Mission Panamania: Operation George Town to Great Inagua
I have typed and deleted at least a dozen different paragraphs trying to sum up everything that was packed into these five days. Sailing, making of new friends, adventures and misadventures, snorkeling, spearing, and all-around living of life. In one singular word, it’s cruising.
We’re on a voyage to sail from Florida to Panama but this slice of time is the heart of the journey. It’s the sweet cream filled center, the middle part of the adventure where we’re all in the groove and getting our stride for the second half.
If there is one place in the Bahamas you are guaranteed to find friendly cruisers, it’s George Town. I can’t say that it’s my favorite spot because that goes to Long Island or the Abaco’s but it’s certainly seems to be the hangout spot.
Last time we were here in George Town there were over 300 boats in the area. That may not sound like a lot, but it makes for a very packed anchorage…and a lot of cruiser shenanigans (aka fun).
Now it’s the off season and I would guess there are around 50 boats hanging out. Still a fair amount of fellow salts but wow, it made for a much less intimidating arrival. Not to mention our options for a place to drop the hook was dramatically increased.
Turns out the crew of s/v LaMo was in the hood! These guys run a blog called Chocolate and Marrow (a sailing food blog I recommend you check out) and I had been chatting with Brooke (the woman behind the blog) a bit over the past few months. It was such a pleasant surprise to see them in George Town and go spearfishing together! Now, if only we had remembered to get a photo of all of us and the crew of s/v LaMo. Doh!
Fire Coral = Ouch!
You may have noticed me point out my fire coral sting while we were spear fishing. Fire corals have a bright yellow-green and brown skeletal covering. It was my first encounter and wow, I fully understand where they came up with the name. It was a fiery sting that lasted for a couple of hours and an irritated rash that stuck around for almost 2 weeks!
The weird thing is, fire corals are not coral at all. It’s called a hydrozoans and is more closely related to jellyfish, Portuguese man-o-war and other stinging anemones. The creatures attach to rocks, coral, seaweed, or pilings and their potent stings are used to stun prey. Luckily, they have minimal toxicity so I didn’t have anything to worry about other than a little pain.
Jason’s Action Camera Thoughts
Now that we’ve bought both cameras I find myself reaching for our Sony the most. I do think it’s a better overall camera and now I’m kicking myself for not buying the 4k version. So, if you’re in the market for an action cam I say go for this one http://amzn.to/2vSmGdq We’ll dive in a little deeper when we do an updated video on our favorite camera gear but for now, here are a few points I noted from the underwater comparison.
- The Sony turns on and begins recording in 4 seconds, the GoPro is way slower at 7. It may sound silly but seconds count when you’re trying to capture action.
- Audio is 10x better on the GoPro while in the case. Outside the case both cameras are just OK, neither are good in wind. The Sony has a microphone input but the audio still tends to get distorted at high volumes (all our captain’s log at the helm are filmed with an external mic on the Sony Action Cam).
- The optical stabilizer in the Sony is superior to the digital stabilizer in the GoPro. It’s obvious in the ‘warpy’ look at 3:43 when we’re in the dinghy filming Curiosity. You can see how the GoPro footage floats all around and the Sony is solid. One thing I didn’t realize is the GoPro is NOT stabilized in 4k which is a serious bummer.
- The Sony offers more contrast and color but tends to Blow-Out in the whites. The GoPro has a warm tint and appears flat, which means you’ll want to spend some time post making the footage look good.
- Voice commands on the GoPro are cool and we do use them, I originally thought it’d be more of a gimmick.
Exercise on a Boat
We’re not big into traditional exercising. We much prefer to get our workout in while doing something fun like freediving, hiking, padding and so on. But, sometimes the water isn’t ideal for swimming, the wind and waves are too much for paddling or we simply can’t get to land. So, we need to do something to keep our bodies moving. We find yoga and suspension training are the two easiest things for us to do on the sailboat. The suspension system I was using in the video was gifted to us by Jason’s sister and is no longer made. But, if you are looking for a suspended pulley trainer, I would check this one out: http://amzn.to/2wG31Lj
Great Inagua & Morton Salt
Great Inagua turned out to be a far more interesting stop that we anticipated. The snorkeling is fantastic and the endless mounds of salt were something we had never seen up close. We didn’t bother checking into tours but they do offer them and had we been staying longer, we would have.
Salt production has been Inagua’s main industry since the 1940’s and the Morton Salt Company bought the facility in 1954. A million pounds of salt per year come from this small island. So, the next time you are shaking a little salt out you can wonder if it was first a part of our salt man.
