Isla did so well on the 3 flights and 14 hours of flying/layover times.
And we are off!
Starting our new adventure as MakCap&Co for the first time! We have been waiting all year to get back to our Sea Otter and are so blessed to be doing it as 3! We can't wait for all the adventure and experiences Isla will have sailing! Here we go!!!!
With one amazing baby, an old fashioned from my lady, and two sets of contaminated clothes (mine included), we arrived in The Beautiful Bahamas!
But come off it...
HOW CUTE IS THIS KID! 😍
Took a drive to the boatyard in Marsh Harbour today to check on our baby Sea Otter and to introduce her to Isla! She is in the water and looking great! With the night winds and near hit of Hurricam Irma, we are so blessed that she is unharmed and just as we left her. We can't wait to get onboard and start living and sailing on her!
We had a great day today, running errands and getting provisions in Marsh Harbour! Loving the feeling and the pace of the islands - no stress, no rush!
When Isla had a little afternoon poop and there was nowhere to change her diaper, we made do and changed her in the trunk of our rental car! :)
Headed out for dinner at Treasure Sands tonight! Awesome little spot on the beach!
Isla's first time with her feet in the sand!
While we wait for good weather to sail Sea Otter from Marsh Harbour to Treasure Cay and wait for Dane to put up the sails and do little things to prep our baby for the trip over, we are staying at Joy and Mike's condo in Treasure Cay. It's a great little place right beside the Marina and a close walk to everything in town!
Today, the electricity was out on the island for 10 HOURS!!! We hade to find ways to stay cool in the hot and humid temperatures. Thank God for cool baths and battery charged fans!
When Dane got back from working on Sea Otter, he realized that he forgot to put on sunscreen! He was outside all day putting up the bimini!
Put up the bimini, sans sunscreen. #dummy. But looks nice! (the boat, not my back)
Grabbed some fresh conch salad on the way home to the condo we’re crashing in until I get Sea Otter outta the boatyard.
Even asked the fellas to remind me how to hammer and excavate (which gets you the “pistol” every time... so LOOK OUT MAK OR BABY TWO’S COMING SOON! 🤣):
Damn tasty stuff! 🤤
Another day in paradise! Today, I took Isla for a swim in the pool at Mariner's Cove (where the condo is)! Isla LOVES to be outside, so we try to spend as much time outdoors as possible!
First bubble bath today! Can't believe we haven't done this yet! Love that Isla is big enough now to sit up on her own...makes the sink a perfect spot for bath time!
When Isla laughs, it just melts our hearts! So naturally when we figure out what gets her going, we do it over and over again....and take videos! 🥕
It's raining, it's pouring....what can we do in the house today?!
It's been raining quite a bit lately as it is hurricane season in the Caribbean. But we got Isla using up some energy by jumping in her Jolly Jumper!
We also had some family chill time together! I love our little family!
Isla is getting so good at siting up by herself! Already 5 and a half months old and she is so independent and strong!
We had a great day today, going for walks and enjoying the beautiful sunshine after day of rain!
Today is the day we move into our Sea Otter!!
We had a busy day in Marsh Harbour, getting provisions for the boat so we're only able to move in the evening!
The boat was a little cluttered with provisions and from having her closed up for a year, so it was a little tight living, but still felt amazing to be back on our baby!!
Isla is getting used to her new home! It's fun finding ways to accommodate a baby onboard!
We are super pumped that we got these foam mats for the saloon so we don't have to worry as much when Isla topples over! She loves her little play area!
Also, this travel crib is THE BEST for the boat! The side zipper makes it so easy to get Isla in and out of her crib without struggling to get over the top (limited standing space on the boat).
Also, getting around the island is fun for all of us! We have a golf cart that our friends Joy and Mike let us use and it's such an easy and convenient way to get around this small town. Isla is loving it too (no car seat)! Don't worry, there are barely any cars, mostly just golf carts driving around and the speed limit is 15 miles/hour.
A new and quick way of showering while living on the boat is with the hose while Dane holds Isla! 👍🏽
We had a great day today! Isla went swimming in the ocean for the FIRST TIME!!!! She loved it too! Was a little unsure about the cold water at first but she got used to it right away and was mesmerized by the waves!
After Isla's first dip, we came back to the boat for the rest of the day! This girl is loving the island and boat life!
I spy with my little 👁....
Isla loves looking out of her little 'window'! So many cool things to see out on the water!
Eat your heart out Fisher Price!
Sunsets never get old.....😍
So hot her diaper might melt, but still all grins 🙌:
Overly concerned #firsttimeparents thought it was good timing for a lil dip tho:
“Be there in half hour!”
We met some incredible new pals, thanks to incredible old pals (not old like that!) Ken ‘n Sheila...
And that’s them dinghying up for dinner as their outboard craps out on them.
Introducing Erica and Ryan... \240Hilarious duo we can’t get enough of.
Exploring the boat and finding new places to play peek-a-bo! \240
Love how the main way of getting around the island is by golf cart!
