Friday, November 3, 2017

Happy Splashiversary

It was one year ago today that we became full time liveaboards, and what a year it has been! We have met some amazing people (and if you are reading this and we met you this year, yes I am referring to you!), went some interesting and exotic new places and had some wonderful adventures. We have learned so much this year and are looking forward to future years on life on Rhapsody.
One year ago!

We visited 13 countries and many more islands. We started out in the British Virgin Islands where Rhapsody had been waiting for us. Someone once described the BVI as cruising on training wheels. I was very happy to begin with training wheels.  Our first longer sail this year was from the US Virgin Islands to Puerto Rico gaining more confidence on the way. We  returned to the BVI and from there we ventured out to new destinations.

First up was St. Martin / St. Maarten and our first overnight passage. I was anxious about the passage as we had never sailed so far, nor had we sailed at night, but we had Robin and Mike Stout from Mermaid to buddy boat with us and show us the ropes.

Thank you Robin and Mike.

 From St. Martin we ventured off on our own, down the island chain. St. Barts was next, followed by St. Kitts, Antigua, Guadeloupe and Dominica. We learned a lot about the Caribbean geography along the way, where the islands were, how to pronounce the names and how each island had their own personalities and idiosyncrasies. Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Vincent,  Grenada, Tobago and Bonaire rounded out the year.
Houses built into the rocks in Bequia, St. Vincent 

Along the way we stayed in 7 different marinas, even though we really try to avoid them. They can be a necessary evil, and even, sometimes, a welcome respite. Each marina we stayed in had a specific purpose, usually repairs or maintenance of some sort, and we left as soon as we could. We made many improvements to Rhapsody,  in safety gear and upgrades, comfort upgrades and aesthetic  upgrades. We have taken Rhapsody from being a boat we live on to become our trusted and seaworthy home.
The Pitons,  St. Lucia 

Hiking on the islands has been a great joy. A chance to get off the boat to stretch our legs, and occasionally share the experience with others. It has given us the chance to experience the different terrains and climates of the islands. Desert islands with lots of cactus and lush tropical islands with rain forests. Islands with very little elevation gain and islands that you have to scramble up (and down). And wonderful waterfalls. We have always had an affinity for waterfalls, so hiking to new waterfalls is always a joy.





We have had to learn to deal with frustrations over things like laundry and shopping, customs and credit cards, storms, rolly nights and boats dragging anchor, but these are passing things and inevitably they are bookended with stunning scenery

or incredible wildlife.

We have had guests overnight for over 30 days this year and have really enjoyed sharing our life with those that came. If you joined us this year, please come back soon, and if you haven't joined us yet- why not? Your berth is waiting for you!
A visitor to our boat at Waterlemon Cay, USVI 
A full year on the boat and our answer to the question "how long will you keep doing this?" is still the same.
Watching the partial solar eclipse through a colander in Tobago 

Until it is no longer fun.
Along a path in Dominica 

It is still fun, we will keep going.

Happy Splashiversary Rhapsody!

We love to hear your comments.

Gigi Lassan said...

Great to hear from you guys! Can't believe it has been already a year! Keep on having fun Our Friend JeanPaul has visited " times since you left and bought couple houses in Florence. Living on a boat has not been so much fun anymore...After 20 years I can understand! and I believe his boat is now for sale... They live in a cabin on the beach in Malaysia. But as a resident of Florence Oregon, he is coming in February to get his driver licence... I am in France at this time and Allen and I will be visiting my brother in Thailand for the holidays. Wishing you the best in your ongoing amazing adventure.

Sarah said...

Thanks Gigi. We can hardly believe it has been a year. It was a very full year. Maybe after 20 years we will consider a cabin on the beach in Malaysia! Glad to hear you are getting traveling in as well, perhaps our paths will cross again. Meet you in Tahiti?

Unknown said...

Wow! You two have been out there for a year? Amazing!! You certainly picked a great year to be gone from this crazy stateside government. The presidency is supposed to age the president, not all the citizens... I soooo envy what you are doing. Congrats!

Sarah said...

The year has flown by. It has been a relief to watch the US politics from afar. Don't envy us, join us!