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Sailing Schooled Ep. 2 – Jibe Ho And Around We Go

It’s only day two of sailing school and my brain is ready to short circuit.  You know that blank stare you give someone when your brain is scrambling to put information together?  I’m fairly certain we had that blank stare most of the day.  I suppose that’s a normal response when you’re learning something new but it always makes me feel like an idiot.

nikki wynn sailing

We read the basic sailing and coastal cruising books, looked at all of the pictures and on paper it looked straight forward-ish.  I mean, if we can manage to put together Ikea furniture with nothing but a few drawn instructions we should be able to maneuver some sails around with all these books. But, there always seems to be something about putting written words into action that never goes quite how we imagined.  And, if I’m completely honest, I’m not sure my Ikea furniture is up to spec either.

If you’re a sailor, a dreamer or just curious, we hope you get a good laugh out of watching us run around, fumble for the right lingo and Jibe Ho (intentionally and accidentally).

What We learned On Day Two

It’s an intensive class and throughout the day we went over most of what’s covered in the basic sailing and coastal cruising books. We also started learning more about navigation but today was mostly about the rules of the road and going through all the points of sail.

learning to sail

There is a pecking order out on the water just like there is on the highway.  There are stand-on and give-way vessels that determines who has the right of way.

At first, it all felt simply like rules that were to be memorized. However, after sailing all the different points of sail, it started to make more sense.  By the end of the day we had a pretty good grasp on the different points of sail which helped all the rules come together.  At that point the rules of the road weren’t so hard to remember because the actions seem more like common sense and safety, not just rules for the sake of rules.

learning to sail catamaran

I know to some of you who have never sailed this may all sound like gibberish.  Just a couple of months ago, this all sounded like gibberish to us too.  It’s amazing how adaptable we can be when we put our minds to it and focus all efforts towards a goal.

nikki wynn sailing

learning to sail

sailing school

moving the block

The Crew, Sailing Courses and Certifications

If you want to know more about why we’re taking sailing classes or get to know Captain Jen or Volunteer Cameraman Terry a little more, check out: Sailing Schooled Ep. 1

We’re taking the A+ Cat Course: Bareboat Catamaran Skipper through Blue Water Sailing School.  (Side note, we just got an email from Bluewater Sailing School saying they would offer any of our readers a 10% discount!  Just use the code word Curiosity when booking to get the discount. I guess they liked our video!)

If we pass all the tests, at the end of the week we will be certified for bareboat chartering and big boat sailing. It’s a short, intensive, live-aboard cruising course that combines the Basic Sailing (ASA 101), Basic Coastal Cruising (ASA 103), Bareboat Chartering (ASA 104), and Cruising Catamaran (ASA 114) curriculum.

learning to sail

Equipment used to film this video:

See all of our camera/editing equipment and how we use it here: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/best-travel-camera-video-photography

Find all of our favorite gear and toys here: www.gonewiththewynns.com/store 

Also, if you want to begin the education you can find our sailing school books here: http://amzn.to/29VIBSH  and the flashcards we used to study here: http://amzn.to/2bhwpQR

Sailing Report

Date: 6/20/2016
Weather: Mostly sunny
Wind:  East Northeast 15-20+ knots
Seas:  Choppy
Route:  Sailed from Key Biscayne Bight to Elliot Key in Biscayne National Park.
Anchor Spot: Approx. GPS Coordinates 25.479199, -80.194433

sailing school

sunset at anchor

cruising sailors

The moon shining bright like a flashlight in the night sky.

Thanks for reading and watching!  If you have any questions, comments, stories or tips…share them with us in the comment box below.

 

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 (68)

  • Roenan Harper

    I love this but Oh My Gosh…..the work involved! And it’s a whole different language. Maybe I’ll stick to the ground.

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  • George2064

    You guys are doing great!!!! Me and my wife and another couple took also the same course, but in BVI and it was an amazing experience. One technical question .. I noticed that when you use your selfie stick the movie has you nice and centered. Is there just getting used to or do you use some kind of sensor on your body?

    Thanks for sharing and keep up the great work!!!

