Last minute prep. Getting ready to head out from St.Pete!

St. Petersburg Municipal Marina

Left St.Pete first thing in the morning after doing one final early morningl stop at Trader Joe’s and Cvs (to pats discontent 🙄), mom and dad dropped off some last minute shipments,took the car and we sailed off! Pretty smooth 1st day with only some fun surprises to keep us on our toes. Got lucky we decided to put the anchor down in daylight as our new spreader lines almost got ripped by the bridle. Oops. But we caught it just in time and were able to relax and enjoy a good dinner!


On our way! After being awakened by the coast guard for someone calling that they thought we appeared to be a boat in distress (I guess being dead asleep could have that appearance). \240We’re off to a slow yet enjoyable start. \240Passing Sarasota, quiet seas for now.

Captain checking out his new sail!

Key West

Had a pretty long, tiring overnight sail with a little drama included. We decided to leave our parasailor up overnight as we were heading directly downwind. Pat usually doesn’t like to keep that up in case anything happens, it’s not fun dealing with it when it’s dark. First few hours went great, parasailor was doing awesome, we were going around 9knots, then the seas picked up, wind picked up. Unfortunately our wind instruments weren’t working, so it was hard to tell exact wind speed and then the parasailor blew out. I was trying to sleep at the time and heard Pat calling my name, so we quickly got ourselves ready and brought the parasailor down, which actually came down better than I anticipated, but Pat saved the sail and we will no longer be flying it up overnight! Lesson learned. Seas got even worse after that, we both got pretty nauseous and I was useless until about 12pm. Pat put his foul weather gear on and bit the bullet on the flybridge and steered us all the way into our anchorage for the night at around 3pm. We were fast asleep at 6pm and both slept until 5:30/6am!! That was some good sleep!

Before the evening episode.....

Banana Bay Resort & Marina

Woke up feeling refreshed and ready to go! Wind was perfect to make our passage to Marathon, so we got our anchor and off we went to Marathon with our friends Mike and Jen following an hour behind us. \240We decided to test out the new code zero sail, unfortunately the wind angle wasn’t as cooperative, so we decided to roll it in. This is when the fun began! We accidentally didn’t roll it in tight, so out it went again and again it didn’t roll in tight so the wind just started unraveling it. We spent about half an hour trying to bring it on, sail going in the water filling with water, under the hull, line got loose which we thought got caught in the rudder, all in all it was a bit of a shitshow,but after a couple more attempts, finally got it in. Our friends who were behind us were looking at our boat trying to figure out our course 🤣 that still makes me laugh today! Made it to Marathon after a long day of motor sailing and even got to watch the super bowl out on anchor! \240

Spent the week in Marathon doing boat projects (wind sensor, water pump,new kitchen filter, I’m sure there’s more....). \240 Also getting some final shipments and testing out our new electric bikes. \240Loving the bikes aside from the constant questions from everyone that sees them. \240Picked up our final packages Friday afternoon (like hailing the fed ex truck at Walgreens seeing if he had a package there for me and he did!!!!) Finally weather window looked good and we were ready to leave Marathon!

Rodriguez Key

Woke up Saturday morning, filled up on gas and we were on our way to Rodriguez key!!!! Smooth day overall, going between sailing and motor sailing, we finally had a pretty uneventful sail with nothing breaking. \240Well actually we did catch a buoy on the rudder, but got lucky and it came out after pat poked it with the boat hook,phew. \240Pulled into the anchorage right around 5:30pm and we were ready for that rum.

Wind and seas were a little heavy to cross to Bimini so we stayed put, caught up on cleaning the boat and a little relaxation!!!!

Alice Town

Woke up early morning, waited for a little bit of light and we were ready to cross the Gulf Stream and head to Bimini. \240Was a pretty smooth passage, little choppy at the start, but not too bad. \240Wind was just off the nose, so was a long day of motor sailing but made it to our anchorage in Bimini around 4pm.

Sunrise at the start of our cross. \240

Arriving at our anchorage in Bimini.

That tasted sooo good!

Started the morning with cleaning the boat, doing 7 loads of laundry and pat went to customs to clear us into the Bahamas! Was a busy morning, so we decided to have some fun in the afternoon and take our bikes to explore Bimini. Took the dinghy in, got the bikes put together and off we went. \240Ended our bike in Resort World for some over priced kalik, but the view wasn’t too shabby!

