Welcome to Smartini Life, the website of Fran Martini, Brian “Butch” Smith, May the Cat*, and Smartini, the 52′ Kristen Trawler on which we all live. The word Smartini is a mashup of Smith and Martini, and our friends have referred to us as “the Smartinis”, or “Team Smartini”, for some time, so when we bought our floating home, “Smartini” seemed the obvious name for it, too.
Brian is the primary author of the site, so first person references usually refer to Brian. Fran will write occasionally – but will probably post way more pictures than me – she’s good like that. May will be in the pictures now and then, but will have no other involvement in the site.
(* Sadly, May the Cat, after gracing us with her regal presence for five years, left this world February 5, 2021. If you’d like to read about her, and get a sense of how much better she made our lives, click here.)
Fran and I met in February 2005 (maybe I’ll write that up sometime – it’s a good story), got married in July 2009, retired in October 2013, bought Smartini in January 2016, got rid of almost everything and moved aboard in July 2016, and left our home marina (Anchorage Yacht Basin in Indian Harbour Beach, FL) on November 12, 2016. We finally made it to the Bahamas on March 1, 2018.
Our original objective was a thorough exploration of the Bahamas and the Caribbean over three to five years, looking for a place to buy a home where we’ll spend most of our time for as long as that makes sense. It’s now February 2021. Since March 1, 2018, we’ve spent 8 months in the Bahamas, 4 months in Turks and Caicos, almost a month in Puerto Rico, 6 months in the Virgin Islands (US and British), and 7 months exploring almost every island country (but certainly not every island!) from St. Martin / Sint Maarten to Grenada and back to the Virgin Islands. (Stories of many of our visitors and adventures are document here in the blog.) While we loved visiting most of those places, we haven’t yet found anywhere we’re ready to call home.
Because of “the COVID”, we’ve spent most of 2020 back in the US, and now (February 14, 2021) we’re getting ready to head back to the Bahamas for a few months. The Western Caribbean will have to wait, until we’re sufficiently into post-pandemic times, as it doesn’t make sense to go to new countries when our activities would be so severely restricted.
The map below shows where we’ve been, and where we are currently (whenever we’re traveling, that is). It plots our location from the InReach satellite locator / communicator we have onboard. (If you don’t see the map below, you can get to it by clicking on this link: https://share.garmin.com/FollowSmartini)
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