For 2017, the plan Is to enjoy the Chesapeake area as we wait out hurricane season. There is lots to see and experience. We also need to finish some projects while headed down the US East Coast transitioning to cruising long-term. Some milestones have occurred, are upon us (or lay shortly ahead) which mark our final transition to the Caribbean:
- We no longer stay in a leased marina slip. Those days are over! We are transient and have begun to spend more time at anchor. June to September 2017 will be our test period to exercise our robust “off the grid” capabilities. We doubled our house battery bank size from 6 to 12 GC2 6V AGMs now at 1140 ah supported by 560 watts of solar and 480 watts of wind generation backed up by the beefy 16KW Phasor Generator for bulk input. We will collect real data to determine if we can be solar/wind “self sustaining” for long periods and add solar if required.
- Our first grandchild arrived in April so visiting is certainly a priority – all the more reason to visit the US East Coast!
- The Captain (Steve) transitioned from a “go to the office” work environment to a virtual consulting role – we will see how long this lasts but seems to be working well for the company he aligns with.
- The new hard dodger and top are mounted (but require finishing) which will occupy most of our project time afloat. Still need to do final gel-coat polishing and trim out the interior.
- We hauled out on 1 May to redo exhaust, thru-hulls, under water lighting and put on a new bottom job. While on the hard, we took a trip to Italy for a month to reward the Admiral (Kimberly) for graduating with her PhD! Scheduled re-splash was 18 June – so on to CRUISING!
- We sent the car (by auto train) to our home base in Florida in mid June. A surreal event only weeks past from occurring…letting go of convenient 4-wheel transport is a condition that will take some getting used to. Oh, we have alternate transport means aboard-two Schwinn folding bikes. One of these has a 2-stoke motor conversion and a trailer hitch to pull our folding aluminum dock cart. Our new Walker Bay Ultra-lite RIB and Tohatsu 15hp 4-stroke carry them easily. ***Note: we did not sell our land based possessions and we keep a completely functional home in Florida.
- Our middle son came aboard for a year as a deck hand and photographer-which we are very excited about!
So…what’s next?…The plan (written in the sand at low tide) is to slowly meander south down the US East Coast exploring the ICW … arriving in Florida at the end of 2017 hurricane season to prepare for a crossing to the Bahamas in late December. Then begin our “Caribbean” cruising adventure of Bahamas, Abacos, Exumas through April 2018…then the I-65 jump to southern Caribbean to be out of the “box” by 1 June 2018 (Grenada).
We will chronicle our adventures here on our site. Hope you will join us and follow along as SV Take Me There carries us south!