ANNOUNCEMENT: Tiny House Blog Welcomes A New Voice

How many of you are familiar with the “Tiny House Living” concept? It’s an idea that’s been around for awhile but has been gaining incredible momentum over the last few years. If you’re into things like minimalist living, sustainable living, small spaces, tiny houses, cabins, yurts, RVs and travel trailers, chances are you’ve heard of Tiny House Blog; a great resource with some very inspiring ideas.

All over the world people are being inspired to seek out a simpler life. It wasn’t until several months ago that we realized we are already part of this movement.

Andrew Odom has been following our blog since the very beginning. He quickly reached out and introduced me to a not-so-tiny online community of like-minded people.  Andrew Odom writes for Tiny House Magazine, Tiny House Blog and his own website, Tiny r(E)volution. He and Kent Griswold (founder of Tiny House Blog) then recruited me to offer my perspective about living in a tiny floating home and write a couple of articles for Tiny House Magazine.

Today, I have much bigger news.

Today, Tiny House Blog officially welcomes a new voice to it’s team of writers. You guessed it… YOURS TRULY!

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I am incredibly honored to represent Liveaboards everywhere, sharing the joys and frustrations of living on a boat. I’ll be contributing weekly in addition to writing posts here on Where The Coconuts Grow.

Please <click here> to head over to Tiny House Blog and check out my very first post!!

Cruising BVI: North Sound Virgin Gorda

Back in June we spent a little over a week taking in the beauty of North Sound, Virgin Gorda. This would be the last island we visit before continuing our journey south to spend Hurricane Season. As we entered through the channel markers, we caught a glimpse of Sir Richard Branson’s private island. Incredible.

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Our first stop was near Saba Rock which kindly provided an open wifi signal that we were able to pick up with our booster, anchored off of Prickly Pear Island. Mooring balls were available for a fee but there was also plenty of room to anchor. We tried this spot first since we heard this is where most of the cruisers stay. Though there were only a few boats around that late in the season, we met up with Wild Card for the first time and we also met another couple on a Whitby, English Rose. Both of these cruising couples quickly became good friends that we still stay in contact with to this day.

Up at the restaurant on Saba Rock the saltwater aquarium was fun to see. Inside was a Moray Eel, Spiny Lobster and a small cannon like the ones we saw diving on the reef nearby.

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The Bitter End Yacht Club lay just a stone’s throw away. All kinds of water sport rentals are available such as Hobie Cats, kite surfing and diving.

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During our visit at the restaurant, a little friend came to say hello.

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After lunch we took a stroll down the palm-lined paths that wind past the resort. Island-style cabanas and hammocks were scattered along the shore.

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Tucked back in the corner across the bay is the Biras Creek Resort. The anchorage in front provided ample protection from the wind and an escape from all of the charter boats coming and going from Bitter End. The resort has a gorgeous dinghy dock that we used to bring Gunner and Betsy ashore. Several trails extended from the resort up over the hillside. We passed by some curious horses and continued across the island to discover a secret restaurant and private beach, all managed by the Resort.

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Just before leaving the anchorage in front of Biras Creek Resort, we met David, Toutou, Maya and Tyler aboard Four Coconuts. We became fast friends with these fellow coconut cruisers and began making plans to buddy-boat down the islands.

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One more stop to check out of the BVI’s and we would be on our way!

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Stay tuned for our last adventure in the BVI’s before heading south. We are currently in Grenada finishing up boat projects 🙂

Salty Myths and Secret Lore: Alien Encounters

SALTY MYTHS AND SECRET LORE… stories we’ve heard, and tales galore…

For ages, salty sailors have told stories of strange happenings out at sea. Though intrigued by the legends of those that have gone before us, the stories we tell here are first hand accounts and shared in detail by those directly involved.

You may remember us sharing our story of The Haunting of Bahia Escocesa several months back. Today we would like to share with you a story told by our friends Matt and Jessica aboard Serendipity. Their account of unexplained happenings during their recent Atlantic Crossing is enough to give anyone the heebie jeebies!

All text and photos below have been republished with permission. The original post by MJ Sailing can be found here.

