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Our Most BRUTAL Sail (& breaking stuff)

Most borders throughout the Pacific are still closed due to the pandemic.  But, New Zealand has an application for vessels needing major refit work…and that’s definitely us!

We applied, were approved, and now we’re setting sail for a 1,300 nautical mile voyage from the tropics in The Kingdom of Tonga to the wilds of winter in New Zealand.  We’ll drop 20 degrees in Fahrenheit and latitude. (hello roaring 40’s)

It’s our most ambitious voyage yet and is supposed to be a non-stop 10-day passage.  But, we have a brutal start that has us altering the course just three days in.

 

Chocolate Banana Coconut Bread

As promised at the end of the video, here is my tropical-inspired banana bread recipie.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup toasted and chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup toasted coconut
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 VERY ripe large bananas mashed
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

 

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Mix in chopped walnuts & coconut. Whisk bananas, sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla.  Fold the flour mixture into the egg mix.
  • Scoop into muffin cups or spread into a brownie pan.  If you’re feeling fancy, sprinkle the top with a few extra nuts, coconut, and 1 tablespoon of sugar.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (14-18 min).  Let cool and serve at room temperature.

 

Why NOT Stop At Minerva Reef?

You might be wondering why we were so hesitant to stop at Minerva Reef.  Well….because of covid, typical maritime law and regulations have disappeared all around the world.  The new rules in New Zealand state that days at sea will only count towards quarantine from the last port of call.  So any stop, even at a reef where there isn’t any land or people, resets the clock.  AND, because we had checked out of Tonga (the country that claims ownership of Minerva reef) we were no longer allowed in the country for any reason…including emergencies.  So, if the Tongan navy wants to show up and kick us out, they 100% can.

But when at sea and there’s a scary storm headed our way and our boat’s compromised..we do what we gotta do to stay safe (rules be damned).  So we stopped.

 

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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 (66)

  • Linda Howarth

    Hi Nikki and Jason,
    Wow what a trip to NZ. Glad you gave us a heads up that you had arrived safely. If you are ever in the Waikato let us know as we would love to meet you.
    Hopefully you are settled in up North sorting through your repairs and getting a bit of R and R as well.
    Keep safe and well
    Linda and Bruce

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  • Joseph Giallombardo

    The chocolate coconut banana bread looks and sounds amazing, so much so that my wife and I are currently waiting for it to come out of the oven. A couple notes on the instructions, don’t forget to add the cocoa powder and baking powder since it is listed in the ingredients, but not the instructions. I caught the missing cocoa powder before it went in the oven, but we remembered the baking powder after 🤦‍♂️. I’m sure it will still be amazing.

    Thanks for the recipe Nikki

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  • Matti welsh

    You Both Rock🤘 & are an inspiration to those of us who are only Dreaming of what you both are Doing!!!

    reply
  • Warren Heunis

    I take it you arrived in awsome NZ. You will love it and not want to leave. There is just something about NZ that keeps tugging at your heart to return. The people are fantastically friendly and warm. All the cultures of the world live there so you never alone. Kathmandu clothing is tops of them all and reasonably priced and stores are all over. Myself being a South African and lived over there another brand called Swazi clothing is of good quality standard but not found in all towns and cities.

    Anyway enjoy NZ and I guarantee you won’t want to leave. When you do you will fill the ocean with tears.

    Glad you on firm ground. Stay safe and carry on your adventures.

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  • V

    Poor Jason, that looked brutal.
    Thank you for the delicious recipe, the whole family loved it! Can’t wait to see your adventures in New Zealand.

    reply
  • Deran Eaton

    Curious question about Minerva Reef:
    1) The “Zatara” had an encounter with the Tongan Navy there: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XK8NXdrVJw
    2) Keith Whitaker explained during that episode Fiji also claims Minerva Reef. Disputed territory, nobody lives thereand no flags fly there except those on visiting boats.
    3) After being such good guests at Tonga, beyond “border enforcement rules”, why should the Tongan Navy behave so badly towards the “Curiosity” and her crew by kicking you out of Minerva Reef? “Love Thy Neighbor as thyself” is a higher and more ancient law.

