Our Scariest Days At Sea (4 days from land)
There are times when sailing feels like Murphy’s Law in action. Because if anything can go wrong, it will. And, most likely, it will happen at night.
Today’s story picks up where we left you hanging last week. With the news that our life raft locker, and all its contents, had been taken by the sea.
Staring down at the gaping hole in our cockpit I made the decision to carefully pack away my wild imagination and put it in our waterproof, fireproof safe with our other precious valuables.
And even though we’ve been on terra firma for a couple of weeks now, I still haven’t retrieved it. Because my mind is still reeling and I don’t know what to think about all that has happened on this voyage. One part of me wants to chalk it all up to a calamity of coincidence and the other part of me wonders what nautical deity we must have pissed off.
Either way, I’m starting to understand why sailors are such superstitious folk.
Grab a tall glass of something good and settle in for what is no doubt our scariest days at sea. I hereby dub this passage, and chapter of our lives, as “Lessons In Fortitude With Murphy”.
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All I could think about was how would you dealt with that miserably cold water coming through your life raft hatch and what would happen when those nasty conditions hit…not to mention the LOSS of your liferaft! It makes the journey on our FP catamaran from the Chesapeake to Miami seem like a cakewalk. Glad you guys made it safely! Best of luck on those repairs!
Etta S Callicoat
Help! Is there a way to watch your sailing adventures on YouTube in order. Etta
Easy peasy! Head over to the GWTW YouTube video page: https://www.youtube.com/c/gonewiththewynns/videos There’s a “sort by” button on the right-hand side and you can sort oldest to newest and binge away!
Thanks for being a part of the virtual crew!
Alan - SV Loafers Glory
Is it possible that the raft inflated, causing the cabinet/locker to be forcibly removed from the boat? I’m really glad that you guys made it safely. Hopefully our paths will cross at some point in the future. You look like fun folks to hang out with. 🙂
No, it would have opened the compartment door and inflated in our cockpit. We’ll explain what failed and how we’re going to repair it in an upcoming story.
That freaked me out! Can’t wait to find out what caused the problem. We like cats for the added safety although we learned that injury accidents can happen when least expected due to any movement if you aren’t vigilant. Love your videos.
Wow. That was tense. The shots with the big waves made my heart skip a beat or two. I am a long time follower and have always been inspired by your wanderlust and daring. Your cinematography is breathtaking and your storytelling is so compelling. Thank you for sharing your life and adventures with us.
Evan from Texas
I recently watched the August 21, 2016 First Solo Sail video. From the “haters” monologue to the “are we about to accidental jibe?” question, you guys should reflect, I know you have, on what five-year ago you would have done in the circumstances shown in this video, both physically and mentally/emotionally. Great stuff, thanks for sharing the journey.
Day nines sunset was awesome! The waves and horizon really made me feel the immensity of the surroundings and that Curiosity’s tiny thing. The adventure is real…What is expected to have damaged the boat?
* Curiosity being a tine thing, not her tiny…anyway so glad you are both safe and the mighty Curiosity got you to land
You should look into getting 406 MHz PLBs that attach to your life vest. Something like the ACR ResQLink. These work just about everywhere in the world and are about $300. We wear them on our life vests for all overwater flights in our single engine airplane. It’s much better than a light and whistle as it will be picked up by search and rescue teams.
They have these on their PFD’s: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/product/man-overboard-ais
Do those only have a short range? Maybe that’s all that is needed but a 406MHz version works via satellite. If they were both overboard for any reason.
So glad you are both safe and hopefully getting lots of rest and dealing with the repair of Curiosity. Take care of yourselves.
I am so happy & relieved that the two of you are safe & sound. I hope you know how many people are out there wishing you well on your travels. I so enjoy the weekly videos of all that you encounter in your daily journeys. I’m sending you two wishes for a Happy Anniversay 🥂🍾 cheers! Take care. Be well. Stay safe.
Mary a jones
So glad you are safe. We so enjoy you guys and all your adventures.
Trust all goes well with your repairs and your new adventures
I’ve been thinking about your cracked windows. The first one could indicate excessive flexing of the hull, the second, more of the same. I may have missed it in the video, I only heard you mention it. Is it nest to the first cracked window?
Our Broadblue 42 sailing cat has a bulkhead tabbing separation on the inboard side of the hull, forward of midship. I can see it because I have access behind a panel. The other side, I would have to cut a hole in a wall panel to check that bulkhead, which I am not going to do. According to the previous owner, this boat has seen some undefined “heavy” weather, whick most likely caused the tabbing failure.
