Tuesday, January 6, 2015

"No Regrets" By Gary Neilan

I asked Dan's dad to write a blog post of his own as he was leaving to head back to the arctic circle.... I mean New England. We had so much fun with you onboard Gary! You have an unstoppable positive attitude that makes you great to have on Sarah. Thank you for coming to see us and experience a piece of our dream. 

Check out Gary's No Regrets below... 

"No Regrets

Allyson asked me if I would write an entry for their blog, so here goes. I know that I have a problem getting out of my comfort zone and have to address this as I get deeper into retirement. I was on line with Dan and he said the sailing schedule looked good for me to fly into Nassau to meet them. The flights were cheap and Dan assured me all would be OK. But I still hesitated pushing the ENTER button on the plane tickets. I then realized this was likely a once in a lifetime opportunity and especially after reading Allyson’s Florida blog that, “just not today” would not be an option here.

Well, after an expired passport and a 3hr drive to Stamford for a new one, a 4AM drive through a black ice nightmare to Bradley, a shaky taxi ride from Nassau airport – I found myself sitting aboard Sarah in the Paradise Island channel just as a storm front blew through.

They will probably add pictures to this blog entry, but the pictures on a small screen don’t do justice to what it is like to have a 360 degree vista of blue water and skies, and gentle 80 degree breezes and star-filled nights for 8 days. We had three long sailing days. The first was an eight hour motor sail across Grand Bahama banks to Highbourne Cay and Long Cay where we stopped after 4 hours for lunch and a  swim (and engine break) with no land or other boats in sight. The second was in Exuma sound under spinnaker trolling for Mahi on the way to the Exumas National Land and sea park. The third was under full sail to Staniel Cay with fair dinkum saling for us. All memories I will never forget.

As for life aboard Sarah, cruising the Bahamas is more of a full-time job than an idyllic getaway. Each day begins at 6: 30 AM with Dan checking carribean weather reports from Chris Parker, hoping not to hear “ if you’re heading to  ….,  I would leave sooner rather than later” which means you should have left yesterday. With such limited storage, they make their own pizza dough, bread, and rolls from scratch. They are so self-sufficient that every day items take on different value, for example a new no-stick frying pan was seen as an absolute luxury, whereas a new i-pad air was just an updated navigation/communication tool. The day ends reviewing charts for the next day’s travels and checking on essential supplies like water.

Dan and Allyson are both physically and mentally strong and are absolutely taking on this challenge together. Some people may wonder how can they be so far from home?
For these two, Sarah is their home and Sarah just happens to be in paradise right now.
I know that they both had ”no regrets” under pros on their pros and cons list for this trip.

For me this trip was, in the words of Tom Rush’s song --No regrets. Some tears goodbye"


  1. Sure.... rub in the Arctic Circle jokes!

    1. Sorry Bob! From what I hear your turn is near!

  2. From "Mr. Negative" to "an unstoppable positive attitude" this is pretty much the funniest thing I have ever read on the internet and I am still laughing about it (with tears rolling down my face) 3 days later. We love you Dad!

    1. That's what being retired and in the Bahamas will do for you.


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