Atlantic Crossing Part II Days 42 & 43: Alien Encounters

Thursday July 31, 2014

I’m not going to lie, it’s starting to get really hard (and boring, probably for all of us) for me to come up with something to put for every single day of this crossing.  So until we make landfall, I’m only going to put down things that are worth putting down.  And then hopefully, just hopefully, I can start getting pictures and stories up of what I’m assuming is amazingly beautiful Horta.

On that note though, something happened that I thought was kind of cool and noteworthy.  Today we crossed a spot on the globe where we had the exact same coordinates for latitude and longitude.  I wonder how often that happens for people?  I obviously haven’t done a lot of research on the subject, but it seems like a lot of areas covered by land (or at least the United States) are higher than 80 degrees West, meaning there is no matching latitude.  So to find numbers close enough to match pretty much means you’re going to be over water.  Maybe something random I can add to my bucket list?  Seems like a cool enough accomplishment.

7_31_14-900x598Oh, and if you can tell from the photo, we’ve now passed the stationary gale (which has all dissipated now) and we can begin heading north and directly toward Horta again!

Friday August 1, 2014

There’s just something about me and night shifts and strange lights. Don’t get me wrong, that fireball I spied just a few days outside of Bermuda was probably a once in a lifetime sight that I’ll never forget and may be worth crossing the Atlantic for itself (mayb-be), but the past few nights seem to be surprising me with questionable lights amidst the dark. Yesterday morning around 2 am I was popping my head up on deck between relaxing with my podcast on the comfortable settee below to see what looked like a flashlight beam oh so briefly shine on our American flag flapping at the stern. There is nothing on the boat that could have illuminated it at that angle so brightly unless Matt decided to sneak up behind me with an actual flashlight, unnoticed by me, while I still stood on the steps. Very unlikely. As my heart quickly jumped into my throat I thought it was another boat trying to identify us, but after frantically searching the horizon and then turning to the radar, we were the only thing out there. Alien encounter? Apparently once they realized we were American it was enough to make them leave us alone.

Which brings me to this morning’s odd light. More astrological than extraterrestrial, but still startling nonetheless. It was moments into my 12-4 am shift when I was just climbing up the steps to do a cursory glance before my more in depth check that would be coming up in ten minutes (what can I say?, I like to stick to my schedule), the sky directly in front of us suddenly lit up as if the deck light had been thrown on. In the split second it took my mind to register that this shouldn’t be happening I saw a very bright greenish-white sphere fall from the sky leaving a bright trail behind it. My first thought was ‘Oh my god, it’s a flare!!’. Although from what I’ve been told, flares are red or orange and nothing else. But this was close! As in, someone must be lighting off fireworks next to our boat close. Surely it couldn’t be a meteor?

Quite startled and still not fully registering what had just happened in the two seconds it took to happen I let out an audible and nervous “Ummm….” as Matt was still settling himself into bed. Asking what was the matter I told him that I’d just seen a very bright light that looked flare-like just ahead of us, and as he raced to untangle himself from the sheets he had just slipped under, I added “But it was greenish-white”, knowing that his first thought would be that someone in a life raft was trying to alert us to their existence. By now my head was finally wrapping itself around the fact that it probably was a meteor. Just a very, very close meteor, and that there was no need to worry. Not taking any chances though, he dove into full rescue mode, not wanting to risk the possibility of missing someone out there trying to signal us. Asking me question after question of exactly where I’d seen the light, how close it was, and what kind of shape it took, he set about trying to figure out our drift and trajectory while trying to find out when and how close we’d come to the source of the light After ten minutes of more horizon scans, scrutinizing the radar, and follow up questions such as ‘If it were you, how long would you wait to set off a second flare?’, I assured him that, as amazing and unlikely as it was, I think we were just incredibly close to a meteor that happen to be falling in this vast ocean that we’re traveling. He finally relented and went back to bed as I promised to stay up there for a while longer, keeping an eye out for any more lights or loud signaling noises.

In non-astrological news, we’re continuing our path directly north as we ride the east winds before they shift east in the next day or two and force us to turn directly east instead. So close and yet so far away. I keep focusing on the miles remaining as the crow flies, wishing we could take that same direct path, trying to count down our arrival based on those numbers, but instead preparing myself for yet another day or possibly two at sea on top of my predictions because we’re forced to travel at 90 degree angles instead. The pressure is still steadily rising, now at 1022, 10 mb higher than we were 48 hours ago, and I guess I should just be grateful for having any wind at all as we make our way into yet another high pressure system.

