Cruising Cross Country

We recently took to the highway for a leisurely road trip to spend some treasured time with each other, friends and family.

Our road trip route!

Over the course of two weeks, eight states, and 3,375 miles, we took the opportunity to build upon a trip that initially started as a visit to Carolina Beach, NC for our family reunion. First, we noticed that the Volvo Ocean Race was scheduled to be in Miami just a week before and with Charleston being an ideal middle point between the two, we were set to make a an extended trip of it. Sprinkle in visits with some of our cruising family and other close friends along the way, Matt’s birthday and our anniversary, and we had all the makings of a memorable road trip ahead. While each day was its own adventure, here are some of the highlights.
We:
  • Spent an evening with great friends from Dallas, The Breens, who now live in Clermont, FL. They’re a solid family we connected with at Allaso Ranch (our church’s incredible kid’s camp). We admire their take on life and sense of adventure and now make it a priority to see them anytime we’re nearby.
  • Turned into Tampa for lunch stop, as our good friend Crystal happened to be in town for the day, visiting the local office of her agency 22Squared. Seafood at Jackson’s Bistro, overlooking the canals of Hillsborough Bay, made the sunny and breezy afternoon as good as the company.
  • Kept our eyes peeled as we drove through Alligator Alley in the Everglades on our way to Ft. Lauderdale but didn’t spot any live ones.
  • Enjoyed several nights in the Ft. Lauderdale/Miami area, including one at anchor aboard s/v Morning Glory under the glowing lights of downtown Miami with part of our cruising family, Ted and Mili, cheering on Puma in the VOR. Lots more about our VOR adventures in the post below this one.

 Relaxing aboard s/v Morning Glory

  • Did a little dream shopping, stopping to look at two potential “next cruising boats” and gave up all objectivity by pretty much falling in love with one (a tragically emotional move in scouting boats). But no offers yet as were waiting until our little skipper arrives before making any major moves toward our next cruising plan.

 Could this be the next one?

  • Caught up with our cruising friends from Honu Lele, who’ve since moved to St. Augustine, FL. They introduced us to a local favorite, the Gypsy Cab restaurant, showed us where their new home will be soon built and worked on persuading us to move to St. Aug. (it wasn’t a hard sell).
The St. Augustine lighthouse
  • Returned, at a month shy of a year, to a city that captured our hearts (and stomachs) – the always charming Charleston. We made a “babymoon” of our stay in this beloved city with dinner at Coast and strolls about the town. The next morning we were treated to an exclusive tour of Historic Charleston by Laura Wichmann Hipp, whom we met when we sailed in last summer. As before, it was hard to leave. It seems our anchor always sets the deepest here.

Overlooking the Battery Wall of Charleston Harbor

  • Joined the rest of the Butcher/Carlson clan for a family reunion in Carolina Beach, NC. With Matt’s parents and brother in from Idaho, as well as aunts, uncles and cousins from Minnesota, it made a for a fun-filled week. Boat trips, fishing tourneys, golf, swimming, family banter and laughter around every meal and Mexican Train till you drop made the time fly. The time was further punctuated by a good ole low country boil and a thoughtful and lively group baby shower (for us, Matt’s brother Jeff and his wife Mel, and Matt’s cousin Steve and his wife, Edie).

 Boatin’ with Cousin Jimmy

  • Appreciated an easy drive back with complimentary hotel stays along the way, thanks to rewards points earned from Matt’s recent business travel.
As is often the case when you’re having loads of fun, you look up and wonder where the time went. We had a blast and couldn’t believe how quickly the time flew by.
The Volvo Ocean Race – Miami

While a lot of life has recently been about preparing to welcome our first little sailor, we did get a unique opportunity at the end of May to visit the only U.S. port of the Volvo Ocean Race in Miami.  

