How Covid-19 is affecting us while living aboard

How has the pandemic affected us as liveaboards traveling far from home?

All in all not too bad and we are very grateful for that. We did have to skip the Bahamas, one of the most anticipated stops of our trip. Does this mean we have to make plans to come back?!

We started taking precautions

when going ashore in the Dominican Republic since there was one reported case in the capital when we were there at the beginning of March. At the time this consisted of carrying hand sanitizer & wipes, washing our hands more frequently than normal, and avoiding touching our faces. Our plan was to visit Turks & Caicos on our way to the Bahamas, perhaps stay a few days depending on the weather. On Saturday we arrived after our overnight trip and headed in to find customs, which was surprisingly challenging. We were anchored in Sapodillo Bay and finally found the office by the industrial docks. The customs officer stamped our passports as he explained that beginning Monday nobody will be allowed to enter the country if arriving from the Dominican Republic.

Hearing this news we decided to fast track to the Bahamas but our weather window was short: the last day we could leave to have a comfortable sail was Monday. We then hurried on to Mayaguana, one of the easternmost islands in the Bahamas, where our cruising guides suggested we would be able to check in. Sadly that wasn’t up-to-date information as the customs office of the island had closed 3 months prior to our arrival. We had to wait out some weather here before we could move on. The Bahamas closed its borders a few days later as we were making our way to the closest port of entry, but unfortunately, we didn’t make it in time.

Our only option was to head back

to the US. We arrived at West Palm Beach, Florida in early April. At this point, we were out of fresh food aside from an onion and 2 sweet potatoes. (Our non-perishable food was well stocked since we purchased about two months’ worth of food in St. Martin in preparation for our time in the remote parts of the Bahamas.) Our water tanks were running extremely low as our watermaker retired just after we left the Dominican Republic. Thankfully Chris on Tala, the boat we’ve been traveling with since Virginia, has a great watermaker and was able to supply us with some potable water for our way home. When we finally pulled up to a dock in West Palm Beach to fill up our fuel and water tanks we felt renewed on Celtic Spirit. This was also the first time in several months we didn’t have to pay for water by the gallon, which was unusual by now – the good habit of not wasting water when filling up remains.

Going ashore for groceries was a whole new experience – when we last shopped in Providenciales a few weeks ago masks weren’t recommended for everyone just yet. We haven’t been on land for so long at this point that we really minimized our time there and wore all the accessories for shopping (masks, sunglasses, gloves).

Sadly the sightseeing has been taken out of our itinerary completely. Scheduled visits from friends and family in the Bahamas were canceled. We had plans for others to visit us along the east coast right about where we are now, coming close to Charleston, SC. We were looking forward to visiting these gorgeous southern cities very much, but instead, we will most likely pass by without going to town at all. Now our only goal is to stay fairly warm as we get closer to the northern latitudes (60F/15C feels very different after a winter spent in beach weather). We are taking our time waiting for good weather windows to make moves and exploring more of the ICW along the way. Rhode Island here we come!

Barbuda Photo Diary

Barbuda is tough to describe with words. If you wanted to see a remote island with beaches that are (still) untouched, Barbuda is more than worth the trip from Antigua. Many miles of sandy beaches greet you upon arrival with possibly the softest sand you ever walked in. The silence and hues of blue are unmatched. At night all the stars come out, at any point you may spot the milky way. The sand shimmers in pink from tiny shells that wash up with the ocean.

Leading up to our arrival we read and heard a lot about Barbuda, so we were also curious to hear the locals thoughts about the new developments being built on the island. Planet Money recently created an episode on this topic, so if you are curious give it a listen. Our personal opinion is that if any millionaire truly wanted to do good for the island, they’d create a national park (at least on parts of the island) to protect it and provide jobs at the same time. Sadly capitalism has made its way to Barbuda in a way that will bring surely bring money in, but will most likely not benefit locals in any other way aside from employment. Let us know your thoughts!

Endless Beaches

Please enjoy a collection of a few of the photos we took while walking from Coral Group Bay through Princess Diana Beach all the way to Coco Point and back.

