From the very beginning our goal was to sail in warm waters. Its time to get there. The med has been rewarding and more than we hoped for however, in December, in the southern most part of Spain, we are cold. And when you're on a boat, you might as well enjoy being in the water that you're on. When your shopping list includes buying a portable heater, something's wrong.
So we're planning for the next leg of the trip which is to get over to the Caribbean. Not a simple task. There's quite a lot involved with that and we have been working at it daily. Fortunately we are in a convenient and fun little town to get most of that done. Shift was hauled out, for the 2nd time, to get the bottom repainted, the anti-fouling, as well as a number of other things that you take advantage of when you take a boat out. Engine work primarily. We spent 5 days up on the dry in a boat yard and got a lot done.
An important item on this list has been to find the right, experienced crew to sail with Andreas and cross the Atlantic. I [sophie] will be flying with Enzo and Anais back to LA and then to the Caribbean to meet Andreas in St. Lucia. I would've loved to cross with him but having Anais that far from land for 3-4 weeks is a risk we can't take. Enzo decided he wasn't quite up for that much time wifi-free... oh well, perhaps another time! We posted a few ads on crew finder and crew seeker and were astonished by the amount of people interested in crossing. Andreas sifted through lots of very experienced people and before he could start deciding, a couple we met here in Cartagena let us know that they would be interested in crossing and so would their friends. Things fell into place and before we knew it we had 4 very compatible and experienced crew signed up! We couldn't have been happier and more relieved to have this part figured out. So in the next few days Pete, Anne, Ray and Maureen visited Shift, details were ironed out and a plan was penciled in. Pete has been involved in helping out in the preparation and making sure we have everything we need for the crossing. He's pretty awesome!
Luck had it that two catamarans over was another identical Lagoon 440 of the exact same year! We've gotten to know Cecile, Jean Pierre and their 2 adorable sons as well as the ins and outs of their experience with the catamaran - which has been an invaluable source for us. They've been privately chartering their catamaran during the summer months very successfully - visit coconutsailing.com for a peek at what they do!
In the mean time, Anais' health has been like a dream- and we're enjoying her happy soul every single day. Somewhere in the universe someone heard our plea for her to get better. It may be that it was a calling from the ocean... in any case, we're grateful and extremely happy. Enzo continues to thrive and learn everyday. His mind grows and its pretty awesome to experience his daily thirst and curiosity. Our family is growing closer even though some days we drive each other nuts! Being on a boat can do that :-)
We're heading back to Gibraltar in the next week or so and will be spending xmas in Madrid with the family. Andreas will head back to Gibraltar on December 27th to meet up with the crew and prepare to leave for the Canary Islands as soon as a good weather window opens up. That should take about 4-5 days. Enzo, Anais and I will be on a flight to LA on December 28th where we'll spend 4 weeks and then head off to St. Lucia in the Caribbean.