miami by sailboat

Miami by Sailboat – Big Brews and Smooth Coffee

Sailing into Miami the water was so still the reflection of the clouds gave us the feeling we were floating in the sky.  Who knew the ocean could be so glassy.

sailing on flat water

miami by sailboat

miami by sailboat

I have always thought of Miami as Dallas with an ocean.  I’ve spent a fair amount of time in Miami and lived in Dallas for almost ten years.  To me, both cities have a similar feel, especially because everyone seems to have this urge to impress (or out-do) one another.  Fancy cars, expensive clothes, big soirees, body parts plumped-up with plastic.  They both resemble their TV-drama selves; Miami Vice vs. Dallas, now that would be a showdown.  It’s the soap opera style drama that makes the people watching in both cites some of the best around.

That need to impress extends beyond just looks.  It creates some incredibly fantastic neighborhoods filled with odd art galleries, curated boutiques and cafes with menu items I can’t pronounce.  My inner glam girl and foodie rejoices at the sights while the rest of me tries not to break anything.

Of course, there is a lot of sub culture and underground society to be discovered here too, but we only had one day.  So, we focused on the important things like stocking up on craft coffee and brews.

I like the energy and creativity of the big city, but there was something extra surreal about hopping in our dinghy at the end of the day.  Twenty minutes later we’re back bobbing around with the sound of the wind whipping our lines and the water lapping at our hulls.  It’s like living on two different planets at the same time.

cruising south florida

sunrise in Miami

miami by sailboat

sailing south florida

If you are wondering about our new friend Steve…well, he is an interesting character.  He is big time into sneakers (as in athletic shoes), travel and sailing.  We’re hoping to see Steve again sailing around the Abacos…so we’ll make sure to give you a tour of his boat and introduce you to his awesome partner Brenda.

Into The Horizon We Go

I have never been so excited to disappear in my whole life.  We’ve driven down empty roads that felt never ending and stood at the top of mountains that seemed to reach the sky. Yet, I know we are about to reach a new level of feeling infinitely tiny as we disappear into the horizon.

We’ve got a couple of weeks in Ft. Lauderdale to take care of a few projects on Curiosity, provision (see how much ice cream my freezer will hold) and wait on a weather window to cross the Gulf Stream.  We’ve talked to a lot of different boaters about sailing to the Bahamas and one piece of advice has been a standard among them all.  Do not cross with any northerly winds stronger than 10 knots.

The Gulf Stream is like a river within the Atlantic ocean that is 45 miles wide and flowing north at about 2-4 knots. If there is a strong wind out of the north, blowing against the current, it can make for extremely nasty and dangerous conditions. We’re just starting to get a little layer of salt on us…we don’t want to put ourselves in any situations that might wash it off. So, we’ll heed the warnings and wait for a good weather window.

learning to sail in six months

Sailing Report

sailing and cruising in miamiIf you click on the map it will take you to our map page where you can view, scroll, zoom and click.

Weather: Low 90’s
Anchorage: Near Dinner Key
Nautical Miles Sailed: 52 (Rodriguez Key to Elliot Key to Dinner Key)
Date: September 19 – 23, 2016

Gear Used

Insulated Grocery Tote:
Waterproof Handbag: 
Dinghy Cable Lock:


Craft Brews:  MIA Brewing
Fresh Roasted:  Panther coffee
Local Hole In The Wall:  Flanagan’s

Cameras used to film 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 (59)

  • Looking good guys. Exciting times. Keep inspiring people. Fair winds and be safe.

  • Barbara Curtis

    We’ve been following you guys for a couple of years now. We found you when we were researching our own move from bricks and sticks to full-time rv life. We have been in an rv full-time now for almost 2 years with our two young children, dog and cat with us. We’re excited for you guys heading off into the sunset… literally!

  • Nathanael

    Thank you, nice read.

  • William Wallace

    NIKKI; Have you ever considered writing a cook book for RV and SV users??? Small kitchens with limited equipment has got to be a special challenge for a lot of people. I’ll bet you could pull it off in all your spare time…(sorry, just a little west Texas humor there).

