January 18th I worked on school while my parents moved us from just off O’Brien Cay to Thomas Cay. The two hour trip gave me plenty of time to finish up school and get ahead. SV Stargazer (the boat we buddied up with at Burnt Store Marina), left earlier that day and ended up to be about a mile north of us. A few hours after we anchored a man came over from a catamaran nearby. He introduced himself and told us that he had been in the contract to buy our boat before us but ended up with a different boat. Now we have a new boat friend, yay! I also discovered what I despise about the Bahamas. Flies! There are so many flies!
The next day, a couple hours before lunch, we took a dinghy to the compass cay marina. It is the prettiest and cleanest marina I have ever seen. It isn’t muddy like most marinas. It only had about four or five boats and in the back there was an area where nurse sharks collected. I didn’t swim with them like most people did because…sharks. We walked the trails on the island, discovering the hardship of trying to find the places you want to go. We ended up taking a picture on the edge of a decent sized hill that looked over the entire area. We could see our boat in the distance. We walked a little further after that to the beach and we spent a little time there to snack. None of us were wearing swimsuits so we mostly waded up to our knees and each ate a clementine.
That night we had dinner followed by the crew of Stargazer coming over for what might be the last time. The adults had cocktails while I turned Aeriss from SV Stargazer into my personal doll. We spent the night by doing “spa”. Aka me putting a peel-off mask on Aeriss, playing with her hair, and torturing her by putting her in a dress. (She agreed to it so therefore it was ok). She ended up staying for a sleepover since it may have been our last chance to see each other. Wel,l in person that is.
The following day Aeriss and I had breakfast before she returned home. The rest of the day was a lazy day, everyone did their own thing the entire day. I read and worked on my computer while my mom read. I don’t know what my dad or Mark did for the day.
On the 21st, I started my school week. After an hour or so we sailed to a new anchorage about a mile away from our old one. I was so proud of myself since I started off the semester with two 100s in Spanish. It’s a BIG deal to me because I really struggled in Spanish last semester. Around midday Mark, my mom, and I took the dinghy about a mile or two south to check out a pig beach. As we got closer to our destination we realized Stargazer would be around since we got a text from them that morning saying that they left the old anchorage and moved a few miles south. We were right! We found them surrounded by no less than 40 boats. We knocked up and down their hull until at last some crew came out. We chatted for a bit then something led to another and Aeriss was in our dinghy headed to the pig beach with us.
We arrived at the pig beach but didn’t go on land. Mark said that they could get aggressive/hostile if you had food or got too close…so we stayed in the boat. Many pigs swam to us expecting food but we were smart enough not to bring any. The pigs waded in the water and when they swam their ears and pig nose was all you could see above water. It was adorable! I don’t know how many pigs there were but there was a lot. There were pigs that were completely pink and some that were brown with black spots. It was very diversified. I was sad when we left since I wanted to stay longer but the winds were picking up. However, that didn’t stop us from stopping by SV Get Routty after we dropped off Aeriss. The captain of Get Routty had stopped by to say hi to us a few days earlier (aka in a different blog post. Check out this link to see that post.). He was the last person to possibly buy our boat before we did. We chatted with the crew for a bit but had to leave since the wind was really picking up.
That night we had dinner followed by me playing with each of my parents’ hair. I teased my dad’s hair and put both hairspray and mousse in it. Why? I don’t really know. My mom was about to go to bed so she didn’t want hairspray or mousse so I just brushed her hair, added four twirls meeting at the back and called it good. I was going to do Mark’s but he went to bed early. I don’t know what I would’ve done to his hair. It is about a centimeter long!
On January 22nd we had a normal day. I did school, my parents did work, and Mark did whatever it is he does to keep busy. I know he reads a lot. The one difference in our day was that night when we played some games like BS (All the adults know what that stands for, but us kids say Brown Sugar or Butterscotch) and a Stranger Things game that I only really have because it is Stranger Things.
The next day it was almost an exact mirror of the day before. The only big difference being that we played BS, Spoons, and Uno that night.