Ok so almost every morning, we go to Cafe Florence's for a coffee and we have the RESIST HARD not to also get one of these delicious cinnamon buns! Every now and then we cave and treat ourselves! How could we not, they have won Best Cinnamon Bun in the World!
We often end our days the same way too! With a game or two of crib! Such a great way to unwind and spend time as just Mak & the Cap!
Mak working hard on the rust and I supervise. She did so well she earned the right to polish the rest of our stainless! Lucky girl!
Monkey see, monkey do! 🐵
Isla loves to imitate many things we do and the newest thing is sticking her tongue in and out! The best is once she learns a new skill, she doesn't want to stop doing it!
Dane's been seriously working his butt off getting the boat ready for the season! First step is a big one - cleaning out the mess in the engine room and getting her going (she overheated on the sail over if you remember)!
Don't mess with this man!
So every day, when we show up at the local watering hole to get some work done and connect to wifi, Dane loves to teach Isla this little game! They have been practicing for the past few days and today, Isla did it!! 🏆
Wild from sleep deprivation (self inflicted, naturally), Isla decides to hijack the golf cart and make a run for the Milk Bar!
I unconvincingly infirm her that the Milk Bar she hears so much about is actually finally asleep on the boat, she’s determined to bag this ride nonetheless.
So as all good dads do, I jump aboard and give my 6-month old the wheel:
She makes me proud with a no-look, laid-back, two-digit style I haven’t seen since my days in Spanish Harlem in the mid ‘70s.
She can’t find the Milk Bar so she takes me for a cup of joe and I walk her to sleep instead.
Nice start to the day!
WE GOT A SIX MONTH OLD! 🎉
Happy 6 months Isla!! How has it been half a year already?!?!
Started the day off with a nice little meal! Dad loves feeding Isla....he makes everything more fun!
6 months old, living on a sailboat in the Bahamas! How amazing is that?!
She has successfully taken over:
Welcome to The #Funzone Saloon
Tropical Storm Philip came through the Abacos today! High winds but not too much rain. I was thinking of all the poor islands that got destroyed by Irma and Maria as they were hit by Category 4 & 5 hurricanes. I can't even imagine the forces of those winds and seas after thinking a little tropical storm was crazy.
Here's the only picture I got, when I stuck my head out of the boat at the end of the storm.....doesn't do it quite justice though!
HAPPY HALLOWEEN from our little unicorn! 🦄
We just lost our minds at how cute Isla looked in her Halloween costume!
We took her to the Tipsy Seagull (local watering hole) where they were handing out candy. Joy and Mike met us there for a Halloween drink!
So I entered a a Kayak Challenge today! It was through a fundraiser called Friends of the Environment! I was able to raise $100 from the ladies at aerobics and aqua aerobics!
It was AMAZING!! 2 hours of paddle boarding through the mangroves in Little Harbour, meeting some awesome people, and taking in all the beauty!
🚃🚃🚃 of kayaks
Met this awesome lady Vee, who happens to be a friend of a family friend!! Small world!!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAMA!!! 🎂👼🏻
She would have been 69 years young today and man, would she have loved her little Isla!!
Miss you and love you sweet Mama!!
Don't mess with me....I gotta ponytail and I mean business!
We have a mover....we not quite yet but she is starting to get the hang of it!
Good thing the boat is not too big and she has limited space to roam!
And we're off to get MARRIED!! Well not quite yet! We have a short week at home before we head out to Barbados to get hitched!
Wish us luck, we have 41 hours and 4 flights ahead of us before we get back to Winnipeg!
Waiting in Nassau for our flight to Fort Lauderdale!
Someone's a little tuckered after Day 1:
Our first night layover was in Fort Lauderdale! So in the morning, we surprised our friends Linda and Nikki (we met them when we were living in Fort Lauderdale at the diner 'The Flo' where they work) for brekkie!!
Such a nice catch up! ❤️
Then onto flight #3 on our way to Toronto!
I just love that Isla has the opportunity to travel at such a young age! I hope that continues her whole life!
How lucky are we that we got a empty middle seat in between us!
Almost there....last flight to Winnipeg!
Aaaand after an INCREDIBLE couple weeks getting hitched, we’re back on Sea Otter prepping for sea.
Here’s a pic from the big day:
Nice to be back on board. Gonna be a lot of work this week getting ready to go...
And I’ll fill you in on it all because I know a lot of you wanna see what it takes to sail (not all Dark ‘N Stormies at sunset 😂).
One of my best buds, Mitch (AKA. Mon Oncle Michel, Nou Nou), gets into Marsh Harbour tonight! He’s hanging with us for the next month. Gonna be so fun.
Today I did some computer work and then go to boat work. Had to change a the spinnaker halyard, which got beat to shit while on the hard while we were home).
[There are no “ropes” on a boat. Instead, everything has a specific name.
A ‘halyard’ is the line that pulls your sails up.
A ‘sheet’ is a line that controls where your sails are in relation to the wind.
A ‘painter’ is what hooks to the bow of your dinghy and you tie off with. Etc., etc.]
