Getting Our Land Legs Back

In case you were wondering, the crew of Sanitas are land lubbers this summer. Like most everyone, we’ve been separated from our friends and family way too long due to Covid, so we’re making a grand USA cross country tour this hurricane season. We’re loving the quality family time (with lots of hugs – thanks vaccines!) the opportunity to cook delicious meals in a full size kitchen, and the chance to stretch our legs and run, hike, and go on bike rides. There have been a few instances of culture shock for sure, as we readjust to life in “the land of plenty” but we’re having a great time. Have you SEEN how huge a Walmart Superstore is? Especially compared to a typical grocery store on Bequia in The Grenadines?!?

The long flight home

First stop has been visiting family in Upstate New York. We bought a used car (we sure have good timing, huh? Buying a car during a nation-wide car shortage?) installed a bike rack, and hit the road. We told our folks to have the ToDo lists ready – what’s the point of all those boat projects if we haven’t learned something to help out with our parents’ home maintenance while we visit? We helped with lawn work, cleaned out basements and garages, configured streaming accounts and Bluetooth speakers, and even rebuilt a fieldstone wall. Or at least Capt. Mike did. I mostly supervised and took photos. Did you know you can put almost any old junk by the side of a country road and SOMEONE will stop and take it?

But it’s not all work! We’ve also caught up with high school friends, and been tourists in our home towns.

We had a great time looking through photo albums at my parents house in the southern tier of New York. Recognize this future sailor?

I’m really enjoying the chance to get some land-based exercise again. Not much of a swimmer, I’m loving alternating between hiking in the national forest, building my running endurance with the C25K app, and getting used to my road bike again. You know what they say – it’s just like riding a bike, lol.

I know, I know. It’s not as exotic as life on a small sailboat. But we’re enjoying it! Please follow along, as we start our epic road trip to Colorado on Monday, and as we attempt to get in shape to backpack the Long Trail in Vermont this fall. Watch out mountains! These sea level sailors are coming for ya!

We have a full tank of gas, it’s dark, and we’re wearing sunglasses. Hit it.

There are faster ways to drive from Colorado to Florida. There are more direct ways to drive from Colorado to Florida. But for pure “friends per square mile” value, you gotta drive to Florida by way of New York, Vermont, Virginia, and South Carolina. And you gotta drive some of it in a gigantic moving van, towing a car. We literally chose our hotels by looking at Google Earth pictures of hotel parking lots, to make sure we’d have enough room to turn around.

We spent a fantastic month visiting family and friends all along the east coast on our last bit of vacation before settling down and focusing on boat projects. Thank you to every one of you who welcomed us, fed us, showed us around your home towns, and generally caught up on each other’s lives after months, years, or even decades apart.

Mike’s high school friends Tricia, Michelle, and Bill from Holland, NY (population 3,401)

Excellent ciders and gourmet burgers in Rochester, NY with Jenn’s brother Jeff

Fantastic fall weekend in Underhill, VT apple picking and beer tasting with the Thompson’s and with many of Mike’s AXP fraternity brothers.

Trying out the surprisingly wonderful restaurants in Oswego, NY with Jenn’s parents.

Proving that old friends are best friends by spending several days in northern Virginia visiting the Werbels, Wolfs, and Tebbes.

Starting to really get the itch to be on the water with a very relaxing visit with Matt and Sarah Kline in Annapolis.

And making friends with the pet chickens staying with Rachel and Paul in North Carolina.

Visiting Jenn’s Aunt Mary Ann and Mike’s very first Lockheed Martin boss, Jerry Calvert in Greenville, SC.

Our final big stop before Florida was to visit Jock Covey, the previous owner of our sailboat! We had the privilege to meet his new love Sophie, meet fellow sailors and explorers in the St Mary’s, GA boat yard, and to really get excited about our next steps.

At long last, we made it to our first temporary lodging in St Petersburg, FL where we could finally explode the poor, exhausted Volkswagen, and realized we still have way more possessions than can fit on a boat! Hooray for a successful road trip!