On the 24th we moved again! We moved our boat to Big Major Cay, which is where Stargazer was. It’s funny, I thought that earlier in the week it was the last I would see them. I did school while my parents worked for about an hour since we had already worked earlier in the morning and we were all hungry. So we headed into a Yacht Club to have lunch. It was kind of hilarious. Before our food reached us we came to a realization...we hadn’t eaten out in weeks. We had our meals then headed to get some packages with a laptop from my dad’s company and groceries we ordered. No one remembered if we had ordered oreos or not and I not-so-secretly was hoping we did. After a few more hours of school I headed to Stargazer and spent the night!
So, a lot has happened. First, I’ve learned I have VERY poor time management, especially when it comes to this blog. Since the New Year I started school, we moved the boat a few times, and started having battery issues. Because a lot has happened, I won’t go over what happened every day but I will go over the important details.
On January 1, 2019 we celebrated the New Year with some cake for breakfast. This is a very important detail, not really. Mark, my parents, and I went to a beach that had previously been taken up by charter yacht guests and played a game called Rollers. About a half hour after we got to the beach, the crew of SV Stargazer joined us and we all played together.
P.S. I had an amazing winning shot, though I only got second place.
On January 4th we sailed to Nassau so we could look for a boat part we needed and get a few more supplies. We arrived in Nassau and got right to work. Mark, my mom, and I went with Jerry and Keelan from SV Stargazer to shop. We purchased a SIM card, Starbucks, and propane. We walked back to the marina and I went to SV Stargazer with Jerry and Keelan while Mark and my mom continued to shop. I ended up sleeping over to hang out with Aeriss.
On January 5th everyone besides Aeriss and I went into town to get food. She and I spent time together up until lunch when I went home to help unload the groceries. Mark and my dad walked very, very, VERY far to get some delicious conch fritters and cracked conch. After we ate lunch, we started our light-winded journey to Rose island, again.
On January 6th we hoisted dad up the mast. I hate when we do that! I don’t like to bring him up the mast because I’m only the backup so most of the time I’m just occasionally pulling on a line so that if the main line holding him up breaks he won’t fall. It’s incredibly boring. My mom on the other hand despises when we do this because she is deathly scared of heights and putting my dad so high up makes her feel uncomfortable. Also, because his life is in her hands. We also met up with SV Dances with Dolphins again. We spent time on a beach with Aeriss then she and I went swimming for the rest of the night. We swam to and from each of our boats and blew our horns at sunset. I ended up sleeping on her boat for the night.
The next day everyone went with the crew of Dances with Dolphins onto an island where their dog would fish in puddles, Aeriss and I swung on a rope swing, and we could wade in the water. My favorite part was the rope swing, it was as big as me! Wes from Dances with Dolphins even tried to show my dad and I how to tell if a coconut is good. He couldn’t because the coconuts were already bad. *signal mua mua mua music*. The view from on top of the island was beautiful! Later that night when Aeriss was gone our boat crew played a bowling video game. I lost…but we don’t talk about that.
On January 8th we sailed to Norman’s Cay with Stargazer in tow. I’m happy to say that I finished my book from Christmas. It was ‘War Storm’ from the Red Queen series. A few hours after we anchored, we went with the crew of Stargazer to a bar named McDuff’s that we could only reach by dinghy and a short trek on sandy paths through short, stubby bushes and trees. The bar ended up looking like any other tourist trap except less charm. It had a small outside area where Aeriss and I sat while my parents had drinks at the bar. Like most tourist places the bar and food was incredibly expensive. I didn’t have any food because they stopped serving anything besides drinks at around 3:00 pm and we arrived at 4:30. The bartender got extremely annoyed with us since we stayed until around 6:00, even though the bar closes at 5:30. WHAT BAR CLOSES AT 5:30!? We got back to the boat and I had the most brilliant idea…we should have my dad sell his drinks! Profit! I’m still waiting on an answer for that.
On January 10th we ended up near Shroud Cay. We found a beautiful private island with its own beach, house, and forest! I didn’t get to see the house because it was so deep into the palm trees, but I did see the roof. The beach looked like what a travel ad would put on tv to make you spend money. The people on the island had three dogs that started barking at us the moment we dinghied within 1,000 feet of the island. Even though they looked like they would bark and bite me if I got close to them, I still wanted to pet the adorable puppy dog. Sorry my dog lover side kicked in. The house was surrounded by some of the clearest water I’d seen yet. The water was clear enough for me to see a blade of the seagrass that was all over that anchorage. Now I know what I want when I’m older. That night we went over to Stargazer and my parents played Farkle (a game I really don’t get why they have become obsessed with) while I hung out with Aeriss.