Considered the Everest of sailing, the VOR is an intense 39,000 nautical mile, 9-month around the world sailing race with 10 port stopovers. And, the timing worked out ideally as we had already planned to be at a family reunion on the East Coast a week after the race events so we decided to make a “visit-as-many-friends-along-the-way-to-the-race/reunion” road trip of it.

With a goal of being in Miami for the in-port race and start of the next offshore leg to Lisbon, Portugal, we packed up the car and drove the 1300 miles to Ft. Lauderdale. We had two overnight stops on our route there and overall it was a relatively easy ride for the then 7-month pregnant admiral.

Once there, we connected with part of our cruising family, Ted and Mili of s/v Morning Glory, and made weekend plans that revolved around catching up and being at the center the race. First stop was the Race Village in Bicentennial Park, Downtown Miami. As we drove near, even with the multi-story America Airlines Arena clouding our view, we could see the tops of the 103 foot masts piercing the sky (for context, Kaleo’s mast was a mere 43 feet in comparison).

Masts piercing the sky

Walking up to see the six 70-foot long thoroughbreds of ocean racing was electrifying, at least for us sailors. These boats are made of advanced carbon and Kevlar skins, with canting keels (the fin on the bottom of the boat pivots laterally) and can often sail faster than the wind speed. And they are all equipped with exquisite paint jobs to match their prestige.

Naturally, we’re cheering for Puma, the American team in the race. And after having spent months watching Mar Mostro (the name of Puma’s boat) claw her way around the world via the Internet, we were elated to see her in person. There she was, tugging at her lines waiting to pounce back on the water, sporting signature black sails with the Puma logo jumping up as if from the ocean itself.

The bow of Mar Mostro bridled to the dock

Then, as if the day couldn’t get any better, none other than Ken Read, a legendary sailing champion and the skipper of Mar Mostro, came strolling up the gangplank. It was all hands on deck as we grabbed the camera and scurried over to meet him. The picture hardly shows it but Matt was practically speechless.

Up close and personal with Ken Read

Ted chatted up a security guard and soon enough we found ourselves down on the dock right within arms distance of the race boats. Matt and Ted talked with Rome Kirby, the youngest guy on the Puma team (and in the VOR) at 22. When asked how he got on board with the Volvo Race he replied, “gotta start small and win all the dinghy races.” Hmm, something for Matt to work toward.

Chatting with Rome

After admiring the perfectly crafted lines of Mar Mostro’s hull and drooling over sailing equipment that alone is worth more than most boats, we sauntered around the rest of the village. Highlights included the 3D theater, the grinding competition (Matt completed it in 11.3 seconds, Volvo sailors do it in 9 flat), and seeing Iker Martinez, the skipper of a rival team, Telefonica.

Grind faster!!

With our fill of the village it was off to Morning Glory where we spent a gorgeous night anchored out under the glow of the Miami skyline. Swimming, dinghy rides, grilling and the gentle roll of being at anchor brought a flood of wonderful cruising memories back. To really make it more like cruising, we wrapped the night up with great friends and our traditional game of Mexican Train. After a leisurely breakfast the next morning, we raised the anchor and headed past South Beach and off-shore to the race course. We knew it was the right direction as we followed the VOR boats out, all in a stately line as if they were horses parading before the queen’s court.

Headed out to the course aboard Morning Glory

What started as a beautifully calm day, quickly turned tempestuous as a rollicking wind brought in storms. With waves crashing over the bows of Morning Glory, we spent the next few hours tracking around the race course as the VOR boats came ripping by, sometimes as fast as 20 knots. Again, for context, Kaleo sailed at an average of 5 to 6 knots. And after quite a few lead changes and a hard fought race, Puma came steaming by Camper in the last seconds of the race to take 3rd. Not the first place we were hoping for, but with a 39,000 mile race, it’s how you do in the long haul that truly matters.

Rounding the mark just behind Telefonica

The weather cleared as we returned to port with anticipation of the next day’s race, the start of the next offshore leg. After church on Sunday, the guys took Ted’s powerboat out to chase the racers into the Gulf Stream and given the limited amount of shade on board, the gals elected to relax by the pool.