To see our full map with interactive pins, click here: gonewiththewynns.com/map
Dates: July 21-25, 2017
Nautical Miles Sailed: 253
Anchorage: Monument Beach, Stocking Island. Man-o-War Bay North, Great Inagua. Anchorages can be found easily on Active Captain.
Cell & WiFi: Our BTC cell phone signal was great at both locations.
Gear Used In This Video
- All of our fave gear – gonewiththewynns.com/store
- Quatix 5 Watches: Garmin Wearables These are the new blue watches we have been wearing. We will share the full scoop on them soon because they are hands down our new fave piece of gear.
- Chartplotter: Garmin 7612xsv Multi-touch More on this soon too, we’re still learning and figuring it all out.
- iPad Mount at Helm: http://amzn.to/2fT84PG Using iPad Pro: http://amzn.to/2d9Oopf With These Sailing Apps:
- iNavx: http://bit.ly/2vGgC51
- Garmin Bluecharts with Active Captain: http://bit.ly/2tgnRmA
- Iridium Go and Predict Wind for weather and communications: bit.ly/PredictWindIridium
- Curiosity’s Underwater Lights: MIU15 in Ice Blue (Use discount code WYNNS for 7.5% off)
- Electric Cooking Device: gonewiththewynns.com/product/productdouble-up-skillet-and-oven
- Entertainment at Sea, Kindle and Prime Unlimited Reading: http://amzn.to/2mpGQ9K
- Hiking Flip Flops used to scale Monument Hill (best filps we’ve ever had): http://bit.ly/2uZs620
- Hammerhead Free-Dive Mask With Camera Mount http://amzn.to/2d5C6SB
- Hammerhead Free-Dive J Snorkel: http://amzn.to/2cjh3dV
- Nikki’s Sporasub Freediving Fins: http://amzn.to/2kIYmlf
- Atomic Mask: http://amzn.to/2uuqsZf
- Omer Snorkel: http://amzn.to/2uxCjEb
- Omer Freediving Fins: http://amzn.to/2kIhljK
- Hawaiian Sling Spear: http://amzn.to/2hIBfHb
- Cut Resistant Gloves: http://amzn.to/2uxZWfM
Cameras Used to Capture This Video
- Main Camera – Sony A7ii: http://bit.ly/a7rii-sony
- Sony Zoom Mic: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/product/sony-gun-zoom-microphone-black
- Sony 24 – 70mm f4 lens: http://bit.ly/2470-zeiss
- The Helm Camera – Sony Action Cam: http://bit.ly/sony-as300
- Go Pro 5: http://amzn.to/2unZpQp & Waterproof Gimbal: gonewiththewynns.com/product/feiyu-g5-gimbal
- Underwater filters (we used the filter for underwater shots at Great Inagua, it makes a huge difference): http://bit.ly/2hYgv22
- All of our photo and editing gear: gonewiththewynns.com/best-travel-camera-video-photography
Thanks for being a part of our journey! If you liked this and want to help us keep the videos and posts flowing, check out our Say Thanks page. It lists out some ways you can show us some digital love and most won’t cost you a penny.
Hey Guys and Gals,
Greetings from Beautiful Bluewaterland, SARNIA, ONTARIO. CANADA. Really enjoy following your adventures. I have binge watched you entire RV episodes the last few weeks and learned some great information with regards to the RV world. Great information and a lot cheaper than making costly stupid mistakes of my own! Be safe, happy and well and may the wind be with you. TTYL REGARDS JAMIE
Thank you for reading my message to you both. Pet Singa and Cloe for me and give them a treat. My cat, “Tabatha” jumps up on my computer desk every time she hears Singa. It’s almost as if they have ‘cat’ language together. ‘Tabby’ is kinda’ weird, she dosen’t like fish. Never had a cat that didn’t like fish but (not) all cats are grey in the dark, Thomas Jefferson.(sic) PS: what was George’s problem with your music selection? I am a musician, recording engineer and producer. One of my songs has recieved 46,587 vieu’s on Utube. It’s called, “Then and Now”. You can find it on Sina-Drums Utube site or more at my ReverbNation site: ‘Breathless, Music by James’. Remember to turn your sound up to hear every thing. But don’t play it after 9:00pm when moored next to other boats They may jump up and want to party!
I am Really enjoying watching your adventure. This truly is a nice clean dose of entertainment / life. Thank you for sharing the beautiful sights.
I previously lived in Bugaba / La Concepcion Panama and really miss the fresh fish markets! Fresh Ahi, sea bass, red snapper $2.50 lb … YUM Careful with the local water.
If you have a chance, try some of these fruits:
Rambutan, Mamoncillo and of coarse all the varieties of mango.
Enjoy enjoy enjoy.
