Our First Atlantic Circle Complete! This Calls for an Annie Seuss Treat!

From the Bay of Biscay across an entire ocean to the BVIs,

Under our belt now a full Atlantic Circle lies!

 

My mind firing, my knuckles cracked and loose,

I’m certain this event warrants a famous ditty by Annie Seuss!

 

With our biggest voyage to date behind us (albeit with many more the world to span)

I thought it was time to share with you the night when it all began:

 

When I met a man with a dream, who was so ablaze, so vivid, so itching to go.

That my words leapt before me in agreement.  That was 14,000 nautical miles ago.

 

“There’s someone I want you to meet,” she said, a line we all immediately dread.

Lord, who now? I thought. A sad co-worker, a weird cousin with cats, probably a red head.

 

“Trust me,” my well-intentioned friend demanded.  “He’s not you standard fare.”

And in my neck of the woods, Polos, Croakies, and Crocs was all they would wear.

 

When she pointed him out at the end of the bar,

My eyes blinked unbelievingly, my mouth flew ajar.

 

He was different, regal, commanding attention, demanding my stare.

I can tell you this: he most certainly did not have red hair.

 

I sauntered over cautiously, cosmopolitan in hand,

My instincts telling me I was stepping into new, wild land

 

Both of us practical, straightforward, we cut right to the chase,

Telling one another about our goals, our desires, time we did not waste.

 

“I want to travel,” I said. “Go, see, adventure, explore.”

I’m certain he decided at that moment he needn’t hear any more.

 

“I’m going to live on a boat,” he countered.  “And sail around the world.”

I eyed him curiously, as my thoughts unfurled.

 

On a boat? I thought.  Confused, taken aback, my forehead scored.

Country to country by boat, my mind wandered.  “You mean live aboard?”

 

“Obviously,” he chuckled. “That’s typically how it’s done.”

Typically? I thought.  “You mean you’re not the only one?”

 

Looking back now, this moment makes me laugh with him, too.

Phillip knew neither the vastness of my ignorance, nor my thirst for any experience new.

 

“Well, you shouldn’t have told me,” I said, simultaneously grasping and craving his irresistible plan

Knowing in that moment he had gained a life-long, utterly-smitten fan.

 

“Because I’m coming with you now,” I boldly announced,

And promptly flagged down the bartender for another courage ounce.

 

Phillip stood there, eyeing me slowly, now the one struck with bewilderment.

“I’ll have a martini, filthy,” I told the bartender.  “When you have a minute.”

 

Relishing Phillip’s attention, his curious, piercing stare,

I wondered if he believed I would truly hop on a boat and go with him anywhere.

 

I did not wander at all myself, as I believe I made my mind up then and there,

And I’m confident our next exchange solidified it for Phillip, as well

For I, too, was not his standard fare.

 

“A martini to follow your cosmo?” he asked, as he finally settled into his seat.

“Obviously,” I said, mimicking his previous line.  “I like things salty and sweet.”

 

You have my absolute honest word followers: this story is in no way fiction!

I’ve recited mine and Phillip’s first exchange, down to the very diction.

 

In our first conversation, during our very first meeting,

We spoke of this dream that felt neither imaginary or fleeting,

 

Of our mutual desire to travel, wander, venture, and explore,

I simply did not know until I met Phillip I would be doing it on a boat, shore to shore.

 

But, Phillip’s intriguing proposal for world travel only encouraged me further,

And I know now: as friend, companion, and captain, I could not have chosen any worthier.

 

For all our blue water voyages and the many more adventure seeds we still have to sow,

It still humbles and thrills me to this day to know it all unfolded over a dream and a drink,  in a moment when I was immediately willing to go.

 

With five sailing years, many voyages, and a complete Atlantic Circle now behind us: Behold and lo!

It’s fun to remember how Phillip and I began, only 14,000 miles ago.

Photo taken January 9, 2019, with only 100 more nm to go!      

N: 18° 079’  W: 61° 129′

 

Hope you all enjoyed this little HaveWind ditty.

I’ll be back with more to share from our travels in a jiffy!

 

Until then, know Phillip and I have made it back, our hearts full and swell,

Thinking: Another ocean crossed under sail! 

What a testament to a life lived well!

