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abandoned refugee boat

Broken Block, Lost Fish & Refugees – Day 2 as Sailboat Owners

It’s only our second day sailing as the owners of this boat and here we are with a broken block, loosing fish and finding what appears to be an abandoned Cuban refugee boat.  If this is any indication as to the adventures that lie ahead…it’s going to be one wild ride!

Last time we left you we were busy with the logistics of moving our new boat from Vero to Ft. Lauderdale.  We only made it a short distance to the Ft. Pierce inlet where we anchored out for the night.  Little did we know our second day would be so action packed.

What a day!  Finding that Cuban refugee boat was pretty exciting.  Even Kent who has sailed all over the world had never seen an abandoned refugee boat before.  Made us feel like explorers even though we were only a few miles off shore.

It was also an excellent reminder of how important it is to always keep an eye out for floating debris.  We had our AIS and radar alarm set, but it doesn’t pick up everything. You just never know what might be floating out in the deep blue.  We were all surprised the USCG came out and inspected the raft but didn’t sink it for safety purposes…glad I had my eyes on the water, a direct hit could have really damaged our boat!

learning to sail

cruising lifestyle

Catchers Wanted

We love fishing but we love catching more.  We only have a few basic lures and our one fishing pole we purchased in Alaska for catching salmon.  If we want to have a chance at sustaining ourselves at sea…I think we may need to beef up our gear. We could use some recommendations from any of you die hard fishers out there.  If you have some tried and true blue water fishing favorites, we would love to hear about them!

Sadly, as you saw in the video, our one little catch got away.

Night Time Arrivals

This was our first night time arrival and I can already tell you…day time will be much preferred.  Similar to RV’ing, its not ideal to arrive and setup in the dark.  The lights twinkling and reflecting off the water any other time would put me in a romantic mood. In this case, they are disorienting and nerve racking.  I momentarily stopped breathing as I turned into the narrow marina at Harbor Towne.  The quiet and perfectly calm water felt like a scene out of a Stanley Kubrick film.  A line up of large vessels jetting out into the isle with their dauntingly large anchors out like eagle claws going for prey.  It made my 43′ catamaran all the sudden feel small and fragile.

Ahh, but the views from sea are still romantic.  I could have anchored out right about where this photo was taken, grabbed a nightcap and gazed for hours.  I love the look of a distant city at night…it reminds me of Christmas lights.

nighttime sailing arrival

What’s Next

The Boat – We have service appointments to make at Just Catamarans, a lot of maintenance to do ourselves and we need to pick up our books for our sailing classes.  We’re going to slowly work our way through every nook and cranny of this boat.  The goal is to get familiar with everything and do what maintenance we can on our own. The fantastic thing about buying a used boat from someone who actually cruised in it, loved it and wanted to see it taken care of…is the relationship we now have with the previous owners!  They are great people and we’ve been emailing and texting back and forth with questions.  If we’re not sure what something is, how it works or if it needs attention, we can ask.  It’s invaluable (thanks John and Heather)!

Kent has also offered to come over and help show us how to do some routine maintenance…notice I say help show us.  We’re dead set on learning how to do as much of it ourselves as possible and Kent is all about helping us get intimate with the engines.  A little knowledge can go a long way in helping us become more prepared for ocean crossings.  We’re going into all of this with optimistic attitudes but I feel some how not to videos in our future.

The RV Our time is running out with the RV (our lease is almost up) so we are going to have to work quickly to get everything out of it.  The RV will need to be at the marina where we can remove the technology and the last of our things to the boat.  (We had to rush our RV tech and yard sale last week. Everything is moving along faster than we can edit video.)

We’re hoping to spend a few days at the marina getting fully settled and organized on the boat so we can focus on the maintenance and learning.  We haven’t even started and I somehow already feel we are behind.  How is that even possible?  It’s going to be surreal saying goodbye to the RV and hello to full time sailing.

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 (49)

  • Ted Owens

    , we are having a parallel adventure. We also just purchased and moved aboard a Leopard 43 owners version. We went through several months of getting the boat and ourselves up to speed. Then, we departed St. Petersburg and are now at St. Augustine. We are headed North for hurricane season and will summer in the Cheasapeak. I had seen some of your composting toilet videos and am surprised to see you switched to a sailboat. We are on S/V Raven. Say Hi if you run across us. Love your videos.

