LAHOWIND | Sailing Blog » LAHOWIND | Sailing Blog | Welcome to our sailing blog! Get to know us, Jereme+Kim+Oliver the dog, as we attempt to navigate a whole new world of sailing!

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Buh-bye bimini!

It was fun while it lasted, but we are definitely ready to take advantage of today’s good looking weather window.  So, we are headed east! To the Berry Islands! After a solid 7 days in Bimini, we cannot wait to see more of the gorgeous Bahamas!!!

We will be sailing across the Great Bahama Banks and anchoring out for one night, and then sailing the rest of the way on Tuesday. We’re not sure exactly where we will enter the Berry’s until we see how the weather is acting, how the sailing is going, if we feel like we need to hit up a marina or just find another good anchorage, etc. etc.

In the meantime, here are a few more photos from the tail end of our awesome week-long stay in Bimini…

How amazing are the sunsets over our little anchorage?


There definitely doesn’t appear to be a shortage of conch around here. ;)) We haven’t tried fresh conch salad just yet, but did grab some conch fritters the other day!


^^see what I mean?! piles and piles of old conch shells just litter the island.^^

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We picked up lunch on Saturday from this great roadside bbq joint… although we somehow keep missing out on everyone’s bbq ribs. They go like hotcakes around here! Luckily, we did not miss out on the coconut rolls from Charlie’s bakery (basically just some guy’s home bakery — I literally stood in his living room while Charlie’s wife packaged up my fresh-from-the-oven coconut rolls. And man were they awesome!!!)

And you can’t beat a view like this while enjoying lunch, can you?


We strolled around Baileytown over the weekend and, you know, just stumbled upon a few pet goats. ;))


Sailing-Blog-Cruising-Bahamas-Bimini-LAHOWIND-Caribbean-Couple-Dog-Sailboat-eIMG_1675 And we were lucky enough to have some great company here in Bimini…our friends Matt + Jessica from MJ Sailing!


^^how adorable are they?!^^

And if island life wasn’t good enough by itself, we managed to throw on some “fancy” clothes and partake in a little casino action at Resorts World Bimini. I surprised myself by flat ironing my hair for the first time since we left Naples, actually wearing makeup, and throwing on something other than dry fit clothing!


Let’s just say “casino night” was basically a quick 2-minute dinghy ride to lose a few hundred dollars and down about four too many free margaritas. ;))  It was also a great night to fall out of the dinghy and submerge an iPhone. Not a good night for Jer.

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We had such a fabulous time in Bimini! I can’t wait to see what the rest of the Bahamas have to offer!


>>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 Bahamas + Caribbean.

Aunt BrenApril 14, 2014 - 7:00 pm

I see Uncle Mikey’s teachings have served you well….you don’t need his 3 card poker help anymore….you are all grown up now. LOL!

BarbieApril 14, 2014 - 7:46 pm

These pictures are fabulous.

AnnApril 15, 2014 - 7:35 pm

Hey Kim thanks so much for all the great info about import requirements for our four legged friends. I have a dachshund Daisy and hope to bring her along on our travels to the caribbean and beyond. You didn’t mention anything about the customs check in at Bimini with Oliver. I seriously stress over which islands will let Daisy in. She doesn’t like to be left on the boat alone!

Enjoy! and please keep the info coming,

Ann and Daisy in Canada

Mark RoopeApril 16, 2014 - 8:42 am

For the last four years we have been liveaboards and cruising around the med. It is a wonderful places to cruise and a living breathing history. Having said that I see your photographs and know that one day soon we will make the crossing and be there.
Thank you for the blogs and the photographs..
The trouble is with this world that there are so many wonderful places to see and go and we can never fit them all in..

LAHOWINDApril 16, 2014 - 9:37 pm

Hi Ann! You’re totally right…I completely forgot to mention how customs went. I am planning to do a whole post about our crossing, but haven’t had a chance just yet. In Bimini, they didn’t even ask about pets, and it was not on any of the forms we filled out. However, Jereme went ahead and provided that info to customs/immigration when he checked in for us and provided a copy of our Bahamian dog permit to get stamped. That way we won’t have to worry about Oliver on any of the islands here. There were no questions asked and no issues with the permit we received back in January-ish. Hope that helps! -Kim

We’re still in Bimini…

Loving life and patiently waiting for the next good weather window so we can make a move over to the Berry Islands or possibly straight to the Exumas. It was pretty windy the other day making the beach on the west side of the island look like this…


Meanwhile here in Bimini, we just relocated ourselves from Brown’s Marina at the south end of North Bimini to an anchorage at the north end of the island where our friends >>MJ Sailing<< have been anchored since we arrived in the Bahamas.  Right now, it’s just the two of our boats here at the quiet anchorage next to Bimini Bay Resort.


