We are certainly finding our groove around here. Of course we have our moments, as any parent does, but over all - life on the boat is going really well. I might even dare to say better than expected (there were tongue-in-cheek bets happening back home about how quickly we'd purchase our return tickets...the earliest - three weeks, longest - five weeks). A huge part of our "success" is the fact that we have two full-time, hands-on parents aboard and the second component (and I know I sound like a broken record, but it bears repeating) is the simple fact of where we are.
The US and British Virgin Islands (USVI and BVI, respectively) - albeit a bit expensive - are truly a wonderful place to cruise with a young family. There are so, so, SO many places to sail just an hour or two away and, to us, those short hops are key. Having sailed from Florida to Grenada and back up to St. Maarten (approximately 5K nautical miles in total) with one baby, I can say that these little leisure sails in these comparatively calm and protected waters - which cater more to families than the islands further south - are infinitely easier. Lately we've been doing our "passages" (if you can call them that) while the babies sleep which makes sailing all the more pleasant (and easy) for us, and the babies seem to even sleep better underway; the natural and gentle motion of the boat lulling them into a cozy slumber. Win/win.
The last week found us reconnecting and enjoying time with our old friends on s/v Necesse. We first met them in Georgetown, Bahamas in 2011 and then again in Georgetown in 2013. They have two adorable daughters, one of whom is only a week younger than Isla (you might remember them from my "Bahama Mama" post) and even though two years has gone by, it's almost like no time has passed at all and it's wonderful to see our kids to play together again. We have missed them and their company tremendously and this reunion was a long time coming. I have mentioned before "kid boats" like to find each other and stick together, and the wonderful Necesse family is no exception. This, coupled with the simple fact that the seeds of friendship are sown and grown at warp speed out here made for a very happy reunion. We plan to stick together as long as possible.
We've also been able to meet up with even more fantastic blog followers. Scott was clearing back into the BVI when one of them said, "Welcome back" and introduced himself (nice to now know you Brand) and then another lovely couple recognized Scott and offered him a ride in their rental car from Nanny Cay to Soper's Hole (he was going to ride his bike) - all within three hours of each other! Big shout outs to our new friends Adam and Kelci (thank you for the Painkillers and awesome company for two evenings) and the crew of s/v Pixie Dust (thank you for the ride) - it's truly incredible to see, in person, the far reaches of what began as a simple little blog of my musings written from my office cubicle. Sometimes it kind of blows my mind. The world is small, my friends. Very, very small. And the vast majority of people are really, really good. It's a nice reminder.
In other news...Scott - always on the hunt for a way to make a buck and add to the cruising kitty - has secured a couple days of work acting as captain for a sea trial for a boat that we met back in Norman's a couple weeks ago. They're selling their boat but cannot be here for the trial with the new owners, and Scott offered his services. Having a captain's license and being a solid person with an eye for opportunity can get you places in these parts. We have some very neat and exciting things brewing that *might* just keep us here for the long haul (we are currently living on savings at the moment and need to work again soon-ish) but we are going to have to wait until we know for sure what's happening before we divulge. In the meantime, we're going to continue island hopping and simply enjoying this beautiful salty life; the good, the bad and everything in between.
As usual, we'll keep you posted.