• close family • small boat • big world •

Boat Kid Puts on Shoes

by Cash 
On Land, Arlington, Virginia

Three years ago today (October 18), we left the marina we were living at and traveled for 30 minutes to another marina. This short passage was the beginning of our cruising life.

Now, almost three years later, we have returned to land and have been living here for a couple of months now.  I figured that our cruising anniversary was a good time to share the video I created of us making the actual transition to land: moving from our boat into our house.

I hope you enjoyed the video!
It's certainly a big change for us, and more profound thoughts on the subject are coming soon.

An Island is Coming

by Nicole and Paula
Tracy's Landing, Maryland

It was just another normal cruising day in Suriname. But it was Sunday, so the square in the normally sleepy little town of Domburg was filled with loud music and people.

We were moored in the Suriname river just off the Marina Suriname, and spending our Sunday getting caught up on schoolwork.
The River Breeze at Suriname Marina is fantastic!

A pool and floating docks - it was like a miracle after the places we had just been!
Cruising sailor Gaby spent some time
managing the Suriname Marina.

We were all down below in Daystar when we heard Gaby, the manager of the marina, calling to us from his dinghy outside our boat. Gaby, a hardworking and energetic Dutch guy, did a great job taking care of Marina Suriname. If he showed up outside Daystar, then it was important.

We all went up to the cockpit to see what he wanted, and he said, "An island is coming."


We were very confused, but we soon found out what he was talking about. Watch this video to find out:

Get a Haircut, and Get a Real Job

by Cash 
Herrington Harbour Marina, Tracy's Landing, Maryland

As one cruising season ends and another begins, we are not the only ones returning to land. We know a lot of people that are ending their adventure at the same time we are. So I dedicate this song I recorded to those cruisers, the ones that have to leave their boats and return to work.

This is a cover of George Thorogood's "Get a Haircut". I recorded the vocals, guitar, and bass parts myself, and used digital instruments for the drums and background instruments. In Spanish Wells, Eleuthera, an island in the Bahamas, my family helped me film a video on a dock there.

The camera crew, along with two music stands functioning as tripods


by Paula
Herrington Harbour Marina, Tracy's Landing, Maryland

No creepy guy rowed up to our boat in the middle of the ocean (a la the film Dead Calm), but we did have a few hitchhikers join us for brief periods while underway.

This pelican settled comfortably on our mizzen-boom while we were coming down the ICW in January of 2014 and stayed for a while, enjoying the ride.

We were delighted with a lovely performance by this bird who perched high atop our mainmast spreader and sang all morning while we were in the Frederika River in Georgia.

Our memory is a bit foggy on this one, but we know this little shrimp appeared somewhere he was not supposed to be way back in April of 2014 while we were in Dinner Key in Miami.

The Long Haul

by Paula 
Spanish Wells, Eleuthera, The Bahamas

Cash is always looking forward to exploring the next destination.
We've all heard the maxim: it's not the destination, but the journey that counts. A great thought, yes, but sometimes you hope the journey is short and sweet so you can get to that destination. The Caribbean is such a popular place to sail for that reason exactly -- one can arrive at an amazing destination with a journey that is fairly painless. Most passages between anchorages or islands can be sailed in a day, some even in just a few hours.

Nothing but blue as far as the eye can see, sometimes for days.

There are some places out there, though, that are worth biting off a much longer sail. The countries of Guyana and Suriname were definitely two of them. Taking off from Tobago, it took three days to reach Guyana, and the trip from Guyana to Suriname was another three-day passage. Our return from Suriname all the way to Martinique was a four-day sail, and the passage from BoquerĂ³n in Puerto Rico to Great Inagua in the Bahamas was also three full days of sailing. When we cruised in 1999, Greg and I made a seven-day passage from Antigua to Bermuda and then an eight-day passage from Bermuda to Nova Scotia.

Life on a moving sailboat is far, far different from life when sitting still in port. And even more so

Leaving Our Mark

by Paula
Nassau, Bahamas

Battling mosquitoes with each step past low shrubs and craggy limestone, we made our way up Boo Boo Hill. This well-known spot on Warderick Wells shares the cay with the small headquarters building of the Exuma Land and Sea Park. This low rise was named for the sailors who were shipwrecked here. Legend has it that their ghostly singing can be heard on a still night. At the crest of this small hill lies a large pile of driftwood and other objects, adorned with visiting boat names. Just like the first time we visited, we were ready to leave our mark.

In the beautiful scenery and pristine waters through which we've traveled, we have practiced the "take only photographs, leave only footprints" adage. However, in a few spots, we've had the chance to leave a little bit our ourselves behind.

At JR's Bistro in the Dominican Republic, Nicole drew our logo on the signing wall where we spent many an evening during the hurricane season.

When we sailed through in 2013, Greg carved Daystar’s name onto a piece of fan coral he found on the eastern side of the cay using a piece of sea-glass. We added it to the pile amidst the other mementos on Boo Boo Hill.

Ash, Ash, and More Ash

by Nicole
At anchor, Staniel Cay, The Bahamas

Touring the ruins in Montserrat was a completely new experience.  We had seen many ruins before, but nothing quite like this.  On July 18, 1995 the dormant Soufriere Hills volcano became active, exploding and destroying the capitol city of Plymouth.  From that time until 2000, nearly two-thirds of the island's population fled, mostly going to the United Kingdom.  You can find out more about the island here.  The volcano has been relatively quiet since early 2010, but it is still studied closely.  It is the most studied volcano in the world and it is known as, "Modern Day Pompeii."  There is an exclusion zone around most of Plymouth, which means that no one can enter that area.  Montserrat Springs Hotel is located just at the edge of the Exclusion zone.  Until recently,

The Emerald Island of the Caribbean

by Paula
At anchor, Matthew Town, Great Inagua, The Bahamas

I hate it when the bathtub gets filled with volcanic ash.
The Irish don't normally spring to mind when thinking of the Caribbean, but in Montserrat, the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean, they are a major part of its history.

In 1493 Columbus passed by this tiny island, naming it after the Montserrat Abby in Spain, and the first settlement of Europeans didn't happen until 1632. A group of persecuted Irish Catholics were forced to leave nearby Nevis, and they settled in Montserrat where they could freely practice their religion. In 1651 an Irish trader brought African slaves to the island, though they did not become the largest group until the early 1700s when sugar plantations began to thrive. The Irish continued to constitute the largest portion of the white population well into the 18th century, many of whom were brought to the country as indentured laborers. Evidence indicates the Irish language was spoken by both white and black residents well into the nineteenth century. To honor an unsuccessful slave revolt that occurred on March 17, 1768, as well as the Irish heritage of much of the population, the people of Montserrat celebrate St. Patrick's Day as a public holiday. Crowds from all over the Caribbean come to celebrate this major celebration that is unique among these islands.

We didn't manage to be here for St. Patrick's day, so these photos were found on the internet.

The Police recording "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic"
In 1979 George Martin (most famed for producing the Beatles albums) built the AIR Studios Montserrat recording studio here, offering state-of-the-art technical facilities in an exotic location. Montserrat became a very exclusive and private holiday destination. Those of us of a certain age might remember The Police's video of their song "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic," which starred some adorable kids and steel drum musicians along with the band - it was recorded in Montserrat. Other stars who came to relax and record included Dire Straits, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Duran Duran, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Lou Reed, The Rolling Stones, and Eric Clapton.

After a decade of recording, AIR Studios was reduced to rubble when, in 1989, Hurricane Hugo hit Montserrat. Devastating 165 mph winds damaged or destroyed 95% of all buildings on the island, 20-foot waves demolished the