Big Changes, Big Love: Moxie Chooses Another Course

Viv in her favorite spot on Moxie. Outside a colorful house in Guadeloupe. Living on a boat, sometimes you run out of things to...

Viv in her favorite spot on Moxie.

Outside a colorful house in Guadeloupe.

Living on a boat, sometimes you run out of things to do.  But if you really get desperate, you can always decorate your Dad's head with every hair accessory you own.

The homemade hand-cranked ice cream on Guadeloupe was a major high point for this crew.

Ti Punch is a specialty of the French Islands.  It consists of rum in a little glass with sugar on the side and wedges of fresh lime.  Wicked strong and super tasty! 

The Botanical Gardens in Deshaies, Guadeloupe had so many hungry koi we were afraid they might jump up on the dock and attack!
These were the most gorgeous birds I had ever seen, and they were not shy.
There is an epidemic of Sargasso sea grass over-growth in the Caribbean right now, and it's ruining lots of beautiful beaches on some of the islands.  Trav & Hud were fishing on one of our sails recently and were CERTAIN they had hooked a gigantic fish.  They spent over 40 minutes reeling it in, all the time speculating about whether they'd landed a 6 ft. Tuna or a 7 ft. Marlin...but turned out to be something not nearly as tasty.

Playing in a gorgeous river on Guadeloupe.  It's always extra special when you find a swing!

We hiked through ankle-deep mud (in flip flops) for over 2 hours to reach this waterfall in Guadeloupe.  I'm still trying to get the dirt out from under my toenails.

A hilariously cheesy rum tour in Guadeloupe that also included an insect museum and model ship display. The rums we sampled were on the sweet side, not so much to Trav's liking.  (The guy in the back also looks displeased.) 

One of the VERY BEST experiences of our entire trip: the History of Slavery museum in Guadeloupe.  It is an absolute modern masterpiece that is difficult to describe.  We are still processing all that we learned and experienced there.    

Les Saintes are a group of tiny French islands off of Guadeloupe.  We fell in love with  them.  This lovely church is an example of their historic charm.

A gorgeous hilltop view of our anchorage in Les Saintes.
We try to leave Moxie stickers wherever we go, and it was fun to give one to Roy, the bartender at the Indian River Bush Bar on Dominica.  Roy makes all of his own rum mixers by hand and they are DELICIOUS. 

We visited a chocolate factory in Dominica and our minds were blown-- do you know how many steps are involved in making chocolate?  There are A LOT.  First they pick the cacao beans, then  ferment them, then dry them, then roast them, then grind them, then separate the parts....and that's as far as we can remember.  We bought many yummy flavors of chocolate including lemongrass, spice, and mint. 

Viv clowns around with a headless, armless statue on Martinique.
The Saturday market in St. Pierre, Martinique was loads of fun.  We bought this giant hunk of fresh tuna and feasted like kings.

Jams, jellies, and spices in brilliant hues at the market in Martinique.

The ruins of a beautiful theatre that was destroyed by the eruption of Mt. Pelee on Martinique in 1902.  The volcano had given plenty of warning signs, but people's limited understanding in those days of how volcanoes erupt gave the citizens of St. Pierre a very false sense of security.  When the eruption eventually happened, over 29,000 people were killed in a matter  of minutes.

Inflatable water park + tropical paradise = FUN FUN FUN.  Here is Mom, about to take out her firstborn at the knees.
Mussels in cream sauce on the French island of Martinique were so tasty they demanded a repeat. (Which we rarely do). 

St Lucia!  Piton beer with one of the Piton peaks in the background.

Pictured with Hud and Viv are Dezlie and Zime, our guides to the volcanic mud baths of Soufriere, St. Lucia.  We had actually hired Zime's older brother to take us but he sent us with 11 year old Zime instead!  Along the way we were joined by Zime's 2 young cousins.  It was an hour walk up a steep road to get there and we had a blast the whole way.  Mango trees were spilling their treasures and the kids picked them up by the roadside and feasted as we walked. 

 The active volcano bubbles and spits mud on St. Lucia.

Our gang of "guides" at the mud baths-- we had the best day with these sweet little boys.

The mud at these springs felt amazing on our skin and soaking it off in the thermal pools afterwards was dreamy.  This is the closest thing I've gotten to a spa treatment in many years. 

We were so excited to hike to this waterfall in St. Lucia because it was 8,000 degrees that day and we wanted to cool off.  Little did we know that this particular waterfall is fed by a HOT SPRING.  Not the refreshment we were looking for but fun nonetheless.

Bequia Island, the Grenadines! When you live on a boat and have been island hopping for weeks on end and this kind of boat pulls up to you first thing in the morning, your heart does a happy little dance.   

Beautiful painted boats in Bequia
I love a street like this.  Brightly colored businesses and hand-painted signs.

Have you ever seen a better looking Pizza Hut?

“The world is a big place.”
That’s what Trav said the other day after we had been soul searching and debating and pro-ing and con-ing for several hours, trying to figure out what our next big Moxie move will be.  The hurricane season is almost upon us, and we are nearing the end of the Caribbean island chain.  Since last December we’ve sailed through the Dominican Republic’s north coast, Puerto Rico’s south coast, the Spanish Virgin Islands, St. Thomas, St. John, the BVIs, St. Maarten, St. Barth’s, Saba, St. Eustatia, St. Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat, Antigua, Guadeloupe, Les Saintes, Dominica, Martinique, and St. Lucia, the Grenadines.  In a week or so, we'll head to our final Caribbean destination, Grenada.