    Just saying…

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    • Curious Minion

      Minerva Reef is a bit odd in that it has no “dry land” but the principal is the same: since the Wynns had officially “checked out” with customs in Tonga, they no longer had valid visas and a stop at Minerva means they are technically in the country illegally. Since Tonga has been super-strict about keeping their border closed to protect its citizens, it’s a bigger deal than usual I expect.
      Curious Minion

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  • Jen R

    Finally got to watch the latest episode. So sorry for all the troubles! I was curious to know if you still use Patreon as a means of support? I didn’t see it on your “ways to support page”?
    Looking forward to the continued ocean crossing!

    reply
  • Deborah Kerr

    2 self-reliant adventurers! Thank you for taking us along – felt like i was there too! I love the sky (day & night), the sea water sounds, and your breakfast sure smelled good!! Your home sure needs a lot of work, so happy you’re “allowed” to go to NZ!!

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  • Debbie R

    So glad you had updated us real time that you arrived safely. Of course I would not have seen this update if you hadn’t , which I have to remind myself every time I see one of your adventures that worries me. (like swimming with sharks) Made the muffins, yum, they now have a place in my favorites recipe file. Mostly a silent watcher but you always have my prayers for continued safe adventures.

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  • Gerri Lilly

    Love keeping up with you and your adventures. Started out with you in your RVs. Now as I sit here on the West Coast of Florida and wait to see what Tropical Storm Elsa will bring to us, I realize that our life is as different from yours as possible. Guess we are living vicariously through your videos and for that I am grateful. Have fun, enjoy the adventures. We will be along for the ride.

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  • Ed

    We ALL have opinions about what you should do. Here are two of mine …
    1) why, when you are at sea, particularly in “weather”, why would you not wear a harness and/or lifeline while on deck? I know you have a motor to go back for someone. But what if it won’t start when needed? Or what if they went overboard unnoticed? And 2)… If I were at sea and noticed that the dingy was deflated, I certainly would IMMEDIATELY attend to it with a compressor and patch kit. Better yet, why not notice and tend to it BEFORE leaving port? We love what you’re doing and appreciate your sharing with everyone, but the ocean is not to be f***ed with. Can I get an amen?

    reply
      • Heidi

        Bam, said like a boss! 🙂

        reply
  • Molly

    Banana bread was delicious! Mine wasn’t chocolate…I realized after I made it there wasn’t a step to add the cocoa (or walnuts or coconut or baking soda) But you get a pass cuz things are crazy for you!

    And it was so good anyway 🙂 Love following your adventures!

    reply
  • Freelucy72

    Living life vicariously through y’all.

    And I love it.

    reply
  • Apryl Cuvelier

    Hello Jason and Nikki!

    So glad to see you’re taking a safety stop! Always better to be safe then sorry! We love all your videos, you are the highlight of our week!

    You may want to check out the OC tenders while you’re in NZ. Our rib has been giving us so many issues. It’s got to go!!!
    We were anchored out at Sucia Island in the San Juan islands and saw this sailing dinghy. It was the coolest dinghy we’d ever seen. So we went on line to check them out. They are a well thought out work of art.
    We were able to try one out here in Anacortes a few weeks ago and put our order in. I cant wait for delivery! Although I haven’t met the owners yet they seem like wonderful people. I spoke with Karin, she is an absolute delight! You may want to stop by and share stories! And check out their dinghies.

    https://octenders.co.nz/latest-news/

    Looking forward to the next video!
    Cheers!
    Apryl

    reply
  • Hank I Heyns

    As always, love watching your adventures..be safe enjoy the journey, and stay safe.

    reply
  • Matt Scarsella

    Been a subscriber to your channel for a couple of years. I haven’t watched this latest video yet but we will soon. It popped up with 85k views in only 8 hours! Seems like a lot to me.

    Your videos are well done and easy to watch. As personalities and technicians you two are a great team. Anything made to look easy takes talent, discipline, and hard work. Keep up the good work and thank you for sharing.

    reply
  • maureen metzger

    I just found you guys again!I watched you on tv when you were traveling with your cats and left your pet at your friends house!!what happen ed to the cats?

    reply
    • Curious Minion

      Hey Maureen,
      Thanks for asking about the furry crew members! You read/see all about Nikki & Jason’s tough decision here https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/sailing-pets-goodbye. And if you want to get regular updates on Singa, follow Tales From the Mutiny on IG or FB.
      Curious Minion

      reply
  • Alan Solomon

    Thank you for another great, adventurous video.
    Someone commented earlier. I wish you would both wear inflatable life jackets when out in open ocean! 🦺 Things can change in an instant. Stay vigilant.
    I am thankful and grateful Curiosity is on your side keeping you both safe and dry.
    Happy Fourth. 🎆🎇🧨
    Safe travels…

    reply
  • Frederika

    Dinah Rogers’ first sentence is exactly what I thought when you posted the brief video telling us you made it safely to NZ. After watching today’s post, I’m doubly grateful you let your audience know in advance of your safe arrival. In this case there is no such thing as a “spoiler alert”. DH has been watching your videos for years; I joined the party right when you left the US to return to Curiosity, Praying for and cheering you two brave and adventurous souls.

