Friday, November 09, 2007

November 4, 2007 - First Anniversary

We left Rhode Island a year ago today. In that time we have traveled over 13,000 miles. We have visited 22 countries, from Bermuda, through the Eastern Caribbean, Venezuela, Curacao, Bonaire, Aruba, Panama, Ecuador, French Polynesia (including the Marquesas, Tuamotus, and Society Islands), Nieu (of which Beveridge Reef is a territory), Tonga, and New Zealand. We are looking forward to continuing our travels through the South Pacific next season, and making our way through Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.

In retrospect, we are grateful for the storm we faced on the first leg of this trip, between Newport and Bermuda. We could have done without the shredded staysail and dodger, and we certainly wish that Lenore had not had to suffer through it, but it was good for us. It was the ultimate shakedown. It showed us where all of our weaknesses were and helped us focus on the important items left on our refit list. In the immediate aftermath, we were ready to sell the boat and go back to work. We knew Mata'irea could handle the worst, but could her crew? Over the next few months, as we cruised the Caribbean, we developed more confidence in ourselves. In the past year, we haven't seen wind speeds or sea conditions like that again. But when the wind pipes up and it gets rough, we know now that we can handle it. For further reading, there is an article about the storm in the May/June issue of Ocean Navigator.

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