We've been getting a lot of emails lately about our 'plans'...
It seems our shore-side sabbatical has led some of you to wonder if we're actually going back to our boat so instead of typing this out a bunch of times in separate emails, I figured I'd turn to the blog...
The short answer to your question is yes, we are definitely returning to our boat!
One of the wonderful things about being a young couple with no debt and no land-locked responsibilities (like a mortgage or 'careers') means we are free to dream and roam as we please. This simple fact allows our minds to wander freely and Scott and I have spent many a night wondering about the places we want to cruise and where we're going to end up in the "future". Some scenarios have us opening a sandwich shop in some sleepy little harbor town, some have us starting a little marina/hostel for fellow travelers and cruisers on some beautiful off-the-beaten-path island, others have us coming home and spending half the year cruising and the other half living near family and friends and others still revolve around sailing and starting a seasonal charter business from our own boat. All of these are just ideas we roll around in our heads - after all, dreaming and scheming are two of the things we do best...
Anyway - as for our "short term" plans, we do have them. For now, we are going to stay here in the Chicagoland area until September. We are living with my wonderful parents and saving money - Scott has gotten a temporary "real" engineering job and is actually enjoying using and sharpening his Solidworks skills. He's heading back down to Grenada in July for five weeks to captain Diamant and then he'll return to me and our little girl and we'll start gearing up to head back to the boat.
On September 15th we will return to Trinidad and to Rasmus to begin prepping her for another cruising season. My mom and dad are going to come with us to help out - my mom will help me with the baby, and my dad will help Scott prep the boat. We have a few projects we'd like to tackle but the main stuff will be to paint the bottom and perhaps beef up our solar/wind power. Once our "to-do" list is complete we'll be ready to cruise again in November or thereabouts.
We plan to spend next season (November '12-June '13) cruising the Windwards and Leewards again, probably going no further north than St. Maarten, and then taking our sweet time hitting all the islands we missed on our way down. Staying in the Caribbean will allow us to cruise comfortably with our daughter (no need to do long, overnights if we don't have/want to) and will allow us to be near Grenada where Scott will have to go for his one or two rotations next season as a Captain for Island Windjammers.
From there - we're not 100% sure, but we're really, really liking the idea of the San Blas Islands of Panama. We're not fans of sitting in one location for months and months through another hurricane season and the San Blas Islands offer year-round cruising and are touted as some of the most untouched and beautiful islands in the ocean. From there we will be in prime location to go through the Panama Canal or we might spend a few years simply circumnavigating the Caribbean and hitting up Cuba, Jamaica and the Caymans (we do plan on having more children - Scott has actually made a timeline for us with prospective "dates" - so more bambinos will certainly effect our plans as well!).
The only other thing that might effect these plans is the fact that we are currently "kicking tires" and looking for a larger boat. We are currently in talks with an owner in Central America with a boat that would be a great fit for us and would allow us plenty of room to grow as a family while still offering us the comfort and stability we are used to in our little beauty. What makes this even more cool is the fact that they, in turn, are interested in our boat so this could be a win/win situation. It's still very early, but if this does work out - obviously these plans will change. We're not going to disclose any more about this - but rest assured, we'll keep you posted as things develop.
So there you have it! Our "plans" as they are now...while they are (always) subject to change - rest assured, the ocean hasn't seen the last of us!
Brittany & Scott