In more exciting news, I saw another sailboat today. What??!! I honestly didn’t think that would happen until we were within 20 miles of Faial. For some reason this sight makes me extremely giddy. We’re not alone out here, the only thing under 400 ft and carrying cargo. Part of me wants to call them up on the VHF just to say hi and find out where they’re going. Possibly get a little encouragement from someone out here that’s just as crazy as us. Another voice to say, ‘Yup, we’re right there with you’. Except, knowing our luck, they’d come back with, ‘You’ve been out how long??!! We just left the states two weeks ago. You must be traveling extremely slow’. Yup, that’s a much more likely scenario. Maybe they won’t get a call after all.

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Be sure to visit MJ Sailing’s BLOG and FACEBOOK PAGE for ridiculously gorgeous photos and beautifully written stories about all of their cruising adventures.

If you have any salty myths or secret lore that you’d like to see published here, please contact us on the blog or through our FACEBOOK PAGE!

Cruising BVI: Snorkeling at Virgin Gorda

vg snorkeling-2Approximately 1/4 mile East of Saba Rock in the North Sound, Virgin Gorda, lay two old war cannons out on the reef. A dive buoy owned by Saba Rock marks the location. We tied our dinghy off to the buoy and just a short distance away about 10 feet down lay the first cannon. The second cannon is a short swim from the first, both surrounded by pieces of coral and home to plenty of little fishies.

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Rumor has it that these cannons were moved from The Wreck Of The Rhone to this location. For some entertaining history about Saba Rock and the “legendary scuba pioneer” Bert Kilbride, visit this article and this one too.

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The outer reef protects the North Sound from Atlantic swell. It’s wide, the water is shallow, and makes for a fun underwater playground. We snorkeled for hours here in the clear and clean water. The reefs weren’t terribly exciting but we did see a few rays, lobster, barracuda and big tarpon.

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Another day, we ventured the opposite way and took the dinghy back toward the entrance markers to the North Sound. The rocky cliffs gave way to where a new resort is being built off of Mosquito Rock. We spotted an octopus hiding out near the construction site. The water was much cooler on this side and we didn’t venture too far.

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The hot days make it hard to cool off any other way than going for a swim so we’re grateful to be able to play around in water this warm and clear. Our backyard is an ocean with so many things to discover!

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Stay tuned for more pics of the BVI. We’re currently in Grenada ticking off a few boat projects from the list and waiting out the rest hurricane season…

Leave us a comment, we’d love to hear from you!!

Cruising BVI: The Dogs

The Dogs are a group of small islands just off of Virgin Gorda. Several mooring balls are scattered throughout the three anchorages for day use. A little off the beaten path, it’s usually quiet there with not too many visiting boats.

Fighting a strong current, we picked up a mooring ball on the very outside of George Dog around lunch time on June 17th. We had a quick bite to eat and then went for a refreshing swim. The boat was in about 60 feet of water but got shallow quickly as we approached the shore with our snorkel gear. The reefs were filled with colorful fish.

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Large boulders made for some fun snorkeling as we free-dove up and down the rocky underwater ravines. One particular area toward the edge of the reef must have had a patch of sea ants hiding out inside. Both of us felt a mild sting on our arms and chest near the coral though we hadn’t touched anything. Another underwater irritation we found thriving here was fire coral. Just as it sounds, this stuff burns if you accidentally brush up against it, leaving a nasty rash. This is an important species to be able to identify!

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The anchorage was rolly and had little protection from wind and we soon discovered why this was a day-use-only area. We untied the mooring and finally made our way over to the North Sound on Virgin Gorda to get our anchor set before nightfall. We had been planning on Virgin Gorda being our last stop in the BVI for quite some time, though it took us almost a month to make our way that far East. We wanted to stock up one last time on groceries on Virgin Gorda before continuing our island hopping down the Caribbean Island chain.

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Stay tuned for more gorgeous photos of our stay on Virgin Gorda, BVI. We are currently waiting out the rest of hurricane season at a comfortable 12degrees latitude.

Cruising BVI: The Baths at Virgin Gorda

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The Baths at Virgin Gorda are one of the most spectacular attractions in all of the Virgin Islands. Giant natural rock formations have created caves and tunnels at the shore’s edge with incredible tide pools hidden inside.