We pretty much only use it for hoisting the dinghy onto the deck but crucial we have a good one in place.
I see the new one onto the old one to swap out.
Life on the boat is full of firsts. And this was another. ✅
And a nice sunset before I took off to pick up Mitch:
Our first day with Mitch!
I had to run to the hardware store first thing in the AM and saw some guys trimming some palms. They were nice enough to give me a few when I asked:
I pulled out the cutlass and we went to town:
Things then got weird 😂:
Aaaaand, naturally, added a little flavour:
But Mak takes the cake with the cover shot:
Also on this fine day...
Isla was so pumped to see her mon uncle Michel:
And I swapped out the courtesy flag (and not a moment too late 😆... sorry 🇧🇸!). Fresh flag for a fresh season:
We’re trying to make it to the Virgin Islands by beginning of February and, since you NEVER push it with weather, we need to hustle our asses off to get the boat ready to go by the Sunday or Monday.
So today was a work day: painted lengths on the anchor chain (so it’s easy to see how much is actually out), changed the primary fuel filter, a handful of other odds and ends, and topped it off by karate chopping our cutting board so it’s smaller and fits better 😂:
Don’t let your racor get this dirty. 👀
One strip for 20ft, two for 40, three for 60, four for 80, a big long one for 100, then repeat.
Ok ok... I sat on it by accident. 😆
Peered ourt on this glass for a few mins over a hot cup of ☕️:
Then worked all day...
Searched and searched and searched for the reason behind a tiny spray coming from the raw water pump belt. I’ve been on the hunt for this fucker for two days actually, but finally realized today it was a broken seal in the back end of my raw water pump.
Thankfully for us the previous owner outfitted is with a spare!
In and amongst getting prepped, I discovered two things today...
#1: Isla might have a shoe addiction:
(Side note: HOW FREAKIN’ CUTE IS THIS KID:
#2: Mitch might be the most graceful diver I’ve ever laid my eyes on:
We are ready to take off!!
After the crazy week of boat prep that Dane and Mitch have been doing (I’ve been on Isla care all week), we are ready to start our sail south!
Got the boat all set up and ready to go. Isla is even getting our charts ready for us:
We think she is gonna really love playing in the cockpit over the next few months:
Sooooo, we take the dock lines off and are ready to go! Dane puts the boat in reverse and we are so excited......BUT, we are stuck! It’s low tide and our keel is sitting at the bottom of the boat! Hahaha, we had a great laugh! 🤣
Oh well, can’t complain much in paradise! Guess we will have to have another beer and wait for tomorrow morning high tide, when we can leave! Life’s rough, right?!
Got a beautiful last sunset in!
Ok, so today’s the day! FOR REAL!
Started the morning off with a little ride into town for my last stop at Café Florence. They have the World’s Best Cinnamon Buns so if you are ever in Treasure Cay, you must stop for one!
I opted out of the treat and just grabbed myself a coffee
(Love this table cloth)
When I rolled up back to the dock, this is what I saw:
Now to watch the action, here’s some videos of us leaving our beautiful surroundings:
Not enough wind for a sail today so we motored 4 hours to Hope Town. The three of us had fun with Isla. We are so happy to be on our way!
We have arrived in Hope Town and have set the anchor! One of Dane’s favourite parts is jumping in for a dip and making sure the anchor is set.
He’s also got quite the moves on how to get back onboard:
What do you think? Maybe a 8/10?! We have a few months to perfect it! 👍🏽
So today, we get to go explore HopeTown!
This is my favourite place in the Abaco Islands. The homes are painted lots of fun, bright colour, the roads are narrow and windy and most people travel around by golf cart and there are the cutest shops, restaurants and stores.
First dingy ride for Isla and she didn’t seem to mind it! A little windy maybe! Haha!
MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM SEA OTTER!!
It’s hard to believe it’s Christmas as we are not use to a green....or blue Christmas!
We are anchored to the west of Meek’s Patch, just before the entrance to Spanish Wells.
Had a great Christmas Eve on the boat with the crew! We couldn’t find any decorations in Hope Town or Little Harbour so we had to be creative with our Christmas Tree! And we found the perfect one...
Isla isn’t old enough to understand what’s going on but we sure enjoyed wrapping her gifts and watch her try and ‘open’ them. She was more interested in eating the wrapper of course!
Christmas brekkie wouldn’t be the same without some pancakes, bacon and Baileys in our coffee!
Christmad dinner was amazing with our Bahamian ‘family’. We had a delicious potluck dinner and then sat around in the front of the Chaplin’s catamaran ‘Jammin’ listening to music, talking and having some bevies! For a Christmas away from home, it was a great one!
Made it back to Nassau to provision, do laundry and get our feet ‘back on ground’.
Our awesome friends Dave and Patti let us stay and use their home, which is right in front of where our boat is moored (on Ken’s mooring ball). How lucky are we?!
After provisioning, we are ready to go! So excited that we have finally put up our fruit basket! 🍎🍐🥑
And if you are curious to see what a fridge on a boat looks like....
