Welcome to the board Jeff. Just a few thoughts to consider with regard to your post:
- If the weather
doesn't cooperate, ditch the schedule and stop to smell the roses. Also, make sure you train her as crew in boat operation and explain yourself (and options you're considering based on navigation/weather input) so she feels a part of your planing and decision process. If she feels like she can take over in emergency
she will have less fear when the weather
turns crappy and she will feel more empowered. Also, don't yell -- agree on hand signals and explain/teach your intentions as much as possible in advance of maneuvers. Over time the two of you will learn to operate the boat like clockwork as a team, and will develop your specialized roles when something needs to be done. Encourage her to use the helm
when approaching docks and moorings, too. It will build confidence and enjoyment for her.
- if planning to go to the Bahamas
, don't head
up past Miami-Ft. Lauderdale area. Otherwise you'll need to do a lot of back-tracking.
- this board isn't the place to meet real cruisers. They're out cruising, and you'll meet them in anchorages
as you go. Most "real cruisers" tend to avoid marinas
except when they need services. Many of them will post here though, and you can exchange ideas with them.