The next day we went exploring around Hawksbill Cay. We found beautiful clear water and The Russell Ruins (the ruins of a loyalist house). I must note that towards the end of hike my mom screamed bloody murder because there was a snake and she was too frightened to cross its path. Once it finally moved she was free to run like mad. Come to find out that very snake was called a Brown Racer and they are actually venomous but only to lizards and frogs. After we hiked the trail to see the house, I was given an assignment to teach us about these people. It was impossible! There is almost no information, but I found enough to try and put together my idea of what may have happened when the Russell’s were brought here. It’s probably not that accurate but I tried.
On January 12th my dad and I went on a hike through the island. We went to the other side of the island that was beautiful in a completely different way than the side we were anchored on. This side of the island had crashing waves that would mist you from a hundred feet away. The waves would crash on the rock and spray the water feet into the air. It was majestic. We decided to turn around when we saw rain clouds rolling in so we hiked for just a little longer so we could get a higher view point. Being at the top of hill/mountain gave us a gorgeous view of almost the entire island. The thing that was hilarious was that on the top we had the best signal strength on our phones than we had seen in a long time. We tried calling my grandma and uncle but when they didn’t answer we called my friend and had a video call from the top of a deserted island! I still can’t tell if she was impressed or not.
On the 13th I started school, then two days later we cleared out the crew berth and I set up my new favorite place on the boat my _________. I still haven’t come up with a name for it. It became my “office” and “just do whatever I want to do” room. The crew berth is the room attached to my own. It’s where we store our beach tools, snorkel gear, and code zero sail. In cases when a friend is visiting long term, we would take all of our gear out and lay down a mattress for me to sleep on while the guest would have my room. Right now the mattress is on its side and the gear is pushed towards the front, giving me a few feet of room to do whatever I please. I put a blanket down and two pillows so I wouldn’t have to lay on the stiff sail. I keep two books, my sketch book, a writing journal, fan, headlight, panda playing cards, and an old computer to play movies on a shelf that also holds the covers I would use if I slept in there.
On the 17th we swam near O’Brien Cay and snorkeled by fish that seemed unaffected by our presence and we could swim in the middle of their school and they couldn’t care less. I can only assume they are used to people snorkeling and feeding them since we were in a park and it was illegal to fish there. We dinghied back to our boat, only stopping to try and take a look at a plane that crashed and was now sitting on the seafloor. We didn’t get a good look but the crew of Stargazer did. We have some really cool photos from them. Fun fact: Johnny Depp’s island was right next to us.
On December 26th it really didn’t feel like Christmas was the day before, it’s strange to do Christmas in a completely different way, we went back to our schedules. I wrote the blog about Christmas, read my new book King’s Cage, and drew. My mom had to work as did my dad, though I’m pretty sure that they spent time playing around with their gifts too. Captain Mark read his new books and a book my mom lent him about Scientology by Leah Remini (if you haven’t heard about Scientology I suggest you read up, it’s…interesting). Sometime around lunch my dad and I went to the neighboring sailboats and invited them over for a sundowner they had to bring their drinks obviously, rum is expensive in the Bahamas.
That night, three of the four to six sailboats we invited came over. Everyone enjoyed snacks my mom laid out, while Aeriss (from SV Stargazer) and I played on the bow.
The next day we went on a snorkeling excursion with the crew of SV Stargazer, we went around the island we were anchored and found a secluded area, much different from the packed anchorage that left us no space to swim. Everyone went except Mark who hadn’t felt too well. My mom stayed in the dingy while my dad and I swam above the 20 foot water. I think it was the most beautiful reef yet, I’ll bet my dad thought so too. I saw parrotfish of all kind, reef coral, brain coral, small yellow fish that I don’t know the name of, and some white fish that we realized too late that we were allowed to eat. Once again we went home with no fish or lobster to show for.