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  • Jim Page

    Catchers Wanted … Couple of thoughts … Off shore you are going to be bottom fishing, trolling, or throwing lures/baits at floating objects that are holding fish. You can use your spinning rod for pitching/throwing lures/baits to fish hanging around floating objects (small dolphin, triple tail or others) for trolling you need a 7 foot trolling rod with a higher speed reel (lever or star drag) that will hold 300 yards of line. For bottom fishing or jigging you can use a 6 or 6.5 foot rod (boat rod) with a single speed reel (lever or star drag) that needs to hold 300 yards of line, you can also use a large spinning reel with boat rod … stick with Penn or Shimano tackle so you can get it serviced as you travel. Must have trolling lures are Yozuri Bonita in purple/black and dorado and Mann’s Stretch 25 or 25+ in “rainbow, silver blue, chartuese/blue” and silver clark spoons. You can also troll a small clark spoon with your light trolling rod for spanish mackerel. When you bottom fish you can use butterfly jigs and white bucktails jigs … always take white bucktail jigs for jigging or pitching to fish hanging around floating objects … you can tip the jigs with pieces of squid or shrimp and they work great. You can also use a sabiki rigs on your lighter spinning rod to catch your own bait around buoys and floating structure.
    If you are inshore at anchor or taking the dingy out that is different … you are fishing flats, structures, channels and bottom structure … you can use a 7 foot medium or medium action spinning rod for many species … throwing a number of different lures, soft plastics, or bait … you can also bottom fish inshore using a bottom rig … Carolina or knocker rig … inshore can be longer discussion … especially if you are talking about the different areas on the east coast versus the gulf of mexico.
    Drop me a line with specific questions … more than happy to help out.

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  • Pat Richter

    WOW!!!! I’m very impressed with your willingness to start this new chapter in your lives. Please take the time to learn and have a professional really teach you sailing offshore before you venture offshore by yourselves. Having run a Yacht brokerage for many years you have found a jewel with Kent. I’m impressed with his desire to help you guys out. Definitely not your typical sales person! Boating is a lot like RVing especially with some systems. But sailing is way more technical so take your time and be safe. Happy sailing!

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  • cindy

    You two-Fun and entertaining as usual! You are so right about the California roads!!!! Must be much smoother sailing. Take care, and please go part shopping!!!

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  • Peter Kavanagh

    Inspired so much by your RV travels we completed an RV trip through Alaska and over the top of the world highway into Canada and down through the Rockies last year. Absolutely amazing. Now I see that you have purchased a catamaran and sailing down the coast of Florida. What a trip. We live in Melbourne Australia and it would be fantastic if you ever decided to sail all the way down to the Land Down Under. And if you do we will provided you free shore accommodation and will provide the Vegemite Sandwiches. Do you know what they are?

    Keep the videos coming we enjoy them very much.

    Take care now and always be safe.

    Regards

    Peter & Henya Kavanagh
    Williams Cove Estate
    Williamstown Victoria
    Australia 3016

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  • Heather Scott

    I am really enjoying all these sailing video’s and have been following you for years.. the best thing though at the moment is hearing Kent talk since I am a fellow South African living in the USA and just hearing the accent makes me think of home(not that I want to go back!)…we are a pretty distinctive bunch with our accents and crazy too as you will no doubt find out as you meet more along in your trips…Good Luck with everything and thank you for all the great video’s from the RV- ing series..Great Job!

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  • Bev n Woody

    We were blessed to crew a Leopard 41′ from New Smyrna Beach to the Bahamas. What an adventure. The owners were very smart about having spar parts. It was all about where the parts were when needed. We set up an inventory on the computer. This worked also for all supply’s also. Which is great when you need that midday snack. Now we just bought our new to us RV. Hitting the road June 1. Retired and part time. Enjoy your learning time! Woody and Bev

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  • T C Spencer

    What is your fuel tank capacity and fuel mileage for two engines?

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  • Stefan Trestyn

    Have you guys checked out sailorman on 84 and us1? They have new and used everything marine and a great bunch of people and will share their experiences with you.

