boat life and endless repairs with jason wynn

Yin & Yang Boat Life – Epic Encounters & Endless Repairs

There is a yin to every yang and never have we felt that more than in boat life.  The reality of this lifestyle is far more complex than these postcards we send.

I find the ancient Chinese philosophy of yin and yang to be poetically on point.  It’s the idea of how seemingly opposite, or contrary, forces attract and compliment each other.  Light and dark, shade and sun, rest and movement, male and female.  Neither is superior to the other.  An increase in one brings a corresponding decrease in the other.  A balance between the two must be struck in order to achieve harmony.

In other words, we don’t get to revel in the joys of living on the water without the sweat and cursing that comes along with maintaining our vessel. One doesn’t exist without the other.

From beautiful moments and epic encounters in the underwater world to endless repairs brought on by the salty environment we love so much.  It feels like a battle of extremes some days and it can be a challenge to find the balance.

Like all older boats, our Curiosity requires a lot of maintenance and a steady stream of replacement parts.  Add in our inexperience and a remote location to the mix and the whole experience shifts to from physical to mental.  We have to consistently fine tune our attitudes and learn to take it in stride.  Some days, a good beer really helps. 😉

Too much work and not enough play or vice versa leads to an imbalance that can cause disaster.

We all experience this yin and yang in life. Of all the various lifestyles we’ve had the great fortune to experience, sailing around the world has the most dramatic highs and lows.  But, it’s like Brian said in the movie Vanilla Sky,

‘Without the bitter, baby, the sweet ain’t as sweet.’

While swelling batteries, rusted engine parts and broken water pumps may be bitter, nothing is sweeter than a Manta Ray!


Our first Manta Ray

We’ve been reading up on these gentle giants ever since we arrived in French Polynesia.  So, we were just a tad bit excited to finally meet them!

Mantas are close relatives of all sharks and rays.  There isn’t a mean bone in their body and not just because they are cartilaginous either.  They are known to be very self-aware and curious.  Like dolphins but even smarter!

They are the ultimate perpetual travelers.  They must keep water flowing over their gills to breath which means they literally can’t stop moving.  Their movements are tuned to the ebb and flow of the ocean currents that bring the planktonic food they depend on.

While our friend Alfredi doesn’t really have an instagram, I like to think it might look something like this.  (Of course I would be in his photos because we’re BFF’s now)

if manta rays had instagram social profiles

swimming with manta rays bora bora

swimming with manta rays bora bora

Some Mantas travel all throughout the tropical and sub-tropical oceans but these Alfredi Manta Rays call this lagoon home.  One local dive master told us there used to be a huge group of them living here in Bora Bora but all the building construction and influx of tourism has run them off.

We don’t know what has really caused the population to dwindle, but we did come across this incredible organization called Manta Trust.  It’s where we learned about the different types of Mantas, guidelines for swimming with them and the very serious threats they face.  We had no idea they were in such peril.

“Manta and devil rays remain some of the most threatened fish in our seas. Though great steps have been taken to enhance protection for them over the last decade, tens of thousands are still being killed as bycatch in high seas fisheries, and the habitats on which they depend are threatened by development, pollution and the effects of climate change.”

It’s a nonprofit that is doing inspiring work and we appreciate the education and awareness we now have thanks to them.  They have beautiful videos and its worth clicking over if you have any interest in these big beautiful creatures.  Check them out at



Sharing our lives and what we learn along the way is possible because of viewers like you.  If you like what you see, there are lots of FREE ways you can show your support.  Thank you for being a part of the journey.




Snorkle / Freedive Gear

🎶AWESOME tunes:

  • Source:
    • Artists: Giants and Pilgrims (Intro Music)
  • Main Artist: Broke For Free



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

sailing bora bora adventure map

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

  • Anchorage:  Motu Toopua
  • Date:  December 2018

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 (35)

  • Pam McClure

    Oh my that was a glorious underwater adventure. Thank you.

  • Jim S.

    My take on why mechanical issues are multiplied on the water is the metal, rubber seals and salt water don’t mix. With the RV’s you had far more options to get a part, or have it serviced, but on the open water it’s just you and the problem. It’s almost a good idea once back in the states to purchase back up pumps, starters, solenoids, filters, switches, relays or other items that are prone to fail. A few more fixes Jason will be a certified water craft bush mechanic. I’ll stick with my inflatable kayak….

  • Judy Goodson

    Seeing your frustration made me feel better about my flooded and ruined living room rug and ruination of our kitchen flooring due to leaking from the ice maker in our fridge. It just confirms Murphy’s Law, but this too shall pass and you’ll soon be on to more adventures, I’m sure.