It’s a great game of ‘Go Fish’.
What a perfect place to end 2017 - Shroud Cay, Exumas!
The water is so crystal clear here and the weather is perfect!
2017 was an amazing year! I got a baby and a hubby!
But also looking forward to what 2018 has in store for us and our adventures with Sea Otter!
WELCOME ABOARD ROG AND MONICA!!
We are so happy these two are joining us for the next month! Rog is the one who taught Dane how to sail so it’s pretty special to have them on our boat with us. Also will be a huge help to do the it crossings as I’m on full Mom duty with Isla. We plan on sailing all the way to the BVI’s with them!
I think Isla will be loving the guitar lessons with Uncle Rog!
Weighed anchor just after breakfast. Wind coming hard “on the nose” (right in our face, which you can’t sail into 😞), so we motored into it for a couple hours to Little Farmers Cay.
And holy shit... what a mooring! We decided to pick up a ball instead of anchoring because there wasn’t much room to anchor with high winds near a channel.
I’m at the helm when we do this, and Mak’s at the bow with the boat hook, ready to grab the loop attached to th \240morning ball that we tie to. She’s got Rog there with the line and we’re all set.
I’m steering into heavy winds and a pipin’ current and it’s taking them longer than normal to get ahold of the line on the ball...
Turns out the line has been chaffed to shit and unusable!
(I brought it into the marina to show them... and prove that we deserved a free night on the ball!)
So what Mak and Rog did was tie to a tiny line that’s holding the mooring ball. And as they tie off, the line gets caught on the boat hook and rips it from Mak’s hands!
After quickly confirming we are, in fact, safely tied to something, I rip my shirt of the Hoff, proudly announce, “don’t worry baby, I got this shit,” and dive overboard.
The current will tear me away from the boat in seconds so I grab the hook and swim like hell for the dinghy tied to the stern.
Now, since I’m already wet. I untie the dinghy and pull myself to the bow to figure out this mooring ball issue. It’s then that I discover the hoop is torn, and so Rog fed me lines and I dove down and put them through the eye attached to the mooring block itself.
Once that’s done, I swim back to the dinghy and realize it’s accidentally been untied from the boat and it and me are getting dragged FAST from the boat downstream! Thank God I wait until we anchor to crack a few beers because I was alert enough to figure this out quickly enough to swim like a bastard for the ladder at the stern and grabbed it without an inch to spare.
Holy shit... what a mooring! 😆
Then we put everything away and Rog, Monica and I hit Farmers Cay for a coldie and a little walk.
We grabbed dinner and joined Mak aboard with it, played some 🎲 🎲, and hit the sack for a 5am start the next day.
What a beautiful day for a sail out to Georgetown!
The Cap, deep in thought!
The boys even caught a Cero fish!!!!! After looking into it, it is a safe fish to eat! So happy we have some dinner for tonight:
Our buddy Dave Jones even met us at the entrance to Georgetown in his dingy. So nice to see a familiar face.
This is the furthest south we have ever been and boy, does it feel good! Georgetown is known for its large community of sailors! You can even listen and participate in ‘Cruisers Net’ every morning on VHF channel 72 where you can hear the community news, buy/sell/trade/giveaways, anyone new can say hello, anyone needing help can reach out....its so awesome!!
Looking forward to spending a few days here to provision, get water and fuel and then continue south!
After spending 3 days in GeorgeTown, we are off to continue heading south!
GeorgeTown is also known as Chicken Harbour as many people who get there and plan to head further south have a hard time committing and end up spending months stuck there. They then take the plunge and head south or find other excuses and just head back where they came from. So, knowing this, I’m so happy that we have taken the ‘plunge’.
We left bright and early, just as the sun was rising! !
We originally were going to head to Long Island, but we were cruising so well at 6kts that we decided to head all the way to Rum Cay!
Happy sailors! ⛵️🤓
Trimming the sails - making sure they are filled perfectly to get our max speed!
Love, love, love this feeling! ❤️
Once we turned the corner of Long Island and our direction of sail changed, we lost our speed and were cruising at about 4kts the rest of the way. Arrived just in time to Rum Cay at 6:00, just after the sun had set. Was a little crazy coming into the anchorage as it as hard to tell if there were coral heads everywhere or if it was all patches of grass....lesson learned to try and avoid coming into anchorages after the sun has set!
Spent the day today exploring Rum Cay!
Our friend Ken told us to check out his friend Bobby Little. We found him, while walking past his farm of goats and chickens (eek!!).
We also decided it was the best idea to order a rum cake seeing as we were in Rum Cay! And mannnnnnn, was it delicious! 😋
We arrived to Crooked Island late last night after making a detour in our palm. We left Rum Cay in the hopes of heading straight for Mayaguana but the seas were so rough that we decided to go to Crooked Island instead! Was so happy that we made that decision, even if it meant that we would be arriving into Crooked Island after dark.
Spent the day today exploring Crooked Island, which has a beautiful, long beach and nice, friendly people. It is Saturday and everything is closed as most of the population are ‘7th Day Adventist’ and Saturday is their holy day. Looking forward to coming back tomorrow and getting some groceries and checking out the town a little more!