In conditions opposite the previous day, virtually zero wind and a flat ocean, the guys zipped and zoomed around the course, at times within throwing distance of the race boats. The highlight of the day was following Puma out to sea as Read pointed the bow towards Lisbon, Portugal. They followed Mar Mostro out for about an hour waving them off with a holler as they crossed into the Gulf Stream to eventually take another 3rd place coming into Lisbon.

Headed toward Lisbon

Not only was it great to see Ted and Mili but we can’t thank them enough for making it possible to get so close to the action in Miami.

One last note, Matt’s taking donations to purchase Mar Mostro, which is now for sale for a few million. If he receives enough to buy it, all those who donate are promised the ride of a lifetime!

 

A Weekend On The Water

There’s nothing like the feeling of getting back on the water after life on land for awhile. Whether it’s been a week away, or for us – weeks away, being welcomed aboard a gently rocking boat by dear friends is one of the best ways to start a weekend.

 Peaceful Sunday sail aboard Our Way Too

We hit the road for the coast as the sun rose Friday morning for a long weekend with good friends aboard their boats and to check out the Southwest International Boat Show. Once we pulled into Kemah, which grows on us with every visit, it was all things boats all weekend.

  • We settled in aboard Our Way Too, where we’d be staying with Katie and Dean for the weekend. In our cabin was the cutest and most thoughtful gift, a Lil’ Legends life jacket to help keep our little sailor-to-be safe when out on the water.
  • The afternoon was spent checking out the recently expanded West Marine (which is now about five times bigger than when we were outfitting Kaleo) and visiting with Carolyn, our broker at HSH Yachts. It was great catching up with her and after all the sailing and cruising talk, we couldn’t help but let her know that  if the right boat comes through the area, call us – we’ll be ready. She knows what we’re looking for.
  • Next stop, Alternate Latitude, our cruising friend Steve’s Voyage 440 catamaran, which seems like a cruise ship compared to our former Kaleo and his former monohull, Anchor Management. Along with his sister, visiting from Milwaukee, we headed out for an easy sail, tacking back and forth across the bay while smiling about everything. In fact, Alternate Latitude is available for charter in Galveston Bay and the Caribbean if you’re looking for some time on the water. You’ll be in good hands under Captain Steve and on a very comfortable and sound vessel.

 Cruising around the bay aboard Alternate Latitude

  • And, it wouldn’t be a day on the water without a little seafood, so as soon as Katie wrapped up her work at the boat show, we all headed off the beaten path to a local favorite, Gilhooley’s for their famous oysters and shrimp. After a fun and filling meal with great company, we made our way back to our berths feeling stuffed like flounders.
  • The Saturday morning sun beamed as we hopped into the dinghy for some exploring. Two highlights included playing bridge limbo with the high tide and dinghying over to Wanderer, the actual boat from the cruisers’ cult classic, Captain Ron.

Scooching under a bridge with just inches to spare

 Up close and personal with the boat featured in Captain Ron

  • After lunch, it was off to the boat show, where we checked out a host of beautiful new sailboats, only furthering our fever. We chatted with Carolyn again, visited Katie’s booth for Redfish Island Marine and even ran into an old friend and sailing instructor, John Brown.

Scoping out a new Lagoon

Catching up with John at the boat show

  • We had a quiet evening on board and were up early Sunday for a dinghy ride for breakfast at Classic Cafe. The 20 hp outboard on Dean and Katie’s dinghy made it a much quicker trip than last time. Two new sailing friends, Chris and Tammy of Living and Loving Life, joined us for breakfast and we all talked about … you guessed it, boats and cruising. Soon we were all back aboard Our Way Too for a long Sunday sail on the bay
Sailing alongside Alternate Latitude

We stayed as long as we possibly could and eventually made our way back to the dock where we reluctantly wrapped up the weekend. Thank you again to our generous friends for opening their floating homes to us. We loved every sun soaked, sea breeze filled moment.

