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Saturday, April 04, 2009

Canada Bound

I suddenly realised that we keep telling our new cruising friends about our plans for the next couple of months, but haven't really shared them on the blog so here's an update.

Well, right now we are almost leaving the Bahamas and the next six weeks will see great changes in the Ty Dewi adventure. We are currently crossing the Great Bahama Bank on our way to a small island near Bimini. From there we will cross the gulf stream, a forty mile trip to Miami and back to the mainland USA.

We have a date with a cargo ship that will hoist Ty Dewi onto her decks sometime between the 15th and 20th of April, then set off south through the Panama Canal and north again to Vancouver Island. To be ready for that we need to get the boat to Fort Lauderdale, take off all the sails and canvas, stow everything below and pack our own bags for about four weeks away from our floating home. Then we see the boat loaded and set off for Vancouver.

We could fly, but that's a bit too easy. It's also cramped and sudden - we have been slowly emigrating from the UK for sixteen months and the transition from warm Bahamas to cool north west Pacific should not be done in eight hours in a climate controlled metal tube. So we're going to take the train - a slower climate controlled metal tube. From Florida to New York City is an overnight twenty six hour trip with Amtrak, which will be an adventure in itself with a warm welcome awaiting us from our relatives in the city. It will be nice to arrive and take a short subway ride rather than the nasty trip in from the big airports.

After a few days in New York we'll go onto Buffalo, where the Canadians have an office that will put a resident visa into my passport and make me legal for living in Canada, the last step of a long but straightforward process. From there, another train to Toronto and more time with friends we haven't seen in far too long.

The best train trip is from there to Edmonton; we plan to get a cabin on the TransCanada and spend almost three days winding through the Canadian countryside. In Edmonton, more visits with friends and, hopefully, go to a car auction and pick up a used car for our new life in Canada. Then it's a drive to Calgary and stay with good friends we met in St Maarten, and onwards through the Rockies to Vancouver and the island. That should take about three weeks and give us a little time to explore before Ty Dewi arrives in mid May.

Then we will go floating again, and sail around the Vancouver Island coast with an eye to which communities and areas we really like before we come ashore in mid July and get ready for the kids to go into school and us to find a way of making a living over there. That's a whole other story which will unfold as time goes on.

So there we are, exciting times and the next stage of our lives beckons. For now, we still have a day of motoring ahead of us to get to near Bimini, and we will probably anchor on the Bahama Bank, out of sight of land in fifteen feet of water, which will be a little surreal. Look at the 'latest position' link and the satellite image will show the shallow bank we are crossing. Before then, I'm going to try my hand at making fish fingers with the fish we caught a couple of days ago. Mahi-mahi fish fingers, eat yer heart out, Cap'n Birdseye.

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