Posted in Atlantic Crossing | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Shipyard Vid 2: Removing the Quadrant & Replacing the Cables

Maybe they should change that B.O.A.T. saying to “bonded or about to.”  The hardest part of our rudder drop was getting the stinking quadrant off! Heat, impact, cheater bars, nothing would work.  So, the creative guys at Perdido Sailor had to come up with a different fix, and boy did they!

Ahoy crew!  Shipyard Vid #2 coming at you, from Cascias, Portugal nonetheless!  I put this video together a while back so you all would have something fun to watch while we were embarking on our second Atlantic-crossing helping deliver a new Lagoon across the pond from France to the USVIs!  I know how you all LOVE boat project videos, so here’s another one for you from our interesting work at the shipyard this past summer.

While I wrote about this project several months back here, some of my followers love to see the video!  This one’s for you!  Phillip and I always enjoy working alongside the guys at the yard because we learn so much. They point out problems we didn’t even know we had and teach us fixes we didn’t even know were possible.

Watch here as we (finally!) get the quadrant off and make the necessary modifications to do that, check on our G-flexed keel seam from 2016, replace the cables for the throttle and shifter (because, according to Video Annie, they sounded like “Grandma’s panties coming down”), and shared some fun lighthearted joshing at the yard!

We hope you are all enjoying the shipyard videos and having a great time tracking us along while we are sailing back across the Atlantic Ocean. Follow on our facebook page at www.facebook.com/havewindwilltravel for real-time updates and locations via our Delorme!

Life is short. Fill your sails!

Posted in 2016 Re-Rig, Boat Projects, Boat Stuff, Equipment Failures, Videos | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shipyard Vid 1: Reinforcing the Rudder Post

Hey hey crew! As I write from La Rochelle, I have a confession to make.  I’ve been saving a treat for you!  I was holding this for when I knew we would likely be shoving offshore, so you all would have a fun video to watch as we struck out tomorrow into the notorious Bay of Biscay.  We’re planning to head out tomorrow for either a short hop to a new port or a quick shakedown and turn-around.  Either way, we’ll get water moving under the hull, learn a lot about the boat and crew’s capabilities and quirks, and hopefully make it to a new port in southern France or even Spain.  The adventure begins!  And, to celebrate the moment: a gift for you all!  Your favorite, a (drumroll please) … SHIPYARD VIDEO!  : )

I know how much you guys loooove our boat project/shipyard videos. Misery must love company, although I will say Phillip and I are far from miserable when we’re working on our boat. It beats sitting at a desk any day!  While I wrote about this project previously (Shipyard Project #1: Reinforcing Our Rudder), this will be a very fun “catch-up” video for my folks who are strictly YouTube followers as these videos will bring you up to speed on all of the very cool work and upgrades we’ve been doing on our boat this past summer while Phillip and I attempt to complete our first Atlantic Circle this winter by helping some new friends deliver their new Lagoon 42 from La Rochelle, France to the BVIs. You’ll meet Kate and Cyrus with CruiseNautic soon, a very fun, adventurous pair. I guess you have to be to willingly hop on a small boat and sail across the Atlantic, am I right?

When we finish that voyage, Phillip and I will fly home to Pensacola, work for several months and then shove off on our baby girl, the beautiful Plaintiff’s Rest, to sail her as south as possible for hurricane season next year. Likely Grenada. We are not riding out another season in the corner pocket or the Gulf. It is horrendous to see what hurricanes can do.

I’ve got several more Shipyard Videos coming over the next few weeks so you all will have some fun things to watch while we are crossing the pond. Be sure to follow along on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/havewindwilltravel) where we will be posting via satellite through our Delorme. That way you can track us in real time across the Atlantic. Giddyup!

Posted in Boat Projects, Equipment Failures, Videos | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

New Friends, New Plans, and a Tour of La Rochelle, France!

It isn’t a bad place to have to wait for the Lagoon, I will say that.  La Rochelle is exquisite right now.  Mist that fills the harbor every morning.  Vivid yellow leaves the fall leisurely from the trees to the cobblestones, always mesmerizing me when they fall right before my eyes.

And the food! Fruits de mer!  There are a thousand little restaurants, pubs, bistros, and—my favorite—fromageries!  I’m afraid I have knowingly cultivated a full-fledged cheese addiction, and I, in no way, regret the decision.  They eat cheese for dessert here.  I mean … I love these people.  J’aime La Rochelle!

