Last year we had the most amazing New Year’s Eve plans. Three boats full of friends were staged in the Keys, set to cross over to the Dry Tortugas. But weather. It was bad and forced us to cancel. Such is boat life. Plan B brought us to an anchorage just above Captiva Island behind a state park called Cayo Costa. The kids loved it so much, they begged to come back this year.
In a way, that paragraph captures our 2021 in a nutshell. Not necessarily the bad weather (though we had our fair share of that too), but the fact that from one day to the next we weren’t always sure where we’d be. It was 52 weeks of playing it by ear. Often our plans changed. But somehow, Plan B always turned out better than what we’d originally expected.
If you asked me a year ago if we’d be in the exact same anchorage where we began 2021, I would have thought it impossible. But here we are!
So many of our past New Year’s Eves brought major changes from one year to the next. New houses in new cities with new friends. In a year that held so much uncertainty for us, it’s almost shockingly consistent to be back at Cayo Costa.
Naturally, I have to share a little look back at our crazy 2021.
Many boaters reflect on their year in numerical terms. They know how many miles they traveled. How many gallons of fuel they burned. How many nights they spent on anchor. ETC. For me, the numbers don’t capture the moments quite like words. So here’s a few of our 2021 highlights in no particular order:
- Crossed our wake, completing our Great Loop.
- Visited our 49th state, North Dakota.
- Attended some baseball games including: Miller’s fall season in Hilton Head, Braves vs. Red Sox spring training game in Fort Myers, the College World Series in Omaha, and a Twins game in Minnesota.
- Turned 40 (Brent and Sarah.)
- Spent more days with our toes in the sand than any other year, ever.
- Joined 2 new libraries. Checked out a million books (Mary Grace.)
- Celebrated holidays and special occasions with both of our families.
- Found a new favorite ice cream spot.
- Donated 9 inches of hair (Mary Grace.)
- Adopted a cat.
- Got a first pedicure (Brent.)
- Completed a ton of boat projects including the installation of an inverter and lithium batteries.
- Swam with Dolphins at Discovery Cove.
- Learned that air frying bacon is life changing.
- Earned a Captain’s Licence (Brent.)
- Visited some National Park Sites: Everglades, Big Cypress, Cumberland Seashore, and Castillo de San Marcos
- Spent almost 6 months living on the Island we’ve always dreamed of calling home, Hilton Head.
- Caught fish off a beach, our boat, and many docks.
- Completed 7th and 2nd grade.
- Began 8th and 3rd grade. Plus, Mary Grace is taking her first high school course this year, biology.
- Opened another business.
- Celebrated 17 years of marriage.
- Joined 2 new churches.
- Won a Summer Sales contest (Brent.)
- Published in a boating magazine, Passagemaker.
- Discovered a love for anchoring.
- Survived a Man-a-War sting (Mary Grace), a tree incident (Miller) and a Carbon Monoxide-like leak.
Not to mention all the sunsets, laughs and hotel stays!
2021 brought the opportunity to connect with a lot of friends and family we hadn’t seen in a while. And of course, we also made a ton of new friends along the way too.
As always, thank you for keeping up with our crazy adventures. We’re prayerfully entering 2022 with excited hearts, and a desire to boldly pursue more of our dreams. Happy New Year!
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