Sail Winterlude Adventures

From planning the dream, to buying the boat, to actually leaving the dock to go cruise the Western Caribbean for six years, our cruising dream came true.  Maybe it took a little longer and maybe the boat is a bit smaller, but we’ve been commuter cruising since 2001 – over 11 years and 11,000 miles under the keel.  I wrote Winterlude Updates twice a month during the six years we were out of the country.  Eventually I started a website to collect all the updates and that became the Sail Winterlude website.  Then I expanded to add our US Navy Tiger Cruise – did you know parents can ride along with their sons/daughters on the way back from Pearl Harbor to San Diego on a US Navy ship?  Very fun & educational!  You can read about all our adventures at Sail Winterlude – except the inland travel adventures, I haven’t finished that part of the website.   If you want to read more, click …

Sail Winterlude

Welcome Aboard!  Winterlude is a 1985 Passport 37 sloop.  We bought the boat in 2001 in Hampton Roads, VA, sailed up the Chesapeake to Annapolis with the prior owner, fixed up the boat and set off for Southwest Florida in Sept 2001 to get ready to go cruising in 2004.  Mission accomplished and then some!   


Winterlude Anchored Rio Chagres, Panama
We quickly discovered to reach all the places we wanted to explore, we simply could not return to the US every hurricane season.  We weren’t comfortable leaving our home in unknown locations with unknown caretakers, but nine years later, we are confirmed “commuter cruisers” – it’s a lifestyle that allows us to spend six months a year in the US, racing Y Flyers, a one design scow and spending time with family.   And the other six months, we enjoy cruising! Since leaving the US in October 2004, we sailed 7,500 miles from Florida along Mexico’s Yucatan Coast, exploring offshore atolls as well as inshore reefs in Belize, leaving Winterlude in the Rio Dulce (Sweet River), Guatemala.

Vivorillos Cayes, Bird Caye
We’ve explored the Bay Islands of Honduras, the Vivorillos Cays, Providencia & San Andres, Colombian Islands off the coast of Nicaragua en route to Bocas Del Toro, Panama.  We loved the lush surroundings of the Chagres River. then sailed to Cartagena for carnival.  Returning along the Colombia coast, the Rosarios and the San Bernardos were adventures before arriving at Sapzurro, Colombia — my favorite cruising location yet!  Sapzurro is the border town between Colombia and Panama.  We hiked the mountain ridge where the border was located and down the Panama side, to the waterfalls, dinghied to the “tourist” town around the next cove and then spent time in the San Blas Islands, negotiating for my own molas, artwork specially crafted by the Kuna indigenous people. In between, we’ve watched dolphins pirouette in the early morning sun, had front row seats for the pelican ballet:  pelicans diving in sequence at sunset, danced barefoot on the beach, made great friends, hiked to the highest waterfalls and snorkeled the clearest waters, discovered unknown (to us) species, eaten the freshest fish and lived a lifestyle only cruisers know.  

David & Jan at Glovers Reef Atoll, Belize, WL in the background
We love the lifestyle and we want to share the adventure in this website!  We’ll share our experiences “commuter cruising” in hopes that those that sail in our wake might pick up a morsel or two of helpful information!

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