Frigate Birds

We decided to go on the famous frigate bird colony tour. We called George in the morning and were able to arrange it for 2pm the same day. He sent a cab to our anchorage for us and took us to the colony in his motorboat. We LOVED this tour and recommend it to anyone visiting the island. It cost $100 for 4 people all together ($50 for the cab and $50 for the tour).

Local Lobster

When scheduling our frigate bird tour we also asked George if we would be able to buy local lobster afterwards. He said he could arrange. What we didn’t expect is for him to pull up the lobster trap while we were on our way back from the frigate birds! We scored 7 lobsters for $30 – they were surely the freshest Caribbean lobsters we’ve ever had. Until we learn to catch our own! 🙂

Best of Antigua - A Cruiser's Guide

We arrived  in Antigua after spending 2+ weeks in the St. Martin area, one of which was spent hunkered down in Marigot while the winds blew 25-30kts for 4 days. So once the weather eased up a bit we were ready to make our way to Antigua, the southernmost point of our travels (for now). Once we got here we were spoiled with the weather: a cold front came down easing the trades so much that we had several calm days with no rainshowers at all. This allowed us to explore the east side of the island along with a reef that’s a bit further away from land on the southwest side – all of a sudden we had so much to see in so little time!

Jolly Harbour

Upon arrival to Antigua, we checked in to the country at Jolly Harbour, where the dock made it super easy to do so. We then explored the marina and found several reasons to return later during our stay on the island:

  • Customs Dock This dedicated dock is provided for those arriving or leaving the country of Antigua and Barbuda. Look for the yellow flag and dock where available. Note that if you are headed to Barbuda from Antigua, all you have to do is go to the Port Authority and check out from the port, not from the country.
  • Epicurean grocery store Great selection of fresh greens, along with other vegetables and fruits. Make sure to find the fresh arugula and basil on the top shelf – they are delicious and the local arugula is extra spicy! We were also able to pick up some chicken, Waitrose prosecco (a Celtic Spirit staple) and Dominican ice cream here. Don’t miss the reasonable Chilean wine!
  • Pastries from the Finnish/Swiss lady selling from the back of her minivan You may find her across the street from Epicurean on most days of the week. We had luck on Monday, Friday and Tuesday before. One of my favorite moments was when I asked for one of each of the turnovers she had available that day (mango, raspberry, coconut, guava, pineapple, soursop and more)!
  • Available moorings, marina showers & wifi Most days there are available mooring balls for $25 US/night – you’ll have to pay at the marina. It’s worth it to pay ahead for the night because you can ask for the bathroom codes as well as a wifi voucher!
  • Jolly Beach A 10-minute walk from the dinghy dock, Jolly Beach is a beautiful long sandy beach with the bluest water as long as the eye can see. We found a fresh coconut stand, and daybed & jetski rentals are also available.
  • Burton’s Laundry We don’t usually drop our laundry off as we prefer to do it ourselves, but there was no such option in Jolly Harbour so we decided to leave it at Burton’s. For $35 EC per load the lady does a beautiful job, I don’t think our laundry has been this clean for a while so we returned to her just before leaving the island. Two duffel bags worth of laundry cost us $105 EC (about $40 US) both times.
  • Budget Marine Typical Caribbean pricing but good stock for anything you may need for the boat. We picked up impellers and barnacle buster here. Make sure to bring the checkin papers with you as they will waive the tax if you are on a boat in transit!
  • Sheer Rocks We were invited to spend a friend’s birthday here (thank you and hi Victor & Melissa) and were amazed by the property and views around. You can reserve a daybed with a pool that you’ll have all to yourself (or maybe share with another table, but it doesn’t bother at all). The cocktails are fantastic, and so are the tapas. With that said the place is on the pricier side, but totally worth it if you’d like to treat yourself for a day and experience an unforgettable view.

Nonsuch Bay

Since we had a few calm days, we decided to motor over to the east side of the island. We were glad we did – Nonsuch Bay is a gorgeous slice of Earth with little waves due to the protection from the reefs on the east. It is advised to follow the charts but finding our way in wasn’t too tricky.