I have a plan to repair it. The plan has been blessed by both the designer of the boat, and a technical advisor from West Systems. I have not bought the materials yet.
You guys might consider doing an inspection of the hull. Remove whatever panels you can to see bulkhead tabbing, etc. I would also consider hiring a good surveyor, or naval architect to check out your boat and help with the inspection. Also, communication with Leopard for their opinion, assuming their lawyers will allow it.
There are plenty of boats out there in the 30 to 50 ft range designed to handle extremely heavy weather if it is properly fitted, and with competent crew. As a fellow cat owner, I don’t think our boats are nearly as capable. This knowledge may factor into your future passaging plans, fitting out, etc.
Wow guys this was such a real depiction of a passage. We have had some scary ones already in the Atlantic as we raced to get from Dania, to be north of Hatteras by July 1 for the insurance and ultimately to New England to visit family and friends we hadn’t seen since we purchased our 2006 Lepoard 43. We bought her in the BVI in February she needed a bit of work, she was also left on the hard for a while thanks to Covid, but she also spent a fair amount of time on the hard in general over the last few years. We did a bunch to the engine( including two new heat exchangers- not on the laundry list of things from the survey), polished up the corian, and the cockpit table. Replaced standing rigging. She had a mast dropped on her during Irma, so we had to patch a poor patch job on the deck and replace one of the steps. We also proactively replaced side salon windows and the forward windows, thanks to your experience shared in one of your videos. Although we didn’t attempt it ourself, and we only had one port light put in each window because that’s a weak point, something you might want to consider in New Zealand.
From there we went to Fort Lauderdale(FLL) on an 8 day passage that we abruptly diverted to San Juan on day 2, because on top of our auto pilot failing two of our four crew members got unexpectedly and debilitatingly seasick. After making the repair (the transducer), we left with three crew; my son had to be back to New England for work, the captain we hired to take us to FLL, my husband and myself(who now had seasick patches!) 6 days later we made it to FLL, and got our sign-off to sail alone.
We did an unexpected month in Dania so now it’s Memorial Day weekend, and we have a month to get north of Hatteras for the insurance which seems like a long time, but my husband still works 40 hrs a week, although remotely, we only have weekends to move and weather to count on!!!! You get the jist. We took advantage of the long weekend and made a 3 day passage to Charleston. Needless to say we read the weather wrong, or it changed after we left not sure which, but it felt a lot like what your last videos so eloquently expressed.
This is a very long way of expressing my gratitude for you guys, thank you so much for sharing your adventure. We werestarting feeling like you guys maybe weren’t experiencing the bad weather, which seems to have chased us all the way up the coast, and we have had boat projects all the way up the coast, and your last 10 day voyage is exactly what our last 5 months has been, minus the life raft (which now has us concerned). We love your take on the experience and how honestly you express your emotions. You guys are the main reason we are out here doing this. I don’t think I would have had the confidence to try so quickly, we tend to be very conservative, but the opportunity arose when my husband was able to work remote, Carpe diem.
Thank you again for sharing your life and adventure,
Sailing Kindness (FB)
Wow. This is why I’m a voyeur, not a voyager. You all are amazing and I’m so glad I’m on the trip with you. 💐💐
David and Karen
Well we are so glad that you – and ‘Curiosity’ did make it. That gaping hole, and the pending storm, with a deflating dinghy. As we said – so glad you got there, and now, with the facilities and expertise of New Zealand, sooner or later ‘Curiosity’ will be better and stronger than new. We hope to get over there next year, and hope to meet up then. In the meantime, enjoy NZ – it is a beautiful country, with beautiful people.
I am curious now….would you share your path & timeframe for sailing around the world? Additionally, how did you plan for major repairs? I’m a big fan⭐️❤️⭐️
Glad you both and Curiosity are safe and in one piece.
I have always said you guys really do a great job taking care of Curiosity so, in turn Curiosity provides great care for both of you.
This is timeless and this is written somewhere in our amazing Universe.
Happy, Joyous Anniversary!
Until next week…
Scares the bejeebers outa me to see the tool for the winch being held in a bare hand with no connection. Once sneeze and it’s over the side and sayonara.
So happy that you are in NZ. Let’s hope that the repair costs come in OK as it looks like you guys need a lot of Fixin!! Keep your positive attitudes!!
