LAHOWIND » Just you, me, + the dog.

Soul of a sailor.

I cannot believe this day is here. This morning, we are weighing anchor to cross the Gulf Stream back to Florida. It kinda feels like we are crossing a finish line of sorts.

This has been a crazy, beautiful, sometimes difficult, but mostly awesome and totally fulfilling adventure for us.

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I don’t think I’ve written enough about the magnitude of what we undertook on this sailing journey, mostly because we’ve been trying to live in the moment for the past year or so. But a few recent blog follower emails got me thinking about it all, and one in particular (thank you April!) really summed it up great. …Traveling by sailboat is so very different than any other means of travel. We have put so much thought, preparation, and actual work (blood, sweat, and tears even sometimes) into each and every leg of our journey. Every time we’ve reached a new destination, there has been such an intense sense of accomplishment. It’s hard to explain really. Other sailors get this of course, but I’m not sure if anyone else does. Or do they? Either way, it feels absolutely amazing to know we did it!

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^^That water. I will miss you, Bahamas.^^

Now, we are almost home to start a new chapter of our lives. As much as I am trying to hype myself up for everything fabulous that (hopefully) lies ahead for us, let’s be real, I am mostly just trying to convince myself that we will be “okay” once we return to regular landlubber life. It’s nearly impossible to wrap my head around it all.

And since yesterday was our last full day in the Bahamas, we decided to make it last. As in, we’re bringing home as many pretty Bahamian conch shells as I could manage after going slightly overboard conch-picking the massive shell piles in Bimini. ;))

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^^Check out our haul!^^

Okay, who am I kidding. We went crazy. We picked as many pretty pink conch shells as our bucket could hold. And scored a few rare ones in the mix! (No hate email please, we didn’t harvest these ourselves.)

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^^That’s a small queen helmet conch. She will have a good home back in Naples.^^

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^^The other different looking big shell is the king helmet conch. We “picked” two large king helmets and the one small queen.^^

Here’s to hoping that the crossing today is nothing but an easy breezy sail (preferably with no sea sickness for me) and that every time we look at one of these beauties in the future, we will be instantly transported back to “that time we lived on a boat and sailed around the Caribbean.”

>>Thanks for visiting LAHOWIND sailing blog! We’d love for you to get to know us and follow our story as we attempt to navigate a whole new world of sailing, as we cruise the Caribbean.

Skelton CrewApril 17, 2015 - 1:40 pm

Gosh, I hope we can have as much of an enjoyable cruise as it looks like you guys did! Of course, the end of your journey makes me a little sad…for purely selfish reasons you know 😉 Now who am I supposed to blog stalk?!?! Here’s to a smooth final crossing! ~Jackie

AndyApril 17, 2015 - 10:43 pm

Always enjoy reading your blog posts. Sad to see it coming to an end. Best of luck in whatever life has in store for you in next adventure.

Rgds – Andy

AllyApril 22, 2015 - 8:32 pm

What an incredible adventure! I will really miss your posts, but we are excited for your new life ahead. Cheers!

Back in the Bahamas! | LAHOWINDJuly 23, 2015 - 4:08 pm

[…] some of our extended family in Paradise Island for seven days of fun in the sun!!! Even if we were just there in […]

Life is better in the Bahamas.

This is why we oh so love the Bahamas…

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And this.

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And this.

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You get the picture. Pun intended. ;))

Just culling through a few more photos from our time in the beautiful Bahamas, and I couldn’t not post at least a few of my favorites from the past two weeks! I’ll tell ya, as much as other cruisers/bloggers hype the Virgin Islands, the Bahamas are where it’s at people. In my humble opinion at least.

Pristine beaches. Comfortable anchorages. Friendly people. The list goes on and on.

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^^This^^ particular slice of paradise just happens to be right around the corner from Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort where we spent a lovely Easter weekend!

While staying at the resort, we would launch the dinghy every day (multiple times a day) and take Oliver to this secluded stretch of white sand and turn him loose to go crazy, poodle style, on this pretty shoreline. I know I’ve said it before, but Oliver seriously acts like a crazed, rabid animal when we find a nice stick to toss around on a sandy beach or, better yet, he finds a starfish or something equally delightful to sniff! He’s nuts!

I think Oliver is really going to miss his daily beach play time when we return to land life in a few days. (Although, let’s be real, having regular access to land will be pretty awesome for him, and not having to clean a sandy poodle post-beach romp will be just as awesome for us.)

