THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.
What determines our long term planning? Four things:
-Vessel insurance requires us to be North of 30.5° between July 15th and November 1st to avoid hurricane season.
-Health insurance requires us to be outside of the USA for at least 6 month out of the year. Health care costs in the States are so high! This will only be a problem for us this year, as after that we don’t have plans to bring the boat back to the US again until the end of our circumnavigation.
-Weather patterns dictate where we can go and when. There are typical times to do any major passage, and we consult World Cruising Routes by Jimmy Cornell to plan those passages. For example, you can look up the section “Routes from Canary Islands”, and it will show you a map with several passage options. Once you pick your destination, it’ll give you the best course to take and when to take it.
-Customs and immigration of certain countries determine how long we can stay there. For example, due to new immigration laws in the Schengen Area of Europe, we would be limited to 3 months without a visa.
Our US clock is ticking! We cleared into the states on January 20th, 2015. IF (that’s a big if) we leave for the Bahamas on June 1st, we will have spent 132 days in the States. That means we have about 48 days we can spend on the East Coast. Unfortunately our hurricane season is 109 days long – July 15 to November 1.
What’s a boat to do? Well, we want to spend a good chunk of time in Maine. We would also like to stop a few times between Chesapeake and Maine to explore harbors like Boston or NYC. To pause the US clock, we will head to Nova Scotia before Maine for mid-hurricane season, and head to Bermuda for late hurricane season.
Once we pass November 1st, we will aim for Tortola in the BVIs to kick off the cruising season. Bermuda is a great jump off point for a passage to Tortola. From there, we will travel down the islands and aim for the Panama Canal in Spring 2016. From there we get even more vague with our plans. Which way will we go to get around Africa? We don’t know! You’ll have to stay tuned and find out!