Day 76, Year 1: The Hayes Martin New Year’s Day Law
Date: Sunday, January 1, 2006
Weather: Cloudy and Drizzly
Location: Admiralty Bay, Bequia, The Grenadines

My dad was Hayes Martin and he had very definite ideas about most everything, but especially about New Year’s Day. He insisted that the way you lived your life on this day would determine the way you would live throughout the year. His prescription was to get up early, work hard all day, and then go to bed early. If two out of three gets approval, then we have done well today. We didn’t get up early, but we did work hard and I promise to go to bed early!

We celebrated the New Year’s Eve here on the boat. We decided not to go into town, but to stay here and watch South Pacific. We actually stayed up until midnight and watched the fireworks and flares display. The fireworks were planned, but at the magic hour, many boaters got out their old flares and shot them off over the anchorage. The noise in the harbor was what you would expect in Times Square, but things settled down again around 0030 and we tucked in for the night.

Mark’s morning was spent further investigating the vibration problem. Sometime around 1100, I heard him exclaim, “I found it!” He found loose bolts in the flexible coupling connecting the prop shaft to the transmission. Of course, tightening those bolts required removing something else first, but my mid-afternoon he declared success. We will have to test this when we leave the anchorage here, but for now, we think we have that problem solved. I spent the day researching the Galapagos Islands. The islands are 95 per cent national park and heavily regulated, so I read as much as I could find about possibilities. I am also in the process of researching our next few stops and tomorrow we will do some serious planning on where to from here.

Here’s a little report on our progress over the past 75 days.

Day 1—Shipyard Quarters, Boston Harbor
Air Temperature: 40 degrees F
N 42 degrees 22 minutes; W 71 degrees 3 minutes

Day 39—Morning After Thanksgiving Day, Solomons, MD

Day 40—Heading Into the Gulf Stream
Air Temperature: 50-60 degrees F
N 35 degrees 53.8 minutes; W 74 degrees 28.6 minutes

Day 53—St. Martin
Air Temperature: 84 degrees F
N 18 degrees 04.08 minutes; W 63 degrees 05.58 minutes

Day 75—Bequia, The Grenadines
Air Temperature: 83 degrees F
N 13 degrees 00.62 minutes; W 61 degrees 14.52 minutes

In 75 days, we have increased the daily temperature by about 43 degrees by changing our latitude from 42 degrees N to 13 degrees N. Only 13 more degrees and we will be on the equator, but that doesn’t happen until we go through the Panama Canal and head south of the Galapagos Islands—sometime in April.

We have actually had a rainy day today. Normally, it rains once or twice during the night and then clears up in the early morning. Today the winds have increased throughout the day and the rain comes and goes. This is our first really rainy day since reaching the Caribbean. Our first day in Soufriere was a little rainy, but we were diving, so we didn’t even know it. But today was different. It really has rained most of the day. There were periods of sun, but no rainbows—just more rain. But we can’t complain. We have had day after day of gorgeous weather. Maybe there was enough rain today to wash some of the salt off the deck. That would be a nice gift.

The Hayes Martin New Year’s Day Law didn’t mention anything about reflection and thanks, but I think that is what this day is really all about. I looked through all of our photographs from the year reminding me of the events. For us, it was a year filled with a frenzy of activity getting ready for this voyage. It was also a year filled with wonderful times with friends and family—last Christmas in Maine with Jed’s family, a trip to West Virginia to celebrate the new year with my family, a Superbowl Sunday celebration aboard boats in Shipyard Quarters, a summer sailing vacation to Maine with our friends Kevin and Claire, a phenomenal NHPR farewell for Mark at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord, a surprise visit by all of Mark’s family, a fantastic farewell cruise on Lake Sunapee with my Concord School District friends, and final farewell visits from more family and friends. And since we left Boston in October, we had a full-fledged Martin gathering in Maryland and have met with many old and many new friends along the way.

We have certainly had some challenges along the way, but we feel really lucky to be doing what we are doing and to have such great family and friends back home who have supported us along the way.