nikki wynn stressed about travel

We Almost Didn’t Make It! Canceled Flights, Detained & Lost Cats

I must have run through a thousand “worst-case scenario” scenes in my head.  Living on a boat and sailing around the world?  You don’t make it out of an adventure like this without a few good stories, right!?

Like most people, I expected wild and crazy storms at sea to be the worst of what we would have to survive. Maybe some half-delirious hallucinations after weeks of isolation on the vast open ocean.

But never, did I ever, think that our biggest challenges would be on land.

What a trip!  It all worked out in the end but sheesh, we gained a few grey hairs over that one.  Hopefully, the return trip back to the boat will go much smoother.  Or at the very least, we’ll go into it prepared for chaos!

jason and nikki wynn hauling out their sailboat in tonga

Speaking of chaos, prepping the boat for cyclone season and storage was a “fun” new task.  We didn’t show much of it in this video because we’re more interested in the return.

Will Curiosity be filled with bugs, rats, and mold or will our “tricks” have work?  Only time will tell!

Until then, we’re happy to be back in the USA and in the land of seemingly never-ending hot water, great coffee shops with free wifi and tacos…lots and lots of tacos!


🙏Thank YOU!

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  • Curiosity Hauled Out & Left: The Boat Yard / Vava’u, Tonga
  • Flights – 26 Hours
    • Vava’u to Nukalufa
    • Nuku’alofa to Fiji
    • Fiji to California
  • Date: September 2019

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 (41)

  • José Luis Zamora

    Porqué dejaron de viajar?!! Yo hubiera regresado a Panama, y hubiera llegado a la Havana (fuck the politics), hubiera seguido a Marruecos, España, Italia, Egipto. Eso hubiera sido épico.

    • Curious Minion

      No se detuvieron, mucho más fácil y seguro esperar a que abrieran Australia y Nueva Zelanda que navegar al otro lado del mundo hasta Panamá.
      (They didn’t stop – much easier and safer to wait for Australia and NZ to open than to sail halfway around the world to Panama.)
      Curious Minion

  • Samuel K. Tennis

    Flew home just in time for pandemic, I guess I will find out in a future video. Gives new meaning to that yellow quarantine flag you raise, eh?
    Shame you could not have landed your boat across the street, farther from the water.
    Do you tie the boat to the ground during storm season?

  • Rick - GoingNoWhereFast

    Commenting in June, with you stuck in Fiji, I’m wondering if you ever did buy that travel insurance, and if so, how did it work out for you??

  • Ray

    Thanks for giving my wife and I another look at life. In our 60 and seeing the things that you guys do has inspired us to look into the same life style. Again thanks and God bless

  • Adam

    Oh my god you guys, we did that exact same journey — left the boat in Neiafu, flight to Nuku’alofa, then Nadi and home via LAX. And we had the exact same Tonga experience with the delayed flight and even the excess fee for arriving by boat and leaving by air! (Which by the way we specifically asked about at that immigration office on Fatafehi Road: “no fee, it’s fine” we were told…)

    We left the cat with a couple in Tonga so other than the fact that cat litter was not to be had in Neiafu, that part of our journey was easier than yours. But when we finally came home with him from Australia, we also had the identical experience in which no one at the airport in California knew where he was. Took two hours to locate his crate in some random cargo office.

    Seems not much has changed in 8 years!

  • Tim

    Do you miss the simple life of traveling in a motor home ( you inspired my wife and I to live this life style) to the boating life ( I love your videos on the boat) , boating looks much more intense as a lifestyle

    • Curious Minion

      They get this question a lot, and Nikki’s answer is that the boat is a LOT more work than the RV, and they love both modes of travel but the boat is where they want to be right now. In another 10 years, who knows? But it’s a boat for now.
      Curious Minion

  • Allan, a.k.a. "RocKITEman_2001"

    To quote a line from the science fiction tv show, BABYLON 5:

    “All this TECHNOLOGY and it STILL takes FOREVER to get anywhere.”

  • Mary

    What a crazy journey-all the days to prep to go and then running behind a day. Travel is hard! Especially international!

    Whew, so glad you made it. I think your feet hit the ground and have not stopped. I hope you get a few days off to really enjoy yourselves.

  • Mike Hamilton

    As the “owner” of three cats, I was glued to this video all the way to the lip balm. I’ve been following you guys since the early days of the motor home and feel you’re part of my family. Thanks for sharing your lives with us and stay safe!

  • Mike Oslund


  • Greg Dobbyn

    Hi Wynns,

    I noticed you have 1400W of solar on the boat and sometimes run AC off it. I have had boats for 40 years and about 5 years ago installed a DC air conditioner from Cruise N comfort in our master stateroom. It runs off the Lithium batteries and uses an average of 200W per hour during the night when outside temp is 75F and water temp about the same. Of course it cycles all night so actual usage varies.

    This unit is way more efficient than an AC unit running off an inverter. It won’t cool the entire boat but it will make your sleeping space nice and dry and cool with the main benefit being dry in my opinion.

  • Jeanette Brennan

    Phew!! International travel is not for sissies!!! Your cats are amazing! So glad it all worked out in the end.
    Good luck on your travels back!!! Oh my goodness – buy the travel insurance!! Enjoy! 🥴👍😻😻🙏💖

  • Steve Nicholls

    Hard case! American cats have access to meat-flavoured lip-gloss! Kiwi cats have to chew on mouse to be attractive. To other cats, o’course….