Chub Cay

Happy Valentine’s Day! \240We woke up around 4:30 to head towards Chub Cay. \240 Long day ahead so off we went. \240Was really dark out, we saw a few boats out in the distance. \240Pat was navigating us around some rocks which we had to avoid, I was on the lookout for boats. \240There was one boat we kept watching, they had no AIS and we finally figured out they were a sailboat. \240I was looking in the binoculars at them and then was surprised they seemed really close until I realized they were so I told Pat “they are here”. \240Probably not the best first mate terminology, they crossed our bow and we breathed a big sigh of relief, but it was definitely a little too close for comfort. \240Not sure they even saw us. \240Rest of the trip was a lot more relaxing and we made it to the Chub Cay anchorage by 8pm. \240We were tired but happy to have arrived. \240

Atlantis Marina

After our quick overnight stay we decided to just keep going towards Nassau. \240Pretty simple day, got to Atlantis around 3pm. \240We spoiled ourselves a little bit and stayed in Atlantis to see what it was all about. \240

Lots of ridiculously large boats

We had fun exploring around Paradise Island, Nassau, went to se Black Panther and then found our favorite little spot “Ocean Club”

Highborne Cay

We had 45 miles to Highbourne Cay and we were ready to start exploring the Exumas! Fast motor sail and finally got to turn the engines off the last hour. \240Arrived early afternoon to this cute island and marina!

Highbourne Cay Marina

Absolutely magical Highbourne Cay 🧘🏿‍♂️We have been hunkered down here in the Northern Exumas waiting for the trade winds to lay down a bit. They have been blowing a brisk 20-25 knots for the last few days. We are fair weather sailors so we will hang out here until things settle down a bit.

We took the bikes into the marina and had a great riding tour of the Cay. The bikes have been great! They allow us to wander further and are really fun to ride.

While out riding we found an awesome swing set that we had to play on. It had been a number of years since this sailor had been on a swing. Is it possible to swing without smiling or giggling. I don’t think so! At least we couldn’t do it!

Highborne Cay


I have never lived more than 20 miles from the ocean and find solace waking up and seeing the sun rise over the sea, feeling the warmth of the sun on my face, and expanding my lungs with the unlimited power and potential of trade winds.

This picture was taken weeks after I returned from Iraq. My time in Iraq was life changing to say the least. A more appropriate description of that time is probably life affirming. I’m an unabashed dreamer and a year of combat duty has a way of illuminating what is important and freeing the self limiting shackles of societal norms.

The shot of me at the helm was the first time I helmed a sailing catamaran. A random stranger invited me and my family aboard his catamaran for an afternoon sail after seeing my dream filled eyes and gaping mouth watching them from the dock. I had dragged everyone down to a marina to see this boat and share the dream.

Over the next several years, the draggings continued. Riley and Drew learned to sail before they learned to drive. I wanted them to experience the joy found piloting your boat into a distant port of call, the confidence gained while exploring the boundaries of your comfort zone, and the freedom to explore the world at your own pace. I planted the seeds early and I’m hopeful that they will sprout deep roots for generations to come.

I met Milana after sailing Tapati from Martinique to Sarasota. Her Dad Milan has a passion for sailing and crossed the Atlantic in a sailboat. He had dragged her to a few marinas and planted a few seeds himeself. Thanks Milan!

Over the last two years, Milana and I have prepped for sailing and exploring the Caribbean together. She is happiest person I know and I couldn’t have dreamed up a better person to share this journey with. I’m thankful beyond words!

Highbourne Cay Marina

What cruising means to us

We have been here in the Northern Exumas for almost a week. During this time we have watched many boats come and go. Seemingly on a race to “see everything” no matter what. We are fair fair weather sailors. As I write this the trades have been howling 20-25 miles per hour for the last week. Tapati is a great boat that was built for open ocean sailing. Many, many, many Lagoon 450 catamarans have circumnavigated the globe, sailing in far worse weather. But here we sit 🤔.

We cruise at our own pace. Tapati has become our home. We literally have everything we need to be comfortable. On grey blustery days we do laundry, and run our watermaker(converts sea water to drinking water) while hanging out in the air conditioning.

Yesterday we finally did a bit of snorkeling. It was overcast and blustery but the underwater visibility was perfect. We took our dinghy over to the dive site, about 200 yards away. We entered the water and were blown away. One of the best sites we have snorkeled. There was abundant marine life, healthy coral, and a large nurse shark 🦈.

Milana does an amazing job keeping our pantry stocked with yummy food and we enjoy great home cooked meals every day. So as they say, life it pretty dang good.

It’s not always sunshine and roses... well maybe sunshine but definitely not roses

Yesterday started just like most days start, breakfast with a little Morning Joe in the background: Milana’s morning must haves - latte and Morning Joe. Everything was going as planed until one of my nemesis decided to make an appearance.

Riley and Drew will attest to my lack of handiness when it comes to fixing household stuff. I’m just not wired in that DYI build a new anything MacGyver way. So I have been at odds with The fresh water pump and our head(toilet) for the last several weeks. Our fresh water filter decided that it would leak half of all our fresh water during our Gulf Stream crossing - no roses that day. And yesterday one of our three heads decided that it was over it. Of course it made this decision at the most inoportune time imaginable. I’ll let your imaginations run wild with that one, but no matter how extreme you go - you will be right.