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  • Deborah Sholtes

    Two years ago my husband, son (15) , daughter (22), and I spent a week on a 45 ft. Lagoon catamaran with Captain Jen from Blue Water Sailing School for ASA 101, 102, 104, 114. We sailed from Fort Lauderdale to Miami and then Biscayne Bay, around the bay and then back up to Fort Lauderdale. We loved it and the experience lit a fire. Our Seawind 1160 Lite will be at the Miami 2017 boat show. Send our regards, and thanks, to Jen (she’ll remember Bryce who loved navigation charting). I’m glad you’re out there learning and exploring.

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    • Douglas Montgomery

      Debora,

      Just happen to using google and noticed your post here. The wife and I will be at the boat show and our main interest is the 1160 Lite !. Looking forward to seeing your vessel!

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  • Erica

    I admire the two of you so much! As I have said before, your RV videos have inspired my husband and I to get out and travel more. I have to say, your transition to sailing gives me an anxiety attack with every video, but I love that you love what your doing! Regardless of how ‘hard’ it is, you are doing it for you. Let the negativity roll away, it’s not their lives and they are not you. I look forward to following your adventures more!
    Cheers!
    The Walshes

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  • Hi, guys — Been a fairly long-time lurker here and have been watching your transition from RV to sailboat with curiosity and interest. A LONG time ago (in a former lifetime it feels like) I moved from the south (Louisiana) to Nova Scotia and had a “goal” to learn to sail. I think I was thinking something like a little Sunfish at the local sailing club or some such. Instead I ended up “running away to sea” on a large square-rigged ship (after one of the first big “tall ship races”) and did that kind of sailing for several years which is about light years away from what you’re doing. Eventually went “down” in size to crewing a friend’s 67-foot yacht and finally our own 45′ ketch. Then I finally leaned how to sail!

    It’s a big learning curve, but you guys are going about it the right way it seems — learn, practice, learn, practice, get out there and do it! (I’ve been telling my husband all about this change in direction in your adventures and I keep saying things like “What they’re doing seems a little crazy, but they’re just so *likable* that I really WANT for it to all go well for them!”) So, I wish you the best and am thoroughly enjoying these videos! Keep ’em coming!!

    all the very best,
    –arden–

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  • Dirk

    I second the “no substitute for experience” and add that it would really be valuable to do things like go and crew some other boats and work under a skipper for a few years before taking major passages by yourself. You really have to know how to handle your boat by instinct. You can’t get that panicked “what the heck do I do” moments when time counts. It happens frequently because even if you know the rules, you can’t count on others to know the same and because they don’t they can put you in a bad situation quickly. It is also very easy to get into a situation where you can do a LOT of property damage in just under a minute, especially while docking or working in close quarters at a crowded anchorage. Also, all those mistakes get worse and worse as the weather gets bad. You’re fortunate that nothing broke in a jibe in 20+ kt winds. There is a LOT of force on those sails. You need somehow come to the experience level where you do the right thing the right way without even thinking about it. Personally, my dad put me in basic boaters safety (close to what you are taking now) when I was 9, got me a sunfish knockoff when I was 10, put me at the helm every chance he got, and forced me to be able to dock and run the boat myself before I could drive. Seriously, it is a good idea to go join a club and get into a regatta as crew. Most times it’s free because people are always looking for crew. It’s something you can do to put yourself in a hair raising place and learn to deal with quick decisions in a relatively safe environment. Plus it’s not your boat you are making mistakes on and it’s usually not such a large boat either. You may even be able to enter a regatta yourself and take on crew, but I recommend having someone else skipper your boat for you for a number of years before doing it yourself.

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      • Dirk

        The comment about having someone else skipper your boat was in reference to sailing in a regatta, not cruising. Competitive regatta sailing is close quarters sailing. Often times menouvering with only feet to spare and close enough that people often get their rigs tangled up. That kind of sailing needs that level of seamanship. Cruising, not as much. However putting yourself in those situations under the hand of a skilled skipper (preferably on his boat not your own) quickly steels your nerves and develops those quick decision making skills that are useful in the tense moments encountered at sea.

