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Sailing Blog: Going South

Sailing Blog Index:

Preface
The making of...

Southbound

Lake Ontario
New York State
New Jersey
Chesapeake
Virginia
Carolinas
Florida
The Bahamas
Cuba

Northbound

Sailing Back
Miami Bound
Miami Beach
Key Largo
Gulf Stream
Beaufort, NC
Oriental, NC
The Squall
Dismal Swamp
Elizabeth City
Cruising Norfolk
Ocean City
Sailing to NYC
4th of July
Sailing Hudson
Grounding
Canals
Sweet Home

 

Sailing South Summary

Sailing south was an exciting and frightening experience because we have never done anything like this before and we were not entirely prepared when we left our home port. Our plan to obtain second hand charts on US side of the Lake Ontario never materialized and we were constantly seeking some charts and guides for next part of the trip. We also had no dinghy, which initially didn't seem to matter much since there were plenty of courtesy docks while traversing Erie Canal, but once we got to the East coast lack of dinghy became an issue. We were also facing the fact that there are two of us sharing a very small cabin for better and for worse.

Other than that it was a fantastic experience. Traversing Erie Canal was exciting, even if it was wet, cold and foggy at times. Along the way we enjoyed number of small towns with free docks to tie up. I was relieved that going through the locks was much easier than I anticipated. So was stepping the mast, again, no big traumas there.

Getting out of Hudson River onto the Ocean for the very first time was exhilarating and provided invaluable experience in planning and course plotting. We were also looking forward to spend some time with our friend in Miami, especially at times when we experienced a case of "cabin fever," a strong urge to get off the boat.

Crossing to the Bahamas was a whole new game. We were beyond ourselves when we saw these crystal waters for the first time. Sailing alone for a month was a big confidence builder and when Tobi joined AfterBlue in March sailing was just 100% pure fun. This is where we decided to extend our original plans and sail further south towards Cuba.

I am convinced that nothing is as quite memorable as your first sailing expedition. Sure you're frightened at times and feeling out of your depth, but yet you're still doing it persevering and overcoming any obstacles on your way towards the goal. Amazing islands and places I still can't believe we've seen and experienced. Saying all that I am aware that hundreds of boaters, every single year, make the very same passage as we did without thinking about it too much. That's why the first trip is so magical, when you're not quite sure what to expect and what you would encounter around the corner, sort of speak.

Click here to jump into our log entries from Lake Ontario or navigate to any other part of our trip using the links on your left. Enjoy the reading and make sure to visit our sailing forum and leave a note.

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