Later that day we met up with the crew of Stargazer again for a lunch on the beach. The adults talked while Aeriss and I snorkeled near the shore. Mark, my parents, and I had some delicious burritos while we looked at the water that looked like it could be from a postcard.
On December 28th we moved the boat to the secluded area we had snorkeled at the day before, it was still in Highbourne Cay but a lot more private. It took longer than expected because we had to go a bit more offshore than usual so we wouldn’t bump into coral. We got to the secluded area finding two other boats, I guess more people were realizing that it was less crowded. Almost the moment we got there my dad was in the water, discovering a reef that topped the reef from the day before. I didn’t feel like getting in the water so I mostly stayed inside for awhile reading and on my phone. About an hour or so after we arrived in our new anchorage I finally got into the water, a few minutes later Stargazer anchored next to us.
The next day we had the SV Stargazer crew over for a lunch of hamburgers. Before the food was ready Aeriss and I hung out on the bow of our boat, doing who knows what. After lunch Aeriss and I swam for a bit, I got the pleasure of showing her the super cool reef. She and I swam until everyone was packing up to go to Allen’s Cay, a place known for it’s iguanas. After a short ride we arrived at a beach that within a second you could spot out an iguana. Aeriss had angered one so she and I were forced to the other side of the beach after a quick sprint. After about 10 minutes on the beach one of our crew pointed out a stingray, followed by the finding of 7 or so others. Our beach excursion ended a little after that. Everyone got back into their respective dinghies and headed back to our boat for a swim.
The following day was a normal day on a boat: chores, swim, read, draw, and any random stuff I came up with.
On December 31st I took a vote and it ended with making a chocolate cake to celebrate New Years later that night. The morning was spent like any other day, up until lunchtime when my mom, Terry (from SV Stargazer), Mark, and I went to a beach only to find it taken by a charter boat. After a couple more failed attempts we all went back to our boats.
Later that night I began to make my cake, after a few minutes of struggling to fit it into our small boat oven we finally succeeded. My mom began dinner slightly after, her food came out first. A little past midway through dinner I pulled out the cakes to chill. We finished our meal just in time, the crew of Stargazer joined us (except for Aeriss) shortly after. I took a vote of the seven people about which frosting I should use, chocolate had four votes in a row. I whipped up the frosting quickly and frosted the cake with some help from my dad (aka he did it). The cake was served with about a fourth leftover. We began our game night! We started off with PIT (the best game ever, you have to try) which I won, not to brag. A few minutes before we ended the game we saw fireworks! They were amazing, on level if not better than the firework show I saw in America for Fourth of July. We later learned that one of the charter boats set it up for their guests. After the show ended we began our second and final game, Dixit. My dad and I were on a team since he would have to go to bed mid-way through and also there were only six game pieces. I won, again, not to brag. At that point the crew of Stargazer went back to their boat, and my mom and Mark went to the bed.
My plan was to stay up to midnight reading, I failed. I woke up at 2:00 in the morning, I was so sad!
On Saturday, we left “The Donut” and finally had decent Wi-Fi! The next day my dad, mom, Mark, Terry and Aeriss (from SV Stargazer), and I went into Nassau for the day. We visited some of the historical sites like The Queen’s Staircase, one of their many forts, a pirate museum, and the Parliament building. My favorite site was The Queen’s Staircase. It’s a huge staircase of 65 steps, not the best after walking for a few miles but it was still beautiful. At the top of the stairs was one of their forts. I was able to pick up a pretty bracelet for my mom that was at a booth next to the fort and she loved it. The pirate museum was especially cool because it was all about the life and adventures of pirates. We read about some of the most famous pirates and how they lived. We also read about their codes and punishments for actions. Did you know that walking the plank wasn’t a thing? The Parliament building was a pretty pink color and at the front of the building was a large statue of Christopher Columbus. I got a really nice photo in front of it. After we saw those historical sites my mom, Mark, and Terry got in a cab and headed back to the boat, leaving Aeriss and me with my dad. We spent the rest of our time in Nassau shopping for last-minute Christmas presents. My dad really needed to shop. He hadn’t gotten anything for my mom yet! We started our trek back to the boat with a special-made lotion for my mom from my dad and presents for me from Aeriss.