^^last photos at Brown’s Marina.^^

We never planned on staying at Brown’s for more than a day or two, so after 4 nights, it was definitely time to get a move on…and save some moola at an, ahem, free anchorage.


Over the past day or two, we’ve been spending our time working on small, miscellaneous tasks we’ve been meaning to complete…like grooming the dog (poor Oliver got a very novice hair cut yesterday!) and installing the new canvas snake cover for our solar panel wires that we had made in Marathon. And hanging with lots of other cruisers we’ve met here in Bimini.

We’ve also continued to explore Alicetown by foot and plan to check out Baileytown too over the next 3 days. There are SO many interesting things to see here, like The Dolphin House.


We had been told by a few folks here that The Dolphin House is a must-see! So on Wednesday, we strolled up Queen’s Highway until we saw the little hand-painted sign on the side of the road and made our way up the narrow road to find the most interesting and ultra creative hand-built house here on the island.

We were greeted by Ashley Saunders himself, a native of Alicetown, local author, artist, and historian on the island, who offered to give us a tour of the home he built.


The Dolphin House is the result of one man’s love of the sea and his passion to create something truly special. And one experience I am so glad we didn’t miss out on!

In 1993, Saunders began construction of a house unlike any other using items found on the beach and scrapped materials to decorate every inch of the concrete structure. He literally walks the beach every morning in search of new treasures to add to his masterpiece. And this work of art is constantly evolving — he is currently adding a rooftop deck to the already two-story home. The interior and exterior walls are completely covered in mosaics composed of colorful tiles, shells, bottles, sea glass, coins, and lots of other found objects. Saunders’ chaotic mosaics act as homages to his island’s history and his love of sea life, particularly dolphins.

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The history is much richer in Bimini than what meets the eye.  In addition to constructing this very unique home, Saunders has worked diligently to preserve the islands history, and has built a museum as part of the house to showcase Bimini artifacts. We relished every second of our tour with Ashley Saunders.


^^view from the top of the dolphin house.^^


^^Ernest Hemingway quotes littered the ceiling tiles.^^

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We also had a very delicious conch fritter lunch at CJ’s Deli on the beach and may or may not have picked up a few slices of guava cake and a cheese danish at Taste of Heaven Bakery in Alicetown.;)


^^looks can be deceiving.^^


^^super delicious conch fritters!^^


^^strolling around Alicetown.^^

>>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 Bahamas + Caribbean.

DavidApril 11, 2014 - 11:43 am

I have been following you guys for the last few weeks only, loving your creative writing and fantastic pictures (not the iPhone ones)- Really got a shock today when I discovered that Dolphin House has a registration plate from here in my current home state (Alberta). We truly live in a disposable world sometimes…..

Take Care, keep up the great writing on your adventure!

ColbyApril 11, 2014 - 2:29 pm

How cool was The Dolphin House?!?! Loved that. One of my favorite things to do when going to the islands is to venture into their native areas and see the really cool, original places. It’s so very interesting. And so different from living in the states. And CJ’s deli…those small hole-in-the-wall places alweays have the BEST food! Love seeing your updates. :)

Kristi ManganApril 11, 2014 - 8:45 pm

Very cool! The Dolphin House looks like such a treasure! Love your pictures! Keep ‘em coming!

LeighApril 12, 2014 - 3:38 am

Postcards are exactly what these look like!!! Unreal!

Postcards from Bimini.

We’re in the B-A-H-A-M-A-S!!!!!!!!!!


Bimini to be exact.


Holy smokes, I can hardly believe it.

After a pretty smooth 12-hour sail across the Gulf Stream (minus our exhaustion from total lack of sleep the past few nights and my and Oliver’s puke party — don’t worry we both only got sick once each), we are out of the states and officially checked in here in Bimini.

Let’s not lie, it was a long day on the water Sunday, with Jereme taking one for the team and sailing pretty much the entire passage — I wasn’t feeling so hot after a rougher than expected start to the day.  Luckily, the winds turned out to be in our favor so we were able to straight up sail a bunch of the way! And of course, we busted out the GoPro for lots of video footage throughout (I’m hoping to get a video + blog post together later in the week).

