Aaaaaaand We're Back!

Ahoy! Apologies for the recent radio silence. In our desire to put up our posts chronologically we seem to have gotten a weee bit behind on our posts. First, let me give you a bit of back story on what we’ve been up to the last few months.

Change of Plans

With hurricane season fast approaching, we were sailing south with the intention of making it down to Grenada (the second to last island before South America) before heading west and making our way clockwise around the gulf. This would have sent us through the “ABC’s” aka Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao, southwest along the coast of Colombia, and then up along many beautiful Central American countries such as Panama, Costa Rica, Belize, and others before rounding Cuba and returning back to Florida. As enticing as this route was, the more I looked at the distance we’d need to cover the more I realized how thinly we would be stretching our timeline (and ourselves for that matter) if we wanted to have Bueller back stateside by the end of the year. Additionally, a few emails with our boat insurance representative brought us to the unfortunate realization that we wouldn’t have had any coverage off the coast of Colombia, making that potential leg of the trip a huge liability if anything was damaged or stolen.

Since we couldn’t sail west because of timing and insurance, north because of the approaching hurricane season, east because Guyana and others are less than friendly towards cruisers, and south because, well… Venezuela, then where could we go? After considering our (quite limited) options we made the hard decision put sailing life on pause for a few months and store the boat in Trinidad while mother nature ran her yearly course of getting grumpy and throwing hurricanes at everybody.

With over two and a half months at my disposal, I began scheming more entertaining ways of spending that time than sleeping in the boatyard. With recommendations out the wazoo from many friends (including past crewmate Logan Herr), we began to set our sights on visiting the beautiful country of Colombia. Thus after getting the boat all tucked away on land with some serious projects knocked out, we packed up our lives into backpacks and waved goodbye to our now beached floating home. Those who’ve been following me on Instagram (@heylaerz) can see a sneak peek at some of the hijinx that we got ourselves into in the 2+ months as landlubbers while I dig through all my photos and upload them for a proper posting here. Rather than getting sidetracked with our many adventures in Colombia, I’ll leave that for another time and fast forward to our return to Bueller.

Back to the Sea

With Travis back stateside with a solid new job in Austin, Richie still practicing Spanish and surfing in Nicaragua, and Jackie starting her new career as a chef on a sailboat in Mexico, I returned to our baby Bueller with a bunch of new crew.

  • My close friends Paul McCloud and his gf Ashley Ortega quit their jobs in San Francisco and joined for a month of our Colombia adventures and will be joining me aboard for a full 2 months of sailing from Trinidad all the way up to Puerto Rico
  • A bit of a wild card, a friend of a friend from SF named Ben Strachan was the 2nd unknown crewmember I’d welcomed aboard (the first being Richie who sailed from Dominica to Trinidad with us)

The four of us arrived in Trinidad and after quickly drilling Ben to make sure he wasn’t a crazy person or saboteur, we dusted the cobwebs off our sleeping beauty Bueller and started listing out the projects that needed to be done before we could splash.

Fast forward 5 days of cleaning, provisioning, painting antifouling, and many other little projects and Bueller was loaded up on the lift and dropped ever so gently into the warm embrace of the sea on Monday, October 12th 2015.

What’s the Plan, Stan?

As incredible as this trip has been, at some point I have to admit to myself that I am nearing the end of this amazing adventure. Sticking to our original plan of completing our one year aboard, the goal is to get Bueller back to Florida and put her up for sale by the end of 2015. Looking at our chart and calendar, that gives us almost two and a half months to make it the 1600 nautical miles to bring her back stateside. For reference, it took us more than 6 months to sail south down the chain. How on earth can we cover the same distance in almost a third of the time?

The biggest difference between our sail south and our impending return (besides missing my co-captain, the travster =[) is that we will be going WITH the easterly trade winds. Thus rather than waiting for weather windows and northern fronts to give us a good sailing angle, we will be going the way mother nature intends and we’ll let the wind push us home. Additionally, rather than spending very little time at many islands, we will be spending more time exploring the few islands that I either missed on the way south or that I wanted to see again. Here is the list of islands that we’ll be spending more time in on our way north: Grenada, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Lucia, Dominica, St Kitts, British and US Virgin Islands, and the Bahamas.

If you take a look at the page you’ll see that Bueller and her salty crew are now anchored in St Kitts partway up the southern end of the Caribbean chain. Keep an eye here, our facebook page: and my instagram @heylaerz for more updates as we near the final stretch of this year long journey.