Hi there, I’ve been watching you two from your start, so you become compassionate about people you like, its human nature. You are doing brilliantly with sailing, coping with whatever is thrown your way. I’m an Australian and so I follow La Vagabond. When they sailed through Panama and into the pacific, it was just the two of them, Riley was on helm through the evening when a large fast fishing boat with a few men on board approached their yacht, he had no idea why, he ran into main cabin to alert Elayna to hide, when he returned to helm he zig zagged yacht due to fear of these guys boarding them. Apparently they asked for food, not a strange request if your hungry, have run out of food etc etc. He threw them some tinned foods obviously under duress trying to mangage the yacht & concerns for their safety, eventually they departed. They still don’t know if food was there only intention to approach or something more sinister. I also warned Chase the story of this incident, they weren’t too far behind la Vagabond maybe three weeks between. They sent back a thank you message to me sitting in my house in Aussie saying there were fishing boats around, one they noticed from a distance, again around midnight, but they left lights on & had there crew visible on board, nothing more than this happened.. they are most likely men out fishing in genuine circumstances, but please just be aware of your surroundings in & around this country, you are one rich boat to them! Keep up the fun & great job on this voyage. Sorry if I have alarmed you, not intentional, but just a warning from what I’ve watched over the last season of yachting on YouTube. Be safe. Cheers from a compassionate Sailor..
Hi Guys, Among other things, I’m an electrical / electronic troubleshooter and I like to help sailors when I can so hear goes. Regarding the failure of you inverter, there are some issues that you would be wise to consider when you address the installation of the next one. First of all, inverters are don’t have a power plant behind them like on land. They are a pile of transistors and like any solid state device, they have three enemies. (1) Voltage spikes on the incoming line which are sometimes controlled in good designs. (2) Over load which should be controlled by protective devices like circuit breakers,etc. (3) Over heating, which seems to me to be often overlooked on boat installations.
When solid state devices get ratings applied to there operation, there are assumptions made about the operating conditions, like Maximum Ambient Operating Temp40°C. Above this, there is often a derating factor to apply such as “Decrease maximum load 5% per degree C above 40°C. So lets consider that 4C is 102°F. On a 90° day, with the sun beating down in the afternoon, how hot does it get in some enclosure where the inverter is churning out heat like no tomorrow (literally).
I can tell you that a stream of moving air across an aluminum heat sink can do wonders, but if you stuff that inverter in tight quarters and then pound on it all day, it better be rated about double what you what you are using.
Said another way, if you are going to draw 1000 watts (1 Kilowatt) then it shoud be rated for 2 KW during the heat of the day. I fyou need to run some big load, then try to shed some of the smaller ones while you do it.
When you do the replacement, read the manufacturers instructions regarding installation requirements and pay attention to any instructions regarding derating for high heat.
Lastly, remember that heat rises, so if it is mounted in the top of an enclosure, it is going to be bathing in it’s own heat. Physics is important and ignorance is expensive. Life has taught me that learning one helps me avoid the other.
I’m around frequently, feel free to send questions, pictures, etc. I’ll help if I can.
Best Regards from the Hills of West Virginia
Applegate Automation Enterprises, LLC
What happened to your other cat, Cleo?
I am not sure where you are currently and I am sure that you are aware of the active weather in the Carib so please keep a weather eye !!!
Watching this video brings back so many fun memories, y’all! I am just so damn happy that our paths crossed that afternoon in George Town and that you let us tag along for this little outing. We’ve been working on our spearfishing since y’all left and even though we’re pretty bad at it (as in, our spear tips have only successfully hit water so far) we’ll keep at it. I’ll keep you posted when we get our first fish/lobster 😉
Also, I fell in love with grouper hard after eating that catch and there is a recipe that’s coming to the blog very soon inspired by it!
Hugs from s/v LaMo,
Brooke, Barrett and Bourré, the go-pro-obsessed-swimming-pig-boat-dog
Where are the solar panels installed? Thanks…..
On the cockpit roof. You can see them really well in the photo here: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/curiosity-sailboat
I always look forward to your videos, what a life you are living! You’ve come so far since you’ve started the sailing adventure, you’re ole salty dogs now. I agree, the Sony is a superior camera. Thanks for sharing.
I enjoyed the video. Glad you got it uploaded so we could catch up with you all.
How was that salt scrub? Is the salt fine or coarse? Loved the salt man, who had that idea? Must have been the Canadians. I know we don’t see much snow in Texas. ☀️☃️
The Sony’s image, I agree, is the superior quality of the two. Jason, you are very complementary of Nikki and that is very complementary of your respect of her.
