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tiki party boat peanut island

S/V Curiosity – Our First Solo Sail Part 2

I’m going to come right out and say it:  Nikki is way cooler than me.

I mean, did you see her cruise outta that tight marina at Harbour Towne or dock our 43 foot catamaran into a 40 foot spot in our sailing school series?  She kept cool even when things got hairy.  I would have freaked out at the helm…shoot I was freaking out while running around with the roving fender!

I get nervous (a lot more than Nikki) and sometimes I let my nerves get the best of me.  Day 3 of our first solo sailing trip is no exception, and rather than try to explain myself I think it shows pretty well in the video.

Let me start by apologizing (again) to Nikki for making her wake up 2 hours early.  If I would have been more patient we could have slept in and saved diesel fuel because the winds really picked up in the afternoon (i.e. no motorboating, just sailing).  I’d like to say “lesson learned” but I know myself too well, so for now I’ll say “point noted.”

After watching the video, you might be wondering why I was so nervous, it’s due to sites like floridaocean.org that print statements like these about the St. Lucie Inlet: The St. Lucie Inlet has a reputation for being one of the most treacherous in Florida. Sinking or severe damaging of vessels, injuries, and even deaths have occurred here.  The article goes on to describe more horrible stuff and situational errors people have made in this inlet.

As a newbie sailor, at first glance we said “ah hell no!”  However, our sailing friends Greg and Cole, whom we were heading north to meet, assured us it wouldn’t be a problem.  They assured us: come in at high tide, when there is no major weather, and you’ll slip in without an issue.  They were 100% correct, I guess that’s what the books mean when they say enter the port with “local knowledge.” Check out the super calm shots of this deadly inlet, it’s amazingly calm.

sailing florida

learning to sail our catamaran

Our friends just moved to Florida.  Greg’s a captain and is currently working for tow boat US. Cole is a freelancer who wears many hats but has a big passion for sailing.  She has worked as head chef on several yachts and tall ships and they are both simply the nicest people.  Unfortunately, they too are new to the waters (and fish) of Florida, so when we caught a barracuda and mis-identified it as a king mackerel, none of us knew any better.  What’s even crazier, we were boarded by the US Coast Guard at the same time we brought the fish up.  You think they would have said “you might not want to eat that” or something.  Geeze.

Jason wynn looking like panama jack

While we were busy answering questions with the coast guard, Greg and Cole were filleting up the fish.  The coast guard guys were cool and happy to answer a few of our questions as well.  We were pretty excited to have them on board. Why?!? I don’t know, but we were. I guess it’s one of those first big things to happen on our boat.

boarded by coast guard

catching baracuda while sailing

coast guard boarded our catamaran

The good news is, our barracuda was not laced with Ciguatera, so we survived our unforgettable dinner at sea.  At least we all walked away with a good story to share.  Thanks to all the fishermen (and women) on Facebook and Instagram that are looking out for us and helping us learn how to identify our fish.

We ended up not filming our sail with Greg and Cole. We decided to take a break since we’re so behind on editing and really wanted to spend the time getting to know them and practice sailing. In fact we were such poor journalists we completely forget to get a photo with them!  We stayed at Manatee Pocket for a few days to edit video before returning south to Just Catamarans to finish up our boat projects.  The trip north was a great break from the dock to remind us why we bought a sailboat in the first place, but more than anything it was a GIANT confidence booster for both Nikki and me.

On a side note, day 2 didn’t go as planned but it gave us a glimpse of what it’ll be like going ashore for provisions and exploring islands. One day in the future i’m sure it’ll be second nature, but the Lake Worth Inlet was the perfect place for us to “cut our teeth.” Downtown West Palm Beach is a couple miles south for coffee shops, restaurants and nightlife. The Loggerhead Marina to the north has fuel and grocery store literally behind the marina (make sure you call first, they only let us leave the dingy because we purchased fuel and it was closing time). It’s a short motor from the anchorage to Peanut Island for history, exercise and some of the most clear snorkeling water you’ll find in Florida short of The Keys.

exploring peanut island

As for all the boats anchored out near Peanut Island it’s pretty crazy. From the derelict to the disgustingly trashed out, but my favorite by far are the little pontoon float eateries and party rafts. Seems crazy to us people are allowed to keep their boats here indefiniely but it makes for a colorful dinghy ride.

tiny house boat

tiki party boat peanut island

We truly hope you’ve enjoyed hanging with us these past few days as we sailed along solo for the first time.  We have loads of discoverys ahead, mistakes to be made and way more to learn as our adventure is just in it’s infancy.