  • Protection from the reefs The entire bay is surprisingly calm even though it technically opens to the east and the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Option to anchor anywhere We spent some days anchored outside of Nonsuch Bay Resort on a grassy bottom. Snorkeling around the boat we saw several conch and starfish in gorgeous clear water.
  • Free moorings & snorkeling by Green Island The moorings make it convenient. but anchoring is also possible near Green Island. You can easily get to the reefs to snorkel here, as well as walk along the sandy beaches of the island.

English Harbour

There is so much to do in English Harbour you may need more than a few days to explore it all. Restaurants, hikes, beaches … all easily accessible if you anchor in English Harbour. We recommend the tiny little left fork of the harbour when you go all the way in. It is shallow and there is only space for a few boats, however, the water is the calmest among all places to anchor and you can dinghy close to all the attractions. Falmouth Harbour offers much more space and depth, we recommend sticking to the middle anchorage here.

The many reasons we love English Harbour:

  • Croissants from La Brasserie They deliver! But dinghying up to it in the morning is just as fun, and they will make warm fresh croissants for you on the spot.
  • Flatties Try the Peri Peri chicken and the 1lb Espetada steak. All entrees are super shareable so the meal comes out to be reasonable in the end.
  • Pigeon Point Beach We spent several days on this beautiful beach with inviting water no matter the weather – the only thing that may bother you is the sand on a windy day. Remember your hammock as there are several good looking trees to tie it to, just beware of the manchineel. There is a massage lady – $75 US for an hour massage which we was a bit pricey for us but you may want to take advantage of.
  • Catherine’s Cafe Located on Pigeon Point Beach, Catherine’s Cafe is a well-designed restaurant that served brunch and lunch every day, and dinner on Wednesday through Friday. We tried brunch and it was delicious, although everything may be when served on a beautiful beach in the breezy shade. We recommend checking Urchin Atelier just down the walkway, where they sell fresh baguettes and other goodies. Reservations are encouraged.
  • Windward Beach Walk down the pathway of Catherine’s Cafe, and you’ll notice a gate to Winward Estates. Ask the attendant to get through to Windward Beach and they will direct you onto the right path. THe 10-minute walk is totally worth it: although less swimmable depending on the weather, the beach will most likely be empty and the rocky shore with crashing waves makes for a wonderful sight.
  • Shirley Heights in Antigua National Park The best views of Falmouth & English Harbour are to be found at Shirley Heights. A local band plays on Thursdays and Sundays and a touristy BBQ is available. Take a 40-minute walk from La Brasserie or grab a cab at Antigua Yacht Club ($3 US per person one way). It is worth taking a hike down to Galleon Beach via the goat trail, as you’ll get more views and a bit of a workout 🙂
  • Fresh vegetables and fruits at Antigua Yacht Club grocery store We returned here for the fresh arugula and lettuce, but we also found passionfruit and coconut for the first time. Prices are reasonable!
  • Nelson’s Dockyard Part of the UNESCO World Heritage, Nelson’s Dockyard is a beautiful historic marina with bakeries and cafes to explore. The boat watching isn’t too shabby either! Tell them you are anchored in English Harbour in which case you don’t have to pay an entry fee.
  • The Clubhouse Come here for a good dancing session on a Saturday!
  • Roti Sue Delicious roti with tables to sit by.
  • Jackee’s Quik Stop Try the house burger! You won’t be disappointed.
  • Antigua Yacht Services We had to print a few documents before shipping via Fedex and they were gracious enough to help us out here. Willem also had a great conversation about cars with George in the meantime. They can help boaters with several miscalleanous things, so worth the visit or call to inquire.

Cades Reef

Our first time around Cades Reef is a long reef outside the southwest side of Antigua. On calm days it is well worth a stop – you can find a sandy spot on the inside (island side) and swim to the reefs. We saw the most fish we’ve ever seen here – beautiful schools of various kinds.

Bonus: Maiden Island

Our stop on Maiden Island was impromptu: as we were motoring out of the bay by Great Bird Island (lots of reefs to avoid, hence the motoring), we passed by the beautiful beaches and had to stop. Since we were just passing what looked like an anchorage on the chart, we turned right and dropped anchor on a sandy/grassy bottom. It was the perfect lunch stop (although we didn’t have lunch, just walked around) – easy to beach the dinghy on the sandy shore, there are even some picnic tables on the beach. We found several beautiful shells and continued our journey south after walking to the southern point of the island and back.

