In our younger days, starting in 99, many times we attempted to run our boat from homeport on the Tennessee River, down the Tenn-Tom Waterway, across the Gulf of Mexico, through the Keys, and cross over to the Bahamas. And most of those times we completed all the legs of that long journey, but that last and most important stretch eluded us. Due to time limitations and weather, it took us several tries to finally realize our dream and make it to the Abacos. Yep, we finally made it over to the islands, but it took until 2003 to pull it off.
But, that's not to say we didn't have a blast while trying. Much was learned and more enjoyed as we spent time and became familiar with almost every port from Demopolis, Alabama to Ft Lauderdale.
That little airline bottle of Captain Morgan's? (Thanks Northwest Airlines) It's filled with sand that was taken from our anchor; first from The Dry Tortugas then later off Tahiti Beach/White Sound/Elbow Cay. Besides anchor sand, there's a note and a tiny shark's tooth. The note says "The best of times. Dry Tortugas 5-28-01"
Forever etched in our minds, those were the best of times.
Looking at that little bottle brings back memories...
Mel and I dancing on the flybridge of our 480 SeaRay as Delbert McClinton sang, "I've Got Dreams To Remember" ... the sun barely peaking over Ft Jefferson.
That year, our aborted trip to the Bahamas turned into a long stay in the Keys. The pinnacle of our grand adventure was a run out to the Dry Tortugas. We were trying for Cuba, but politics, good judgement, and time won out.
Max's World Famous Conch Bar - Long Island, Bahamas - 2007
The original Istaboa's helm
(Note the Compaq Tablet on the upper right instrument panel... High-Tech stuff in 2005)
Yes, lots of really good times, and to us, our life aboard has been and still is wondrous. The people, the places, the stored away visuals and sounds... We may not have gone around the world, but we've done so much for so long; had more fun than two people should be allowed. And, for the most part, because that's the way we roll, we did it all alone, in our own time, and our own way.
Spanish Wells, Eleuthera - 2005
And, after all these years, we're still enjoying The Best Of Times. Somewhat differently now that time isn't such a handicap, but still.
Maybe it's time to put a little more anchor sand in that bottle.
Bakers Bay, Abacos - 2006Cheers,
Oh yeah... just left Palm Beach, heading for Ft Lauderdale.
It's a beautiful day.
Happy 4th of July