I love reading what everyone has to say, most everyone!
It seems like you all were just giving curiosity lots of love a few months ago. She needs a whole lot more love and some surgery!
I’m glad you two got a few days to relax and catch up on some good rest! Even have a bath!
Good luck putting her back together!
Hi Mary… You have a pretty damn good kid (must have taken after his mother) and an equally good daughter-in-law!!! LUCKY YOU!!! 🙂
Man! What a lot of stuff. I knew from the first video (that showed you in NZ, before we got to see all that happened), from Jason’s stricken face, that it’d been rough. Poor guys! I’m glad you posted things in the order you did, so we wouldn’t worry too much.
My question for you guys now is this: the stuff that went wrong during this passage – how much of that do you think is ordinary stuff that would have happened if COVID and the 2 years in dry dock hadn’t happened? In other words, is this stuff that would have normally occurred if you guys’d been on the seas this whole time – normal boatlife wear and tear – or did all the time out of water contribute.
I love watching you guys on your adventures but I gotta admit this series made me halfway wish you’d switch to … tiny house living in NZ or something! Nail biting ☺️ Hope you continue well 🤞
Scariest video of yours that I’ve ever watched! I’m so glad you made it safely. The quarantine period was probably a blessing in disguise (as I think you later realized) so you could rest and recover before tackling the boat projects. You have a lot of work ahead of you, but you are so incredibly pragmatic and resilient that you’ll get through it. The hole in the middle of the boat is truly CRAZY! Hope you find some time to enjoy NZ.
May be you think I can understand what you are telling us, with so much background noises?
I can reassure you: I didnt understood a single word.
Sorry guys, that’s not the way.
Is this a freaking joke, right?
Though I think you are not.
I and many others heard it just fine…over THE F’N OCEAN SPLASHING UP THE HOLE IN THEIR BOAT!
FFS…go away and watch something else and share your ego & disrespect elsewhere.
Try to be nice.
Nobody else seemed to have an issue with hearing what they said over the background noise of the ocean… Not sure what way you would prefer when, Hello! They live on a BOAT on the OCEAN. They can’t exactly silence the ocean. The rest of the tens of thousands of people who follow their videos obviously think the way the Wynn’s audio/video capture their story is awesome or they wouldn’t be following them.
Yeah you made it to the Land of the long white cloud or as we say in Australia the Shaky Islands. SO much to do in such a beautiful country. Enjoy your anniversary, that last passage will only strengthen your love for one another and the love of life. Go chill out in some thermal springs with a bottle or 2 of NZ finest. Then its back to the real world what ever that is . Take care and have a blast!!! Steve G
Now hopefully some fun adventures inland!!! Way to go hanging in there you two!
Amazed at how poorly designed the life raft compartment is……….you guys are doing a great job with your boat and more importantly, dealing with circumstances as they occur onboard. Well Done.
WOWZER!! You guys did great!!! How scary it must have been. You guys are very courageous and have such an adventurous spirit! Looking forward to all your NZ adventures. I’m so glad I can sit back and enjoy my Sundays with you, from the safety of my own home. Thanks for sharing your adventures. You guys ROCK! 🙌💖🌊⛵️😳🤩
I watched in Horror as you progressed down to New Zealand, and you lost your Life Raft ; sail robes and other accessories from a huge wave, so glad you made it to your destinaton. I always love Sundays when i get to see what is new with the Wynns, and where are you now. Now you will have thave it fixed, and it wil not be cheap, a nd i trulyhope the Insurance Company is fairwith you too. Nikki I saw the look of concern on your face , and Jason didn’t loook much better. Now you two are save and I truly hope that everyone that gets your weekly video can send you something to help you in getting the boat back into shape and for you two to take some time and “Recharge yourselves” Hope you too get all the thngs settled and get back on the boat asap!! God Bless you two ..stay safe!!
So glad y’all made it safely! I’m not a fan of water in general, so this video terrified me!! Thank you for sharing your journey with us so openly.
Dan S Brown
Hello, I’m glad your safe! I was wondering what I would do if I was in your shoes and thought the boat manufacturer would be my first call. They know everything there is to know about Curiosity and they have a vested interest in helping you refit your boat. Roberston and Caine LTD in South Africa makes them but they have an office in Auckland. I know you will figure it out. :”)
Well congratulations!! You have now crossed an entire ocean, so you are in rare, rare company. The designers of your production boat might not have intended it to cross oceans, so it has a few flaws that might need work if you intend to continue around the world on her. From no sailing experience – to world voyagers – thats amazing!!! Would love to know what was your favorite island or group of islands on your sail across the pacific?? Thank you for taking us on this journey with you. It was a joy to watch every Sunday.
