Let the Cruising Begin!

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.).

Removing lines from pilings in our slip, C-46

Removing lines from pilings in our slip, C-46

Julie and Tracy bought us an ice maker a couple of years ago.  It quit working after awhile, so we've been without. However, now that we can't just go down to the marina store for ice, we decided to buy another.  I like ice in my drinks!

Julie and Tracy bought us an ice maker a couple of years ago. It quit working after awhile, so we’ve been without. However, now that we can’t just go down to the marina store for ice, we decided to buy another. I like ice in my drinks!

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.

Cindy's Bon Voyage Party with a few friends in Lakeland a few days ago.

Cindy’s Bon Voyage Party with a few friends in Lakeland a few days ago.

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.

Posing with Fr. Reid, from All Saints in Lakeland, after church on Sunday.  Although we'll still visit on occasion when I work, we'll miss the sound doctrine, beautiful worship, and many friends we've made there.

Posing with Fr. Reid, from All Saints in Lakeland, after church on Sunday. Although we’ll still visit on occasion when I work, we’ll miss the sound doctrine, beautiful worship, and many friends we’ve made there.

Thanks to everyone for all their well-wishes and congratulations over the past few days. Also, thanks for your prayers for safe travels.

Back at the Marina at 1:30 a.m. this morning with provisions Cindy had procured while in Lakeland

Back at the Marina at 1:30 a.m. this morning with provisions Cindy had procured while in Lakeland

Provisions transferred to Salon by 2 a.m.

Provisions transferred to Salon by 2 a.m.

I leave you with a poem celebrating our departure:

Sea Fever

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

20 thoughts on “Let the Cruising Begin!

  1. Bon Voyage! Maybe Justin & I will fly into one of your ports and spend some time with you this winter. Please keep us posted.

  2. Best of luck Cindy and Barry. Enjoy every moment and have an awesome time. We Will be praying for your safety!

  3. Bon Voyage!! SO HAPPY you are finally on your way. At least you two will keep me prayed up 🙂 (Praying for your adventures and safety). Excited to read your blogs and learn of your experiences. Love you!!

  4. Off you go!!!!! I remember our first cruse, full of anxiety and excitement. You both will have a great adventure. Marcie and I may start south in November. Lets stay in touch and hopefully we will meet along the way.
    Stay safe.
    Jim and Marcie

  5. I bless you with fair winds, calm seas, and a life of peace. What an amazing journey to get to this point in your lives. You are the only people I know who are living their dream and I am happy for you. You give me hope that my day will also come. I am looking forward to a few more days together to hear more of your story. Make Charleston one if your ports of call!

    • Thank you, Justin! I look forward to seeing you again. I pray you’ll be able to work a little less and make lots of great memories with Shera.

  6. Bon Voyage! I came to learn of your Blog from Sailing Florida’s Facebook page. I am taking some classes with them and hopefully will fulfill the same dream as you two. I love the details, the mishaps, and your perspective as new sailors. Please post as often as you can. I look forward to following your journey.

  7. Bon Voyage! The time has arrived to sail away…. I can only imagine what this would be like! Praying for safety! Go sail away and follow your dreams!

  8. Bon Voage to a awesome couple. Its not every day that one gets to live out his/her dreams. God had truly blessed you both. Enjoy each and every day!

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