that friends will arrive to help me take Pandora north with our hope of leaving the Bahamas on our about May 19th.

I have been looking at the weather on the eastern seaboard for several weeks now and I am hopeful that we will have favorable conditions within the two week window that my crew has to get back to CT.  The spring winds along the eastern seaboard are generally from the southwest this time of year so, unless there is a cold front passing off of the coast at that time, we should be able to make the run within that time frame and hopefully under sail.  As is always the case with weather, “let’s hope it works!”.   Time will tell.  Making long passages are a lot tougher when you have limited time and visiting crew as it’s not uncommon to find that conditions are not favorable for making a desired trip for perhaps up to a week at a time.   With a couple living aboard, it’s easy to wait for perfect weather but with visiting crew, not so easy.  As has often been said, “the most dangerous piece of equipment on a boat is a clock” and the need to keep to a particular timetable.  It’s always better to wait than to head out when conditions are not favorable.

If we run into trouble keeping to our schedule we will just bail out and head for Annapolis where I can leave Pandora for a week or so and then head back to finish the run.

I still have to find a yard where Pandora can be hauled for a month or two for some repairs and maintenance but that will have to wait until I re-enter US waters where I can easily make cell calls.  While we did get a Bahamas cell phone, using it to call the US is expensive so we have limited use as much as we can.

Having Brenda leave today, even though we have been planning it for weeks, was a bit of a jolt to me and to return to Pandora after taking her to the taxi was depressing.  Returning aboard to see that all of her stuff gone including the shells and other decorations that were out for display was a real bummer.  Pandora has been our home for many months and to see that it no longer looked “homey” was sad.

So, I was aboard, alone and depressed.  What to do?  Brenda predicted that I would clean.  Yup, she called that one right.   So, at the tender hour of 06:30, out came the cleaning materials and for the next three hours I scrubbed away.  I have to say that Pandora was already pretty clean but she is really clean now.  Rugs have been shaken out, floors washed, heads sanitized and dust cleared from shelves and every nook and cranny that I could reach.

There is still plenty to do to keep Pandora in top shape, there always is, but at least as I prepare for Craig’s arrival and ultimately, the trip north in about a week, Pandora will be ready to begin her nearly 1,000 mile voyage home.

Is has indeed been “Bob and Brenda’s most excellent voyage” and while there have been plenty of challenges, it’s been a wonderful experience.

Perhaps a great way to close is with a shot taken on the docks at Fayerweather Yacht Club way back on September 11th, our first night out.  Fayerweather Yacht Club was a fitting spot to spend that first night as it was our first yacht club and the spot where we kept our very first boat, a 20′ long Cape Cod Catboat, way back in the late 70s.  Who would have guessed that we would one day have a boat capable of crossing oceans and that we would be in a position to take the time, and have the opportunity, to spend many months away and aboard.

To celebrate the close of is amazing voyage and Brenda’s departure, we enjoyed dinner at a local eatery here in Marsh Harbor the night before she left.  What a great way to mark the end of our time together and the conclusion of our first big voyage.It’s been a wonderful time together, mostly with smooth sailing, and we are looking forward to some shore time, a chance to sleep in our bed at home, the one that Brenda calls her “cloud bed” and then come back to the Bahamas next winter.

This sunset from our last night aboard here in Marsh Harbor was particularly beautiful.  Or, is it a sunrise on our new, and more carefree life together?  You decide.


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