This scenario happened to us last month in St Pete which led to me driving around at midnight trying to by a plunger(pro tip they are hard to find). Fortunately we were able to call Fecal Freddie, the turd herder. I’m not making this up. His calling card is fecal Fred, turd herder. Well Freddie was nowhere to be found yesterday so it was up to me to cowboy up and herd...

I’ll spare you the details, but I was able to wrangle things back into working order this morning. Yep a 24 hour DIY wonderland of fun. Definitely NOT ROSES.

Before you start sending sympathy cards, I’ll share that Milana and I had one of our best ever snorkeling trips today. The current was really strong today so we would position the dingy on on end of the reef, fall into water, grab onto lines I had tied to the dingy and drift across the reef. Didn’t even have to break a sweat 🕺🏿.

Yep that’s us with our cooler chilling as I write this.

So no Roses today but we ain’t complaining. Traveling with your best friend is pretty dang cool, and a great way to beat the crap out your nemesis’s 🧘🏿‍♂️

Shroud Cay

Camp Driftwood and provisions

Some times you have to go backward to move forward. The great Yogi Berra might have coined the phrase, but we actually sailed it. After almost a week of fun at Highbourne Cay, it was time to move on. This notion of cruising suits us just fine, stay in a place as long as weather and desires are aligned.

Speaking of weather, I have become somewhat of an Al Roker of late. I check weather a few times a day. Mostly I’m trying to discern trends, and scout out comfortable places to anchor Tapati: comfort being where we are shielded from wind and waves.

So my Roker senses discovered a cold front developing that will bring with it winds from the West that will clock around to the North. These conditions will make our paradise in Highbourne Cay bumpy and put us on a “lee shore.” Thats sailor speak for saying that the wind and wave forces would work to push the boat onto the beach(shore). So we decided to leave before front arrives on Thursday.

We motor sailed about 10 miles South to Shroud Cay. Yep - you guessed it, the place is beautiful. We anchored in 6 feet of crystal clear water just off the West Coast of the Cay.

What makes Shroud Cay unique are the saltwater creeks that crisscross the Cay. These mangrove lined estuaries are amazing. They are filled with Rays and Turtles and conjur up images of Jusasic Park or Land of the Lost for the folks that are old enough to remember that show. We explored these creeks in our dingy and rarely saw another person.

Milana is an excellent backseat dingy driver. She was awesome at pointing out all of the shallow spots and yelling watch out. It was so very helpful and even more enjoyable after a couple hours of exploring 🧘🏿‍♂️

These creeks wind across the Cay from East to West and deposit you on this breathtaking beach. Pictures don’t do \240this beach justice.

The place is wonderful and both times we visited, we had the beach to ourselves.

The first picture in this post shows stairs carved in the the rocks. These stairs lead up the hill to Camp Driftwood, a “camp” that overlooks the beach. Legend has it that years ago a cruiser hand carved the stairs and created the camp. Not sure if that is true be we were thankful all the same.

After spending a night at Shroud Cay, we had a decision to make. Continue South to Exuma Land and Sea Park or return to Highbourne Cay to stock up on food.

The fear of eating Ramen for a few days(I’m not joking, Milana has Top Ramen onboard in case we run out of food) won out and we returned to Highbourne.

So we enjoyed another day of frolicking and hijinx. Next stop Warrick Wells and free diving and exploring while waiting out the cold front.

Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park Visitor Center

Did someone say sharks?

The winds have been light so we motor’d about 30 miles to Exuma land and sea park. We both really dislike motoring. It just feels wrong, the engine noise takes away the serenity and joy of being on a sailboat. So we were really happy to arrive and shut them off.

The Park \240is a Bahamian National treasure. 176 square miles of pristine waters: all fishing is prohibited 🚫.

We arrived just before dark and fell asleep shortly after getting settled. Most nights we watch a few episodes of “This is us” which we love or “Ray Donovan” which we find disturbing as hell(thanks Lu and Jon), but this night we enjoyed a great Cuban rum and called it.

We really enjoy snorkeling and I could hardly wait to get in the water. There is a reef less than 100 yards from the boat, so we suited up and headed off. We were having a great dive when Milana points over to a 6 foot shark hanging out near us. The men in the grey suits give me the willies so I motioned for us to head over to the dingy and get out of the water. At that point Milana swims over me and places me between her and the shark 🦈. Love may be blind but she isn’t and she wanted no part of the shark. I don’t think Micheal Phelps would have beat her back to the boat.

So we left that dive spot and headed out to a couple others a mile or so away and had a blast. No more sharks just coral and fish and fun!

On our way out of Highbourne we ran across some local fishermen and bought some fresh caught grouper. After our diving adventures, I was cleaning the fish in our kitchen. The sink drains into the water and the fish guts apparently attracted a group of sharks to the back of the boat. As you can see in the video, these guys were big and hungry. I don’t think I’ll be getting my ass back in that water for a while.

Shortly after Milana took the video, a group of about 5 Canadians swam by... They may be great at curling 🥌, but don’t appear to be too bright. Thank goodness they sharks had gone or don’t like Canadians.