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>>Thanks for visiting LAHOWIND sailing blog! We’d love for you to get to know us and follow our story as we attempt to navigate a whole new world of sailing, as we cruise the Caribbean.

Molly GruubsApril 17, 2015 - 2:24 am

Your images are gorgeous! Love how blue it is there.

Escape to the Cape!

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And seriously, how has almost one year passed since we got engaged on this perfect white sand beach? (And yes, I know we need to plan a wedding. Lol. That is coming soon!)

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Jereme and I (okay, Oliver too) were so thrilled to have the opportunity to stop at our favorite place in the world on our route back through the Bahamas. And as much as I feel like a broken record for calling Calabash Bay, Long Island our favorite, it just is. #sorrynotsorry

This place is the cat’s meow. The icing on the cake. The whatever-other-clever-names-you-can-think-of. ;)) It’s just perfect.

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We rolled into Calabash Bay after a quick stop in Clarence Town (on the other side of Long Island) and quickly dropped anchor before dinghying into our favorite little beachfront resort…Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort & Villas!

We just knew we had to squeeze in a little fake-cation (ya, that’s “fake vacation” since we’ve kinda been on a perma-vacation for the past year) while we were in Long Island. So for three awesome nights, we enjoyed the comfort, beauty, and hospitality of the Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort. And let’s not lie, we mostly took advantage of the endless hot showers, big comfy beds, and air conditioning. Lol.

Oh and free laundry. Gotta love that little perk! ;))

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Wanna know what else I love about Cape Santa Maria??? (In no particular order, that is.)

1. Their conch fritters (free during happy hour from 5 to 6PM) are the best I’ve ever tasted. Not joking. The best. (All of the food here is pretty darn great, let’s not lie.)

2. Their beach has the softest, most powdery perfect white sand around. It feels like you are walking on pillow made of flour. Okay, fine, I’m not sure how a pillow would be made of flour but whatever. You get where I’m going with that. The sand is not graining or rough, it’s just the best white sand beach my toes have ever felt! Ever.

3. And speaking of their beach, the water is perfection. Perfect turquoise blue crystal clear bahamian water. With lots of fun sea life like (my favorite) red puffy starfish!

4. Oh my gosh and everyone is super friendly and helpful here. Super duper extra friendly. Cape Santa Maria’s staff might seriously be the friendliest around. For reals. Everyone knows your name (and even remembered that we got engaged here last May!). And what the heck makes us so special? Nothing. But they sure do make you feel pretty darn special and I love that.

5. The specialty frozen drinks. Need I say more? ;)) Hello mango daiquiri!!!

And the list goes on and on, but who has all day to read every awesome little detail about this place? Just know, it’s our favorite!

Sadly, this was probably the last time (for awhile at least) that we will arrive at Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort on our own little sailboat, but I sure do hope we can find our way back to this special place after we’re married and hopefully in the future with kids in tow. :))) We sure do love it here!

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Sailing-Blog-Cruising-Bahamas-Caribbean-Vacation-Travel-Cape-Santa-Maria-Beach-Resort-Long-Island-Calabash-Bay-Sailboat-Adventure-Hotel-Luxury-LAHOWIND-Young-Couple-2015-Best-Photos-eIMG_6227 >>Thanks for visiting LAHOWIND sailing blog! We’d love for you to get to know us and follow our story as we attempt to navigate a whole new world of sailing, as we cruise the Caribbean.

Lara SpragueApril 15, 2015 - 3:41 am
Lara SpragueApril 15, 2015 - 3:44 am

Boo! Looks like my palm trees and tons of thumbs up didn’t show in my comment. Anyway, that was the gist;-)

LAHOWINDApril 15, 2015 - 4:10 am

I’m not sure what’s up with WordPress, it loves the smiley face emoticon, but nothing else. Anyways, we missed you guys this year at the Cape! Wish we could’ve had a little beach cottage neighbor reunion. …Maybe another year! :) -Kim

Lara SpragueApril 15, 2015 - 4:28 am

Yes! We will definitely be back! We’ve also found our beach at the Cape:)

Doug TreffApril 16, 2015 - 11:51 am

Just curious – what cool thing does Oliver get to do while you guys are chilling at the resort? Do they allow pets, or do you need to kennel him on the island somewhere?

Inquiring minds want to know – as we all plan our cruising escape and try to decide whether to bring our furry friends or not.

