The Journey

The first three legs of our journey between 2020 and 2022.

Nautical miles sailedCOUNTRIES VISITEDWINE GLASSES BROKEN
206002221

Navigating Uncertainty: Sailing from Croatia During the Pandemic

We embarked on our journey aboard our sailboat, Teatime, from Croatia in late June 2020. As countries began to loosen their travel restrictions between the COVID-19 pandemic’s first two waves, we set sail for the Strait of Gibraltar, aiming to arrive before the end of August. We timed it this way because the subsequent leg—from Gibraltar to the Canary Islands—is generally easier to navigate in late summer. As autumn approaches, conditions often turn treacherous.

During our Mediterranean sojourn, we anchored at captivating spots like the southern coast of Italy, the Lipari Islands, the base of Stromboli Volcano, Sicily, and Sardinia. Despite encountering challenging weather and turbulent seas, we persevered and reached Menorca. Following a brief respite, we explored the Balearic Islands—Mallorca and Ibiza—before sailing along the Iberian Peninsula to reach the Strait of Gibraltar.

Crossing the Atlantic: The Ultimate Test of Skill and Preparation

Upon arriving in Gibraltar, we shifted our focus to preparing Teatime for the transatlantic journey. A month of diligent work later, we set sail for the Canary Islands. We reached La Graciosa after five days at sea and enjoyed an incredible week there. Final preparations took place in Las Palmas, where we stayed until mid-November. By then, both crew and vessel were ready for the Atlantic crossing.

We departed the Canary Islands on November 15 and reached Mindelo in Cape Verde after eight exhilarating days of sailing. Over the next five days, we stocked up on supplies, explored the local scenery, and paid homage to the legendary singer, Cesaria Évora, at a dedicated exhibit.

Our next destination was Martinique, which we reached after 16 days. The day we arrived marked the lifting of COVID curfew restrictions, and within a week or two, life was returning to normal—albeit with masks still required in some areas.

Exploring the Caribbean: A Symphony of Sun, Sand, and Sea

We began 2021 by sailing to Saint Martin via Guadeloupe and St. Barth, where we resided for three months. Meanwhile, we applied for a permit to enter French Polynesia but were met with denial after six weeks of anticipation.

Faced with the question of our next destination, we ultimately decided on the Bahamas. This turned out to be an extraordinary experience—replete with white sandy beaches, untouched islands, crystalline waters, and lush coconut palms.

Entering the U.S. presented its own set of challenges, but upon our arrival in Miami, we were greeted with remarkable hospitality at the marina. Navigating towards Panama later that year marked one of our more strenuous sailing endeavors. It was a journey fraught with navigating the Gulf Stream, lightning storms, and the onset of the hurricane season.

After another application, we finally received an entry permit for French Polynesia in October.

From Miami to Panama: Battling the Elements and Beating the Odds

Departing from Miami, we immediately plunged into some of the most strenuous sailing conditions we’d ever faced. Navigating the Gulf Stream’s powerful current, we were also met with lightning storms that lit up the night sky in an awe-inspiring but treacherous display. Dodging the onset of the hurricane season, we reached Shelter Bay Marina in Panama, immensely grateful for solid ground and a temporary respite.

Blog: Diary – Sailing from Miami to Panama

Discovering San Blas: A Slice of Paradise Frozen in Time

Our next leg took us to the enchanting San Blas Islands. We anchored amidst the idyllic archipelago and were immediately enamored with its natural beauty and the warmth of the Kuna people. Time seemed to stand still as we snorkeled in the crystal-clear waters, bartered fresh produce with locals, and explored their rich cultural tapestry.

Blog: San Blas Islands, Guna Yala

Conquering the Panama Canal: A Modern Marvel

The transition from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean via the Panama Canal was an experience of a lifetime. Despite initial apprehensions about navigating such a complex system, we were amazed at how smoothly it all went, thanks to meticulous planning and coordination. We passed through the massive locks and sailed across Gatun Lake, awestruck by the sheer engineering genius that connected two vast oceans.

Blog: Passage Through the Panama Canal

Exploring the Pearl Islands: A Hidden Gem in the Pacific

Finally, we reached the Pearl Islands, which offered a stark contrast to our previous stops. The archipelago served as a haven for exotic wildlife. While sailing through the mangroves, we spotted mother whales and their calves, an experience that left us in awe of the majesty of nature. The islands also offered secluded beaches and hidden waterfalls, serving as the perfect backdrop for some well-earned relaxation.

With this leg of the journey complete, we found ourselves reflecting on the sheer diversity of experiences we’d had, from battling the elements between Miami and Panama to immersing ourselves in the unique cultures and natural wonders of the region. It was a poignant reminder of why we’d set sail in the first place: to embrace the beauty and unpredictability of life at sea.

Blog: Pearl Islands

The Galápagos Adventure: Where Nature Reigns Supreme

After departing the Pearl Islands, we set our sights on the Galápagos. The two weeks we spent there felt like a lifetime in the best way possible. Exploring the islands on foot and by dinghy, we were in awe of how well-protected the area was. We snorkeled with sea lions, admired giant tortoises, and were ever-mindful of the delicate balance between tourism and conservation. It was a lesson in sustainable living, one that we wished could be replicated globally.

An Odyssey Across the Pacific: A New Horizon in French Polynesia

The next leg was a non-stop 20-day sail from the Galápagos to French Polynesia. The isolation felt both exhilarating and daunting, but seeing Nuku Hiva rise from the ocean was a moment we’ll never forget. From there, we explored the Marquesas and Tuamotus, each island and atoll its own universe of biodiversity and culture. By the time we reached Bora Bora in June, we were deeply appreciative of this paradise, grateful for its beauty and mindful of its fragility.

Blog: Six months in Bora Bora

Navigating Toward New Horizons: French Polynesia to Vanuatu

Leaving French Polynesia due to El Niño’s hurricane threat, we set sail west in May 2023. Our first stop was the Cook Islands, known for their stunning lagoons. Then it was off to Tonga, where we glimpsed King Tupou VI and marveled at the natural beauty. Fiji was next, but poor weather cut our visit short.

We finally reached Vanuatu, a place where time seemed to stand still. We met welcoming locals and marveled at active volcanoes. Each destination reminded us of the planet’s fragility and resilience, themes that have defined our journey.

Current Voyage: Looking Ahead to New Adventures

As of August 2023, we find ourselves at a crossroads once again, but with endless horizons stretching before us. The journey is far from over, and the ocean calls for more exploration. Keep following our adventure to see where the winds take us next.

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