  • Anita

    Wonderful video. I honestly like watching your repairs as much as the fish. My husband is a handyman and I’ve learned so much from watching him. Made me laugh to see Nikki clean the starter. My husband thinks everything can be solved by a good cleaning, which is usually my job. But to make you feel better, houses take just as much work. Something breaks every day. True Home Depot is around the corner, but we don’t get to swim with the fishes in the morning. Safe and happy no repair days to you both.

  • Mary Vsn

    It is a good thing you live in a time where information is so easy to get. (I guess you have to have internet close by). You both amaze me! You have learned so much in such in short amount of time! Life experiences, you are living it all even in the middle of paradise there are frustrations. Good to be positive about problems, it makes them a little easier to deal with!

    Beautiful video! Miss you so much! ❤️❤️

  • Yvan

    Love the underwater shots (as usual). And the various blues of the water and the greys of the upcoming storm! Incredible. Thanks for sharing.

  • Jeff F

    Jason, for God’s sake drink that beer… deserved it. Even though it was a bad day, you are still in Bora Bora and what a great storm to watch. Do you guys have A/C in the boat? Where did you get the American beer?

    • Curious Minion

      The AC on the boat died just as the got to FP and couldn’t be revived. They’re trying to decide whether to replace it or not because it’s a huge job. As for the beer, I will make a guess that Jason’s mom Mary brought some with her when she visited a few months ago. You’re allowed to bring small amounts with you and so she brings special treats that N&J horde for special occasions. Hope that helps!
      Curious Minion

      • Mary Van

        I guess I may have saved the day! 😉. Both the bourbon and the boat parts were very important.

        • Curious Minion

          I knew it! You are the bomb, Mom!

  • Lou & Gillian Harvey

    During the Ying Yang moments of fixing the water maker pump you had a pump housing issue. I recommend having on board a bottle of instant glue and baking soda. It can be used to repair many things, often completely. Recommended by many pump and valve companies as a field fix. This includes fiberglass, plastic, cast metal or even those cheap pot metal items. For a simple review with examples go to or search YouTube under Superglue Hacks. It can be used even in wet conditions, instantly as a simple repair. Good sailing. We are about to hit the road for the 2nd year escaping South Texas for cooler destinations, until fall.

    • Michael

      I was thinking the same thing. If the part is going to be junk anyway, then a permanent seal at least stops the water leaking out. Who knows how long it would last.

  • Gerd

    Pur lust for life. Class video, great woman, great man. buy the new leo 50 and it goes on without stress.

  • Nadya Miller

    AMAZING lightening shots at the end! I’m an ER nurse and I was working Saturday night, totally annoyed at being there, and then I got a notification of a new Gone with the Wynn’s video. Can’t tell you how much I look forward to your videos each week. I love supporting you guys!

  • Alan L Solomon

    That was an awesome video. The shots in the very beginning were so fresh and crisp and inviting. You guys must be loving it. I enjoyed the music too. Perfect fit for the scenery. Can you give me a hint on the artist? Jason really had a lot going on with the engine but, you both never fail to keep smiling. No schedules or commitments, no reason to frown. I like that lifestyle.
    The Ray’s were so cool. The cucumber was huuuge. The open ocean and colorful fish is really freeing. Wa waa on the GoPro…
    Even though your not an expert Jason, your amazing taking control of the engine, cranking and fixing it. Great lightning shots over the ocean. That would entertain me, like your videos entertain me. The Wynn household is smiling and having fun. You guys and the kitties are great.
    Thanks, Happy sailing…

    • Curious Minion

      Hey Alan! If you scroll to the very end of the blog post Nikki posts the artists there. 🙂
      Curious Minion

  • Keith Rowell

    Need to get a Hook sharpener. So you will not loos so maney fish..64 Ben fishing most of my life..

  • TheTumbleLees

    Great video of your snorkeling. We’re sorry to hear of so many equipment breakdowns. Hopefully, once more mechanics see this video you will get some good suggestions. My husband was trained as a mechanic decades ago – but only ever used his knowledge to work on our vehicles. Anyway, he said back in the day, you could have a starter rebuilt. Nicki did a great job but it will quit working again sometime in the future….so just be prepared. It needs more than just the cleaning. The rust will impact the electrical parts – electromagnets – so the bearings will go…..yada yada yada.
    You two are just so inspiring! But it’s sure a tough life – you handle it with such grace. So hopefully someone will come see you two soon from the states – get that starter on your wish list….

  • Doug Stansbury

    Don’t you wish that you could write down all your boat discrepancies in a logbook , pull into a marina, hand “the guy” the log and tell him that you’ll be back in X amount of time, and voila!, all is fixed?

