After spending 2 seasons sailing the Eastern Caribbean, Janice and I felt it was time to start thinking about bigger adventures and venturing to more exotic locations. After leaving our friends in Puerto Rico last year (Indigo, Why Knot IV & Mile High Dream), we thought it would take awhile to make new cruising friends.
However, after only about a week, we met so many wonderful cruisers at the FAMOUS dinghy drift in St Maarten and quickly became long lasting friends. Is it going to be easy to leave Grenada and so many of our wonderful friends?? – HELL NO!
However, after a lot of consideration, discussions and research we felt that it was time to move on and head west to visit the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Caracaou), Columbia, San Blas and Panama. Right now our main goal is to sail to Panama and then we will figure out what we want to do long term. We are absolutely having a blast with our friends in Grenada but we really want to see so much more of this amazing world. So…. in order to explain this trip in a little more in detail, I have compiled a list of questions from other readers, friends and family.
Question 1: What route are you going to take?
After a lot of discussion with many other cruisers, we are going to take it safe. Livin’ Life is going to head north to Martinique by way of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and St Lucia and will make the jump to Bonaire from Martinique. The total trip should will be approximately 400+ miles and will take around 80+ hours. We chose to leave from Martinique for three main reasons. 1. It is a great place to provision for wines, cheeses and sausages. No this is not a joke! 2. We will have a much better angle to the wind and the sailing should be more comfortable. 3. It will allow for us to sail over 100 miles off the coast of Venezuela (pirate territory).
Question 2: When are you leaving?
At the moment, we will start heading north to Martinique on Friday, September 9th. This will give us approximately 1 week before we want to jump from Martinique. We are planning on making the big sail from Martinique to Bonaire on or around September 16th, giving us the ability to sail with a full / near full moon most of the time – SCORE!
Question 3: Are you worried about hurricanes?
Absolutely. We have been following many of the weather forecasters and will keep a close eye on all of the hurricane activity. However, once we start heading to the ABCs, we will be out of the hurricane belt and will be able to relax.
Question 4: Are you going through the Panama canal?
We have absolutely no idea. We have a ton of things to consider before heading through the canal. How is the boat doing? Finances holding up? Are we still having fun? Time will tell.
Question 5: Have you turned on the news in the past 6 months? Venezuela? Are you nuts??
We have and we are definitely worried about a lot of the pirate attacks that are happening off the coast of Trinidad and Venezuela. This is another reason why we are venturing pretty far off the coast, so we will be less likely to see pirate activity. In addition, we are traveling with one other boat (at the moment) – Slow Flight. We met Steve last year in St. Martin and sailed a lot of the Eastern Caribbean together. Can’t wait to sail with him as we head west.
Question 6: Are you getting crew?
Short answer – nope. This will definitely be by far the longest sail Janice and I have done alone but we are looking forward to the challenge and it will get us ready for longer passages as we head west.
Question 7: Can we follow you?
Absolutely. We will not have cell phone/Internet coverage once we leave Martinique but will have the real time tracker working. You will be able to catch it here: http://www.livin-life.com/map . Our position will appear every hour so hope you follow along!
So at the moment, we are keeping our options open and hope to spend some time in the Western Caribbean. After that – who knows?!!? Do we go back and sell the boat or do we head through the canal and cross the Pacific??!! Only time will tell. We are definitely looking forward to many more crazy adventures as we head into the western Caribbean.