We left Providencia, Columbia, which is located off the Nicaraguan coast on July 2nd. We hoped to arrive in Key West, Florida on July 8th. The window planning is tricky with this passage, trying to time a decent window to get across the most vigorous of the trade winds that set up north of Providencia while avoiding undue amounts of tropical moisture and also transiting while no tropical development is expected is no small order. For this entire trip north we’ve been consulting with WRI (Weather Routing Incorporated). The stakes are too high to misread internet weather information and put ...Read More
At this point we’re getting a decent idea of what it costs to cruise. We’re also realizing jumping right into in it has its downsides. The boat is 95% perfect. Which is kinda amazing considering we’ve never cruised before. Ideally we could have used the boat for a season and then taken care of the changes that have crept up. The issue is, I can think of numerous people I’ve met while refitting that are constantly tweaking the boat to be just right, yet never set off anywhere. I did not want to turn into one of these people. At ...Read More
We hoist the dingy onto the deck and separate the two halves, nest them together and lash it amidships. Each of us knows the procedure by heart at this point – there’s no point in talking. Our thoughts lay to the north and in the future. The routine of departure settles upon the boat as the sun sets in the west. Always a contemplative time – the night before setting out on a voyage on the open ocean. No matter how well you hedge against the unknown, the sea is an expanse of wilderness that can never quite ...Read More
Every boat and crew has different thresholds for what they are willing to put up with. In my limited experience using GRIB files to plan voyages, I hope for the predicted winds and hedge against higher than predicted winds and seas. Even though I’m positive our boat can take just about anything, we voyage for the enjoyment of sailing. We don’t have to be anywhere at anytime. Its just not as fun to deal with 30kts and a large sea, we’ve done it – but I’d rather sit in port and drink cheap Panamanian beer. It’s important that I keep ...Read More
Above all else, Panama has redefined the word “hot” for both Rachel and I. I’m not totally sure why I’m surprised though – it is Central America, its supposed to be sauna like! After a pretty decent flight (free booze on the plane), we touched down and caught a taxi to a hotel in downtown Panama City. The next morning we met our driver for the day outside the hotel. Rogelio worked for the Panama Canal Yacht Club for 20 some odd years before its sudden closure at the hands of the Port Authority. He now provides taxi and local ...Read More
There are so many choices when deciding on a water making system to install on a cruising sailboat. When deep in research for which reverse osmosis device was right for our boat, I saw two main schools of thought in terms of system design. First was the low output, low draw DC watermakers that output 1-5 gallons an hour. Second was the high draw high output models that utilize 110 volt electric motors or engine driven pumps.
First, a brief primer on watermakers for the uninitiated. Essentially you take seawater, clean it of critters and other suspended particles down to ...Read More
We’ve been back in the good old USA for about a month now. Originally a 2 week trip back home for a family wedding turned into a 3 week trip to see friends and record some music. Now we’re here for 2 months and 3400 miles into a 8,000 mile road trip. Currently I’m writing from a table overlooking the southern California coast. Talk about scope creep.
The reasons we decided to extend our trip back to the states are threefold. First, we needed a little time away from the boat. The whole year of getting the boat ready (this ...Read More
People said we were nuts when we got married then hopped on a boat together literally the day after getting married.(Setting sail the morning after our wedding from the eastern shore of Maryland) I feel like the internet is littered with stories of marriages and relationships not surviving the first year cruising, I thought we should share a positive tale for a change. Here’s our list of the best and worst aspects of living on board when being newlywed.
1. Learning quickly to respect each other’s space – I’ve come to the decision that every newlywed should be put ...Read More
For the month of March we came in under our $1400 budget! $17.82 under actually. I attribute our frugality this month to being anchored out in Guna Yala, Panama where there is nothing to spend money on. Also, a case of beer from the vegetable boat is $19, delivered! Compare that to $44 or $67 per case we paid in the Bahamas! Anyway, here are the totals:
Total spent: $1382
Health Insurance: $280
The Good, Bad and Ugly (non-essential spending): $237.41
Boat Supplies/Cruising permits: $618.48
Cell Phone and Internet: $84.25
We didn’t buy any diesel or ...Read More
I was after a blue water boat, something that I could safely take offshore and across oceans. Full keel, traditional looks, cutter rigged. I wanted something with a large production run so I would not have to plow as much uncharted territory when refitting and maintaining it. But most of all, I wanted something affordable. Actually no, I wanted a deal.
I love deals, I attribute it to my mother and her love of coupons. There is nothing quite like finding that diamond in the rough, pulling it out of the bushes and bringing that baby home for months of ...Read More