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Boston Return -- May, 2004:
After some of our best downwind sailing, beautiful Bahamian cruising, and a fast Gulf Stream passage north, we arrive safely back in our home port - Boston. Eighteen months after setting off from Newport, we complete our trip of a lifetime!

On May 17, 2004 we sailed back into Boston Harbor, completing our 18 month Atlantic circumnavigation taking us through the deep blue waters of the Caribbean, the ancient ports of the Mediterranean, and a lifetime of memories along the way.

Back in November 2002, after getting married, we sailed south in our 2001 J-46 VANISH for a winter in the Caribbean. Our year long plan was to winter in the Caribbean, cross the Atlantic to the Med in the spring, sail the western Mediterranean till October '03, then ship the boat back to Newport.

Gaining wisdom during our first winter in the Caribbean, we altered our plans to ship Vanish to the Med in the Spring of '03 and then sail back to the Caribbean in November. This gave us another month of cruising in the Med, and a much easier passage across the Atlantic. As an added benefit, Vanish would be back in the Caribbean for the winter of '04.

During our first season in the Caribbean, we sailed from St. Martin through the islands down to Trinidad and then back up to the BVI's. Along the way we met many good friends and more than a handful of colorful characters. In the Spring '03, we completed in the BVI Spring Regatta taking Vanish out on the race-course for the first time. From there, it was back down to Martinique where we shipped Vanish over to Europe.

Arriving in Palma de Mallorca we did a circle tour of the Western Mediterranean, visiting Spain, France, Corsica, Sardinia and Italy. Taking great advice from a French J-Boat owner we met, Jean-Louis Pezin, we tried to see the Med like sailors going places you can only reach, or best see, by boat. Our Med trip culminated in our participation in the Les Voiles de St Tropez, a classic French regatta.

Getting out of the Med in the fall was not as easy as we had planned. St. Tropez to the Canary Islands was some of the toughest sailing we've experienced, but our season in the Med was worth it. After 1000 miles of difficult sailing, we were a bit wary of our first Atlantic crossing. But the classic "milk run" proved to be just that; 17 days of downwind sailing. Back on the other side, we were greeted in St. Lucia with rum cocktails, and it wasn't even 10 in the morning - how fitting for the Caribbean!

December to February we slowly sailed back towards St. Martin, stopping at many islands we never went to the previous year. At the end of January, we tied Vanish to the dock at St. Martin's Simpson Bay Marina and headed back to Boston for a taste of land life. Before we knew it, we were back in St. Martin for the Heineken Regatta. Friends gathered to race with us and this time we took a third!

Continuing our cruise in the early spring of '04 our sites were now set on returning to Boston before June. With the stormy memories of our maiden Newport to Bermuda voyage in mind, we decide to take the coastal route back north. This took us through the beautiful, crystal clear waters of the Bahamas, and to many other northern Caribbean ports missed when going offshore. The primarily downwind sailing along our last cruising leg was some of the best of our entire trip. It was also a joy to see an increasing number of familiar faces and hulls as we made our way home.