Thank you for sharing this adventure with us. Wow! What a ride! I am so inspired by your love for each other, life, and sailing. I can’t wait to see all the New Zealand adventures ahead. Prayers for speedy repair work on Curiosity and blessings for you as you begin this next chapter.
Wow – what a journey and challenge!! I find independence and self-reliance very fulfilling and thank goodness Curiosity has you two as her “parents” ⛵️. Happy Anniversary and many many more! 🎉
Glad you finally made it safely 😆Thanks for sharing your adventures.
I’ve been watching enough sailing videos to know the passage to or from New Zealand is extraordinarily treacherous. So I was duly worried, as I’m sure you were, when you started out with the boat basically held together by duct tape and chicken wire. Thought of you often and prayed for your safety probably every day. So grateful you arrived safely! I have to say, I am truly amazed at your attitude. Your ability to laugh when frustrated is awesome. You are NEVER overly dramatic. You take life as it comes, and no matter what happens, your story telling weaves a tapestry with optimism, humor, and down to earth honesty. You are able to express the emotional truth of a situation without slipping into a “woe is me” mentality or blaming anyone, including each other. I found this episode to be the most romantic one I’ve seen. Your music choices are always picture perfect, and the scenes of the two of you sitting together after the disaster, and working side by side in quarantine, I thought, gave a comforting and reassuring glimpse into your heart connection to each other. Happy anniversary, BTW! Nikki’s soliloquy on the bow was perfect! God bless you both.
Well, you’ve received enough of the terrified, petrified, and worrisome comments, so mine will be one of encouragement. 😎
One day (soon?) you (we) will look back on this voyage and talk about the experience will a light-hearted humor. You’ll be thankful that your skills were tested; your perseverance tried, and most of all, you received the highest grade – each other with your beloved boat still intact.
May the waters be warm, the winds be light, and your sailing smooth. May you again explore the ocean depths and climb the mast with genuine curiosity (and share the trials and triumphs with us, your loyal followers). ❤️
Nikki, as you sat and pondered the events of the journey and your feelings toward the travel versus nature, a strange yet accurate analogy occurred to me. Your relationship with Poseidon & Mother Nature has a bit of a Stockholm Syndrome about it…as you wrestle with whether the frightening fits of anger and sheer terror at sea make the beauty of a peaceful, clear and glorious day at sea a little less sweet… Or does the peaceful, clear and glorious day at sea make the frightening fits of anger and sheer terror at sea a hair more tolerable?!? It’s a bit of a conundrum to be sure, but the two of you seem to find a graceful balance between the bitter & the sweet! Meanwhile, we certainly enjoy the story as you conquer the trials and tribulations then discover & share more and more beauty to behold.
So glad you’re safely tucked in NZ and hope you’re mustering up the strength and fortitude to soldier on!
Much Love ❤️❤️❤️
Wow! Amazing journey and your will to succeed is a joy to watch…makes an RV adventure seem like a walk in the park. Get some strong coffee and relax for a bit.
Wow! I was petrified watching – even though I knew already you had arrived safely. That journey was truly a life changing moment. I understand the exhilaration you feel as you face each challenge and tackle the response with ingenuity. Even though you have a mountain of maintenance and other boat tasks to complete in the next few months, you should be walking on air! What an accomplishment! Be proud of your feat and remember with pride!
I am following your adventures and although I am a sailor I would never ever dare to go where you guys are going. I admire your courage and ability to reset grom fear to creative solutions. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your journey! Ps. Say hello from cousin Hetty from Holland to all my relatives in NZ!!!
VALERIE LYNN WILLIAMS
Thank you for the real voyage details.
I can’t imagine… just the video was insane… ‘still holding my breath.
I’m in recovery and might need oxygen.
You guys are crazy amazing!!
My prayers are with you on your journey and I wish the best of everything for you in the repairs getting done!
.•´*¨`*• ♡¸.• •❥.•´*¨`*• ♡¸.• •❥
Terra-firms, the more firms, the less terra.
I am shocked at the poor method used to create that locker. That a bottom was not part of the boat’s structure is surprising and worrisome. What were they thinking? Imagine if your forward holds were created that way!
