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Drink of the week!

Whaddya do when you have major engine woes for a solid week or two?

You drink.

I kid, I kid. But seriously, our free time in Salinas has given us the opportunity to experiment in the cocktail department. And why not, right? We are usually super boring players in the “alcoholic beverage arena” where you can typically find us slinging cheap light beers as we watch another gorgeous sunset dip into the ocean night after night. But since we have a nice little stashola of liquor on board, why not mix it up and try a few fun new drinks?!

After searching Pinterest for some creative cocktail recipes that would work with our stock of mostly rum or tequila, we opted to mix up a batch of Dark ‘n’ Stormies the other afternoon.

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Now, by definition a Dark ‘n’ Stormy is a highball cocktail made specifically with Gosling’s Black rum (the dark) and ginger beer (the stormy) served over ice and garnished with a slice of lime. Ya well we unfortunately do not have Gosling’s Black rum on this ship or even, surprisingly, any ginger beer left in our soda stash, so we got creative with our recipe this time around. :)))

Just think of this as the LAHO version of a Dark-n-Stormy.

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^^I also like to think it ups the enjoyment level when served in cute glasses with fun straws. Lol.^^

We subbed in Canada Dry gingerALE and regular ole Captain Morgan’s rum along with lime (yes, we actually had that!) and a slice of crystallized candied ginger.

And guess what ya’ll…it was FABULOUS!!!  Seriously delish. I wasn’t able to pull off the “dark storm cloud” looking appearance of the rum sitting on top, but whatever. I would make these again anytime. They were that good. Want the super simple recipe? Here ya go…

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LAHO Dark-n-Stormy Cocktail

  • 1 part dark rum
  • 2 parts gingerale
  • lime slices
  • crystallized candied ginger
  • ice

Fill glass with ice, ginger ale, and rum. Add candied ginger and garnish with lime slice. Serve and enjoy!

>>Thanks for visiting LAHOWIND sailing blog! We’d love for you to get to know us and follow our story as we attempt to navigate a whole new world of sailing, as we cruise the Caribbean.

Tuesday Tell-Tales

(Salinas, Puerto Rico)

I am going to share a boring little update with you. Our engine is fixed! Yes, fixed ya’ll!!!!!!!!

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We spent two extremely long days (or so they felt) replacing the raw water pump (day 1) and then the starter motor (day 2). Let me just tell ya, swapping out the starter was probably definitely one of the worst jobs around. It’s a simple fix for sure, but holy hell was our starter located in the most difficult-to-access area of the engine compartment requiring both Jereme and I to stretch our nonexistent yoga skills to the max. And ultimately, wind up with mega grease covered hands. Sheesh.

Oh, and as luck would have it after all ^^that^^ miserable hard work replacing our starter, turns out, was totally unnecessary. :(((((

You read that right. Unnecessary.

Luckily, we have the most awesome blog followers in the world, along with all some super friendly harbor neighbors and one awesome diesel mechanic here in the Salinas harbor, who were so freaking helpful in trying to assist us with our engine woes. People are seriously so nice, it’s downright amazing.

Aside from our broken raw water pump, turns out, our “engine not starting” issue was simply an electrical issue at the on/off switch in the cockpit. Ugh. And yes, we actually did in fact check the wires leading from the switch and all looked good. But the switch itself was bad. What are the freaking odds?

The good news is we now have a backup starter motor since, clearly, our original one wasn’t actually broken. Gotta look on the bright side, right? ;))

Happy Tuesday!

>>Thanks for visiting LAHOWIND sailing blog! We’d love for you to get to know us and follow our story as we attempt to navigate a whole new world of sailing, as we cruise the Caribbean.

Skelton CrewNovember 25, 2014 - 5:51 pm

Ha, we did that this past summer. Now we have a new ignition and a rebuilt starter. I like not starting the engine with a screw driver ;) Glad it all worked out (one way or another!). ~Jackie

“The Mexican Fisherman”

Sometimes, I seriously cannot believe we are living this life. We’re no longer running in the perpetual rat race, we live on the water in a cozy little sailboat, we get to do what we want when we want, and we are cruising the freaking Caribbean with our cute poodle-pants in tow. Really?!! It boggles my mind somedays. And honestly, things are far from perfect all the time, but regardless, we still recognize how blessed we are to have the opportunity to slow down and enjoy life.

Last December, wrote about our big plans to “let our dreams set sail.” This was way back when we were still working, planning, but all along dead set on making our dream a reality. And although this cruising gig isn’t a “forever” in our grand plans at life, it has truly given us the opportunity to take the time to appreciate all that we have…and will, without a doubt, monumentally impact how we live our lives going forward.

So, anyhoo have you heard the tale of the Mexican fisherman?

