A Seaworthy and Sound Vessel

Here is Legend just before we set sail.  Ethan took a couple of pictures of Legend as we started to shut down the shore systems.

Legend Sets Sail…

Just a quick update as we are just about to set sail.

Check out the Where Is page for a map of where we are.  We will update it at our new anchorage later today.

Cheers from the BVI.

Some Playtime

While we were waiting for the boat to have work done it, we decided to show the kids Tortola.  It’s the main island of the British Virgin Islands and is the island on which we lived for a year from 1999 to 2000.  So, we toured around the island in a rental jeep going up and down the very steep hills which the kids just loved!  Ya, daddy, go faster….. ah, no.  We also went to a secluded beach that we knew about where the sand it just lovely and it’s always quiet.  There was a bit of surf but not a lot.  Enough to have tons of fun in for a 6, 8 and 10 year old.  Here are a couple kids taking on the waves.

 

More Security Tails…Whale Shark Tails

Okay, imagine our surprise when we made it all the way down to the islands to find that one of the kid’s sttuffed toys, a whale shark, had been adulterated.

We discovered that a sticker had been put on it.

A security sticker!

So, now we know that some people in TSA have a sense of humour, which I have actually seen many times before but it is refreshing to see again.  Especially when you’re randomly selected.

A New Treat

Okay, this was an interesting one.  Our kids have been getting a wonderful treat some morning in the form of chocolate chip pancakes at the restaurant that is about 4 metres from our boat.  But, this morning, they didn’t have any chocolate chips (probably from all the Canadian boys who were eating the chocolate chip pancakes).  So, what did the staff do?  They went to the grocery store that is probably about another few metres further and bought some M&M’s to put into the pancakes.  The boys verdict… Yum!

Boat Update…

So, we have officially moved out of the hotel and on to the boat.  Our hundreds of pounds or more likelyhundreds of kilos of supplies are all on board now.  We still have a few more groceries to bring on but we are now living on Legend.

Now, that doesn’t mean we’re going to sea.  Our friends at our yacht management company are working hard to get some last minutes adjustments done on the boat.  So, we’re hoping now to push off tomorrow… maybe morning.

All is good.  That just means we have more time to prepare and more time on land at the marina for the kids.  Who as we speak are climbing in trees and chasing chickens.  Yes…. more school work is coming once we get organized on the boat.

Treasure on the Beach

So, the kids decided to dig for treasure.  They dug and found a rock.  Their belief was that the rock was in the shape of an X.  So, they kept digging to get under the rock because, of course,…. X marks the spot.  After surmising that their rock was probably about several hundred pounds in weight, I suggested that they perhaps might not be successful digging it out.  They kept digging anyway.  Good for them.

 

Legend Update…

Well, it’s been a busy day.  The yacht management crew have been working very hard to get our generator in and it is now complete.  We’ve just got a few more jobs that need to be done tomorrow.

The other good news is that we were able to start putting our equipment/clothes/food/provisions/etc. on the boat today.  That felt very good.

So, if all works out tomorrow we may be able to set sail in the late afternoon.  We’ll see and we won’t be pushing it but if we can push off it would be great.

If we are able to go, you’ll be able to start tracking us from a map basis on our Where Is page.  We will be updating by satellite our location in the Eastern Caribbean every new anchorage, or on passages perhaps even every couple of hours.  Wonderful technology…. thanks again Andrew!

School Days

I don’t believe that the kids are completely aware, but school has already started even though we’re not on the water.

We visited a wonderful botantical garden the other day

and Caroline has started to teach the kids about astronomy.

Feeling Like Home…

I have had many homes in my life.  And, with that I’ve had the benefits and the negatives associated with that.  I’ve lived in lots of places and experienced lots of things and I wouldn’t want to have it any other way.  Having said that, there is also something to be said for growing up and living one’s life in a single community where you become part of the fabric of that community.

It struck me yesterday when I was driving our rental car that was left hand drive (like North American vehicles) on the left hand side of the road (like in Britain) how much I feel at home.  It didn’t feel that odd.  I had done it for a year about a decade ago and once or twice since and it felt very natural.  Everything feels very much like I’m at home… the smells, the weather, the views, the people, the culture, and so on.

It’s nice to be back and it’s even better being able to share this with the kids.  A very important bonus is that Caroline has always felt at home as well!

And, speaking of home, here are a few views at our present home.

Randomly Selected… Ya Right

Okay, a quick post on our flight.  We had three flights which isn’t unusual.  We often have three.  This time, however, we needed to fly out of Ottawa since we were being dropped off.  Normally we will drive to the States because it is much cheaper and very convenient.  On the first leg of the flight we were up early and going through the process of checking in all of our luggage which was substantial as I mentioned before.  We finally got all of it off through baggage screening, even though the CO2 cartridge in Caroline’s lifejacket did cause some questions and concerns about whether she could have it in checked in luggage.  Then came the next step…. the human screening.  Even though we’re a family of five, we’ve got our systems down and we can normally get through screening with as much or less issue than just a couple travelling.  This time, however, I was randomly selected for additional screening.  I just smiled and thought to myself… sure pick the father… at least it’s not my kids having to go through it.

Okay, that wasn’t such a big deal and really it was just another travel moment to smile about.  But, it was a little bit funnier at the next leg, when I was again pulled aside for random screening…. yup, it’s random alright.  🙂  It’s random and that must have just been my lucky day.

In fact, it was my lucky day.  It was the start of our great big adventure and there’s been nothing random about that.  It’s been a deliberate journey.  So, here’s to the journey.

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane…. It’s a Boat?…. It’s Legend…

Does this scare anyone else?  Or just me?  Okay, flying boats aren’t the norm but, in this case, it’s okay.  Legend is out of the water to have a couple of seacocks drilled larger so that the new generator being put in will have enough water for coolant.  [And, yes, that does mean that the previous generator died :-)]

The View – Before and After

Our hotel view in Ottawa

Our hotel view at Nanny Cay in the BVI:

Need I say more… 🙂

8 Months of Equipment

So, we normally travel quite light.  We can have 2 bags for the 5 of us.  But, not this time.  We have 7 bags each at just under 50 pounds.  And, we also each have a carry-on.  And, here it is all laid out.

Truly, I never thought I would ever travel with this much luggage.  Even when we went to live overseas for a year, we didn’t have any more than this.  Most of it is actually sailing equipment and school supplies.

UPDATE:  A friend had a really good question about our luggage.  We have 350 lbs of luggage and with carryons it is likely around 500 lbs.  Her question was whether or not that would weigh the boat down.  To put it in perspective, the boat is about 17 or 18 tons or about $36,000 lbs.  So, in the whole scheme of things, the extra weight is not all that much.

 

Holy Smokes….It’s Almost Here…

Check out the Countdown Timer [upper left].  We are so close to going.  Guess we should pack.  Just kidding, we’re done….mostly.  🙂

One thing that I thought I should do is to show you actually where we’re going and where we will be sailing.

Here’s a picture of the Caribbean to put it into perspective.

Our boat is in the British Virgin Islands and we will be sailing only in the Eastern Caribbean.  Specifically, we will be travelling from Puerto Rico to as far south as the Grenadines.  Here is a pretty good map of the area that we will be sailing.

Legend – The Renaming Ceremony

Just for something a little different.  Here is a pic (no colour enhancement) while we were renaming the boat.  You can see me in the act of appeasing the wind and weather gods.  Ahhh, the sacrifices we must make.  🙂