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Confessions At Sea: The Calm After The Crazy (Sailing Across The Pacific)

The sense of tranquility is palatable, as if the sea gods crafted the perfect opening passage to welcome us. I gaze out at the horizon and half expect to see messages written in the clouds. “We’ve been waiting for you, dolphin parade ahead”.

It feels like the calm after the crazy, with the crazy being the past couple of months.  The various boat projects, broken bits, bureaucracy, mishaps and hold-ups were starting to take their toll on our mental state.  Our normal stash of optimism and positivity was steadily being depleted.  Little did we know; a fresh supply was waiting for us less than hundred nautical miles West/Southwest.

Drunk on over-saturated sunsets, confessions start flowing.  The realities of boat life, stress and relationships come spewing out like an unkinked water hose.

I suggest a drink in hand, squishy chair under your bum and feet propped up before hitting the play button on this one.

I have no idea what it was like for you to see that, but for me it was syrupy sweet.  One of the unexpected surprises of sailing is night watches and video diaries.  We get to see a side of each other we wouldn’t otherwise.  Kind of feels like I am listening in on a private conversation between friends.

I don’t know the rules on quoting yourself, but I made this statement when we said goodbye to Kate and it still applies here.

sailing and relationships

I’ve never had a “this feels like a choke hold” moment with Jason. But that doesn’t mean stress doesn’t work its way into our relationship.  IT DOES!  The problem with filming ourselves is we don’t have a camera man around to film when we’re in the thick of something.  So, it’s not likely we’ll ever capture one of our disagreements.  In those moments, we’re focused on what’s most important, which is the situation itself and oursleves.

We’ve been so focused on the ever growing mountain of tasks, we didn’t leave time for, well…anything else.  The weight of our Ecuador Visa’s expiring wasn’t helping the situation either (we could have applied for an extension but that would just mean more bureaucracy, money and time). We got caught up in our own daily grind.  No cubical or rat race needed to live in a bubble, we create those ourselves.

Finally setting out on the adventure we had been laser focused on was a release.  Couple that with favorable seas, clear skies and infinite breathing room…and we’re in a state euphoria.  The open ocean can be a paradise and days like these make us feel we could just keep sailing forever.

pacific ocean crossing views

 

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Captain’s Hour  (AKA Sundowners)

A while back we read a book about heavy weather sailing where the author provides a good case as to why one should have a Captain’s hour during passage.

The author writes “I encourage a glass of wine, rum, or beer at Captain’s Hour, to help people relax and sleep.  A few days without sleep can be debilitating and can not only ruin your enjoyment of the passage but also impair your ability to make sound decisions when conditions deteriorate.”

We decided it was a great idea and started the tradition aboard Curiosity on our sail from Panama to Ecuador. Captain’s Hour brings everyone on board together, to relax and discuss the days events.

Coconut Oat Bread

Bread Maker: gonewiththewynns.com/product/expressbake-breadmaker

Settings: 1.5 lb loaf size /Basic setting #1 / light crust

Add wet ingredients first, dry ingredients next and yeast last.

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 cups of white flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour  (Don’t have coconut flour?  Pulse unsweetened shredded coconut in a blender)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons yeast

Gear Used

Sailing Report

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

sailing across the pacific tracker

 

We use our Garmin InReach to track our sail and send updates to family & Patreons. We take a screen capture every day at 5:30pm, because that marks another 24hrs logged for our sail across the Pacific.  It’s a fun way to follow along in real time and hear what’s happening on board.  This video covered April 24 – 26, 2018.  Here is the screen capture from April 26th.  The little dots share real-time trip info and the little message pop-up is us writing to the people following along from sea.

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 (40)

  • Doreen

    That was a beautiful video, and so full of emotion. Jason, that was great of you to open up like that to us all, and believe me, you are not alone. Traveling in the RV and being “on your own” is tough enough. But being in the middle of an ocean, really alone, has to be one of the most stressful things you can ever do, no matter how rewarding. It’s all going to be okay, you both are strong, in love and in tune. Be safe! and thanks for sharing

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  • Ciaran

    Do you guys have a composting head on your sailboat, If you do why? and if you don’t why not?