If there’s a newbie learning story, or any nerve induced mistakes of your own you would like to share, we’d love to hear it.  Maybe you ate some barracuda mistakenly too? No…just us?

Extras you may have noticed:

Equipment used to film this video:

Sailing Report

Date: 7/12-13/2016
Weather: Sunshine and t-storms in the evening
Wind:  South to southeast 5-10 knots
Route: Lake Worth (West Palm Beach, FL) to Manatee Pocket (Stuart, FL).
Anchorage: Manatee Pocket

Famous for my "how-not-to" videos, and typically the man behind the camera, sometimes I’m forced to be here in the “spotlight”. When you see my face you’re probably reading something more technical than adventurous, but either way I do my best to tell it like it is and infuse my opinions into the commentary…after all this is a blog and not MSN.

Comments (68)

  • Dave L.

    Way to go you guys ! I miss cruising !
    just a thought on your dinghy engine. we have a swing arm davit not too different from your setup. Our mercury 4 stroke is very specific in that it should only by laid down on what is it’s port side. otherwise oil can flow to the upper half. I’m not sure of your honda engine but you should check; with the dinghy lifted sideways and with the engine mounted you should make sure the engine is laying on the correct side. (my engine is always on the port side of the mother ship for that reason). there’s always a lot of little details.
    Fair Winds.
    Dave…

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  • Nikki and Jason

    You guys are a real inspiration for those of us looking to enjoy the world of travel and adventure! My wife and I are going to be down your way looking at boats and want to stop in to say hi. Like to know how we can touch base?
    thanks!

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    • We are out sailing south, not at a marina so I am not sure where we will be. Give us a shout on facebook, twitter or instagram and let us know where you are.

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  • Mike

    Ive been tuning in since you guys hit the road, and continue to learn more and more, as you skim over the ocean, if you ever head to the upper Chesapeake, you can tie your lines to my dock anytime. Your Awsum, Be Safe!

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  • Andrea

    Hi Nikki, Jason and your cool cats! We have been following your adventure for over a year now and we have watched all of your earlier videos too. I have to say your vids are outstanding, We always look forward to the next one. We wish you all the very best of luck (and it’s Irish Luck) with your sailing adventure. You two are a true inspiration!

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  • Dennis Moyer

    Hope you guys are Ok after the hurricane.

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  • Jenna Webb

    Hello, be careful with barracuda cos ipthey can have toxins and make you very sick…
    What you guys need is a pamphlet, you know like the ones that show shells, or different palm trees,
    That way you will start to learn fast. What you Are catching…or online, and important whT ones are in season, a delicious fish is called a dolphin , not like flipper the dolphin, or is called a Mahi Mahi its turquoise, and yellow has a flat face, (delicious)
    Black grouper, red snapper can be caught out at sea…
    I love reading a following you, we are selling our place in Florida, and going to check out Belize, we need an adventure…so following you guys is my testement adventures are good for the soul…

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  • Michael

    Sorry. Meant “news channel”. (couldn’t find the blasted edit button)

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  • Michael

    Are you guys okay? Concerned about you and the storm. Hope you are staying safe and dry. Please keep us updated. Sure would like to see a new channel for you.

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  • Joy Gross

    Great video! You guys are doing awesome.. Enjoy the journey.

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  • Bill

    Enjoy the blog. I noticed your boat is still appears to be named Reset and that you use that name on the radio. When will you change this? I’m guessing there is some legal hurdles just wondering what they are.

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  • Melissa

    Okay, Nikki, you may have been asked this at some point over the years but I searched your site and nothing came up so…where do you get your hair cut? Traveling so much how do you find a good stylist because it’s easy to screw up a short cut! Sorry if it sounds shallow but a girl has to have some pride?
    Love your videos and blog keep it up!

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  • Brian

    Just watching the weather on the nightly news. Doesn’t look good for Florida, Hope you’re tied up in a nice protected port and the hatches art batten down. Best wishes for riding out the storm.

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    • So far just some thunderstorms where we are. We’re all tied up and secure though just in case.

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  • T.K.

