Milestones III

Two Years and 10,000 Miles

We’ve recently passed a couple of major milestones in our trip, which of course we largely forget to commemorate ourselves so we didn’t make a big social media production out to them either.

Two Years

It was July 22, 2012 at 4:30 in the afternoon that we cast off our lines from Brewer’s Marina in Warwick, RI and left our home waters permanently.  Sure, we only sailed about eight miles down the bay that night but that was it, we were on the move, on the hook and on our way.  While we’ve been back to Rhode Island twice since that date – once while sailing back from Maine to the Chesapeake and once by airplane from Panama last holiday season, that date was significant because it meant we were done with all our preparation and were ready to begin the adventure.

The last two years have gone by quickly, in some ways it seems like just yesterday we were throwing off the lines.  But then, returning to the U.S. a few months ago our old home didn’t feel like “Home” either.  Coming home was returning to Evenstar, no matter where she was.

10,000 Miles

I’ve talked before about how cruisers measure and count miles.  What REALLY counts for experience when it comes to miles sailed?  Does sailing back and forth from East Greenwich to Block Island (about 70 miles) for or five times a year for 6+ years really equal the experience of one 1,500 mile trip that takes you eight and a half days?  Tough to say; we never saw more than 30 knots of breeze sailing to the Caribbean; the most wind I’ve been in still to date was a 60+ knot squall that caught us in whiteout conditions on the way to Block Island.

So yeah, I can add up thousands of miles of travel before we Left On The Big Trip.  Enough sea time to qualify for a USCG Masters license, yada, yada, yada.  So what, that was then…this is now.  THIS trip, with THIS family and THIS boat we passed the odometer through 10,000 miles of travel right before we arrived here in the Tuamotu Archipelago in French Polynesia.  A lot of that is “long miles” – multi day passages with overnight sailing which is something a lot of people don’t do if you don’t live on board and travel far from home.  A lot of it is also short hops – a handful of miles from one anchorage to another, a thirty or forty mile day sail between islands, or even backtracking to return to someplace cool another time.

We reset the odometer to Zero on July 22, 2012.  As the crow flows we’ve come almost 5,400 miles from our house in Warwick.  With 10,000 miles of sailing, it’s not exactly been a straight and direct path.  There’s been a lot of diversions, a lot of exploring.  But that is kind of the point.

So What’s Next?

So where to from here?  How long do we keep on going?

The answers are still the same – we’ll go as long and as far as we can.  Sadly we’ve only got Will with us another year before we have to give him up to go to college.  It seemed so far away when we left.

In the meantime we’ve got a Visa to be in French Polynesia through November.  November is also when you want to clear out of here for the cyclone season; we plan to be in New Zealand before that rolls around.  That is another 2,000 to 3,000 miles of sailing depending on what route we take.  It will take us to the Society Islands and Tahiti, from there the questions is how to make the trip to New Zealand…directly, or through stops at more exotic locales like Niue, Tonga or others.  this is still all To Be Determined.

In the short term we’ll spend a couple more weeks in the Tuamotu Atoll.  We’ll probably be driven out of here by the need for provisions and supplies before we tire of the place.  It is absolutely delightful – clear water, friendly people, bewitching scenery and snorkeling to die for.  It is expensive though, and fresh fruits and vegetables are tough to come by and dear when the ship does come in.

We expect to make Tahiti by mid August, when a large box with our autopilot parts and other needed things from the U.S. will arrive.  We have a lot of “boat love” to catch up on before our friends Maggie and Charlie (remember them from the Canal?) come to join us in September.  We’ll cruise around the Societies and be back in Tahiti for Will to take the SAT on October 8th.  After that we start working our way to New Zealand…

Apologies Are In Order

I would like to take a moment to apologies to all my readers for my absolutely abysmal blogging track record in July.  We’ve seen and done awesome stuff since we arrived in French Polynesia and I’ve shared next to none of it except for some pictures and cryptic comments on Facebook.  There have been some excuses, such as the power supply in my computer dying on me.  That means I’ve needed to get the backup laptop setup and running with all my tools on it, and there are still some pictures from places like Nuka Hiva and Makemo trapped on the hard drive until I get it working.  That’s a big factor in it.  A lot of our time here is totally “Off the Grid” too, with no Internet access.  That is much less of an excuse, as we DO go places with internet.  Even though it is expensive we have it up for the kids to do school enough time for me to get my act together.

And I promise I will, but I’m going to have to either skip some places and come back to them or post them without pictures.  I’d rather wait for the pictures, but that could be my inner lazy talking.

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