04 - Puerto Rico to Maine

Shopping Guide to the Eastern Caribbean

Being the bargain hunter that my mother trained me to be, I spent considerable time comparing prices between the various Leeward and Windward islands. My price list was born after I sent 20 postcards from Guadeloupe, thinking it would be the cheaper option, only to find that I would have paid a fraction of the postage in Dominica (and gotten more interesting stamps than good old Miss Liberte).

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The final postcard arrives...

The probably last postcard from our trip finally arrived... it was sent on April 15 this year from Anguilla and arrived at the house of Nana's mother this past week!

We remember sending the postcard because we weren't quite sure if the slot we slid it into was just a hole in somebody's wall or indeed (as the locals claimed) a mailbox. Once again, the locals were right...

Cruising with a Child on a Sailboat

When we began planning our trip in earnest, a big concern of ours was our son: how would Nicky handle life on Namani? How would we handle life with him in such a small space, and away from normal sources of child entertainment like kindergarden and his friends? Now that we have finished a year of sailing, we are glowing in our memories and our accomplishment as a family. We had a fantastic year, and are so glad we did it together and at this stage in our lives.

Our year on Namani in summary

We're back in the fatherland now and slowly transitioning again into land-locked life... There are a few items which we still have on our list to post here as some kind of a "wrap-up"; here's the first installment - our year aboard Namani in summary (in somewaht random order...):

10,268 sea miles
360 nights aboard Namani
70 nights at sea
19 countries visited

4 broken toes (3 within first 10 days, 1 towards the end)

Laying Up Namani

It is strange to be winterizing our boat in July while other sailors are just launching, and very sad to see Namani out of the water. The end of our adventure, at least this one. I am trying to get motivated for the "adventure" of heading back to work and "real life". Wasn't what we just had real life, too? A really good life, that's for sure.

The last post from aboard Namani (for now)

As I will have to disconnect our SSB antenna (read: insulated backstay) tomorrow in preparation for unstepping Namani's mast, this will likely be the last blog post from aboard Namani (at least for this trip - more wrap-up to follow once we're land-locked again). We had nice afternoon sail last Thursday up to Yarmouth on the Royal River where we are now tied up at the Yankee Boatyard (again a very likeable family business).

Passing the Torch?

We have had a busy two weeks in Maine so far - mostly with family and friends. We have delayed and delayed hauling Namani out and instead spent our time doing short, fun harbor sails with cousins, guests, nieces, nephews, uncles from age 4 to 72. Portland harbor is a beautiful place with stone 1800's forts, and the near islands of Casco Bay are our home waters, the place where I learned to sail.

An addition to our top-10 list of favorite anchorges

After two days on Peaks Island we used the nice weather today for a sail a little further north and are now anchored off Snow Island in Casco Bay. It's very beautiful and quiet up here - definitely among the the nicest places we have dropped the hook in. There is a group of 12 seals hanging out on a rock that's awash at low tide about 30 meters from our boat.


We rounded Portland Head light at about 1600 yesterday afternoon and tied up in Portland shortly after that. The fog stayed with us for most of the day and around 1400 the National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for parts of SW Maine. Luckily, the band of thunderstorms kept moving NE just ahead of us and we just got some peripheral rain and wind. So we did get our picture in front of Portland Head light in the end - maybe in more "Maine-like" weather than we had hoped for...