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night sailing in the bahamas

Beating to the Berrys, Our Longest Night Sailing

We set off from West End, Grand Bahama and checked the weather predictions one last time.  It was showing less than 10 knots of wind and a meager 0.2 meter seas (less than one foot).  With these predictions we thought we’d be in for a slow, uneventful, overnight sail to the Berry Islands.

However, good ol’ mother nature is never as predictable as we’d like to think she is.  She keeps us (and the weather man) on our toes.  Touché madam, touché.

As the sun rose I was already passed out and Jason was obviously a little sleep deprived.  Which probably explains why he was eating carrots for breakfast and channeling his inner surfer dude.

I do mirror his enthusiasm though.  It was another sailing experience and accomplishment that adds to our confidence in ourselves and our boat.

It was a busy night and our shift duties included lots of tacking, trimming sails, altering course and using the radio to communicate with oncoming commercial vessels to confirm our course.  We usually do all these things together, and not alone, so that was another accomplishment for us.

Some days we feel like we’ve been at this sailing thing for a while and we should have our S#!T more together.  Other days, like this day, it’s a reminder of how new we are to this world.

Six months ago, we didn’t know how to sail…much less sail the boat we had purchased.  This is our longest journey to date and while it really is nothing in the realm of sailing, it’s the most our newbie sea legs have seen.  It’s exciting, rewarding and leaves us feeling like we’re earning our salt.

It’s the little steps like these that seem so big while they’re happening.  I’m sure we’ll reflect on these exact moments with fond memories and plenty of laughs.  What we call rough or uncomfortable seas today, we’ll probably be calling a cakewalk in a few years.  Nonetheless we allow ourselves to pause, give a little pat on the back, and prepare for the next big “first” (whatever that may be)!

learning to sail

A few things you may be wondering about

Tacking and Why Such a long sail

On a perfect day our journey would only be 80 nautical miles, but for this sail the winds weren’t in our favor. Sure, we could crank on the motors and use good ol’ machine power to plow our way there, but what’s the fun in that?

We bought a sailboat because we want to sail, and if the winds aren’t cooperating that means we’re forced to take the long way.  Which usually means zig-zagging our way there (aka tacking).  It’s like hiking a mountain trail filled with switchbacks, it may take longer than climbing straight up, but it’s certainly the path of least resistance.

Sea Sickness

Knock on wood…neither of us have been sea sick aboard our sailboat Curiosity (not even the cats).  Let’s hope it stays that way.  We do have ginger, aloe, sea bands and a variety of different meds on board should we ever need them.

Safe Is a Relative Term

Everyone’s idea of ‘safe’ is going to be different.  We comply with all the US Coast Guard Safety Requirements.  We have PFD’s on board and do wear them when we feel we need to.  We did wear our PFD shown in the video anytime we went outside the cockpit and never left the cockpit without first alerting the other person to keep an eye out.  That’s what we’re comfortable with and what we find reasonable for most situations.  You may agree or disagree.  That’s ok, if we are ever sailing on your boat, we will happily comply with your on-board safety rules.

Inviting People On Board

Yes, we are serious about bringing people on board and super excited about it.  We’re talking it through with our Patreons and we’ll announce our plans soon…so stay tuned!

Sailing Report

To see our full map with interactive pins, click here: gonewiththewynns.com/map

sailing to berry islands mapNautical Miles Sailed: 136.6 from West End, Grand Bahama to Great Harbour Cay, Berry Islands
Dates: January 6-7, 2017
Anchorage: Bay Of The Five Pirates
Cell & WiFi: Our BTC signal was good and even better with our booster on.

Gear Used In This Video

Cameras Used to Capture This Video:

Note about cameras and filming at night…

Filming at night is extremely difficult, especially without the right gear.  You may notice we’re not in focus or the footage is grainy.  We know there will be a lot more night and high wind filming in our future.  We hope to upgrade some of our gear soon for these challenging situations.

