LAHOWIND » Just you, me, + the dog.

Canada Came to Visit.

After nearly eleven months of cruising, we finally welcomed our first official visitors aboard s/v LAHO. Well, technically our second visitors after our good friend Chris made the haul with us way back on day one as we sailed our way from Naples to Marathon in the Florida Keys. But he literally left with us, so I’m not sure that counts as a “visitor” per se. ;))

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Jereme’s cousin Lindsay and her hubby Keith flew down last week from chilly Canada and met us in Road Town, Tortola for a week-long vacation island hopping through the BVI’s.

You never know how to really prepare someone for a week-long stay on a sailboat, but we did our best to prep them for the idea of glorified camping. Because, let’s be honest, that’s what this really is half the time. And man oh man were they rockstars! First, showing up with just a backpack’s worth of stuff each (plus an extra inflatable paddleboard) for an entire week stay, and then helping out tremendously with all the tedious boat chores that are an evil necessity of life afloat, as well as manning the sails as we hopped from island to island.

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We really loved having them aboard. And not having to help Jer hoist the dinghy or put on the sail cover for an entire week was like a total vacation for me! Hah! ;))

After picking up Lindsay and Keith at Village Cay Marina in Tortola, we set sail for Norman Island, followed by Virgin Gorda, Anegada, Guana Island, Cane Garden Bay, Jost Van Dyke, Cruz Bay in St. John, and finally all the way back to Christmas Cove, St. Thomas. Sheesh! I’d say we really packed it all in.

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I, of course, have about 2 million photos from the past week, and am I’m slowly working my way through the bunch. Video too! Stay tuned!

:)))))

>>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.

[…] Linds + Keith, now Jer’s sister Ashley and Melissa. […]

[…] aboard s/v LAHO. They were our THIRD set of visitors this month after first hosting Jer’s cousin and then his sister. :))) (I’d say we’ve done our fair share of laundry this month, […]

Donald MerkerJanuary 7, 2016 - 12:16 pm

Who taught you how to sail Keith.? Your papa obviously!

Boat Life Lately. According to my iPhone.

As we’ve been floating around the gorgeous BVI’s, I’ve found myself posting more and more quick iPhone shots over on Instagram! That is, when we happen to be in range of a AT&T cell tower from the USVI. And quite surprisingly, we’ve been able to pick up pretty decent AT&T cell service at lots of different spots along the way.

#lifeisgood

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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.

KevinJanuary 28, 2015 - 7:35 pm

iFabulous photos, as usual! What’s the location for the second photo?

LAHOWINDJanuary 29, 2015 - 5:37 pm

Hey Kevin! That is Peter Island in BVI! :-)

Caribbean Weekly Wrap UpJanuary 30, 2015 - 1:08 pm

[…] Boat Life Lately. According to my iPhone: As we’ve been floating around the gorgeous BVI’s, I’ve found myself posting more and more quick iPhone shots over on Instagram! That is, when we happen to be in range of a AT&T cell tower from the USVI. -Story and stunning photos by Lahowind.com […]

Julie PetersonFebruary 1, 2015 - 3:39 pm

I just “happened” upon your blog during a search about our summer vacation. We are doing a charter for 8 days around Tortola. It is our ultimate goal to live on a boat part of the year….in about 7 years, after the kids are off to college. (we are planners….) Would you feel comfortable sharing your budget? What was the most unexpected expense so far?

DeeMarch 1, 2015 - 1:34 pm

Can you recommend othet sailing blogs you read/follow? We just finished your blog and LOVE it!! We’ve looked at a few others but they aren’t nearly as good. I remember you making some recommendations but can find it now. Thanks!!!

Tuesday Tell-Tales.

OH MY GOD. Before I forget can we please talk about Oliver’s little doggie-almost-overboard incident the other day?

Don’t worry, it’s not exactly what you think, but still slightly death defying in it’s own right.

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^^the face of somebody who obviously already forgot they almost fell overboard.^^

So we had just pulled into Village Cay Marina in Road Town, Tortola for a two-night stay while we cleaned, provisioned, and waited on family to arrive for a fun-filled week in the BVI’s! Oliver must’ve decided to become an agility champion poodle as soon as the dock lines were cleated because he immediately hopped off the boat (without getting the okay from us) and onto the dock (no prob) only to then “miss” the boat on re-entry.

:(((((((((

I’m talking a poodle totally hanging by his claws off the side of the boat. And last I checked, dogs don’t have thumbs, but somehow his little dagger claws were pinned in good enough on our teak toe rail that he didn’t actually fall into the water. I had just conveniently stepped below deck when Jer happened to turn around while filling out some marina paperwork and noticed our little poodlepants hanging by a thread. From what Jer has told me, Oliver literally had his little arms stretched all the way with only paws holding on.

Jer quickly scooped up Oliver before he went for a swim. And luckily Oliver seemed totally fine after all was said and done. And yes, I realize that the marina water isn’t filled with pirañas or anything and Oliver can in fact swim, but who knows if we would’ve even noticed him hitting the water. Ugh. Not good.

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^^and what the heck is this look? Lol!^^

On a brighter note, can someone please explain to me why so many senior cruisers enjoy walking around the deck of their boat in the buff? It’s kind of amazing really. ;)) Not! I’ve definitely filled my lifetime quota of old man stranger tushy.

If you can answer ^^that^^ question, then you might also happen to know why the beer cans at Willy T’s taste like they were dipped in iron. Bizarre.

Anyhoo.