Aeriss and I were extremely grumpy that my dad insisted we walk though we were both happy with that decision when we learned he was bringing us to a bakery we had walked past on the way to The Queen’s Staircase. One bite of the bread made the entire walk worth it. We walked a little further until we were able to flag down a cab. We ended up at the marina’s restaurant, The Poop Deck, and had wings, conch fritters, virgin daiquiris, and calamari. The rest of our group joined us to eat all of the food. After everyone ate we headed back to the anchorage at Rose Island.
I spent the rest of the day working on bracelets and wrapping up presents. On Christmas Eve we had a hearty breakfast then everyone wrapped and placed their presents around our tree to open later that night. We ate a yummy breakfast then went out for a snorkel. We spent almost an hour finding conchs (that were too small to eat) and watching pretty fish swim in the reef. At about 4:00, we started our Christmas game night. We always play about 4 games and have prizes for the people who do well. The four games we had this year were Scattegories, PIT, Dixit, and Clue. After the first game I was in last place, Mark was in third, my dad in second, and my mom in first. We had some time to ourselves while my mom prepped dinner. We began our second game while food was in the oven, I won this game (PIT). Before we started our next game we opened all the presents from each other. We began playing Dixit while our food continued to cook. Before we could start our final game, my mom got a migraine and had to go to bed, so my dad finished dinner. We ate our food then played Clue with just the three of us. I won and as a result I won the game night, my mom got second, my dad got third, and Mark was in last place. We opened our prizes and I received a miniature bag toss, my mom got a movie, my dad got a portable light, and Mark got hot sauce.
On Christmas morning, we all opened our stockings after having a delicious breakfast. We got back to the boat and checked the winds to find that we had a very nice weather window to go further south, and that’s what we did. We sailed Southeast in very windy weather and I may have gotten a tad seasick. We reached our destination on the west side of Highborne Cay and we all had a nice good rest, except me I was binging movies I got for Christmas.
Sorry this is almost a week late. Yeah.......
On Thursday, we sailed out of the marina and anchored by South Cat Cay. On Friday, we decided to motor to the other side of the island because the wind was making us a rock like crazy. I began my baking streak by making some delicious brownies. On Friday, I went snorkeling with Aeriss from Stargazer. After a couple hours of that we continued by streak by making some yummy cupcakes. On Saturday we began our passage to Nassau and I made some chocolate chip cookies while underway. After I baked them I saved some dough for later (when really I just saved it because I despise cold cookies and if I baked all of the dough there would be a lot of extra cold cookies). On Sunday we arrived in Nassau. I spent the day snorkeling with Aeriss and making another batch of cookies. I ended up spending the night on Stargazer. The next day I spent the day on Stargazer while my parents decorated and wrapped Christmas gifts. I am very happy that they did because I was starting to be disheartened by the lack of Christmas presents under the tree. On Tuesday, we snorkeled by the edge of the island. We floated above beautiful coral, fish, and stingrays. My dad brought a spear so he could catch a lobster, we left empty handed. He found a lobster but after an unsuccessful attempt at killing the lobster it went back under it’s rock, never to be seen by us again. After returning to the boat, my dad and Captain Mark left to see if we could dock in a place called “The Donut” while the winds were bad. While the boys were gone my mom and I swam down to the bottom of the water and retrieved three conch shells, sadly we threw them all back in that night. They smell! On Wednesday, we went onto the mainland of Nassau to provision. It’s funny being with Captain Mark, everyone knows him from all the years he spent chartering around these islands. My mom and I were assigned to the market while Mark and my dad did the marine store shopping. After heading out again we docked in “The Donut”. “The Donut” is a small inlet that is a roundish shape with a small island in the center, creating a donut like shape in the middle of Rose Island. It’s also a great place to head from the harsh wind. On Thursday, a boat named Dancing with Dolphins joined us in the inlet. On closer inspection we learned that Mark knew the members of the boat, as did my parents from close to ten years before. Everyone visited when they joined us, including the members from Stargazer. Aeriss and I had a picnic on the small island since we couldn’t swim due to wind. Everyone was preparing for dinner when we got back, since everyone was coming over to our boat. At dinner Stargazer brought pasta, Dancing with Dolphins brought conch salad made from the fresh conch they caught, and we handed out sangria, bean dip, and cookies (yes, I baked more). By the end of the night Aeriss and I were watching cheesy Christmas movies while the adults visited, Aeriss ended up spending the night with us. On Friday, Aeriss and I had a movie marathon of the Hunger Games, followed by cleaning up the blanket we had used the day before (it was covered with pine needles), and some island exploration to top it off. Aeriss was sent home as my family and I prepared for everyone to visit that night too. At around 6:30 everyone arrived, except Aeriss because she wanted to stay home. I spent the night reading while the adults visited, that is until they brought out games. Everyone joined in as we began to play PIT (the greatest and loudest game ever). The night ended on a high note, at least for me. I won the game with a score of 310 points, the second place winner with a score of 10.
