sunsets from a sailboat

Cruising Life in the Abacos – Beaches, Bugs & Beauty

We’re moving further along in the Abacos and it feels like we’re settling into the rhythm of cruising life aboard Curiosity.

It’s a groove that’s easy to settle into because we follow Mother Nature’s lead.  When the winds blow, we sail and if they are blowing a little too much, we work and tend to the sailboat.  When the sun is shining and the winds are pleasant, we explore.  We’re taking each day as its presented to us and it’s pretty freaking cool.

It’s a blissful way to go about life…until nature turns on you.  One minute she’s gifting you with 15 knots of cool wind, sunshine and moderate temperatures.  The next minute she takes away every whisper of a breeze, turns the skies grey and sends in the fleet of flesh-eating monsters.

Now, you may think I am exaggerating about the flesh-eating monsters part, believe me, I am not.  If you’ve ever experienced a swarm of no-see-ums you know just the kind of evil I am referring to.  It’s at this moment I am thankful we don’t solely rely on mother nature and we have the wonderment of human ingenuity known as the motor.  I don’t normally like cranking on the motors, but in this case it’s like music to my ears!

While you won’t need any bug spray to safely hit the play button on today’s video…you may want a little anti-itch cream to get through the first minute.



Allan’s Cay

I’m not sure this little island or anchorage is any more spectacular than the others we’ve visited, but the consistent flow of lobster dinners we scored here made it a fantastic anchorage!  We were feeling like rock stars compared to our first lobster experience in Key West.  Florida was good training grounds and practice for lobstering, but our new Hawaiian sling spear and these “lobster hotels” make catching these tasty bugs way more simple.

sailing bahamas

spearfishing bahamas

At this anchorage, we had a good-sized shark visit two different evenings, we spotted dozens of turtles during the day and couple giant ones chomping down at night.  We would have stayed a few days longer to scope out the Atlantic side, but once those bugs arrived in full force there was no way we could make it another minute.

allans cay Bahamas anchorage

sailng Bahamas


Powell Cay

Calm as calm can be on the Sea of Abaco side with stunning sunsets and plenty of giant starfish.  We spent our first night a good distance from the island since we feared the no-see-ums.  After we paddled around the island, and didn’t get a single bite, we decided to pick up the hook and tuck in a little closer to the “mountain”.

sunsets from a sailboat

exploring the bahamas

exploring the bahamas

There’s a nice trail that traverses the island and drops you off onto the Atlantic side.  This is the best trail we’ve hit since we’ve arrived in the Bahamas (it’s no Yellowstone or Grand Canyon hike, but its about as good as it gets out here in the Abacos).  On the eastern beach the waves crash, the rocks create tide pools and on the day of our visit it felt very northern California with the misty cloud filled skies.

powell cay bahamas

powell cay bahamas

sailing the bahamas

sailing and exploring the bahamas

Paddle boards

We have had our one yellow Fisher Inflatable paddle board for a couple of years now.  We have used it all over North America and we really put it to the test in Alaska paddling around glaciers and such.  We were limited on space in the RV and were always happy to share the one board and take turns paddling each other around.  However, with our new lifestyle on the water, it only made sense to get another board so each of us could paddle on our own.

We could have easily gone for a ridged fiberglass board but we love, love, love our inflatable SUP.  We can stow it in a locker and get it completely out of the way while we sail.  Plus, if we want to load them up in the dinghy and take them to a certain area to paddle, its super simple.   By far, the biggest advantage is we don’t have to worry about bashing our boards, or damaging our boat when we’re moving boards around. We have gotten so used to the flexibility and portability of these iSUP’s, we couldn’t imagine having anything else on our sailboat.

sailing abacos

Washing The boat

It seems a little ridiculous to have to wash sea water off a sailboat but that is exactly the case.  We still have gunk leftover from being in service mixed with newly accumulated bug guts being burned into the decks with the salt crystals.  We’ve been warned not to let the salt sit on the boat for too long, especially in the sun as it wears down the life of our fiberglass.  So, we’re trying to be good to our gal Curiosity and keep her in tip top shape.

sailboat maintenance

It’s mind blowing how much salt builds up.  I can run my finger along the side of the boat and pick up a teaspoon full of course ground sea salt.  I am not sure if its edible but I really should find out.  Because if so, we have no need to ever buy salt again.

We’re still testing out products and soaking in all the recommendations of our fellow sailors but for now, here is what we’re using.  Please note that the cleaning products we use are labeled as biodegradable and that is incredibly important to us.  We don’t want to use products that are harmful to the environment or ourselves.