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  • illya

    I would so want a remote control submarine to mount a video camera on. Especially at reefs to look at all the life down there. Marine biology has always been a big interest for me anyways. While you guys are certainly accomplishing a lot for us, motivation and inspiration on a massive scale it would be awesome to have a mission for yourselves like finding treasure or something.You could always bring some scientists aboard for rental money also.
    Options for you guys are endless, what a great thing you are doing.

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  • Tony

    LOL, honestly.. you don’t look as happy as you were during your RV adventures. That’s for sure;)

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  • Brian

    I’m confused, nothing new. Will you still be posting here, once you start posting on Patreon?What is the difference between what you’ll be posting here and on Patreon. Perhaps you could explain a little about Patreon, how it works, and what we could expect. Love your videos, and your new sailing adventures.

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  • Daniel Reardon

    Where do you anticipate laying up during the up coming hurricane season. Does your insurance provider require you to be out of the Florida area during this time?

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  • john brunson

    You are wise to learn repair skills…. they will save you cash, inconvenience, and give you confidence!

    we continue to live vicariously

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  • Anthony M

    Love this new adventure you guys are going on. I always enjoyed your RV videos, but I am 10X more excited about your sailing videos. RV’s can never match the beauty, adventure, and sheer romance of a sailboat. One question though, what are your plans for the famous composting toilet? I know some sailors use them, but was curious to know if you had plans to replace your existing head with one.

    Happy Sailing!

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  • Robert S.

    Hey guys, From California:
    I served in the Navy, 6 years, and cruised on 5 ships of the Royal Caribbean. There is nothing like what you are seeing from off shore, looking in on a “line of fire”. I love the ocean, I was stationed in Puerto Rico for two years, also, and fished, swam, scuba dived, sailed every part of that island, as well as surfed.

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  • Richard Zielinski

    Hi guys, glade you got back to Dania Florida safely. Was thinking when your ready to go on your first long trip I would join another sailboat for the company and help, more fun and help if you need it. we boaters are friendly. good luck on your adventures.

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  • I can’t wait to see more of your videos. We rented a cat and sailed St. Thomas and throughout the BVI. Had a fantastic time! Hopefully that will be one of your trips.

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  • You must be enjoying the open water the fresh sea air after battling the Fort Lauderdale and eastern coast traffic the past few months.

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  • Best advice I ever got on fishing from a sailboat was to buy Scott bannerots book.http://www.amazon.com/Cruisers-Handbook-Fishing-Scott-Bannerot/dp/0071427880
    He goes over lots of useful info for choosing affordable gear that catches fish whikle sailing when you can’t always stop the boat and back down with the fish like a sportfisher. We mostly use one stand upnrod with 00 reel and 80lb test line with metal leaders and squid style lure on one side and a yo-yo style handline with 300 lb monofil on the other again with metal leader and squid. Bunge on the handline tellls you when you have a strike. Clicker on the reel does the same. We bought lots of tuna and Dorado across the Atlantic Caribbean and Pacific using this setup and rarely lose a fish other something like a huge Marlin we never would have wanted to board anyway.

    P.s. parents are currently crossing Atlantic and I am posting position reports and discussing weather routing on our blog vofj.blogspot.com. thanks and good luck

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  • Ellen Matthewson

    I didn’t know how recent the sailboat blogs were till I noticed the date stamp on this one! I love what you are doing! You guys make e want to sell the house and go on the road. We have no desire to sail, but RV? Yes please. We would be traveling with cats too. I do love your cats so much! Such cuties, and such good travelers.
    You do such a good job of the blogs and the videos. Nikki, I love your writing. Keep it coming! I am excited to see what your next adventures will be!

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      • Ellen Matthewson

        My husband, Dave, and I have talked for years about living and traveling in an RV. He just retired a couple of months ago, and we both have the travel bug, but BAD! As of today we are talking about what we need to do to sell our house, what to keep, what to store and how much we could reasonably spend on a motorhome. I have that happy tickle in my stomach as I think we might really do it! The time would be now. Thanks for your inspiration. I’ll let you know.

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  • John S.

    Great little video. I have to admire your ability to even get this out with everything else going on right now.