    • Peter Naylor

      Hello Nikki and Jason
      Some how I discovered your site last night while I googled ” Cruising the Bahamas”. I was mesmerized for hours and watched most all of your sailing videos starting with the purchase. I finally called it quits at 3am….and resumed watching this morning. You both did a great job and I learned a lot as I am also interested in cruising. Your St Augustine crewing offer was such a reality check as I had seen the “Indigo” for sale and sale pending last spring. That was an eye opener as to the complications of a vessel in poor condition and sailing on a vessel with inadequate preparation. Good decision to call Sea Tow and find another instructor! Even though you had to make some modifications and improvements to “Curiosity” it sounds like it was a smart investment. Ever since my wife, dog and I cruised the Abacos for a month in 2015 in our 32 Express criuser, then we chartered a Lagoon 421 in the BVI last June Bareboat ( I was the Crapton) and returned to the Abacos this summer, I have been smitten with the dreams of sail cruising. I’m working on it even harder after watching your vids. Ps RVing was our previous passion. To give back for all your shared informational experience I offer this:
      Put your rod in the holder so the reel is on top of the rod, Set your drag to 6-8 lbs ( use your luggage scale). Do not slow down when you have a fish on ….just reel in. The fish got off because the drag was too loose. They bit a swimming fish then spit it out when it tasted like plastic (sea trash). With more drag the hook will set before the fish figure out they ate plastic. Port St Lucie does not have a port. In Stuart, the St. Lucie inlet is dangerous when there is a strong East wind and an out going tide. Jupiter Inlet is actually more challenging as there are many shoals east of the inlet. Deaths annualy occur from boaters changing their minds and reversing their course in the middle of the inlet. We lived there almost 40 years before moving to St Pete. As you mentioned in your vid (Indiago-St Augustine)”checking conditions” before you go is imperative. Raymarine has a menu for adjusting/modifying the keel-depth offset. You have to dig for it …its pre iphone! I’m in love with you both…..Happy Sails

  • jmmy rogers

    you two make it look like so much fun , am looking forward to your video posts of the crossing , and what the two of you get into , god speed ,lots of wind ,

  • Rick & Brock in WA

    Hi you two!
    Quick question…right about the 51 second mark a guitar riff kicks in….what song is that? Love the guitar…oh..and your videos!! Safe travels! Brock and I are off RVing in your footsteps next year.

  • Bob McGuire

    Hi, I have read all of your posts on the new Leopard 43 but I do not see anywhere a listing of your at-sea emergency equipment/communications. Do you have an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon or EPIRB on board? Maybe a SPOT device? Radio Communications?

  • Tim Smith

    There is a spot between Miami and the Bahamas they call the “Cross Roads”. We were on patrol there one night back in ’85 (USCG) and the sea was glass smooth and there was a new moon. I came up on deck off watch after midnight one evening, we were running darken ship without running lights, and I happen to catch about four or five cruise ships all coming thru this area, going in different directions. The scene was beautiful with all the ships lights reflecting off the water. We were almost in the middle of this area so everywhere you looked there were these lit up ships. Have a safe trip and soak up the scenery, every day will be new & different.

  • Looks exciting. What is the camera set up you use for the walking selfie part of your videos? Happy Sails.

  • That all looked like So Much Fun! Safe travels and fair seas… looking forward to seeing your next video!

  • A very clean ocean on Miami. That looks gorgeous and must be great things to fishing whole day while enjoying the sunlight. Awesome photos and i love it

  • Jim S.

    Have followed you two from day one in the RVing world. Really never thought I would be interested once you moved over to the water. But now I find myself also picking up few other sailing channels to see what it is all about. Actually much more than I expected, as far as type of sailboat, cost of upkeep and updating. Learned a lot over the last year.

    One question…What happens to your gray water waste? (while your at sea). I’m assuming you have the composting black taken care of.

      • This actually touches on something I’ve been curious about. We are current RVers in the US and I was very intrigued by your post about composting toilets from your RV days. I know, a funny thing to be intrigued by, but I can see how a composting toilet could possibly extend our boondocking capabilities.

        So, first question, how do you plan to dispose of the used peat from the composing toilets while traveling by boat?

        Second, when using a composting toilet in an RV, how frequently did you have to empty the “liquid” container and what did you do with it when boondocking? Can you just dig a hole and bury the liquid?

