We did it! Happy Times docked this afternoon at Sunset Bay Marina, our new home in Stuart, Florida. Our arrival marks the end of our circumnavigation of the Caribbean— two-and-a-half years and 8,247 nautical miles after we began.
Mike and I left Rio Dulce, Guatemala, in late May. The three-week trip back to the USA seemed odd without Mikayla, our winsome daughter and valued crew member. She came up with the idea of making the circle through the islands of the eastern Caribbean, south to South America, across the isthmus of Panama and the countries of the western Caribbean. Unfortunately, cruising teens were as rare as whale sightings on our voyage and social media could not diminish the distance between Happy Times’s various ports of call and Atlanta, our hometown. Living 24/7 with the parental units also became wearisome for Mikayla, so she decided to stay with her friend Gina until we returned.
Spending time together alone is a new concept for Mike and me. Not since Mikayla was born 16 years ago have we had this much time. Together. Alone. It’s something we must become accustomed to, because in only two years Mikayla will take off for college and a new life miles away. Perhaps during our time as CLODs — Cruisers Living on a Dock — we can figure out what’s next.
Today, though, we celebrate! We thank God for our safe return and we’re grateful for the people who covered us in prayers, especially my sister Sharon’s prayer circle. We acknowledge Rev. John Strickland of Atlanta Unity Church who often uses Happy Times and our voyage as an example of people who live their dreams.
We especially appreciate all the cruisers we met on our travels. There is no other community like the cruising community. Whether one needs a boat part, advice on anchoring, the location of the best wifi, or any kind of support in a tight spot, a cruiser — or more likely half a dozen — will help. There simply is nothing that one cruiser won’t do for another.
I hated for this to come to an end, but think your land adventures will be as interesting. You have opened your lives to people and new cultures, learning to use flexibility. Vays Von Dios.
Thanks for your kind words of encouragement. Of course, your travels have always inspired me.
I have LOVED keeping up with you!!! As much as we have traveled, can’t imagine living in that close quarters for 2 1/2 years!!! Hope you are as happy being in port as you have been out!!! Thank you for letting us have a peek!!! Carol Weston
Thanks, Carol! Being in close quarters puts a new spin on stuff: how to manage it, how to get rid of it, how to resist more. We’ll see how we work it out over the next two years.
Hi and Congratulations on your completion and Welcome Back to the land of “stuff” Sea Star, Dan and Kathy are in Titusville at Titusville Municipal Marina cell 3216342331 I don’t think Stuart is too far by road.So- what’s next for you? We may go to Bahamas again after hurricane season but not sure at all. Got back from Europe end of July, and just became grandparents. Lucia, a little girl, was born in Massachusetts and we returned tonight from our 3 week visit.You probably need to sleep? Our trip back last November was tuff! Hi to Mikayla. Kathy Chevalier
Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2013 17:07:49 +0000 To: email@example.com
Hi! Great hearing from you. It’s a long way from Copan, isn’t it? I’ll send you an email with an update.
hey cuz–welcome back to semi-dry land from the mid-west! you sure have an interesting two years ahead. best of luck on the adjustment