Back in Canada

As my ten months of liveaboard status comes to an end I can only look back and be grateful for the experience. Although there were some scary, challenging and difficult times they were offset by the good times. Gorgeous blue water, beautiful remote islands, interesting towns, stunning beaches and a lot of awesome people crossed our path.
The trip thru the ICW was a great start….it was a wonderful learning experience with beautiful scenery to match. The Florida keys and Marathon was interesting, beautiful and a great place to socialize with other liveaboards and cruisers. Learned the ropes from a lot of great folks there. Thanks to all those special people💜.
As we ventured thru the Bahamas we kept coming upon more beautiful islands all with their own uniqueness. My favorite was maybe Lee Stocking Island with hiking trails and peaks with stunning vistas. The anchorage there was unbelievably gorgeous. All on our own…anchored with nothing around but beautiful blue hues of water and a stunning beach just a short dinghy ride away.
Stocking Island (not the same as Lee Stocking Island) just a little south and across the bay from Georgetown and Great Exuma Island was really awesome too. The hiking trails were excellent and again they had stunning views from atop of the beautiful deep blue ocean on one side and aqua blue Georgetown harbor on the other side.
The beaches we came across in the Bahamas were spectacular….we were always stunned by the beauty of these mostly untouched sandy paradises.
As we headed east we came upon some Bahamian islands that were very very remote…..a different world for sure. So glad we got to experience those special places.
Onward to the Turks and Caicos Islands where we played on the beaches while waiting for that weather window to head south east towards Puerto Rico. The waters of the TCI are very challenging with coral heads everywhere but visually beautiful.
We planned on heading to Luperon, Dominican Republic, skip along the north coast, cross over the Mona Passage and then continue on making day sails to the far east end of Puerto Rico where we would finally end up and haul the boat out for hurricane season. But…like everything about boating….plans all hinge on the weather. We can make plans but we always have to be prepared to change our plans and go with what the weather dictates. We waited for the ideal conditions to leave the TCI but the prevailing easterlies were not letting up at all and givin our time frame we had to adjust our route. Instead of heading south for the Dominican Republic our only option was to head northeast into the open Atlantic Ocean and then at 25°N and 67°W we made our tack south. Going way out of our way we travelled 720 nautical miles in six long days. We had spectacular sailing weather for all but about 16 hours. Saturday nite into Sunday afternoon we dealt with hard pounding seas that tore abit of the jib and completely ripped apart the front strata-glass window and canvas. Those dam rouge waves😢. Fortunately we have a sewing machine onboard and we were able to remove the canvas windows and fix everything before continuing on into the moonlit nite. Oh ya….very grateful for the
full moon that showed up every single nite and lit the sky for us 🌔🌔🌔🌔🌔🌔. It was a great help for sure. I will always think of the moon in a different way now😊.
Arriving in San Juan harbour on day six was very satisfying until we had to find a place to anchor in the very small and crowded designated area for pleasure craft. Passing the cruise ship terminal we set anchor in about 30 ft of water and realized how spoiled we were with the clear shallow waters of the Bahamas. Such easy anchoring there and now we had to deal with a lot of heavy chain in deep water and no windlass. We made the call to customs and immigration to check in and were instructed to walk over to their office. All was good until they told us they wanted to inspect the boat…now. That meant we had to walk back, haul up well over 100 ft of chain, motor over to the Marina dock and meet up with the friendly customs agents and their canine unit. Welcome to the U.S. (Territory)😕. And then back to the anchorage to re-anchor…what a pain‼️
The harbor here in San Juan is very lively with all sorts of activities going on around us. Cruise ships, jet skiers, paddle boarders, gigantic yachts and the airport next to the harbor with large and small planes buzzing overhead all surrounded by a very vibrant and bustling city. I only wish I had more time to explore this area.
After getting groceries and doing laundry today Jeff is now ready to head east to Fajardo and Puerto Del Rey Marina on the east coast of PR where the boat will get strapped down for hurricane season. While I head back to Canada tomorrow Jeff will wait for that weather window to show up. Until then he has a beautiful city to check out while he waits😊. After hauling the boat out of the water he will be Michigan bound.
Meanwhile I will be waiting for the arrival of my grandaughter in late July back in beautiful Canada. ❤

Jennifer

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