        You are right, there are a lot of ways to gain experience, but few are as action packed, fun, and skill enforcing as regatta racing.

        By the way, I am a life long sailor, been on boats since I was a kid and sailed boats from 10 to 50 ft long. My family has a history of commercial fishing and has built, owned, and run 3 boats in my lifetime, one was named after my mom. Am I cautious, yes because we (as a family) have seen almost everything possible go wrong. My Dad almost watched my grandpa dye on the deck of the Marry Ellen. They caught a dredge in their net and my dad was manning the capstan when the weight became too much and he lost it leaving my grandpa tangled in the net and dragged over. We have a million stories like that. My uncle was crewing a boat last year helping his neighbors bring it back from Florida. He was off watch and the owner (a new sailor like yourself) was at the helm when he misjudged the height of a bridge and ripped the mast off the boat. It missed my uncle by inches and would have seriously injured or killed him if he had been hit. What a bad day!!!

        Does any of that stuff keep us from sailing every chance we get, no, but it makes you wise up and realize how quickly thing go bad and how good safety practices can save your life when the time comes.

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      • Dirk

        The comment about having someone else skipper your boat was in reference to sailing in a regatta, not cruising. Competitive regatta sailing is close quarters sailing. Often times menouvering with only feet to spare and close enough that people often get their rigs tangled up. That kind of sailing needs that level of seamanship. Cruising, not as much. However putting yourself in those situations under the hand of a skilled skipper (preferably on his boat not your own) quickly steels your nerves and develops those quick decision making skills that are useful in the tense moments encountered at sea.

        You are right, there are a lot of ways to gain experience, but few are as action packed, fun, and skill enforcing as regatta racing.

        By the way, I am a life long sailor, been on boats since I was a kid and sailed boats from 10 to 50 ft long. My family has a history of commercial fishing and has built, owned, and run 3 boats in my lifetime, one was named after my mom. Am I cautious, yes because we (as a family) have seen almost everything possible go wrong. My Dad almost watched my grandpa dye on the deck of the Marry Ellen. They caught a dredge in their net and my dad was manning the capstan when the weight became too much and he lost it leaving my grandpa tangled in the net and dragged over. We have a million stories like that. My uncle was crewing a boat last year helping his neighbors bring it back from Florida. He was off watch and the owner (a new sailor like yourself) was at the helm when he misjudged the height of a bridge and ripped the mast off the boat. It missed my uncle by inches and would have seriously injured or killed him if he had been hit. What a bad day!!!

        Does any of that stuff keep us from sailing every chance we get, no, but it makes you wise up and realize how quickly thing go bad and how good safety practices and solid seamanship can save your life when the time comes.

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        • Dirk

          I’ve had my own close calls too. I’ve fallen off the boat when a safety line broke and I wasn’t wearing a PFD. My dad heard me go over and rescued me. I’ve been careful about wearing it since… I hit the docking my dads boat when we lost reverse. Fortunately we knew how to react fast and had practiced emergency docking so we brought the boat to a rest with only a minor scratch and didn’t injur anybody or damage the neighbors boat. The most nervous I’ve been was the time that we cruised Lake Michigan on our honeymoon. My wife is not a sailor. We were coming into an unfamiliar marina. I told them we needed a 13.5+ food wide slip and they gave us a 12 footer without telling us. It was nearly dark when we got there and was blowing about 15kts. We went to pull in and we obviously didn’t fit. The marina was tight and there was almost no room to maneuver. What did I do? first I wedged the boat in between the pilings by putting the boat in forward at idle. This kept it pinned in place while we figured out our next move. The wid was blowing about 15 degrees off the starboard bow and I had to bring the bow through the eye of the wind to leave. So I had my wife stay at the helm and I pulled the bow through the eye of the window the dock and let it begin to drift back. Once I was confident it would blow off the right way I jumped on board and took the helm while my wife fended us off. It was a vey tense situation and as close as I have come to doing multiple tens of thousands in damage. It was rediculously tight and blowing hard. The only damage was a bent spur on our anchor from getting caught on a piling. I was shaking when we finally got out. We decided to night sail to the next port rather than attempt to manouver that marina again.