Hello there! I honestly don’t know what to say, so I am going to tell you a bunch of random facts instead. I'm a fish eating vegetarian who hates spiders and loves snakes. I almost never took vacations growing up. I wanted to be Pippi Longstocking (still do). I misspell about every other word I write and still struggle with grammar. I love splurging on a good high tea (which is really hard to find these days). And whatever you do, don’t tell me I can’t do something, because then I'll HAVE to do it!

Comments (42)

  • Renee

    Seriously, Nikki, WHERE DO YOU STORE ALL YOUR CLOTHES????
    I don’t think you have worn an outfit twice…How do you manage that?

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  • Scott Giffin

    We found your videos only a couple months ago and have been following along with great delight. Yours are by far the best done of the “YouTubes” we’ve come accross in this genre. Well Done! I am an accomplished sailor and a delivery captain, and if I could, I would like to offer a couple of tips…. 1) When you have WiFi (Before you leave the Marina 🙂 check out Windytv.com – they also have an ios app. I have yet to find a more accurate “program” for marine forecasts. Compare it with your other sources, because the “prudent mariner never relies on just one aid to navigation.” 2) Please look into an appropriate self inflating offshore harness and tether for a couple of reasons. First, they are more comfortable to wear than a full PFD. I wear one on every night watch and clip in to a jack line any time I leave the cockpit – because its easy and convenient. If something goes wrong in a hurry, you’ll be tempted to leave the PFD behind for the sake of fixing the problem in a hurry…. Just my 2 cents… Again, you guys are so much fun, and we really enjoy your videos! Keep up the good work.

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  • PETER NAYLOR

    Well done …..a win wynn in all respects. yeah!

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  • BPT

    Great video, congrats, you must feel a real sense of accomplishment from all that.

    Really interesting course track for the passage, that you show at 20:23 of the video. I’d be interested to hear more about how you make your decisions on when to tack, in any future videos featuring long passage making. What is you thinking process? How far do you dig into a header before you decide to flip? Do you just set an iron rule that you will only go to “Distance X” past the rhumbline before a tack, regardless of whether the wind is lifting or heading?

    Looking at 20:23 of the video, it looks like starboard tack got progressively lifted throughout the passage, especially after you got past Freeport. Looks like something on the order of a 30* lift on starboard tack (and so a consequent 30* header on port tack) occurred over the whole course of the trip.

    The first starboard tack track line away from Freeport is especially interesting, since you can see it curve noticeably as the wind progressively shifted. Yet you threw in a port-tack hitch at a certain point… Why there, while the starboard tack was continuing to lift? It would be interesting for your viewers to know your strategy. Beating to weather is a performance art, and if you’re good at predicting the shifts, there are huge gains to be made.

    After getting my clock cleaned upwind in racing by people who can play the shifts much better than me, sometimes by a couple of hundred meters in a 45 minute race, I can suggest with some confidence that playing shifts upwind will improve your passage-making time by a lot more than a folding propeller would. It’s much cheaper, too, to update the “software” over the hardware, but it takes a lot of determination and practice.

    Dig this video on the concept of “leverage”, which you will probably find interesting if you’ve not seen it before: https://youtu.be/HSq3CoZ6bwk The “ladder rungs” in the video are imaginary equal intervals set at 90* to the rhumbline. Leverage works the same way downwind as upwind, but the results are generally less drastic, because it’s easier to stick close to the rhumbline when sailing downwind.

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  • Susan Goetzinger

    When you use the Predict Wind app have you upgraded the app or just use the free version?

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  • Pamela Mederos-Streetz

    AWESOME!!!!!!
    I’ve watched ALL your videos both on land and sea at least once and then again with Victoria.
    She was caring for a friend in the D.C. area who had a hip replacement and was too exhausted at the end of the day to watch your last two uploads so I was FORCED to watch them yet again when she returned lol.
    We were greatly relieved that you wore a PFD when on deck! Fun is paramount but Safety is key.
    Speaking of which, we sure have fun watching your adventures! Love that you’re planning to have passengers!