 

Volvo Ocean Race – The First 40 Years

If you’re determined to be in the sailing game, you have to do this Race.

- Sir Peter Blake, a famous VOR skipper

We may pass on all other major sports but we wouldn’t miss a moment of this nine month RACE AROUND THE WORLD!

Considered the “Everest of Sailing”, the Volvo Ocean Race is a sport in a league of its own. It’s the world’s premier offshore race, an exceptional test of sailing prowess and human endeavour, which started almost 40 years ago as the Whitbread Round the World Race.

This video is a compelling history of the race. It features dramatic footage from rounding Cape Horn 20 years ago to the Volvo Open 70’s that slice through the water today. It’s a little less than an hour long and if you’re even remotely into sailing, we bet you’ll be hooked after the first few minutes (be sure to watch in full screen mode).

And just as some people anticipate their favorite teams progressing toward the Super Bowl, we’re already counting down the days until we’re on the water welcoming the boats’ arrival from Itajai into Miami in May!

 

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Whether afloat or ashore, we wish you and your loved ones a joyful Christmas.

Looking back at the blog post we shared around this time last year, we are reminded of how richly blessed we’ve been and are truly grateful.

Where will you celebrate the greatest gift of Christmas this year?

By the power of technology, YOU can join an engaging Christmas service at your convenience (why not now?) at LiveChurch.tv. Our prayer this season is that you know the true joy of Christmas, that God is with us – in answered promises, realized dreams, and refreshed hope. When you have a moment, explore the songs born from the joy that Christ has entered the world through the Carols Christmas series at LiveChurch.tv.

Merry Christmas, friends!

 

Great Gifts for Sailors

If you’re not a sailor, then picking out a great gift for one can be puzzling.

 

It may seem like we speak a foreign language when you hear terms like sheets when referring to ropes and the head when talking about the toilet. So, to make shopping for a sailor (i.e., you) a little easier, check out this list for potential ideas to share with someone who may have you on their list.

We can vouch for all the tools and gear below as we’ve used them while cruising aboard Kaleo.

  • Platypus PlusBottles – Great for toting water on the go. Clips on a backpack and rolls down when empty.
  • Waterproof backpack – Inexpensive and great for packing a change of clothes or the laptop on a wet dinghy ride
  • Sailor Bags – These bags are sturdy, fully collapsible, water resistant and guaranteed for life making them ideal for anyone active on and off the water
  • Clear dome umbrella – An easy way to stay dry on a wet dinghy ride while still being able to see in front of you
  • Jump drive – for sharing photos and other resources with fellow cruisers
  • MSR Packtowels Personal XL – Ultrasoft, compact, quick-drying and Anti-Microbial towels make drying off easy in humid environments
  • Canon Powershot D10 Waterproof Camera – known as “the cruiser’s camera”, it takes beautiful shots and stands up to the hard life of living in saltwater
  • Lock & Lock Food-Storage Containers – airtight, watertight, durable polypropylene storage containers that seal in freshness of provisions like baking supplies (flours, sugars, etc.), rice, pastas, cereal, crackers, cookies, etc.
  • Adventure Medical Marine 1000 Kit – the ideal cruisers’ first aid kit designed for short offshore adventures. Well stocked to tend to the crew if medical care is 12 – 24 hours away.
  • Bullet 2HP WiFi booster – Internet access on the boat when there are unlocked signals within about five miles
  • Hawaiian sling – a slingshot type of device used for spearfishing
  • Lookie Bucket – a clear bottom bucket used for checking the anchor or looking at reefs without getting wet
  • Mr. Heater Buddy – an indoor-safe propane heater for those cold nights we encountered when headed for tropical cruising grounds
  • Iris 50 Hand bearing compass – an effective well-made compass for taking bearings when navigating close to shore or tracking a massive freighter’s direction when they’re too close for comfort
  • Picquic Mariner – a rustproof fullsize 7-in-1 multibit screwdriver with custom ordered bits to fit the square head screws used on Kaleo (most Canadian-built boats)
  • POWER8 Workshop – the most common power wood working tools combined into one flexible unit that packs into a small case and is battery powered, meaning it can be used in remote anchorages or when away from a power source
  • Mvelopes Online Money Management – in our opinion, the best way to manage day-to-day finances and save for living your dreams.

