This is it!  Our official goodbye.  We are out!  Off!  Headed to Cuba!  See you next year.  Phillip and I were dreaming about this moment every day at the shipyard, every time we encountered a new problem, found a new leak and had to break out another thousand.  It all lead to this.  We are sailing to Cuba.  We’ve spent months preparing, researching and packing and we have had a great time sharing the process with you in Season Four of the YouTube Channel in our “How To” series.  We don’t know when we’ll get wifi again or have time to put out our next video.  It may be a few weeks.  But Season Five will be all travel.  We’re taking you with us in videos to Isla Mujeres, Cuba, Key West, Miami and more.  Stay tuned and Happy Holidays Sailors!


And, as our continued thanks for all of your support and following along, we put together one last season finale for the YouTube channel talking about and showing you all of the safety gear we will be traveling with and covering our last minute checks (including one unfortunate discovery and repair of a raw water leak) before shoving off.  As always, we hope you find the information helpful (and fun!) and enjoy following along on our journey.  Stay tuned on HaveWindWillTravel’s Facebook page for updates via our Delorme tracker while we are underway.  Wish us luck and fair winds and have a fantastic Christmas!

For any of you looking to do your own offshore voyaging, I have included below a link to our complete 12-page bow-to-stern inventory of the boat in case this sparks some ideas for you of what to stock, how to stow it or how to organize it.  Included in here is all of our spares, boat supplies, food, fishing gear, safety gear, etc.  Plaintiff’s Rest is loaded down!




And, another Christmas goodie for you!  I wrote an article about our rotten stringer repair that will be coming out in the January 2017 issue of SAIL Magazine.  It gives me a tingle to think how everything is so connected and truly happens for a reason.  It was October 2015 when we watched a fleet of boats sail out of the Pensacola Pass in the Pensacola a la Habana Race and, when we saw a gallant 60-footer pass by that, Phillip and I decided–right then and there–we were going to make a plan to sail ourselves to Cuba.  We didn’t know it at the time, but it was Captain Ryan on Libra and we’ve all since become very good friends and I now have a new marketing client who I love to work for (he pays in offshore voyages ; ) … is there anything better?)  And, it was the very next weekend after we made that decision (Blue Angels November 2015) that Phillip and I found our rotten stringers.  But, Phillip decided–right then and there, with the knife blade still sticking out of the wood–that it wasn’t going to stop us.  We would haul out, do the repairs, re-rig at the same time and SAIL TO FREAKING CUBA!  It actually motivated us further and because it was so much work getting our boat ready to go, the reward is that much sweeter.  And now, right before we shove off, the story of the whole incident comes out in print for you all to read while we voyage.  There is sometimes a mystifying symmetry to life that takes my breath away.  The good, the bad, the rot.  It all happens for a reason and always teaches you something in the process.  Never give up!

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March 28, 2014 – Safety Gear: “It’s Like a Biscuit Can – I’m Scared!”

This is it.  The final countdown.  We are about a week out, finishing up last-minute projects, finalizing the rigging and doing a double-check of the safety gear.  If you recall, when the rigger came, he certainly added to our project list, but I’m proud to say we’ve been diligently working through it (and bleeding out in the process) but we are finally done!  It’s been a working couple of weeks, but we have accomplished a lot.  Let’s run through it, shall we?  [Deep breath in … and on the exhale:]   Weeeeee ….

1)  Dropped the Jenny and took it to a local canvas guy to restitch the UV cover on it:

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Our boat-broker turned boat-buddy, Kevin, did have us over for a Sew Party last summer to restitch some parts of the UV cover, but we knew it was only a temporary fix.  Our rigger popped some of the stitches on it and recommended we get it fully re-sewn, with a zig-zag stitch, using Gore-tex thread.  So, off it went.

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(And this time we didn’t let go of the halyard!!)

2)  Had a new inner forestay put in for the stay sail:

The inner fore-stay is used to raise the storm/stay sail in case we need to put up a smaller sail in high winds.  If you recall, ours blew out during the Gulf Crossing in April of last year so we knew we were going to have to have a new one put in for this trip.

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We took some documented measurements of the turnbuckle so we could replicate the same tension when we attached the inner forestay ourselves.

3)  Re-tied the attachment points for the lifelines:

The lifelines on the boat are kind of like guard rails that keep you on deck (hence the name):


Two wires running the length of the boat attach at four points at the bow and stern on both the port and starboard side:


A gratuitous action shot of Phillip at the helm?  Sure, why not.  It’s my blog.

Each lifeline is attached in the same manner to both the stern rail and pulpit with Amsteel, low-stretch line:

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Our attachments points, as you can see, had faded from the classic Amsteel grey to white due to sun damage.  So, we bought a spool of Amsteel, cut off the old attachment points, and – after a few creative mishaps with the knot-tying and wrapping – finally came up with a reasonably simple knot-and-wrap method (patent pending) to hold the lines secure:

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Good as new.

5)  Had the rigger install turnbuckles to fill the hydraulic adjuster gap on the backstay:


After some debate as to whether to have our broken hydraulic adjuster re-built or have it removed and the gap filled with a series of turnbuckles OR have a whole new back stay put in, we decided (as is often the case) to go with the most economic, yet still suitable, solution – have a series of turnbuckles put in to fill the gap where the hydraulic adjuster once was:

photo 1 (10)    photo 2 (10)   photo 3 (9)

Our rigger fitted a PVC pipe to slide over the turnbuckles for cover and chafe protection.  We’re still debating whether we like it covered or exposed, but this trip, I’m sure, will resolve that debate.

And, lastly, we 6) Changed the oil:

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The owner’s manual for the old Westerbeke recommends we change the oil approximately every 50 hours.  This was our second go-round with the self oil-change and the old pump canister.  It’s hard to estimate how much oil to put back in knowing the oil filter is filled with about 1/3 quart and the dipstick measuring extremely low readings initially, but I have to say we’re getting better at it.

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And, finally, on to the safety gear.  Yeah – the biscuit can – this is the real treat!  When we bought our boat, it had two inflatable life jackets on it, but, as you can imagine, they were a bit old and looked pretty worn.

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Last summer, we decided to break them out one day and see if they still worked.  I mean, you shouldn’t wait till you’re about to jump off the boat into the raging sea to check and make sure your life jacket inflates.  Soooo … we slipped them on and pulled the chord.  And, I give you — “It’s like a biscuit can — I’m scared!”


Video here.

Yes, I was (still am?) afraid to open biscuit cans.  But, it’s a documented phobia … (Amathophobia) … I think

Well, turns out we were wise to check the old life jackets because they both leaked air at the manual blow-up valve.  They wouldn’t hold our heads above water for more than two minutes.  So, we splurged (I guess it doesn’t really count as a splurge if your life depends on it … ) and got some new ones.


We also got some new jack lines (long nylon straps that run the length of the boat for clip-in when we have to go up on the deck during foul weather):

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1604824_505495669561560_1556929260_n    Jack lines1

Those puppies are important.  Think Robert Redford All is Lost if the boat goes one way and you go another.  Remember when he fell overboard?  And, why is it he remained securely fashioned to the boat (albeit dragging along underwater, but trust me you would prefer that as opposed to the boat leaving you behind in it’s wake!).

Redford   Redford

Richard Foreman/Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate

Because he was clipped on – see?!?

So, with all of our last minute projects completed, our safety gear (and biscuit phobias) in check, all we had to do now was inventory the boat, pack it up and watch the weather.  Not long now!