Over the years, dozens of mooring balls have been installed near the entrance to the caves as well as outside Devil’s Bay. They are free for day use only on a first come, first served basis. During the high season it will seem as though every charter boat in the BVI is there. They start showing up from around 7am and rotate out like bees from a hive until sunset.

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If you prefer to tour the baths privately without crowds of people on your tail, be sure to get there just after the sun comes up. If you want to take any pictures without a bunch of strangers in your way, definitely get there at 6am! The caves are significantly more majestic when no other voices or sounds can be heard. It’s also recommended to not enter the caves after 4:30 pm because it takes a good 20 minutes each way through the caves. When the sun sets, the caves get dark and the tide rises, making for a potentially dangerous passage back out.

An alternative to fighting for a mooring ball is to anchor just East of all the mooring balls near the reefs at Little Trunk Bay. It was a bit rolly for us, but not too bad to stay overnight. The view is spectacular with a gorgeous palm-tree-lined beach just ahead, crystal clear water and up to 100′ visibility. From there it’s just a short dinghy ride over to the main entrance to the baths.

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A designated swimming area has been roped off at both the entrance to the caves, as well as at Devil’s Bay to keep the swimmers safe from the dinghy traffic. There is very little shore access and it’s recommended to swim in instead of being dropped off by dinghy. For those that don’t want to swim in, The Baths can also be accessed by land. Any taxi on Virgin Gorda can bring you there. Swimming in requires careful consideration of the weather conditions. If there is a Northerly swell, entrance to the baths is extremely dangerous and dinghies are not allowed to approach. Take care, especially those that are not strong swimmers.

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To access the caves just follow the signs and be prepared to duck down, crawl, squeeze and climb over these boulders. A series of wooden staircases and climbing ropes and have been installed to aid in the journey through these caves, yet they are quite steep.

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Peter and I tied our dinghy to the perimeter of the swimming area and swam in with our snorkel gear. We aimed for a gap in the rocks and made our way up onto the sand. Since it was still early, there were maybe only 4 other boats tied up to moorings already, yet we were the only ones entering the caves. We left our snorkel gear stashed behind a boulder and proceeded in barefoot, armed with only our iPhone and waterproof case.

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The Baths were warm and clear. The colors etched into the rocks were fascinating. These immense boulders formed windows to the sky as we looked upward. We waded and swam through passages in the rocks to the next set of hidden pools. Just beyond the caves we could see the waves crashing in around us, only to slow to a trickle of flow inside. Tiny little fish swam around in the pools with us. Shadows in the early morning cast upon the walls and golden rays of sunshine poured in through the cracks.

Each new cave led to another secret passage way as we climbed up the old wooden ladders and crawled through holes in the rocks. We slid over crevices in the rocks marked by the sand left behind from those that have gone before us. Some areas on the sandy floor had been washed smooth from the incoming tide the night before, making our footprints the first tracks to appear.

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The caves gave way to a trail leading to Devil’s Bay. The tree branches opened up to the crisp blue sky and a pristine sandy beach lay ahead. The water inside the bay was as clear as the water we saw in the Bahamas.

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We went for a swim and took a short walk on the beach just before a large family appeared behind us singing songs as they made their way out of the caves. We did it! Our whole journey through The Baths and Caves was done alone! Proud we had woken up early, we returned back the way we came and swam back out to our dinghy just in time to see dozens of families arriving on shore.

It was a spectacular morning indeed, and a place we want to visit again. The only thing we would do differently is get there even earlier, and bring a better waterproof camera 🙂

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We are currently reminiscing about our journeys this summer as we wait out the rest of hurricane season in Grenada…

Leave us a comment, we’d love to hear from you!

Cruising BVI: Peter Island

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June 15th: Father’s Day 2014

What a perfect place to spend Father’s day! Although we are technically on Peter Island every day, this was our first time visiting the REAL Peter Island. With not many anchorages to choose from, we tucked into the less popular Little Harbour in an effort to distance ourselves from the giant fields of mooring balls and charter boats.

Almost no breeze enhanced the peacefulness of this quiet little bay where everything lay still. The lush hills reflected down into the green water.

We went for a swim and set off to explore.

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Setting foot on Peter Island makes it official! We have arrived!