        Third, have you found that the composting toilets are as useful on a boat as they are on an RV? Given that you can empty your black tanks while at sea and trash disposal (i.e., peat disposal) may be limited, is it still worth it?

        I apologize for asking only toilet questions. I love what you guys are doing and have genuinely enjoyed following your transition to the cruising life. Cheers!

  • Ellen Darby

    You guys are so awesome — always exciting to see another email/video has arrived!!! Thanks for sharing all of the beauty and adventure! And . . . totally off track: Nikki, how on earth does you hair always (unless it’s wet) look like you just walked out of a beauty salon? Amazing! 🙂

  • George Procyshyn

    Hey guys, In going thru a bookshelf, I found an original mfg. brochure for your boat. If you don’t have one already and you have a P.O. box somewhere, let me know and I’d be glad to send it to you. I had picked up quite a collection of cat brochures from my boat show haunting days.

  • judith mader

    so nice to hear from you all again. This is the first email I have gotten for years.
    Will look forward to being in touch once again.

  • Nancy Fernandez

    Another beautiful video. Such a joy to watch you two. Looks like your posts are around 4 weeks behind. You must be in the Bahamas by now.

  • Jason

    Really nice website and blog! Heard of you via the “RV Navigators” podcast. I sailed a bit around Biscayne Bay and Elliott Key in my youth. What fun, glassy ocean was awesome! Best wishes on all your journeys!

  • I think it’s pretty great you are moving along in your goals and taking the next step. Good for you. I’m thoroughly enjoying your videos and learning a bit about what it takes to make the transit to sailors.

  • Nancy Dana

    Holy Smokes that photography is truly breathtaking! Thanks! So happy for you to be heading off soon. (My guess is that you are on your way now-ish, and may already be in the Bahamas by the time you read this.) I am spending all of November in the Abacos, so I hope we cross paths! I have some locals that I want to make sure you meet!

  • Y’all, I love this video and the accompanying photos! It’s astonishing how far you’ve come in six months. It just goes to show what can be done when people are determined. I’m next!

  • I didn’t see any running lights on the dinghy. I thought that was required to run at night?

  • Steve

    When you finally make it to the Bahamas, slow yourselves way down. Do not set too many goals and schedules. Take all the time it takes to rediscover your true selves(reconnect with your souls( while in paradise.

  • Brian

    Amazing, Fantastic, Love your adventures. Thanks

  • Ray & Jeanie Jordan

    Ray and Jeanie, still here in Inverness FL. was watching your sailing video and you were having a problem with your dive mask fogging over. While it may seem a little gross, it will work, when your mask is dry, spit in it and rub it around, bingo, no more fog ! Thank you for taking off that darn clicker when you are reeling in a fish, it’s to let YOU know that YOU have a fish, so there is no need to let everyone else know ! LOL We really enjoy following your adventures. As you know we also love to travel like you guys and were lucky to be able to retire at 55 and for the next 13 years do 17 countries in Europe, Costa Rica, RV’ed every state in the U. S. many times (including) Alaska), and much of Canada. One of our favorite places (being a sailor at heart) was the Bay of Fundy (highest tides in the world). We love your spirit of life, and if you want it to be great,Travel, it’s go big or go home. We started in a 40′ Allegro Bus and a Harley Road-King, then like you guys we added a Smart Car. Then bought a CT 54′ Ketch motor-yacht and sailed the Bahamas, I was stationed on Eleuthera in 1963 (Navy Seabees) and 40 years later sailed back. WOW ! The last few years we ended up with a 45′ MCI Bus conversion with 2 slides. We enjoy staying in touch with the many folks we met along the way, remember Jamul, Ca. an RV park off the beaten path where we met you guys ? Looking forward to many more videos ahead from “The Wynns”… Nikki, if you start to have thoughts of making Jason walk the plank, just remember, he’s the “Captain”, but you are the “Admiral” that promoted him to that position. It’s a hard job, but someone has to do it ! Wishing you fair winds and calm seas…

  • Those skies are some of the most heavenly I’ve seen on any blog! Wowzers, I say!

  • Looking forward to seeing your video experience of the Exuma Islands….especially Staniel Cay. Say hello to David (Watermakers) from Scott and Bre….we miss James Bond’s underwater cave….and all things Exumas ….but mostly the wonderful natives of Staniel Cay.