Today I hit the laptop hard most of the day, but managed to sneak in a good helping (although its never enough) of Isla time with Mak and went out for a spearfish and caught a gray snapper for dinner... with Rog as dinghy pilot:
And we’re off!!!!
So excited to finally have a little window to leave Crokked Island and head out! We planned on doing a 36 hour sail and heading to Turks and Caicos! We weighed anchor at 3am.
As we came out of the harbour and rounded the corner to head east, we were directly into the wind with 5-12 feet waves! NOT WHAT WE WERE EXPECTING! I was trying to catch a few more hours of sleep before Isla woke up and was sleeping down below when all of a sudden, I saw a gush of water come into the boat!!!! I yelled ‘WATER!!!!’ and at first thought ‘OMG we are sinking’!!!! But then when I gave my mind time to think rationally, I realized the the hatch in the V-Berth was open and as we bested into the waves, they crashed onto the deck and into the open hatch!
What a (wet) way to wake up...no chance I was going back to sleep after that! Haha! We hung all the damp clothes up and had a good laugh!
We continued beating into the wind for the next 12 hours!!!! Because of the wind directly on our nose and the big waves, we were only motoring at 1.8-3kts.
Once we got to the east end of the island, we were able to change our course and head more south and raise a double reefed main sail and reefed jib (along with the motor as we were still close to the wind and had to make up some time).
Around 8pm, just after the sun had set, we heard the engine ref and then go back to normal. Dane went to check out the engine below and just as he opened the engine room doors, the engine puttered to a stop and would not restart!!!! 🤦🏽♀️😬
So it looked like it was going to be a long sail and we would have to alter our destination to Mayaguana as we would not make it to Turks in time before the bad weather hit. The seas were still 5-12 feet and winds 15-18kts. We spent the next 17 hours sailing and tacking back and forth, to get closer to the island:
Why is the wind never in the direction you want it to be when you have to do a passage?!? 😤
Dane spent most of the time trouble shooting and trying to fix the engine! At 1pm, he did it!!! We had a fully functioning engine!! We were all so relieved and happy!
I must admit I thought many times that I can’t do any more passages with a baby! Dane was a saint as I had seasickness so he was navigating, looking after Isla most of the time and fixing the engine. We all only had between 1-3 hours of sleep.
Finally, at 5:30pm, we dropped the anchor at Mayaguana, after 38 hours of being at sea (check our map to see the distance we covered!) \240We had our first meal for the past 2 days and crashed by 8pm! 🙏🏽
Monica and Rog left us yesterday and we were sad to see them go. They decided to leave a little earlier as we have been waiting out weather for so long and they have lots of things to get done at home.
A few hours after they left, our friends on Windbird told us that the weather window opened up an extra 4 hours and that today would be a great time to cross over to Turks & Caicos!
So at 11am we weighed anchor and are off!!
FAREWELL BAHAMAS, it’s been an amazing time!!!!
The seas were so calm, with no wind, so we motored all the way there. It was nice to sail with our new friends: Dawn & Sam on Windbird and Howard & Doris on Sahara.
Dane and I realized this is our first sail together alone with Isla! How awesome is that?!?
It was really nice sailing during the day with Isla, and then putting her down to bed and enjoying the night sail with Dane. We even had a romantic dinner of Cup-Of-Soup!
It was a near full moon (Super Blue Moon will be tomorrow!) so we had lots of natural light! What a perfect way to sail into a new country!
After a surprise welcome from the police boat, we dropped anchor in Sapodilla Bay and hit the sack, hard.
Woke up to our alarm clock (she doesn’t seem to care if we just went to bed 🤣) and hung out on the boat until checking iinto customs that afternoon. Had to dinghy up to this beach filled with wrecked boats. I’m assuming this was Hurricane Irma. Bummer. 😞
But on a lighter note...
To celebrate our entrance to the Turks, I sniffed out some pizza downtown and the customs officer was kind enough to give me a lift when his shift was done.
So with a half hour to kill, I hit the gas station for one of these (what a name! And tasty too!): 🤤
Grabbed our 🍕 and we devoured it over some crib.
First thing I did today was drop the quarantine flag and fly the Turks courtesy flag:
Here how this thing works:
When you sail into a country, you put up your q-flag (quarantine) to let everyone know your boat hasn’t yet cleared customs. Once you do clear in, the respectful thing to do is fly the nautical courtesy flag (which often look different than the countries regular flag). ✊
There’re all sorts of rules with flying flags on your boat, like never flying one countries flag on the same line above another, heights rep diff things, country ensign at stern, etc...
We try to keep it simple, although I will be flying a Winnipeg Jets flag on port side soon. 😊
Also today (the cruising life is always an adventure):
“Oh shit.” 🤣
Thankfully, a radioed our new friends Sam and Dawn, who flew over to the beach with tools, line and a handle. THANK YOU GUYS!