On Wednesday, we prepared. We stowed items and filled tanks, all that was left was to push off. Sadly, after a wind and tide check we learned that we would gain more by leaving the next day. The saddening part of this was that I was freezing! I had been wearing a sweatshirt that day and the next was suppose to be even colder! I was itching to leave the marina more than anyone else, for the obvious reasons and also because my friends had already left for the Keys. On Thursday, we took off! The day was spent with everyone rotating to the helm (the place to steer the boat), except for me since I don't know how to yet. While everyone was at the helm I would do school if we had WiFi, read, and sometimes put on makeup (just because I felt like it). We ended up having some issues with our navigation system and had to anchor out for the nigh, then on Friday, we continued our journey. The navigation system wasn't completely fixed but it was good enough. Night had come along and I realized the issues with having a forward cabin. IT'S LOUD! I could hear us crash against the waves, I wasn't able to sleep. Sooner or later I moved into the salon (living room) and slept on the couch. On Saturday, we arrived in Key West! About an hour and a half after I woke up we had joined our friends from SV Stargazer in a mooring field, which is an area where boats can connect to a floating ball that's connected to the ground instead of using an anchor. After some well-deserved naps, we went onto land with our friends from Stargazer. On Sunday, we were off again, along with Stargazer we began our journey to the Bahamas! I spent most of this day drawing and reading, but I did get to steer for a few minutes. On Monday, we made landfall at a Cat Cay. After going through the process of being checked in, we relaxed and had drinks at a bar (mine was non-alcoholic obviously). On Tuesday, Stargazer joined us at the marina. They came over to our boat and had dinner, we all needed a break.
Hello! I'm Addison Roberts and I'm 12 years old. I live on a boat with my parents and we're sailing around the world, or at least headed in that general direction, but you probably know that from the author bio on the side of the screen! So, I think you should know more about me, what lead my parents to get the boat, and preparing for our journey. You already know my name and my age, but you don't know that I have lived in a total of four states in the U.S., I was born in Illinois, moved to Mississippi when I was about 2, I moved to Virginia when I was 7, and at last, when I was 10, I was warm in Florida! Moving around from place to place made it easier to move onto a boat because I was already use to leaving places and people, though I still keep in contact with some of my friends from when I was younger. I am in seventh grade, I'm not home schooled (yet) and I don't go to public school, so how do I learn? Well, I'm taught through FLVS (Florida Virtual School), and I love it! FLVS has real teachers and I'm able to talk to them throughout the week to help me with homework, to make it even better it gives me the opportunity to skip a grade in subjects so I can "reach my full potential". Sadly, this is my first and last year with FLVS Full Time, starting next year my mom will home school me. Speaking of my parents, I think it's a good time to tell the story of when they decided to buy a boat. It all started when my dad went on a trip with my uncle on a charter sailboat to the Bahamas over 10 years ago. My dad had such a great time travelling that he somehow convinced my mom to buy a boat with him and travel the world, and that's exactly what they've done. At the moment, we are preparing to go, we are doing last minute projects, buying necessities, and preparing for "Captain Mark" to join us. Fun fact: Captain Mark was the captain of the boat my dad went on originally when he decided to buy a boat. It's funny how things come full circle, isn't it? We're in a marina right now, I've met two other boat girls here: Aeriss and Ella. There's a picture of us together to the right. Ella is on the left, Aeriss is in the middle, and I'm on the right. If you are on a mobile this will be at the top.
Aeriss has a channel on youtube, you should check it out.