    Ciguatera toxin tends to accumulate in large predator fish (weight over 2 Kg or about 4.5 lbs), such as the barracuda and other carnivorous reef fish, because they eat other fish that consume toxin-producing algae (dinoflagellates), which live in coral reef waters. The toxin has highest concentrations in fish visceral and sex organs.

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  • T.K.

    Ciguatera is a foodborn illness (food poisoning) caused by eating fish that is contaminated by ciguatera toxin. Ciguatera toxin is a heat-stable lipid soluble compound, produced by dinoflagellates and concentrated in fish organs, that can cause nausea, pain, cardiac, and neurological symptoms in humans when ingested. The toxin may be found concentrated in large reef fish, most commonly barracuda, grouper, red snapper, eel, amberjack, sea bass, and Spanish mackerel. These fish live in coral reef waters and accumulate the toxin when they eat smaller reef fish which feed on the dinoflagellates. The area of concern include the Caribbean Sea, Hawaii, and coastal Central America. With fish from ciguatera endemic areas being shipped nationwide, poisonings can potentially occur in any areas in the United States.

    GROUPER, SNAPPER AND AMBERJACK are the finest eating fish in the sea…..

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  • Richard Hubert

    Re: Empty Peanut Island –
    One element of the East Coast lifestyle is that no one goes to Florida in the summer – they go North! Having grown up on the East Coast no one I knew went to Florida for vacation in the summer – instead they would go to New England, or Canada or Alaska – anywhere it was cooler. Try coming back to Peanut Island in January and see all the snowbirds then.

    For many years my parents had a house in Naples, FL which we visited every winter from our home in Maryland. But come mid-April they were out of there – traveling back to upstate NY until the following December when they would migrate back to Naples. Them and hundreds of thousands of other migratory couples.

    Anyway – love your blogs and videos, and sharing in your new sailing adventures. I love how you embrace life, look for adventure, learn new skills, and are eager to share with us what you are doing, what you are learning and where you are traveling. Keep it up!

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  • Roger

    Other cruisers seem to eat barracuda all the time. Where did you hear not to?

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  • Holly

    Love your blog. Great what you are doing. Also love that you have begun to add music to the videos which makes it even more enjoyable to watch (…and listen!) You are both awesome.

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  • Mary

    Really enjoyed the video. Glad it all worked out ( except for the fish ). You are becoming quite the sailors!

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  • Bill

    We were at Just cats today to meet Larry when we saw both of you with Brent on a Leopard at the docks. Weren’t sure if you were there because of the recent weather or boat related stuff. Didn’t feel appropriate to come meet out of the blue. Do you need any assistance, we have a rental car?

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    • Awe, thanks! You most certainly could have come by to say hello. We are still here through tomorrow as this was our safe spot in case of weather.

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      • Bill Allison

        We must have brought the rain with us from Seattle. Looked at Lagoons in the rain yesterday. Off to see a out of our price range 2011 Leopard in Miami …. brokers. Looks like it going to be stormy for a few more day. Hope you find a weather window.

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  • al ciauri

    I have had a 39 ft discovery now I have a 16 ft livin lite . Traveling on my own now , my bride is a Holiday Inn girl not a Holiday Rambler girl. It’s ok . She says at 68 yrs. old she will take a nice bed . I love all your videos and pictures . I’m living my sailing life through your adventures . Thank you . Blessing be with you both . Al

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  • Hi Jason and Nikki! You are helping us so much–we are having the same thoughts of taking the sailing leap and you have such a wonderful way of letting us into your lives, sharing your enthusiasm, with honesty and wit. Keep up that great work (I know that video editing is work). And you keep getting better and better!

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  • Ashley

    Hi there – great video as usual! I was wondering what is the Black & Decker vacuum around the 5:10 mark in the video? Is it handheld, what’s the model, & do you like it? I’m looking for one. Thanks!

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  • Crystal

    Love your videos! Glad you guys pushed through the fear to experience something new. Truly inspirational. Are you guys pescatarian? Have you done any foodie blogs? Your meals look yummy! Happy sailing!

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  • -cb.

