Monday, April 18, 2016

Finally - We're On Our Way!

Day 1:  April 17, 2016
Wind:  20 – 25knots
Madeira Beach – Venice

Well, we finally departed…it’s hard to believe.

“Johns Pass Bridge, Johns Pass Bridge, Johns Pass Bridge:  This is the sailing vessel Cool Runnings, Catamaran Cool Runnings requesting an opening, please”.

“This is Johns Pass, Captain.  Bring her into the center of the basin and I’ll get the bridge opened for you.”

“Thank you, Johns Pass, Cool Runnings standing by on Zero Nine”.

This was a conversation we’d had with the bridge countless times as we sailed into the Gulf of Mexico and back home again.  However this time, the “back home again” would be a few years later.  I had tried to imagine this moment so many times, but yesterday it was too overwhelming to even process what I was feeling at the time!
John's Pass Bridge - Last opening for a while

Leaving was emotional.  It was hard to say goodbye to the comforts of home, family and friends and leave behind our beloved dog Lucy.  Admittedly, quite a few tears were shed, but it felt good to finally leave and start this epic journey.  The preparation and build up to this day has been so long and intense, that finally being on our way is a good feeling.  As we sailed down our canal, we waived to some neighbours (thanks, Patty, Dave, Sara and Summer for the good wishes! J) and then when we sailed through the bridge, Dave’s folks, Allen and Rosemary, and sister Kim and our niece/cousin Kayla were standing at the side of the pass giving us another final farewell, shouting out good wishes.

Ben and Gaby comforting each other as we left
We had strong wind, but it was good as it allowed us to make good headway at a decent speed.  We are pretty heavy – weighed down with full tank of water, diesel, and of course food, water toys, and everything we need to make Cool Runnings our home for next couple of years!  We left Madeira Beach at 1:30pm and decided to push on to Venice and pull into the Crow’s Nest Marina for our first night.  We arrived around 8:15pm.  We treated ourselves to dinner at the restaurant, which was a great way to end the first day!  The kids were happily surprised, as we’ve drummed into them that we cannot stay at Marinas or eat out at restaurants because we are now on a limited budget!  But it was worth the treat to start our journey that way!

Today we push on toward Key West.  We would like to be there by Wednesday, as on Thursday the winds switch to the South, which would make for uncomfortable sailing conditions.

Thank you again to everyone for their good wishes, thoughts and prayers, and of course to Mom, Dad, and especially Kim for all the help and support in finally getting us on our way!

The end of Day 1
Captain and Crew

And one from inside the boat - and yes, both Dave and Ben have had a haircut!


  1. Congratulations on setting sail!!! I look forward to tracking your wonderful adventures. So exciting!

  2. Wishing you fair winds and an incredible adventure.

  3. Congratulations! Safe travels to you all. Looking forward to hearing about your adventures.

  4. All the best to you guys as you begin the adventure of a lifetime! Know you are so happy to be underway and starting on your incredible journey!

  5. It's about time !! Congratulations and fair winds !! Wishing all of you the best of luck !!

    McRigger Mac & James

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  7. Glad to see you all finally made the break - what a wonderful adventure for you all! :) Sat here 'working' and feeling just a tad jealous..... the boat looks great, I know you have worked very hard on her to prepare. Hope the washing machine works well ;)