harvesting coconuts on a sailboat in french polynesia

Lost Our Mainsail, But Landed in Coco Paradise

I woke up at five am sharp with a smile on my face and a new destination in mind…but serendipity had other plans.

We were setting sail for The Bay of Virgins, or Baie des Viergens in French.  It’s the northernmost bay on the west coast of Fatu Hiva and rumored to be the most dramatic of all The Marquesas.  I was looking forward to a nice sail and being out on the open ocean again.  I say that like we were anchored here for ages.  It was only ten days.

Even Jason was stoked to stretch his sea legs so soon after the passage…surprising since it’s an upwind beat.   But day sails are his jam: get up early, spend the day on the water and be anchored just in time for a sundowner.  Sailor’s perfection if you ask him.

But we were both in for a rather abrupt change to our planned course.

And that my salty friends, is what I call serendipity!

Our traveler originally busted during our Pacific passage.  We jury rigged spectra to what bits were left to hold it together until we reached civilization.  It was working well, and we knew it wasn’t going to last forever…but thought it would hold out through the Bay of Virgins.  Because without the boom being secured by the traveler, we can’t fly our mainsail.

So, I was super bummed when it busted, because it busted my plans too.  But, instead of the dramatic peaks of Fatu Hiva, we ended up in a beautiful anchorage with old friends (Thank You s/v Holiday!) who just so happen to have the exact part we need.  What are the odds!  Damn, if only all our mishaps had this kind of ending!

jason wynn trimming genoa on sailboat

broken traveler car on a sailboat

broken traveler car on a sailboat

nikki wynn sipping coffee while sailing the marquesas

MacGyver or MacGruber?

In case you don’t know by now, we (because I’m equally to blame most of the time) are not particularly mechanical by nature.  We’ve always managed to get the job done but let me tell you, it takes a lot of skill to cram a one-hour job into eight.  Don’t believe me?  Just check out our first composting toilet install or that time Jason swapped out the sink faucet.  We’ve come a long way since then and sailing/boat ownership has been an accelerated course in jury rigging.

Some days we get to hold our chisel and hammer high.  Other times, we just want to hide the tools, so nobody thinks we’re responsible for the job.

My point is, you don’t have to be MacGyver to travel about the world.  We learn as we go and each crappy, cursing, dream busting broken bit is a learning experience.  And sometimes a blessing in disguise.  It’s all part of the adventure.

Just like the old saying goes: When life hands you limes and coconuts, make cocktails!  Ok, maybe it’s something about lemons and lemonade, but this is the island version.

hand picked wild limes on a south pacific island

jason wynn climbing up coconut tree to pick coconuts

Stand up paddle boarding to a coconut paradise

using machete to hack into coconuts on a sailboat

Awesome Tunes for Vids:

Sailing Report

  • Dates: May 30 – June 1, 2018
  • Nautical Miles Sailed: 18
  • Island: Tahuata, Marquesas, French Polynesia
  • Anchorage: Baie Hanamoenoa

Gear Used In This Video

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 (27)

  • donnie pepper

    I just discovered you guys and I think I am hooked … looking forward to the adventures

  • Cherrie

    I look forward to your adventures each week! Thanks for sharing with us! Where can I find the portable padded chairs you use on rhw deck of the boat?

  • Bobbys Gal

    Nikki- do you need a macaroon recipe? fresh coconut, YUM!

  • Tripp

    I love your Helm IPad mount, but the listed Amazon link is broken? Could you please share the correct link for this item? The IPad has really changed our sailing, but we’ve struggled to find a good mount for one in the cockpit. Thanks!!

    • Curious Minion

      Hmmm, it may have been discontinued. Working on finding it.

    • Curious Minion

      Hey Tripp. The link has been updated in the post but I’ll also paste it here. Thanks for letting us know!