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  • CT

    Wow – I have long thought that you both looked a bit …thin. You won’t be for long! Time to up the protein in the diet, you’re going to be stacking on muscle.
    Suggestion from someone who has learned how to do something from a book. Re-read the book once you think you’re done learning. These books are a great reference when you go back and review bad moves. They help digest what went wrong and plan how to do it the next time.

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  • T.K.

    There is just no substitute for repetitive experience until it becomes second nature. Book learning and course stamps mean very little when your engines won’t start and your being blown toward the rocks….no do-overs with Mother Nature. Don’t forget to use common sense in the midst of all the hoopla.

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  • Larry Odom

    Epic photographs! Keep them safe and backed up in a cloud or server service like Dropbox or Hightail. You’ve got the makings of a really great book if not a network/Netflix documentary or mini series.

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  • Bill Root

    Obviously a lot of people following you are not sailors. Got to say that this video was both fun and hard to watch. You will get it with a lot of practice and experience. Thankfully, you WILL NOT be changing tack constantly as you are in this training. After a while all of this becomes second nature ..for both of you. Hang in there as it WILL GET BETTER and easier.

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  • Allan

    You guys are doing great!! But no preventer to avoid accidental jibes?

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    • Dirk

      You can rig them yourself easily… All they are is something to create friction and slow the boom down. You can do this with a couple d-rings or carabiners in a pinch.

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      • Dirk

        very worthwhile investment and could save you from costly mistakes. We did a purposeful jibe in my dads boat once in 25 knot winds and 6-7 foot rollers to make the turn into port with full main out. I was young and it was one of the scariest things I have ever done we went from 30 degrees heel to port to 30 degrees to heel to starboard as we brought the rig though in about 2 tenths of a second. My dad was calm but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t freaked out. I thought we were going over. I know why my dad did it now but man it can be harry. A good jibe preventer is really worth it.

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  • Mona Lee

    Y’all are having such great learning and sailing adventures! It’s always been so fun keeping up with your travels and life changes! I’m especially excited to see what life onboard is really like. I know you will continue to meet fabulous people along the way; I wondered if you have found other sailing vloggers on similar journeys, like Riley and Elayna on La Vagabond. I wish you could have a few happy hours together, and know you’d enjoy their adventures too!
    I look forward to every new episode, and thank you for sharing your experiences. Bon Voyage!

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    • Frans Taljaard

      Also check out the Delos tribe on SV Delos and above mentioned Riley and Elana on SV La Vagabonde.

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      • Frans Taljaard

        PS . tell the Saffa there that he should teach you more sayings like ‘ Lekke Boet’, “ag shame” and “Just now”. haha. Good luck with the sailing all the way from Joburg.

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  • Cheryl Robertson

    This is my favorite video of yours to date! It looks like you are really learning a lot, but still enjoying it. I have only sailed on my 16′ Prindle cat. I adjusted my traveler before the wind was fully on the main because, as you said, it is a ton of work. But I could reach everything from the tiller! Is that why the traveler gets adjusted after the change in course? Because you can’t reach it to do it with the other sails? Just wondering. Totally beyond my experience!

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  • frozeninthenorth

    Good job getting comfortable on the boat. One suggestion get some waki-takie it will make your life a lot easier, especially when the crew is at the front of the boat, the combination of wind and engine noise can be difficult. One huge advantage of a cat is that you can usually avoid the weather. Although, one item you really need is a sea drogue for heavy weather. Cats are not like monohulls they don’t spill the wind…

    The vessel looks about the right size for two (with the occasional guests) a 43′ cat is like a 62′ mono. The trick is to always assume you know less, always assume the weather will turn faster than you expect, always plan for an alternate in case the weather doesn’t cooperate. We sailed for a year (mostly in Europe) and it was great.

    Get to know your boat, have all the equipment schematics, be prepare to address engine or water maker issues. Its always the O ring of the wrong size that broke. If you make do with the wrong part for a time, be sure to change it for the right part as soon as possible.