  • Magic erasers are amazing at removing stains without damaging anything in the process.  Best part is they don’t need anything more than a little water (and sometimes soap).  We found this multi-pack that was much cheaper than the stores: 
  • Boat Wash, seems like any other soap to me.  Nothing particularly special or magical here, just soap.  When we were in service we would use dish soap to help get the oils and grime off if the boat was really dirty.  We use the Maguire’s Boat Wash:
  • McLube HullKote was a recommendation that came through from a few of you in the comments and I have to say…Thanks!!!  So far I am loving it and its far less work than waxing with a buffer.  But that said, we’ve been told there’s no replacing elbow grease that comes with a good UV boat wax (we use the Maguries Wax).  Only time will tell how well this stuff really works:


Sailing Report

To see our full map with interactive pins, click here:

sailing bahamas mapNautical Miles Sailed: Moraine Cay to Allan’s Cay 7NM / Allan’s Cay to Powell Cay 13NM = Total 20 nautical miles
Dates: November 10 – 17, 2016

Gear Used In This Video

Cameras Used to Capture This Video:

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Want the recipe for those giant yummy chocolate chip oatmeal cookies?  Here you go: 

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Thanks for watching, reading and being a part of the journey!

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 (56)

  • Venice Scherer

    how did you bake your cookies?

  • Paula

    I went w/o a mixer for many many years – found for me it was easier to mix butter & sugar first w/ a fork and only switch to whip once I was adding the eggs etc. got so used to it – I still do this vs get out a mixer, plug it in etc – just faster to mix w/ fork unless I REALLY REALLY need it to be fluffy. Just had a chuckle to myself looking at that wisk full of butter! 😉 blast from my own past!

  • Michael Hesterberg

    And just a “side” to Lynn who was upset by somebody asking you about having kids, with the amount of views you have with your video’s, YOU ARE LIKE CELEBRITIES!! Lynn maybe doesn’t remember all the interest everyone had in Jennifer Aniston’s personal life after Brad and her’s split!! Everyone wants to live vicariously through a “beautiful” couple’s life! And what would be better than the pitter-patter of little feet on board? And why would you be so rattled by another person asking them anyway?

  • Michael Hesterberg

    Jason and Nikki, I have always wanted to live the kind of life you two seem to be living! I watched your multiple video’s of you with your three different large and expensive motor homes, and thought then “how are they financing these?” I never asked then because of course it’s nobody’s business. You buy brand new $250K motor homes straight from the factory! Now I see your video’s with your ultra expensive catamaran, and I’m jealous!!! I have to ask, how do you afford such awesome toys? Also, you live in the Keys? One of the most expensive paradise residences, right up there with Malibu Ca. Now I see you two sailing the world in a half million dollar catamaran! I kind of thought you had maybe rented it as a “bare-boat”, but now I don’t think so.
    Neither of you work! Jason had a photography business, but no more? Did you hit the Mega-Millions jackpot? I’m sorry for being so invasive–and you probably won’t answer me—but you can’t be more than 30 Y/O! I want what you have! How do you do it??? Share your secret please!

    • Curious Minion

      Michael Hesterberg There’s a whole section on the blog about ways to make money and travel, and they did work while in the RV and traveling. Now that they’re on the boat, freelance writing jobs are still possible, but photography jobs aren’t as easy to come by. Nikki & Jason work extremely hard on their video content, up to 60 hours a week filming and editing. They bring in enough income from videos and associated content to support their daily living expenses. In the video about buying the catamaran, they talk about how long they’d saved to buy the boat, and about making the lifestyle choices that let them save money (traveling full-time in an RV can be a *lot* cheaper than owning a house). They live full-time on the boat, no property in the Keys.

    • Michael,
      It’s difficult to believe that our 1 year trip has morphed into a business over these past 6+ years. You’ve asked some loaded questions and we’ve answered many of them in our FAQ page or our Make Money and Travel posts.
      Sadly we did not hit the Powerball Lottery, we’re not related to the Vegas Wynns and we don’t come from wealthy families. We’ve worked 110% to get what we have and we put a ton of blood, sweat and tears into our lives. If you keep watching you’ll begin to see how we live a Champagne lifestyle on a Beer Budget.

  • Tracey Holmes

    Hi Nikki

    Not sure if i have missed it yet but have been looking out for your Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies recipe, they look fab.

