And so it begins, again

December 10, 2017, 9am: We set off from Manteo, NC, for yet another adventure – this time heading for work in Florida and St. John. These are the plans Taylor and I have been looking forward to for two years now. Two years ago this time, we were setting off from Belhaven, NC for the first time on his newly purchased sailing vessel, the Wild Goose. Now, it’s extremely rewarding to be doing the same on the same boat that is nearly what we desire of it. She’s every bit of our home and I wake up amazed every day.

The weather is sharp, but refreshing. We missed the snow but received two, long, rainy days when I first arrived.

This morning we woke up on anchorage in the Pamlico Sound – no other boats in sight. It was cold, but warming up quickly with the rising sun and a forecast of 60º. In comparison to freezing rain the two days before, 60º degrees was a warm cup of coffee, especially after forgetting my coffee the day before; it cooled down to a luke warm. But, things always get better.

We had such a beautiful, pristine sail this morning, but as Zephyr will have it, our winds were (and most always are) coming from our heading. The waters were smooth, the winds between 8-12 knots, the sun beaming down, Goose gliding 6 knots. In the most humble way possible, it was perfect. But with the good comes the meh. We were sailing to far of course, so we rolled in the head sail and switched the engine on. The winds died off anyways, so it gave us the time to make a nice lunch, fish, workout, and catch up with people. I’m feeling more inspired lately to stay preoccupied with healthy habits while underway.

Although we don’t like to admit it, we’re very much on a schedule down to Florida. What I am excited about is meeting up with the Smith crew for a post Christmas Everglades trip. (10 days, 1 “Skunk Ape”)

We’ll be making a few stops on our way south.

The leg of our North Carolina trip is:
Manteo > Middleton (Gibbs Shoal) > Oriental > Morehead City > Wrightsville Beach

With an exception for Charleston, we hope to sail more offshore days than days at bay and B-line straight to the shores of Florida.

Our itinerary is influenced entirely by the weather. A gale warning is in effect from Cape Hatteras to Cape Fear late Tuesday night. We had originally set out to sail offshore to Wrightsville that night, but will be calling that off. We try to avoid being out in conditions that would make it less than pleasant: gale force winds, chilly rains, the two combined, or no wind at all (when we can afford the layover).

As of now, we’ll be arriving in Wrightsville late Wednesday night.

I’m signing off – I can’t feel my fingers anymore now that the sun has set. We’re still underway for a couple more miles and I’m lounging outside in the cockpit typing this up. Enjoy your fireplaces y’all!

In case anyone’s curious, the tools we’re using to plan our itinerary and check weather are:
Active Captain
NOAA
Windfinder
Windy

 

 

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Hurricane Season in Full Force

[note: originally drafted 9/6/2017]

Now that hurricane season is in full force across the world, and our western coast is suffering through forest fires, and many other parts of our world are suffering from some sort of “natural” disaster, it only seems appropriate to delve into environmental matters and destruction before addressing our own adventures.

First of all, we’re safe. I feel unusually safe considering what is happening within the multiple communities we’ve lived in (Colorado, St. John, the coast of Virginia). I feel extremely fortunate to be where we are, tucked away in a safe harbor in Maine, where the aftermath of Harvey only sprinkled some rain and winds on us. It feels unusual that we skirted by just about everything, leaving me initial feelings of bewilderment, sadness, helplessness, and wondering – what can I do? Part of me wishes I was there to give a helping hand and rebuild communities. Part of me wonders if our boat would have survived (after writing this, a photo of the boat we lived on in Cruz Bay, The Dream Weaver, beached in the window front of the bar I used to work at was posted on Facebook; in addition, we read a devastating list of boats that are “sunk or mashed up”). It’s devastating to hear that people’s life work, dreams, and homes have been mangled by the very reason we all choose to be there – the beauty of nature.

This is where the mantra “nature knows best how to organize” really has me thinking. Being protected from these catastrophes is an opportunity for me. Unfortunately, this mantra presents different challenges for those who are directly affected, in the eye of the storm, per say. I honestly think praying and sending positive thoughts out to others has an immense impact beyond what we can truly comprehend. But in these moments, something on the ground level insists on being done. I’m aiming to raise awareness. I’ll be taking time and meditating on how to understand the systems and draw connections between these events. I’m curious about designing resilient communities. I’m curious about what others can do for these communities from afar immediately and in the long-term projections. Without any income, unfortunately I can’t donate to every fundraiser, and without being there, unfortunately I can’t lend a hand, as many of us feel. But as a collective, we can donate small amounts, and with collaboration, we can develop organizations dedicated to island resiliency. St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, isn’t just a vacation spot, it’s home to many. It isn’t the only island either, there are thousands affected by “natural” disasters. My point is- we’re all connected, we’re all responsible and capable of creating resilience.