For me, it’s is an authentic reminder that happiness is living simply and enjoying life. In whatever manner makes sense for you. And, really, what a great little reminder for a week where many of us will be gathering together, giving thanks, and counting our blessings. I thought if you haven’t already heard the tale, then you might appreciate it as much as I do. So here it is…

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^^our boat is somewhere back there in the Salinas, Puerto Rico anchorage^^

The Story of the Mexican Fisherman

A businessman was standing at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The businessman complimented the fisherman on the quality of his fish.

“How long did it take you to catch them?” The businessman asked.

“Only a little while.” The fisherman replied.

“Why don’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?” The businessman then asked.

“I have enough to support my family’s immediate needs.” The fisherman said.

“But,” the businessman then asked, “What do you do with the rest of your time?”

The fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life, señor.”

The businessman scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds you buy a bigger boat, and with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats.”

“Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to consumers, eventually opening your own can factory. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The fisherman asked, “But señor, how long will this all take?”

To which the businessman replied, “15 to 20 years.”

“But what then, señor?”

The businessman laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions.”

“Millions, señor? Then what?”

The businessman said slowly, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos…”

##

Just some food for thought. There’s danger in waiting to live the life that you really want to live.

>>Thanks for visiting LAHOWIND sailing blog! We’d love for you to get to know us and follow our story as we attempt to navigate a whole new world of sailing, as we cruise the Caribbean.

NicoleNovember 24, 2014 - 9:27 am

Thanks for sharing. I have not heard that story before and I LOVE it!

JenniferNovember 24, 2014 - 1:52 pm

WOW…I want to be the fisherman!

EllenNovember 24, 2014 - 2:04 pm

Ain’t it the truth?? Thanks for sharing!

MarkNovember 24, 2014 - 10:21 pm

We have been cruising for 5 years and have got more enthusiasm for it than when we first started. As you say, we are so lucky but that luck comes from a determination to see that dream fulfilled.
Talking about fishermen, we went out with a local fisherman here is Sicily this week to lay the nets and return the following morning to haul them in. It was an amazing day and he spent most of it explaining all about the fish we had caught.
It is all in our latest blog.
Good sailing my friends.

Boat Life Lately. According to my iPhone.

Life lately has been pretty spectacular. From a perfect dolphin encounter to a once-in-a-lifetime baby sea turtle sighting. We are so happy to be cruising again…even if it means a few not-so-fun boat projects along the way.

All photos courtesy of Jereme’s iPhone. :)))

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Instagram >>Thanks for visiting LAHOWIND sailing blog! We’d love for you to get to know us and follow our story as we attempt to navigate a whole new world of sailing, as we cruise the Caribbean.

BillNovember 21, 2014 - 1:11 pm

Awesome pic of the sea turtle and dolphins!

Sailing the Bahamas? Do This, Not That.

We are far, so insanely far away from calling ourselves sailing experts. Let’s be real, we’re definitely still more like sailing rookies. But regardless, we somehow made it safely all the way through the Bahamas as first-time cruisers and definitely learned a thing or two (sometimes the hard way!) while island hopping our way south.

Looking back, there are a few tips I wish we would’ve known before setting sail. There are certainly plenty of lessons to learn as first-time cruisers, but these five tips immediately came to mind when reminiscing about our amazing time sailing the Bahamas. And who knows, maybe these five Bahamas cruising tips will help save someone else a few headaches along the way.

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1. DO pick up a mooring ball at the Exuma Land + Sea Park. DON’T anchor outside. At least not for your entire stay.

As much as we usually prefer carving out our own little niche and dropping hook in a quiet, secluded anchorage, I highly recommend forgoing anchoring outside the park in exchange for paying the nominal mooring fee inside the park and picking up a ball. At least for part of the time. And preferably, in the main Warderick Wells mooring field. That is, if a mooring ball is available.

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^^s/v LAHO is moored on the right, tucked behind that green boat.^^

As first-timers to the park, we weren’t sure what to expect, so we initially dropped anchor just outside. FYI, there is no anchoring allowed inside the park. After spending a super rolly night at anchor and having to make the very arduous dinghy hike into the park to see much of anything, we opted to switch it up the next day and picked up a mooring ball for $15 per night. Our enjoyment level increased exponentially after moving “inside” as we were able to more easily partake in all of the park’s offerings (Boo Boo Hill and other park trails, insanely gorgeous snorkeling right by the boat, and tons of amazing photo opps). We were also sheltered from a pretty nasty westerly that moved through the area around the same time.

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^^our homemade sign to place atop the famous Boo Boo Hill at the Land + Sea Park.^^

To get a ball you just need to contact the Exuma Park Office on VHF channel 9 as you are headed towards the island. The park ranger usually won’t know what’s available or assign you a ball until another cruiser drops their ball and leaves that morning. So it doesn’t necessarily help to call way in advance…just wait until you’re cruising close by.