Celtic Spirit anchored in The Bight

Our Favorite British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands have much to offer for the cruiser and charterer alike. With several islands being only a day sail from each other, it is possible to wake up to new scenery every morning. We loved every day of our month and a half spent around these islands, visiting several of them multiple times. Although a difficult exercise, we narrowed them down to 3 of our favorites. 

Norman Island

We spent close to a week anchored on Norman Island, which was one of our favorite times overall. There are so many reasons to visit Norman Island over and over again – from the snorkeling to the hiking and great restaurants, there is something new to do each day. Here is our list of reasons we loved Norman Island the most in the BVI:

  • Snorkeling by the Treasure Caves Our first time around we saw bait balls being chased by tarpon and pelicans diving into the water over and over again. Another time we swam into the caves and explored coral we haven’t seen before.
  • Pirates Bight Beach volleyball court, great open wifi, drinks to be had on the beach, delicious chicken roti and cheerful staff. Need we say more?
  • Room to anchor The holding right in front of Pirates Bight is great with a sandy bottom and 4-5 meters of water.
  • Plenty mooring balls One can be sure to find a mooring ball even later in the day since there are lots of mooring balls spread around the bay.
  • Great hiking Even the shortest walk to the helipad above Pirates Bight takes you to 360 degree views. For those looking for longer walks, there are great dirt roads leading to Money Bay as well as the other side of the island.ű
  • Willy T Duh! Willy T is great entertainment whether you are into jumping off the back of the boat or not. We also figured out that if you stay long enough in the evening you may have a chance to play your own music… 🙂

Cooper Island

Cooper Island had us at hello. The first time we arrived here we had no problem grabbing a mooring ball in front of Cooper Island Beach Club. Come to find out that was a rare occasion as the mooring balls turn over almost immediately, the island is so popular. We suggest arriving around 9am to be sure to have available space since anchoring close to the mooring field here is tough due to deeper water (10m+).

The second time we visited here we arrived around 4pm and all mooring balls were taken. We went over to the next bay where there is an area with sandy bottom big enough for two boats to anchor. In the morning we realized what a treat it was to have stumbled upon Hallovers Bay. Apart from the rare occasion of not having other boats around us, the water was incredible and the snorkeling close to shore even better. We spent the entire morning in the water staring at coral and wildlife, including rays. We returned here with guests later on as the bay also has day moorings available for those looking to snorkel at lunch time.

The many reasons we love Cooper Island:

  • Cooper Island Beach Club The establishment strives to be as sustainable as possible. They do not provide straws (not even paper ones), serve drinks in reusable plastic cups (that are free to take if you wish – great cups for the boat!), AND they have their own brewery on site to eliminate beer container waste. The restaurant serves delicious dinner that is worth the high island price.
  • Rum Bar With over 750 rums available to taste, we loved exploring the Rum Bar despite not being big rum drinkers. The bartender will also make you a delicious cocktail with the rum of your choosing if you aren’t into drinking it straight up.
  • The Coffee Shop They serve coffee from the Virgin Islands Coffee Roasters over in St. Thomas and also have ice cream for sale. What else can you ask for?!
  • The Boutique The best selection of swimwear and other goodies when it comes to ‘restaurant boutiques’ around the Virgin Islands.
  • Anchoring & snorkeling in Hallover Bay Quiet anchorage with spectacular snorkeling right off the boat.


Our first time around we were sceptical about Anegada, a slice of land about 15 miles from other islands with an elevation of only 28 feet above sea level. Those feelings changed immediately upon tasting the famous Anegada lobster. We visited for Thanksgiving dinner, and the grilled Caribbean lobster at Neptune’s Treasure exceeded all of our expectations. Not to mention the delicious sauteed conch we had as an appetizer!

