We actually met our schedule of casting off on April 5!! The weeks leading up to our departure were extremely busy with boat refurbishment work on engine room, electronics, plumbing systems, furnishings and finishes. One of our biggest challenges was rebuilding our windlass less with parts that were being shipped in from New Zealand during the last week. We held our breath after reinstallation, but it operated smoothly when winching of the anchor for the first time after completing the work. Whew! On top of all the boat work (which was quite enjoyable), we spent a good bit of time getting ready for our nephew and wife to move into our house for the time that we will be gone. Thank you Gene and Kristen for taking care of our house and allowing us to leave with no worries. Deciding what to pack onto the boat for all seasons was interesting, but we were extremely pleased with the storage room. We have included a few pictures of preparations for departure on our homepage.

As you can imagine, the toughest part of departure was saying goodbye to family and friends. Everyone was very excited for us and expressed their loyal friendship with words of affirmation and prayers we had family cast off of our home dock on the morning of the 5th and then made our way to Tolers Cove Marina, where we spent the night and had the opportunity to say goodbye to some friends in Mount Pleasant. We were overwhelmed by their excitement for us and we count ourselves blessed to have such wonderful friends. Thank you Pastor Buster Brown for blessing us and our trip with a special prayer. We will greatly miss all of our family and friends, but hope that this blog will help us keep in touch with all of our loved ones.

We are now four days into our trip and I am writing this entry anchored and beautiful calabash creek, just south of the North Carolina border. We have already met and spent time with some other cruisers who are heading north from their time in the islands, and as we had heard, meeting and spending time with fellow cruisers is a highlight indeed.

We will continue to keep our blog updated with some pictures here and there to allow you to see some things that may be of interest. Please respond to us. We look forward to hearing from all you and keeping up with events in your lives. God bless, Burke and Stel

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord‘s purpose that prevails.“  –Proverbs 19:21