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  • Nick

    What was the name of the software you used to map your trip?

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    • Curious Minion

      Garmin Bluechart.

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  • Stephen

    That was quite a video! The only part you left out was what it was like for the off-duty person below and the cats. How is the bedroom in such situations, especially being so close to the bow?

    reply
    • Plenty of things that we’ll get to cover in the future 🙂

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  • Venice Scherer

    How did the storm go? What happens if one of your kitties falls overboard? Wow! what an experience! Hope you get donations for your navigation repairs, bumpers and feather prop thingies. Very exciting watching your videos. I have enjoyed everyone. They don’t seem to come often enough. Excited for your next video ~ thanks!!!!

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    • Curious Minion

      Kitties stay below in bumpy weather!

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  • John

    Folding & feathering props probably won’t do much to help in conditions like you were sailing in. They don’t really make you go faster so much as make it easier to move. When the wind is up and you’re already fully powered or overpowered (and are reefing sails) you’re probably going as fast as you would with folding props already. It’s only in light air when you’re underpowered that there will be a noticeable impact.

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  • Joanie

    What a sail…you guys are awesome. It is amazing how far you have come in your sailing adventures. Be safe and get your much needed sleep.

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  • Frans Vanleeuwen

    Love your adventure and sharing with us, I truly appreciate your venue. Sailing never gets old. You handled the night, wind, seas and 130 nautical miles so poised!
    It’s so true new experiences feels like living magnified! You only live once. Sail on. 🙂

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  • Bill Williams

    It has always been entertaining and fun for you guys to “keep us in the loop” about your adventures, but I must say that I really miss the days when you were trekking back and forth across America. With sailing, there is only so much you can see and say because of the “nature of the beast”. The scenery is the “same old, same old” and the techincal details about sailing on a catamaran get old after a while. I admire your adventurous spirit, but think that you are severely limiting your “range of spirit”. Now that you know how to sail, you can go back to mainly land adventures and occasionally do some sailing up and down the East Coast.

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  • Nancy Fernandez

    Wow that was exciting and exhausting. Those dark clouds at the end were scary. Great job guys. On to the next…

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  • Martine Berry

    Hi Guys, I haven’t commented before – just quietly follow your awesome adventure – but that video was just fantastic! – I feel so proud for you both!? – how can that be when I don’t even know you and I am sat watching – eating tea and toast in a tiny village in Lancashire, UK! But wishing you the best of luck for the future sails – oh and we’re called Berry – so the beautiful Berry Islands are obvs now on our Bucket list!! :-)! xxxxxx

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  • Robert Himes

    I know budget is always an issue in everyone’s life but ever think of mounting a couple of permanent cameras on the boat. So they can catch the more stressful situations without you having to worry about getting out the camera. Not trying to be mean on your stress but drama sells in entertainment sometimes. Just a thought I’m a new patron. Love your videos.

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  • Deborah Kerr

    Awesome trip! This is the closest I’ll ever get to sailing like that and it felt like I was there-to a point anyhow!! It reminded me of going down the road in the RV at normal speed and hearing the creaks and groans of the unit. I love hearing the water splash on the boat-wow that was fun! I agree with Nicky, the sun sets everyday, but one never tires of those beautiful sunsets and sunrises!! You 2 are living the life 🙂 Looking forward to the next adventure!!

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  • John Watford

    Great video, guys — one of your best, I think! Do you have an AIS transponder or only receiver running? And Nikki, you always look fantastic! You always have on a new fresh outfit or bathing suit! Where do you store it all!

    Any plans for Cuba? Keep the inspiration flowing!

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    • Curious Minion

      Curiosity does have an AIS transponder. Thanks!

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  • Scott P

    Hey ~

    Great Video!!

    I really liked it very much, including Jason’s early morning sleep deprived carrot chomping …… “perfect.” Felt like we were part of the adventure.

