For the past 10 months, VOYAGEUR 10.10 has carried us from the distilleries of Scotland in the summer, beyond the sand caves of the Algarve in the Fall, to the Pitons of St Lucia in the winter and onto where we are today - Colon, Panama; awaiting our transit through the Canal.
The Panama Canal, being the physical link between two of Earth’s Great Oceans, is the perfect time and place to reflect on our voyages so far. With over 27,000 miles under our keel, we are maintaining an aggressive schedule. While weather windows and optimal cruising routes/times can limit the destinations, we embrace the challenge.
Like many people in their 50’s, we, up till now, had never ventured all that far in the world. So it’s time to do so. Passage making is not easy. That is not to say it is unpleasant. It just takes energy. The vessel must be in tip top shape, the physical needs for survival must be stowed and accessible. The trip must be pre-planned; bearing in mind favourable times/routes, tides, current, weather factors, and alternative safe havens “just-in-case”. For us, who do this frequently, arriving at the new destination is well worth the physical, mental and emotional energy we put out.
Every new country, island, port, or anchorage has its own charm. As we are not living in these places for very long, we see or seek its beauty and uniqueness. By hiking, kayaking or taking taxis and public transport, we get a glimpse of life there. We often hear ourselves saying, “This is the nicest “___(blank)_____” that I’ve ever seen!”This “blank” could be filled by people, places or things that exist in this awesome part of the world. While there, we familiarise ourselves with its surroundings; relax and immerse ourselves in its extraordinary cultures or its boundless natural beauty. We can feel ourselves becoming comfortable and satisfied to stay a day or two longer.... However, these days could lead to weeks, months ... leaving miles of seas untraveled.
For some, the word “cruising” suggests “traveling at a leisurely pace”. So maybe we aren’t “cruisers”. If not, what are we? ...Fast trackers? ...Adrenaline Junkies?....who knows? Every cruiser sets his/her own pace. Each of us embraces the challenges of passage making at a frequency that will help us realise our dreams and desires.
For now, there is a lot of world left for us to explore.