What are other ideas that YOU’D add to this list? Share with us in the comments as we’d love to hear what’s on your wishlist this year!

 

Category: Inspiration  One Comment
Sail Gear For Sale

Since we’re land based sailors for the time being, we thought we’d release some cruising gear that should be put to good use rather than being stored in our home.

 

If you’re interested in anything below, would like to see more pictures or have questions, please let us know. (We will arrange sale and shipping via PayPal.)

Hope you all enjoyed a restful weekend.

 

Kaleo Has A New Captain

Our beloved Kaleo officially has officially sold.

Enjoying life aboard Kaleo in the Southern Bahamas

She is now under the command of a wonderful new captain who will immediately continue her adventures.

It’s certainly a bittersweet feeling, as we love Kaleo and the journey she took us on. But we’re grateful that she’ll be used as designed, rather than floating alongside a dock somewhere while we’re land-based sailors for awhile.

With the final signature, we reflected on the little ship that carried, protected, and taught us so much. It was a blessing to sail aboard our floating home, build lifelong relationships, and see part of the world in such a unique way.

This blog will live on as we share more about our cruising reflections, thoughts for fellow dreamers, and plans for the next adventure.

 

Adding To The Fleet

The “Texas Navy” is gaining strength and we’ve made some great new friends.

Peaceful evening sail aboard s/v Lonestar

We’ve finally met up with fellow DFW sailors and soon-to-be-cruisers, Katie and Dean, of s/v Our Way Too!. Their boat is berthed in Kemah and they’re all too familiar with the same 4.5 hour drive (each way) that we made while preparing Kaleo for cruising. As we discovered over dinner recently, that isn’t the only thing we have in common as the guys talked boat projects and cruising plans while the gals chatted about staying connected and provisioning. And, as great cruising conversations go, the night (and restaurant) closed on us before we were ready to say goodbye so we made plans to meet up again soon.

The crews of Our Way Too and Kaleo at dinner

Fortunately, soon came quickly (just a couple of days later) and included the addition of new friends, Chris and Staci of s/v Lonestar. Chris and Staci are also fellow sailors who keep Lonestar on Eagle Mountain Lake near Fort Worth. All of us had been trying to meet up individually, but we have Katie to thank for bringing the whole group together.

Chris and Staci graciously hosted us for an evening sail on the beautiful Lonestar and then for a delish dinner at the Fort Worth Boat Club. As one of the oldest yacht clubs in Texas, the FWBC was established in 1929 by a group of businessmen who simply wanted to sail. Now that’s something we can relate to!

 The crew heading out for a sail

After a beautiful beam reach down a few lengths of the lake, we glided back to the yacht club for dinner. And to make the evening even sweeter, Katie and Dean brought a birthday cake to celebrate Christie. Chocolate, of course! We look forward to sailing more together soon!

 The happy birthday girl

 

Racer’s Reunion

A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to catch up with our dear sailing friends and racing mentors, Diann and Tim!

 The Gold Rush Regatta on Lake Grapevine a few years ago, 1st Place Finish!

Though we met at their house, the talk was all sailing! It was great to hear about their latest adventures chartering in the Caribbean and they quizzed us on the cruising life.

We also learned that the original Coquette (pictured) is now for sale. It’s the boat we first learned to sail on and she’s berthed on a nearby lake. Needless to say we’re considering a little Beneteau as we scout our next cruising boat.


