We're headed for the Caribbean! Not until November, after the hurricane season, but we are already working on plans and schedules for the trip.
Skip Pond, the agent for Outbound Yachts that helped us through the purchase process, is an experienced delivery captain. He has agreed to join us for the trip, which is important because neither Gretchen or I have enough experience to make this a safe trip. He has a colleague, also with extensive offshore experience, who will also join us.
The trip will take around eight days. We have decided to join the Caribbean 1500 Cruising Rally for the trip. This is an organized group of boats, all leaving at the same time from Norfolk, VA. Most years they have 75 or more boats participating, and they've been doing this for more than 20 years. We get a lot of assistance with preparation, weather forecasts before and during the trip, etc. In addition, they provide a satellite device that will automatically upload our position to the Internet every four hours. That way our family and friends can watch our progress.
The Rally requires an extensive list of safety equipment, most of which we would want to have anyway, so we're busy doing research on brands, models, and prices. We probably won't buy much until we're in the US in July.
Very exciting, and just a bit scary.