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To the destination a courageous journey points…

May 8th, 2008 · 1 Comment

P1010077 Thursday 0536 –J day is today and what do we have to say…”to our northern nest we go, a yo ho ho ho” Hasta la vista Caribbean as this team of 4 goes forth in search of team member 5 just 1585 nautical miles away, but how truly we have enjoyed our stay! At 5 miles per hour its 317 hours! The weather forecast looks interesting and with safety of prime concern where we shall land we can not plan! We have rested, we have provisioned, we even ran to France and although we did not go out and dance we have done everything we can to leave nothing to chance. With prayers to above, we send out lots of love as we shall follow the North star from this land of afar!

747 engines in your face.. WATCH OUT, St. Barts and St. Marten island reports and the St. Marten photo album

P1010073St Marten

→ 1 CommentTags: Leeward Islands

“Change in all things is Sweet” Aristotle

May 6th, 2008 · 3 Comments

P1010064Tuesday – 0636 At anchor in a lovely lagoon living life at our last Leeward location – St. Marten. Letting loose lady luck last night resulted in our kitty being a bit fuller this AM and thus a good omen for our trip to come! We now rest, provision, fix things (our sails ironically tore during our last passage!!!!), organize theP1010056 boat, check weather, check the boat and focus fully in this land of development, civilization and Mc Donalds! A far cry from our last deserted island anchorage of barrenness – Isle Fourche – where P1010060goats really did eat everything in site- “Goatie” :) .   A wonderful, majestic spot that Byron and I managed to claw and climb our way to the top of whilst Jordi made one of the best baked breads ever back on board the Audax.

The Boom tent finally!!!, Isle Fourche photo album, Leeward Island cruise route
P1010068Leeward Tour

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“Do not go where the path may lead, instead go where there is no path and leave a trail” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

May 4th, 2008 · 5 Comments

P1010048 Sunday 0620 Bonjour from St. Barts! Take Aspen…remove the snow…add sand.. flavor with Caribbean hot spice and voala. What a treat… to take a peek… at this town that is oh so chic! Last night we enjoyed local eggplant, mangos, tomatoes and breadfruit whilst Lord Byron proclaimed the sunsetP1010806 to be the most brilliant of his life. The vibe on Audax remains strong and Happy Sunday to all! Go out and have a ball! Spring is now here and we shall soon dare…to grin and bare and pray our sails do not tear. We continue to get in that zone to make it home…Safely, Soundly, Securely…we kindly ask for your prayers.

Saturday – 1057 Emotions come and emotions go. An island appears and then it disappears. A last minute course change has us under sail and moving due north under moderate seas and breeze. P1010044Leaving Basseterre, St. Kitts and heading for Gustavia, St. Barts…Jimmy Buffet here we come!! Yet more wonderful island exploration over the past couple of days. From the green monkey sighting that thankfully was not biting to the Parrot Fish dish that oh how stkitts we so wish had been caught on our own line (it still tasted mighty fine.) Nevis and St. Kitts…we sawP1010235 many little bits. Enjoying true local flavor – tea plantations on Nevis…sidewalk vendors on St. Kitts. The normal runs, tennis, interactions with locals, tropical rain forest vistas and further provisioning for J-Day (32 cans of spaghettios, 30 cans tuna, 20 cans of vegtables.) We strive to be ourselves, realizing that happiness is a state of mind and every action from day 1 of life has led up to this moment…its called NOW :)

Chewing on sugarcane, do you think that is insane!, a BANANA TREE!, provision vision, Nevis photo album, St. Kitts Photo album, St. Barts photo album and 3 new island reports – Dominica, Guadalupe, Nevis-St. Kitts
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Go Go Guadalupe!

May 1st, 2008 · 3 Comments

P1010176 Wednesday 1932 – As we depart Deshaies under starry skies, calm winds and seriously swelly seas (lets just see what Byron is really made of :) ) life is truly lovely having just located the Southern Cross constellation to cap off another full day of active leisure under a hot sun and hotter temps here in Guadalupe. Today a team run at 0630 was followed by scuba diving and snorkeling off Pigeon island in the Cousteau National Park. (Hey bro, USB is not dead yet!) We then sailed 10 nmP1010181 north to anchor by 1100 in this fascinating fishing village with fabulous fresh produce and fantastic French bread! Culture shock for sure as nobody really spoke English, all stores close for the afternoon hours aka SIESTA TIME and definitely don’t P1010192try to spend those American greenbacks here -Euros equal ouch on the financial front! The afternoon activities saw a trip to botanical gardens fit for the queen – Parrots and Flamingos included, (Note: this was one of the most beautiful tributes to nature I have ever seen), some fishing for Byron (where’s that freaking tuna!!), some tennis for Jordi and myself and now we are off. Next new nation: Nevis!