Lakeside and Lovin’ It

The end of the Harvest Moon Regatta marked the beginning of a fun-filled weekend with part of our cruising family, Rusty and Linda, of Sea Yawl Later. We joined them at Sitton on the Lake, their retreat on the pristine shores of Toledo Bend Reservoir.

“Sitton on the Lake’s” patio view of peaceful shores

We rolled in to the secluded point just in time for a first-class fish fry, with over 80 fresh fillets, courtesy of Pappy (Rusty’s dad) and his fishing crew.  And it only got better from there as we:

  • Treasured the time visiting with our dear friends
  • Caught up on our lost sleep (from the long drive back after the HMR) on the most comfortable bed ever!
  • Enjoyed the lake view as the warm sun radiated through the overhead trees
  • Took a golf cart tour of the serene Piney Woods’ neighborhood
  • Got the golf cart stuck in a Texas sized mud-hole just off the beach

Unintentional Muddin’

  • Played with all kinds of R/C boats courtesy of neighbor, Larry. He may single-handedly have the best collection of “toys” among anyone we’ve ever met. Thanks for letting us play, Larry!
  • Indulged in Rusty’s famous “to die for” ribs, delish stand-up chicken, Linda’s juicy jambalaya, Granny’s creamed potatoes, and then some
  • Started planning for a “Texas Navy” cruiser’s reunion in 2012
  • Wound down the visit by winding up our adrenaline as we raced Larry’s mini-class dragster up and down the quiet country lane. But really, it can hardly be considered “mini-class” because that thing GOES. FAST. HEAD-SLAMMED-BACK-YELL-OUT-OF-SHEER-TERROR-AND-DELIGHT-FAST! Needless to say we ALL had a TON of fun!!

 Fast ride down a short road

Most of all, we kicked back, relaxed and enjoyed life with good friends. And, all agreed that life seems a lot more peaceful at the lake. Driving home on Sunday, we said a prayer of thanks for meeting, and ultimately, being so welcomed into the lives of Rusty, Linda and their family. We love you guys!

Harvest Moon Regatta

Living ashore has by no means left us landlocked.

Since our return to Texas, we’ve been welcomed aboard an armada of sailboats. For us, this has really helped bridge the distance between cruising and landlife. Through former marina neighbors, cruising connections and newfound friends from this blog, it seems there’s always a sailboat shoving off from a dock somewhere nearby.

So, last week, we headed to the coast with plans for Matt to crew in the Harvest Moon Regatta, a 150-mile offshore race from Galveston to Port Aransas, Texas.

The Curmudgeon II crew, Post-race

It turned into a mini-sailing reunion as Steve, from Anchor Management, joined him on the boat, Curmudgeon II, out of the Houston Yacht Club. The boat’s owner, Terry, welcomed the seasoned sailors and the guys jumped at the chance to spend a few days and nights afloat. Throw in a little competition, near perfect sailing weather, a glowing red Harvest Moon and, well, it just couldn’t get any better (unless, of course, they would have taken 1st place).

A sea full of spinnakers

After a solid start, the fleet hoisted spinnakers and the crew on Curmudgeon wasn’t about to be left behind. Once launched, the “kites” ballooned full of air and the boats were off! Little did they know, they would be flying the spinnaker for the next 31 hours. In fact, the spinnaker didn’t get dropped until after gliding across the finish line.

As Matt said, this year’s Harvest Moon Regatta had all the makings of a great race:

  • Highs and lows (both wind and emotions)
  • Moments of intense sailing and hours of just slogging away at the miles
  • Debates about anchors, weather, and the best islands to visit
  • Stories shared about storms, fishing and past races (each most likely exaggerated)
  • And, most importantly, the camaraderie and teamwork that so quickly develop when miles from shore

My role in the race? While I would have loved to have been aboard, plans with family and the need for ground crew took priority.  So, I made the five hour drive from Houston down to Port Aransas (it’s a pretty big state) to pick up the worn out crew. After a bit of visiting, we pointed the 4-wheeled vessel’s bow north and crossed back into Houston around 4 o’clock the next morning.