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    • Curious Minion

      Curious Minion here. Nikki & Jason had a composting toilet in their RV and loved it, so they installed 2 on the boat. I think they “why” is that marine heads are notorious pains in the rear (pun intended!) because they’re always clogging or requiring some kind of maintenance, and having 3 marine heads in use would fill up the black tank pretty quickly and might require them to pump out when they’re close to land. They still have one marine head (they were worried about being able to find compost medium in remote corners of the world) but have said they are just as pleased with the composting toilets on the boat as they were with it in the RV.

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  • Dennis

    Hope you all find the relaxation and adventure in the islands. You look like you could use a vacation ( LOL) the cats look great BTW, always enjoy seeing them in the boat setting at sea.
    on a side note i swear i saw Jason in a commercial just the other day, the guy looked just like him and i didn’t get the chance to rewind and can’t remember the product, if it was him great gig… LOL
    YOU both have an amazing will and best of luck and happy sailing, stay safe …..

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  • Fred and Kim Ancora

    Hubby and I were truly touched by your transparency. We anxiously await your videos to give us hope, encouragement and inspiration. We have been full-time rving now for 4 months and we have let’s just say “our moments” as well. Thank you for sharing your lives with us and inspiring us to live a dream that not many would dare to. Fred and Kim and our two traveling kitties Emma and Christian.

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  • Debbie Kerr

    Beautiful sunsets courtesy of Mother Nature!! How wonderful for Jason to count his blessings!! Going through “rough” times make you appreciate the “smooth” times even that much more!! Native American saying : “Give Thanks for Unknown Blessings Already On Their Way”. “Someone” up there is watching over you & keeping you safe – those seas were so calm!! I expected a much wilder travel! I can’t wait to see French Polynesia!! Keep smiling you two!! 🙂

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  • Kelly

    what is the green knife you are using in the latest video ?

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  • Thank you! Very special video! I hope to meet you again some day.

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  • I’m so glad to hear Jason is wearing pants… hahaha! Ah you guys! If anyone can do this, and do it in style, it’s you two!! LOVE x

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  • Kenneth S Call

    My wife and I are one more set of great admirers of the two of you and all your adventures and activities. We have followed you the past two years. We just started watching You Tube and discovered you at the time you were selling your motor home to purchase a sail boat. Thank you for all of your very professional posts. We were particularly touched by this posting to see the love and tenderness between you. Thank so much for sharing; you may have questioned yourselves about sharing this because it does show the special relationship you have; but we are so glad that you did. we pray that God will watch over you in all your travels.

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  • Alan Solomon

    Thank you for your experiences. Nighttime is as beautiful as day time on this Planet in many places. It is important to keep a watchful eye all the time, as Mother Nature is unpredictable and can take you by surprise.
    I am not onboard of course but, I sense it and see it too Jason and I am just watching your videos.
    Lastly, I am not sure geographically but nevertheless, I heard that the waters off Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago or unsafe for you and Curiosity. If Kate or other friends are in that area, suggest to get out ASAP.
    Safe Travels & Happiness.

    friends

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  • Mark

    I am a retired US Navy SCPO. I spent many a midwatch, or dog watch ruminating about life, it’s meaning, and my role. After I met the person whom I believed to be my life mate many of those wee hours were spent thinking about her. I didn’t have a blog, nor a vlog, but I did write many letters (which I shouldn’t have been doing) during those late night hours, and she kept all of them. Some make very interesting reading, but most were just corny! There were a few that were very revealing, much like this video. Keep up the good work, and, as we used to say in the Navy, “Don’t sweat the small sh**. Take care of the big sh**, and the small will take care of itself!”

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  • Jenny Lewis

    You two are such an inspiration BOTH as individuals and as a couple. I have been watching since your early rv days and this video is my favorite. Jason’s night confession was really touching and felt so real. One of the reasons I come back each week is not just for the beautiful scenery or the boat tips or Nikki’s awesome recipes or travel tips (I could go on and on)… but to watch how you each work together toward your goals (despite obstacles) with hard work, positivity and total teamwork. Congratulations on all your journeys and accomplishments you have made already and look forward what’s ahead! God bless and safe travels, always.

