Route Planning

One Year Left: Plans for 2020

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Years of planning, outfitting, and cruising around the world will come to a finale in less than one year.  That year is going to go by so fast, and before you know it, we will be in the Caribbean, crossing our wake.  We are estimating to be there in April of 2020.

As the date approaches, we are getting asked more and more often – what’s next?  After the daily mundanities of cruising life (weather windows, provisioning, etc) it’s become our biggest topic to talk about.  Here’s our (current) answer.

2020: Cruising to Cross Our Wake

Read our 2019 plans: crossing the Indian Ocean

We will start 2020 in South Africa.  Since we hope to cross our wake in the Caribbean in April, we have a lot of ground to cover.  Probable stops include Saint Helena, Ascension, Brazil, and Tobago.  The exact when and where of crossing our wake is still TBD.

Starry Horizons Will Not Be For Sale in 2020

One thing we can agree on is that we aren’t ready to give up cruising yet.  My biggest fear in selling our beautiful boat is that within months (or days!) of signing the papers, we might regret it.  We’ve invested so much time and money into Starry Horizons, it would be a shame to sell her only to decide a few months down the line that we still want to cruise.

We Will Take a Break From Cruising

We are currently looking for a place to store Starry Horizons for hurricane season in 2020. We’ve narrowed our options down to a few yards in Rhode Island where we can leave Starry Horizons on the hard for the summer season.

David and I will return to Texas for a long visit.  The last time we were in Texas for more than two weeks at a time will have been three and a half years prior.  Ten-day visits home are great for doing the essentials (splitting our time between Houston and Dallas with our families) but it does not get us time to relax, recuperate from boat life, and see everyone we want to.

Our biggest priority will be finishing our videos. Right now we are seven months behind.  David and I both work on videos all the time, with David doing at least 15-20 hours a week of video production.  We’d love to power through the videos and finish the story of our circumnavigation.

Undoubtedly we will do some other travel too, definitely in the states visiting family, but also perhaps some international trips – maybe even sailing ones!  We have a few ideas in the works.

Then, we hope to drive back to Starry Horizons during a leisurely road trip; who knows, we may even get to stop at the Annapolis Boat Show?

Another Cruising Season

We will at least do one more cruising season.  We’d like to spend some time cruising without the pressures the last few years have had.  Our video production will decline (or stop altogether) and we will choose a short-term route with less pressure on us.  Despite taking a fairly moderately paced route for our circumnavigation, we’ve still felt rushed everywhere.  There’s seasonality, tradewinds, and thousands of stops to be made in a circumnavigation, so time always seems too short.

What will we spend our one additional cruising season doing?  Here are a few thoughts we’ve had.

Bahamas

Cruising the Bahamas for a season has a lot of benefits; we will be close to home*, easier anchorages*, English-speaking, good provisioning*, and truly beautiful.  Our friends Frank and Mary Grace spent an entire season in the Bahamas, never running out of islands to visit and things to do.  We did cruise the Bahamas for three weeks – and barely scratched the surface.  We didn’t see the swimming pigs or Thunderball Grotto!

*It’s all relative.  Some people may find these things less than satisfactory but with a year cruising South East Asia and the Indian Ocean, the Bahamas is a cakewalk.

Cross the Atlantic and Cruise the Mediterranean

Most private Fountaine Pajots seem to swing a left when they hit the Strait of Gibraltar and head to the Mediterranean.  This didn’t hold a lot of appeal to me initially, but thanks to the network of cruisers we’ve been following (especially Lady Rosyln in IG) we can see that the Mediterranean has some truly stunning places and would be worth the visit.

The downside for cruising the Mediterranean is the weather and visas.  Bookended by two Atlantic crossings, cruisers who are interested in cruising the Mediterranean for one season typically spend the summers in the Mediterranean.  Seasonality in the weather often nails sailors with tough blows, and safe harbors and conservative sailing is necessary.  In addition, as US citizens, we only get 90-day visas to use over 180 days into the Schengen area.  Essentially, this cuts the cruising season in half for Schengen areas, and after our Schengen time is up, we would be limited to countries like Croatia, Turkey, and Tunisia (all are reputed the be excellent cruising grounds).

North Pacific Loop

A route that’s always been intriguing, we have more and more friends who are doing the North Pacific Loop.  There are several routes you could take, but the general gist is to go from the South Pacific up to Japan (via Micronesia and/or Guam) before crossing up to Alaska and working our way down the west coast of the United States.

What intrigues us about this route is the combination of our most favorite cruising ground – the South Pacific – and exotic locales off the main cruising routes.  To close the loop, we’d sail down through Mexico, stopping in the Sea of Cortez, another stellar cruising ground we’ve missed.  The negative aspects are that we would once again be pitting ourselves against the clock; it’s a lot of ground to cover in a short amount of time (one year).

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Escaped the Alaskan summer heat! LeConte Glacier, the southern most tidewater glacier in the northern hemisphere. #seenomaden.at #leconteglacier #tidewaterglacier #icebergs #cruisingalaska #boatlife #liveaboard

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What’s Your Vote?

