With our last two passages we came full circle to complete our 32,000 mile circumnavigation!
We’d crossed the equator twice, rounded a difficult cape, crossed three vast oceans, and were finally back among the granite rocks and spruce-clad islands of Maine we’d left behind 4 years earlier. Family and friends greeted our homecoming with cannon fire, champagne, and even a three-piece band(!) on June 28, 2010.
The first passage that truly felt as if we were nearing home was the 1000 or so nautical miles from Barbuda in the Caribbean to Bermuda.
We arrived in St Georges, Bermuda after weathering a low pressure system and were excited to reunite with a few sailing friends in the beautiful historic harbor.
We spent ten happy days on Bermuda, hiking to old forts, visiting the natural history museum where we learned about the island’s volcanic formation 100 million years ago, and diving on wrecks and coral (which was much healthier in the 72* temps than it had been in the 91* temps of the Caribbean).
As in so many of our ports around the world, our favorite times were spent with old and new voyaging friends.
Our final passage–800 miles north to Maine–gave us a little of everything: perfect broad reaching, strong headwinds, and dead calms. Because of the date we’d promised for our arrival, we broke a precedent we’d maintained over some 31,000 miles and motored for a full 24 hours.
We crossed out of the warm, sapphire blue Gulf Stream on June 24 and discovered anew the green waters of New England. Thick fog greeted us when we entered the Gulf of Maine, but cleared for a magical, though bittersweet, landfall at dawn on June 27. After clearing Customs in Bar Harbor on Mt Desert Island, we made a leisurely sail west, stopping at an island, deserted save for two bald eagles, for a full night’s sleep before the next day’s homecoming party.
Check out earlier adventures on the Caribbean page 🙂
All text and photographs © Ellen Massey Leonard and Seton Leonard, 2015, All Rights Reserved.