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  • Andi

    Ah, not only did this video touch my heart, but every comment did as well. Just as we all felt the love coming from you both, we hope you can feel the love and affection that your audience of friends has for you. Thank you for opening up to us about the real stuff. May everything lovely come your way now. ♥️

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  • Greg

    Bern trying for a week to get patron to let me kick in. I’ll keep at it. We are 2 years into the 8 year plan to follow your steps.
    Greg and Stacy

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  • Karen Hensey

    Please make a cookbook! Your food looks amazing!

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  • Brenda

    So much gratitude for you two sharing your journey through life and the way you have chosen to go about it. Really touched my heart deeply how open and honest you are in this video and post about the stress you have been under….. I would share this with you both. My life is less stressful and higher quality since I have been EFT tapping, aka emotional freedom technique. It sounds crazy, I know, but seriously, it works. A good way to learn the basics is thru Nick Ortner’s work with The Tapping Solution. In a nutshell, you would skillfully target the who, what, when, where, whilst tapping on meridian endpoints, to release stress from your body, and reducing cortisol.
    God Bless you both and keep you safe always.

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  • What a wonderful post this was! Nikki, did it make you cry when you saw and heard Jason’s thoughts about how wonderful you are as a partner on this adventure? I almost did. You guys are having the greatest adventure of your lives, and I love sharing vicariously with you. I hope this crossing is much less stressful than South America. Love to you both.

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  • Steve

    I used to tell a young friend at work that marriage was not a 50-50 proposition, it’s 70-70. No one can be ‘up’ all the time, but when you are both ‘down’, you still need to be fully committed. You guys got it goin’ on. I love it.

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  • Rebecca-Aunt ?

    ?❤️❤️❤️

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  • Roger B

    I’ll say it again. You two are tough. I can tell you that my wife and I have been together twice as long as you two have together and it gets better with every passing year. Thanks for sharing your very personal feelings and we understand and appreciate your challenges and congratulations for passing a tough decision you made in sharing with us.

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  • Bahamamama penny

    You both are amazing and YES life- whether on a boat out in the Pacific or just living in the daily US can be stressfull. However, you 2 do have a bit more/ different stress- weather,country laws to follow etc. So enjoy following you! Miss you. Love you!!!!

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  • Andrea Clerkin

    It is so great to see this video. I know how tough things have been for you with the whole visa situation and Jason’s bank account and driver’s license ..phew! You guys deserve a sweet sail, your optimism is so refreshing and you both work so hard! I’m so happy that mother nature was kind to you and allowed such a beautiful calm Sail so you could catch your breath and just enjoy it. Love from Ireland ? Andrea and Eneas

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  • Sandra & the 2 Spaniels

    As always, a beautiful video that is personal and insightful. I love the idea of sailing-only on a catamaran!-but it seems like you two have tremendous amounts of work. Was the RV as much work? I realize that both need cleaned consistently, although with Curiosity it seems more important. Do you guys track your repair work, so that you know when things need replaced/repaired?
    Love your recipes, Nikki! I am waiting on that cookbook-and don’t forget a video on style tips! I want to see your 12 hidden closets on the boat! ?

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  • PAUL MEGLEN

    We very mush enjoy your videos. I am a sail bot skipper, and find your boat repairs, and boat systems very interesting. I would like to see more charts, gauges. and signs lasting at least 3 seconds. Shots are often too short. What is the crank behind the pilot seat on the starboard side for. Show us how you reef the main sail. Why such a large RO maker, AT 40 GALLONS per minute?
    Thanks your show.

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  • JOHN SCHRETLEN

    I was following your daily uplinks when you did the run a few months ago and it is great to now see the videos. Like thousands (millions?) of others I have been sailing a lot; but it was 100% within sight of land. You two are continuing a tradition that started hundreds of years ago but only enjoyed by the fortunate few. I like that you appreciate how special it is.

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  • Pat Parker

    What an absolute tender moment that you have shared with us all. You two are both wonderfully strong and open people and we all wish the best of everything for you both. Pat

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  • Richard Skaff

    Thank you both for sharing your lives with us.

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  • Mary

    You two have so much respect for each other.

    Each of you compliments the other well. It takes different personalities, strength and weaknesses to make a good team.

    Love you both!