Now, we are docked here at Brown’s Marina in North Bimini/Alicetown for what appears to be a few days. It looks like there’s a nasty weather system moving in and we are SO new at this, so we will most likely stay put until it passes through. Brown’s Marina is pretty awesome! A smaller, boutique style marina with a great little man-made beach, a nice lounge area, decent showers, and a super helpful marina staff (Humphrey is the best!).

It got to be a little too late on Sunday to check in at customs/immigration, so we waited until first thing Monday morning. Jereme made the haul to several different offices to get everything squared away, and we are all set to cruise the Bahamas for 60 days (or longer if we need an extension).


^^raising the bahamian courtesy flag after checking in at customs/immigration.^^


After Sunday’s exhausting sail, we decided to sleep in on Monday and take it easy. We toasted up some raisin bread for breakfast (have I mentioned that we threw away our regular toaster on Day 1 in Boot Key Harbor after realizing it draws crazy power and are now making toast the old fashioned way — in a skillet on our propane stovetop), washed down the boat (it hasn’t been cleaned in 3 weeks), and then hit the beach for some much needed down time.

Bimini is small and cute and adorable… exactly what I pictured in my head.

We walked up Queen’s Highway to see “the town,” which is basically a few tiny retail type shops, two little grocery stores, a few small bars, a school, 3 or so other small marinas, multiple customs/immigration offices (of course), and that’s about it. I did notice a tiny bakery shop that I might pop in today or tomorrow for some fresh bahamian goodies!


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After strolling around town, we checked out the beach on the west side of the island (basically right across the street from the marina). And thank goodness we picked up a small cooler in Marathon before we left…that definitely came in handy for toting our beers to the beach today! PS – we are trying desperately to rid ourselves of our horrid farmer tans. ;))

Have I mentioned that the water here is AMAZING?!?!! Completely perfectly turquoise blue and crystal clear!

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There were only one or two other people on the beach and Oliver thoroughly enjoyed “letting loose” as he sprinted up and down the beach and rolled around in the sand like crazy (we had fun cleaning him up after, lol).

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We just learned that our friends from MJ Sailing arrived yesterday too and we’re hoping to meet up with Jessica + Matt while we’re here!

Life is good.


>>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 Bahamas + Caribbean.

DeborahApril 8, 2014 - 2:44 am

Ahhhhhh.!!! Congrats on the crossing. Oliver is definitely enjoying himself. Have a blast and keep posting for the rest of us who can’t quite get our butts of the dock yet.

Deborah svwrightaway

LeighApril 8, 2014 - 3:31 am

Gah!! Just perfect.

JC3April 8, 2014 - 3:52 am

I really enjoy your blog. You have a great writing style that is easy to follow, exciting and fresh. I also appreciate that it is very family safe as our daughter loves to read it as well. We love Bimini but you have not seen good water till you hit the Exumas.
BTW, your pictures are GREAT too! Thanks for taking us with you and we look forward to more great post/pictures as you make youe way. We will say a prayer for safe travels, JC

HillaryApril 8, 2014 - 12:48 pm

Looks great guys – how exciting! Can’t wait to get our boat in the water!

Jessica - MJ SailingApril 8, 2014 - 1:16 pm

Your photos of town and of the beach are so beautiful! Sorry we missed each other yesterday, but we’ll be here for a few days too. There will definitely be a hang out. ;)

TiffanyApril 8, 2014 - 4:22 pm

Some how I stumbled upon you folks while following Sailing with Totem, a family out of the NW who has been sailing around the world for a handful of years. I really enjoy reading and seeing pictures about their adventure and lifestyle. I’m excited to follow you folks as well as it will be a different vibe traveling as just a couple with Oliver. The pictures you have taken are simply beautiful. Some really great shots. Thanks for sharing your experience…makes me want to get the heck out of dodge!

Tiffany, Olympia WA.

Jennifer - Luna SeaApril 8, 2014 - 5:34 pm

Love it!

LisaApril 8, 2014 - 5:54 pm

LOVE all the pictures!!!! Don’t buy too many t-shirts :)

Amanda CaputoApril 8, 2014 - 7:01 pm

So beautiful!! Looks like a photogs dream with all the colors!!!

Mark and Cindy - s/v Cream PuffApril 8, 2014 - 8:46 pm

Yeay for you!!!!

Congratulations on a safe Gulf Stream crossing. We know first hand that can be a little nerve wracking.

Do they still have home made ice-cream at the little shop outside of the Big Bimini Game Club?

