Welcome to our effort at joining the modern age of communication by starting our own Blog site. Rob and I are about to embark on our 6th season in the Caribbean and welcome you to come along with us through the postings on this Cat-a-Log Blog.
Most of you who read this Blog already know us but in case you do not, I will give you a quick picture. We are Rob and Sue Linehan, originally from Omaha, Nebraska. We loved raising our two daughters in that wonderful city but longed for a life at sea. Our efforts in work and saving were directed to the idea of some day making that dream a reality. With that in mind, we worked to retire when Rob turned 50. We moved to Punta Gorda, Florida in June of 2000 and bought our first big boat, a Manta Catamaran that is 40 feet long and 21 feet wide with a 3 foot 8 inch draft. We took three years to learn the boat and add the systems we wanted aboard. After a trip to the northern Bahamas and up the East Coast of the US as far a Charleston, we decided we were ready and headed for the Caribbean through the Bahamas in November of 2003.
Our sailing style is to cruise on the boat for about 6 months in the Winter and spend the rest of the year in Punta Gorda. We have done 4 such seasons in the Eastern and Southern Caribbean plus a quick 4 month trip and back to Belize and Mexico, which is in the Western Caribbean. Two winters were spent at home. One was to repair the house after a hurricane, and the other was spending last year’s winter here with my parents. This year we are again setting sail for the Western Caribbean.
We hope to leave Punta Gorda for Mexico, doing a three day non stop passage trough the Gulf of Mexico to Isla Mujeres Mexico. We will spend most of the rest of the winter and spring in Mexico and Belize. At this time, we plan to leave our boat in Guatemala over the summer and resume our journey south next winter.
Right now we are still working on getting the boat ready to go but will be looking for a good weather window toward the end of January.
This site will include pictures as well as updates of our adventure. You will be able to access past logs from this season and we will see what additional links we might add as this goes on.
You are also free to share this site with anyone who may be interested.
You are welcome to access this site any time but if you wish to be notified of a new cat-a-log update, you may also sign up for an e-mail notice. If you think you will have difficulty accessing the Blog and would like to receive the cat-a-log directly to your e-mail, you may also sign up for that. Our wonderful son-in-law, Craig Davenport, will handle that for us.
I would like to explain our communication system on the boat. While internet access in the Caribbean is more accessible than it had been when we started our adventures, it is still something that takes effort and some expense to access. On board, Rob and I have a HAM/Single Side Band radio. Through the radio we have access to an e-mail account. To send and receive e-mail, we must first find an open frequency with which we can maintain a good connection. Then we make an effort to transmit and receive. Rather than seconds, it can take minutes and if the message sent or received is a long one, we might get disconnected before the transmission is done. We are also limited to the time we can use the system. By sending my logs to Craig, who will then distribute the message to those wishing to be notified, it saves a lot of time on the radio.
You should also be aware that while we really like receiving comments and messages from you, please do not press reply and include our message back. This doubles the amount of time it takes to receive your email. Please send all forwards (jokes, political, human interest stories) to our land email account at firstname.lastname@example.org. We also cannot receive or send anything but plain text so if you wish to send us pictures or a link to the web, you will also need to send those to our land e-mail account. Be aware that this account will be checked less frequently. We will check our radio account at least once a day, often twice. Messages from home are really appreciated so don’t hesitate to write, even long messages, just please don’t send extra things along for the ride! One last thing…our boat’s email is highly filtered for SPAM. Because of this, we must first have sent you an email from the boat before we can receive email from you. If you are emailing us on the boat and we are not replying, email us at the land account, or notify Craig, our blog master at email@example.com, and we will reply and add you to our OK list to receive boat email from.
Taking this journey is an adventure. We will meet many interesting people along the way, see some wonderful and exciting things and enjoy the closeness that cruising brings to us as a couple. My cat-a-logs are my way of reliving and saving this experience for ourselves. It is more than a travelogue and often I will share personal reflections with you. We will also speak about boat issues because many of our friends are boaters and have that interest. When the spirit moves him, Rob will also write his observations and that will be a lucky day for you readers. Sharing all this with you makes it even more meaningful for us, so welcome aboard!