A few years ago, Jereme and I were sitting on the beach one beautiful Sunday afternoon, contemplating life and probably complaining about our jobs a little, when he turned to me and said, “what if we were to just quit our jobs to live on a sailboat in the Caribbean?” I literally laughed. Out loud. That’s quite the day dream, I thought.
One year ago today, we set sail on the adventure of a lifetime.
^^This was just after Jer proposed on my birthday in Long Island, Bahamas! That’s our boat anchored behind us in Calabash Bay. What a year it has been!^^
One year. One boat. And countless memories made.
Honestly, this whole sailing idea kinda snuck up on us and stuck. We were both thirty at the time and part of the somewhat unfulfilled millennial generation (also known as Gen Y, but apparently “millennial” is way sexier). And honestly, we were no different than most. We stuck to the traditional course laid out for us…go to college, graduate, get a good job, etcetera etcetera. But after only ten years or so into the perpetual rat race, we veered off course. We decided to wake up and live while we’re still young.
79.8 years is simply not enough time.
Purposefully choosing a path less traveled and slowing down for a bit at this age is radical to many. No, we haven’t lost sight of where we want to go in life, and have quite a few lofty goals in mind for our future. We just chose to enjoy a little detour while we have the means and ability to do so.
Although it feels like half a lifetime has passed since we untied our dock lines at the Naples City Dock and sailed out into the Gulf of Mexico headed for the Bahamas and beyond, it’s really been just one single year. Three hundred and sixty-five days of this floaty boaty island-hopping life.
It’s a bit unreal to think of how far we’ve actually come since that very first day as official cruisers aboard our lovely LAHO. I mean, I hate to admit this, but we had never even anchored. Not once. We had also never sailed with an actual “destination” in mind. Or tried living on the boat for any time at all. We just went.
(And no, we don’t think of ourselves as stupid or crazy.)
Life aboard these past twelve months has been 90 percent amazing and 10 percent so-horrible-I-want-to-throw-in-the-towel-and-book-a-flight-back-home. But majority rules and we’ve persevered through those tough times.
Our first few months were spent cruising the Bahamas, some of the very best “beginner” cruising grounds in the world. I’m so glad we gained our sea legs there first. After leaving the Bahamas, we made our way to the Turks and Caicos, followed by the Dominican Republic, then onto Puerto Rico, and finally the U.S. and British Virgin Islands.
Along the way, we’ve snorkeled in the clearest turquoise blue waters I could ever imagine, found and harvested live conch, fed beach pigs in the Exumas, swam with stingrays in the Berry Islands and sea turtles in Culebra, hiked breathtaking waterfalls, motor-biked through sugarcane fields and gorgeous Dominican countryside, rode horses on the beach, met so many amazingly kind people, caught lots of delicious fish along the way, enjoyed some of the best sunsets of our lives, and have taken about a million photos and video to document it all! And all of this was from the comfort of our little floating home.
We almost crushed our cruising dreams on day two as official cruisers after we hit a crab pot while en route to the Florida Keys. We have also experienced our fair share of total meltdowns when everything feels like it is going awry on a big passage. And after retrieving a certain wet poodle on one too many occasions, we have definitely learned how to keep the dog from falling out of the dinghy on rides to shore. Somehow though, we have yet to master the fine art of keeping valuables high and dry. Too many items, including the dinghy itself, cell phones, sunglasses, beach towels, tools, and plenty of Oliver’s dog toys have been lost at sea (some recovered, others not) during the past year aboard.
We have definitely learned a great deal about ourselves and one another.
Oh what an amazing, fulfilling year it has been! Happy one year to us!
I’m so so glad we didn’t quit that original day dream. xo.