How many bathing suits does Nikki have onboard. Just kidding. You are all looking good. Fun to follow along.
I posted a comment earlier today, but I do not see it now ;-(
Patrik & Diana
Thank you for you super videos. We really love them and as it is our dream as well to live like you guys, we follow you regularly…. try to learn from you, which we do.
This time we contact you for a more important matter though.
As you have much more followers then we and could help spreading the message we received. We thought about you guys.
You love the ocean and the sea-life and we suppose you would love it to remain as it is.
An urgent cry for help reached us this week from “Australia for Dolphins” (AFD), wherefore we decided to contact you as well.
There are only a few weeks left, until the brutal slaughter will start – therefore, it’s important to sign and spread this petition asap!
if your interested to help please visit their webpage, I do not want to send the link due to spam.
Thank you so much for your help.
Patrik & Diana
How do you like the underwater lights you mounted on the hulls (plural)? I’m trying to convince Elayna & Riley, SV La Vagabonde II to get a cat on board their cat. I’ve tried just about everything. I’ve told them about Cloe & Singa with you, Aubry on Sailing Miss Lone Star and her cat Georgie, (who turns out likes to swim right off the back of the boat.) Who knew! About how cats are sure footed and why cats were brought on board ships of old to keep the rat & mice population in check and why the foot nets going up the mast were called Ratlines. How taking care of cat(s) on board is much easier than dogs. But so far nothing has worked. Maybe Singa can talk to them for me, he’s the most vocal.
Hey James. We are loving our underwater lights so far. They are great for seeing reefs at night when entering or leaving a shallow anchorage at night, make coming and going in the dinghy easier at night and of course attract all kinds of fish. As for having cats on board, not everyone wants the responsibility of a pet but we couldn’t imagine not having our two furry admirals. They are great travelers and while we haven’t had any rodent issues yet…they would be on 24-7 if we did!
The underwater shots showing the light changing wave motion are very good. I agree that the Sony has the better colour, especially when underwater and whites are not in much danger of getting blown out. It looks like you are all having fun. Thanks for taking us along for the sail.
I always think side by side tests are fascinating and more telling than simply seeing footage from one camera at a time. It was fun for us to see. Now to test our new underwater housing for the sony rx100 next to the action cam. That will be an interesting test to see if the underwater housing is really worth the bucks!
Loved the video as always and the natural sounds that come with sailing. Makes one feel we are there with you. Guess you figured out I’m not a fan of background music. Thanks so much for sharing your journey.
Hey y’all, I love your website, videos, writing, and recommendations, thank you! But I have to say that I particularly loved this post because it had my “ham” of a grand-dog, Bourre, in it (oh, and my daughter and son-in-law,too). 🙂
That was such a treat to watch and yes, Bourre does love GoPro’s (for retrieval only). Brooke told us how much fun y’all had AND learned so much about spear fishing – thank you (I think, for that 😉 ) for letting them be a part of your cruising adventures for a bit. Safe sailing and may you have gentle winds and calm seas!!! Cynthia
Well hello Cynthia! It was such a nice surprise to see Brooke and crew. I think her blog is fantastic and really enjoyed our time together. I really hope we see them again and can spend more time together. And, I do hope I see some freshly speared fish preparations in some upcoming posts. They both did fantastic and I hope they feel confident enough they are heading out on their own.
Look forward to every video! the Sony was So. Much. Better! prettier more vibrant colors. Love the camaraderie you all have, and the way you pick up slack when one member is under the weather. I watched all your FT RV videos and take your attitudes to heart when I’m out in the rig. Nothing makes good situations better, and troubled situations doable, than attitude! as always, stay safe!!
Love watching your adventures. I was just wondering what happened to your other cat, Cleo. Is your cats name Singa?
I agree the Sony’s image was WAY better than the Go Pro. Great video as always.
Love your videos and really look forward to them. I would need music playing all the time kind of how I am on the land! Do you listen to much music? I realize your videos would get flagged by You Tube for infringment if you played more than a few seconds. What podcasts do you listen to Nikki? Stay safe
First time commenting here…. but I’ve been following along since your early RV videos, as I was traveling on the road an equal amount, and almost all by van. Sadly, sailing is not a part of my life.
Exercise comments: Good to see you using resistance training. The straps that are most popular with pro trainers are these: https://goo.gl/rTG2Qi. Also, one of the best sites I’ve seen for simple workout instructions, many of which are doable on the boat is https://darebee.com/ . It’s crowdfunded and ad free, so kick in a buck or two if you can.
Thanks for what you’re doing!
On our Samsung TV the Sony footage looked way more clear and with prettier colors. So enjoy your videos. Good luck in your adventures and stay safe!
