How fitting that the first post of our cruising days is the 100th post on this blog! Ninety-nine times prior to this writing, we have spoken of and looked forward to this day when we are no longer “just” live-aboards who take the boat out occasionally, but full-fledged cruisers. We will no longer have a slip in a marina awaiting our return from a day or two of pleasure. We are gone! The world is our playground. We will go wherever we want, stay there as long as we want, and leave when we want (within certain constraints of course, like weather, maintenance, etc.).
As anyone who has read my recent posts knows, I will return (by car or air) to Lakeland periodically for a week of work. Beatitude will be left where she is for that week, and we will return to her to resume our cruising when done working. The first leg of our journey will last 19 days before we pause to work for a few days. The plan is to leave Beatitude in Marco Island for those few days when we do so. We will then have up to six weeks before the next pause for work.
We will probably not leave the marina until early this afternoon, so we won’t make it very far before we anchor for the night. If the weather cooperates on Tuesday, we’ll make a longer run south. We plan to stay a few days in Pelican Bay at Cayo Costa state park, explore Fort Myers and Naples, and then make our way to Marco Island. I’m not sure when or how often I’ll have internet access. But, when we do I’ll update everyone with posts. In the meantime, I hope to send position/location updates to Facebook via our DeLorme satellite tracking device.
Thanks to everyone for all their well-wishes and congratulations over the past few days. Also, thanks for your prayers for safe travels.
I leave you with a poem celebrating our departure:
I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.
I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over”
― John Masefield, Sea Fever: Selected Poems