Sunset on the last night of the regatta

Despite a middle-of-the pack finish, Matt relished the opportunity to watch the orange moon rise on a rolling ocean, feel the wind tousle his shaggy hair, and fall asleep to the creaking of the rigging when not on shift. All-in-all, a great way to spend a few days afloat.

 

From Sea Shores to Hardwood Floors

It feels good to be HOME.

Right now, we are …

- feeling blessed that we dreamed big and lived our big dream

reflecting on the courage it took to take the road less traveled

- unpacking a wealth of memories made in a year that will surely last a lifetime

acknowledging that this was not a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, but rather a spark of action to live a life of more adventure

bridging so many life lessons learned on the water into our new life on land

- passing on the frenetic pace of life that seemed inevitable before we went cruising

treasuring the tangible closeness with family and friends

- thankful that loved ones know no distance nor time away

- feeling the warmth of them near to heart and home

- missing folks who became family on the water

- adoring our new land home

stretching out within it with new found appreciation of space

refusing to fill it with meaningless “stuff”

- sharpening some forgotten skills, like driving at 70 mph!

- anticipating the crisp fall weather that blows closer each day

- fancifying wild pirate stories so as to not disappoint all those who ask

recalling the vividness of life’s colors while afloat

reminiscing of those lazy days at anchor

itching to be sailing again (good thing we’re heading to the coast this week for the Harvest Moon Regatta!)

hoping that Kaleo will be out cruising again soon

- praising God at our home church, Fellowship Church

- realizing just how incredibly blessed we are

- encouraging sailors who want to be cruisers

- sending our love to those out cruising now

– and ultimately, praying that everyone would know the joy of accomplishing their own dreams.

We’ve settled in but the adventure in us hasn’t settled down. We’ll keep you updated on happenings as they happen.

 

Thank you SouleMama for this “Right Now” idea.

Category: Inspiration  4 Comments
Kaleo is For Sale

We’ve reduced the price of Kaleo for the Annapolis boat show. She is currently on the hard 15 minutes south of Annapolis and ready for showing through Annapolis Yacht Sales.

Please see the Yacht World listing or call Paul Rosen at 410-703-7367.

Kaleo under sail along the southern tip of Long Island, Bahamas

Nearly two and a half years ago we invested in a capable Aloha 34 that would take us on adventures greater than we could imagine. She has safely and comfortably carried us over 3,000 miles from Kemah, Texas along the Gulf Coast, across the Gulf Stream and throughout the Bahamas as far south as the remote Jumentos, and up the East Coast.

We had initial plans for a six month cruise and have inevitably extended it to ten. What we’ve learned, accomplished, seen and experienced leaves us in awe, inspired and eternally grateful. Kaleo has served her purpose well.

For prospective buyers, please see our “Kaleo is For Sale” page for detailed information on all of its systems, equipment lists, and photos.

Asking Price: $49,500

 

How do Americans spend their days?

Basically, we sleep, eat, work, and watch TV. Repeat. At least that’s what a recently published “American Time Use Study” is reporting.

Call us Un-American, but this makes me even more grateful to have married such an adventurous man. We’ve scrapped the sedentary cycle of TV (why live vicariously through characters as your OWN LIFE passes you by) for a more active lifestyle.  I’m just sayin’.

My prayer for you today is that you are actively LIVING life. However that looks for you, may it bring you abundant JOY.

 

{this moment}

{this moment} – A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple moment to pause, savor and remember.

I love that my new land wheels give me coordinates. Feels like “home”.

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

Inspired by SouleMama’s Friday ritual.

Transitioning to Terra Firma

The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of transition and travel.

