Lat: 24 41.211′ N
Lon: 75 20.693′ W

It has been a week since we left the Virgin Islands, and there is still very little wind to speak of. Dallas has been carefully monitoring our fuel consumption and decided that it was safest to stop and refuel in San Salvador, Bahamas. We planned to clear in with customs/immigration, fuel up (to the tune of $6.36/gallon!), and go, but there was another boat on the fuel dock, so we grabbed a spot on the marina wall and hung out for a bit. I had a delightfully long shower at the marina, and when I returned, Dallas informed me that our neighbors on the dock invited us over for a beer. Well, one beer led to another along with a dinner invitation, and before long we had decided to spend the night at the marina and set sail (or more likely motor) in the morning.

Our newest friends are an American couple in their early 50’s who recently sold off their worldly possessions and moved onto a Nordhaven trawler. They are planning on taking the motor vessel around the world (along with their two beloved dogs), although they might make a beeline for Alaska after they transit the Panama Canal. They haven’t really decided yet, and the beauty of it is that as they are retired (already!), they are not on a schedule and have about as much flexibility as is humanly possible! Naturally they had many questions for us, but it felt a little different than usual since they viewed us as circumnavigators. Dallas helped them trouble-shoot problems with their battery bank, shared some charts, and after dinner, conveyed his passion for the islands of the South Pacific. If they end up going there, I have a feeling they will think of him once or twice!

marquesas Photos from the Pacific: Learning to play the ukelele in Hakahetau, Ua Pou, Marquesas (French Polynesia)

chiefsWith the village chief on the island of Malekoula, Vanuatu

Mark and Jennifer were not the first to express surprise that we have circumnavigated (very nearly) in two years. Certainly our schedule kept us on a fast pace as evidenced by the fact that we spent 40% of our time at sea. Had time not been a factor, we undoubtedly would have spent more time in places like the South Pacific and probably would have slept more and endured less stress along the way. However, neither Dallas nor I regret the decision to go ahead and set sail rather than waiting until more time and money was available. I’ve learned that many things in life don’t come easy, but striving to achieve one’s dreams in the face of inevitable obstacles seems to me to represent "living life to the fullest."

For years, Dallas had dreamt of sailing around the world while he was still relatively young and in good health, and I think our age did serve us well in maintaining our activity level. But to me, an added benefit of doing it at our age relates to the process of self growth. The myriad unique experiences, exhilarating adventures, and memorable conversations with amazing people that I’ve had over the course of this trip have challenged me to think and act in completely new ways, and as a result, I have the opportunity to continue on life’s journey with a better understanding of myself and the world in which I live. Such a life-changing experience is definitely worth waiting for, but what a privilege to have had it now.

lauren2 Enjoying the journey