We’ve made it back to our home port and while we are missing the boat life we are very happy to be back with friends and family! Don’t worry, we will continue to document our journey with the weekly posts!

And here’s the real reason why we raced back home! Our brand new grandchild!

We had an incredible trip that we will remember forever and has brought a lot of clarity and perspective in our lives. We’ve proved to ourselves that you really don’t need much to survive and those things that you take for granted, like free clean unlimited water, are precious and needs to be protected to remain clean and free for everyone and future generations!

We owe everyone a lot of blog posts! We were doing OK on the way down but we found that boat life doesn’t give you a lot of free time. There is a lot to do to plan each of your trips and keep the boat running. Things break down, and they did. Bad weather hits you, and it did. But on the positive side, we were exploring new places every day and we wanted to make the most of it! We took lots of pictures, videos and notes on our trip and will continue to update our blog. For now, here’s some pictures and some quick stories to let you know what we did.

After spending four weeks in West Palm, Florida (aka Hotel California), we crossed the Gulf Stream into the Bahamas. This is where we found…

The beautiful colour of the water. Incredible!

Crystal clean water with tons of wildlife! I was skeptical, but it really is as beautiful as the pictures we saw!

Swimming with the turtles, and the occasional shark and barracuda.

We spent most of our time in the water, exploring, taking photos and spear fishing for lobster, fish and conch.

When we travelled, we were usually greeted by dolphins. It never grew old. You could see them approaching the boat and then playing in the wake of our bow.

White sand beaches everywhere! Also learning to navigate areas where the shifting shallow sands made it “interesting” to sail through.

Sometimes it was even too shallow for our dinghy. Also note we swapped out our dinghy motor. This little Honda 2.3 is fantastic on Lake Ontario, but in the Bahamas you need to be able to cover more ground faster! We found an amazing deal on a 15hp Yamaha. Our little dingy flies now!

We anchored in some amazing spots. Foggy is there in the middle, she was usually one of the smaller boats, but she held her own with the larger boats.

There was abundant seafood everywhere. We were eating fish, lobster and conch that we caught earlier in the day. Note: These are the little guys, you will see the monster caught by one of our friends in our weekly Blog posts!

At the end of the day, we enjoyed the sunset.

Each sunset felt and looked just a little bit different. It never got old.

It wasn’t all sunshine. We had the occasional storm blow through. We gained confidence in our anchor and our ability to find safe spot to hide out. Our new anchor chain made a huge difference! You’ll hear about our bad experience in St. Augustine with our old nylon rode in one of our future blog posts.

Everything was amazing in the Bahamas. But if you were to ask me what my favourite part was, it may surprise you. It surprised me. It was the amazing people we met along the way. Everyone had a similar frame of mind and were happy doing what they loved. We now have a great group of life long friends that we hope we can continue to find other adventures to do together in the future.

We were also fortunate to have some friends and family join us on this trip. Each spending a week with us to explore different areas of the Bahamas. Each visit was different with different locations, weather and events happening.

Hanging out on the boat, or having a late night fire on the beach. A note to the kids and other friends that joined us and not pictured here, don’t worry! You will be in our weekly blog posts!

Finding the best place for happy hour!

The trip had to end. We had important things back at home we needed to get back to. The hurricane season was approaching and our visa for the Bahamas was about to expire.

On our way down to the Bahamas we quickly learned that the protected Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) was not our favourite way to travel. It was narrow, shallow in sections and busy with traffic. You had to be at the helm keeping a close eye and on the radio the entire time. You also had to make sure you found a spot to safely anchor before it got dark. If you go outside, into the open Atlantic Ocean, you did get more waves and a concern about bad weather but you could travel for 24+ hours at a time mostly on autopilot. And there was very little traffic. So we would stop at a place for up to a week waiting for a good weather window to go outside. This gave us the opportunity to fully explore each of the places we stopped at. And we ended up covering more ground. One outside hop would take us to a spot that would have taken us 3-5 days on the ICW to get to.

We skipped the Chesapeake and the Delaware by doing one large outside hop, we originally planned to do a really long hop all the way up to New York but a leaking engine raw water pump diverted us to Cape May. After fixing the engine we continued into New York Harbour and up the Hudson River.

We had to turn our sailboat into a motorboat so that we could fit under some of the lower bridges along the NY Canal System.

We travelled up the Erie Canal and then turned North along the Oswego Canal to Lake Ontario.

Lifted the mast back up and Foggy became a sailboat once again.

Early in the morning we headed out onto Lake Ontario, it was a bit “sporty” but now it felt easy compared to what we experienced on the open Atlantic Ocean. It calmed down after we were halfway across Lake Ontario and we had to motor that last bit into our marina, Loyalist Cove. When we made this crossing on our way down it felt daunting and scary. But now crossing the lake feels like a short hop! Our comfort levels have changed so much.

Foggy is back in her slip at the marina. Awaiting her next adventure. Our current thoughts are that she’s going to continue to enjoy fresh water (salty ocean water is hard on a boat!). And maybe we will be getting a different, larger, boat in the future.

Here’s a visual track of our journey back. Click on the image for an interactive map.

The CS34 did amazing during the trip. She kept us safe and handled some crazy weather very well. We were usually travelling with larger boats and earned the nickname “rocket ship” because she would keep up with the big kids. But we did notice we were bouncing and rocking more than everyone else. Our fuel tanks and water tanks were smaller so we had to stop more often. Since we used the aft cabin for storage bins it was comfortable, but tight whenever we had guests aboard. This last point is the biggest one. Our kids had a great time with us and want to do it again, and we want to make sure we can accommodate everyone! The family is growing!

Stay tuned for the blog posts to continue… Lori is the wordsmith and storyteller. Please let her know you are waiting! 😉