Now it’s even prettier, although I did say I could use a break on being forced to learn how to fix more stuff!
This pull cord fun also happened as a squall passed over, but I you can still read this, right?
One last amazing thing for the day: 😍
This kid blows my mind. Every dinghy ride wind blowing and salt water splashing into her face and she’s still ALL smiles... usually just sitting there singing along with the outboard. 🎶
Oh right! We also hit up the fish fry with Sam and Dawn. It poured rain and the beers were cold and food amazing. Great night with great people:
Today I worked on apps, then worked to fix a clog in our main fuel feed line (the cause of the passage gone slow-mo when we were originally heading to Turks).
Got the fuel line fixed, which comes with mandatory cold beer and treat celebration (EVERY boat fix does... #cheatyear 😂)...
AND discovered a new addiction in the process:
In other news:
I can’t help but post cute pics of Isla (get used to it):
As always, started the day off with coffee, app work, dancing with Isla, then hit the beach! 🏖
Enough sun screen for ya Gramma? 😜
Then home to cribbage, vino, and bed...
Today is our pal Dawn’s 40th Birthday! 🎂
We chilled at the boat during the day, tinkering around on boat stuff, playing with Isla, getting some app work done.
BUT THEN HAPPY HOUR ARRIVED! And we were off to Windbird for drinks prior to all7 of us going out for an awesome bday dinner.
We love you Dawn!
We know we’re running low on water (no water maker aboard), and expecting the taps to run dry any minute, so decided to use the light winds and head into Southside Marina and top up.
The real cap, Isla, directed us safely there:
Pretty shallow, narrow entrance, but we timed it for high tide and are glad we went...
We even gave the Sea Otter a quick rinse, and a nice lady we met gave us a cool kid’s berth gate!!
Back out to Sapodilla Bay. Put Isla to bed, Mak went for a paddle board and I did some work (over a sundowner, of course 😉).
I did something today that is completely embarrassing, and absolutely hilarious...
Let me set the stage:
I’m off yesterday afternoon with Sam (our homeslice from Windbird) to borrow their rental car for a couple days so we can go explore Provo.
I park it back at Sapodilla Bay beach, and am about to launch the dinghy when our new friend Anna, who sells Conch shells on the beach, stops me to ask if I can relay a message to another boat in the anchorage.
The problem was that she didn’t know which boat they were on. No biggie, there were only three other boats anyways.
First boat I try is this stunningly beautiful tank of a sailboat called Pearl (a brand new Garcia 48, I believe... an aluminum expedition boat that’ll make any seasoned sailor salivate 🤤).
A woman is in the cockpit doing laundry, so I pull up beside. Turns out the message was not for them, but we get chatting...
Her name’s Tracy, she’s with her husband Pete, and they’re a British couple who’ve \240just recently crossed the Atlantic and are heading through The Bahamas and then to Miami to meet their daughter.
So they ask if I’d be willing to show them nice spots in The Bahamas to drop the hook. Of course I’d be happy to and I leave with plans for the three of us have coffee aboard Pearl tomorrow morning and go over The Bahamas charts.
So this morning we head over. They’re enamoured with Isla (naturally 😉), and Pete gives us the grand tour... holy shit. This thing was made to smash through icebergs in the artic, with style.
In the aft cabin, I see two identical books in a shelf. At first I think, “do these guys read the same books, but separate copies?!” Half the cover is blocked but It looks nautical and I think the authors first name was Pete. “Did this guy write that book? What are the chances.” And I forget about it, for now.
Then he’s showing me the berth he turned into a storage closet. And we’re going through some of his new stuff like kids at Christmas. He’s asking me questions about some of it, noting that he’s “new to cruising. Most of my experience is in racing.” Plenty of people crew on boats for fun, hardening lines and easing sheets at the whim of the cap. So I forget about that for now too.
Then he makes us all coffee and we hit the cockpit with the charts. 🗺
He’s pencils ‘em up as Mak and I point and describe all our favourite spots.
Like I said earlier, they’re on a timeline to meet his daughter in Miami, so he non-chalantly mentioned just overnighting it from Chub Cay across The Gulf Stream into Florida.
I know he just crossed the Atlantic to get here. So he knows what he’s doing. I know his boat is a from a Bond film. And I also know that the Gulf Stream crossing needs to be properly timed. So I stop him...
“Pete, sounds like a good plan but make sure you have favourable weather to cross the gulf...”
I then go on for a minute talking about how dangerous it can be If you have any heavy winds with a North component.
He listens intently, nods with appreciation, and says he’ll for sure pick a great day to cross.
Mak gets their contact info from Tracy, and head off to explore the island.
On the dinghy ride to the beach, Mak tells me that Tracy said he’s kind of a public speaker. 🤔
I ask if she got their last name. She pulls out the paper and it reads Goss. 🤔
I can’t help but think that name sounds familiar. 🤔
We get to the car and I can’t drive without googling this guy. This is what I find:
I never would have thought I’d care about cute baby clothes until I had a little girl.
