Welcome to The Log of the Second Sojourn,
a Chronicle of the Erickson's year long 2002 East Coast Sail Trip down the ICW to the Bahamas

The Plan:
Our plan is to sail for one year from early July 2002 to July 2003,  First to Maine for the summer, then down the Intra-Coastal Waterway to Miami and then across to the Bahamas. It's only a short day sail to Bimini from Miami. All sailing plans are subject to the weather, so we'll play each leg by ear.

Planing and Preperation '00-'02:
In mid 2000 we decided to do this. Our 1968 sailboat is basically suitable for such a trip and we had sailed many summer weeks in Maine. But living aboard is another story. Systems that worked OK for a few weeks would need to work perfectly for a year. This meant a new engine and a new roller furled jib. The rig needed to be checked out and upgraded a bit. Storage would need to be improved. And a lot of minor improvements.

The winter of 2000/2001 was committed to the engine project. The antique Volvo MD2B was removed and a shiny Yanmar  was installed. But this required many other systems to be upgraded: electrical, controls, exhaust, prop, engine beds... For the details, see our Apache 37 web page here. The winter of 2001/2002 was a galley upgrade and numerous other projects. Both winters we had the boat trucked to our side yard so it would be close by and close to my basement workshop, tools, etc. I have tried doing major projects at boatyards before, and the number of trips just to get something to fit properly is prohibitive.

I was not willing to leave the boat on land during the summer between these 2 winters. The short summer sailing season in New England is precious to me, and we wanted to test out the engine for a summer before setting off on the trip. So the work was to be done two falls, winters and springs.

Summer '02:

We launch on 7/3/02, move out of the house and on to the boat on 7/8, and settle in for a few days on the mooring in Salem Harbor. We'll have a car in Marblehead for those days to run errands. Then cast off, sail to Maine for the summer, getting to Mount Desert and maybe further.

Then turn around and sail south thru the Cape Cod Canal on Labor day, and sail southern New England to New York in September. We haven't sailed southern New England much considering it's our back yard. Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, Falmouth, Block Island, Narragansett bay and long island sound, ending September in New York City for a few days. Then to Sandy Hook to wait for weather for the sail down the coast of Jersey to Cape May.

Then up Delaware Bay to the C&D canal and to the Chesapeake for the month of October. It is supposed to be very nice sailing in October. There we plan to visit friends the Allen's in Annapolis and Ed's brother in Virginia. We want to visit  Baltimore, DC, and spend a bunch of time on the less settled east shore. By the end of the month we plan to enter the ICW at Norfolk.

Down the ICW thru North Carolina to South Carolina. We plan to visit sister Annie in Charleston for a while. Then further to Savannah and to Jacksonville Florida. the ICW is called  "the ditch" as it is mostly a narrow canal. We'll probably motor almost the whole way from Norfolk to Miami.

We'll sail the ICW, visiting friends as we go: Amy and the kids, Rich and Mel near Orlando. Then Greg and more cousins in Fort Lauderdale. South of Miami we'll wait in Marathon for weather to cross the Gulf Stream to Bimini.

January to April:
We sail about 400 miles of the Bahamas from north to south and back again.

May and June 2003:
We sail back up the ICW seeing some of the things we missed on the way down, and back on our mooring by early July.

On to the trip log.