Alex (Captain) and Alexa (Crew):
Who doesn’t want to migrate south for the winter? And after your twenties it becomes less socially acceptable to bail on the real world and gallivant through ‘funemployment’ until after you’re retired. So here goes nothing!
We met in the summer of 2013 at the Shoals Marine Lab on Appledore Island, Isles of Shoals, Maine. Alex was an island engineer and Alexa was a teaching assistant for the lab’s marine biology courses. Alex remembers the day he met Alexa, and Alexa remembers every detail of their relationship except that first day haha.
We both share a love of the ocean, boats, and spontaneous adventures. After a second summer on Appledore – Alex as Lead Island Engineer and Alexa as Island Coordinator – we started planning how we wanted to spend the remainder of the fall and winter. Conveniently Alex owns a seaworthy 37′ Gulfstar sloop, the Abby B… the perfect vessel for an extended sailing adventure!
Alex sailed a Pearson 30′ to the Bahamas from Eliot, Maine in 2009. On that journey five years ago, he left Maine on October 26th and, after enduring weeks of crummy North Atlantic weather, vowed to never leave so late again.
From mid-September to mid-October this year, we spent countless hours fixing up the Abby B (who’d been out of the water for almost two years) and preparing her for a trip south. Launch date in the Piscataqua River was October 6th. Unfortunately, several mechanical issues delayed our departure. So, with that October 26, 2009 date looming in the very near future, we set sail on October 25th. (Phew, barely made it!)
In this blog, we hope to chronicle our sailing adventures, the great friends we meet along the way, photos, videos, recipes for canned vegetable products, etc.
Oh, and we’ll be making the trip with two dogs…
Luna and Piper:
Every good sailing couple needs a good sailing dog, so why not bring silly mutts along? Luna is Alex’s three year old black lab/spaniel mix. Luna grew up on boats and Alex’s family’s dock, the Tiki Bar. Piper is Alexa’s two year old ‘Mexican’ mix – she’ll fit in perfectly with the strays (“pot cakes”) in the Tropics. Piper wouldn’t step foot in water until she was over a year old. In general, Piper dislikes docks, boats, uneven and slick surfaces. But she’ll get used to sailing in no time… We hope.
The Plan: Get south! We’ll be stopping just about every day along our journey. Some days we hope to get 70+ miles, some days we hope to get 2 miles, and some days we might have to stay put and wait for a weather window. We plan to take the inside track on the Intercoastal Waterway (ICW) after we escape the northeast. (No offense New England, we love you!)
We plan to get to Charleston, SC in mid-November and Florida and The Keys in December. Then, who knows. We might ditch the boat down south and travel back to New England in February. Or, we might keep exploring until the end of April. Cruising the Bahamas is our best-case-scenario goal!
The Boat: A 37′ Gulfstar, the Abby B. (named for Alex’s parents’ yellow lab, Abby) is a cruising machine. Check out “The Boat” tab for more details!
Pre-trip Thank You’s: We could not attempt a journey like this without the support of our families. From meals, to warm fires, to laughs and words of wisdom, you guys are the greatest!
And follow us on Instagram: @alexaonthewater and @sailoral_207 (#alaboard)