|s/y Nine of Cups
|Having lived aboard Nine of Cups since 2000, we've put a few
thousand miles under the keel. You'll note from the passage routes
that we've not been in a hurry and we definitely change our minds a
lot. Someone commented that our route looked like the track of a
drunken pub crawl.
When the goal is to see as much of the world as possible and
experience as many places and cultures as we can, it's easy to get
sidetracked or follow a whim.
The maps below show our routes year-by-year as we stray just a
little further each year from our original home base. We've provided
the major links to pages in the website that highlight each year's
|2000 – In the beginning ...it's all about firsts and slaying dragons.
We left the dock in Kemah, Texas on May 21, 2000. It was our first
major offshore trip on any boat. We sailed across the Gulf of Mexico to
St. Peterburg, Florida, then around the Florida peninsula and up the east
coast USA. We settled in Charleston, SC for the holiday season. What a
way to start an adventure!
Nautical miles for the year: 4,125
Total Nautical miles to date: 4,125
|2001 – From Charleston, we headed to the Bahamas and then up the East
coast of the USA once again, but this time further north and east to maritime
Canada. We came back to Charleston for the holidays once again with lots
of stops along the way and a chance to visit family. We were learning more
about ourselves and Nine of Cups.
Nautical miles for the year: 5,207
Total nautical miles to date: 9,332
|2002 – One of our goals early on was to head to the Caribbean and visit
Trinidad. It appealed to us as wildly exotic and far away. We left
Charleston, spent a little time in Florida and then headed to the Caribbean
via the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos. We visited 17 countries in six
months... all those wonderful, exotic eastern Caribbean islands we'd heard
so much about. Now we're talking big adventures.
Nautical miles for the year: 3,183
Total nautical miles to date: 12,515
|2003 – This was an exciting year for us: our introduction to the “other”
America. From Trinidad, we ventured to Venezuela, exploring all of its
fabulous and remote out-islands along the way. The distinctly Dutch islands of
Bonaire and Curacao were very different from the Eastern Caribbean islands
we'd just visited and we really enjoyed the change and culture. We sailed the
“sleigh ride” to Cartagena, Colombia from Aruba...all downwind sailing and big
following seas. Cartagena remains one of our favorite ports of call and cities in
the world. Spanish colonial architecture, history and culture all contribute to our
enjoyment of this unique city. Arriving in Kuna Yala and visiting these unique
and remote villages was fascinating. Then it was time to transit of the Panama
Canal. Instead of crossing the Pacific as planned, we headed to Ecuador.
Nautical miles for the year: 2,152
Total nautical miles to date: 14,667
|2004 – We loved Ecuador and enjoyed being there. We decided to
head offshore to the Galapagos Islands and invited our good friend,
John, to come along. We sailed from the Galapagos to Easter Island,
land of the Moai and the Rapa Nui people. The plan was to head to
mainland Chile from Easter and we tried. It ended up being a trip to
nowhere. With multiple boat issues, we headed back to Ecuador to lick
our wounds. Midst all the repairs and maintenance, we managed a major
inland travel tour by bus of Peru from our base in Ecuador. We also
traveled over the border to Copacabana and into Bolivia. The highlight
of our trip was the fantastic, beyond belief time spent in Cuzco and at
legendary ruins of the Incas, Machu Picchu,
Nautical miles for the year: 6,805
Total nautical miles to date: 21,472
|2005 – We broke the bonds of Ecuador at last and headed back to Peru by
boat. It was just a little further. Once in Peru, we decided to fly to isolated
Iquitos, Peru's biggest city on the Amazon River. We were so far south in
Peru, we decided the coast of Chile was just a little further and so south we
sailed, coast-hopping all the way.
