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03 Jun 2014 15:38
SME62 Class News - Blandings' Circumnavigation Complete - and - they are attending the 70th Birthday BBQ Bash on 6/28! 
enfeedia RSS feed publisher FeedBack ( 0) On May 27th, 2014 at 1120, at the entrance to Anegada, BVI, Sunflower crossed her December, 2000 track created during our shake-down cruise to the BVI. There was considerable honking of horns, popping of champagne, and appropriate hubbub created by Pete and Lyn and Tony and Shelly on their boat, SV Moby and also "DQ" and Sandy and their guests on their three story power cruiser, Sea Dragon.

Thank you, Pete and Lyn, DQ, Tony, Shelly, Dave, and Jim Pierce for making this a fun event. Pete and crew(s) had flown from Kansas City to organize a surprise rendezvous on their boat, Moby, in the North Sound of Virgin Gorda on the 25th. That turned into a two day pre-party and evening dinner party on Sea Dragon.

When my sister, Becca, and her husband, Bob, arrived on the 30th we honored Sunflower by dressing her in the courtesy flags of the countries visited during our circumavigation. Sunflower (aka Fog City) had visited most of these countries before in the 90's when she took Ken and Gina on a tour of the world from San Francisco to Florida - so she knew the way better than we did.

Our last departure from Florida was in May, 2002 when Sunflower set sail for the Panama Canal and points West. 12 years, 34,000 Nm, and 36 Countries later we will soon cross that track as well, near Great Inagua - and celebrate again! There is some dispute on board about which track-crossing constitutes a circumnavigation, but I (Dave) argue: both are adequate excuses for two celebrations! And, the BVI crossing has additional sentimental significance because it was here, in 1976, that the idea of a circumnavigation was born. We had chartered a 38' Moorings Gulf Star after sailing a 16' dinghy, so Moorings thought it prudent to put a check-out captain on board. He and his wife spent the evening entertaining us with stories about their cruise from Hong Kong to Brazil to the BVI. The next day Kathie and I decided to sail around the world when we retired. And, we did.

Many Caribbean cruisers, have congratulated us on our "accomplishment", and it does feel good to have completed the loop, but we tell them that we are only doing the same thing they are doing, except that each year we left the boat a little farther West. When we returned to Sunflower, we had a new country to explore and new people to meet. Going home every year to spend time with family and friends made it a lot "easier". It's like spending the winter in Florida, only different.

But wait, there's more! This Fall we'll share a canal boat in France with British cruising friends Barry and Mags; this Winter, we'll enjoy Sunflower in sunny Florida; the following Summer we'll explore the East Coast; and the Summer after that we'll take Sunflower through the Erie Canal to Lake Michigan. We hope you'll visit us along the way.

Cheers to all!
Dave & Kathie
SV Sunflower
BVI
Dave & Kathie Blanding - SunflowerSailors@yahoo.com