We’ve gone round and round and round about what to do next.  Sell the boat and return to Telluride in August?  Spend the hurricane season in Grenada and sail one more year in the Caribbean, maybe west to the ABCs and then over to Cartegena? Or maybe leave the boat and spend the hurricane season skiing in Argentina, then touring around South America in a van?  These are options we’ve been simmering on for the past few months, and there is something that tempts us in each of these possibilities. 

But as we’ve been known to do, usually without much warning, we’ve pulled the plug on all of these aforementioned plans and come up with something totally different.  As of two days ago, we have decided that we want to live on Moxie in New England for the summer.  Almost all of our family members live in Maine, and many of our nearest and dearest friends are scattered along the East Coast.  We always spend a big chunk of the summer with our family, but this time we’d like to stay a bit longer, sail the amazing New England coast and share Moxie with people we’ve know forever and love with all our hearts.  We have friends we want to visit in Rhode Island and Nantucket (Mills and Potters, we’re coming for ya!) and there are a million islands we want to explore between those places and Maine.  Most of all, we want to share Moxie with our Moms and Dads.  Our boat is a magical one, and we want our folks to know her.

SO, how are we going to make this happen?  Grenada is approximately 1900 nautical miles from Maine.  This is a big sail.  We deliberated a lot about whether or not our crew was up for a sail of this magnitude, and we have mixed feelings about it.  Many families (with kids much younger than ours!) cross oceans together and are at sea in open water for weeks on end.  We admire these families, and I wish that we could say that our entire crew is up to this kind of challenge. At this time, we do not feel that we are quite there.  Could we do it? Probably, yes.  Would we be happy doing it? We aren’t sure.  Does Trav want to do it? Yes.

Trav is hiring a crew to sail Moxie with him from Grenada to Rhode Island.  The kids and I will fly from Grenada to Maine, then drive down to RI and sail up to Maine with him from there.  I’d be lying to you if I told you I am 100% pleased with this plan.  I know that every single minute Trav is at sea without us I am going to be stressed and worried.  Our family sticks together.  That’s what we do.  But we had to come to a difficult point of acceptance: sailing from Grenada to Rhode Island is something that Travis WANTS TO DO. He is a great sailor and he knows Moxie better than anyone.  He loves to sail, and he is ready for this kind of challenge.  He deserves to have the chance.  We cannot hold him back, it wouldn’t be right or fair.

For the first leg of the journey, Trav and his crew will sail from Grenada to Bermuda.  It will take between 3-6 days, depending on wind and weather.  They will rest and then, weather depending, they will sail the rest of this trip which will take 4-5 days.  Trav says he is looking forward to the trip, but he’s worried about seasickness.  He does get sick.  We will stock him well with Stugeron and Dramamine, and fingers crossed that the seas cooperate.

At thus point, I just want to focus on Trav sailing safely to meet us.  That’s all I care about.  We have so many cool things to see in the next week, everyone says the Grenadines are what all the fuss is about.  I will try to be present as we experience those islands, but I know myself…I’m going to be thinking about what’s ahead.

We are in Bequia in the Grenadines right now and it's one of our very favorite places that we've visited so far.  We are already missing the Caribbean-- how can we be leaving this incredible place?  OK, HERE'S HOW...
A huge part of our family mission is to keep learning, growing, and challenging ourselves.  As much as we love sailing in gorgeous tropical places, we feel like it's time to push the envelope.  So our plan now (after sailing the summer in New England), is to fly to Europe and live somewhere in the mountains..someplace with skiing...somewhere cheap-ish (does this exist in Europe??)  We realize this is a huge turn-around from the way we've been living. But skiing is a huge part of our family culture.  We want to ski, and we want to live in another country for an extended period of time (when we lived in the DR for 6 months, it felt so right.  We had a community there, it was very special.) This kind of major change in lifestyle and location will require a lot of planning and figuring out, and it's all a bit daunting at the moment....but hey, we've done it once, we can do it again, right?  If you've already pulled up stakes and turned everything you know upside down, how hard can it be to do it again?  Obstacles are only as big as you make them.

That's all the information we have right now, we'll share more of our planning and decision-making as it unfolds.     

Until next time-- Hooray for big dreams, big plans, big risks, big LOVE xoxox


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  1. Oh my goodness Jennifer and Travis you’re amazing and love your plan. God bless you as you get the first leg done and can sail this summer. So proud of your adventurous plans.

  2. So exciting! I love everything about this! While you're in Rhode Island, I hope that you stay in Newport for a little while! Green and I would love to see you guys again! We made a huge bat-turn of our own over the winter and bought a house here (don't worry, we still have the boat!) - so you're welcome to use our washer and dryer :)
    Take care and sail safe,

    1. Jen! Sorry, just seeing this. We would love to see you this summer!!! Congrats on your house! (And glad you still have your boat) Let's make a plan to get our gangs together!! xo

  3. One of these days I hope you'll let me visit you and meet your delightful family. I have LOVED reading about your adventures and I love how you give back to the places and communities you visit. I'm with you ALL THE WAY on your concern about being split up- I'm exactly the same and I don't even love having my husband on a business trip in LA much less sailing on open water for several days! But I also totally get the decision and I applaud you and Travis for working out a plan that at least (somewhat) works for everyone. So excited to hear about what the future has in store for you!!! :)

    1. Oops! It only lists me as unknown (the post above was written by me, BIANCA!)

    2. BIANCA!!! For some reason I am just seeing this. Thank you so much for your kind words. I would freak out with joy to spend time with you and your family. It will happen!!! A loss in Trav's side of the family changed the plans with sailing the Atlantic, and I haven't had time to blog about it. But really--- the next time I'm anywhere near CA I'm hunting you down xoxo


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