The most notable contributions that arise instantaneously are to donate to appropriate groups, elect appropriate leaders who acknowledge climate change, and to reach out to those in the path of destruction. Let them know we care.

Taking action

The particular group I decided to donate to is a St. John Irma Relief Fund, created by 4 residents of St. John who will distribute funds in order to deliver supplies, rebuild damaged property and provide aid to displace people and animals. [94 contributors so far]

Others are:

Love City Strong Shirts – Funds distributed to STJ small businesses/individuals  Organized by Steph Frosch. This campaign is great for those who want to support small businesses whose headquarters have taken a serious hit, get back on their concrete foundations. Buy a shirt and the proceeds go directly towards the St. John small businesses that keep the island running for all. [over 90 shirts sold, goal is 150]

The St. John Community Foundation  This organization distributes funds to many deserving organizations and efforts being established to rebuild St. John’s community.

St. John Rescue  100% of all proceed will benefit the people of STJ affected by hurricane IRMA [nearly 400 contributions made, totaling over $48,000]

Please consider making a donation to help islanders survive. #lovecitystrong

 

Addition:

Please read a friend of mine’s post about having to leave island. It’s a sad truth about the after life of living on an island that’s at the mercy of nature. St. John is strong and resilient, but they still need our (mainlanders) help.

  1. Brian Woods

    The past five days since Irma hit the Virgin Islands has been nothing short of terrifying. We lived through a nightmare that you couldn’t wake up from, and my experience was nothing compared to most everyone else on island. I was fortunate enough to get off island today with my wife, my dog, and a few close friends of ours. We literally threw as much of our possessions into a small suit case and back pack as we could possibly fit. We left everything else behind. Everything that we had built in the years we have lived in St. John we had to just walk away from without hesitation because if we hesitated we would have missed our opportunity. We left before so many other people we love had their chance to get themselves off island and to safety. Each day has become more dangerous on island because people are desperate and crime is getting worse and worse by the day. There is not enough police presence down there and something needs to be done immediately. St. John needs help! National guard, marines, army, anybody that can make St. John safe. It is a tiny island with small voices but big hearts and it is in a desperate time. I’m nobody and my words won’t reach the right people but if enough people make enough noise maybe we can get the assistance needed on island. St. John is a place like nowhere else in the world and the good people of it are as beautiful as the scenery. PLEASE HELP SPREAD THE WORD.

Where To Begin?

The most daunting thing about starting this blog is the beginning. The content will come easily – keeping you all informed on the adventures my partner, Taylor, and I are having with the Wild Goose; life aboard a tiny floating and moving home; the journey through yoga and meditation; environmental causes and concerns that interest me. But where to start?

First and foremost, I’d like to start with appreciating those who helped us set sail.

Our journey wouldn’t be possible without the knowledge and support from Ralph and Faye Smith, who generously donated endless hours of their time, invaluable purchases for the Goose, meals, supplies, and the abundant support along the way. Ralph and Faye – my gratitude is inexpressible for everything you both have done for us towards the boat, and for the unwavering selflessness I’ve been so fortunate to experience. Thank you infinitely!

To my parents, Michael and Elizabeth, I give gratitude that they have faith in the risks that I take, especially when they have no idea on earth where I am or what I’m doing. Mom and Dad – thank you for being patient and supporting, helping guide me through the life I’ve chosen. Thank you also for the numerous gifts towards my sailing adventures – they’ve already come in handy!

Special thanks to our cruising community/family in Deltaville, Virginia. Linda + Rod, Ann + Lew, Michael + Kristina, Barbara + Jack, and Larry – we had the pleasure of sharing the same dock space with each of you. Spending time with them was precious – it gave us the opportunities we needed to pull our faces out of the hull of the boat, break from the endless projects and remind us what cruising is all about. We’ll miss sharing drinks during the magic hours, grilling out, tossing a few games away, hearing about your sailing stories, and most importantly, gaining your insight. You all hold a special place in my heart as my first cruising community. Thank you for your time. A special shout out to Linda and Ann – thank you for the opportunity to teach you mediation! I’m always a phone call or email away for support. Remember – just sit and breath!

Last but not least: always, thanks to our family and friends who have shown genuine enthusiasm for our plans and alternative lifestyle – without this sort of support, sharing the adventure wouldn’t be possible.

To my closest babes – Lisa, Caty Betz, and Meredith – your support has shown through in the form of check-ins, genuine interests and concern, and commending my lifestyle. I strive to be your “badass” friend and dream of being your friend you can count on for adventures in the future. Just wait.. 

To Taylor’s family and friends – Jacques, Will, and Jared – who took the time to visit and step aboard for an overnight trip – thank you being our guests. I enjoyed your company and appreciate your bravery!

Until the day I can pay it forward, I thank each of you with every ounce of my heart.

 

Check back soon for the next post on “Hurricane Season in Full Force” and “Virginia to Maine”