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The water wasn’t as clear as we thought it would be, though it was cleaner than most bays and felt extremely refreshing. Just a few little fish shared their home with us that day since there wasn’t anywhere for them to hide on the East side of the bay.

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We swam back to the boat and grabbed the paddle boards to explore a bit further.

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A small structure sat at the shoreline. Inside, it was clearly built to be an outhouse some time ago. Behind the structure was a stairway leading up the hill. Peter and I pulled the iSUPs up on shore and began climbing, wearing only our thin water booties we had brought to help protect our feet from anything dangerous we might encounter.

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The stairway took us about half way up the hillside where it looked like we had come to a dead end. Just then, Peter noticed a faint trail in the dirt that was carved out underneath a clearing in the branches. We kept climbing.

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At the top of the hill we discovered an old deserted house. Grafitti covered the walls and roofing materials lay scattered on the ground. We took a quick look around and got out of there before the mosquitos could find us.

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Back on the boat, we showered off, made some dinner and had a lovely evening relaxing and looking at up at the stars as we cuddled with Betsy and Gunner to celebrate Father’s Day. One he’ll never forget, we’re sure.

The next morning the resident barracuda came by the boat to introduce himself. They always look scarier up close.

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Later in the morning we took our snorkel gear and paddle boards over to the Southwest side of the anchorage to see if the reefs were livelier, and that they were. Our underwater phone case wasn’t sealing properly that day so unfortunately the pictures didn’t turn out. We did see a few tarpon and just as we got back to the boat we saw a huge turtle swim away from her nest. Attached to her back was a remora, who also made the picture.

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We had a beautiful time on Peter Island, but The Baths were calling our name. Next up: Photos from the famous Baths on Virgin Gorda!peter island-9peter island-18

We’re currently exploring the Grenadines as we wait out the rest of Hurricane season in the Southern end of the Caribbean. Send us a message…we’d love to hear from you!

Celebrating ONE YEAR aboard Mary Christine

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Today marks ONE WHOLE YEAR living aboard Mary Christine!

From San Diego to Grenada and 3,000 nautical miles at sea, we’ve had some amazing adventures in our first year. We’re grateful for the opportunity we’ve been given to experience such a beautiful way to travel and we look forward to many more years to come!

For those new to our site, visit our first post to catch up on all the awesome memories we’ve made so far 🙂

We’ve just arrived back into the land of WIFI after an amazing week in the Tobago Cays! Stay tuned for some more great pictures.

The Liebster Award 2014

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“Tomorrow. I really want to write this tomorrow.” That’s what I kept telling myself after we got our first Liebster Award nomination from a super fun family we’ve been following at Diving Into Cruising. What the heck is a Liebster Award, you say? Well, it’s basically a Pay It Forward type of chain letter for bloggers all over the world. It’s been going around for years and gets passed on from one blog to another.

It’s more than just a “good luck” email chain letter, though, that you would forward on to the first 10 email addresses that pop into your head. The Liebster Award represents something more endearing. It’s recognition for fellow bloggers out there that genuinely deserve a mention. There are so many great blogs with amazing stories but it’s nice to share the love with blogs that are new, less known, or that haven’t received a nomination yet.  The rules have morphed over the years away from things like 11 questions for 11 nominees and only nominating blogs with less than 200 followers. We prefer to soften the edges a bit and take a more generalized rule set where we simply accept the award by writing a new blog post linking back to the blog that nominated us, publish our answers to their questions, nominate a handful of our favorite blogs that haven’t been nominated yet, and ask them some questions – either copied from others or created special for our new nominees.

We were honored to get a second nomination a few weeks later from our friends over at Cream Puff. This is getting serious now… I knew I couldn’t put it off any longer! “Two nominations have already been made and I still haven’t made the time to squeeze in this sweet little post.” Then, Genevieve from one of our favorite blogs, It’s A Necessity, finally got around to accepting her award (I’m not the only procrastinator!!) and gave us our third nomination. While punching out the answers to our questions, I happened to be chatting over email with our friend Jan from Commuter Cruiser. If you’ve been following our blog from the beginning, you know that Jan and David hold a special place in our hearts and we will be forever grateful for all that they taught us in our first four months aboard SV Mary Christine. We received our fourth and final nomination from Commuter Cruiser so now it’s time to show our appreciation and share the love. We’ve now got 40 questions on the table so we’ll do the best we can to answer them all 😉

Questions from Diving Into Cruising – Dieter, Britton and Brady… and the same set of questions from Commuter Cruiser – Jan and David:

1. Introduce us to your crew.  Who are they and what role do they play in your operation?

Our crew includes Peter (the Captain), Jody (the first mate) and our two large furry four-legged children, Betsy and Gunner (in charge of guarding us and the boat).