P1010173By the way: As we sailed from Dominica to Guadalupe’s capital of Basse Terre yesterday for a quick customs clearance and city exploration the AUDAX hit a blistering speed of 9.2 knots, “that’s right!” :)

Mango madness, yes we did eat them off the ground!, baby banana, Guadalupe photo album, Botanical Garden album, and Dominica album part 2
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Day of Dashing Dominica

April 29th, 2008 · 2 Comments

P1010794 Monday 2055 We just finished our initial inventory list of what we have, what we don’t have…what we need and what we want as we continue to prepare for J-Day (Journey Day) – May 8th , but today… what a day I dare say. Beginning right at sunrise with “well hello Lawrence!”… ”Good day guys, what time do you want to go up the river?” A quick team run through the streets ofP1010776 Portsmouth ensued and at 0900 prompt up up we went in a manner similar to the way the Carib Indians did it many moons ago – under oars with Mallets swimming below and Banaquits chirping above. Seeing an Iguana and a Heron were true treats as was the whole river experience (sans the white bird shi$ that fell from the sky and onto an unsuspecting member of Team Audax, all part of the experience !!! :) ) With commendable effortsP1010773 by the Dominica government this most pristine environment has truly retained its original feel minus the tiki bar at rivers end where Byron got to enjoy the freshest drink ever as a coconut was hand picked from a tree, then chopped, a straw was inserted and then he drank (Jordi and I sampled the Dominican Dynamite Punch). All fully documented by video. Did you know Byron recently produced a movie www.PortlandFilms.com.

Transition to Igna time. With the outboard motor on the fritz we went in search of Igna, motor man. Kind from the start, genuine to the core and best described as the Dominican version of McGuyver (Phil you may have met your match!). He looked…he tinkered… he thought…he created and he fixed. Jordi and I watched, a child played next door, the hens walked by and a mango fell from the sky. He never asked for a payment but we did pay him and we were touched by the genuine human kindness.

P1010787 To the top of Mount Diablo, the kind shop lady pointed! Up up and away I decided to stray. A true treat was found on a path to the Cold Soufriere and a drink from the bubbling earth of this sulfur P1010150 southing water. A welcome taxi ride down mountain helped steady the line to make it just in time for the team Audax snorkel excursion. A trip to town for provisions (chopped chicken and turkey pieces anybody!!! ) and a fine feast followed under crystal clear night skies. Time now for some rest as this day was truly a most best.

Audax Southern Most Coordinates:
15 Degrees 34 Minutes North by 61 Degrees 30 Minutes West.
Distance from West Point, ME: 1750 NM

A rough photo album of it all as no mas bueno connections en la isle de Guadalupe!

→ 2 CommentsTags: Leeward Islands

There are no ordinary moments

April 27th, 2008 · 2 Comments

Sunday
P1010734 1605 Pictured in this photo is Antonio on the right, Lawrence (of Arabia) to the left. Lawrence will bring us down the Indian River….Antonio was supposed to pick up our trash until “Danny Boy” did it for free when we contracted to buy a Dominica courtesy flag and some mangos from him. “Mosquito” will also bring us down the river, but after witnessing the territorial argument that ensued between Danny Boy and Antonio I think best we stick with Lawrence!!!

P1010729 Welcome to DOMINCA BABY! Almost 8 years to the day since I last stepped foot on this beautiful island whilst sailing aboard the SSV Corwith Cramer with SEA Education. Making it back here was a personal goal of mine and I literally have goose bumps as I sit writing here at anchor in Prince Rupert Bay. Thank you world! Today we cleared customs at the officer’s private home around his kitchen table P1010731 (we assume it was legit :) ) Jordi and I then went for a run by the remains of Fort Shirley at the Cabrits National Park whilst Byron protected our boat from would be Dominican entrepreneurs selling whatever your imagination can imagine. God bless all on this day of the lord.

Safety first!, customs office, trip route and a couple posts from the high seas below
P1010129 P1010736VI to Dominica

P1010128 Saturday 0006 Calm seas, cool breeze, we be on the high seas! Under sail by the moon light and what a night as we glide steadily across the Sombrero Passage. Recalling a quote from Shackleton “And in the space of a few short hours, life had been reduced from a highly complex existence, with a thousand petty problems, to one of the barest simplicity in which only one real task remained, theP1010130 achievement of the goal” Our first overnight since early February and with yet a new watch schedule instituted of 2 on, 4 off we are going strong. Byron continues to do a magnificent job of soaking up all the info Jordi and I feed him. Fact: Did you know this is his first ever sailing experience! Thankful that some close calls with close boats still have us afloat…we are at sea and filled with glee. Goodnight, sleep tight, don’t let the Audax rash bite!