  • Jenny

    After living 17 years in Hawaii I can safely say that one of my favorite fruits are passion fruit!! I put it in orange juice or almost any juice …on ice cream and it’s really good on a papaya…and by the way…the more wrinkled it is, the sweeter it is. I love the tart flavor but some don’t , so let it prune up. It keeps forever so find some by the road side and enjoy. I’ve followed you for years and loved every minute.

  • Anita

    That area looks so beautiful and the two of you are the best make Lemonade out of Lemons people I have ever seen. I also think you have amazing karma which proved it with your friends boat being so close by. Do you get any big storms there? Maybe it’s not the season. Whenever it is, hope you are safely anchored somewhere else.


    I’ve followed you since your beginning RV days. I’m not a sailor but really enjoy all your adventures. Be Safe & Be Well JOHN

  • Alan Solomon

    Hey guys. It seems like its been more than a week. I missed you. Nice to see your stress-free, fresh, smiling faces. Great job tree shimmying Jason. For a second, I thought Singa was going to lap some coffee. Great video.
    For the unknown ahead.
    Safe, Kind Regards,

  • Keith Rowell

    You 2 put a lot of information. Witch is good.spend a bit of time on your lab top. Thanks for all the info. Safe travels.

  • Deborah Kerr

    This is the most beautiful place yet!! Fresh limes & coconut, oh my that drink!!!! That blue water, white sands, green fog-tinted mountains – not too many people – paradise!!

  • John Adams

    Love following your videos,Never thought about traveling like that,But learning alot,


    I was just settling in and really enjoying your motorhome escapades on land when all of a sudden you decided to grow sea legs and set sail. I truly enjoy your sailing excursions, and you’ve practically sailed all over the world (at least the safer regions) so was wondering if you had any plans to return someday to solid ground and revive your motorhome trips?

  • Allan Kirch

    You don’t need to apologize for your repair skills. You two make some first rate temporary repairs!

  • Ralph and Melissa Tackett

    Wow! We love following you on your adventure. No doubt that there is much work involved, but your smiling faces and good nature show so much fun. We wish we could do something like you, but will just have to be content living the beauty and fun vicariously through you. Happy sails and much happiness to both of you. Stay safe.

  • Roger B

    The best feature of your video, besides clinging to that palm tree, was friends you have helping friends and easing your tensions of needing a part for your mainsail.

  • Mary

    You sure shimmied up that tree! I’m glad it was a fruitful event!

    How was the cocktail you whipped up Nikki? It sounded pretty yummy!

  • Ellen Matthewson

    As always I love the reports you send about your travels. Climbing the coconut palm was quite a feat, Jason! I love that you found all those limes too. It just is fabulous the way you have learned sailing from the ground up, or perhaps from the water line up. Keep following your dreams!

  • Richard Savage

    Jason – better check the local laws. In many countries you would now be legally married to that coconut tree.

    But seriously that was some awesome footage. The skill and effort you are putting into the editing looks so worth it from my end. When you get parts for the traveler, will you stock a spare right away? Or is there an improved/more reliable version available now?

  • Bernard Schaer

    Thanks for sharing guys!!

  • MJ

    It’s way more important to have an agile mind that CAN MacGyver! You (we) simply can’t carry an extra of everything bc that would look a lot like another boat! Haha. Good job.

  • Lisa

    Awesome!! Loved it! Thankz so much for sharing your adventures… it’s so much fun to keep up with you!

  • Richard Fenters

    Have been watching your videos for years. So happy for you guys as you are living your dreams! Thanks for sharing so I can live vicariously thru you and I look forward to your next share! Bonne Chance!!

  • Bert Mac

    Hey guys! Love your vids! I live in Western Australia and in our state alone, since, 2000 we`ve had sixteen plus, fatal and fifty plus non fatal shark attacks. What gives me comfort, is the knowledge that , worldwide, more people are killed by falling coco nuts than sharks, each year. I tell myself this everytime I get in the water! But I still do get in the water!
    Watch out for those coco nuts xxx

  • Loving watching your travels! I was dubious when hubbie wanted to watch, but it is now our regular Sunday evening watch. Keep safe and be happy.


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