    When you get a chance (if you haven’t) consider practicing your “person-overboard” drills, complete with GPS button strike, and 180 degree turn.

    See you in Staniel Cay, Exumas in a couple weeks?

    Scott and Bre

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  • Lucille

    Whew! That was quite a trip. That large very ominous cloud at the end of your video was quite scary. The
    passing cruise ships are sure beautiful all lit up as they are. You both were wonderful sailors. It will be
    interesting to see what this port looks like when you are able to go on land. I hope that you have enough of food on board until the weather is good enough for you to go to shore.
    Good luck!

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  • The four of you have come a long way baby 🙂 On behalf of your Patreon crew, we are proud of what you have accomplished so far, and excited to share a part of the many adventures ahead. Fair winds Curiosity! (and yes, feathering props are awesome)

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  • Peg C

    Everyday brings you a new experience. You handled that very well. I’d be nervous with those huge liners. Thanks for sharing your adventure with us. I’d bet your family will remember a wonderful holiday with you and your great generosity in sharing your home with them.

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  • John Schretlen

    “We did wear our PFD shown in the video anytime we went outside the cockpit and never left the cockpit without first alerting the other person to keep an eye out.”

    I am so glad to read this. Seriously. Two thumbs up for doing what’s safe in those seas. When you get out on higher seas you’ll want to attach to a jack line but at least you are telling us that you are learning as you go and are doing what you think is appropriate for conditions.

    Congrats on your first overnight sail.

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  • Jerry Cummins

    As a person whose sport also relies on weather . . . respect is necessary. I look forward to your updates . . . and soft landings (or is that for hot air balloons)?

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  • Cathy McMaster

    Fantastic video. We are so enjoying your journey. Hope we are in the BVI’s at the same time in April/May as we would love to meet you two.

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  • Nicely done. Another milestone with you two. Congratulations! I love learning what your sailing experience is like. Thanks for documenting it.

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  • Norman Grimbeek

    Glad to have experienced that sail with you and see how you are growing in confidence! Sail Save! ,
    Norman Grimbeek

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  • Kate

    Great video – so proud of you both!

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  • Joyce tatler

    Awesome video. That big cloud at the end coming in looked scary but great catch xx

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  • Come a long way guys. Glad you are proud of yourselves, you should be. Great vid of ‘real’ sailing issues and as ever carried off with real aplomb. Respect. Fair winds.

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  • Vanessa Spino

    You two are amazing. Your accomplishments are great to watch. Can’t wait to see the footage from that storm. Stay safe.

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  • Claudio

    WOW,
    What a challenge! It seems you are Iron made. I was worry even about the cats. All this saga night cruising reminds me the Patrick O’brian masterpiece Masters of the Seas in its full 6510 pages. We do love you so try to keep yourselves alive 🙂

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  • Katherine Davis

    OMG this was the best video adventure yet! You guys need a fantastic job sailing. It was nail biting right from the start watching this journey. Bravo Jason and Nikki⛵️Can’t wait for the next video adventure with you two.
    Best Katherine

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  • Fred Eversole

    Thank you for this introspection mainly concerning you skill/experience level. I’ve had you in mind as I watch the other channels and have wondered what you were going to do when you should experience ‘real’ weather. I’m a non-sailor who has found fascinating all of you who are enjoying a kind of life many of us have not, and will not, experience. It is interesting to see the various experiences and everyone’s explanations. Thank you for sharing your experiences. I’m happy for you and know that you are thinking and safe boaters. We are all beginners at everything we start. I wish for you the very best. Take Care.

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  • Glad to have you address the PFDs. I do safety for my job, and as long as you are informed, people should leave you be about it… (But I know it comes from love, we adore your videos!)

    The shots are amazing, and I really felt all those waves with you.. I NEED sea sick meds.. lol. Keep having fun!

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  • George Hofmann

    Another first for you guys and well done. I felt fully involved and the photography was done as well as possible. I now feel as though I need to get some rest! Fair winds and following seas!

    reply

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