  • Anne

    Awesome video – neat music !

  • Frans Vanleeuwen

    How exciting your first crossing outside of land view! Bahamas sounds like the perfect short distance to traverse the gulf stream. With huge mainsail and two diesels back up, your covered.
    Safe travels Wynns love your videos and vlogs?
    All the best.

  • Randy Pickelmann

    Actually, I would amend the advise given for crossing the Gulf Stream. Don’t go when there is ANY north component in the forecast. Also, go in November or you will likely have to wait for the fronts to die down. The last several years people who waited until after the holidays have had to wait for a long time…sometimes months! Two years ago we didn’t go until mid-March.

  • mary

    When are you actually leaving for the Bahamas? I remember something about being out of the US on the 25th so you may be on your way. Glad you got to enjoy a little more fun before heading across the ocean.

    Loved the music in the video!

  • Sam Walker

    Anne and I are excited for you guys. We can hardly wait to see what you do next. Fair winds…….

  • Kristina Radel

    I am so incredibly excited for you guys! Off and away! Good job for sticking with it! Seriously, can’t wait to see how it goes.

  • Avighna

    Cool as usual. Please tell us the song name(s) in the vid? Thanks

  • Andrea Rojas

    Dear Nikki & Jason,

    As South Florida natives, we’re so excited to have you in our very own backyard (Miami/Ft. Lauderdale)! My husband and I have been following your story for the past year or so. We’re in admiration of your courage, boldness and determination; And look forward to following in your footsteps as fulltime RVers within the next year or so. And then… who knows…as fishing and boating enthusiasts, maybe we’ll take it to sea as well! We’ve learned so much by watching your journey and can’t wait to start ours.

    Keep up the great work! ??⚓

    P.s. If you’re ever in the Grove again, check out You’ll love it!

  • You make such nice videos. Great pictures too. I love all the colors in the clouds. Have a great time in the Bahamas.

  • David

    Hello, loved your latest video. Particularly liked the ending sequence where you ramped up the excitement for your future Bahama adventures and reflected on the fact that you are no longer sailing beginners. I guess this means you have graduated from beginners to cruisers. Congratulations on that. (Is this a justification for more beer?)
    I saw your tweet about experiencing an Iridium Go. I don’t know if this means that you have bought one or if it means that you just tried one out, but I thought I would mention, in case you don’t know, that the satellite communications industry is on the verge of a revolution. As a consequence of this I would strongly recommend that you keep an eye on new technologies and capabilities that should emerge over the next five years or so. Firstly, Iridium themselves are due to launch a new constellation of satellites over the next couple of years named Iridium Next. This will enable Iridium to offer it’s customers more bandwidth than currently, obviously leading to more services becoming available. Beyond that, companies such as Oneweb are planning over the next five years, to establish a global satellite based broadband internet infrastructure. The net effect of these changes and many others – if you keep pace with them and assuming they happen as expected – will mean that you will go from sending tweets today to being able to upload and download HD video from anywhere on Earth by early in the next decade. You could also make videos testing and comparing the various new devices and services as they emerge. For more information on Iridium Next and Oneweb see and
    Been having a look at the weather models over the past few days and it looks like you’ve got quite a lot more waiting to do for a weather window for the Gulf Stream crossing. I think you’ll just have to hope that the delay will make the eventual arrival in the Bahamas even sweeter than it would be today.

  • Nikki Newman

    As I watched this video, the thought going through my mind was, “Wow. The transition from RV’ers to Sailors has been accomplished very quickly.” You guys are really fast learners. While you don’t make any claims to being “old salts” yet, the change in your confidence level is obvious, and your new level of seamanship comes through. Putting your selves out there during the learning process must surely give inspiration to others who want to do the same thing. Learning in the public eye, is an unnerving process, but you’ve done it with class. Thank you taking us along.

  • Marivic

    Another cool video, thank you! Love all the pictures, they are stunning! Thank you for letting me live vicariously through you! Wishing you all the blessings in your upcoming adventure to the Bahamas! I’m so excited for you both!

  • Roger

    Oh I hope you stocked up with more beer than that while you were in in Lauderdale! The local choices in the Bahamas are bleak, at least for gastronomes such as yourselves! (although they do go down easy on the beach…)


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