Eerily Calm Seas and Crazy Dinghy Adventures
The wind died off as we rounded Mangrove Cay and we were forced to drop the sails and become a motorboat for the last bit of our trip from the Abacos.
No wind is always a bummer on a sailboat. Turning on the engines causes a sort of allergic reaction that has us itching to turn them off as soon as they are on.
We had expected the wind to die off but had no idea the seas would become so eerily calm and the reflections would be ohhh so beautiful.
We have one seemingly simple task this day: Provision so we have enough food for one week of sailing with my brother. Easy enough…or is it?
Freeport is a total cruise ship destination and the first large port in the Bahamas from Ft. Lauderdale. During our time in Dania Beach, while getting service on our catamaran, we saw numerous barges inbound and outbound for FPO (Freeport). Which had us thinking it would be an excellent destination for provisioning.
Did you make it until the bitter end? If so, did you catch Nikki’s favorite phrase “I’m not always right, it’s just that I am never wrong.” If I’m being honest, it is typically the case. However, she borrowed that line from a friend’s mother several years ago, and now I think I’ll be hearing it until my bitter end (lovingly of course).
But how about those views from the boat! The eerily calm seas added an extra level of wow to everything…from sunrise to moonrise.
Crazy Dinghy Adventures
Smooth and simple are two words that best describe our dinghy day. We were a little nervous to take this trip as we hadn’t really ventured out more than a few miles here and there in our dinghy. We’d also never taken it above 1/2 throttle because it’s been in the “break-in” period.
I’m happy to report, after this experience we’re totally stoked about our new dinghy. Because it’s less than half the weight of our old dinghy our fuel economy is through the roof! The one-way trip totaled 16.7 nautical miles and we only sipped 1.3 gallons of gasoline (at full throttle the majority of the time). You may also have noticed we didn’t get wet. The ride is smooth and the sides are nice and tall so we rarely get splashed, wish I could say the same for our hats.
Learn more about our dinghy and why we swapped here: gonewiththewynns.com/dinghy-swap-ab-highfield
Let’s Get Brutally Honest About Provisioning
The biggest and most populated cities in the Bahamas are Nassau and Freeport. So I don’t think it was a bad assumption to expect the shopping in Freeport to be some of the best in the Bahamas. Sad part is after experiencing this Solomon’s we’re wishing we were back in the Abacos because the food was less expensive and the produce selection was far better.
The Bahamas are a wealthy country, it’s 1st world even though it doesn’t always look like it. We understand it’s island life and everything arrives on a ship…but that seems doesn’t seem like a valid excuse. Over the years we’ve visited other islands around the world (that aren’t 1st world) and their produce wasn’t as sad and it was all shipped in the same as here. Which really has us wondering…what is the deal with the Bahamas grocery stores?
It was shocking to see produce with gnats flying around, black bananas, sprouting onions, potatoes growing potatoes and other foods that looked way past their prime. It seems here they keep stuff on the shelves that would have been thrown out days earlier elsewhere.
The odd contrast is the fancy selection of prepackaged items. There were nice cheeses, meats, frozen meals, $10 gourmet chips and so on. The only thing I can think is the tourists staying in Freeport come in and purchase the fancy snack type stuff and the locals are stuck with whatever is affordable or not rotting away. It’s the only thing that seems to make sense in my mind about this shopping experience, and even that doesn’t make any sense. It’s obviously frustrating for the two of us veggie and fruit loving travelers, I can’t fathom what it’s like as a local.
After filling up our dinghy the dock attendant told us about a place called Cost Plus (a Costco type bulk store), so we’ll have to check it out when we return to Freeport to meet up with the rest of our family. He said they are more affordable and have a bigger selection.
