Dear Friends and Family,
The air is turning crisp, even here in sunny Punta Gorda Florida. It may even get in to the 50’s at night with the cold front coming in. Looks like it is time to “Head South.”
The experience of leaving here is a little different this time than last year. Last year we were delayed by months waiting for the boat to be ready or for a good weather window. This year the boat waits for us to do the work on it in Guatemala where it has been on land in a boat yard since last May. We have a set airline reservation to leave here and fly out of Miami on Nov. 30. We anticipate being on the boat for 6 months, leaving it in Panama sometime in May and flying home for the summer. At least that is the current plan. It has been a plan to leave the boat two years in a row in the Caribbean on other cruises but so far, it has never happened. Stay tuned.
Actually, we expect the entire experience this year and next to be full of surprises. We are more committed to letting the adventure unfold, rather than try to make plans and be frustrated that they never actually happen. It will be a challenge, especially for me and I am a planner, but a lesson well worth learning if it happens!
Some of the things that will be different this year is that all the countries we visit speak Spanish. With that in mind, we hope to take some Spanish Language classes in Guatemala. We will only do 2 or 3 weeks so we will hardly be fluent but we are hoping it will give us a foundation to start building on. We also have CD’s on the boat for more study although we have proved poor students this summer.
We hope to have more contact and interaction with local people and learn more about their way of life. It is always the most meaningful part of our cruising experiences.
This year may also involve some longer open water passages and time waiting for weather.
We will also be in better contact to the outside world from our boat as we have purchased an unlocked cell phone. We will be able to buy a card that allows us to use the local phone service. If we are close enough to get cell tower reception, we should be able to get phone and even internet access on the boat. Of course we won’t be calling the states too often because of the expense but it will make things easier. Many of the boaters in the area have this so even contact with them will be easier once we become friends. It will also be easier to arrange for things on shore.
I hope you enjoy this year’s adventure. We love to hear from you and if the e-mails are not time critical, you can send them and pictures or attachments to our regular e-mail which is email@example.com. If you are already cleared to use our boat e-mail, we would also love to hear from you that way, though we cannot get attachments. I know that many of you may not think you have exciting things to write about but we do love knowing what is happening with our friends and family and in fact, who might actually be reading our log. Reaching out to you is enjoyable for us but we like it even better when you reach back!
We will be missing our family. We just had almost everyone here to celebrate an early Christmas. Our daughter Julie came with her 2 ½ year old son Henry from Williamsburg, VA. Her husband Craig stayed home to do work on the reconstruction of their house. A very large tree fell on it during Hurricane Irene. While it may seem a bad thing as first, the house will ultimately be in better shape than it was before the tree hit it, thanks to good USAA insurance. It means more work on their part but they will have a sparkling like new home to welcome the addition of their daughter to be born in late March. Their friends consider them the ideal family. They have a boy, soon a girl plus one cat and one dog. In fact, they are very blessed with a son who is bright and has such a loving personality. I am sure their daughter will be of the same easy care as her brother as it seems to run in the family. Craig will be my blog master. I could not do this without his help and skill.
Our daughter Lisa and husband Jeff, who live near us in Florida, have had an eventful year. Luke Robert (Rob likes the middle name) was born on August 26. He joins 5 older siblings, 3 brothers and 2 sisters. As a home schooling Mom, Lisa is kept very busy but loves it all. Though a little crazy at times with all the commotion, the children are as good as gold. It makes them a very rich family in deed. It is hard to leave them as we do get to see them frequently because they are only about an hour away. Little Luke, is 3 months now but will probably be cruising around furniture by the time we see him in May if he follows the path of his older siblings. This is the down side of cruising but as they live their own lives, we need to do that for ourselves as well.
We will contact you next when we have gotten settled in Guatemala. There is an apartment we will be renting at the boat yard while we get the boat ready to put back in the water. I should have good access to internet and time to let you know about our trip. In the meantime, enjoy our holiday preparations.
Sue and Rob Linehan