It’s the End of a Buddy Boat Era as We Know It

Monday June 3, 2013


Our wish did not come true.  I was informed by Stephanie last night that they found a weather window, on the back of a tropical storm no less, and that Road Trip would be departing the next evening to make it’s way to the Mediterranean.  They had just enough time to squeeze in one last outing with us, amongst finishing up all their last minute provisioning and goodbye Skype calls to family back home.  While we were out to lunch at an upscale pizza restaurant close to 7 mile beach (don’t let that $16 Cayman for the 9″ pizza fool you, it’s actually $20 US), they went over once more what their plan was, even though I’m sure they were already exhausted of telling to every single friend and family member.  What they explained to us, was that with tropical storm Andrea passing by, it was going to cause some South winds to form North of Cuba.  This is exactly what they needed, since after making a couple hundred miles Northwest up to the tip of Cuba, they needed to make about three days of Easting, which is normally exactly where the wind is coming from.  There was a chance that winds could be a little stronger than they’re used to, but Rode Trip is a big heavy boat that might actually enjoy surfing through some high winds and waves for a little bit.  The crew….I’m not so sure of.  But it’s either take this window, or come to Guatemala with us.  I guess you know what kind of friends you have when they’re willing to go out in a hurricane just to get away from you. (I kid!)

Once they’ve passed under Florida, they’ll hook a louie and ride the Gulf Stream up, possible as far as North Carolina.  At that point, they’ll point their bow straight to the Azores (about 900 miles from Gibraltar), with the option to jump out to rest at Bermuda if they feel like it.  If they do go straight from Cayman to the Azores, the trip will be over 3000 miles and take them four to five weeks to cover.  Hopefully Matt and I will be ready one year from now when we plan on making the same jump ourselves (most likely leaving from the BVI’s), but right now, I’m not even looking forward to the three days it’s going to take us to get to Honduras.  Four weeks would be torture for me.

After lunch we said our goodbyes at the docks, us going back to the ‘Dip, and them checking out with customs and immigration.  There was lots of hugging, smiles, and laughter, but surprisingly, no tears.  After traveling thousands of miles together, side by side, we knew this couldn’t be the end.  Just ‘until we meet again’.  For originally having the idea that the two of us would be loners on the high seas, never getting sucked into the buddy boating regimen of where you’re at the mercy of where your friends wanted to go and when, we could not have found two better people to fall in with.  They have made this trip so incredibly enjoyable, and a lot of the best moments we’ve had while traveling have been with them.  Every day we were excited to go to a new location together, make plans to explore together, or usually the best part, sit down to a meal or a drink at the end of the day, going over the highlights, and at some points, more likely, lament about everything that seems to be going wrong.  Because you can try to explain the lifestyle to your friends and your family back home.  You can complain about being out in your cockpit for 10 hours a day when the high is only reaching 50 degrees, or condensation on your hatch caused a dripping on your face that woke you up every 10 minutes while you were sleeping, or even how incredibly boring your last three day passage was. But no one is going to understand your sorrows and give you true sympathy like a buddy boat will.  They’re right next to you living the same exact thing.

So Brian and Stephanie, let me take a moment to raise a toast.  We didn’t know it, the first time we met you in Cape May to share a bottle of wine on Anthyllide, or the next day when we took our very first buddy boating trip across the Delaware Bay, that you would become our new best friends.  We’ve shared ups and we’ve shared downs.  We’ve traveled to three new countries together and spent hundreds of hours passing the time with excursions, meals, and games.  I can’t imagine getting as far as we have without you, nor would I ever want to.  Good luck on all your future adventures, and we’ll see you again out there, I’m sure of it.  Cheers!

6.3.13 (1)

Stephanie and I at our Frankenstorm party.  Silly girls.

6.3.13 (2)

Rode Trip, Lockin’ it up in the Dismal Swamp.

6.3.13 (3)

Enjoying the Harbor of Hospitality.

6.3.13 (4)

Such nerds.

6.3.13 (6)

Stephanie, trying to turn a frog into a prince in St. Augustine.

6.3.13 (7)

 Briefly reunited after two months apart.

2 Responses

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.