P1010717 1200 For whom the bell tolls. Its noon time aka LUNCH TIME as we pound past St. Kitts and Nevis under cloudy/rainy skies. A generous reprieve from the trades until now….most reminiscent of our eerie experience off Charleston way back when. With Byron at the helm praying to the fish gods ( he has promised tuna by noon on Monday ), Jordi resting/reading on the saloon setee and myself doing a few off line emails whilstP1010719 navigating us closer and closer to the highly anticipated ‘sail by” of Montserrat, home to the Soufriere Hills volcano where an eruption in 1995 destroyed the capital city of Plymouth ultimately cutting the islands population in half as parties fled for safety… life is grand, spirituality is high and we forage forward fantastically.

Our last guest, Nat in Tortola!, (Jordi’s Brother), coconut nut and the Dominica passage photo album
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PS: STEVEY – did you catch the name of the restaurant in the first photo of the post: :) :)

→ 2 CommentsTags: Leeward Islands

Moving forward…

April 24th, 2008 · 2 Comments


Thursday
P1010114 1830 “Do you like it hot hot hot?!?! Can you feel it hot hot hot.” It is HOT in Road Town, Tortola tonight as I sit here one last time at the Bakery. Next stop: DOMINICA! 250 miles…2 days plus 2 nights and we pray for a safe passage. To dwell on the past – not productive….to think about the future –exciting yet not necessary… to be here…right NOW…priceless! A surreal departure yesterday. 150 days equals 3600 hours all on 38 feet. It has that kind of effect on you. To think about the shared moments…the laughing…the crying, the bumping it down to “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” whilst watching the sunset. With the St. John Tarantulas a long way away sleep well Stevey and see you oh so soon with cheeseburgers, diet cokes, and ice cream!!!!

We love you.
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Click here to read Stevey’s final Post

P1010113 Here is Byron. If you thought Jordi and I had energy… well this guy leaves us both asking “what the ?????” Enthusiastic, willing to learn, not AWOL yet and truly appearing to sincerely enjoy every minute of it thus far. Team Audax is ready.

But first we went down, down, down. Wasting no time whilst still here we dove today on the RMS Rhone shipwreck in search of sunken treasure to fund our last leg. Empty handed materially, but full to the brim P4230008 soulfully we provisioned, we changed the oil, switched out an alternator belt, FOUND THE LEAK, and now we look forward to the arrival of Jordi’s brother Nat this evening. Tomorrow we will awake and for goodness sake finally leave the BVI’s in an Audax wake!

A truly heartfelt thank you to all who have made our experience in the Virgin Islands Supercalifragilisticexpialodocious!!!!!

Photo Montage click here

In order of appearance on the Audax: Jonas, Sarah, Andrew, Ben, Gordi, Johanna, Kate, Erin, Josh, Suzette, Chelsi, Bryn, Ethan, Scot, David, Bob, Kelly, Andrew, Matt, Rosie, Jillian, Rodger, Dagny, Amanda, Natalie, & Nat. Kisses and love to all, we have had a ball.

Lorraine Squared. Thank you for letting us all share your wonderful home for a while
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Jordi’s Back…

April 23rd, 2008 · 2 Comments

P1010672 I am back on the mighty Audax after a two week hiatus that consisted of sailing a new 50 foot Beneteau up the east coast of the United States. Making the decision to leave Audax when my mom, Rodger, Jillian, Andrew, Matt, Rosie, Natalie, and Amanda (did I miss anyone?) was not an easy one and it sounds like great times where had by all who visited. Looking through John and Stevie’s photos was fun for me but probably not as much of a blast as the time everyone had while here!

My trip was started around New Years while we were in Grand Bahama Island where I met Greg White, his lovely wife,P1010708 Dana, and four children, Alexandra, Emma, Reise, and Andrew. The plan for the delivery was for me to meet up in Ft Lauderdale, Florida with Greg and his friend from college Bill Higgins. We took off on the morning of the 7th and did a trip back up the Intracoastal Waterway to West Palm Beach, because of bad weather offshore (passing all the mansions and fast boats along the way).

The next morning we headed 100 miles offshore to get in the Gulf Stream which flows north at 2-3knots, only difference toP1010689 this boat and Audax is it has refrigeration, microwave, AC and all the other amenities plus new sails! Needless to say we ended up eating frozen dinners, which is no Audax meal but quick and easy while way out at sea.