What do you think we should do after completing our circumnavigation?

37 Comments

  1. I will be so sad when you guys stop posting videos! I love your perspective and intelligent advice. The Med. SV Ruby Rose has shown the attributes of cruising the Mediterranean.

  2. So many choices – I think I’m leaning towards the Med?! No matter where in the world you go next, I’ll try and be there 🙂 Can’t wait to see you in the spring!

  3. Thanks again for the update. Lots more exciting stops ahead. Definitely excited to hear you will be back (for a while) next year. We did a Med Cruise (others steered and we relaxed) years ago and it’s still our best vacation yet. And Turkey , Croatia, Israel etc would be great places too. Be safe!

  4. Please, please do not sell SH. Our 7 months on land was really a disappointment. The Med is a wonderful voyage from the Leewards with a nice stop in Bermuda and another stop in the beautiful Azores.
    You guys are such an inspiration for Mary Grace and me.

  5. If you do the Mediterranean, I am sure Uncle Tahar and his family would love to meet you! (Communications could be a bit iffy if Tahar isn’t there to translate). If you do the inside passage, maybe we could convince Dad to share a part of it? That is still one of my favorite places in the world.

  6. Amy, you and David are amazing. Thanks for sharing your fantastic adventure with grace, intelligence and wonderful hospitality. You’ve also shown how fast time flies and how to make the most of it. Following five years, so far, of your circumnavigation of this planet has been a hoot to follow. Thanks for this wonderful update!

  7. You should be very proud of what you have achieved. A lot of the South Atlantic islands are not all that exciting compared to the Caribbean, but the people of these islands are remote and very welcoming eg ‘Edinburgh of the Seven Seas’. However there is only so much you can do.
    May be start a cottage farm raise some goats, sheep cow, grow fruit trees etc, all exotic breads and plant varieties. Preserve food, make speciality cheeses. Take on back packers and other short term home stay people to help out. Sell produce at local markets. If it all works out maybe with some luck, become the worlds best mum and dad, and build/ or restore a yacht( Cat) in the back yard. Dream and love life and each other. Thanks for sharing you life with us all, that was also courageous and a great contribution to many of us.

    1. Thank you Colin. We are lucky to have a lot of opportunities and to have met so many amazing people along our travels!

  8. Well my vote would be to go to the Med!! However I have to say I’m a little put out that there was no mention of the Canadian coast if you came down from Alaska! Which I know you would enjoy tremendously! Some amazing sights to see on the inside passage and gulf islands, but hey that’s home for me so I know how spectacular it is. In fact we will be on a Bavarian 43 third week of July!! Happy Sailing ⛵️

    1. Friends of ours just arrived in Alaska after sailing from Osaka, all part of the North Pacific loop. I’ve heard very many good things about the PNW, will be watching as they sail down the coast. David’s extended family is up in Seattle, so we’re pretty familiar with the area.

  9. I am sorry to hear that the story of Starry Horizons may be coming to an end. Yours has been one of my favorite sailing vlogs and I have followed your adventures since the beginning, and wow have your videos improved from those early ones! My suggestion is none of the above. Go back around again, and take your time. Put Starry Horizons up on the hard in the off season for that part of the world, out of the way of danger and go home. Family is important, and so is spending time with them, so do it, but don’t give up cruising, there is so much more to see. And for my own selfish sake, I hope you keep making videos!

  10. Living vicariously through you! Check out Hartges Yacht Yard in Galesville, MD. Close to Annapolis (supplies), DC and also BWI airport. Fair winds!

  11. I vote “all of the above!” They are all ideas ai like and could never choose just one. Is there any reason you have to choose? Given enough years, couldn’t you do all of them eventually?

  12. Hi Amy and David,
    Great post. Thanks for keeping us all updated. I would recommend skipping Ascension and instead go from St Helena (which we loved) to Fernando de Noronha, Brazil. We went to Ascension and frankly there is little to recommend that stop. Glad that all is well with you. We are home in Maine for the summer. With plans to go back to the Caribbean in the fall. Hugs, Sari

    1. Thanks Sari! We will keep that in mind. We are very much looking forward to stopping at both, but if time doesn’t permit, then we will probably pass on Ascension.

  13. How about 2-3 years of Canada’s pacific with winters in Hawaii? The gulf islands in B.C. are fantastic for cruising. Run up to Alaska one season, do The north coast of B.C. the next and then go from bc slowly down the coast to Mexico. Every fall jump over to Hawaii. It worked for Captin George Vancouver

    1. You know, I’ve never been north of Seattle on the west coast, but I hear a lot about it and it looks lovely. I’m not sure we have much of a desire to sail to Hawaii again…much rather do some of the foreign pacific islands.

  14. I think the Mediterranean would be denser in history/architecture/facilities, and be easier to get to, then stop/start segments at your leisure, with out the rush of a deadline if you take the 90 day Schegen limit out of the equation. SV Trifecta, a Saona 47, figured out how to work through the 90 day limit and is sailing with a one-year renewable visa. They’re from California. Here’s their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/griswold.

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