    When you need something sent to you, ie. engine parts, new GoPro, etc. how do you arrange that? I don’t suppose Amazon Prime works on the high seas. Ever think about folks who did the same sort of adventure pre-Internet?

    Lastly, I always see other private looking boats in your anchorage environs. Are many of those the boats of world travelers such as yourselves? Local rentals? Charters? I’m sure it is a mix, but do you have a feel for the make up?


  • Bob S.

    I guess it’s better for things to break down when you’re anchored close to civilization than for it to happen in a gale on the high seas. There are more options and it’s safer. Too bad on the delivery issues. Here at home I see UPS and FedEx trucks on a daily basis. Hang in there.

  • David Burnett

    A particularly good video – thank you. We can certainly relate – there is always something to do on a boat, and the list is really never-ending.
    But I take comfort from an old guy I said hello to in a marina some years ago. We were cruising in, looking around, and he was on a house boat doing some painting. It was early morning, and dead still. As we glided past I just said “Good morning, there is always something to do on a boat isn’t there!” His response was “Yes, and that’s a good thing too!”

    I liked his attitude, and hope he goes on for many years to come. He’s right – it’s the challenges and ‘to do’s’ that in many ways keep us going. Keep going you two, and continue to make the most of life and all it has to offer.

    David – ‘Sharing Life’

  • Jeff

    I can feel your frustration. I am having problems with the starter on my used motorhome after putting new batteries in it still will not start. Keep your head up and do not let the problems drag your down.

  • mark

    lovin the hair….

  • Richard Fenters

    Thank you guys for sharing, as I’m living the sailors life vicariously through you! The islands you visit seem so small, speckled in the vast Pacific! Even doing your traveling full time, it’s rather sobering to think that you must be so careful to choose which islands you visit, as a human lifetime is terribly ephemeral. Keep pushing the boundaries as I , and many others , await to see your next adventures! 🙂

  • jim ege

    It is always great to see how you approach problems then jump in and move forward. I know it is extremely frustrating at times. Boats should be named “Frustration”. Hang in there and stay happy. Love tuning in each Sunday. Did you see Demi Lavatto who was vacationing on Bora Bora?

  • Roger B

    OK. Now I can hardly wait to see the new parts installed and every mechanical device functioning 100%. You two have such amazing positive attitudes and that is wonderful to experience while watching your videos. However, I also enjoy your great drone videos and the Manta rays are awesome.

  • Lance

    We live full-time in a 30’ Airstream and I’ve got a saying [copied from someone else], “If I don’t fix something today, it just means I’ll have two things to fix tomorrow.”

    My repair energies are with both of you. It’s so tough especially when you are miles from parts stores and knowledge.

    Great manta shots. When I was in Palau we got to see manta’s mating. Uber cool.

    Thanks for what you do and for taking us along with you.

  • Pat

    Great Job Jason fixing all that breaks….and you are lucky to have such a helpful sidekick to clean and be supportive. Your videos are super and I look forward to Sunday.

    • Ann

      I love the vids of things breaking and getting fixed – tempering the fabulous with the realistic 😁.

      Also, just want to say how much I appreciate that you’re making use of the opportunity to draw attention to our beloved earth and the things she needs us to do to help her and our fellow creatures be healthy. Thank you for that.

  • James N

    Love you guys spirit in dealing with boat problems. It helps to appreciate your situation when compared to the people who live in these remote area that make do with even less. Good job with the starter resuscitation. Take care.

  • Lynda

    I seem to have a takeaway from every one of your videos. First, the amazing mantas which I had never seen; and second, how to fix/clean a starter. Thanks for being the highlight of my Sunday morning!

  • Brian Cleveland

    Good job on the starter. I remember one of your early RV videos, something broke on the RV and Jason had to fix it. You mentioned at the time, he barely knew a screw driver from a wrench. I’d say you’ve both come a long ways in your mechanical skills since then.
    Has your boat ever been struck by lightening? I assume a sail boat with the tall mast makes for a great lightening rod. Thanks again, for sharing your adventures, I look forward to seeing them weekly.

  • Nancy

    Thank you again, for sharing the real side of things; it’s important for us who from-a-distance actually care about you. My ‘mom’ side occasionally worries about you two youngin’s out there. I’d like to help offset the cost of your new pump; email me and tell me how i can do that. You aren’t supposed to know everything before you start off on an adventure; none of us know everything about anything; life is uncertain after all; you two show how to live the dream anyway.

  • Mike Priaro

    Beautifully and creatively produced — at its best, the entertainment and informative value of your videos is off the charts! I have watched every one of your sailing videos.

    No doubt you know how to spot the difference between manta rays (harmless) and stingrays (potentially lethal).


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