    Oh – and I really liked Nikki’s last 10 words. (Doing the Admiral thing.) Big 😉

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  • Mike Duncan

    As you start to learn your way around your sailboat, I would be very interested in seeing a layout plan. I have always found it informative to understand the layout of a craft (be it an RV or a sailboat), and it would increase our understanding of your “challenges” as you get organized in your new home.
    Loving your videos – it must be challenging to learn all the new stuff, but you both look like you’re having fun.

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  • Billy Sheppard

    I’ve noticed the good sailing Chanel’s seem to be doing better than most Rv Chanel’s so I say it’s a good move and good timing because the wave of sailing Chanel’s is coming

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  • doug

    Incredibly jealous. Looking forward to watching all your adventures.

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  • John Lennie

    Hi you two,

    Whenever I sail I always through a line off the back and trolled. Didn’t use a pole. Just a heavy duty fishing line and a large squid lure. We used to catch fish all the time.

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  • Al Lipscomb

    A little hint on the radio: Before you key up, think about the exact words you are going to say. Key the mike, say the words and then let go. Keep things short as that reduces the chances of something getting garbled, and makes it easy to repeat something if you need to.

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  • Merri

    OMGosh! I seriously fast forward when Jason jumped in the water. Even watching puts my stomach in knots. LOL!!

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  • Lance Miller

    I will start on a shellfish (haha) note. We are really bummed out about your move to sailing (because apparently the world revolves around us right? Not). We are just getting ready to start a year or two adventure of our own, in a newly purchased Winnebago Sightseer 36z. We have really enjoyed your RV videos and will miss Gone with the Wynns from our monthly lineup of RVers that we follow. If you were still RVing we would join Patreon in a second. Sailing…. not so much.

    On a personal note and feel free to ignore this part. Do you think it will hurt your overall Patreon subscription because the vast majority of your viewership are RVers and you are setting Patreon up just as you started sailing? Just curious?

    We wish you the best of luck from the fullness of our hearts. The pair of you seem to be genuinely wonderful human beings and we hope you get $20,000 a video!!!

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    • Lance, as we’ve said before: When we quit our “perfect artist dream jobs” in Dallas everyone thought we were crazy. Now that we’re starting a new adventure a lot of people think we’re crazy. But we follow our hearts, not our pocket books. We have considered Patreon for over a year now, but have held off because we didn’t think it made sense to start it when we knew our RVing days were numbered.
      Will it hurt us, sure if numbers and money is all that matters. We see a new adventure and a new opportunity. Join us or continue on your own path, we’re just happy we’ve helped you get outside and begin your next chapter.

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    • John S.

      If you like sailing videos there are a couple of good ones on Patreon. Here’s a couple from Austraalia that is now getting over $5500 per video. And they sail full time all over the place so I wonder how they upload.

      https://www.patreon.com/LaVagabonde?ty=h

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  • Jon

    Nice Shake down Cruise…..BOAT ( Break Out Another Thousand ) but hey its just money and the Journey is Great ! Please continue to Share all your Learning Experiences….. Sometimes I just use the Cell phone to contact the USCG when you are that coastal. Also it is important to check those Sail drives for MONO (fishing Line ) as it can become wrapped around the prop shaft and could cause a Seal Failure allowing Salt water into the Drive. Love Following Along….here form the Florida Keys…….PS Kent has our contact numbers

    Fair Seas

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    • John

      Hi, Jon. This boat has shaft drives, not sail drives.

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      • Jon

        Great Even Better !! Some Shaft rope cutters are always a Great option. Love the Leopard Line !!

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  • Sean

    Good luck and much success in getting intimate with the boat. Your “How Not To” videos and priceless and quite informative. Tell Jason that I have only seen one solution as far as Waterproof Drones go, but I don’t even know the price or if its in production. Here’s the link https://www.lily.camera/. My goal, one day after I get my ducks in a row, is to complete the Great Loop. Check it out if you haven’t heard about it. Happy Sailing

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  • Rick M.

    Not necessarily more spares, just put your MacGyver glasses on.

    Fair winds and following seas.

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  • lbpv

    Check out lahowind.com. They are not out on the water anymore but I followed them when they were and Jereme was an very successful fisherman!

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