    Keep a daily detailed log for maintenance — especially keep your maintenance up at all time. An ounce of prevention…

    Finally, don’t forget that for centuries people travelled the ocean with far less gear than you have and for most it ended well. enjoy the ride, its not that difficult and its so much fun (especially when you leave your home base)

    A pleasure watching your vlogs

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  • Joan Paucek

    Just watched your video. You guys really rocked it. I had no idea how much it takes to run a sailboat. Keep up the good work. I really enjoy your videos. Just curious, do you miss RVing?

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  • cindy

    My loves!!! I can not believe my eyes! You have come so far! And I’m sure this video was some time back which makes you even more equipped!!! I was afraid the entire time I watched! WOW!!! Lots of hard work, mentally and physically.I thought learning to RV was hard. Now it comes natural-that will happen to you both with sailing soon and that I know you will be thankful for!!! I,m so proud of both of you. By December you will be so good at this! And that’s when I come aboard!!! lol Stay safe.

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  • Lucille Hjort

    I am so proud of both of you. You are learning a lot. At first, I thought you had learned it all, but now I remember that you had a lot of learn just to know your boat and how to care for and fix what you can. Sailing sure is a lot of hard work and you are both quite physically fit but a little on almost too slim side. You are so brave and courageous and I don’t know if I will get the nerve to buy an rv and do some rving adventures that look like such fun. There is so much to learn, but like you say, when you have the desire to learn and make learning your job, you can succeed and you are living proof of this. Good luck and I love to watch you and your adventures. You sure have had nice people along the way teaching and working with you. You two are quite a pair and work well together. Again, I am very proud of both of you. With all of that hard work that you do, make sure you eat enough so you don’t get too thin.

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  • Bonnie Pierce

    I’m impressed! That’s a LOT OF WORK! You’re going to have biceps like Popeye!

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  • Nancy Fernandez

    That wore me out. Awesome job. You two are just amazing. Sure is pretty out there on the water though. 🙂

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  • You guys are just amazing!! Watch your fingers! It reminds me so much of dallying up rope around the saddle horn… people have lost a finger or two doing that…. You look like you are having soon much fun!

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  • Mary

    Well, that was a lot of running from one side of the boat to the other. Im exhausted just watching, Looks like you are both good students! Keep it up.

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  • Brian

    Why no PFD? Just curious.

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  • Gregg Schulz

    As always, remember your sailing gloves.

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  • Richard Skaff, Executive Director - Designing Accessible Communities

    Ive sailed all my life on boats from a 9 foot El Torro to a 29 foot deep keel sloop. You make me a very jealous man! I also started the Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors in San Francisco at Pier 50 (South Beach Yacht Harbor), if you ever sail to San Francisco, you should stop in at the South Beach Yacht Club!

    Except for a number of typing errors in the captioning (by the way, as a person with a disability, I greatly appreciate that you were thoughtful enough to provide captioning!).

    What an amazing couple you two are. Not only doing amazing things, but in such a wonder way sharing what exciting experiences you are having and in a way that encourages others to jump in and try what they’ve been putting off. Thank you!

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  • Pat Griffin

    You two look like you are having so much fun! I envy both of you. We RV a lot and boat when we can. More RV’iing than boating. My wife is more comfortable with the unknowns that come with RV’ing and not with all the unknowns that can come with cruising. Unlike your sailing cat, we like the getting to one place through an A to B approach instead of an A to B t C to D to E……… type of path. But I love cruising and it doesn’t matter if it is in a stink boat or a nice sail boat. Cruising for adventure is cruising for adventure. Enjoy your blogs. Thanks,
    Pat

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  • Sean Rafferty

    Awesome sunglasses Janson; what’s the brand?? 😉
    Thanks

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      • Sean Rafferty

        What a deal; thanks for the response. Keep up the good work, videos, photos and sense of humor. Cheers!! 😉

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  • We love watching you guys! Currently we full time RV, but have been looking for our next adventure. We were actually looking at sailboats and came across y’all’s videos. Thank you for the inspiration and all the great info!

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  • Kathy

    After watching this one I know for sure I will stick to RVing. I do have a question about the sails what kind of fabric are the sails made from. the way that wind whips them around its a wonder they aren’t ripped to sheds. I would like some of that fabric to make bike covers for the back of our RV. Have a great time, it’s a nice switch from RV blogs.