2. What sort of boat do you have and would you recommend it for other adventurers hoping to live aboard? What do you like least about your choice?

We have a ketch rigged 1980 Whitby 42 monohull. She’s a good solid cruising boat that can take us across oceans. She’s slow, but solid, and is tougher than we are. We would definitely recommend a Whitby to any new liveaboard cruiser.

The part we like the least about this boat is the ventilation. In the tropics, it sometimes rains every hour. We run around like we’re doing a Chinese Fire Drill to shut all the hatches, ports and isinglass. There are so many different openings that are needed for ventilation, yet none of them can remain open while its raining without getting a ton of water inside the boat. When the rain stops, we have to go around and open them all back up before we pass out in this sweatbox.

3. Where are you now and what are your sailing plans, if you have any, for the future?

We’re in Grenada waiting out the rest of Hurricane Season. Tomorrow we head to the Tobago Cays for a little exploring, then we’ll come back to Grenada until the end of October. Then, we’ll make our way back through the Eastern Caribbean as far North as BVI. From there, we’ll head back South to see the ABC’s then to Panama for some big waves and big fish.

4. How do you support your lifestyle while sailing and cruising? 

We worked hard to pay off old debt, sold almost everything we had on land, and sailed away with a good savings. We’ll need to find work along the way to help keep us afloat, but for now we’re living as frugally as we can while still having a good time as we visit so many amazing countries.

5. What’s the best experience you’ve had while living aboard? 

We’ve had so many!! It’s hard to pick just one. If you haven’t been following our adventures from the beginning, you can find our first post HERE.

6. Name the most challenging experience you have had while living aboard and what did you do to overcome it?

The most challenging experience we have had was cutting the dock lines, taking a leap of faith and sailing away from safe harbor when we left Burnt Store Marina and made our way to the Bahamas. The list of projects is never-ending and there was always something left that we felt was keeping us from finally leaving. The push that we needed was having our good friends Josh and Leah fly in to set sail with us. They worked hard to help us get ready and with their motivation, we found the courage to GO FOR IT, despite our lack of experience. It has since proven to be one of the most memorable experiences we’ve had because it has allowed us to explore so many amazing places along this great journey.

7. Is living aboard and sailing an alternative way of life for you, an escape from the system, or is it just a temporary adventure?

It’s definitely not temporary for us. A new and better way of life is more accurate. There’s a lot of benefits to living in the US, but there’s a lot of things we wanted to get away from as well. There’s still rules in these little islands, but far less than back on land.

8. Any big mistakes you have learned from that others may learn from too?

We haven’t made any big mistakes yet… knock on wood! We’ve avoided many potential disasters thanks to all the advice and help we’ve received from fellow cruisers and new friends we’ve met along the way. Little thing’s we’ve learned are to slow down and never be in a hurry, always check the weather, and to trust our gut.

9. What advice would you give to youngsters just finding their place in the world?  College, skill/trade, world travel on the graces of good luck?

Find your passion!!! Do whatever you need to do to find what makes you happy. Follow your dreams and don’t look back. Anything is possible, no matter how difficult it may seem, just have a little faith that it will all work out. If you’re not sure what your passion is yet, go to college, learn something new, and start networking. Talk to as many people as you can and find out what their passion is and why. Ask a lot of questions. We found that there are a lot of people who are happy to help you find your passion.

10. What motivates you to blog and what tips can you offer fellow bloggers?

It comes down to the fact that we really want to inspire others to follow their dreams and do whatever it takes. We are young – younger than most that are traveling the world by sailboat. Out of the ordinary? Sure. Crazy? Maybe. But do we regret it? NEVER! This is a truly amazing experience and more rewarding than we could have ever imagined. We’re following our dreams and sharing our adventures in hopes that even just a few people will be inspired enough to do whatever it takes to follow their dreams as well. We write from the heart and hope you feel like you’re right here with us every day.