You know what would be cool to see in your videos? When you are filming off of the rear of the boat like in this video if you could display your speed, just to give an idea what the water looks like at what speed. It looked like you were going fairly fast but couldn’t tell because I don’t have a frame of reference. You all look like you are having a blast.
I have been following you guys online for a while . Your videos are an inspiration! Far too many of us are trapped in the “rat race” never realizing the prison we live in is one we build ourselves; work, debt, money…fear, all contribute to it. As a father I have tried my best to teach my kids to be thinkers not followers; to always ask why and not be afraid to stand up for what you know is right…even if that means you stand alone. To that end we become a light in the darkness, we become inspiration, we serve others by showing them there is another way.
In that darkness you both are a points of light…a lighthouse. A guide to show the rest of us there is another way. Through hard work and persistence you can make it. Indeed in this life there are many paths but only one true path. I think you both are on that path and it is good to see.
Blessings and fair winds to your both.
Keep you light shining bright!
Wow Matthew, what a beautiful comment, thank you! We feel we have always beat to our own drum so to speak and it has served us well. Tell your kids we said their dad is a wise man. Thanks for watching and for brightening up my day with such lovely words.
What a great Adventure … wish you all the best …. your camera work is superb …. and the pro and cons are spot on … wish I was younger I’d love to pull a sail with you all !
Thanks for the vids !!
Hey Wynns! I love your videos! In one video you were talking about not owning an iron for your clothes. I can’t find it any more. Could you talk about what you use in stead for ironing your clothes? Tnx!
Ah yes. It was a Q&A. We use a mix of fabric softener and water in a spritzer bottle. I use probably a 10 (water) to 1 (softener) ratio. Spritz and then smooth out wrinkles. Cheap, easy, effective…always a winner. 😉
the Sony is definitely the better picture on my 75″ Samsung. Colors brighter, images cleaner looking. Its a keeper.
Keep up the good work. Good choice on the new crew members.
Do you have backup laptops and do you backup and/or archive all your video footage ? If so how and to what repositories ?
Loving your videos. I am curious how you manage personal time and space given the confines of the boat. I would find it daunting to always be with other people.
I enjoyed the video and just to reinforce what others have previously stated,the Sony was by far the better quality. That’s sound and picture.
Thanks for the video. Those salt mounds looked awesome. I’m sensing that Nikki and Jason are tiring a bit with the long duration sailing periods or it may just be that both are tired on their shift. What’s best ? The sailing journey/activity or the destination ? The orange/red night lights do make you look a bit harried, and that maybe is the explanation. Cooking…. ever use a crock pot to slow cook a meal while on a long day sailing and being darn tired at the end and not wanting to cook…. crock pot to the rescue. GoPro vs. Sony was good. Looking forward to your thoughts on those fancy Garmin watch devices. I’m not familiar with the Cat dynamics… but in heavy swells does the sea slap the center underbelly some making annoying noises for the sleeping crew ? Personally, I like the rocking & rolling aspects of boating and it does not bother me one iota. Stay safe.
The red lights are not flattering in the least and don’t help that is for sure. It’s hard to say which is better the sailing or the destination. We love both for very different reasons. It’s the whole package that is appealing to us. We do use a pressure cooker for soups, beans and such. Works well, cuts down on cooking time and it seems there is always plenty of leftovers. I enjoy cooking and there is loads of time for it while sailing, so I enjoy making grand meals. Add in the movement of the sea and the challenge is on (although nothing compared to a mono)! I don’t mind the motion of the ocean but it does wear more on Jason when we’re beating into the wind for multiple days. I sleep like a baby!
I really look forward to your videos and they are great. I totalling agree that the Sony gear is the best
I have been with you guys since before Curiosity and this is my first critical review and it’s just this edition…..during no conversation or just action scenes you have never used the same chord or short stanza of music over and over and over. This is the first time in all these years that I muted the sound until I saw someone’s lips moving again.
You know I love and admire everything you’ve done but please, don’t fall into that mode of filling background. Maybe it’s a way to show us the monotony of beating because it worked.
Of course this is IMHO and should never be confused with love and admiration. That will not change.
Feedback is always welcome George. I will have to re-watch the video to see if I can pick up on the scenes you are referring to. Could it be that you didn’t like the music used?
I’ve don’t know. Thank you for taking the time and energy to reply. Fair winds and following seas. Long live Curiosity!
AWESOME video and narration! I’m SO envious! Really enjoying the education aspect of your productions along with such great quality videograpy. Speaking of which, your Sony images were FAR better than the Go Pro, IMHO.
Looking forward to the next video!
John C. Moreland
Diddo Darren! I love this blog.