Four full days of traveling. Sunrise to Sunset. Moving. We made it to Fort Lauderdale. Only Fort Lauderdale? Oh yeah, I forgot we only go 5.5 knots. I could possibly sprint to Fort Lauderdale quicker. No wonder it’s going to take us four months to get back to Michigan. Hmmm.

It was like being on the treadmill. Trotting around at 5.5 miles per hour… and once you get warmed up and confident, you press the button… increasing your speed. Now your going 6 mph,  suddenly, your galloping. The half a mile per hour difference feels rather significant. Counting them calories while your hair is blowing in the wind. Aboard Louise, you could feel every push with the changes in wind velocity. When her speed jumped from 5.5 knots to 6… and then 6.1… 6.2 it felt like we were winning a race. All though no one was in sight. Things suddenly were exciting. I was on the edge of my seat. Eye balling the chart plotter, counting down the fractions of miles we were covering, and the calories I wasn’t burning sitting in one place for 10 hours.

You know, you really can’t miss anything when you move that slow. Which I am convinced is the entire purpose of America’s Great Loop. Absolutely everything in sight, from landmarks and charming (or often not so charming) towns, to sea life, birds, humans, and every inch in between. You see it, you meet it, you almost touch it. Okay we don’t touch the humans now. Common. The thought of traveling so slowly… around America, is unappealing to a lot of people. I get it. Why don’t you just drive the loop? Well, pretty sure we both have already thought about that one. But, I would have missed every single picture, animal, or personal interaction that has given me something to remember, and something to write about. You see? Those who wonder why we travel on sailboats/11hp diesel boats, are missing the point.

Suddenly, I am driving to Michigan. Flying down the interstate on four pieces of spinning rubber. My hair is not just blowing in the wind, but the skin on my face is being stretched and pulled towards the back of my head. This is not safe. I want a helmet. no wonder so many people die in car accidents. If we were all on sailboats, we would casually bump into one another, toss each other a brew and cheers. Twenty some hours later I’m in my home state again. While driving home I didn’t make any friends, I didn’t take any photos, and all my mind really soaked in was the amount of road kill and McDonalds I flew by. Which really put things into perspective for me, “Huh, I bet that’s where McDonalds gets their local’fresh meat’,” Point being – road trips and boat trips around America, are completely separate, not to mis interpreted, or tossed into the same category. I don’t even dare to compare the two.

Oh, Why am I suddenly in my truck (Chuey) on my way to Michigan? aren’t I supposed to be sailing to Michigan?

Well, baby steps. I have had Chuey down in Florida for some time now, and he wasn’t going to drive himself back to Michigan. After we parked Louise, we rented a car (because we are 25 now, and it sounded fun) Spent a day driving back down to Key West to pick up Chuey, only to immediately turn around and return the rental back to Fort Lauderdale before Enterprise closed. It seemed odd… it was 8 hours to Key West, AND BACK. Pretty sure it just took 4 days in Louise, to cover half that distance. The greatest part about this day, was that Reggie threw up in the rental car 3 times. After Enterprise warned Katie of the potential dog penalty. Never once in my life, have I seen Reggie get sick.

Returning my vehicle to Michigan, was the last step, before embarking on the final leg of this journey. Being home, for just a short time, did nothing but remind me of that fact that I am not actually hiding from the government. They know where I am. Damnit. There were envelopes upon envelopes addressed to my full name. Jessica Anne Zevalkink. Who are these people? My parents? No one calls me that. All of them, looking to collect money. If they know how to find me, you’d think they would have the courtesy to write me off as “Nice young girl who doesn’t know what she is doing with her life/small bank account/we will come back to her later after she has won the lottery”

Is that too much to ask? Pretty sure they considered that option, putting my file in the back of the cabinet, and giving me a break. But then, they saw on the internet that I flipped off those old people, and changed their minds. “Did you see what this little bitch did? Git her money. She must be a tourist”

Okay. Chuey has been returned to Michigan. Louise is ready, and patiently waiting the next leg. She is uncertain what part of her is going to break next, and doesn’t dare give us any kind of heads up. I don’t blame her. She knows, that we don’t want to know either. Were all frightened. Katie and I are prepared for hit to fit the shan. We are excited. This is gonna be good.




3 thoughts on “5.5 knots.

  1. You are living my dream. Just didn’t start sailing until I was 64 and now I’m 72. Love it, just not sure the old body would make that long a journey. Good luck to you girls – I’m all foryou.

  2. You have plenty of time to get caught in the minutia of regular life. Live your adventure while you can and you never know what opportunities you might come across on your travels.
    Good luck to you,

  3. Came across your adventures last year. Great to have you back in sunny south Florida. Way cool. Your photo’s and adventures spur me on. Can’t do it alone with 2 dogs which I love and refuse to leave behind even though some people would. So I am thinking a more practical way to do it and I think I’ve found a way. A MacGregor sailboat could accommodate me and my crew and it would allow me to motor inshore for the evening where I could re-supply for the daily needs and walk them for a while before bedding down for the night. Just thought I’d wish you well on you trip and look forward to reading and seeing all the things you are experiencing. With kind regards, Matt, Sheba, and Budda.

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