Hello crew!  From the stunning Atlantic-coast village of La Rochelle.  I wanted to write you all a quick note from France before we shove off next week and begin our Atlantic adventure! I wanted to share a little more about our plans, our new friends, Kate and Cyrus, and why Phillip and I made such a drastic change to our cruising plans this year.  When we were working in the shipyard this past summer, we had pretty-set plans to sail our Niagara 35 slowly and intermittently from November through the Spring of 2019 from Pensacola, to the Exumas to explore what we missed last year, then eventually to Grenada for hurricane season. Yet, we decide instead to hop on a new boat, with new crew, and sail back across the Atlantic Ocean?!

We must be crazy right?

We kind of are … : )

Or just in full-fledged pursuit of adventure!  So, how did this whole opportunity unfold?  How did we meet Kate and Cyrus?  As Kate and Cyrus would tell you, all great stories begin with either “Once upon a time,” or “This ain’t no shit.”  Well, this, my friends, is no merde!

We actually crossed paths with Kate and Cyrus while cruising but did not know it.  Phillip and I were making our way back up the west coast of Florida after our cruising in the Bahamas this past season and we made an unplanned duck into Destin to get out of some not-too-comfortable conditions out in the Gulf: 18 knots on the nose that was set to continue well past midnight, well before we would be able to get to Pensacola Pass to get out of that mess.

So, we navigated the entrance to Destin Harbor for the first time, which was not easy.  It’s a bit of a tricky zig-zag, shoaly entrance, but we made it. And it was one of those moments, when you finally get out of the stuff, the boat is settled and in one piece, and you drop the hook and feel your nerves finally start to settle out.  Once the hook was set, Phillip and I both promptly made a boat drink (because that’s exactly what you do in that moment) and were kicked back in the cockpit heaving happy alternating sighs of satisfaction, when this large catamaran cruised by.

I saw a gal on the bow filming, which, being a bit of a fellow videographer, caught my eye.  I could see she had a remote for the winlass around her neck, and I shouted some comment about how it would be awesome to be able to drop and raise the hook with the push of a button.  We shared a lighthearted exchange or two and said “Cheers!” before their catamaran cruised on out of the anchorage.  I had no clue at the time that cheery blonde on the catamaran would soon become one of my very good friends, someone I would cross the Atlantic Ocean with, but it was.  That was Kate!

Kate and Cyrus were sailing with a captain to gain sea time towards their RYA licenses, and they were making the overnight run from Destin to Pensacola for bluewater experience.  The catamaran they were sailing on, s/v Makarios, actually stays in a slip in Pensacola just a dozen or so boats down from where Phillip and I keep our Niagara 35.  While Kate and Cyrus noticed our boat name, s/v Plaintiff’s Rest, as memorable when they were cruising through Destin Harbor, they didn’t think much more of it until they went the next week to Sea School for the necessary credits toward their USCG licenses.  Ahhh … STCW Sea School, that was a fun time.

It was their Kate and Cyrus saw the insignia I had left on the Sea School wall, put two and two together (HaveWind with the boat they saw in Destin), and Kate then decided to reach out to me.  There were here exact messages!

It’s connections and stories like this that will always make me feel grateful I created this (once very little) traveling sailing blog that has somehow reached so many.  Seeing young cruisers like Phillip and I, and many others who are sharing their stories via blogs and videos, Kate and Cyrus decided to similarly sell the house in Minnesota and downsize to life on a boat.  It was really neat, as we began to chat further, to learn about their plans to start a crew-chartered boat, CruiseNautic, on their Lagoon 42 in the USVIs as their quote-unquote retirement.  Kate and Cyrus had already created their platform and signed up with Dream Yacht Charters to act as the broker for the boat purchase by the time we connected.  The boat, a brand new Lagoon 42, was supposed to be completed early- or mid-November and their vague plan was to sail it from France to the Canaries to the USVIs from mid-November to early-January.  A very fun plan indeed!

I’ll admit, Phillip and I get offers to crew often at HaveWindWillTravel, which is very cool but most of them do not work with our schedule or our own cruising plans. This one, however, seemed to fit a particular niche for Phillip, the offer of an amazing journey during the holidays when his work is a bit slower.  When I told Phillip about the offer—mostly in jest—one evening while cooking dinner, I was surprised by his response:

“We would complete our first Atlantic Circle,” he said.