  • Sureshkumar

    Hi Jason & Nikki

    Greetings to you. Glad to know both of you are back home after a long voyage in the pacific. God has given both of you a strong mind and adventures spirit. It is the mercy of God that makes your voyages safe. Do you thank and praise god for keeping safe in all your journeys? Do you pray while starting your journeys? If its so God will be with you in your journeys. Convey my loving greetings to all at home. Have a great time at home.
    With love and prayers
    In Christ

  • Alan Solomon

    As usual I loved this video. I think your cats are way resilient. Wow. As you said the paperwork must have been never-ending. I only know what you said about your fee encounters. I can’t imagine the unknowing and possibly some BS too. Glad you both made it and happy you reunited with the kitties. Glad your home. May be you can focus on family, togetherness and being back on familiar ground. You seemed to make it to Catalina Island quick once you got out of the Tropics?
    Well, it is almost 9pm here in Palm Desert, CA and the Blackbirds are in concert outside so I will take a few minutes listening. Maybe record this concert. I just wanted to offer a Happy Hello and a Welcome Back to the good ol’ U.S.A. where we have some unique challenges. Hope to see you next Sunday…
    Kind regards, Alan

  • Deborah Kerr

    So happy you all made it home to the USA safely!! Keep smiling 🙂

  • Anita

    Ahhhhh….the kitty cats must have been so happy to see you. How are you getting them back?? Seems like it will be a harrowing trip in reverse.

  • Elizabeth Ferguson

    Y’all always make great videos. I’ve follow you for a long time. Several years ago you made reference to your chili recipe. I believe it’s a crock pot recipe. I’ve searched the website and I can’t find it. did I miss it or did it never get published? someone in our stroke support group has been touting something refer to has Forks Over Knives and that recipe seems to be a candidate for this way of eating. would you please tell me how to find your recipe for chili?

  • Roger B

    You two are tough. What a trip and the worry of losing connection with your cats. You made it to the States.

  • dyanne allegrini

    I really enjoyed this video! Thanks so much for showing us the Good,Bad and the Ugly of a nomadic lifestyle..Glad you had a safe trip and the kitties were fine.

  • Keith Moser

    I have watched you two develop into the finest of sailors you bring the love of sailing, of exploration and the people found on each island. No it’s a joy to sit with you durring your sundowners. GOD bless you and keep you safe.

  • Keith Moser

    Listening to your storys is like I’m there… OK maybe in spirit I’m there but rest assured I’m with you two. Years ago I help a club member bring back a Catalina 40 across the Columbia bar I was the sixth crew man the Coast Guard had just closed and locked down. But we few nuckelheads would push on only I and the owner but we made it inspite of 35ft seas and gale forced 4 wins. If you live through these events you will have stories to tell if not you’ll see your angry loving wife on the still waters that lie beyond. To the Wynns keep on sailing I will send you calm winds and seas your way.

  • Susan Free

    Happy cats were found and you are safely back on USA soil. Love following your journey.❤️👍

  • Bert Parham

    I have followed you for sum time and have enjoyed you video’s on UTUBE. BOTH OF YOU ARE FUN TO WATCH. I will continue to follow your travels.

  • Wayne and Judy McPhail

    Always love your videos. Wayne and Judy, Hampton, VA

  • Allan Kirch

    Thanks so much for another great video. When you have time, would you mind posting some details about putting your boat up on the hard while you travel? Maybe how you decide on a place, costs, steps for preparing the boat for long term storage, and the steps before putting it back in the water.
    Thanks again for all you do and the time and effort putting out your videos. Hope your vacation was relaxing.

    • Curious Minion

      Nikki said they’re going to talk more about the whole haul-out/storage process in the video that covers going back and getting Curiosity ready to splash again. So stay tuned!
      Curious Minion

  • Louis Miller

    Sounds like just another in paridise 😁, keep on having fun and smiling .

  • Karen Lueck

    If you hadn’t posted that everything turned out well, I don’t think I could have watched this knowing the cats were lost. You poor things, I would have been a wreck. I hope your return trip goes a little easier.

  • Michael Magill

    Coming back from a voyage by another form of transportation is tough but with cats or dogs its awful, just don’t kmow how they will be treated, and finding them once you are landed halfway there is a challenge , but yofound them and only one flight maybe two left to get home. Loved the Aerial shorts of the area, and again thank you for letting us tag along , have a great vacation, Recharge and relax…..

  • Jim ege

    Did your Anodes get used up? Is that why you had holes in your tanks? You have come so far. Always something with sailboats. She is your home though. Even homes need constant maintenance. I always took down my mast. Boats get alot of stress when out of the water
    when the wind blows. Water absorbs the rattling. sometimes causes issue with the chain plates. It cost extra but it was always worth it I felt over the years.
    What do the cats do for “toilette” and water and food while crated? WE would have melted down not being able to find our cats. Hurrah you found them.
    What is the lip balm for?
    Take care.

    • Curious Minion

      The cats each had water, a little litter pan, and a comfy bed. In a previous reply, Nikki said the peppermint scent sometimes make Singa crazy, like it’s catnip or something. But not this time. He must have been too tired. :o)
      Curious Minion

  • Tracie

    I LOVE your sunglasses. Will you post up links to where you get them?

    • Curious Minion

      She gets this question a lot, but the answer is that she just grabs cute ones when she sees them and they’re usually cheapies, so no way to reliably get more.
      Curious Minion

      • Shirley B

        Love watching your video’s. Have now been to many places thanks to you that I will never visit myself. Can’t imagine making the trip to the States with 2 cats. Was so glad when you finally found them. I remember the first time I saw you in the RV. You have inspired so many people to just get out there and find an adventure!!!!
        Hope your return trip is much better!

  • Martin Buinicki

    At least you went somewhere. Here, 8 hours from Harrisburg,PA- to Denver, CO. But, fortunately, a sitter for the farm and our 20+- cats!


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