Thursday, November 13, 2008

We Made it

Kyle lowers the Q flag (used until we clear customs and immigration) and hoists the Antigua & Barbuda Courtesy Flag - officially marking our arrival

[Maryanne]I'm not really sure how I feel. Arriving somewhere (anywhere) after a few days at sea is not exactly like arriving on a plane for your vacation/holiday in the tropics. You don't throw your suitcase on the hotel bed and get out to explore - there are immediate chores to do, sleep to catch up with, and eventually even emails and blogs :-). I suspect it takes several days to really feel that you are on holiday. I'm not sure I'm ready to recommend it. I'll let you know in a few days.

We have been overwhelmed by the emails and blog comments from friends, family and fellow boaters that have clearly been following our progress, and this has given us a wonderful feeling of warmth and community. We don't feel as though we are taking our travels alone at all. Thanks for all of you who commented in any way. We were really glad (and surprised) to know the communications we put in place were both working, and used by so many.

We posted daily position reports on Yotreps, along with a small text update (a yotreps postcard), We also posted a couple of blog updates from off shore, and emails so our immediate family knew we were making progress. We did this using our Satellite phone. We also were able to receive regular weather updates from NOAA (using Sailnet email subscription system); getting a text weather report, and a GRIB file - all these made us feel that we knew what to expect from the weather and the day(s) ahead. We were glad that these communication systems never failed us, even if the weather forecasts weren't always as accurate as we would have liked.

We had several really scary moments on the journey. Kyle's climb of the mast was not a success. The genoa (head sail) coming unfurled in the storm and it's subsequent recovery, and of course, the worst, the forestay disconnecting. We were lucky it disconnected at the base of the stay, and that it was furled, and that we were in calm weather at the time. All these problems we resolved, and I guess they add to our salty-ness as sailors. We also had some wonderful and fun moments too: Sunsets and sunrises, dolphins, sun sights, reading, flying fish landing on the boat, and just hanging out with the man I love.

And of course the world did not stop without us. There were birthdays, "Fireworks Night", and the big election. We were ecstatic to hear of the Obama win, and are looking forward to catching his acceptance speech and hopefully see a new order to civilization where America is once again seen as friend to the world. Thanks to everyone who shared their own emotions on the news; these were great emails to receive on our arrival.

For now, we take a few days rest before exploring our new found paradise. Here are pictures from the bay where Footprint is anchored - not too bad eh? (you can click on any of the pictures to enlarge them and see more details).

Finally - you may notice the new map of our position over on the side bar - well this is thanks to a fellow Gemini owner and blogger, Scott. He is a bit of a wiz with technology and did this after following our route for a while. Thanks Scott


NautiG said...

Congratulations! I'll never be as salty as you guys are.

Thanks for adding the widget I wrote to your blog. It looks a little large for the sidebar on your blog. I wrote some instructions on my blog for scaling the map. I also wrote some code for a smaller map which you can probably just copy and paste to replace what you have now.

Cold and rainy in Virginia today. Wish I was down there with you.

Anonymous said...

Well, a huge Congratulations to both of you. I am still in awe of you and admit sheepishly that your adventures leave me (yes, even me) a bit speechless. I checked Yotreps every day and it was wonderful to be able to see where you were at any given time. I was so thankful the communications held out for the duration. I don't suppose there are any photos of Kyle dangling from the, I guess there wouldn't be.
I recall spending a week or two in Puerto Rico, where the humidity was unbelievable--and I have been in Texas summers. When I walked out of the air conditioned hotel, my glasses and camera lenses immediately fogged up and stayed that way. Watch out for mold and mildew in those conditions.

What a gorgeous location, though, and I hope you are patting yourselves on the back. What did it feel like to step on terra firma after so long on the boat?

Must go read more. THANK YOU for writing.