Alright – I know we don’t have many followers because quite frankly we’re not actually out there sailing yet. At least not cruising anyway.
But for those who do read here, or see this message, I’d like to ask your advice. Before I ask the question, let me give you some back ground.
We have been diligently looking for the “right boat for the right voyage”, a phrase used by our instructor years ago. He would tell us that we needed to find the right boat for the voyage we intended to make and obviously this is good advice. We bought our first two boats in Colorado for lake sailing – one was a dinghy and the other was our Macgregor Venture 25 with a swing keel. Both were perfect for what we wanted to do. Both have been sold since we thought we’d have been out of here by now.
When we found the boat we believe is the right one for our next voyage – through the Caribbean, we looked for a blue water capable boat that would be safe, comfortable, allow the two of us to sail the boat without extra crew and yet, allow us to take on 2-3 more crew for extended trips (and vacations for some of them, we were obviously thinking of our children and some friends to fill those slots).
So the boat had to be able to cross oceans and still go to the Caribbean, eventually to the Mediterranean and points north (England, Ireland, Scotland, France and Spain to name a few). We found the boat in New York state. Not precisely where I wanted to look (I was sticking to the Gulf Coast and Florida, my wife found THE boat in New York).
Her almost immediate suggestion was, “Since the boat is in New York, it’s common sense to consider sailing to Ireland…”
My first thought was “Yeah, that’s true.” My second thought was “Oh, we’re not ready for that”. I am not confident enough to attempt such a thing right off. Not without plenty of experience on the boat. While I am confident we CAN do it safely, it’s still going to be quite a learning curve to jump off the face of the world and into the Deep Blue North Atlantic, dodging icebergs, whales and the Roaring Forties.
A friend (and an author) Matt Bracken suggested the ICW to me. I’ve been reading up on it, but it wasn’t precisely my idea of setting sail to the Caribbean either.
However, in looking at this I am beginning to think that this would be “smooth sailing” for us to both break in the two of us to the boat, and do our shake down cruise doing short Atlantic stints instead of trying to do it all at once.
So – the question, or request for advice is simple.
If you have already “done” the ICW, what are your thoughts of going North to South along the course and what do you think about this idea?
Thanks in advance if you comment.