A Vacation From Ourselves: The Camper Van

We're sitting here in Long Island, officially south of the Tropic of Cancer, wondering where the tropical weather is. Staring out the rain streaked window, listening to the wind howl, thinking and re-thinking plans.
A post shared by The Larks Of The Independence (@boatlifelarks) on
 We've been waiting for a week or so for decent weather to get to some of the less visited islands: Crooked and Acklins, Jumentos and Raggeds, Conception and Rum. These islands don't have fully protected anchorages and we want settled weather. 

After all, it's mid-April and we should be over winter weather patterns, cold fronts, high winds and squalls and be settling in to a hot still summer pattern. But no, Chris Parker, who runs a very popular radio and email weather service, must have been losing subscriptions so he started up the bad weather machine and it's been non-stop yeeshy weather ever since.

Our summer season plan has been to head north to Maine and Nova Scotia. We're looking forward to wind swept coasts, quiet anchorages and fish and chips. That's 1100-1400 miles, and our inability to get even 20 miles south has us thinking that we may be over ambitious. Cue the Camper Van Day: the day that we decided to leave Independence on the hard somewhere on the east US coast, buy a van, take a vacation from ourselves and do a road trip to all the National Parks. I'm talking Glacier, Yosemite, Yellowstone. A side trip to the wine country of California. We could completely ignore Chris Parker's depressing wave forecasts and see Maine and Nova Scotia by air conditioned camper. What larks!
Camping in Dry Tortugas National Park, a long time ago!
The first plan was a VW bus. That's right, classic. We'd want one with a Subaru engine and nice interior. A California rust free van. 
VW Van. Image from pexels.com rights free photos
Even with a new engine, I'm sure the thing still drives like a bus, so Plan B was a Nissan Xterra 4WD with a camper console. You know, a little box in the back that has your mini-stove, and provides a bed platform. Or we could have a roof-top tent. What would Hastings say to that?
SUV camping! Rights free image through Google images
SUV Camping: Rights free image through Google Images
Thanks to Pinterest, Plan C was to pick up an old work van and totally do the interior from scratch. This would have to be easier than working on a boat; we could buy things from Home Depot! 

This plan lasted a whole day. Lots of internet research was done.  Sadly, it began to sound like a lot of work and aggravation and it was getting expensive. Since laziness is our main motivator,  Project Camper Van is on hold. If we are too slow-moving to get to Nova Scotia, we'll just hang out in North Carolina, going to Wal-Mart and receiving Amazon packages, while eating piles of fresh bell peppers and drinking gourmet whole bean coffee.

What's your back-up plan to your current home? Do you ever feel the need to take a vacation from yourself? 

You Might Also Like


  1. I'm glad we're not the only ones stuck in one place waiting for the weather to cooperate. We really want to get a move on, but this last stationary front we had, which dragged on forever, really put a damper in our plans.

    1. Don't despair! I'm sure after the current winds die down, the low moves off, the cold front moves through, the squalls are over.....it will be nice! We might have to get the jaws of life in to get up anchor up though!

  2. We're sitting here trying to decide what to do this summer as well -- I haven't even thought about provisioning yet. Between putting the boat on the market and the horrible weather we're (still) having, it's hard to get excited about things . . . camping sounds pretty good though.

    Stephanie @ SV CAMBRIA

    1. You guys have been so busy, it must be hard to think about planning for dinner, let alone summer plans! Camping does sound like a nice break from the boat.

  3. I am so glad to not live on a sailboat anymore! Starts to make sense, huh? :-) I got excited there about your camper van plan, which has been on our front burner for a while. We are on the look-out for a particular one. Yep, being ambitious doesn't quite work when you are dependent on the weather. I do hop you still manage to get to the outer islands. We only went to the Acklins and they are wonderful!

    1. There are definitely benefits to land life! We're dedicatedly waiting for weather to go to Conception. It's gotta happen sooner or later!

  4. Hey Larks ! I've been reading silently in the wings for awhile now and really enjoy your blog. We're in the countdown to resume cruising and enjoying our last 10 days without having to check a weather report. (good thing, because it's blowing a gale down near Gibraltar this week ! okay, so I am checking the weather but that doesn't count...) Cheers - Maria and Patrick from Mareda

    1. Maria and Patrick, Thanks for stopping by! I think you guys have the right idea - seasonal cruising hopefully means a break from sleepless nights and excitement about the upcoming cruise!


Flickr Images