Leaving our Sailboat – Safety and Peace of Mind
You may have noticed in the video when we left the boat all day we made sure to leave out some laundry so it may appear to a passerby that were on board. We stowed the dinghy davit system in the upright position to also make it less obvious we were away. We locked all the doors, large hatches and did a few other tricks to make stealing our sailboat a more difficult task. We’ve had loads of questions about leaving the boat and we will talk more about it an upcoming video. So, stay tuned.
Sailing Dinghy Report
To see our full map with interactive pins, click here: gonewiththewynns.com/map
- Nautical Miles: It was a hair over 16 NM each way
- Dates: December 12-15, 2016
- Anchorage: My brother’s flight was delayed so he ended up arriving a day later than expected. In total we stayed at Dover Sound for 3 nights and it was eerily quiet. We experienced unreal sunsets immediately followed by giant full-moon rises. We saw only a few boats passing in and out of the channel and we had the entire sound to ourselves. We anchored further away from the channel than was marked as an anchorage on our charts. With the super moon the tide changes were significant and low tide was in the negatives so we didn’t want to risk a charted 5′ depth anchorage turning into a 3’ actual depth. We also read the bugs can get horrible if you get too close to land, so that made it doubly out of the question. Because we were really out there, we used our rechargeable Mantus snap-on lights on the bow and stern to light up the boat and help us be seen.
- Cell & WiFi: Our BTC signal was decent but much better with our booster on.
Gear Used In This Video
- Dinghy: gonewiththewynns.com/dinghy-swap-ab-highfield
- iPad Pro using Garmin Bluecharts App (and Active Captain): http://amzn.to/2d9Oopf
- Predict Wind App: bit.ly/PredictWindIridium
- Insulated Totes and Cooler Packs: gonewiththewynns.com/product/thermal-totes-cooler-packs
Cameras Used to Capture This Video:
- Sony RX100 (town footage): gonewiththewynns.com/product/sony-dsc-rx100m-iii-cyber-shot-digital-still-camera
- Sony Action Cam: http://bit.ly/sony-as300
- Sony A7ii (everything on the boat): http://bit.ly/a7rii-sony
- Sony Zoom Mic: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/product/sony-gun-zoom-microphone-black
- Sony 24 – 70mm f4 lens: http://bit.ly/2470-zeiss
- All of our up to date photo and editing gear: gonewiththewynns.com/best-travel-camera-video-photography
Thanks for watching, reading and being a part of the adventure. An extra big shout out and virtual high five to everyone who helps support these posts by shopping through Our Gear Store or is a part of our crew on Patreon. Your support helps keep us independent and free to share our unbiased experiences. Thank you!
You may not have gotten wet but the hats took a plunge. Note that when your brother arrived, his hat had a strap. Some family learning could go along way. 🙂
Wow! Those pictures are incredible! Seriously gorgeous.
Hi Jason and Nikki!!! My wife and I watch you guys religiously!! We wait ever so patiently for every video!! We especially love the cats!!! You guys are living the dream!!! My dream!!! ????⛵? We would absolutely love to meet you guys!!!
Question, when you did your underwater video camera vlog, which one did you like the best? I have been some research one them and found the SJCAM. I noticed you tested one of the SJCAM, what are your thoughts on them?
Jason I married Miss Right 50 years ago then she changed my name to Never Right . It’s been a long hard battle so I just give in and make Judy happy . In the end it doesn’t matter . There all sisters . Good luck
Al from McKinney Texas
Those are some of the most beautiful pictures – sunrise, sunset, and everything in between!! Thank you for sharing 🙂 Now on to the Cave game in dreary Cleveland!! Do you ever miss watching or hearing about sports stuff?? Just curious….
Oh my, what a great feast for the eyes! Especially as I sit in Evanston Illinois just north of Chicago. I love the calm water. Also I woukd like to know the source for Nikki’s cloche hat. Cloches for summer are hard to come by!
Diana L Theisinger
Our whole family has been enjoying your RV and sailboat videos. Thank you for producing such high-quality, beautiful, informative content. Just a heads up that the post that goes with your 45″ boat tour never showed up. I ran across the video on YouTube, but haven’t seen a companion post. Thought there might be a chance you didn’t know. All the best! The Theisingers in Virginia (Texans by birth ?).