    Great to see your progress. Nice work. ‘There be no dragons..’ the old explorers used to say. As long as you think and plan ahead, you’ve already run your fire drills and know what you must do if things go sideways. One suggestion – always try to push to advance your skills whenever you’re under-way. You each have your strengths, but rather than rely on one another’s strengths, work to get stronger at your weaknesses. If you sail long enough, you’ll be glad you did, cause it’ll pay off big when you least expect it, and be your natural reaction.
    ‘Whether you think you can, or think you can’t…you’re right…Boldness has genius, power and magic in it…the moment one definitely commits, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.’
    -best,

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  • Joan

    Jason and Nikki….you guys are the bomb. Love your videos
    . Mostly love your honesty about everything. Look forward to your next video. Be safe and enjoy the sail. PS: the haters you refer to in earlier posts – just a bunch of jealous people. They only wish they could rock like you guys.

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  • Anne Bornholdt

    Enjoyed your update and beautiful pictures! Sail on and looking forward to future reports.

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  • Patrice

    You two are fantastic and an inspiration!! Enjoy and keep safe. Thank you soooo much for including us all on your journeys. I do miss the RV adventures tho

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  • Daniel Tamayo

    If I might make a couple of suggestions for your fishing:
    A). Learn to keep the pole/reel in a slightly tighter drag
    B). Learn to set the hook…from what I’ve seen, you don’t keep the drag very tight…so you need to set the hook and then keep the line taut as your helm slows the boat…if the line goes slack and the hook isn’t set, the fish will just spit the lure out.

    As with all things, it takes practice and getting a feel for it.

    The more successful you are, the better you will become…

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  • Jeff

    You two are becoming quite the sailors! Have fun and in the learning process I believe your stress level will decrease

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  • Darrell

    You guys rock.

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  • Jason Button

    Hi guys love your videos, can we track your boat on marine traffic.com?

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  • sveno

    Jason & Nikki today: Hello! Good morning! How are you! Thanks for watching!
    Jason & Nikki 1 year from now: Ahoy, me Hearties! Yo Ho Ho Buckos! Avast Ye! Yarrrr!

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  • Connie

    Your videos are getting better and better! Love the background music! You’ve accomplished so much as you learn to sail. Truly inspiring!

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  • Marsha

    As usual, a great video. It looks like a lot of work, but gratifying.

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  • Can’t wait to see you land that big one, good thing you have plenty of ice cream to tide you over?

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  • Enjoyed the video….AGAIN. When r u going to get the Phantom up in the air?

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  • Jason & Nikki,

    We just love your videos & blog posts so much. We started following you on youtube, your website, and on Instagram about two months ago when we started shopping for an RV. We are a family of four actors, living and loving life in Los Angeles for the past year, but we are originally from Florida! 🙂 We miss our home state, especially when we watch your sailing videos, but life in L.A. is pretty cool.

    We love your RV videos a lot, but we really REALLY love your sailing videos. Those two things are on our bucket list – to RV across the US and learn how to sail and own a sailboat. Your videos are so encouraging and inspirational! Thank you so much for sharing with all of us.

    Happy Sailing,
    Terri 🙂

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  • Jo

    Hi Guys,
    loving the videos. Jason -There’s nothing wrong with being nervous or cautious. Rather that than end up in the poo. Hindsight is a wonderful thing…
    We are just about to buy a cat, move aboard and set sail. Like you two, we will learn to sail as we go. Just wondered if buying an older boat was an issue and did you have to spend a lot to upgrade things? We are looking at a 2008 model and are concerned that we will have to renew the rigging in a year or two and that isn’t cheap…

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  • Lee

    Do you keep track of the Coast Guard Local Notice to Mariners? You should be in district 7. Something like this below:
    http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=lnmDistrict&region=7

    Navcenter main page:
    http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=lnmMain

    Latest notice to mariners here as of this post: (includes abbreviations)
    http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/pdf/lnms/lnm07342016.pdf

    Fair winds and following seas. (and long may your big jib draw)

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  • Nancy Dana

    Nice Job! When I was brand new as a captain (having sailed as “crew” who mostly just drank beer), I was super conservative, too. So Jason, I feel you! With some experience under my keel, I make different decisions. I take some ribbing sometimes, but I am never sorry to have been prudent. A huge part of sailing is making decisions with some factors unknown. The more I know, the less cautious I am.

    Anyway, nice job! I will be in the Abacos in the fall, where I have been sailing for 10 years. Hope we cross paths!

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  • Frans

    Hey that was a great video, wonderful excursion. Little by little, baby step by step you guys sailing adventures are awesome.
    Love your transparency, thank you Wynns!

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  • Bill Stitt

    I have been following since your beginning decision to take up sailing. I am fascinated at your achievement
    The recipe for your lunch on this trip interested me. Could I get you to share it?
    Thank you,
    Bill

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  • slem

    Thanks!

