FF sunrise pic

Flying Fish departs soon from Key West bound for the Panama Canal, Polynesia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Africa, the Caribbean, and then home again to Key West. It’s a three-year cruise. In my pre-launch discombobulation this morning I lamented to a friend that I could not even find my car keys; how was I going to find my way around the world?

His advice to me was perfect: “Just keep sailing in the same direction.”

Most voyagers, whether they are using a sailboat or some other conveyance of transit—mental or physical—depart on the journey with some level of trepidation. It is hard to step into the unknown. We take comfort in what is familiar. But, at the same time, those of us with restless souls cannot wait to see what is on the other side of the looking glass.

I guess that is one way to explain why I am leaving a happy marriage, a beautiful home, and a loving family to sail for three years across open water to distant islands. At age 61, the journey will be difficult. And it will be lonely. Somebody suggested I bring along a cat for company. That would end badly.

The first leg of this voyage will be 7 to 10 days en route to Panama. I will have a strong crew for this passage. My father, who celebrated his 91st birthday this year, is a master mariner and has inspired this voyage with extraordinary sailing adventures of his own. He was also onboard Flying Fish during her maiden voyage when we caught a blue marlin while trolling behind the sailboat in the Gulf of Mexico. Dad is coming along to catch our dinner. My brother Bob will also be aboard for the passage to Panama. Bob and I have a long and interesting history together on boats that includes a transatlantic crossing so under-provisioned that we ate food castoffs scavenged behind restaurants in Gibraltar. And upon arrival in the Caribbean after 30 days at sea we were so hungry that we roasted road kill over a beachside bonfire. Bob is not in charge of provisioning Flying Fish, but he will be great company nonetheless.

Of course, we all know the “best-laid plans” are subject to change. The 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season is a case in point. But if adversity makes us stronger then change is the dynamic that challenges us to seek new horizons. I will consider this journey a success the day after tomorrow when we finally raise the sails on Flying Fish and point her bow to the west.

18 thoughts on “Onward!

  1. Dear Jeffrey,

    I cannot begin to tell you how happy this makes me. I am absolutely delighted that you have kept your dream alive. Your strength and courage are amazing.

    I know you are going to have the time of your life. I will look forward to every post along the way.

    With love and warmest regards,


    *From:* Flying Fish [mailto:comment-reply@wordpress.com] *Sent:* Wednesday, November 29, 2017 5:14 PM *To:* ed@whiteakeryachtsales.com *Subject:* [New post] Onward!

    flyingfishsail posted: ” Flying Fish departs soon from Key West bound for the Panama Canal, Polynesia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Africa, the Caribbean, and then home again to Key West. It’s a three-year cruise. In my pre-launch discombobulation this morning I lamented to a friend”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jeffery and DAD and Brother….this post makes me so happy for you all. This is a lifetime dream come true and I know there were major major hurdles to overcome and to beat, and you pushed on and DID IT. This should be an example to all of us. Stay focused on dreams, write them down, stay focused and make it happen. I will make sure eveyone I know in the IP community knows of your voyage and follows along. CONGRATS. I am so happy for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Hayden & Radeen

    Liked by 1 person

  3. fantastic! you have earned this trip that is certain to give you all that you are looking for. im sure it will be tremendously exciting but of course lets hope it never gets too exciting. right.
    handheld? check. extra batteries? check.
    off you go!


  4. Hurray – hurray! This is the best news I’ve heard in a very long time, my friend. Do you have a departure date? Who knows, if possible we might just enlist the Plummers to join us on a quick jaunt to Key West for a champagne send-off. After all, we were there when you launched Betelgeuse across the Atlantic in 1981. Good on ya, mate…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So psyched that you are finally heading out on your adventure on the wild blue. Can’t wait for the updates along the way. Stay safe out there! AA


  6. So happy for you, dear friend. This is exciting news. Also, envious and jealous. Looking forward to more updates.
    I recall sailing with you on Betelgeuse to Boca Grande for a lively weekend I’ll always remember.
    Good luck. Hope its wing-and-wing a good portion of the way.
    I heard this somewhere and I think it applies, “If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.”
    Your Boca pal,
    David Futch

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Good luck! Beware the transition from the Cayman Trench to the relatively shallow waters of the Seranilla Bank. In winter storm waves get jacked up mightily there! There is a reason many folks do not like crossing the middle of the Caribbean Sea. Good luck!


  8. Off on an around the world. What a wonderful experience. God speed and a safe trip. I look forward to hearing all about the trip and your experiences.

    Larry Plummer


  9. Good luck, Jeff! I am enjoying your commentary. My husband, Peter Swan grew up in the Keys, Coral Sores, Class of 1965!
    Sally Rosseau Swan
    Yorktown, VA


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