It isn’t under the “blog” heading: it is under a new heading “Our Sailboat”.
Diana L Theisinger
Thanks! I connect through Feedly so I guess that one didn’t push through!
Totally awesome pictures, and what a great spot to drop anchor!
It is incomprehensible that someone would build such a big hotel structure and not keep it going. It just blows my mind.
Thanks as always.
How do you keep everything charged? You have so many devices and I can’t imagine there are that many open outlets on the boat. Is there a USB power strip or something?
Enjoyed the video like always ..hope your hats have survived .
Beging for your pardon, but I had to send to you this remarkable brazilian song, fitted for sailing…https://youtu.be/A1WDI3vmbVI
Your photography is beautiful. Winter blahs are setting in here so your pictures are a great pick me up.
Luc and Marie-José
Thoroughly enjoy your videos. Thank you for sharing. I have a quick question: Can you tell us what is the mount that use for your iPad when at the wheel house on Curiosity. I’ve looked at the “Our Gear” and couldn’t find anything. Thanks in advance and keep on living the dream.
You guys are awesome.
That was a fun adventure as I watched it from my mountain home in NC. The water was as you say, eerily still. You two are really “can do” people navigating around like that and figuring out routes. You must have really good sunscreen too.
Correct…lots of good sunscreen.
Beautiful and amazing photographs. Thanks.
We have generally the same situation between my wife and I, the 95% rule…she’s is pretty much right most of the time. Ha! Love the transparency, makes your video like I know you guys as long time friends.
Thank you for sharing!
p.s. rum 🙂
Bruce and Mariline Kane 229-352-1170
Guys, great video, next time you are in Freeport drop us an email, It’s our fulltime home. we will be happy to drive you around and show you where to shop, and drink and will be happy to cook you a nice meal,and offer our house.
If we are off Island at the time we can arrange for you to pick up the keys to our car so you can see the whole Island. Lots of safe mooring on the south side of the Island close to the so called action.
Take Care Bruce and Mariline Kane,
Oh man! we were there for an entire month! Sad we missed you.
Lori Jackson Smith
Life jackets are an essential part of boating dingy travel.
Just as a seat belt is in a car.
I’ve enjoyed reading about your adventures while sailing. Your videos and photos sure are remarkable too.
PFD’s are only required to be in the boat, not on the person. If we’re ever fearful of our lives we will definitely put them on.
Fun ride at 20 knots! Wow that was a bit disrespectable of that boat not to slow down a bit. The thought of a store displaying such yuk. Nikki can you be right and wrong at the same time hmmm? Until tomorrow happy sailing.
Long time to be sitting in the dingy. Did you stop for a leg stretch every now and then?
Ha, so true, our legs barely worked when we arrived 🙂
Wow that was some stunning footage! Thanks so much for bringing us along!
(too funny at the very end, aren’t you glad you got that one on camera? haha)
It was a long ending for a video but I thought it was the perfect ending 🙂
I wish you both would wear or at least take life jackets when you travel on the dingy. 16 or more miles for groceries can turn into a nightmare by the time you go back to the cat. Just want you both to be safe!
We have PFD’s on the boat and the dinghy.
Enjoy following your journeys but it seemed a little creepy out there…do you always feel safe? I was worried about leaving the kitties alone!
As always I enjoyed your video.