2. DO go ahead and purchase your Batelco data + SIM cards when you first arrive in Bimini. DON’T wait until you need them.

No matter what you read on the Explorer Charts, all those marked “BTC Offices” showing throughout the Bahamas out islands are rarely, if ever, open. Do yourself a huge favor and get your internet situation squared away while in Bimini, where Batelco is open and operating on the regular.

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^^our typical “office” in the Bahamas.^^

Make sure to also stock up on more data cards than you think you will use because you cannot purchase them online or over the phone. I know, so silly.  BTC connectivity is, surprisingly, so very easy to come by throughout the Bahamas. There are towers everywhere. However, if you are not already setup with a BTC SIM card, the necessary data cards from BTC, and a way to activate and use that data, then it becomes extremely difficult to find any open BTC offices the further out you get to make that happen. The best offices we found were in Bimini, Great Harbour Cay, and Georgetown. And thankfully, our cruising buds over at >>Sailing Journey<< saved our butts when we were running low on data in the far islands and gave us one of their data card pin numbers before we ran dry. You guys were total lifesavers. Thank you!

3. DO sail on to Long Island. DON’T get stuck in George Town.

This one wasn’t hard for us to learn since we knew all along we’d be sailing way past George Town as we made our way towards the Caribbean. From what we hear though, plenty of folks spend cruising season living it up in the Bahamas, hopping through the Exumas and eventually making their way down to George Town where they put down roots for several weeks before turning around and heading back to the states long before Hurricane Season kicks up. George Town essentially becomes the final destination for so many Bahamas cruisers. Even though George Town is lovely, I would be remiss not to mention that Long Island — pretty much the next stop after Georgetown and not more than a day sail away — is my all time favorite island in all of the Bahamas.

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^^loving life on the pristine white sand beach in front of Cape Santa Maria Resort shortly after we got engaged!^^

Head over to Calabash Bay at Cape Santa Maria to see, hands down, one of the prettiest beaches around. The Cape Santa Maria Resort is also a great spot to check out whether you are looking for an actual overnight stay (like we were for my birthday turned engagement) or simply dinghying into the resort for great food and drinks. And if you get real adventurous, sail around to the other side of Long Island too. We ended up in Clarencetown on the east side of Long Island after spending some time in Rum and Conception Cays.

4. DO take your time in the smaller, less talked about islands of the Exumas. DON’T bypass some of these real gems.

After spending probably a little too much time at the front end of the Exumas and the big-name spots like Blackpoint, I really wish we would’ve slowed down and spent even more time in the smaller, lesser-known islands of the Exumas. Looking back, they were hands-down some of my favorite.

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^^snorkel diving the awesome stainless steel mermaid-piano statue that David Copperfield commissioned  just east of Musha Cay.^^

We anchored for one night only directly in front of the private island of Musha Cay, but man was that single day awesome. The islands are so pure and untouched around there. We spent our time dinghy exploring about two miles in both directions with lots of snorkeling, swimming, and conch hunting in between.

5. DO spend some quality time in the Berry Islands, particularly the east side of Great Harbour Cay. DON’T get stuck for over a week (like we did) on the west side of the island.

That is, if you get a good weather window to hit up the east side of Great Harbour Cay in the Berries. For us, ignorance was bliss as we unknowingly happened upon one of the best weather windows you could ask for to take advantage of the east side of the island.

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We literally had no idea what we were doing when we sailed around the island and dropped anchor in front of one of the prettiest beaches in the world. We spent about a week there taking it all in and having, honestly, some of the most amazing experiences of our lives.

Happy Sailing! :)))

>>Thanks for visiting LAHOWIND sailing blog! We’d love for you to get to know us and follow our story as we attempt to navigate a whole new world of sailing, as we cruise the Caribbean.

EllenNovember 19, 2014 - 5:56 pm

Hi! I think I have a pic of your boat pulling out rom Musha under mainsail. We were on the older Crealock 37 and met you there. Happy to see your blog. Looks like you had fun. Shoot me an email if you would like me to send you that!
All the Best!
Ellen

Jennifer - s/v Luna SeaNovember 20, 2014 - 12:25 pm

Thanks for the tips! I’ll stash them away for our time there.

JoeyNovember 20, 2014 - 12:53 pm

Great info. Keep it coming.

BillNovember 21, 2014 - 1:26 pm

I had an unlocked GSM phone that I got a BYC SIM card for. I could turn the phone to be a wifi hot spot and use the ipad and laptop on it. Doing it through the phone allowed me to buy “top ups” at lost of stores, not just BtC offices. Of course being in the very inhabited Abacos helped with that. :)
The east side of Great Harbor Cay was one of our favorite stops also. Amazing beach and places to explore by dinghy and paddleboard.
Can’t wait to get to the Exumas! The rapper Pitbull hasa. Video out now with him by that statue at Musha Cay.
Lovely pictures, as always!