2015 was a remarkable year for us. One year ago, when the year was still in its infancy, our cruising adventures were also in their infancy. Leaving our home port of Bradenton, Florida just four months prior, we had recently crossed the gulf stream to the Bahamas. Beatitude was sitting in a marina in Green Turtle Cay, Abacos, Bahamas. Cindy and I were back in the states — I, still working “full-time” at Lakeland Regional Medical Center; Cindy, visiting family in Ohio.
Since that time, much has transpired. Beatitude and her crew have covered nearly 5,000 nautical miles (that’s 5,750 statute miles) through the water. Our travels took us as far south as Staniel Cay, approximately halfway down the Exuma chain, last winter. Then, April was notable for several reasons. First, we sailed our vessel back to the United States. Then, I completed my last shifts in Lakeland and retired from full-time employment. And, finally, Cindy and I visited the Holy Land for two weeks.
Over the summer, we transited up and down the United States east coast, taking the ICW almost the entire way northward and traveling outside in the open waters of the Atlantic almost the entire way southward. From our northernmost position in Nantucket, Massachusetts to our present (and southernmost) locale in the Turks and Caicos, Beatitude has safely carried us on. From St. Augustine to Savannah, from Charleston to Elizabeth City, from Norfolk to Annapolis, from Atlantic City to New York City, from Newport Rhode Island to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, we’ve been thrilled to visit the eastern U.S. from the sea. Many have visited the Big Apple, but very few have entered New York Harbor passing beneath the Verrazano Narrows Bridge on their own vessel. Similar sentiments can be expressed in reference to our many other wonderful landfalls.
Who knows exactly what 2016 will bring? God willing, Beatitude will spend the next year entirely in the tropics. We’ll take our time hopping from one Caribbean island to another, enjoying white sand beaches and breathtaking sunsets. While all our plans are held somewhat tentatively, one thing is certain, Cindy and I are enjoying this opportunity we’ve been afforded. We love sailing the seas and exploring our diverse ports of call.
Cindy and I said goodbye to this grand year by enjoying a lovely dinner at the Magnolia Restaurant and Wine Bar perched on the hillside above the marina. We enjoyed great food with a magnificent view in a very romantic setting. After dinner, we watched the college football national semifinal games. Then, given the different time zone, we welcomed in 2016 an hour before all our friends and family on the East Coast. We tried to sleep shortly thereafter, but had a restless night. The casino, which is one block from our slip, had an outdoor party going on complete with fireworks. At least their fireworks took place at Midnight. The music, blaring through the loudspeakers continued on until close to 5 a.m. There was also a New Year’s Eve party on the beach nearby complete with fireworks. But, for some ungodly reason they decided to launch their fireworks at 3 a.m. Well, at least I got to enjoy (using that word very loosely) a nice fireworks display looking out our bedroom window. I’m not sure how, but Cindy has no recollection of the 3 a.m. fireworks.
2015: What a year! Here’s wishing you and your family an annus mirabilis in 2016!