Mark and Cindy
s/v Cream Puff

Aunt RoseyApril 8, 2014 - 10:00 pm

So happy you made it so well!!! The water is absolutely beautiful – who wouldn’t want a private beach???? Enjoy :-))

CaleeApril 8, 2014 - 10:02 pm

omg the colors … wow. I’m going to steal some of these images for color inspiration for my design work. So gorgeous! glad that you got there safe. EB was worried.

EricApril 8, 2014 - 11:14 pm

Very #dinghylife my friends.

Paul SchroderApril 9, 2014 - 4:56 pm

Just found your blog today and had a nice time reading. Thanks for taking the time to blog. Sites like yours are the lifeblood for so many of us just waiting to be freed from land!
Have a great day and I look forward to your postings.

BillApril 11, 2014 - 3:05 pm

Congrats on making the crossing! I’ll be doing it in a few weeks, can’t wait!

Solar Panel Install Part 2: Designing + Building a New Support Structure to Mount the Panels


^^These^^ awesome new solar panels are really rocking our cruising world these days! Thank god we (Jereme) installed these babies before we left Naples. It might have been a bit of a learning curve on all the electrical/wiring install, but they are well worth their weight in gold. You can find Part 1 of our solar panel install >>here<<, where we talk about the type of panels we purchased and our new battery bank.

Currently, on s/v LAHO, our only ways to generate power are: 1. shore power (i.e connecting on land), 2. running the engine, or 3. via our new solar panels. Well, for nine straight days, we’ve been on a mooring ball here in Boot Key Harbor and have ONLY used our new Aurinco panels! We haven’t had to turn the engine on once! Pretty awesome, huh? Another reason to love that beautiful sunshine! :))

Daily, we are consuming about 70 to 100 amps, and usually bring in that much or more through our solar panels. We’re monitoring everything through our nifty new battery monitor, but more on that in Part 3, coming soon!

Back to our panel install and the support structure Jereme designed to hold our three, 100-watt panels.

We originally wanted to sew the panels directly to the bimini canvas using fabric pockets. However, when we received the panels we quickly realized the edges of each panel were not wide enough to fit (and stay in) pockets. So we went back to the drawing board. The panels are quite light weight, so we opted to build an additional structure on top of the bimini to hold the panels, without needing to reinforce the bimini.


The easiest design for placement of the panels (utilizing an additional stainless tubing support structure) was to place all 3 panels side by side towards the back of the bimini. Luckily, all three panels fit perfectly in size this way!


We basically built a bimini “roof-rack” for the panels. And since this was a bit of a DIY job, and we don’t own stainless tubing tools to bend the tubing, we ended up needing a ton of fittings to work the curves/angles of our new roof-rack design. We purchased three, seven-foot stainless tubing bars from Marine Trading Post back in Naples. They also had the fittings we needed, but not enough of each type for the overall design (so we ordered them online). Our design required six ‘T’ fittings and 12 ’90′s’. The ‘T’ fittings needed to be a special “clamp on” variety because our existing bimini structure is riveted and cannot be pulled apart.


Jereme used a tubing roller cutter tool to hand cut the bars to size. After all the cuts were made, it was pretty simple to piece together our new “roof rack” and attach all the set screws.



With our fancy new roof-rack structure in place, we then had to drill holes in the panels AND in the stainless tubing bars to attach the panels. We basically took one panel at the time, dry-fitted it on the support structure, marked the holes with a sharpie and started drilling. Drilling the aluminum (flat) panels was easy. Drilling the stainless steel (round) bars was WAY less fun. I think we went through six or seven drill bits in the process and each hole drilled on the stainless bars felt like it took forever. Or maybe that’s just because I was holding the bar steady in one hand and using a shop vac tube in the other (trying to catch chards of flying scrap metal). Fun times! After all the holes were drilled, we simply bolted the panels on.



Wiring (or hooking up) the panels was pretty easy. Each panel has a positive and negative wire that is wired directly to the charge controller. We ran the panel wires down the bimini stainless tubing and into the existing blower vent (since there is already an opening on the side of the boat that was being used for our GPS satellite receiver wire). We actually found a guy here in Marathon to sew us a canvas wire snake (or conduit) to cover the panel wires running along the bimini. On our sail down from Naples, we had covered these wires with some spilt tubing plastic conduit as a temporary protective cover (which worked great too!).

The last few parts of this project involved wiring the charge controller, battery monitor, and inverter! Part 3, coming soon!

>>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 Bahamas + Caribbean.

JackieApril 4, 2014 - 1:35 pm

We’re thinking we’ll need about 300w of solar power as well. You’ll have to let us know how they work for you long(er) term :)

Oliver update!

We’re about a week and half into cruising life, so what better time for an Oliver update?

