Annual Summary of 1995

We love our new lifestyle: sailing barefoot in the tropics, exploring new places and encountering different cultures. This was our first full year of cruising, so we had many personal "firsts." Here are some of our 1995 memories:

Florida's East Coast (January): Following the ICW to Miami, despite congestion below Ft. Lauderdale. Nina was treated for "frozen shoulder." St. Augustine: "art walk," and Spanish cannon firing drill. Dorothy joining us for two months of sailing and writing aboard. Miami Beach: Bohemian scene, and final preparation to leave the USA.

Bahamas (February - July): Crossing the Gulf Stream, seeing flying fish and bright blue waters; Having conch, cocoa plums, 5-year apples, chitons & bush tea. Nassau, and snorkeling with Dorothy & Dan, then Hilary. Many fine "happy hours" sailing the Exumas with Tom & Kay. Beautiful Bahamian sloop racing at Georgetown and Long Island. Jerry learning sextant navigation, just in case our GPS fails. Snorkeling, getting conch, and sailing the Exumas with Steve & Helen. Crossing paths with Columbus at San Salvador and further south. Tropic & frigate birds, bananaquits, noddies, boobies & flamingos. Breaking the main traveler, squaresail yard, and dinghy boom. Nina riding high in the bosun's chair to revarnish the foremast. Friendly natives, salt pans, mangos, caves, and lousy mail service. Catching barracuda, jacks, snappers, mahi-mahi, etc. Losing big tuna. Making cheese, sea-grape jelly, whelk escargot, sprouted peanuts. Seeing lemon sharks, nurse sharks, big stingrays and eagle rays.

Turks and Caicos (August): Islands and waters like the Bahamas, but still a British colony. Grand Turk Museum: Caravel artifacts and Taino Indian expert. Great beachcombing, snorkeling over the "walls," playing darts. Seeing the sunset "green flash," glowworms & bioluminescence. Swimming with green turtles, trumpet fish and remoras.

Dominican Republic (September - October): Luperon: good place to stay at anchor during a bad hurricane season. Hurricanes Luis and Marilyn caused massive damage in the Caribbean, especially St Martin where many boats were lost. Learning Spanish, and negotiating prices for guaguas (vans) and motoconchos. Buying reverse osmosis water when no rains came to fill our tanks. Abundant & exotic vegetables & fruits, wonderful after the Bahamas. Good rum, coffee, and "tipico" food at low prices. Santo Domingo: lovely oldest Spanish city in the Americas. Fax and phones working, but shaky mail and electrical power. Samana Bay: waterfalls, Taino Indian caves and pictographs. Friendly people working hard with no help from their government.

Puerto Rico (November - December): Crossing the Mona Passage with light wind and a full moon. Leaving "Arctracer" and bathing suits in the sunny warmth of Boqueron and Flying to New England for family Thanksgiving, Christmas, and skiing. Celebrating our first wedding anniversary