If our original plan had been to circumnavigate the Bermuda Triangle in a year, WE DID IT!!! Even though this wasn’t the route that we thought we would take, as we approached the dock at Charlotte Harbor Boat Storage we couldn’t have felt any prouder. We left this same boat yard last year on March 18th. 5,384 nautical miles and 440 days later we returned – WOOHOO!!!
We set out last year thinking that we would simply island hop our way down to Grenada for the 2013 hurricane season and then slowly make our way back up the Caribbean before this year’s hurricane season. Well, big surprise here, that didn’t happen. We did make it TO the Caribbean…eventually…after a wild ride through the North Atlantic in the winter. And we did make it back to Florida by June 1st, but that’s about as close as we got to going where we thought, when we thought we would. It turns out that this trip was more about the challenge rather than sipping rum drinks on beaches. (We managed to squeeze in plenty of that too.) We needed open ocean, offshore passage making, and even a bit of fear in order to feel like we were accomplishing our goal – so that’s where we went.
We do feel accomplished. We feel successful. We feel strong and capable. We started planning this trip two years ago – when we didn’t even know how to sail! We shifted all of our priorities and resources to make this idea materialize. Plenty of mistakes were made and there were times that we questioned our sanity. But we learned and we made it back – mental health intact.
Hauling Stella Blue out of the water was an emotional event for us. I wrote earlier that the reality of the trip being over was starting to set in – well it doesn’t get any more real than watching her get hoisted out of the water and set up on jack stands. It was sad…maybe not sad, but definitely heavy.
We shook off the somber attitudes, moved out, and got to work. Now that Stella Blue is back on the hard, we are learning as much as ever. Most of the boat projects we are tackling are completely new to us – each one requiring research and multiple trips to Home Depot. We have lots to keep up busy as we get Stella all shined up and ready to show so that we can pass her on to the next adventurer.