Nautical miles for the year: 4,422
Total nautical miles to date: 25,894
|2006 – An eventful, tremendous year for travel. We began the year in Puerto
Montt, Chile, Gateway to Patagonia. We headed south through the Patagonian
Canals and into Tierra del Fuego. Before you know it,we were sailing up the
Beagle Channel, going around Cape Horn and then spending time in Ushuaia,
Argentina at the bottom of the world. We found a fortuitous opportunity to take
an excursion to Antarctica and we snatched it up. A trip of a lifetime! We sailed
up the east coast of Argentina to lovely and warm Mar del Plata and then on to
Uruguay. We couldn't just work and not enjoy our proximity to Argentina. Buenos
Aires was only a ferry ride away. Once the boat work was done, we rewarded
ourselves with an extensive inland trip through Argentina from Iguazu Falls to Salta,
Cordoba and Mendoza and all that's in between including a trip over the Andes.
We took a little sidetrip to Paraguay since it was close.
We'd come so far this year and yet it was not over. We left in November to cross
the Atlantic to South Africa. We stopped at the most remote inhabited island in
the world en route, Tristan da Cunha and made it to South Africa just a few days
Nautical miles for the year: 7,011
Total nautical miles to date: 32,905
|2007 - We spent two months exploring Cape Town and doing inland travel in
South Africa . We left Cups and Jelly behind in the care of some cruising friends
and headed to Namibia to explore Etosha National Park, the Namib Desert and
the Skeleton Coast for three weeks. Though the plan was to do an east-about
circumnavigation at this point, news that our oldest son was getting married in
Maryland made us reconsider the cost of leaving the boat for several months and
flying back to the States. What the heck? We'd sail back on the diagonal across
the Atlantic...the second trans-Atlantic crossing in less than six months.
This voyage afforded us to the chance to stop at beautiful St. Helena Island
where Napoleon was imprisoned and Ascension Island as well.
We arrived in Charleston, SC in May and headed up the east coast to Rhode
Island where Cups had a mooring reserved. We stayed the summer with
Marcie's sister and began making plans for an August wedding. October rolled
around and the weather started turning cooler, it was time to head south again.
Nautical miles for the year: 9,856
Total nautical miles to date: 42,761
|2008 -The plan was to head to Panama, transit the Canal and head across the
Pacific.We did head to Panama, but plans changed when we learned a good friend
was gravely ill in England. His boat was left stranded in Ushuaia, Argentina. We
offered to move his boat back up the Argentine coast to the safety of Uruguay. We
returned to Panama in April, but due to strikes by Canal workers, we could not
make it through the Canal in time to insure a leisurely, stop-at-every-island cruise
across the Pacific. Instead,we decided we'd just take our time enjoy more of
Panama. We visited an Embera village, sailed up the river to the Darien Jungle and
headed back to Ecuador. This time we stopped in Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador, a
port we hadn't visited before and where lots of new and old friends had congregated.
We made a long offshore passage and returned to Puerto Montt, Chile, arriving in
time to celebrate the holidays.
Nautical miles for the year: 7,493
Total nautical miles to date: 50,254
|2009 - Timing is important when crossing the Pacific and we didn't want to leave too
early in the year. We welcomed in the New Year in Puerto Montt and happily spent
some time revisiting Chile. When we visited Patagonia in 2005, we were in such a
hurry to head south, we missed a stop at Chiloe, Chile's largest island and all the
other tiny islands en route.
Finally, the timing was right to leave Chile and head across the Pacific. Come with us
as we stop at all the exotic south sea islands that we've read about since we were
children. From Juan Fernandez to Tahiti to the Cook Islands and New Zealand...it's
all here to enjoy.
Nautical miles for the year: 9,082
Total nautical miles to date: 59,336
|2010 - We arrived in New Zealand in November of 2009. It's a magic place and we
spent nearly 18 months there off and on. In 2010, we circumnavigated the North
Island. You can enjoy it all without even getting wet or windblown. We flew back to
America for a visit and did an extensive land trip in the USA.
We returned to New Zealand in September 2010 to boat work and the holidays.