Oliver is becoming one helluva boat dog. “Boat-poodle” to be exact.


And he’s made quite the impression on many friendly faces here at the Harbor. He’s even found himself a girlfriend! ;)) More on that later.

But in all honesty, we think Oliver is adjusting to his newfound life aboard quite well. Minus his initial 25-hour long not-going-to-the-bathroom stent, overall, he’s doing great!

Oliver does a LOT of lounging and napping. Both below and above deck. Pretty typical dog behavior.

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When he’s not sleeping, he’s on dolphin and dinghy watch…just waiting for the next unsuspecting passerby-er that he can bark hello to.

He experienced a super duper up close and personal >>dolphin encounter (check out the iPhone video on our Facebook page)<< the other day as two dolphin played right around the boat and Oliver whined miserably at them. I am a little surprised he didn’t jump in the water because they were taunting him like crazy (they also kept bopping Jereme from under the dinghy).

Speaking of dinghies, Oliver LOVES dinghy rides! And has become quite comfortable entering and exiting the dinghy on his own (when it’s at his level — aka at the dinghy docks. We pick him up and pass him into the dinghy when we’re getting in from the boat). He clearly understands that dinghy = land … which = potty break. Smart poodle.

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Oliver also gets to go on long walks with us whenever we leave the harbor. So far, he’s been to West Marine, a canvas shop, the Cuban Cafe, the Keys Fisheries, and the Stuffed Pig restaurant (which btw was super dog friendly)! When we leave the harbor on foot, we always bring our handy dandy Gulpy Water Dispenser.

Food, however, has been a little bit of an issue. Surprisingly. After we left Naples, Oliver decided he wasn’t going to eat his regular dry dog food and did not touch his bowl of food or even let us hand feed him for 8 long days. He refused to eat his food, which in turn, caused me to feed him more treats than ever. And, on a few occasions, we even turned to the dreaded “people food” because we were starting to get pretty worried about his lack of appetite. I even tried mixing in a few hot dog pieces with his food in hopes that he would eat the dog food alongside the hot dog pieces. But he of course just picked out the hot dogs. It looks like Oliver has basically trained us (or me really) over the past few days. And I fell for it. :((

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The other day, we brought his bowl of regular old dog food to shore and Jereme hand-fed Oliver handfuls of food while I knocked out a blog post. And he ate an entire bowl!!! Phew! Hopefully, he’s turning a corner and this no-eating behavior will stop.

*TMI…If you’re worried about his lack of appetite for regular dry dog food, you should know that he is still peeing and pooping without any issues at all and does both pretty much every time we go to shore (typically 4 times per day).

Back to Oliver’s life aboard…

We’ve even bathed Oliver on the boat! …Using one of our fancy new solar showers!

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It was almost easier than bathing him in a laundry sink (like we did back home). We simply fill up the solar shower, let it heat up during the day, and then hang it up on the deck while I wet him down and lather him up. Easy peasy. Once bath time has ended, Oliver runs around like a crazed, rabid poodle. Do all dogs do that or just Oliver?

And if life wasn’t good enough, Oliver met a girlfriend!!! Or bestie, if you will. The lucky lady is Bella, a bichon-poodle mix.



They both get SO excited when they spot each other by the dinghy docks or in the main administrative building. It’s really really really so stinking cute!


Boat dog life is pretty darn good for ^^this crazy little guy^^.

>>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 Bahamas + Caribbean.

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JackieApril 2, 2014 - 12:49 pm

Sounds like he’s adjusting pretty well overall! It is a rough life afterall ;)

ColbyApril 2, 2014 - 2:20 pm

LOVED Oliver’s story! Such a happy pup. Looks like he’s totally enjoying his days out on the water. And already picking up chicks. ;) Looking forward to more of Oliver’s travels…

Mark and Cindy - s/v Cream PuffApril 2, 2014 - 9:35 pm

Aaaaah! Great post and awesome pics! So cute.


Mark and Cindy
s/v Cream Puff

Elsa MartinezApril 3, 2014 - 12:29 pm

I love this, Kim. These pics of Oliver are adorable, especially of him smiling with that fluffy white dog. too cute!

Kelley - Sailing ChanceApril 4, 2014 - 6:43 pm

Oliver will continue to adapt to boat life. Our dogs have been living aboard for nearly a year and a half and they still are changing! THey also LOVE dinghy rides. It’s so fun to watch them :)

Calee @ life + runningApril 7, 2014 - 8:54 pm

Oliver and his girlfriend are pretty much the cutest!