This is the plan first mooted in 2008
This is a 3-year preparatory plan (from 2008), and there is much to do – simplify, sell up, travel from New Zealand to Florida, buy a boat, refurbish as required and set sail. Then return to NZ, and settle down again.
When - October 2011 to Florida
Where - Bahamas
How - Pre-loved sailboat or motor launch
So, where are we now?
We live on the northern shores of Auckland, New Zealand. We own our own home – in conjunction with the bank – but the equity is, fortunately, greater than the mortgage We have 2 cars and a 30′ sailboat on a marina. All 3 our daughters have been through university and have flown the nest – making us empty-nesters.
The idea is to travel to Florida, purchase a boat and then spend the winter (Northern Hemisphere) of 2011/2012 exploring the Bahamas. We will spend 4-6 months travelling from where-ever we buy the boat crossing to the Bahamas and then returning to the USA before returning to New Zealand.
I have always wanted to do a circumnavigation but Mary, my wife of many years, is absolutely against that but has agreed to these short cruises and who am I to quibble at crumbs???
Update May 2011
We’re on track to head over to the US in October when we will buy a boat, do whatever needs to be done to get it ready and then head over to the Bahamas.
We have decided on a motor yacht for our trip. Looking seriously at a 38′ Bayliner. I have been scouring the internet, including all the broker sites and have come up with a “short” list of about 25 boats!!! They are scattered all over – from East to West, North to South, on the coast and on some lakes. What a job it’s going to be
We certainly will have our work cut out trying to choose one which fits all our requirements!!
Update August 2011
So this is kind of the final cruise plan from October 2011-April 2012. what is not shown is our return route to either Florida or Georgia before we return to NZ for the hurricane season.
A – BALTIMORE
This is where we will collect Amanzi and then head down the Chesapeake Bay to Norfolk (about 120 miles) where we enter the IntraCoastal Waterway or ICW or simply the Ditch for a 1000 mile (statute) journey to Miami. The ICW consists of a series of natural waterways, sounds, inlets and canals which provide a safe passage down the east coast without ever needing to enter the Atlantic Ocean.
While many cruisers simply race down the ICW there are as many who only cruise up and down enjoying the sights and history etc. We plan to spend about 4 weeks travelling down and enjoying the trip. We will also use this time to work out what else we will need or want for our trip to the Bahamas. This will be our “shakedown cruise” which is usually a shortish cruise to iron out issues and problems. Of course, in our case, the shakedown cruise will be much longer (in mileage) than the Bahamas portion. But, we will always be closer to assistance and marinas/yards for necessary repairs/changes!
We will stop over at Fernandina Beach on the border between Florida and Georgia where we will carry out any repairs and/or additions/alterations. Why here? Because that’s where my broker has his business and can assist with sourcing supplies and assistance.
B – MIAMI
This will be our jumping off point across the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas. We plan to stop at Bimini where we will check in to the Bahamas before entering the Great Bahama Banks on our way to Nassau
C – NASSAU
Capital of the Bahamas and this is where we will probably collect Leanne and the boys as the first of our visitors.
D – GEORGE TOWN
From Nassau we will slowly wend our way down the Exuma chain of islands, ending up in George Town where we will sort of be based before returning north.
E – PLAN B
Of course, when cruising all plans are set in jelly, subject to the weather and our whim of the moment . So of course there is always a plan B – which at this stage is simply no plan at all