A Family spends 2 years planning to live aboard their sailboat and travel the world with a goal mindset to leave in November of 2020. They sold everything they have collected over their 10 year relationship and were ready to set sail March 11th of 2020.
Little were they aware that the Covid-19 virus would develope into a world wide pandemic in the 8 days they sailed across the Gulf of Mexico, Through the oils rigs, and into Pensacola Florida.
They arrived back on land March 19th and decided to stay at the Pensacola Shipyard for a day so they could freshen up and do laundry. As they sat down inside the office to buy pizza, they were greeted with a new “touchless” Delivery option. This was very confusing considering they wre unaware of what covid had actually become. As they waited to for the pizza to arrive , social media updated them on how big this pandemic was affecting the world and their travel plans. Unsure as to how this will unfold they decided to make the decision to keep traveling and head around Florida and towards North Carolina.
Here is their story so far –
Sailing the world 2020 – This is our year. We are traveling the world on our sailboat. As we arrived in Pensacola we caught up on what is happening in the world. The boat’s crew had a meeting about what this means for us and our plans for this year. I am a fire performer and all my gigs are potentionally shut down and we dont necessarily want to work especially now with this virus. If you dont know, Insurances are twice as bad in hurricane zones such as Florida. So If covid is a warning to stay away from land then lets keep chasin the wind. The decision was made. Our Crewmate Gene decided to stay aboard and quarinteam this virus with us #Quarinteam Sailing Spyridon
We went to the grocery store today and the comminsarry on the base since Gene is a military veteran , But they wouldnt let visiters inside so we waited outside and watched people with masks and gloves discard their trash on the ground as if it is someone elses job to clean up after them.. Its crazy to witness the toilet paper pandemic first hand. All this and trying to keep my 5 year old contained while he sways with his sea legs through the isles like a drunken plane pilot, It was an interesting challenge to say the least. Watching people lay down tape in the form of x to assist the 6 foot social distance rule that has recently being placed. The masks, the media, the tension in the air, it feels like we walked into a trauma/horror movie. I think we are all ready to leave Pensacola now, It feels like a zombie apocolypse here.
CLEAR WATER , FL is a beautiful town. This is where my highschool sweet heart purposed to me. I denied and rebelled off and got my first Tattoo here instead of accespting his ring.
This time we anchored outside Caladesi Island.The inside was shallow and seemed like a perfect opportunity to practice social distancing and take advantage of the shallow snorking. Once our son figured out how to breathe through his snorkle he was in love ! We found a horse shoe crab shell, The natural sponges you would buy at a grocery store, plenty of crabs, and fishies. We were greeted by a shark that circled our boat for a whole day and would pop up to say hi when we boarded the dingy. The island was beautiful and the sand was super soft. A storm is forming big waves so we are going to head to Fort Myers and stay ahead of the storm.
We have learned that mooring balls are not allowed to be rented during the crisis We decided to pay for a week at a marina and wait for parts since our engine is still having some over heating issues. It is absolutely mind boggling that they would stop allowing mooring ball rentals .. Sailing or even just boat life is its own social distancing definition and lots of people live aboard so all they are accomplishing is moving people towards staying at marinas that have common areas and that is just unsafe during this crisis.
The choices were Salty Sams
Or Moss Marina
We called Salty Sams and the lady on the phone was extra salty with John. We decided to call Moss Marina and was greeted with great customer service. After a team discussion, we chose Moss and oh man we loved it there. All of the staff have an interesting story to tell and genuinely made our stay there feel like home. Our son was free to be a kid,rode his bike around the deserted hot spots near the beach, or fish snails off the seawall with his net, while we focus on what we needed to do to move on. Moss Marina is handling Covid responsibley and carefully. They are also the only gas station available in the area, so these employees work their butt off. If you are getting gas here tip the employee. All of Moss Marina employees carry beautiful energies. We grew fond of Debbie. One of their deck hands. She was very caring of our son and respectfully chatted with us and checked in on us during our stay.
My son became very popular amongst the ladies, per usual, but they all loved every second of his sassy and smart spirit.
Exploring throught the town around Moss Marina was a special kind of treat. The streets were bare but a handful of restauants and bars stayed open for to go ordering only. This was the first time since living in Arizona that to-go alcohol was allowed.
My son zipped around the The time square which is typically filled with tourists this time of year. If you are looking to do some boat repair projects Moss Marina is a good stop. They have a few warehouses that they do work on boats however if you are a DIY boater we found the best hardware stop ( within walking distance ) that has all the GOODZ- Its literally called “The Goodz ” They are the local best hardware store we have seen since leaving Texas. They have a great stainless steal hardware collection, an Ice cream Parlor inside! And a great selection of anything you can think of. During Covid a local musician hosted back yard Kareoke live streams and the whole town could hear him singing. I happened to hear it and popped into their property and witness it first had. There was a handfull of people keeping distance on their lawn listening to his beautiful voice..
There is a man on our dock who left Texas the same time we did. He needs some help with his engine and john diagnosed it for him. So we are going out to Fishermans Key in attempt to break in Genes new spear gun and wait on parts to help our new friend before heading down the the keys.
We grounded our boat
5:00 pm -For the first time we have grounded our boat . We are heeled over in 3.9 ft of water, The charts say that its 7-10 foot here but that is not the case … high tide will be in 6 hours so I guess we are waiting here for awhile.
11:45 pm. – WE HAVE LIFTED! Its time to boogie around to the other side of the island for tomorrows ex (SPEAR) iment with genes new toy.
