Wednesday, May 29, 2019

It’s Our Anniversary, Y’all

May 12, 2009 - May 12, 2019

12,000 Nautical Miles!

We Loved Having You Along For the Sail

Sitting here, trying to focus on standouts-both great and terrifying.

Cayo Campo, Cuba
Mt Hartman Bay, Grenada
The absolute standout anchorage was a night off of Cuba at Cayo Campo where we had an incredible day meeting the men who cared for the monkeys, the anchorage itself was spectacular. Right on a reef, feeling like we were anchored at the edge of the earth. We were surrounded by incredible shades of blues and turquoise. But that night when the full moon rose so big and bright the water was so clear that it seemed to disappear. For the first time, I thanked Roy for taking me (often kicking, cursing and screaming) on this incredible journey. Though to be honest Mt Hartman Bay in Grenada is a standout for so many reasons. Certainly my most favorite hurricane season. 

Terrifying was the overnight passage between Cuba and Jamaica. Supposed to be a walk in the park but a weather window shut mid-Passage and the winds climbed to 40+knots with seas approaching 15ft. That truly wasn't so bad but the freighter that seemed intent on running into us is the real story. Roy had to turn from our course in those high waves several times as he attempted to keep us safe. While there were others, to me, the worst was in the Dominican Republic when we came out of the slit that protects Isla Beata, to near white-out conditions. Certainly learned to trust in Wahoo that day.

Which certainly brings me to the most magical passage. On the same trip East, we were sailing overnight across the Windward Passage, between Jamaica and Hispaniola, on our way to Ile a Vache and I saw the Southern Cross for the first time and like the song says “ realized why I came this way”.

And the most magical experience? Well, cruising in the Grenadines on our way to Bequia when we were overwhelmed by the sight of hundreds of dolphins cavorting in a line on either side of Wahoo as far as the eye could see. No picture can do that experience justice. 

We are proud to be a part of the support given by the cruising community to the countries we visit. From bottles of rum to the caretakers of cayes in Belize, to the school supplies, hooks and fishing line in Cuba to being part of “Friends of Ile a Vache” and "Pass It on Guatemala". Wherever we sail - Grenada, through Dominica to Guatemala we are grateful to be part of this community that shows respect and love to the places we visit. 

Titus in Dominica
Wagner helping

Last but not least I treasure the incredible people we have met and shared time with, both cruising friends and island locals. Impossible to name them all but Mike and Roycelyn stand out for singing “Happy Birthday” to Roy over the VHF in Portsmouth, Dominica so that the entire harbor of 40 odd boats heard them, to Dave and Jane Mitchell who shared so many stellar moments on our trip down the Eastern Caribbean Islands and then returned so that we could share Classic Race Week in Antigua, to our Grenada Gang of Eight who made hurricane season in 2015 a highlight of my life.

2010 - 2019 
It's a Wahoo Life!

May 12, 2009, we bought a 42ft Hunter Passage named “Oh La La” in St Petersburg & sailed off to the Bahamas via Key West. 

Grouper came along to help us get her in shape. Luckily there wasn't much to do!

Wahoo is Born
At Nippers

2010 The BP oil spill meant we didn’t go far, but we had fun with friends

Avis & Dale -go go girls
Ready, Set.Dive

Evening on the Lake

Best buds

2011 NOLA to the Bahamas, Stops on the Gulf Coast in Key West and the Dry Tortugas.

Our dear friend Nancy came to Key West

As did Dave & Angela. We visited Duval Street and Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas 

Andrew crossed the Gulf Stream with us to the Bahamas

Sammye and Grouper came to Staniel Cay, Bahamas 

to see the pigs

Austin joined us in Florida for the trip back to New Orleans in July

2012 On April 11 Wahoo left New Orleans for the Caribbean. 

into a Great Adventure

Wahoo sailed from NOYC

We picked up Austin & Mary in Key West

and left our mark on Cuba

after all of that and Mexico too, we eventually headed to Belize

With Sebastian, and don't know who else, we ended in San Pedro in time for dinner.

beaches & more to explore
Roy's Cool Spot with friends!

                                                It took the threat of a hurricane to drive us into the Rio Dulce 

More exploration of the Belizean cayes with a June sail to Isla Mujeres for hurricane season before heading back to Houston and New Orleans.

All those lovely Belizean Cayes

and Snorkeling!

Happy to see Cynthia & Pat

Conch fritters, Belikin beer, LA Hot Sauce

2014 Back for Christmas and winter sailing in Belize. Then we head to the Eastern Caribbean with a 6 week trip through Cuba plus Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Rebuplic and Puerto Rico before loads of fun in the Virgins.
Santa Snorkel

We arrived in Cuba from Mexico and celebrated Roy's 70th Birthday in Nuevo Gerona, Cuba 
where the streets are made of marble.

Trinidad, Cuba

Santiago de Cuba
We gave them guitar strings, they invited us into their home and gave us dinner.

And then it was on to Jamaica

Jerk Chicken and Red Stripe
Blue Pool in Jamaica
Our trip across the Greater Antilles brought us straight into the Trade Winds. They blow West we were going East but it was worth it to finally get to Puerto Rico and the Virgins where we had such great company

Austin and the Wahoo Crew 
John Edward and Laura on Jost Van Dyke
Finally, after well over 1700 miles and 9 countries Wahoo is wrapped up in Puerto Rico.
October 2014 We returned and sailed to St Martin, St Bart's and Anguilla

 Roy & I celebrated our 40th Anniversary in Grande Case, St Martin.

Then our dear, dear friends came for Ted's 70th birthday.
Ted, Louana, Monica & Roy in St Barts
On Wahoo

2015 We continued down the Island Chain of the Eastern Caribbean
St Kitts Carnival at New Year's

Jane & Dave Mitchel in Nevis

Beautiful ships

Beautiful vistas

Steel Bands
and Rum!

Ahhh, the Caribbean

In Grenada for 2015 hurricane season -

Lindy visited and we snorkeled
We limed

      had an Oildown on the beach

Celebrated Dale's timeless birthday with wonderful friends

and hated that it had to end - Our Gang of Eight 

Grenada to Puerto Rico included a stop in Antigua for Classic Race Week and a chance to meet up with friends once more.

Columbia at sea
race watching - so cool

Classic Race
All together again
Back up the chain of islands we went, with a return visit to each island again.

One of our favorites - Magical Dominica
New rigging in St Martin

Iconic Foxy & Dale

Watching the Blue Tang school is breathtaking 

Dinghy riding with the whole Lawrence family in the BVIs (Dave, Angela, Sarah & Alexis)

The end of 2016 found us once again in Jamaica  ready to start

The trip West back through Cuba, Mexico and finally Belize 3 years later

Back at Yoli's
Another bar - meeting up with friends we'd left

yep, these two

But come May 2017 we entered the worst of times.
With Austin's death we were left bereft, without a rudder or even an anchor.  We were grateful for these two

and these girls brought a smile

Good to be together

He's left us and we'll miss him forever

2018 Back on Wahoo - We threw ourselves into boat work

We refurbished the galley, varnished like crazy, replaced the bimini and dodger
We hung out with other cruisers at dinghy raft-ups 

Made new cruising friends who would help steal breadfruit

Finally made it to Lighthouse Reef

And found solace when we could

2019 More Guatemala More Belize and New Knees

More silly ways to eat lobster

more cockpit parties

More Casa Guatemala boat bringing us fruits and veggies at Tortugal

And a new thing - Sandra enjoying boat life!