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    • John Anderson

      The material is called Dacron, made specifically for sails. It’s heavy, and when new it’s quite stiff. It takes some use to get them not so stiff, but then that’s a bad thing for sails. Once the material has lost it’s resins that make it too stiff for much of anything else, the sails lose their shape and efficiency. If you’re near the coasts you can probably pick up some used sails on the cheap to make bike covers or duffel bags. Worn out racing sails, which are not Dacron but a laminate of plastic sheets and Kevlar and carbon fiber reinforcements make really neat looking bags.

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  • Deborah Kerr

    Wow that’s a good workout!! It reminds me of a sailboat experience from 30 years ago around the Lake Erie Islands – my husband & I went for a day adventure on my sister’s and her husband’s sailboat. Such a beautiful day and lots of fun!! Until a storm came up out of nowhere and the wind blew the main mast down (some big metal post) and I think they lost control of the boat, we were going around in circles and bouncing on the waves – really thought I would never see my 1 yr old baby again – the Coast Guard had to tow us back to land!! Then they couldn’t get the boat up on the trailer, something about water in the bilge. I just remember those sailing terms, but unsure if using them correctly. It was a sailboat with a bed area and small kitchenette under the deck. That is a day I will never forget! Be safe!! Those classes are great 🙂

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  • John Anderson

    You guys are doing great. Watch those accidental jibes!

    My girlfriend and I will be in town the 19th to make another crossing to Bimini. If you’re around, we’ll be glad to buy you a drink once we have the boat provisioned.

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  • John S.

    Smiled at the book-learning. If book learning was easy then parents would give their kids a book “How to Swim” and throw them in the ocean. Same logic goes for “How to Sail”. . . .

    Books are a great resource but nothing beats experience. You gain experience two ways, by yourself or by watching others. Because you have Capt. Jen to show you the ropes it looks like this set of videos is going to be nothing but, ah, smooth sailing. (I know, bad pun.)

    Thanks for thinking ahead to get an assistant-camera guy, especially one that can swim with you to check the anchor. By the way, why not just back up to test the anchor like we do in the cold deep waters around here?

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  • You guys ROCK! 🙂 Fun following you from the AK trip and now, all wet. HA! Enjoy!!

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  • Suzie

    At what point life vests? What do you do with the cats during this intense training? great video.

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  • Wow I was a yaght hand in a race from keel to Denmark along time ago and forgot how much work it was xx. Enjoy

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  • Norm

    Wow I think your motor home travel was not as involved… Lol

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  • Rob

    I notice that you have referred to your boat as sailing vessel reset. Thought it was sailing vessel curiosity.

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  • Gayle Cooper

    Have you noticed how much “helm’s alee” looks like “helm’s ale”?

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  • Jon

    Looks Like a great Workout…..And fun…….But I bet once the Anchor Alarm is on that Sun Downer is in the glass is the best part of the day……

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  • Jeff Mason

    Great video, it looks like you learned a lot today

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  • Elmo Harris

    Good job, guys!

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  • Mike

    The way I see it in less than three months you’ll both be ready for world championship “ARM” wrestling!! lol You know fighting the wind and all. Great video and keep learning………Mike

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  • Jim and Jon Hamilton

    2 quick things:

    1) If you’re not already doing it, I’d suggest you guys keep a nice, detailed log about your activity. I go back every now and then and read my entries from years ago and lines like “Larry fished all the way from San Diego up to Oceanside, but caught nothing but some kelp and a buzz. Apparently, drinking 8 beers in the sun and eating nothing but guacamole and chips will do that to you!” is still funny. 🙂

    2) Are you waiting to officially rename the boat? I thought it was SV Curiosity, but you keep calling it SV Reset?

    Love the videos!! (and the fact that Nikki is remembering to wear her gloves!!)

    And Bob’s my brother…. (lol)

    J&J

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  • Devin Reed

    Awesome , I love your videos especially this new chapter in your lives ! Thanks so much for sharing this incredible experience with all the world to see ..fair winds to ya.

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