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  • Being brave enough to allow your lives to be an open book is stressful enough let alone on a sailboat in the middle of the largest ocean in the world. Unlike RV’ing you can’t pull over and go take a walk when things gets a little spicy. You have to deal with “issues” right away or else that 43′ large boat gets to feeling like a dingy. Anyways, good on you Jason for recognizing how truly special Nikki is. There are a few of us guys who are fortunate to have partners in our lives that make us complete. I would be interested in how you deal with conflict resolution on a sailboat. You are in the land of my ancestors. They came from Kahiki and Bora Bora, sailed across the vast Pacific Ocean in double hulled voyaging canoes and settled here in Hawaii and other parts of the Pacific Rim. The ocean was not a barrier for them instead it was their highway. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. Be sure to appreciate each moment alone and especially with each other. Don’t take anything for granted. Aloha.

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  • Jason, thank you for sharing some very intimate thoughts regarding you and Nikki. I cannot imagine ever going on such an adventure but do love following you two. I hope one of these days Nikki will publish a cook book with her recipes and tips for cooking in small spaces and how to store fresh veggies and fruits on long trips. Love that she shares some recipes every once in awhile.

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  • Michael Magill

    Wow….Jason, Nikki , best Video ever. You bared your soul to us, and we are so deeply moved by it. We just never knew the stress you two were under during the last three months, and I bet the bank foul up could have pushed you over the edge…But …it didn’t and the first days of your across the Pacific Ocean have brought you two back together. In our eyes we never knew or saw the stress, or I didn’t anyway. I loved this video and look so forward to the next one, Communication is the key and hope you two talk about your feelings when its necessary to do so. We are like your extended family watching and going through each day as it comes . Smooth sailing and calm seas to both of you . You have let every body in and we are so privileged to be there , Please take care Thank you both!!

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  • Anita

    I have been following your journeys from the RV days until now. My husband and I still have our fulltime RV dreams but I’m not certain how we would fare in times of crisis. My husband is an incredible handyman but gets upset if a light bulb goes out. And thinks an empty gas gauge means nothing. Both of those worry me with being on the road with him. That’s why I admire you both so much. You have proved you are strong, resilient and can endure anything. And also talented in every way – from fixing boats to fixing dinner and cocktails. Here is hoping French Polynesia is the beautiful restful and adventurous place that you were seeking when you began this journey.

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  • Pam McClure

    What Tev said above I agree with. Plus I just love the sounds of your sailing…the water lapping at the boat. The sounds of waves etc. And it’s so weird but I care so much for you two. I envy you but admire you more.

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  • You two are amazing . Never have known anyone like you !
    Keep on going. Thru the tough and thru the good. I dont watch all your videos but quite a few.
    What a life and yes the boating looks rough !

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  • Ann M Sawyer

    Acing the Stress Test ?
    BTW, I just love how you managed to capture the night sky, that late night sort of twilight that show during Nikki’s talk.

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  • Tev

    First of all, don’t ever doubt the quality of your videos. They are second to none. Second, and I think I speak for many people, we love your night watch chats. They show a personal side that we don’t get to see all the time. This one was sweet and very personal. I often think the same thing about Nikki. She IS so strong and resilient. I could never do what she does. She is SUPERWOMAN! But even SW will falter a bit under the type of stress ya’ll faced. Disagreements come in a marriage but that isn’t unusual. It’s the way you respond after. Don’t let “things” get in your way. You are both too important to each other. Keep up the good work and know those of us who have been following you all these years support you and look forward to Sundays when we get a glimpse into your life. Can’t wait to see more updated versions so we can experience what you are more currently. God bless you both and keep you safe out there in your travels.

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  • I know exactly how you feel. What’s involved in sailing and passaging making can be all encompassing and sometime it can squeeze out time for your relationship. I think of sailing as ying and yang experience. You can have the most incredible time and a rotten, stressful time; all in the same day. It makes you realise that the experiences will pass, especially the not so good ones.

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  • Marc

    Ah….the witching hour. I warn my son about it regularly. The witching hour is after 2am and leads to thoughts that typically are not positive and not productive. Some of the worst thoughts, arguments, comments, texts have come out of me during those hours. While you are on watch in the wee hours reach to the heavens for love and guidance…..God Bless you both!

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  • P

    “Overhead and eastwards there shone a glory of blue heaven, illuminated from within with golden light. The deep rich azure was lit up with an inner gold; it was a time to worship, to lift up the heart. Is there anything so wondrously beautiful as the sky just before the sun rises in summer?” Richard Jefferies

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