Xalya: two years as a family in the West Indies

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We saved up for this project; we sold our house… We also sold the big truck and replaced it with a small, economical car. We stopped going out to restaurants, all our savings were for our voyage. We haven’t inherited, or won on the lottery. We prepared our project over 5 years, starting with the purchase of the boat. The question of a choice between a monohull and a catamaran never arose, as the boat was to be our home for the years to come, and we wanted a cabin for each of our children. We added a wind generator, solar panels, heating (because we were leaving from Canada in the fall), a watermaker and a freezer. Some people said to me, before we left: ‘you have no experience at sea’, to which I replied: ‘yes, of course, but you have to start somewhere!’ We left Lake Champlain in the fall of 2016, sailing on the Intracoastal. We crossed the Gulf Stream heading for Bimini in the Bahamas, then followed the usual route to get to the West Indies – Turks & Caicos, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, then the BVIs. The return to Quebec is planned for July 2018. Many people tell us we’re lucky to be able to do this beautiful voyage, and I always reply that the luck is being in good enough health to do it, the hardest part is taking the decision to say: yes, let’s go! School aboard is going well, but discipline is essential, so as not to fall under the spell of the mermaids – it’s too hot, we’re going to visit the island, etc… In the anchorages, we meet people who, in daily life, we wouldn‘t talk to much, but afloat we all have the same passion and age, nationality, culture, religion, etc don’t matter; we get along and have some very enriching ‘5 to 7s’ (the Quebec aperitif – Ed). And to finish: I’m happy that I’ve been allowed to experience this beautiful project with my family.

Who: Patrick, Patricia, Xavier and Melya

Where: West Indies

Boat: Lagoon 380


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