We are just now in the process of loading up Peace IV for her annual trip to the warm Bahamas for the winter away from snow season here in New England. That entire US East coast is so familiar to us now, it is all pretty much "home waters" even though it is 1700 nm or so. Many friends along the way make it a pleasure and there are thousands of anchorages so we never go into a marina.
This year's upgrade is the "new" cooker a friend gave us with an OVEN and a rebuilt cooler placed under the cooker. Due to many projects in a family house this summer, Peace was otherwise neglected and seems to have enjoyed her first cruising rest in 9 years and over 40,000 miles. Nev has gone over the engines, I have been cleaning, we located lots of oil based polyurethane porch and deck paint in Virginia and so we will be doing more paint work. This paint is standing up just as well as the two part paint we put on the boat from new, but it only costs us 20 dollars US per gallon so that is a major saving. We are OK for now, but will need to repaint the bottom in the summer 2012 after 4 years. That was good stuff we got last time and we will try to get it again. We need 5 gallons for Peace, by the way, but always get one gallon extra. We buy that from a friend in Virginia and it is ablative and not expensive.
Usually we stop for a few days in Norfolk area in Virginia, a few days in Oriental area in North Carolina, a few days in Charleston in South Carolina, and again near Savannah, Georgia, then again in Titusville in Florida, and maybe we will be at the Wharram meet in Florida in early December which is usually near Lake Worth, but this year we will not rush to get there and will only sail when winds and weather are pleasant. Life in old age is not about rushing. We are always in Abacos in Bahamas before Christmas. Anybody in any of those areas wanting to contact us about seeing Peace or talking about the Tiki 46, can contact us on this web site.
Fortunately this year finds us both well and eager for the sail. Last year we managed Peace on that long trip, even though I had pneumonia and Nev had bad knees and the hoped for crew never arrived. Over the years Peace has gotten easier and easier for us to sail her with our older and older bodies. Geriatric upgrades make things easier for young folks too. We find sailing offshore but very near the coast is easier for us and we can tuck in through the many inlets to anchor when winds go the wrong way or we feel like a rest. Also we go faster on the outside route although we will take the inshore route in bad weather or with wrong way winds. Sometimes we sail in there in the Intra Coastal Waterway where there are not too many bridges or twisting and turning rivers.
But sailing across to the Bahamas is the best part. We love the freedom those islands provide a shallow draft boat to enjoy the sheltered waters in the lee of the islands and the brilliance of the tropical waters and generally undeveloped areas where we like to go. We have a new Manson Supreme anchor over 80 pounds to test in our favorite anchorages against the thick turtle grass and crusted bottom. With 200 feet of chain, we should be free to go anywhere safely now.
While we will miss our New England friends and family, so do we miss our friends in Bahamas and we are eager to get there and avoid the cold winter winds expected soon in Rhode Island.
© Anne and Neville Clement, 2011