About three years ago, John and I decided it was time for a vacation. Not a vacation in that “take time off work to visit family” kind of way, but a real actual “go somewhere sunny” vacation. Our parameters were: reasonably priced plane ticket, warm and sunny, no major political turmoil, beneficial exchange rate. That’s how we discovered Nicaragua.We spent 12 glorious days with our close friends Leah and Kevin on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua. We rented an insane house with a pool (and pool boy), a beautiful deck built around a tree that was usually draped with monkeys, and a set of stairs that dropped us on essentially our own private beach. I learned later it was called Redonda beach, and we shared it only with a small resort and a few rental properties. But it being well into the shoulder season, there were very few other people around.
John and I were well into plotting our cruising departure, but it was not common knowledge yet. We couldn’t talk about it outright on that trip, because Leah worked with John and work didn’t know yet. But we whispered about it constantly. Looking over that peaceful bay and out at the gentle ocean swell, sipping beer on a warm sunny beach in Central America, I couldn’t help but day dream of the time we got to do all of that while carrying our home with us.
On the morning of January 12th this year, I was napping down below after my graveyard shift of an overnight passage. The engine changed pitched and I heard the clomp clomp of feet moving around in the cockpit. So I sat up and, as I do many mornings, jammed my face right up into the portlight to take in as much as my surroundings as possible. A huge grin spread from ear to ear as I peered out at familiar looking rock formations. I was fully awake and bounded into the cockpit, still grinning ear to ear. Redonda beach! There on the beach were the tendrils of my daydreams, the whispers of how life would be to have our home right there in the water. It was like looking back in time.
We had made good on the promise we made to ourselves – a promise to commit to this lifestyle for however long it worked for us, a promise to go cruising and maybe hopefully one day find ourselves in this picture-perfect bay. Through all the grueling boat work and budgeting stress, all the difficult decisions and uncomfortable moments, I remembered this bay, looking out from the beach and envisioning Halcyon swaying gently on the waves. We had persevered to bring our dream to life, in exacting detail!
And it was just as glorious as I imagined it to be. As soon as the anchor was down, we jumped in and snorkeled through the bay. The water was warm, and the visibility was the best we’d had in months. Later, we swam to the beach and sat, salty and tired and as content as could be, as we watched the sun sink into the sea behind Halcyon as she swayed gently in the swell.