I really don’t think I’d care remotely as much if we had a boy but I get a kick out of picking Isla’s clothes on the mornings I get up with her so Mak can catch a few more 💤s (welllll deserved since she’s up at night if Isla needs something).
I’m usually biased in her wardrobe (“daddy is my anchor,” stuff that doesn’t restrict her crawling and climbing, etc), but this morning Mak woke up to this one from her bridesmaids:
Too much. It’s just too much. 🙈
Otherwise, today was spent aboard because the wind is having a hoedown still. 💨 💨
And we are off!!!!
After 2 weeks of waiting in beautiful Turks and Caicos for a weather window to open, we are able to leave this morning at 7am!
Feeling a little nervous as we are still expecting some rough seas. Also super duper grateful that Dawn is crewing on our boat so that her and Dane can do shifts over the next few days while I tend to Isla. Sam’s friend Brad has flown in to help crew on Windbird so that Dawn can be with us....how amazing is that?!?!?
We weighed anchor this morning at 7am and had a beautiful sail through the bank.
We decided instead of anchoring at Long Island, we would continue to Big Sand Cay, so that the next passage starting tomorrow would be shorter!
I’m still amazed at how well Isla has done on these big passages with 6-10 feet waves! Me, on the other hand, have been getting seasick when we are in those kind of seas. Because I’m still breastfeeding, I can’t take much medication, which makes it no fun! 🤢
These 2 have so much fun together!
We dropped anchor at 2am at Big Sand and are ready to hit the sack!
Had a pretty good (much needed) sleep last night! We decided to take off this morning at 11am for Luperón, Dominican Republic! SO EXCITING!!!!
Expecting the same amount of seas, but just gotta push through and get there!
I have to admit, I have not enjoyed the long passages we have done at all! It’s been really tough, being seasick, looking after Isla and making sure she is safe and happy and dealing with rough seas. This season has been full of fronts, big seas, high winds and waiting for windows. Dane and I have decided that this will be the last long passage for Isla and I, as it’s just too hard and uncomfortable for us. The one last passage left (it’s a big one...the Mona Passage) to Puerto Rico, Dane has his friend Felipe coming in to sail with him.
We have also realized it would have been exptremely hard and almost unmanageable to do these big crossings just Dane and I, with Isla! So we are so thankful to have Dawn with us! She is such a sweet, kind and considerate person and is so great with Isla!
Took us 18 hours to get from Big Sand to Luperón! We arrived at 5am and had to motor around near the entrance so that we could make it into the harbour once the sun came up. It was a hard sail. I felt seasick most of the time, I wasn’t able to get much sleep due to the big seas and the rocking of the boat. Isa also woke up 4 times as she was getting tossed around in her crib! But we did it, we had beautiful sunsets, amazing company and a new adventure!
So much lush, greenery in Dominican, I can’t wait to explore this beautiful island!
Happy captain and crew!!!
P.S. Funny story....in the middle of the night, as I was on watch, while Dane slept and Dawn went to the bathroom, I felt something wack me in the face. I immediately heard a rattling sound and was searching frantically for what can’t loose on the boat! I could make out that the sound was coming from under the lift raft, so I put my hand under there and pulled out...A FLYING FISH!!!! Of course I immediately screamed and dropped it! 🤣
Dawn came to the rescue and threw it overboard and we all had a great laugh!
So far, we are loving Luperon! There is a great little cruiser’s community and everyone is so friendly. Love how the locals barely speak any English, really makes me feel immersed in a new culture.
One thing I love about cruising is HAPPY HOUR!! ⛵️🍻🍹. Today we had 3 other boats come join us on Sea Otter for some drinks, good laughs and company. We had Dawn and Sam from S/V Windbird, Natalie and her dad Yves from S/V Ubi, and Joanna and David from S/V Oceananigans over. Everyone has been so great at accommodating us with Isla, as happy hour usually end up on our boat, seeing as Isla goes to bed usually right before happy hour begins!
It’s 5am and the boat lists hard to port, as if she was body checked by something huge.
We wake up immediately. WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT? 👀
I jump out the v-berth and up into the cockpit. It’s mid-squall, heavy gusts and absolutely pouring.
I quickly scan around the boat, thinking we’ve dragged or we’ve been hit by another boat, but we’re still on our mooring and all the boats I see are our neighbors at the same distance as before.
Relieved, I go back down below and jump into bed. Mak and I are still so damn confused...
How could we have rocked that much by a gust of wind? We’re talking through the possibilities when I realize I gotta go help sea levels rise.
This is only about 10 minutes after we thought we got hit. I’m in the cockpit, the rain coming down much lighter, about to go take a leak, when I notice another boat positioned perpendicular to our neighbour’s boat on our east... only a foot away from it if they weren’t actually touching.
So I head to the bow to get a better look...
Shit! That boat is dragging! And he’s about to head right for us!
I run to the stern to grab a fender to brace the impact but he’s moving too fast and I can’t get it untied quick enough...
So I yell down below to Mak that I need her help and run back to the bow with the plan of Heman-ing this boat off of Sea Otter.
