Uncomfortable Ocean Passage and Mistakes to Learn from!

They do say a lot of things on the internet, but we have decided to find out what works well for us, on our own. That should absolutely be the case for cooking and gardening. When it comes to sailing, however, it may be better to hear what they say, because learning from mistakes at sea... so how come we did not listen that one time?!

When going out of a narrow inlet, into the open ocean, it is not a good idea to leave with an outgoing tide and a strong in-coming wind. This is especially true for smaller fishing boats, but our sailboat gave us quite a roller-coaster ride too! I did not take any photos of that experience, and I hope I never get a second chance!

Overall, this post will be a bit short on photos, because they were not on my mind during the passage!

Once we decided to leave Vero Beach, FL, we prepared for an easy (that's what "they" say) overnight sail to Miami, FL. We motored the ICW to Ft. Pierce, FL, and headed out the Ft. Pierce inlet under the conditio…

Vero Beach, FL

Vero Beach is a charming small town in Florida, with beautiful parks, enormous trees for climbing and a few guarded beaches, which the kids finally agreed to go to…(after all, we do live surrounded by water these days; a trip to the beach has lost some of its exotic flavor).  

Many of the Vero Beach beaches are nesting habitats for sea turtles during the Spring months, and it is not unusual to spot turtles making their way to the water, if one plans the trip well. As we found out, most shark attacks happen right around that Spring time, because the sharks, rushing to take a tasty bite off of a turtle, occasionally bite humans. Such attacks are very rarely fatal, but it is one thing to read about them on Bull Run Mountain, VA, and quite a different one to watch your kids splash in the waters from that news article. Being the helicopter mom that I have slowly turned into, breaking out of my shell, during our trip has been necessary, difficult, and incomplete. 
 Vero Beach brought us a …

Savannah, GA to Titusville, FL

We did leave Savannah, quite a few months ago, so I should probably bring everyone up to speed on our journey, before we end up posting about Savannah again, on our way back to Virginia! 

After Savannah, we had this wonderful plan to do another overnight trip and go to Fernandina Beach, Florida. We planned the route, planned the winds, planned the airport access for Joe’s work. Then I called the marina to make reservations, they were full, and amused at my surprise. As it often happens during this trip, plans are changed and a new destination is quickly selected - St. Augustine, FL. To be honest, I am not sure I remember the trip to St. Augustine. I also like it that way, because boring sailing is my favorite, when we need to do over 24 hours of it. 

Sailing for fun is great when we have friends or family aboard, and a small pretty anchorage to rest for the night. Once we start a passage, for me, it is all about reaching the destination. Joe, on the other hand, enjoys the sailing passag…

SV Graceful Kids Interviews

Here it is! Our children share their side of the story as liveaboard kids. I had to edit the video to fit the 15min YouTube requirement for non-paying members, and had to exclude a few unrelated comments and siblings arguments.

I hope the link works!

A short note

I am working on a couple of posts, including a video of the children’s perspective on our sailing adventure and living aboard a sailboat.In observance of the Lent season, I will wait to post these after Pascha (Easter). We plan to leave Miami in a few days and begin our sailing back North towards Virginia. Please, pray for our safe journey; we cannot wait to see everyone again! If you wish to receive more frequent brief updates of our journey, please find us on Facebook, as SV Graceful. The Graceful crew

The Boat Tour!

Baking cookies, as a gracious excuse to tour a new neighbor’s house, is something I am not super proud of, but I have done it. It is not about comparing nests, nor about stealing decorating ideas. I suppose it is some sort of curiosity, a remnant if the childhood years. So, if you are a bit like me, you might be wondering what that boat-home of ours looks like and how we live in it. Here is the boat tour for you; once we have a mailing address again, I will publish it, for the cookies. 

"Graceful" is an Italian boat, made in 1985. It is a Grand Soleil 39 (the model), and it is 39 feet long. Buying a boat is more like buying a car; it does not increase in value, so just like buying a car, when you buy a used boat, the price is a fraction of the cost of a brand new one. Most of the families we met have one, or no current income, and own their boats, so an old boat is easy to find and buy, and own without a mortgage. Selling a boat is a different story, it is always a buyer'…