Reasons to visit Anegada and stay for two nights:

  • Caribbean lobster Do not miss the Caribbean lobster when visiting the island. Although pricey it is 100% worth it. Our favorite was Neptune’s Treasure (also tried The Lobster Trap). Reservations are required, be prepared to put your dinner order in when reserving a table for the evening.
  • Option to anchor Catamarans can enjoy anchoring close to shore on a sandy bottom in shallow water
  • Snorkeling If we had the chance to visit again for an extended period of time, we would rent a car or scooter to explore the north side of the island where there is supposedly spectacular snorkeling to be had.
  • White sandy beaches There is even a water swing in front of Anegada Reef Hotel

We live on a boat!

It’s been exactly a week since we officially moved onto Celtic Spirit. We packed the final boxes at our Providence apartment over Labor Day weekend and took another batch to ‘winter storage’ aka Willem’s childhood room. We tried to get rid of as many things as possible: we sold large furniture items like our bedframe, dining table and couch; we donated clothes, books and kitchen items and sent a few bags to ThredUp. Still, Willem’s old room is now full of our few favorite pieces of furniture, our kitchen items, most of our winter clothes and books.

What to bring onto
the boat for the trip?

Thinking through what we may need with us while traveling on Celtic Spirit for the next 6 months was challenging. We thought we are doing well with downsizing until we saw the number of boxes piled up in the dinghy to take onto the boat. Nonetheless, we are happy to report that most of our everyday clothing items fit into the closets in our bunk, and it seems everything will have a place eventually. It is essential that nothing is left ‘out’ meaning everything has to be packed away into closets and/or storage boxes in case it gets wavy underway. We’ve experienced some slamming waves over the summer and saw how full gallon water jugs fell off the counter as we were riding along.

Items we decided to bring with us from our apartment:

The first breakfast Willem made after moving onto the boat.

  • Summer clothes and a few winter items for our trip south. Since we will be passing through New York City in October we anticipate chilly temperatures that will only feel colder on the water in windy conditions.
  • Our coffee grinder. This is our ‘luxury’ kitchen item we didn’t want to leave without.
  • Magic Bullet for making smoothies, cream soups or pastes.
  • All of our spices and various types of flours for cooking/baking.
  • 6 sets of sheets for 4 bunks
  • Our wireless portable printer
  • Camera gear
  • Bathroom essentials, our favorite beach & regular towels
  • Boxes for organizing anything and everything.

So far so good. There is still plenty of cleaning to do to organize everything but I am looking forward to the Tetris challenge involved. Here’s to another large step in our adventure!

Ps. We 100% recommend visiting Tricycle Ice Cream when in Providence. We motivated ourselves with the reward of getting an ice cream sandwich after finally emptying our sublet. I opted for the taco, which was super delicious and also giant!

A&W Adventures Providence Food Guide

We’ve come to love several restaurants, coffee shops and cocktail bars in Providence and as always we received some of these fantastic recommendations from friends. It’s only right that we share our findings with you now!


The Shop

As mentioned in our post about moving to Providence from NYC, The Shop was a savior merely a 5-minute walk from our sublet. They use and sell beans from Parlor Coffee based in Brooklyn, one of our favorites from New York City. The drip coffee and cold brew is delicious, we are waiting on Kevin’s expert opinion on the espresso so do check back for that. The space is perfect for getting some work done and the staff super friendly – hello Zoe! We shall say no more, go see for yourself!


Tallulah's Taqueria

We found Tallulah’s down the street from us during our first week here, and I believe we ate there 3 times just that week. The place was familiar from the taco shack in Dutch Harbor, but we didn’t expect such delicious nachos and bowls. They have plenty outdoor seating and serve alcohol and churros as well!


Bucktown was a recommendation from a local friend (thanks David!) and has been a favorite ever since. They serve fried chicken and fish as well, both equally delicious, although we are partial to the fried chicken biscuit. Yum!

Enoteca Umberto

We read about Enoteca Umberto on the internet and also heard about it from friends, but we did not expect to be as amazed by the food and the experience as we were when we made it to the restaurant. We got very lucky – unknowingly we walked in on a Saturday evening and asked whether they had a table for us. The owner, who later introduced himself as Umberto, let us know that he could seat us at 10pm. We asked whether they had availability the next day (they aren’t open on Sundays) or next week, to which the answer was a possible reservation in November, so we quickly voted to take that 10pm table. Once it was our turn, Umberto offered us prosecco while we waited for our table and told us the story of the restaurant. His wife makes a different 5-course Southern Italian set menu every night for $65/person, plus dessert and optional wine to go along with each course.