Nautical miles for the year: 1,815
Total nautical miles to date: 61,151
|2011 - We left early in the year for a circumnavigation of New Zealand with stops in
wild Fiordland on the west coast and delightful Stewart Island on the east, way down
under in the Roaring Forties. A detour took us 500+nm offshore to the remote
Chatham Islands. We departed New Zealand for Fiji. Fiji was wonderful, but nothing
seemed quite as exotic or exciting as Vanuatu. After lots of island exploring, it was
time to head to Australia. We'd heard about Chesterfield Reef in the Coral Sea and
stopped at this magic place for a week. Our entry port to Australia was Bundaberg.
A whole new country, a whole new continent. We celebrated Christmas and a fabulous
New Year's in Sydney. A land trip took us to Canberra, Australia Capital Territory
Nautical miles for the year: 7,096
Total nautical miles to date: 68,247
|2012 - After spending the holidays in Sydney, we headed down the New South
Wales coast with some stops along the way. We crossed into Victoria heading
east along the coast and found ourselves at Lakes Entrance, an amazing inland
lake system (lagoons actually) accessible from the sea.Our key reason for
visiting the area was to view the wild koalas on Raymond Island. It was magic.
After koalas, we thought we'd be hard pressed to be enthralled with an area and
its wildlife, then we arrived at Deal Island where the wallabies and their friends
met the challenge. On to Tasmania...down under, down under! Come along
through Hell's Gates into Macquarie Harbour. See Sarah Island and the remains
of its infamous prison. Sail up the Gordon River and meet a tiger snake, up close
and personal. Enter Port Davey at the bottom of Tassie and explore the
Melaleuca River. Round the South East Cape and head to Kettering, Cups'
With Cups all set for a winter nap, we flew back to the States for a 20,000 mile
American Odyssey. In September, we returned to Tasmania and Nine of Cups.
We spent the holidays in Hobart.
Nautical miles for the year: 2,006
Total nautical miles to date: 70,253
|2013 - We left Hobart, Tasmania right at the New Year and spent time exploring
Tasmania's east coast including historic Port Arthur and Maria Island National
Park. Weather windows had us waiting and then making a run for it into the Bass
Strait. We completed our circumnavigation of Tasmania and headed back into
the Bass Strait, revisiting Deal Island and visiting King Island before heading to
the Australia mainland again.
Portland, Victoria was our first stop on the Australia's south coast before we
headed to Adelaide. Family emergencies had us back in the States for nearly 11
months. David returned to Cups in mid-December 2013 and Marcie followed in
early January 2014. We're ready to have some adventures again.
Total nautical miles for the year: 1,249
Total nautical miles to date: 71,502
|Marcie finally returned to Australia and joined David and Nine of Cups in Adelaide in
early January. They made their way from Adelaide via ports of call at Kangaroo Island,
Port Lincoln and Streaky Bay. At Streaky Bay, they positioned themselves for crossing
the Great Australian Bight. They took a non-traditional approach to the crossing, delving
further into the Bight than most boats, with stops at Eucla, Eyre Bird Observatory and
Daw Island along the way.
Stops in Esperance and Albany on Western Australia's south coast were outstanding
with lots of warm welcomes and hospitable hosts and some inland travel to local national
parks. The rounding of Cape Leeuwin made Great Southern Cape #4 under the keel.
Some quick stops were enjoyed in Geographe Bay before heading for the marina in
Mandurah where Cups was hauled out for her annual bottom job and maintenance.
Once again, family emergencies had us on a plane and back to the States at the end of
May, not returning until early August.
Still intent on heading across the Indian Ocean, we made a quick departure from
Mandurah and headed to Fremantle, Perth's seaport. We coast-hopped up the Western
Australia coast as far as Geraldton and then, with southeasterly winds to move us along,
we headed for the Cocos Keeling Islands, our first stop in the Indian Ocean. From the
Cocos, we sailed on to island of Rodrigues, and then to Mauritius. The cyclone season
was fast approaching as we headed for Durban, South Africa, our last stop for the year
and a chance to rest, repair and recover from our ocean passage.
Total nautical miles for 2014: 7,875
Total nautical miles to date: 79,378