So we did some sailing lessons again this weekend. I’m not going to talk much about it. Weather was not good. I learned three things: 1. When backing out, control of the motor is opposite of what one expects. 2. I HATE the whistling of the shrouds. Sounds like a ghost is going to eat you! 3. Securing the halyard before raising the sails is VERY IMPORTANT.
On another note, I would just like to point out that the good people that came up with the typical US school year, from September until May or June, really screwed up. You see, all of the logic that went into that — good time to work in the fields, too hot to learn anything, can work a while in a summer job, etc., was faulty. For the one reason that matters only to us, and only right now: they did not consider hurricane season.
You see, we plan to begin our voyage once the kids complete their next year of schooling. Allie will be done with third grade, and Tommy with fifth. Unfortunately, the school year ends just as hurricane season begins. How inconsiderate! June 1 through November 30 is apparently the high-risk zone for cruising the Caribbean. Oh bother!
So Greg has been making fun of me for fretting about this. He thinks it will work itself out. I, however, have a different approach. If we are going to plan anything too far ahead, it might as well be this. So far I see the following options:
1. Screw insurance coverage and go to the Caribbean anyway, staying in “protected anchorages” with low rates (historically) of hurricane hits and running like hell away from any emerging tropical storms.
2. Hightailing it immediately from Florida through the Panama Canal and spending the next several months in places like Columbia or the Galapagos.
3. Hanging out in the southern Caribbean, like Columbia or the ABC’s, historically with low hurricane rates. Note this also entails getting down there somehow.
4. Putting the boat “on the hard” somewhere safe and either living in it anyway or renting out a place somewhere, on land, for a while. As long as it is different, it will be fun.
There are of course other options. For now, I have resigned to discussing this further when we attend the Annapolis Boat Show in October and “nerd it up” by going to seminars on this sort of thing.
In the meantime, I have learned some new vocabulary. “Trade winds,” “Gulf Stream,” and “Horse Latitudes”. Above is pictured one experienced sailor’s idea of how to get down to the Caribbean from Florida. Follow the yellow line. Note that he skips the Bahamas, much to our chagrin. This was published in an awesome magazine called Blue Water Sailing.
More things to think about. You see, if we go down, at least it won’t be without doing our research. And nerds can’t ask for much more than that! That reminds me…must make a checklist for boat launch that includes : “Double check the security of the halyard shackle…”