We retired on May 31st., 1997. During the previous two years we spent all of our spare time and most of our money outfitting and preparing our sailboat "Alcyone" to go cruising. We had moved out of our home to live on the boat the previous December, specifically the day after Christmas.
A few days after our retirement we headed north to the annual rendezvous for Wauquiez sailboats and then out the Straits of Juan de Fuca to Neah Bay and on to Barclay Sound on Vancouver Island. This was our month long shakedown cruise. All went smoothly, although the weather was cool, wet, windy and generally miserable in Barclay. It was however a good test for us, the boat and its systems.
We returned to Seattle and spent July making final preparations. On August 3rd, 1997 we had a great farewell party on the dock and the next morning headed out across Elliott Bay on our grand adventure. That adventure led us down the U.S. Coast to San Diego, down the Baja Coast of Mexico to Cabo, then to Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Zihuatanejo and all places in between. From Zihuatanejo we returned to Puerto Vallarta and took a three month inland trip using local busses.
Atfer a year and a half in Mexico, including a couple of trips back to Seattle, we set off southwards again to Acapulco, Huatulco, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. We spent two and a half months in the Canal, then completed our transit to Atlantic side. We headed north to the Rio Dulce in Guatemala via the San Blas Islands, Isla Provedencia, and Bay Islands of Honduras. We then left the boat in Guatemala and returned to Seattle for seven months.
On our return to Guatemala we spend a month visiting many places in Guatemala, Honduras and Chiapas, Mexico. It was then time to head north. We left in April 2001 and travelled through Belize, the Yucatan in Mexico, the Florida Key to northern Florida where we left the boat at the end of June. We plan to return on March 15, 2002 and head north to the Chesapeake.