And, I remember thinking, then and there, there was a real chance this was actually going to happen. Phillip is an avid sailor and lives for offshore sailing and once he was thinking the voyage would fit with his work schedule and offer him something that is a true bucketlist item for him—completing an Atlantic Circle by sailboat—it was very likely he would work hard to make this happen.

That was July.  Only three months before Phillip and I had planned to set sail in our own boat headed eventually for Grenada.  But, the more we continued to talk about Kate and Cyrus’s offer, the opportunity to cross the Atlantic Ocean again was like this luminous jewel on the horizon.  Another epic voyage.  Another month of amazing challenges, memories, and bonds between new friends.  How do you turn that down if it’s even remotely possible?

Look at these two.  The answer is you don’t.

Phillip and I figured we would have plenty of time to sail our boat all over the Caribbean in the coming years, but another Atlantic crossing with a young fun couple felt like an opportunity we could not turn down.  And, we are very grateful for the commitment and work we have put toward making our lives, careers, and income as flexible as it is so that we can seize opportunities like this when they come along.  Phillip was the man who initially taught me the incredibly important concept of time-value.  That is, to make sure I valued experiences and time more than money and things, and it was his support and creativity that helped me begin my online marketing business (which has since grown across many avenues and platforms) that allows me to say, with resounding excitement—“YES!”—to adventures like these.

Once we began emailing, at first, then Skyping, with Kate and Cyrus to both get to know them and to discuss more details about the voyage, their travel plans, etc., Phillip and I started to get that tingly “Holy crap this is really happening” feeling.  It’s a prickle beneath our skin that tells us there is one amazing, eye-opening adventure in our future.  And, each conversation we had with Kate and Cyrus told us the four of us were very like-minded, in pursuit of the same goals, with a similar approach to challenges and provisioning, and collectively a very knowledgeable and fun crew.  While Kate and Cyrus do not have the extent of bluewater experience that Phillip and I do, we all compliment each other in different ways.  Cyrus is a mechanical engineer by trade, capable of dissecting and repairing virtually any system, with a good bit of sailing miles under his belt on he and Kate’s Precision 26 on Lake Lanier.  Big plus for an offshore voyage.

Kate also grew up sailing with her father on Lake Lanier, and is an adventurous, fun-loving, talented singer and songwriter.  Another huge plus for an offshore voyage.  Here is Kate jamming out with her Fleetwood Mac cover band!

I can’t wait to sing a duet with her during the passage!

The four of us clicked very easily and we all had a good feeling about crew comraderie for the voyage. The good thing, though, we knew we would be spending several weeks together in France in a tight little Airbnb—a great place to see if we really did mesh well together, before shoving off for good.

Kate, Cyrus, Phillip, and I been here a week now, cooking dinners together, sharing stories, laughs, worries, concerns, and we all get along fabulously and foresee an amazing experience ahead. It’s a goal worth every 12-hour days’ work we put into it.  Offshore voyaging is such a reward.  And, doing it with friends and fellow sailors who share the same joy and awe of it as Phillip and I do, makes it even more memorable.  We cannot wait to share this voyage with you!

Here is a fun video tour of La Rochelle—our haling port for the moment—as well as some very fun photos from Paris and our rendezvous with the infamous Captain Yannick from our first Atlantic-crossing in 2016.  We are soaking up every minute of this journey and looking forward to seeing and getting on the new Lagoon 42 next week!

Pics from Par-eeh!

This guy …

Boy did we miss Yannick!

And, it was great to have such a personal and knowledgeable tour guide in Paris!

Who me?  More to come about this medal of honor.

Love this man!

Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.

This guy had a happy ending.  Google Victor Noir Pere Lachaise Cemetery.  Fun story there!

Shopping in the sail gear shop brought back some fun memories from our first Atlantic Crossing!

The Louvre!

Made it to La Rochelle!

High fashion.

Posted in Atlantic Crossing, Good Grub, Good Juice, Landlubber Outings, Sea School, Videos | 5 Comments

2018 Atlantic-Crossing Announcement!

Some pretty big news here at HaveWind!  Many of you have been wondering about our cruising plans this coming season, where we are going, which routes, etc.  I’ll bet this one hadn’t crossed your mind!  We’re going to complete our first Atlantic Circle!  We’ll be helping some new friends deliver their new Lagoon 42 from La Rochelle, France to the BVIs, likely via the Canaries, in Nov-Dec, 2018.  Phillip and I are both stoked to go and share the journey with you.  We’re flying to France this very day to spend some time with Captain Yannick from our first Atlantic crossing and enjoy La Rochelle for a bit before we shove off.  Check out the announcement video below and follow along in real-time via our Delorme posts on our Facebook page!  I’ve also got some fantastic shipyard videos coming out here for you, too, while we’ll be offshore so be excited for those.  Au revoir!  : )

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Article in SAIL Magazine: $9 for Spam?! Prepping for the Bahamas!