Questions from Cream Puff – Mark and Cindy:

1. Meet the crew. Who are you? Each share something about the other (not on the blog)

Jody: She is the Sargent in Arms, making sure everything is in order and running smoothly. She’s tougher than epoxy and holds us all together.

Peter: His adventurous spirit keeps us moving forward and reminding us why we’re here, even in the difficult moments.

Betsy: The unconditional love this little dog has for everyone she meets is enough to melt icebergs. The world would be a much better place if everyone had a dog like her.

Gunner: This crotchety old dog teaches us patience and helps us practice love for those that make our life challenging. He’s been a good friend and has had a good life.

2. What advice would you give to a wannabe traveler just starting out?

Don’t give up! There will be some discouraging moments, but just remember that you’re doing something most people will either never have the opportunity to do or never have the courage to do. Be grateful for the opportunity you’ve been given, and enjoy every moment!

3. Can you roll your tongue or wiggle the end?

Yes, we both can!

4. What is your favorite restaurant in the whole world?

Love Boat Sushi back in San Diego. That was our favorite place to go on dates when we first met. Really, any good sushi restaurant will do the trick.

5. If you sail as a couple, who is really, and I mean really, the captain?

Ohhh shoot. Since you put it that way… well then it’s Peter. Yes, I said it. PETER IS THE CAPTAIN. As much as I would like to think we’re equally capable of handling this boat alone, there are still a few things I’m not comfortable doing. I’m learning that it’s not so bad letting someone else be in charge and it’s really not that important to have a say in every single decision we make. This is definitely worthy of a blog post all on its own though.

6. What are your favorite meals to cook while sailing?

Cook? While sailing?? Ha!  We prefer to cook at anchor, but on longer passages, a few meals must be made under way. We did enjoy barbecuing while crossing the Mona Passage though 🙂

Our staples at anchor are grilled steak, homemade spaghetti, fresh grilled fish, grilled lobster, English muffins with sausage and cheese, and French Toast!

7. Who’s idea was it to buy a boat and how did they convince the other person?

Peter always knew he would buy a boat one day and travel the world. He told me about it when we were camping in the Eastern Sierras only a few months after we met. From that moment on, I KNEW I was going to go with him. It was the best idea I had ever heard. So when our relationship got stronger and all right pieces fell into place, we both knew it was what we had to do.

8. Where is your dream destination?

We both really want to make it to the South Pacific someday. I’ve been to Tahiti before, and Peter has been to Indonesia. We would both love to experience island life in that part of the world with our boat.

9. Why did you pick sailing as a form of transportation or hobby (over an RV/camper for instance)?

We both love the water and wanted the freedom to travel to all places tropical – Where The Coconuts Grow 🙂 If you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to read our page on “What’s up with the coconuts.”

10. Would you please describe your best sailing day ever? (or a link to it)

Hands down, our Maiden Voyage! This is when we first realized our dreams were really coming true. Thank you Commuter Cruiser for all your support that day!

Questions from It’s A Necessity – Eben, Genevieve, Arias and Ellia:

1. Describe yourself in 5 words. No more, no less.

Peter:  Leader, hunter, provider, strong, funny

Jody: Organized, genuine, helpful, creative, inquisitive

2. What do you blog about? What do you NOT blog about?

We blog about the adventures we’ve had so far, what it’s like to live on a boat, how hard it is and how rewarding it is. We DON’T write about things that are TMI and we try to not share the bad moments. We want to keep it real and not sugar coat anything, but we also know that most people who read our blog are reading to hear about the cool and exciting things, not the Debbie-downer moments when nothing is going right. Sometimes we share the hard moments but we try to keep a positive focus.

3. You have $10 US to spend, what is the first thing you buy?

Something cold. Like Ice cream, a smoothie, or a cold pop!

4. What is the worst travel spot you have been to?

No where has really been terrible. We’ve disliked some places and we’d steer away from others but we haven’t been anywhere so horrible that we wouldn’t return if we had to. The nice thing about living on a boat is that we can pick up the anchor and go somewhere else at any time.

5. What is your favorite saying/slang/term you have picked up through your travels?

Peter’s favorite sayings are not appropriate for this blog 🙂

6. If you were invited to a dress up party what costume would you wear?

A beach bum. We love being able to wear shorts/bikinis and flipflops everywhere we go!

