Suselle sailing to the bahamas
Sailing down the Intracoastal Waterway

Sailing down the Intracoastal Waterway

Baltimore Harbour where I met Dick and Lillian

Baltimore Harbour where I met Dick and Lillian

Tanzer 7.5 in Baltimore Harbour

Tanzer 7.5 in Baltimore Harbour

Star Cruiser, Stuart

Star Cruiser on the hard in Stuart, Florida

I kept a list at the back of my Log Book of the favourite people I met. The list includes 61 boat names and their crew! One of the major benefits of a trip like this is widening your knowledge about other people. You meet new people almost every day. You tend to stay at places for a few days to several weeks, so you get to know quite, or very, well. I also ended up travelling with other boats for extended periods. Here is a summary of some of these people and their stories.

"We Sail the Waterway"

I met T. and S. sailing down the Intracoastal Waterway. I sailed in the ICW whenever I could and one day I was slowly passed by this neat 24' trimaran from my home town, Toronto. We met at anchor one evening, and then sailed together for most of the way to Florida. They were a young couple who taught sailing and cruising courses in Toronto and the Virgins. They decided to take time off and cruise their own boat. The most distinctive, and amusing, feature of their trimaran was that it was totally symmetrical. They each had their own bunk, eating table, cupboards, etc. each identical on the port and starboard side. They felt this way they could each have their own 'space' without any argument - a good idea perhaps on such a small boat. Like me, they really liked to sail and used their engine only if absolutely necessary.

Bermuda Bound - First Couple I Sailed With...

I met Dick, a retired Air Force pilot, and his wife Lillian while anchored in the beautiful free anchorage surrounded by the new Waterfront area in Baltimore. They were getting ready to sail to Bermuda, and then around the world, on their 37' custom built Canadian (Yea!) steel sloop. We got on really well, and I often went running with Dick in the morning. We both went to Washington as I wanted to visit the Smithsonian, and Dick wanted to get visas for his circumnavigation. He invited me to go with him while visiting various Embassies in the Capitol (he seemed to know a lot of people from his Air Force days) and it was a lot of fun and interesting, we even got on a special tour of the White House. I am indebted to Lillian for many nice dinners.

I heard later that they had very bad weather on their way to Bermuda (it was late in the season) and were reconsidering their cruising itinerary, probably to go back to the Caribbean.

Adventurous Quebec Sailors

C. and D. were sailing on a Canadian Tanzer 26, equipped with wind generators, etc. I met them originally in Baltimore too. I ran into them again about a year later and they told me a story about cruising to the Dominican Republic. They found beating into the wind and current quite tiring and they said they sometimes both slept for long periods while under self-steering. Near the DR, in the middle of the night, some powerboat bumped their boat quite hard, apparently intentionally. This was the only story I heard during my whole trip of any form of recent piracy. The powerboat occupants (DR locals) wanted to board their boat but apparently decided there was not much of value and left them. Otherwise, they had a very good trip with no problems.

Star Cruiser

I got to know a couple on a neat aluminum 40' sailboat in Boot Key Harbour in the Florida Keys. They had a super occupation - mapping the islands of the Bahamas for "Chart Kit" nautical charts which they did for six months a year, and cruised the rest of the year! They invited me to have Christmas dinner with them. Their 7 year old niece had joined them for the holidays and she really entertained us being very vivacious and amusing.