I blink and it’s right at our bow - another 40ish foot sailboat, who’s mooring line snapped off the block and are now caught up on ours!
I’m shitting my pants thinking that now with double the weight it’s gonna pull us loose from our mooring and we’re going to tag-team pinball our way through the whole goddamn anchorage.
Thank God the squall passed and the winds abate because his boat’s stern swings to starboard and now he’s alongside Sea Otter. He had a few fenders that kept the boats from hurting each other, but our mooring lines are still tangled.
With everything I got (I think dad strength FINALLY kicked in 💪), I’m pushing his boat forward so another guy in a dinghy can untangle our lines and set this boat free from ours.
Now don’t get me wrong... I’m EXTREMELY grateful for the guy in the dinghy (I think he was hit before us and jumped in to help), but it’s as if he’s taking his sweet-ass time undoing the lines one at a time. I cant hold this dragging boat into the wind much longer to relieve tension on the mooring lines so I yell at Mak to grab a knife cause I’m about to cut them loose if he can’t get us free.
I yell at the guy to start his engine but to make matters worse for this poor salt, HIS ENGINE IS BROKEN. 🙈
Then just as Mak hands me the rigging knife, the guy in the dinghy gets the lines untangled. Thank God for that because he’s now floating away and we’re still holding well on our mooring.
So I jump in my dinghy to help and use it to push this runaway sloop from other boats it’s about to hit, all the while rapping on their hulls to wake them and get them to put fenders out in case we get too close.
Luckily, we get him to somewhat of an empty spot in this packed anchorage without hitting any more boats and he drops his anchor (which he had just got unstuck). He’s got about 40 feet out but can’t let out more because his chain is stuck again...
“Can I come come aboard and help?” I ask.
“At the stern?”
“YESSSS PLEASE!” 😆 Poor guys having just a horrible time.
I head to the bow and get his chain loose and pull out another 20-30 feet. It sets well and we both sigh with relief that the madness is over.
Then I realize I’m standing on a strangers boat, wet from the rain, in nothing but my underwear, under his foredeck light, while all the surrounding boats are staring at us. 🤣
He thanks me profusely. I tell him not to thank me yet because I’ve got to check out if he’s damaged our Sea Otter (she was fine though). Then I introduce myself, head home and jump back in our warm, dry bed with Mak.
Holy shit! Did all that just happen? Lying there, we begin to laugh our asses off at the whole thing, naturally highlighted by my dad-bod showcase for our new neighbours here in Luperon. Quite the eventful night!
FRESH VEGGIES!!!!!! 🍅🥦🥒🥕🥔
After being in the Bahamas, where veggies are sparse, it’s so nice to get local, fresh, garden veggies! And they are so cheap too! Thanks you Dominican!!
Also spent the day today exploring Luperon a little bit! Wendy’s bar, in town, is a cruiser’s favourite for some cheap cold beers and good company!
Have we mentioned how cheap everything is here?!? I mean, $1.25 for a huge beer and $2 for a breakfast omelet! No point in cooking when you can get food for so much cheaper! 🤗
***NAKED BABY ALERT***
I remember as a kid, that we used to dance in the rain in Trinidad! So today, when it was raining out, I decided to take Isla for a ‘Mother Nature shower’. I hate that she is in a diaper all day so it’s nice for her to be ‘free’ for a little bit, enjoy the rain and dry off in the sun!
Up early to weigh anchor at first light and cruise over from Long Bay in St. Thomas to just outside Cruz Bay in St. John.
Turned out to be quite the pummeling once at sea on the south side of St. Thomas but we finally got some lee from a few islands to calm things down...
Until the block for the mizzen clewline blew to shit and the sail fell apart (not literally fell apart, just didn’t hold its shape anymore).
But we dropped it quick and went on our merry way.
30 mins later we pulled into the mooring field and, lo and behold, it’s our buddies Lisa and Adam from S/V Savannah on a ball! 👋
We hit town to walk around and provision, then put Isla down and Adam and Lisa cane over for a couple hours of beers in the cockpit under a starry sky.
Hung around the boat all morning doing some cleaning. Dropped the mooring ball around 11 to head to Gorda Sound on Virgin Gorda.
Squally day, and when rounding the NW point of Virgin Gorda got hit by a squall that nearly put our rails in the water and we were already under a reefed main!
[“Reefing” your sail means you let less of it out, essentially depowering it. It’s a safety precaution so you don’t get yourself into trouble.]
We thought wasn’t so fun when all of the sudden we got hit by an even bigger gust... I’m assuming close to 30kts!
So then I decided to drop the main quick, which didn’t go as smooth as I hoped, but messily dropped it to wait out the rest of the squall.
Made it out unscathed and dropped anchor an hour later beside our friends on Windbird, and our new friends on Squalls Deep (yes, amazing name 😂) in Leverick Bay.
Soon enough we were followed by pals on Rondo and Carpe Ventum and we all went up to Hog Heaven restaurant atop the hill for incredible ribs and this view of our anchorage:
Then back to Sea Otter for a night cap!