Is Spam in the Bahamas really $9.00?  Find out in the November issue of SAIL Magazine, featuring an article by Yours Truly!  Peter Nielsen over at SAIL asked me a while back for a piece with tips on preparing for a trip to the Bahamas.  So, Phillip and I put our heads together and came up with a few key factors to consider when prepping for the Bahamas and what provisions and supplies we would recommend stocking the boat with.  For us, it all started with the Explorer charts.  Those are a must!  I hope you all grab a copy of the November issue soon and let me know what you think of the article.  Many thanks to the hard-working crew over at SAIL Magazine for putting this one together.  We love it!

And, stay tuned next time as we will be announcing our cruising plans this winter in a fun new video next week.  You’ll never guess where we’re going!!  : D

Posted in Bahamas Bound, Boat Stuff, Good Grub, Good Juice, Gulf Crossing, Provisioning | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Carnage and Courage in Post-Michael Panama City

While this is tough to share, it is also humbling and inspiring.  Hurricane Michael was the strongest hurricane to hit US shores since Andrew.  Practically speaking, it was pretty much a Cat 5 when it hit the shore the Florida panhandle on October 10, 2018.  With sustained winds of 155 mph, it was just a shade under the 156 mph rank for a Cat 5.  We heard reports, however, of gusts up to 178.  One hundred and seventy-eight miles an hour.  Can you even imagine?  I think it might peel the skin off of your face.  I honestly don’t know and don’t want to.  Although Phillip and I are incredibly grateful for how lucky we were that Michael did make that anticipated hook to the east and missed us entirely here in Pensacola, it is a stark reminder of how close we came to having our downtown, our homes, and our marinas and boats here in Pensacola look like this.

Phillip and I recently had the opportunity to travel to Panama City to deliver hurricane relief supplies to a local church that had put together a drive.  We wanted to go to offer our help, of course, but I have to be honest when I say I also wanted to go to see, to document, and to share. Hurricanes are horrific.  They’re terrifying and infinitely stronger than you can imagine.  Those who have the means to evacuate if a cyclone anywhere close to a Cat 5 is coming, but don’t simply because they feel they can somehow save their house, business, or boat if they stay behind, I hope footage like this can help educate.

The damage in Panama City (the only location we went to) was primarily from wind.  While the damage from a hurricane is typically some combination of wind and water via a storm surge, it did not appear in the areas we went to that Panama City experienced a large storm surge.  There were no signs of mud slathered across the streets or water lines on the buildings to suggest that.  Rather, it seemed in Panama City wind was the deadliest force.  It shocked Phillip and I to see entire fields of trees, hundreds of them, all snapped clean in half.  Just from the wind.  Seeing them all cracked over, my mind instantly tried to re-create the scene mentally watching full-blown, thick-trunked trees breaking from the sheer force of the wind.  I could almost hear their horrific cries.  I don’t want to visualize these scenes.  My mind forces me to when I see damage like this.  It is a humbling reminder of who is in charge on this earth, and why we should make a much greater, collective effort to treat her better, to help heal her so we do not feel her wrath as frequently.

While I share this footage to educate, I also want to shine a spotlight on the many, many volunteers we saw out, gathering and giving away supplies.  There were people on the side of the road at intersections with signs that read: “Free Lunch” or “Free Supplies.”  There were many donation stations.  Free food, water, and ice locations.  We saw dozens of freshly-mounted new powerline poles along the roads where power company employees had worked feverishly to restore power for those affected.

To the extent we saw devastating damage in Panama City, we also saw courage in the face of disaster.  People can sometimes be awful, selfish, terrible things, but it’s nice to be reminded that other times they can be generous, brave, and kind.  Here is a link to the American Red Cross’s Hurricane Michael Relief Page if you, too, would like to help the Hurricane Michael relief efforts.  To those affected in Panama City, Mexico Beach, Tallahassee, and the surrounding areas, our hearts and thoughts are with you as you regroup and rebuild.

  

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