Perhaps you can take some heavy stainless steel and create a box shape frame. The steel would be fastened directly to the boats main structure. Then the whole frame would be glassed in. It would never come loose again.
By the way, did I mention about seeing if the windows can have a new frame created which would allow flat panels to be used instead of expensive and hard-to-find curved glass? That might be a more permanent fix, maybe?
Well, carry on, and thank for the great video. Ya’all done good! Remember, your never alone when you can call on God for help.
Nikki and Jason, that was really frightening! That old guy that lives in the sea–Poseidon, I think–was definitely messing with you!
Your perseverance has been amazing, and has earned you some time to rest, unwind, and explore this beautiful place.
Tracy Winn on S/V Leilani (42' Leopard)
You have captured the reality of passage making beautifully through these three videos. Thank you for sharing these emotional moments with us.
Wow you guys rock! Kudos really! I’ve been watching and following. I have so many questions for you guys.
A great finale to your voyage to NZ series. Sorry for the bruises to Curiosity though you presented them in a suspenseful, educational and enjoyable way! I really like the descriptions of the raw emotions you experienced.
Congratulations on completing the passage and graduating quarantine. Looking forward to the repairs and refit experiences, tours of NZ and setting off for your next destination!
Mark aaron luttrell
God love you, you were ready for what happen, just thank god for it not being your first voyage. Chins up stay safe, and now the hard work and fun begins. Than you for the videos, they are great.
Glad you made it safely……In an emergancy was the life raft designed to drop from the bottom and inflate?
Remeber this to shall pass!!
Is it time for a new boat? I’m so happy you made passage safely but wow! Very scary! Very blessed you had good seas after the life raft locker left. Enjoy New Zealand. Seriously consider Curiosity II.
And thanks for taking us all along. I could never do what you do so living vicariously through you is the next best thing. I look forward to Sunday mornings to watch your adventures. Stay safe!
Wow! I’m glad you are safe. Thank you for sharing your adventures.
I never think you’re being “too dramatic”. That’s not who either of you are. I felt how scary your passage was, through your words. So glad you arrived safely. When you guys arrive safely at the end of each trip, that makes my day!
I travel on land, and I had my drivers mirror fall out as I was exiting a construction zone. I slowed my speed, pulled over where it was barely safe, hopped out and grabbed tape. Quick fix, and hopped back in the rig. When I could safely pull over I did so and taped it better. I was grateful the wire it was dangling from held, and that my speed was low when it happened. I totally understand when you say, “you’ve got to figure it out with whatever you have in the moment”.
Love your videos ! You are my inspiration as a solo traveler. Look forward to all your videos and I try to live my life with the same upbeat attitude you two show us!
I am so glad you are safe is a full structural survey now a prudent thing to do ? I have been worried for several months about the damage that ultraviolet could do and the salt water and the continual battering of the waves.We all know the Southern Oceans are the most Unforgiving .
You two are so positive and really a pleasure to follow. And It is OK to get worried as just about everything that could go wrong did, all on one passage.
Thanks for brilliant editing and video work.
Battered and bruised and everyone is a bit deflated (especially minion!) but come hell or high water (literally!) she got you there!
Time for some TLC. After an anniversary tour! Happy anniversary!!!
I’m super glad you made it to New Zealand because I was so worried for you both. God please get them home safe. Now what are you kids going to do? What can we do to help you? Please stay safe.
After your New Yealand second honeymoon, and after fixing all the things on Curiosity, what comes next? Are you going to circumnavigate the globe? Return the way you came? Have you considered selling curiosity in New Zealand, and fly back to Texas?
Assuming they fix Nikki’s allergies, how is your general health? Has this sailing oddesy impacted your health? Good or bad? Not trying to be nosey, just wonder if each of you are up for more adventures?
I couldn’t help but notice that your dinghy looked deflated during one of the shots. In an emergency that may have been an issue. Especially after losing the life raft. 🙂
Yes, Minion deflated in the first few days of the passage. They looked at it when they stopped at Minerva Reef, but couldn’t patch it.
So many feelings I have for you after watching this 😱😳🤯🥺👀💪. I foresee a long stint in Oz, but of all the places in the world to be stuck I think it could be magical for you two and I know you’ll make the most of it. ❤️
You excite my days all the time, I wish you joy and happiness, love and laughter and safe passage xxlooking forward to NZ videos
“Their tiny ship was tossed…” I was beginning to think sailing might be fun. You’ve now convinced me to stay on dry land. Glad you made it.