Lately, when I look at the charts, they remind me more of blueprints after a few months on the job. No longer the representation of the unknown and the mysterious, they are there to tell me the depth of a shoal at Dogwood Point or at what angle St. Barts is from Nevis. Months ago, an unfolded chart showed glaringly white beaches with brilliant clear water, colorful houses, exotic spices and rum. Now they are more like certain parts of a building set: the foundation sheet or a window-framing detail – more so I don’t make a mistake rather than to feed my wanderlust.
While certainly not as romantic as it was, it is inevitable that the trip take shape, as a house does after it’s been framed, so I have a much clearer idea of what to expect and what is likely to happen.
If our Caribbean trip were a house I was building, it likely would be for sale: there’s little chance we are going to settle down in the Caribbean, something we could not say in November. And that’s okay, we planned it as a spec-house, but it’s nice to fantasize that maybe we’d find a small stretch of forgotten beach somewhere…
From here we are forming plans to go up the East Coast of the USA, as far as Novia Scotia and then spend the summer trickling down the coast most likely to Florida and into the Western Caribbean or to a boat broker. Perhaps that trip will be a keeper and we’ll find a place near Rhode Island or in the low county of the American South. It’s tough coming from Hawaii, though: good luck trying to find a place that compares, let alone supersedes it.
When we first started, Europe was a priority, but virtually everyone we’ve asked with that experience has said it is much better to rent a boat there, rather than bring your own. While I’m not usually one to copy others, I’m also not beyond some friendly advice. Maybe we’ll swap charters and fly there instead.
It’s staggering to know you have no idea where you’ll end-up, but it’s also part of the fun: being tossed up in the air and seeing where you land. Disconcerting if you start thinking about it, but a fun ride it you take time to look around.