PV Donuts

PV Donuts is the place that made us appreciate doughnuts again. We didn’t have any favorites in NYC and never sought them out but we figured we’d give these a try after reading about them and walking past the shop several times in our neighborhood. They are worth the wait in line: each version is light and fluffy, and some are topped with a work of art. There are even some vegan options, and epic doughnut ice cream sandwiches.

Seven Stars Bakery

This is a no-brainer. Must try the Blueberry Turnover, the Vermont Cheddar Cheese Bread, Olive Stick, Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti, Cinnamon Bun, the Focaccia, the … wait you aren’t shopping for 2 as if you had a family of 8? Don’t fret, anything you try will most likely be delicious at Seven Stars Bakery.

Rebelle Artisan Bagels

New Yorkers be warned: Rebelle Artisan Bagels are not what you eat at home. All the more reason to try them! They are a tiny bit flatter but they pack a ton of taste. Try the pretzel bagel with your regular breakfast sandwich toppings and another with the tzatziki spread!


Courtland Club

We do not have any pictures of Courtland Club, which in my book means it was too amazing to stop and grab a photo of what we were drinking. It is a speakeasy, a very well designed, cozy one that has a great cocktail menu to explore.


Other restaurants on our list we have yet to try based on friend and internet recommendations:

We signed up for the ARC Caribbean 1500!

We signed up for the ARC Caribbean 1500 rally from Norfolk, VA to the British Virgin Islands! This makes our start date official and gives us a deadline to start heading south to get to Norfolk by November. We thought it would be ideal to have others around us during our first week-long offshore journey, and event organizers helping with the weather planning, safety checks, etc. Although we must admit, we are most excited to meet fellow cruisers!

Since several fellow sailors mentioned having crew on the boat as a major factor easing the journey, we asked some of our best friends to join us on this lifetime adventure. We couldn’t be more excited to have Kevin (Anett’s coworker – work wife?! – at Crossmedia) and Ben (Willem’s childhood best friend and best man at our wedding) with us on this passage. Kevin is an all-or-nothing kind of guy so we are sure he will be a proper sailor in no less than 2 days and Benny will shine with his amazing fishing and cooking talents (he is a professional chef and fish whisperer). Best crew we could ask for!

Our first week in Providence after moving from NYC

Our move from New York City was less than smooth – thinking we didn’t have that much to move because we lived in a 450 square foot apartment, we decided to do it all ourselves. We soon realized that the few boxes we had were filling up quickly and that we needed extra space aside from our truck and the e28 so we rented a uHaul to tow behind the truck. It took us the entire day on Sunday to finish packing – it was 8:30 pm by the time everything was strapped in and on the cars. We arrived in Providence sometime between 1 and 2 am, delirious from the long day behind us. With only the necessities in hand, we went upstairs to our 3rd floor 2-bedroom apartment we sublet from a Brown PhD student and fell asleep right away.

The next day was a workday for both of us but we had to somehow juggle emptying and returning the uHaul before our deadline around midday. There was no way we would carry all of our boxes up to the 3rd floor walkup apartment (it took us 10 hours to pack it up with the help of a dolly and an elevator in NYC after all) so we had to change plans and rent a storage unit for the sake of time and our sanity.

To motivate ourselves for another long box-filled day ahead, Willem looked up nearby coffee shops in the morning which led us to grabbing coffee and breakfast at The Shop, a sweet little coffee shop only a 5-minute walk away from our new temporary home. We noticed they used beans from Parlor Coffee as soon as we walked in – I almost shed a tear from happiness seeing that they had a piece of home right there for us. Parlor Coffee is roasted in Brooklyn and is one of our favorite source of coffee beans. We would go to their tasting room every now and then on a Sunday morning, the only time they are open to the public, with friends for delicious coffee and great conversations. Sure enough the hot coffee at The Shop (my measure of a coffee shop – the simplest thing to make has to be tasty) was delicious, and the space was perfect to get the work day started sitting outside on a sunny but cool Monday morning.

