Annual Summary of 2013

Jerry & Nina completed their circumnavigation by sailing "Arctracer" 5318 miles in 2013 across the Atlantic from Namibia to Trinidad and then up to Grenada in the Caribbean. Hilary was with us during the Atlantic crossing while we visited St Helena, Ascension Island, Devils Island in French Guiana, Suriname, Tobago and Trinidad. We spent three months of the summer visiting relatives and friends in the USA and several months in Chaguaramas, Trinidad working on the boat. On Christmas day we sailed up the Caribbean to Carriacou, ready for some relaxing cruising after a very busy year.

January - We finished the tour of Namibia with Jennifer and Antonio after visiting Chobe Game Park in Botswana and Victoria Falls on the Zimbabwe side and then took another tour with Kim and Jane. We visited Etosha National Park on both tours and greatly enjoyed seeing many African animals in their natural habitats.

February - Hilary arrived and we set out across the Atlantic. The winds were brisk and the water was cold until we escaped the Benguela Current and got away from Africa. The weather was lovely by the time we arrived at St. Helena. We enjoyed this island for 10 days and wondered how rapidly it would change after the airport is completed. We sailed next to Ascension Island, but found conditions too rough there to go ashore more than once.

March - We sailed across the equator where Hilary was promoted to the rank of Shellback by King Neptune. Winds were steady and gentle, giving us a wonderful passage. We anchored at Devils Island in French Guiana for a few days and toured the ruins of the infamous prison. Then we sailed to Suriname and motored up the Suriname River to anchor off Domburg for a 10 day visit.

April - The month started with a rough 4-day passage to Tobago in strong trade winds. Hilary was especially happy to anchor in quiet water near friends met in St Helena. This marked the completion of our circumnavigation (78,900 nautical miles and 64 countries) since leaving Tobago in July 1996. After a week we sailed to Chaguaramas, Trinidad, where Hilary left the boat and flew home. Jerry flew to New Hampshire to celebrate his mother's 94th birthday with his brother and sisters.

May - June - We stayed at anchor and did many boat projects. Among other jobs the main batteries were replaced, new solar panels were ordered to replace those over the arch in back, the forepeak interiors were repainted and new counter-tops were installed in the galley. We hauled out at Power Boats and flew to Florida. On the way north by train we stopped for a few days with Dorothy and Dan in DC and then continued on to Vermont.

July - We based ourselves primarily at Gary & Sue's house and borrowed their car for frequent visits to our mothers and to start looking for land. We upgraded to new laptops but resisted buying cell phones and tablets. We spent some time in the Essex Junction area to visit Hope & Denny, Dennis & Betty and Pat. We spent 3 nights at peaceful Trio Pond in northern New Hampshire with Polly. The hospitality and food was excellent everywhere.

August - We drove through Ontario to Gore Bay on Manitoulin Island to cruise for a few days with Hugh & Nickie in the North Channel at the top of Lake Huron. It was a five-star cruise on a beautiful boat with gorgeous scenery, delightful hosts and gourmet cuisine. We continued west to visit Tom & Kay and their family in Phelps, Wisconsin. It was very pleasant to spend time with them in their beautiful home where they treated us royally, took us boating and fishing on North Twin Lake and canoeing down the Wisconsin River catching Muskies. On the drive back east it was nice to revisit Niagara Falls and other areas we hadn't seen for many years.

September - We canoed on the Connecticut River with Sara & Jack and climbed Cardigan Mountain with Nico & Steph. We looked for land around Vermont and New Hampshire and finally invested in a parcel in Hartford, Vermont, very near where Nina lived as a child and only 7 miles from Jerry's childhood home. Gary & Sue, Tom & Kay, Polly & John and Pat all walked and picnicked with us there. After enjoying a Fitzgerald mini-reunion in Cornish, we traveled south by train to spend a couple nights with Hilary & Rick in Brooklyn and then a few nights with Dorothy & Dan in Washington, DC.

October - November - We flew back to Trinidad and started living aboard and working on the hardstand. Local workers painted the 19 year old original gelcoat of the hulls. The port engine shaft linkage was repaired and refurbished. The dinghy and several parts of "Arctracer's" interior were repainted and revarnished and several other maintenance jobs were completed. We enjoyed evenings with the crews of "Ambler", "Searose" and "Dreamweaver III."

December - We finally ended the long boatyard stay after 3 months of tiring and expensive boat work and got back into the water on the 23rd. On Christmas day we sailed from Trinidad to Carriacou, a friendly island that is part of Grenada. We are looking forward to sailing up through the Caribbean.