After months of preparation, the time has come to set sail for the British Virgin Islands. I'm not sure it's possible to put into words the range of emotions felt by all of the crew, but we'll give it a go.
For Joe and I, BVI is where our dream started, following a vacation to Tortola. (Read 'The Journey Begins...Sailing?’ for more) In 2015, I made this vision board that now hangs in our stateroom on Kuma Too. This is literally a dream come true for us. However, with all the boat projects plus a 10-day charter over New Year's, we’ve been feeling our share of stress and anxiety. There was no time for reflection in the days leading up to departure. When I say 'boat projects’, don't get the wrong idea; Kuma Too is in great condition and is capable of carrying us safely to the BVI without any of the projects we completed. Nonetheless, there were upgrades that we wanted before the 1700 nautical mile journey. By January 7, departure day, we STILL had tasks to complete, such as last minute provisioning, administrative work, maintenance checks, and refueling. The morning was a whirlwind preparing everyones’ staterooms and cleaning up tools from the day before. Joe was running on fumes and the weight of the remaining maintenance checks was falling to him because of our timeline. I got hit with a slue of emotions when we got to Kuma Too, as our crew plus my mom were waiting for us, and I teared up hugging everyone. Excitement took over as we settled in and others helped where they could.
The first to sign on as crew, without hesitation, was Dave. Dave is our best friend who got us into sailing (read about his part in our dream here). He shares that he is cautiously optimistic and excited, but also a little stressed out. Being a manager, his job demands attention. He is also expecting a child in few months, so staying in communication is priority for him. He still can't wait to take on this passage; it'll be his most challenging yet.
Next confirmed crew were husband and wife travel team, Ryan and Melissa. We traveled through Ecuador and Peru last year for a month with Ryan and Mel and knew we wanted them along for this adventure!
Ryan shares, "Before meeting Joe and Mandy, I never imagined I'd have the opportunity to join an adventure quite like this one. There aren't many things in this world representative of freedom and letting go quite like a long sailing journey.
As a child of the 20th century, I've been connected to the world for my entire adult life. Even before the days of constant attachment via internet and cell phones, I still read a paper or saw the news on a daily basis. I'm fascinated and exhilarated by the idea of being utterly disconnected from the world for two full weeks.
This feeling is further amplified by the fact that, like Joe and Mandy, I'm also a business owner. This trip means putting a huge amount of trust in others to keep everything running smoothly and knowing that if something comes up there's nothing I can do. I feel good about my preparations, but I imagine it will still take a couple of days to adjust once we are under way."
With enthusiasm Melissa contributes, "Every one of my family members told me I was crazy for wanting to do this journey. I have inherited the motion sickness gene from this same family, so I understood their hesitation. However, I was just excited, and medicated. Personally, I can’t wait to see the stars. I have always had a love of the sky, and this opportunity will be the first time I will actually see the stars crest the horizon, and I’m sure see constellations I never knew existed. I would never do this passage without a crew full of professionals, as I am probably the least experienced of the bunch."
Our last, and most vibrant crew member, is Smokey. Smokey is a long time friend of Dave's, and a great sailor. Smokey adds that he’s been thinking about this passage for two years. Now that it’s here, he is so excited for the many milestones that we are about to experience. “Let the adventure begin.”
As we untied the lines, I shouted 'Bye, Dunedin! See you in 2 months!’ That was truly the moment when it settled in - another dream is within an arm's reach of achievement! To learn about charters on board Kuma Too, visit www.SailingKumaToo.com
Until next week, Happy Sailing!