Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Turning Point

CulebraAfter much existential reflection and debate your humble crew on the sailing vessel Topanga have decided to turn around and begin heading back home. As you can imagine this decision has not been taken lightly. When we first set off we had the very ambitious intention to make it all the way down to Grenada and back home to Montreal in twelve months time. We knew this plan was likely overly ambitious and always assumed we would have to turn back before, but we nonetheless wanted to push ourselves to this stretch goal in the hopes of making it as far as possible.

While we are somewhat disappointed not to have made it further we are very satisfied with how far we have made it and proud of all we have accomplished.

Excuses are not needed but for the sake of reflection; this is of course our first time and like any first time adventure is throwing one's self into the scary unknown. I know it will sound cliche but I'll tell you; if we had known then what we know now we would have moved south much faster and likely gotten much further.

We knew we would likely never make it all the way to Grenada but we wanted to at least make it to the Virgin Islands, and that we did. Ashore on Spanish virgins islands Vieques and Culebra, within sight of St-Thomas in the USVI's.
Six countries, different languages, different cultures, different natural wonders and beauty.
Just for the record our southernmost point was N 17° 48.0' and our easternmost point was W 065° 16.343' (note these are not a Lat/Long pair there are two different times).

Many boats we've met along the way are on a one-way voyage, bringing the boats down to Grenada and either selling them there or storing them there to return in the future. I think there is something to be said for accomplishing the return trip aboard. Arriving back in the same vessel on which we departed. Full circle if you will. Besides I don't think I could part or be apart from Topanga for too long.

Now we embark on a new chapter in the voyage; the way home. We'll be visiting some new places skipped on the way down and re-visiting some favourites. Now downwind sailing with the trades will be the status quo and while hopefully easier will still require an adjustment in strategy & tactics. There will continue to be significant passages to tackle and the weather continues to be our fickle mistress so we cannot become complacent.
Also hopefully less maintenance and repairs (please God!)

I would think the tone of the blog may now also evolve somewhat. Thus far it's been mostly a play-by-play of where we are and moving from place to place. I hope now to shift focus a little bit to a life aboard perspective, the things that stay constant regardless of location. I guess we shall see.

Look at the size of those anchors!

New house bank batteries... hello 24hr refrigeration! Told you donations were going to good causes.

Metal net trap came up with the anchor

Smiley girls

Restaurant parking

My first wheels

Allegedly second best beach in the world

Welcome to the neighbourhood


Why women drivers cause accidents

About sums it up


  1. Great blog post. Looking forward to reading about the return trip. Enjoy!

  2. I John We are going to be in New York harbour in August with 2 other boats. Kaloly Denis and Gena and Belka2 Philippe and Denise. Also King Dan and Brigitte will be traveling with me and Josée on the Princess Royal. It would be great to meet at that time!!!

    Take care
    Jean Guy and Josée

  3. Hi, Awesome photos. Looks like you guys have a great time. Sailing Lovers always looking for opportunities to get out and sail in the sea for a harrowing experiences.
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    Keep posting this type of blog.