On May 12th, the crew of Sionna crossed back into Maine by land, having covered in 4 days the distance it took them 5 months to traverse by sea. Trust me, the sea-version was a lot more fun, and interesting!
What follows is a recap of what just happened (Maine to Florida, August ’16 to May ’17), and the continuing plan for the crew of the sailing vessel “Sionna”, as well as we can make it. First, what we did:
July 2016 – Moved into a 36 foot RV in Rockport Maine while we finished readying the boat for a long cruise.
August 15, 2016 – Having moved aboard Sionna – our 32′ sailboat – we dropped the mooring in Rockland Harbor, and began to work our way south. Having adopted a Vegan diet due to Keith’s cancer scare, we no longer carried butter aboard, but we could tell we’d gone far enough when everything else on the boat – including the crew – began to melt. As we said over a year ago: “The point is the journey – experiencing the charms and challenges of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.”
We did, and it was good.
Winter 2017 – “From January through April we’ll be seeing what there is to be seen in the Florida Gulf Coast and Keys. No specifics are available or intended. Since it costs half as much for us to live on the boat as in a land house, anything is possible.”
We did that too. I never expected to spend 2 months anchored/moored in Marathon n, Florida (Boot Key Harbor) but that’s what happened, and all in all, it was ok. I (Keith) wouldn’t choose to stay there so long another time, though.
Spring 2017 – Leave the boat in Florida someplace safe, and fly back to Maine – and our RV – for the summer to work for cruising chips.
The boat is safely stored in a yard near Placida, Florida, as secure from hurricane and vandal as we can make her, and we’ve driven back to Maine, for work eventually, but first to finish the saga of the retinal detachment begun last October in Hampton, VA. Three more procedures, and Keith should have two eyes again.
Fall-Winter 2017-’18 – return to Sionna in Florida, and cross to the Bahamas until Spring.
And that’s still the plan!
After that, we have absolutely no idea. Noise has been made about bringing Sionna back north from the Bahamas, but we’ll see where we end up.
Remember: If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space!
Update: August 2, 2019
We’ve now deviated so far from anything we’d imagined or planned, “update” hardly seems to cover it! While we did return to the boat in the fall of 2017, we also ended up leaving her at a friends dock for January and February of 2018, then but her back in storage in April and drove ourselves back to Maine for – we thought then – the summer.
But life continued to happen. Nicki needed a land base, and I had to have my eye monitored, so we made the hard choice to stay in Maine for the winter of 2018-’19, and rather than cruising, took on the (sometimes seemingly endless) task of rehabilitating an old house – a project that we’re still working on as I write.
The Bahamas never happened for us, but the Dry Tortugas did. Our next phase will likely be returning Sionna to her proper home, back here to Maine, in the winter of 2020.
Update: January 5, 2020
The flight is booked, the arrangements arranged, the plans planned…
We leave for the boat in 10 days, with the intention of launching by the first week of February and beginning the trek north. We have no firm itinerary, but we do kinda need to be back in Maine about June 1 – and certainly don’t want to arrive any sooner than that, because it would be too darn cold!
This trip promises to have one over-riding difference from the trip south, in that rather than hurrying to get where it’s warm, we’ll be dragging our feet not to get where it’s cold. We also have a list of places we missed on the way down that we’d like to visit, so with luck, we’ll have the time to relax a little more.
Relax? What’s that? Follow along, and see if we manage it!