    • Curious Minion

      Chocolate chip recipe is coming soon!

  • Grace

    Super cute shoes you were wearing for your hike. Do you mind sharing the brand? Also loved your linen blouse.

  • Keven

    I just love to watch your videos
    I do have one question, what video editing program do you use?

  • Gayle maggi

    My husband has me addicted to your video adventures.. I must ask you about the shoes you were wearing in the Beaches, Bugs and Beauty video. Can you post band & style please?

  • Inday

    Hello Nikki,
    Do you guys have any plans to have a family (baby) someday? Just curious ?We’ve always watch your updates in you tube every time we have a chance. Stay safe ?

    • Lynn

      Wow, I don’t know why that would be any of your business. I am offended and the question wasn’t even directed to me. Get a life.

  • Regarding your Strange Fish Photo. It would be much easier to Identify if size was indicated and behavior also helps. But could it be a Fingered Dragonet ? Or a Scooter Benny, though I believe both of these tend to be smaller, around 6 inches or so.

  • I love your video’s. Great job.. I want to thank you for helping with the environment. It is so important to do so. I had a couple of questions? Now you are at sea are you cutting your own hair? And how are you doing being vegetarian and not close to land to get produce.? I also want to share a product that will clean your boat outside and inside for only pennies. I have used Basic H2 for 36 years from Shaklee. It is biodegradable in 24 hours and very concentrated. Jacques Cousteau used it on his boat so as not to pollute the ocean. I put my email and website below. If you have any questions please let me know and check it out. I have been watching since you were In the Rv. Thank you for sharing your recipes. We bought a RV in August. You have helped a lot with questions and ideas on camping. Thank you. Safe journey’s.

  • Cathy

    We see you cut Jason’s hair – but who does yours? It’s always perfect!!

  • Bill Williams

    I got chewed up by no-see-ums while at a fancy St Maarten seaside home (on the French side). It had beautiful marble floors and was previously occupied by Sandra Bullock during the filming of “Speed II”. But the no-see-ums in the sand and the lack of air conditioning turned what seemed like heaven into hell.

  • Ken and Ellen Barney

    WOW I sure love all the Drone shots what a great view point. We sure enjoy watching your videos especially now that it is 15 degrees here in Salt Lake City. We were wondering when you are going to start taking on extra help my wife and I are ready to come help out any time you would like for a week or two. We have power boated, all of our lives in fresh water lakes, RVed for the last 25 years and are all around very skilled . I’m a great mechanic/Plumber and she is a cosmetologist so Nikki could get a great color and cut so just let us know when you need a little help

  • Jane

    Your videos brighten my day. Keep them coming!

  • Kendall

    Great recap. Will fly over tomorrow at 37,000 ft on my way to Punta Cana, DR and honk my horn.

    Have fun guys!


  • I’ll let you in on a little secret.!? I lived on the coast for several years and worked there, the no-see’ums and mosquito’s were really bad and this really worked for me!!!! For both of them. Please keep on the low low!!!!! Seriously!!!!! Add Garlic to your daily meals or take a Garlic pill about every other day. Keep it fairly strong in your system, it will give you a little body odour but I could live with that, and quit wiping that poison on your skin!!!! You also can use Bounce Dryer Sheets, one under the hat and one in each pant leg!! And every boat owner I knew used Dawn dish detergent with the little duck on it and it’s cheap to all other Bio liquids!!!!

  • Venice Scherer

    Amazing! Not many people can clean the whole outside of their house in a few hours or a day. Good job! Amazing views and music! Love going on this journey with you! When I tell my family and friends about you, my kids tease me when I accidentally refer to you as my friends. LOL You don’t know me, but I feel like I know you both. 🙂 My facebook is Venice Longinetti-Scherer if you are ever interested.

  • Edith

    I find myself grinning the entire time I watch your videos. You do such a great job taking me along on your adventures and letting me peek into the day to day operations of owning a boat. And the music is so lovely.
    I’ve learned so much from you already. I’m embarrassed to say, I didn’t realize that boats had to be waxed!

  • Brian

    Another great video. Love watching your videos. What are you doing for Christmas?
    By the way
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

  • Burl Todd

    Love watching the videos and reading about you adventures. Your very fortunate to take the opportunity to experience the great outdoors. ❤

  • Michele Hook

    Nikki, have you thought about one of these for ice cream? ?
    Sea Maid Tow Behind Fresh Ice Cream Maker, Blue

  • Roger and Ann (we feel like you proud parents).