Doug

LAHOWINDApril 16, 2015 - 4:07 pm

Hi Doug. I believe there is a no pet policy at the resort, but they made an exception for us and Oliver got to stay in the room with us. :) Otherwise, he would’ve stayed on the boat that was anchored just off shore (since that is our/his home anyway). -Kim

David Coulson-LowesMay 4, 2015 - 7:46 pm

Amazing trip – very jealous!

Home is calling.

Home is calling. We’re just a few days away from Florida!!!

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After hopping through the Exuma chain again, we just made our way to West Bay, Nassau en route to Bimini tomorrow. And then we will make the Gulf Stream Crossing once again as we head first for the Florida Keys and then back to good ole Naples!

It’s pretty surreal to think our sun-soaked island hopping life is coming to a close soon. Although we are beyond excited to see our amazing family and friends, we are also incredibly sad to wave goodbye to this floaty boaty life we’ve come to know and love. What a journey it has been! But you know what they say….with every ending comes a new beginning, and I can hardly wait for the next chapter to begin!

PS – ^^that^^ GoPro photo was taken sailing somewhere in the Exumas, Bahamas this past week.

And here are a few fav outtakes… ;))

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carltonApril 13, 2015 - 9:30 am

I’m sure I speak for the rest of your faithful followers… I don’t remember telling you guys you could quit and return home. You have one of the best blogs going and I’m not ready for it to end.

JordanApril 13, 2015 - 1:48 pm

Absolutely lovely photos! Look at how gorgeous the water is where ya’ll are! It’s great that you’ll get to go home and show your family and friends all the fun you’ve had, but also a shame it’s ending too. Thanks so much for sharing your adventure!

Deborah wrightApril 14, 2015 - 2:02 am

Safe sailing on the crossing and best of luck starting the next chapter of your adventure together. Thank you for taking the time and sharing this one with us. I have been enjoying your blog very much. It is beautiful, fun, a bit useful, and a lot inspiring!

Deborah (sv Wrightaway)

Love ya Long Island!

Just trying to catch up on our little life afloat since leaving “land-o-flamingos.” Aka Mayaguana. After leaving our flamingo friends, we made the 124-mile overnight sail to Clarence Town, Long Island.

My. Favorite. Island. Of. All. Time. Enough said.

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What is it about Long Island that I love so much? Well, let me tell ya.

It is perfect. Period. ;))

No, but seriously the small bits of this gorgeous island we have seen have been amazing. Good people. Gorgeous beaches. Perfect water. Vibrant wildlife. Comfortable anchorages. The list goes on and on. There’s just something extra special about Long Island.

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Our sail to this picture-perfect paradise was rather uneventful. Just the way we like it. Five-ish foot following seas and 15 to 20 knot winds. We made the sail in about 23 hours and dropped anchor in the main Clarence Town harbor. We had a few people ask us about this particular anchorage seeing as it’s on the east side of the island and (by the looks of it on the charts) seems like it could go either way in terms of protection.

Well, this was our second stay in the anchorage (you might recall the first time we stayed here we sorta got adopted by dolphins) and it was great once again! This anchorage is actually protected by a series of cays (Strachan, Clem, and Salt Pond), making it a really neat spot to stay! There are more than a handful of gorgeous beaches to visit by dinghy, a miniature blue hole (as we like to call it), tons and tons of sea turtles, interesting beach finds on some of the ocean facing shorelines, and again some of the prettiest water you could imagine.

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Jer, Oliver, and I spent one morning exploring the area on a little dinghy adventure of our own…swinging around all of the different beaches in the area. (Oliver loves when we decide it’s beach + dinghy day!) We saw at least 10 turtles and several huge rays! I snagged a dead sand dollar at one beach and a few other cute shells on another. Gotta love this easy breezy cruiser lifestyle, eh?

Oh and a quick side story on that cool little sand dollar we found…I somehow ended up leaving the sand dollar wrapped in a beach towel and totally forgot about it only to later accidentally wash the towel + sand dollar combo (in an actual washing machine). Whoopsie! But guess what???? It survived the heavy duty cleaning cycle!!! Can you believe it? I’ve had plenty of sand dollars flat out crumble in my hand, so for this one to survive after rocking and rolling with a full load of laundry is insane. I was shocked!

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Anyhoo, we spent the rest of our time in C-town, Long Island attending to a few boat chores. Jereme took apart our wheel-mounted auto pilot and gave it a thorough once over and cleaning to make sure it continues to serve our needs (I think we would both prefer to not have to hand steer ourselves back to Florida).

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We also dinghied over to the Flying Fish Marina to grab a few beers and wifi before saying see ya later to this pretty spot in paradise.

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