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  • scooter

    Jason…..Nikki….Please turn OFF clicker when cranking in fish!!!! Push small nipple forward to off. That Clicker is to advise you that fish is on. Cranking with it on will trash the drag washer.

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  • Anne

    I so enjoyed this tonight, great solo part 2 – you guys never disappoint – good luck with the fishing

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  • Roger

    I look forward to your videos because they take me to a fantasy place, outside of my real world, and bring back memories of the time we rented a 45 foot Morgan Custom, mono hull, out of Tortola, BVI and sailed island to island for a week. Most relaxing vacation we ever took. Again, thank you for sharing your videos.

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  • GREAT JOB ON THE SOLO SAIL!!!!

    I’m terribly envious but I will be on a boat soon!! I have no idea if it works but I purchased “Fishing to Live” by Lance Gettler (Amazon) and learned a lot. It is cheap and an easy read.

    Best of luck!!

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  • Brian

    Your two are great, love watching your videos and thank you for sharing them. I do have some questions.
    1. SV…………I’m guessing that stands for Sailing Vessel? If not, then what does it stand for.
    2. How are you connecting to the internet when at sea?
    3. How are you able to use your cell phones when at sea?
    4. Jason you’re a professional photographer and Nikki is a make up artist. I’m curious, when at sea, how are you making an income from these two professions? or are you relying on some other source of income. Just curious if you can share, if not, I understand.
    5. Do you worry about the cats, possibly going overboard? Do they have life jackets.
    6. I know you’ve been super busy, buying the boat, learning to sail etc etc. but, have you missed RVing at all?
    Thanks again for sharing your high sea adventures.

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    • James D.

      That is my only question also, About how you are making an income.

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  • Love the vibe of your last two videos! So happy and excited to see you out on your own! Long time fans here looking forward to more of your adventures at sea! ?

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  • T.K.

    ‘Cudas are easy to clean, and yield firm, white flaky meat with few bones. I’m on my fourth ‘cuda sandwhich in two days, and looking forward to the last piece of filet here in a few minutes.

    So why don’t more people eat barracuda? Well, the slime has a very strong odor, and the larger animals can be poisonous. Eating ‘cudas more than about 3.5 feet long isn’t advised because they can accumulate a naturally occurring toxin called “ciguatera.”

    Basically, ‘cudas and other large predators eat smaller fish that graze algae off the reefs. In certain places, though rarely in Florida, these larger predators can make people that consume them terribly ill. However, barracuda migrate long distances, and can carry the poison from other places.

    Bujt I’ve eaten thousands of them — all small– and never had a problem.

    Enjoy!

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  • Marty Mendelson

    Sounds like you two have things well in hand. Congrats! A while ago prolly on Twitter I mention Miss Geico Offshore. Let me invite you to see them race with SBI (superboat.com). I worked with OPA (oparacing.org) another offshore racing group as a Divemaster/Rescue Diver. I retired from that 2 yrs ago. I’ll be 60 in October and trying act like a 30 yr old was starting to wear me down.

    Anyways, SBI has 2 races left in this season. Clearwater Sept 30-Oct 2 which ends regular season and Key West Nationals in Nov (see calender). Maybe you two would enjoy the race and festivities.

    OPA has several more races left with their Nationals also in Nov in Edgewood south of Tampa.

    Again you two have fun it it your life. However, I figured I would pass this along. At any of these races, there is usually a flotilla at sea parallel to the beach and usually in water about 30 feet in depth.

    If you want or need more info, or would like to converse more privately. I have included my email below.

    Best Regards, Marty ‘Blackcloud’ Mendelson, @BWDivemaster Retired Bluewater Rescue/Salvage Divemaster/Rescue Diver

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  • Valerie

    Hi, I noticed some interesting stuff… It did not seem that you have been doing wing on wing, but were still using preventor. Why? Could you pls share the secret? I am mostly self tought sailor and never been on the boat with anybody experienced, so I am trying to pick up all the tricks. For our first sail we just rented a cat on BVI and went out for 10 days.

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      • Valerie

        Jason, thank you. This sounds awsome! This slaming drives me crazy in larger waves. Do you know if that could be used in high winds as well?

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  • John Caron

    Hi guys. To get out of a heave to all you have to do is release the jib and move it over to the opposite side and unlock the wheel.

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