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  • Joe Greco

    Sure wish you both would wear an inflatable life jacket when you are on deck!

    reply
  • George Procyshyn

    FWIW considering all the friends you guys now have in Tonga, as well as the difficult goodbyes, ya might give some thought to a fly-in (and I use the term loosely) “vacation” back to Tonga in say, 5 years or so. Might be fun and it would be like going home, just with the island vibe!

    reply
  • MARYMAR

    WOW And say it Backwards!!! What a roller coaster ride. That would make coffee nervous…how do you do it? Awesome.

    reply
  • LoniAndAl

    There should be a Minerva Reef Stopover Club or something akin to that, several sailing couples and one single (an Old Sea Dog) have stopped there. Thanks to you for posting your comments and locations along the way. We feel we had real time updates for every hour of your voyage. Enjoy NZ, we did a couple decades ago with our youngest, our daughter Leanna, then 8 or 9 years old. Oh yeah, we panned for gold on the south island and BTW we holidayed in May and saw the first snowfall of the season. Love, Loni and Al 😎💖❗️

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  • Steve Gibbons

    This is certainly the passage which keeps you on your toes and tests your metal. Can I suggest a visit to a compound chemist in NZ we have them in Aussie they will make some capsules with natural products that will certainly help with sea sickness.

    reply
  • Ted

    The term intrepid comes to mind when I see you on this long sail. Having followed you since RV days it is wonderful to see how you deal with equipment failure,weather and government. Do you guys choose not to use any seasickness medication? Prudence says that some medication in trade of staying fully functional would be good. Fair winds and following seas.

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  • Matt Scarsella

    I haven’t watched this newest video yet but I will soon. I have been a subscriber to your channel for a year or so and it popped up at 7 hours after posting with already 85k views. Seems like its on its way to a good debut! You two do a great job both as personalities and technicians. Your videos are easy watching. Anything that comes across as “easy” always involves talent and hard work. Thank you for sharing and all the best!

    reply
  • John

    Many of us were following along the map updates. Especially with the forecast winds. It’s great to now see what it was like on the water and how you decided to make the stop.

    reply
  • Marjorie Nehlsen

    Rough trip. I was scared for you. Hope by next Sunday’s video you will have smooth sailing. Wishing you the best. Here in FL Elsa is on it’s way. Hurricane, tropical storm, disturbance.. whatever, is coming

    reply
  • mary

    You made it look much easier than it felt as I watched you on the radar!
    Glad you both are safe and on your way to your next adventure.

    reply
  • Jana

    I have been a follower for many years. Not related to the sail, but you always wear something so cute and always different. Where do you store all your clothes, or or you changing them out at different ports? Never really see you shopping for clothes. I know I personally get more closet space, especially in the RV. Stay safe and cannot wait to see the next video and/or other updates.

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  • Dinah Rogers

    Again I thank you for letting us know in advance that you DID ultimately make it alive to NZ. Still I’m on the edge on my seat tap-tap-tapping my foot and biting my lip as I watch you push through the struggle. I felt so bad for you both getting ill, esp poor Jason. I’m going to make your chocobana bread and will say a little prayer when I think of you. Dinah and Terry

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  • Greg Mathis

    Nikki, I liked what you wrote about yourself. When it comes to spelling and grammar I have always needed help. I have two Masters and everything I wrote was proof read twice. However we developed other great skills. You explain everything so well and take pictures with a wonderful professionalism. You also express yourself with such truth and humor. Keep on traveling and sailing.

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  • Shelly

    Love watching your adventure to New Zealand! I can’t wait for the next episode!
    Safe travels🙏

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  • Paula

    I absolutely love following you guys!

    reply
  • Gerry Brentnall

    What is that orange mat you have on your cooktop underneath the pan? What does it do? I assume it provides some protection for the cooktop but doesn’t it interfere with the induction or wick away some of the heat? Just wondering. Enjoy your videos.

    reply
  • Pat

    Glad you are made it safely there and are able to do a few things. Please stay safe.