    So sorry you guys had to deal with the No-See-Ums….that really makes an awesome location a not so fun experience. On the bright side, love seeing the beautiful islands and the places that very few will ever see in their lifetime. Thanks for giving us a feel of Island Life.

    • Roger and Ann (we feel like you proud parents).

      Oops…meant to say, “we feel like YOUR proud parents!”


    I have to agree with Steampunksteve. There are people who will suggest “just get used to it,” but those bugs are living off micro organisms (and macr organisms- you), that even with small bites can create real health issues. Much as DEET has a bad rap, used with common sense, and careful avoidance of food surfaces, including hands, you may avoid far worse than the last minutes of the video.

    Good luck!

  • George Hofmann

    Another masterful production!!! So smooth. So detailed and complete. Great commentary and very personable.
    I have one question; after you wash the boat, is the purpose of waxing to make it slick and shiney or do you leave the wax on the surface to aid in UV abatement?
    To echo one comment above, using the drone is nothing short of professional.
    I hope the next comment isn’t an abuse of the relationship, I simply love you guys, your adventure and what you are made of.

  • David and Nancy

    Love watching your vedios, the over the head shots are great. Keep living your life to the fullest. Cheers from Norther Ontario Canada

  • Lovin’ the drone work. It really gives a great perspective. What unit are you using?
    Best wishes. Safe travels.

  • Doug VanderSys

    Thanks. Saw something new; Nikki’s don’t mess with me face. Beautiful shots. Also liked the drone shots without making the drone the star. Nice music selection, smooth fade an edits. A wonderful respite from a cold snowy day. Be well.

  • Jan

    I was at Penny Solar in Mesa Az. They were playing your vids about rv solar over and over.
    He said they tell people who are beginners to watch your vids then ask them questions.

  • mary

    Love to see all of the creatures of your environment! I’m guessing there are lobster in your freezer? 🙂

    The boat is sparkling. You worked your tails off! It looks great!

  • Nancy Fernandez

    Oh no, no see-ums. Drone videos are wonderful. Nice little walk across the island. After you finish scrubbing the boat you deserve some ice creme 🙂

  • Love it, Nikki and Jason! A trick I learned for noseeum bites that really works is to get a cup of boiling water, dip a Q-tip in it and put it on the bite. It stings for two seconds, then the itch is gone. Sounds like you had a LOT of bites, though!

    It’s fun to see you two grabbing life by the (lobster) tail! 🙂 May your spinnaker always be full!

  • Ebbie

    Ditto about the drone videos, love them!
    I like seeing the little details about making cookies… What kind of freezer is that?

  • Babylon Slim

    What fun. ? Thanks ? for the memories.
    Question – Do yous twos ever just sit around, read or gasp – watch TV?

    • Curious Minion

      Absolutely! But that doesn’t make for great video.

  • Roger

    Wow! Love the drone videos. Keep them coming.

  • Pam McClure

    The camera work and editing are truly wonderful. No-see-Ums suck…more than just blood. Question: snakes on these islands? I’m a snake weenie. Thanks for the videos! Pam

  • Steampunksteve

    There’s a product that I swear by to keep the bugs away. I’ve camped next to a swamp in prime mosquito, black fly, deer fly and no see em season and never got bit.
    Sawyer’s Time Release DEET. It’s waterproof and lasts all day. I know the guy that invented it and he filled me in on the details.
    Most Deet products use alcohol are a carrying agent. This allows fast absorption which means some gets into your blood. This is why Deet has a bad rep.
    The time release Deet has no alcohol and uses a lotion. The Deet is micro encapsulated and as your skin breaks down the protein bubbles the Deet iis released. None goes deeper than three layers of skin, which you shed within a few days.

  • Perry

    I had asked in an earlier post if you would share your insurance carrier. I really trust and have respect for the integrity of products and services you recommend because I know you have thoroughly researched them. Please send me an email if you are not comfortable posting the answer. Thanks for sharing your travels.

  • John Puccetti

    Can I be removed from email list please?

  • Dawn

    2 questions….1. is that a drone you are using for the panoramic views? and are you afraid someone might take the boat as you go exploring? just curious if that is an issue. thanks!!

  • Hi U 2,,,just watched your last uplink,,,,I Think you need an intro music,,,So, this week end I was at t house concert at a friends house,,,meet up with a friend of mine, Mike Nash, and ,,,welllll check out a song Mike wrote…
    Hope ya like it,,,


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