This was most certainly more scary and even more so with the water so eerily waveless. I would be
worried your sail boat will not have enough of gas to get you back further. When you brother arrives, I am
guessing that he will stay on your boat, but where will the rest of your family stay. I don’t see how more than
3 people will fit on your dinghy. The food was outrageously poor, but it is way out there in the ocean. That
was scary to leave your boat so far away, too. I also think and worry about thefts of it and or of the dinghy while you are shopping. I know you lock it up, but it is still scary. Over all, I do not like this part of your trip one bit. It is just too remote for me. Of course, I am thinking about myself since I live alone but I think it would be too lonely even for us when we were a family. I don’t want to quell your excitement, but I do not like it. You are both much thinner too. Be careful. Don’t test your body limits too far as you need your strength to handle that boat in bigger winds, etc. My love to you. Always thinking about you and thinking that it is just a playground, but it is on the boring same o same o side. Just my feelings and thoughts. Take care and be extra good to one another.
We’ve always parked the RV in the forest, on top of a mountain and in way far out places. It’s where we thrive.
Beautiful and inspiring images, thank you for sharing them !
Have you ever compared Predict Wind with Sailflow (http://www.sailflow.com/)? If you’re interested, just type in your current location on the website. Then click on “Forecast Map” on the menu choices on the left hand side. Moving the slider bar on top shows future wind predictions. Wind speeds are color coded so it’s pretty intuitive. Videos are always great!
We began using Wind Guru and then found Predict Wind. We love the wind models, graphs and the routing that takes in current and wind changes.
I just wanted to pop by and say thank you for your amazing videos. You are such an inspiration and my motivation towards a simpler (healthier/happier) life. =)
Thanks for taking the time to say hi, it means a lot to us when people just stop by!
You guys are too cute! Nikki, may I ask for a favour to do a little video on what makeup/sunscreen essentials you use for your face in such humility? I’m watching your videos and I’m like, “in that weather? Your face is FLAWLESS!” Thank you 😀
There’s a makeup link here: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/product/nikkis-makeup
You must have filled with pride seeing after your little excursion to see your boat in such a beautiful place just waiting for you to get home. Some of the most beautiful photos you have done, except for the onions, I always look forward to you videos. You two are way to organized, bet you think your not. ;-).
Those pics are crazy good! Just wow! I never go out of my way to read blog posts related to YT videos I watch, but after this one I’m never missing one of yours again!
P.S.: How much do you guys care about writing mishaps and how rude would it be for me to point one or two out? Don’t wanna be a grammar nazi with content I like, but *because* I like it I want it to be perfect. Yes, control freak here :-p
I ran across some information about three years ago about Google starting a World Wide Wifi project using balloons in the stratosphere. I checked into it again and they are in the process of launching balloons in New Zealand because over land flight clearance in easier to obtain in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s name has been changed to Loon Project and it’s just on the verge of rollout now. I’m a tech junkie and I think you are too. Next time you have Wifi and can pull up You Tube, check it out?
I am a retired man who resides in the state of Pennsylvania. Ever since I was a young lad, I have always wanted to sail. But never had the opportunity to do so. And now that my health is not the greatest your blogs give me the opportunity to see the part’s of the world I would like to have visited. My wife and I love to watch your adventures. We pretend that we are on board sharing your adventures. We even make island foods to enjoy while we’re watching your segment. Thanks again for bringing the world to us.
Perfect timing on the upload, thanks! Had just returned to my desk with a big bowl of veggies for lunch. 🙂 Most of my sailing experience has been on lakes, so I’m curious if in a future video or post you could discuss the rules/etiquette of where you’re allowed to drop the hook?
Happy lunch break! So far, we are going by what is labeled on the charts (they are labeled well for the Bahamas) and the reviews on active captain. Active captain has been a huge help and if you have not checked it out, it is a free website and worth checking out. We are using Garmin Bluecharts on our ipad and it has an option to add in active captain POI’s. Not much else needed for these well traveled routes thankfully. Makes for easy cruising as newbies.
The canal across GB doesn’t look much different than it did 20 years ago. The hotel was already abandoned then. We went through with a group and the waves reflecting off the walls made for a rough ride.
Wow, 20 years ago and the hotel was abandoned then…I guess that area never did make it to full development. That said, I think its rare that anything looks the same after 20 years these days, so that is something.