I went to the BVI with 5 rough goals in mind, but came back with so much more!

We went to the BVI for about 5 different reasons but came back with so much more….

We went to the BVI for about 5 different reasons (goals), but came back with much more than we expected.

1.  We wanted to spend time with our friends on a boat–  Done, we had a great time and they’re still speaking to us!  This is a success in my book and showed me that one of the earlier posts I wrote is spot on.  You’ve GOT to take the time to think through bareboating crew and who will work well with your family and your other friends, that mesh of personalities is really important for a vacation stuck on a small boat.  Here’s one of the posts I wrote about the same subject: http://livefree2travelslow.com/2018/04/13/who-to-take-on-a-charter-with-you/

2. We wanted to take the kids on an active vacation to show them somewhere we might go on our own boat and orient them to at least a week on the water–  I know this one might sound weird like a “Duh” moment,,,but it’s not.  We’ve spent lots of time on our boats with our kids,,,,but hanging at the dock and local sailing isn’t the same as getting on a sailboat in the Caribbean and taking off for a week or two for places unknown (to them).  Add all the sand, saltwater and sunburn they can handle and a bunch of rowdy adults,,,,and there’s a difference from our home waters.  Like we knew they would,,,the kids managed to find fun EVERYWHERE and get time with Mom and Dad! Seeing them on the beaches and in the water was the best, their wonderment paid for the entire trip!  Both girls snorkeled in open water from the dinghy and both decided they could snorkel and free dive without floaties, getting at least 6 feet under while looking at fishies and asserting their independence.  This is exactly what we wanted.  We’ve seen a growing self-confidence in the kids during and because of this trip-  their adaptability, flexibility and understanding of other cultures increased and has given us confidence that they’ll be ok on our own boat during an extended trip.  And,,,,seeing my girls watch a large live barracuda for the first time (like,,,,not at Seaworld) was pretty cool too! There’s a difference between seeing a barracuda at Seaworld and snorkeling around one that’s hanging under your boat!

3. I wanted experience on a catamaran– Done.  We sailed a 2018 cat that I’ll review in another post.  She was VERY comfortable but we didn’t have enough consistent winds to put her through really good sailing like I wanted.  We got her to 7-knots in perfect conditions, but I would have liked more sail area and more consistent speeds.  However, for using the cat for 8 days straight loaded with gear for 8 people and covering 6 different islands in the BVI, we only used 21 gallons of diesel and actually tried to sail as much as we could.  Not bad.  I’ll cover this in one of my other posts.

4. Retirement Present– It was a great retirement present and we all got to sail, play on the beaches and clear salt water (I like to be able to see where I’m swimming).  I was able to relax and have time to read one of the books I’ve been looking forward to, “Swell” by Captain Liz Clark and get into some magazines I’ve been wanting to slow down and read carefully.   I also had time to do,,,,,nothing and loved it.

5. See the BVI for ourselves– We wanted to visit the BVI post-Irma and see things for ourselves.  Irma was the largest hurricane to ever hit the BVI in recorded history!  And I saw things I’ve read about on other blogs, but actually visiting and seeing Puerto Rico and the BVI made me stare reality and broken dreams in the face.  It was sobering and poignant.  I’ll get to this in other posts.  The best thing we saw in the BVI was recovery and resiliency in the face of great adversity suffered and the fact that despite being bruised by Irma, the PEOPLE of the BVI have come through with a strong desire to rebuild.  Their warmth was on display for us, our kids and our friends most everywhere we went and I’m so thankful to have been able to play and stay in their island home for my vacation.

I loved being on vacation with the friends we went with and my family, but came back with a renewed sense of purpose.  I want to go cruising with my family on our own boat.  I want to get through the next few months of massive family upheaval and change with as little drama and stress as possible so we can move into the next chapter of our lives, so we’re doing it!

For now, we’re back and looking forward to the near future.  LF2SF as a family has a lot coming up in the next few months.  This weekend and today we get to make decisions on what goes into long-term storage, what goes to the boat and what follows me and the kids to our tiny rental house?   Lots coming up,,,,,we’re moving soon (like starting tomorrow) as the house is in escrow, I’ll move the family and the dog onto the boat full-time.

LF2SF in Cane Garden Bay, BVI!!

4 Responses

  1. Mmmm, Cane Garden Bay is one of my favorites to visit. Waking up on the water with the roosters’ morning song still lingers my memory.
    We moved from a large house to an 800sf apartment then onto our 42ft boat. Taking these incremental downsizing steps reduced our stress tremendously. We currently have a small storage unit that holds camping gear, a few sails, and a few tubs of personal belongings – we will relocate these before we take off next Spring. Letting go of the unneeded ‘stuff’ is liberating, freeing, and ever so eye-opening with what you can live without, to say the least. As a live-aboard, I’m enjoying the daily reminder of my minimal needs. Enjoy going through your ‘stuff’ and also enjoy letting it go.

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