7. What is your favorite drink (alcoholic or not)?

Fresh blended every morning in our galley – A Banana/Mango/Guava smoothie!!

8. How much wine is too much?

Peter hates it when anyone whines 😉

9. What are you afraid of?

Us dragging anchor or someone in front of us dragging anchor, damaging our boat or someone else’s. Stay tuned for our scary “nightmare come true” experience in St. Kitts. We’ll just tell you now, it involves a FERRY!

10. If you could have one wish granted, what would you ask for?

 To be able to cruise around the world on a sailboat for as long as we want!

OUR NOMINEES:

To keep the Liebster Love alive, we would like to nominate a handful of our favorite blogs in hopes that they will carry the torch. We took great care to select blogs that haven’t already been nominated yet, but if we’re behind the times, feel free to disregard this nomination. Our intention is to share the love and let our readers know about some other awesome blogs out there that they might not have seen before. Oh, and we REALLY want to hear what kind of answers you come up with 🙂

Sailing Terrapin

Take To The Sea

Stories From A Boat

Something Wagging This Way Comes

Masts and Mastiffs

Couch Sailors

Sailing Dee

Wright Away Sails Away

Sail Far Live Free

The Coconut Mama

Fearful Adventurer

This American Girl

More Hands On Deck

Sailing, Simplicity and the Pursuit of Happiness

NEW QUESTIONS FOR OUR NOMINEES:

1. Why did you start a blog?

2. Why do you still blog?

3. Who do you know that SHOULD have a blog, but doesn’t?

4. What is the first blog you can remember reading and how did you find it?

5. What are three things you are grateful for today?

6. Do you actually read other blog posts, or just look for the pretty pictures?

7. What advice would you give to your past self, 10 years ago?

8. What or who inspires you to follow your dreams?

9. On your boat, who is really, and I mean really, the captain? (Figuratively or metaphorically, if you don’t have a boat)

10. Where would you live if you had an unlimited amount of money?

In case you’re interested in reading a few more fun questions and answers, here are some other blogs that have already accepted the Liebster Award:

Homeschool Ahoy

Windtraveler

Sailing Totem

The Life Nomadik

Diving Into Cruising

This Rat Sailed

Catchin Rays

Cream Puff

MJ Sailing

Vacilando

Astrolabe

It’s A Necessity

The Red Thread

The Spray Logs

Little Cunning Plan

Cynical Sailor

Mid Life Cruising

Cygnus III

Things We Did Today

Banyan

Noel & Jackie’s Journeys

D&G Sail

Sail Away Girl

Wandering Star

Love and Rum

Storyville

We also look forward to seeing the responses from all the other blogs out there that have been nominated but haven’t yet published their answers 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Cruising BVI: Spelunking at The Bight

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The Bight was our next stop after leaving Tortola. An anchorage that’s also home to the famous Willy T’s floating bar. Peter and I skipped the bar scene shenanigans but took the opportunity to visit the three caves located just a quick paddle to the West.

Only accessed by water, it proved to be another fun adventure that we were lucky to experience. Norman Island is said to have inspired the writing found in Treasure Island with tales of pirates, hidden bays and shipwrecks.

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By taking the paddle boards, we got a little exercise on the way over to the caves and we didn’t have to bother with dropping the dinghy. We only planned on staying one night at Norman Island before continuing our island hop East so we preferred to leave the dinghy and motor secured on deck.

Our Tower iSUP’s also allowed us to explore these caves without having to SWIM into the dark unknown. Peter is practically a fish and has no fear so it didn’t matter much to him if we were snorkeling or paddling. If you’re like me, swimming at night or in water too murky to see around you is a sure-fire way to get the heebie-jeebies! There’s just something unnerving about DARK water. Even worse, dark water in a dark cave! I was shocked at just how dark it really got when we got way in there.

On the way home, the wind had picked up considerably and the current coming around the point made it quite challenging to remain standing. We had been forewarned about the current there but chose to take the challenge anyway. Paddling back around the point to The Bight is only recommended at slack tide, or be prepared for a serious workout!

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Stay tuned for more adventures from BVI! We’re currently in Grenada waiting out the rest of Hurricane Season 🙂 Leave us a comment, we’d love to hear from you!