12:30 am- The water currents and wind are doing some funky things out here. We have attempted to set the anchor 3 times and the way the wind is blowing we keep running over the anchor and its too dark to do a Bohemian style Anchor . So we are going to move closer to the nature preserve. We hear there is an awesome water side grill over there But dont go to close to land because the mosquitos here ARE VICIOUS!
2:00 am- We have anchored proper and is calling it a night.
Waterfront Restaurant and Marina
Holy moly this place is awesome. We arrived during happy hour. The waitress filled our water jugs with ice water and filled our cooler backpack with ice so the boys could enjoy cold beer while we waited on food in the dingy. They also comped our sons burger because they do a kids eats free ” as long as school is out” and he didnt even order off of the kids menu . We got 1/2 the price we would normally spend at a gas station and Jenton got to eat a DELICIOUS burger free. WE highly recomend this place to anyone cruising the area. Their food is well priced and very good. Im a Texas foodie so good burgers is a big thumbs up from me. I really hate cheap / crappy/ Touristy burger joints. This was not that way at all! Our Boat friend doesnt need our help any longer because one of his parts are going to take extra long for shipping so we are going to head back to Moss Marina, do our repairs, and head out to the keys next.
Marathon, Florida- The Florida Keys
What a wonderful anchorage! This area has 3 areas in which you can stay. They have the outside which is outside the channel. This is where we are staying. It has the most perfect view of the 7 mile Long bridge and the sun sets behind it..
And then you enter the channel and is greeted with a marina and gas station. They didnt allow people on the docks during covid and we were scolded for boarded the docks. They sell Monster energy drinks there , and we have a caffeine addiction apon our boat. Once you pass that gas station hug the greens it gets very shallow on the port side of the channel. If you continue further in You will see Burdins Bar and Grill. We were allowed to board the docks there. They have a restaurant partially opened above and a gas station below.
We were greeted by a very cute boston terrier that was just a week into its adoption of their deck hand. He was very kind to let our son come play with the puppy for a few minutes as we gased up and bought fishing bait. We tried their Signature Fried Key lime pie. Im learning to try key lime pie variations. This one was really good. My son strongly approved of thier concoction.
Once you pass the second gas stop you will see an achorage to your right. We were told by some local friends to go passed the bridge and anchor there because a lot of times that first anchorage is over packed and can be dangerous with depths . The second anchorage is bigger and better, But we stayed on the outside anchorage for scenery we just explored the inside with our dingy. Passed the second anchorage there is a a giant mooring field. Of course covid restricted us from being close to our friends in the mooring field but didnt stop us by any means 🙂 Dont worry they were quarintined on their boat for the past 3 weeks and had just got back to their ball when we arrived so we knew it was safe.
We really enjoyed our stay at Marathon Florida.. We ended up hosting cooking nights and buddy boated with 2 other boats who was on the hook on the outside and were both quarintining from covid out on the boat for a solid two+ weeks. Cinco De Mayo, we motored out to a local reef called the Sombrero light house. The water was crystal clear and the fish covered the reef that our mooring ball was on. We spent the day snorking and cleaning our bottom.
That evening we had our friends on Bullseye who was near us in the outside anchorage and our friends from the inside whos vessel was named Salt Therapy join us for dinner once again. As we were hanging out in the cock pit we realized that Salt Therapy was uncomfortably close to a neighbor sailboat. What happened next was a bunch of super heros in the flesh and I am sad to say that I was unable to film what happened next because I was left on our boat since our 5 year old was asleep below.
After realizing that the reality of how close they were drifting and about to bump boats, John says “well team I think its time we go rescue this situation lets move before its a problem, and just like that 5 people hop in the dingy and boogie over to the boat. Unfortunately that mooring ball area was more for smaller power boats and not 30 foot sailboats… so if you plan to be out there remember to spread yourself out amongst other sailboats. After about 15 minutes they had successfully moved the boat to another mooring ball … But! The mooring line accidently got stuck in the rutter of Salt Therapy which caused a new complication. They team worked together and acquired a solid plan of action and was successful with removing the line without damaging the boat.
We spent the rest of the night laughing over the chaos and enjoyed a delicious meal.
From This point on further we continue to move through Covid and Reevaluate our future plans in each city we come to.
We left the keys and are heading to North Carolina. Our crew member who stayed aboard has a boat on the hard up there and we want to help him get her floating again so we can buddy boat around the Bahamas next season..We are having engine issues and the plan is to go north and work through the summer to save up and replace out motor and upgrade our solar panels and make a water maker before next season.
If you are reading this and would like to hire us here is what we do!
John is a mechanic/technician who has specialized in motorcycle engines but holds great knowledge in the mechanical field. He also has lots of handyman skills such as fiber glass, wood work and welding. We will be running a phone line that will give our followers a number to call for mechanical questions coming soon.. If you would like to speak to john feel free to send us an email and we will arrange something.
I am a fire performer, who is trained to lead people across fire walks and glass walks. I have many talents in the fire/circus world however I also have some hidden talents when it comes to sewing and upholstery. Aboard my vessel I have lots of sunbrella fabrics, sail repair, and a sailrite machine. I have made my cushions in the cockpit and cabin, And replaced the glass in my doger. I also LOVE cleaning and exploring boats. If you would like to book a fire walk or performance you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are interested in learning more about what a fire walk is , click on this link to be directed to the Fire walk page