Our Maiden Voyage

After getting underway at 4:06 p.m., we navigated through Port Everglades, avoiding the large container ship and its tugs.  As of 7:27, we are about 2 nautical miles off of Miami Beach.

Early this morning, we flew to Ft. Lauderdale.  Captain Dale picked us up at the airport and we spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon getting reacquainted with Beatitude and  provisioning for our maiden voyage upon her.   We will do an overnight passage tonight and hope to reach Marathon, in the keys, tomorrow evening where we will have dinner ashore and spend the night in port.  We have a 5 day window (set by my work schedule in the hospital) in which to travel safely to our home port in Bradenton.

Unfortunately, the wind is on our nose (blowing directly from the direction we need to go, for you non-sailing folks) so we have been motoring and not sailing  today.   That may continue overnight.  We’ll see about tomorrow.  We’ve had dinner aboard and are preparing for our 3 hour on/3 hour off watch schedule for tonight.   Pictures to come at some point  when good internet access  is available.   I am able to put this post up from my iPad thanks to excellent 3G from 2 miles offshore.

Why live on a boat?

Reactions to our decision to sell it all and sail away range from, “That’s awesome!  I’d love to do that!” to “Why in the world would you ever want to do such a thing?”  Most responses tend toward the latter.  Well, when asked similar questions, a number of liveaboards and cruisers offered several explanations (Liveaboards live on a boat but may never leave the dock while cruisers actually cruise from one adventure to another while living on the boat.):

1. If you have to ask why, you probably won’t understand the answer.

2. Dolphins (Manatees, other wildlife) and bioluminescence.

3. Being rocked to sleep at night.

4. If we don’t like our neighborhood, we can just move our “house” to a different neighborhood.

5. Freedom!

6. Global Warming (You’ll be prepared)

7. The night sky.

8. My home has a moat and gangplank.

9. I don’t have to cut grass or shovel snow.

10. A simpler life.

11. The in-laws hate boats and water. (Not, I repeat, Not my reason!)

12. A greater awareness and appreciation of nature (tides, currents, winds, weather).

13. An alternative to a consumeristic society (There’s not much room on a boat for lots of “stuff.”) Or, “It’s more fun collecting experiences, memories, and friends than it is collecting material things.”

14. Adventure and Independence.

15. Oceanfront property.

16. To save money.

17. To live a spiritually, emotionally, and physically healthier life.

18. Fellow cruisers.

19. A means to travel to foreign countries without having to pay hotel bills.

20. The pure pleasure of sailing.

The reasons we decided are mostly contained in the above comments:  A simpler, less materialistic life.  A chance to enjoy, appreciate, and be challenged by God’s great creation.  A love of travel and adventure.  Here are a couple of more reasons why we are making this change (from a recent overnight sailing adventure):