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  • Michael

    Thank you for sharing insight into your life at sea. I can see where there is a need for constant vigilance when checking things thru-out the boat. It would seem IMHO that keeping everything simplified is even more important in a boat than in a house on land. And that water supply line to the faucet is something I have never seen happen, ever. It looks like it was over-pressured at some point and was just waiting to burst. The whole point of the fiber weaving around the inner core is to reinforce the core tubing. Could it have been connected to a shore hookup with too much pressure, or was a pump too powerful? I am wondering if you need a pressure regulator on your system just to be safe. The only other thing would be abrasion, and you can see for yourself if that is happening in that space.

    Is there any way to make a box frame for the windows so that you could use plain flat panes?

    Whatever you do, have fun in refitting your boat.

    reply
  • Lynn Savage

    I have enjoyed following you, only stated back in April from Nairobi where I live. I know you have made it to New Zealand. Looking forward to seeing the next episode

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  • Capt. Chris

    I’m thinking even in times of Covid… maybe particularly in these times. Our Humanity must prevail… rules are created not to be broken but as guidance and protection… measuring the greatest threat and doing what is best for all concerned should always be how we act and respond to others. Administrators sitting at tables or gathered around a Zoom Conference have little understanding of what every circumstance the rule will play out… good to have a safe holding point also not likely to find some rogue infection there… if they make you quarantine further due to this safety stop it’s a choice, and a poor one on their part… more time to refine lists and prepare for your needed orders and refit.

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  • Floyd Titus

    Hi. Just a thought for you two. You know all that fresh water dumped overboard? I don’t sell this but..
    Go check out getting a couple “Lifesaver” five gallon jerry cans. You could have reused all that! No, they won’t desalinate, unfortunately. Available online of course. I use one all the time, full time RVing. (You guys influenced greatly in our decision to sell and go!) Praying for you!

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  • Jonathan Henson

    I love how positive you both stay regardless of the bad situations. I full-time in a motorhome and everything always breaks (as y’all know). Y’all stay safe out there!

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  • Swajit Gade

    Wonderful .. this proves, sea journey are tough in nature sometimes, but you guys will make it… awesome

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  • Louis Miller

    The noise from the wind is making it difficult to understand you .

    reply
  • Steve Fremgen

    Keep things shiny side up! Thanks for sharing your travels with us. We’ll be watching! Steve Fremgen, Carrollton, TX

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  • Kerry Koontz

    Well at least you can say you never had a dull moment along the way. It really goes to show what condition your boats really got to be at as you push its stress levels higher along the way. It helps keep the adventure mysterious with the unknown but at the same time the knowledge learned is priceless and endless…

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  • Kelly Crothers

    It’s funny how the 10 days-at-sea for the Z-Crew, before they arrived in to Australia, didn’t count towards their quarantini time when they got there, but for New Zealand, your days-at-sea do count towards your quarantini time! Of course, requirements for each country is changing daily, so this doesn’t really surprise me.
    Well, safe passage Nikki and Jason!

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  • Mark Ellis

    I’ve enjoyed watching your videos! My wife has been asking me “What are you doing?” I just tell her, “I’m watching the Wynns!” She hasn’t watched any videos that I know of, but she’s starting to ask, “Where are they now?” As a child we had a small catamaran that we would play around with on our local lake. I will never forget one time a family pulled beside us on a massive yacht and said “You all are having more fun than anyone else out here!” I miss sailing!! You two keep on keep-in on!!

    Much Love,

    The Ellis’s
    Bristol,VA

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  • Dawn Fryer

    I guess the high temperatures, the salt and the effects of the ultra violet radiation are causing a lot of your problems.I wish you fair winds and following seas plus good health.

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  • Debbie Raby

    Thanks for the update! You two seem to make wise, careful decisions when sailing – thankful that you do! Sure wish you would write a cookbook!

    reply
  • William Domb

    Ever consider some simple electric pumps like from Harbor Freight?

    12v and 110 versions:
    https://www.harborfreight.com/12v-dc-transfer-pump-290-gph-63324.html

    https://www.harborfreight.com/16-hp-submersible-utility-pump-1600-gph-63319.html

    and others

    reply
  • Jim Shook

    Happy for you guys…be safe

    reply

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