Wednesday, December 7, 2011

15 Years Ago Today
By Michael

On December 7, 1996, after a couple letters, a couple phone calls, and a single visit, Windy and I set off on our first voyage relative strangers. We liked it, and that's why we're doing it again.

Windy and I left our Ventura, California slip on a cold, clear morning.
Pictured on the left is our friend Tim Fitzmorris who later flew down
to crew on our Panama Canal transit. On the right is my dad (l) and our
friend Bill Cornick (r).
The Ventura skyline behind me. This is my excited face, really.

New Year's Eve in a cruiser's bar in Cabo San Lucas with our friends Lyn and
Connie Breedlove (l) and Dar Rice and Michael Dion (r),
of Principia and Mimosa, respectively.

Windy swimming with a friend at Los Islotes, an islet at the northern end of Isla
Espiritu Santo, in Mexico's Sea of Cortez near La Paz.

Windy intrepidly gliding past bigger friends in the flat calm, 100 miles offshore
enroute to Mazatlan, Mexico. These were members of a larger pod of sperm whales.

We didn't start the trip as a couple, but by the time this picture was taken, we were.

A motorcycle we rented in Guatemala.
A vista in the Guatemalan highlands.

About to be boarded by the U.S. Coast Guard from a U.S. Navy launch
from the guided missle destroyer in the distance. We were in the Bay
of Panama and they were looking for drugs.
Windy and our friend Tim on the foredeck during our canal transit.

Windy and my mom thought the Panama Canal transit was hilarious.

Spotting howler monkies from the fresh water of Lake Gatun, Panama.

Having fun on Columbia's Isla Providencia.
Prepared to abandon ship and waiting, so tired I could hardly keep
my eyes open, trapped anchored 100 yards off Maria la Gorda, Cuba--
a lee shore with 50-knot winds blowing from 1997's tropical storm
Andres. The anchor line chaffed through shortly after this was taken
and we were able to motor sail off, barely.

A pretty dawn in June, a few hours from a Key West landfall and the end of our trip--
at least for 15 years.


  1. oh, wow. thanks for this. I didn't realize you hadn't started your first cruise as a couple... what a sweet story! these are lovely pictures- that 2nd to last one really gets me.

  2. I'm not sure a tale so romantic should be allowed! Sorry, that was my jealously speaking as my boat is on the hard, the thermometer reads 24F and I am in (antithetical to Mexico) Toronto
    On the positive side, my girls (two and 7 weeks)are sleeping and I've got a boat!

    Congratulations, you are literally an inspiration to me! Keep up the adventure and the great posts. I'm living vicariously through you!


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