When we finally unpacked at our storage unit later that day we realized once again how much stuff we have that we never needed. The frustration of the entire moving experience got us even more excited about downsizing to the point where we can move onto our boat. We agreed that we wouldn’t keep our storage unit for longer than a month and to achieve emptying it by then, we would come by to grab a car-full of boxes every week to sort through: things to keep, things to take to our winter storage also known as Willem’s dad’s house, and things to sell.

The excitement of exploring a new place

dims the feeling of missing

the one you just left

The rest of the week we walked somewhere new every day. The excitement of exploring a new place dims the feeling of missing the one you just left and the method worked well for us. As New Yorkers, we were spoiled by countless delicious food options around us at all times, so our first mission in Providence became eating at every place in a walkable distance from our apartment. Some were perfect for a morning work session, others served good but forgettable food, and some became our new favorite places. Tallulah’s Taqueria was one of them – we ate there 3 times that week if I remember correctly and have been going back often ever since. Aleppo Sweets had just opened and we found the most amazing baklavas there. PV Donuts convinced us that the dessert can be worth waiting in line for, they make them so fluffy and beautiful here. The Shop remained a staple – we got lucky by living so close to what we think is Providence’s best coffee shop.

I’m glad we took the time to explore the neighborhood that week. The rest of June became an intense month filled with work on the boat while it was still out of the water, where most days we got home late and exhausted. Overall, our decision to move to Providence already payed off – living so close to the boat (and paying less rent) allows us to focus on boat work in the evenings after we are done with our work days.

Moving out of New York City & Our Love/Hate Relationship with This Magical Place

As soon as our plans of sailing to blue water became clearer, I (Anett) started having anxiety about moving out of New York City. What’s going to happen if we move out of our apartment? Will we ever be back in the city? Can we stay just a little longer?

A friend helped me put what I was feeling into perspective: leaving on a high note is always the hardest, but also the best time to do so. We were making plans for the unknown when everything seemed to be going so well: our jobs were humming along, we lived in a great, by NYC standards affordable apartment we loved, we had a fantastic group of friends we’d see regularly, we knew the city like the back of our palms when it came to restaurants yet we were always pleasantly surprised by something new. So why would we make a change? The reason was obvious: we were comfortable with our lives, a little bit too much so. Complacency is scary, especially when things seem to be going “well.” We needed to move on, which I knew all along, but it didn’t make leaving New York City easier.

Leaving on a high note
is always the hardest

To balance all things we loved dearly about this place (Friends! The energy! Coffee shops! Cocktails! Rooftops! The high standards & affordability of Asian food! Food any time, any where, really… Speakeasies! Biking to work, museums, parks and so much more) and all things we disliked (packed subway cars, summer heat and winter slush, traffic, $$$ rent, cock roaches although thank goodness our 96th street apartment never had any – a miracle) we had developed a good routine for ourselves and our sanity. While many New Yorkers don’t have a car in the city, due to the traveling nature of Willem’s job we always did, and we used it almost every weekend to leave the noise behind. Our schedules were dictated by the seasons, heading to Jiminy Peak to snowboard during winter months and sailing in Rhode Island over the summer. Unless we were able to con some of our friends into joining our weekend activities, we would only see them on weekdays or spring/fall weekends because we left for our A&W Adventures every single weekend otherwise. After the third year of this routine we knew we needed to get out and experience more – sailing seemed to be the activity that moved us the farthest from our comfort zone. (Perhaps we will be planning something epic related to snowboarding next.)

Here we were, packing up in our almost empty apartment (we procrastinated packing for as long as we could.. spending our last evening in the city having dinner – and dessert! Photo attached to prove it – with friends rather than addressing the million items we still didn’t box up. How did we ever fit so much stuff into 450 square feet?!) and wiping our tears as we took the final photos before leaving. Our first lease we signed together! Where we spent the first 5 years of our relationship! We planned our wedding here, and decorated the walls with photos from our adventures. But now it was time to go.

The best decision
we've ever made

As we took our final elevator ride down, I asked Willem if this is really a good idea – just needed to hear some reassurance at this point – and I remember his words exactly: “This is the best decision we’ve ever made.” We have yet to learn the end of the story, but I believe him with all my heart.