Our home for a week at Herrington Harbor in MD

Last we left you, we were in Solmons Island, MD. We’re now some 1200 miles away in Texas! And a lot has happened along the way.

After sailing out of Solomons Island, we headed up to Annapolis to prep and store Kaleo while she awaits new owners.

Kaleo resting in her berth

Maryland’s unseasonable heat wave of 95°+ days helped quell our heavy hearts as we spent a week in the marina and yacht yard:

  • Unpacking our belongings from Kaleo, continually surprised by the sheer amount of storage we had aboard. Then packing it into boxes, duffel bags, and all of our Sailor Bags. In fact, halfway through the process we called Enterprise to upgrade our rental to a CARGO VAN. Fortunately they had one and we filled it up.

This is just a portion of our gear ready to be moved to the van

  • Loading the cargo van which took 13 trips from boat to van by way of dock carts. (Of course our slip was one of the farthest from the parking lot.)
  • Polishing every inch of stainless steel on the exterior and treating what felt like acres of teak on the interior

Matt polishing the stainless till it was gleaming

  • Cooking the last of our fridge food and enjoying a few meals out. Lunch at Umai Sushi was our favorite.

Yum!!

  • Emptying and winterizing the holding and water tanks
  • Filling the diesel tank, adding stabilizer, and changing all the fluids in Mr. Beeker (the Westerbeke engine)
  • Winterizing the watermaker, generator, A/C, fresh water system and toilet
  • Removing, cleaning and packing the head sail and all associated lines
  • Washing the deck and polishing the topsides with one of Matt’s favorite boat tools, the Shurhold Dual Action Polisher.
  • Making a few final trips to West Marine for polish, antifreeze, replacement hardware, and well, just for the fun of it
  • Meeting with our broker from Annapolis Yacht Sales to go over the details of Kaleo and to have it formally listed as a brokerage yacht

Sunday, the day before our scheduled haul out, we watched a final church service (Lifechurch.tv) aboard, loaded a few last things into the van and drove into D.C. to stay with our close friends, the Johnstons. They moved to Virginia from Texas while we were away and it was a special treat to be nearby. They graciously let us stay in their home and even stayed up late to catch up despite it being a school night.

Heading back to the Harbor

On Monday morning, we drove back to Herrington Harbor to watch Kaleo be lifted from the water, power washed and placed in the rows of other land-bound vessels. We chose to keep her “on the hard” because it offers better storm protection, easier survey for prospective buyers and less maintenance than if sitting in the water.

Backing in and lining up for the lift

Washing off the East Coast muck

After Kaleo was secured on her stands, Matt went to work on polishing the hull, getting rid of the “ICW smile” (a brown stain from the muddy water) and giving every winterized system a final check. He polished the last part of the hull just as the skies opened up.

Matt polishing the day away

With the packing, prepping and polishing wrapped up, we paused to reflect on the amazing journey just completed and gave thanks to our little ship that carried, protected and taught us so much.

And with the rumble of thunderstorms above us, we drove away with the rain accompanying our tears.

It was a blessing to sail aboard our floating home, build lifelong relationships and see part of the world in such a unique way. We now have cruising in our blood. And while we have just wrapped up one adventure, we both wholeheartedly agreed that, Lord willing, it won’t be our last.

 Kaleo awaiting her next adventure

There isn’t much to report from our drive back to Texas, other than a cargo van corners like an semi-truck and guzzles gas like an airplane. By far the delight of the drive was pulling into the driveway for a warm welcome from family.

Going forward, this blog will be less about our cruising adventures and more on our cruising reflections and future dreams. THANK YOU for joining us as virtual crew along this journey. And we’d be honored if you’d stay on as we transition into land-based sailors for awhile.

 

{this moment}

Happy Saturday! Hope your weekend is coming along well.

{this moment} – A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple moment to pause, savor and remember.

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

Inspired by SouleMama’s Friday ritual.

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