P1010679 One night was spent in Charleston, S.C and then we were back at sea and out a long way to get around Cape Hatteras, of course just as we were out there the wind picked up to 49 knots and the seas are 10 plus feet high! Luckily it was all coming out of the south and so just pushing us along and not right on our noses. We managed to surf down one waveP1010674 and get a good gust of wind that pushed us to 17.6 knots surpassing Audax’s 9 knots!!! To be honest I felt pretty safe being on this 2007 50 foot boat but Bill managed to have a quick vomit over the side while staying harnessed to the roller coaster we called a boat. Once the wind and seas died out we put into Ocean City, MD to fill up on fuel before making the final push for Padanaram in Buzzards Bay, during which we saw a 15 foot long Great White Shark who found it convenient to swim under the bow and scare 3 grown men.

All said and done the trip took us 9 days, giving me enough time to head up to Portland and see a few people there beforeP1010706 riding with Katrina back down to Sverre and Jenn’s place in New Jersey for a Saturday morning flight to St Thomas. The next day as my mom and I were sitting on the beach at Cinnamon Bay, St John we saw Steve and John coming around the corner with Audax and I got really excited about what we have ahead of us and another great safe trip home!

On a sad side note John and I dropped Papa Stevie off into the money hungry hands of the St. Thomas taxi drivers at 7am this morning! We will miss you big guy and thanks for an amazing 5 months together. This afternoon Matthew Byron arrives (aka Byron) and we head off for a day in Tortola before a trip to Dominica and the Leeward Islands.

→ 2 CommentsTags: Virgin Islands

And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.

April 22nd, 2008 · 3 Comments

Monday
P4190191 1543 From a dash of the Audax Rash to dancing the night away after an awesome dinner buffet (watch out R and J train you may have met your gold star match! ). Vocal chord intonation of the proper pronunciation… “Snorkel!!!” to sun shower power. We cruised a final time round these island that are oh so divine.

P1010061 From Jost Van Dyke to Sandy Cay then it was on to Marina Cay and a P51 mustang display. Virgin Gorda and the Baths to Tortola where the emeralds and diamonds cost a whole latta mola. Cinnamon Bay and then on to Cruz Bay where we had to alas call it a day.

Now at rest under sunny skies and light trades back where it all began. TEAM AUDAX has been reunitedP4180161 (welcome back Jordi) and with our spiritual advisor Dagny back aboard the vibes are good. Thus is life. Love it, live it…learn as you go and try to always go with the flow. A really wonderful last cruise with AmandalieP4200208 (that’s Amanda and Natalie, my friends from childhood past….interesting how we did not speak for many moons yet once a boat and the Caribbean got involved…hmmmmmm :) ) A super duo, power packed, one two combo that kept Stevey and I’s morale high. A heartfelt thank you from us both.

Chatham High Represent!, really you shouldn’t work so hard, chocolate cake… shake and bake!, wait where are we again???, Team Audax male ass replacement, returning from a hard day of SNORK, mystery lady…nice HAT!, photo album of it all!
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Where to now…

April 17th, 2008 · 3 Comments

Thursday
IMG_0640 1235 Right now I am filled with great gratitude and joy. Being blessed to breath… to have so much positive vibrational energy and love in my life…to share this journey with so many, both in person and through this journal of adventure (Note: If you haven’t checked out Stevey’s Blog as of late please do so by clicking here, he is funnier than me :) )

P1010053 I sit at Lattes in Paradise, Red Hook, St. Thomas. A goto of ours for provisions and regrouping – coffee, internet, laundry, groceries, showers, an airport, etc as we prepare one final time to embark upon what has become the standard cruise of the islands and we pray for safe travels once again. Each trip has truly taken on an incredible life of its own and that can only be a direct result of the wonderful relationships and connections we share because at the end of the day what else do you have although a warm shower, stationary bed and pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream surely can not hurt!!!

IMG_0619 As I scrubbed barnacles off the bottomside this AM I found myself nervously excited about what lies ahead. A change in dynamics as Stevey leaves and 2 wonderful and able crew members arrive – one for each of his shoes, a few new islands to explore and then a trip of 1500+ miles into the mighty Atlantic. NewIMG_0624 experiences always, thanks for reading. We are truly grateful.

PS: The photo of me that I just asked a nice man sitting next to me to take (Hayden) turned out to be a professional photographer who is on a cruise just like ours. Thus I got a lesson in how my camera works (apologies for the many darker pictures throughout the trip, no mas!!! and here also is a link to his blog for those intereseted www.planbadventures.com .

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