Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A woman, a man, a plan, a Canal, Panama - Namo! wa!

This is the story of Emily and Ben and the Great Adventure before us. We are two Seattleites staring another cold winter in the face - so we're packing up our stuff, quitting our jobs and heading south! We will be traveling mainly by sailboat, working as crew - taking our turns at navigating, driving, cooking and cleaning - in exchange for passage. But don't be surprised to see us riding alongside a chicken coup atop some rural Central American bus; we're flexible (and frugal) in our travel plans!

The grand plan is to sail from San Diego to Panama, eventually reaching the Caribbean side. We will explore Panama and Costa Rica, visiting friends and friends of friends along the way, until we decide we want to move on. Additional destinations are still vague, so stay tuned. Maybe the Lower Antilles? Perhaps a visit to Columbia? We'll have until about February to figure it out, at which time Emily will return home to prepare for her position with the Peace Corps in Senegal starting in March. Then Ben will do who knows what - possibly continuing the Caribbean adventure, sometime crossing the Atlantic to the Mediterranean and France for the summer - we'll see.

As of now, we have a ride from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas on a Catalina 36 MKII named Interlude. Catalina 36's are one of the most common production sailboats in North America and are known for being dependable and having very few bad habits. The leg of the trip will be done with 180+ other boats as part of the annual Baja Ha-Ha Rally ( Sometime during the events, beach parties, and good-natured piracy during the Rally, we hope to connect with another boat heading farther South. And though we hope to make it to the Great Canal with the wind at our backs and as few stops as possible, you never know when we'll find road instead of sea under our feet.

This is a story in the making, and we're glad that you're following along with us. And if you or anyone you know happens to be in or near Caribbean waters between November and January, please let us know!

May your sails always be full,

Ben and Emily

P.S. If the title of this posting confuses you, think: "mom," "racecar," "peep," or "Wo, Nemo! Toss a lasso to me now!"