Who wants to read the most hilarious account of a newbie sailor attempting his first overnight passage? And by hilarious, I mean we were totally laughing with Bo, not at him. We’ve all been there (and honestly still are on some days). The radio call to the Coast Guard was simply the best. PS – Bo’s entire blog is a great read…make sure to check it out!

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.

BoJanuary 27, 2015 - 2:03 pm

Haha…thanks guys! Look forward to meeting up with y’all this summer…

Happy CamperJanuary 28, 2015 - 5:35 pm

Two words can answer the retired naked cruiser question: old Hippies! Your a bit too young to have participated in this crazy counter-culture movement, but you’re catching glimpses of the fallout! Ask your parents about it. LOL

Norman, Willy, + a bunch of caves.

Turns out, we love Norman Island! Not just for the roomy spots we’ve found to anchor in a sea of $30 mooring balls or for the super comfortable night’s sleep we’ve enjoyed on repeat occasions in this large protected harbor known as The Bight, but also for the hilarious antics that regularly go down at Willy T’s, as well as the pretty fab snorkeling opportunities around the island.

Normans is great, I tell ya!

Oh, I almost forgot, we also love it for the floating solar powered flash light we found one night while dinghying Oliver to shore. Finder’s keepers! ;))

If you’ve been to the BVI’s, then you know Willy T’s is an institution around here. And if you come to BVI and don’t go to Willy T’s, you’re probably not much fun (sorry!) and you’re freaking missing out on the quintessential floating party bar. It’s the real deal.

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^^Willy’s on a pretty morning. Pre party-goers.^^

Honestly, I don’t have much of a clue about who the heck Mr. William Thorton is or how the bar came to be. I’m sure you can google the heck out of that if you care to. What I do know is that is Willy T’s is definitely NOT PG rated. Hah! ;)) It’s pretty much made it’s mark by dishing out risqué body shots, placing tattoos on not-so-conspicuous body parts of drunken patrons, and simultaneously allowing free diving festivities (i.e. the naked kind) to take place off the back of the boat/bar.

Seriously. And it’s all in good fun!

There are some super awesome bartenders at Willy T’s and, clearly, some extreme people watching in which to partake.

Luckily for us, we had the best seat in the house after carving out a perfect patch of sand to anchor directly next door to Willy T’s. This allowed us the opportunity to lounge in our cockpit with our cheaper beers (mind you when we weren’t actually at the bar ourselves) and still witness all the craziness taking place.

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^^Watching it all go down from the comfort of our boat.^^

Somehow, we also found time to participate in some not-so-crazy shenanigans and made a quick dinghy trip around the corner of Norman’s to visit The Caves!

We heard from a few cruisers that the caves are known for tales of buried treasure…and who are we not to check out these legends ourselves. After snorkeling and scoping out the underwater caverns, it was nearly impossible not to imagine a treasure chest hidden in these caves, but sadly, no pirates booty or gold nuggets were found this go round.

The snorkeling and exploring, however, was worth the quick ride over (minus the surprise small bloody gash on my ankle from one of the sharper cave rocks).

We, of course, brought the GoPro along for some underwater photos and here are a few favs from the day…

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Oh, and in case you’re wondering, we snorkeled the Indians too, but that’ll have to wait for a future blog post.

>>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.

BrittanyJanuary 26, 2015 - 2:02 pm

Beautiful pics! And hooray for the flashlight find…love the Willy T! I’ve made that jump MANY times 😉

Ed & Cheryl CarterJanuary 26, 2015 - 6:01 pm

Sally & Jerry say we should hook up with you guys. We think we saw you going out of an anchorage as we came. We are in VG now but we’ll be around BVI for 2 more weeks before heading east. Hopefully we meet up. We are a 40′ Caliber cutter-rigged sloop,, ecru hull/blue sunbrella, with Texas Flag. That should narrow it down. And, of course, all that cruiser things mounted all over the boat.

Mary GraceJanuary 26, 2015 - 8:14 pm

Once again, your pics are beautiful! We get back to the BVIs on Feb. 20th and your photos make the wait more difficult! But please keep posting!
Mary Grace

[…] for hidden treasure, which of course I had to see after reading my friend’s posts about it here and […]

Sponge-Worthy?

Like most normal cruisers, we prefer a dry dinghy. Even more so when we are wearing clean (dry) clothes or transporting fresh goodies from the grocery store back to the boat.

Unfortunately, mother nature oftentimes has other plans in mind and we find ourselves randomly getting hit by a rogue wave when motoring to and fro, or stepping into a couple inches worth of water stacked in the dink after a quick downpour. It’s inevitable, really, to see water accumulate in the dink one way or another, and thus leads me to our very favorite dinghy maintenance trick-a-roo.

Enter the $2 tile sponge!!!

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Yup, a sponge! You probably think I’m joking, right?

No seriously, we picked up this great little tile sponge made specifically for cleaning grout back when we were sailing through Georgetown in the Bahamas (although we really should’ve just grabbed one at Home Depot before we left Naples). And, let me tell ya, this little sponge has really been a gem to keep in our dinghy.

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Since we don’t own a fancy manual dinghy pump, we use our handy dandy tile sponge instead to remove any water that accumulates when it rains or when we happen to take a wave. The sponge soaks up standing water so freaking quickly you might be shocked to see it in action! And it even manages to snag the tiny pools of water that tend to stack up in the back corners and middle of the dink.

It’s also our go-to cleaner-upper for all that sand/dirt that tends to find its way into the dinghy as well. Since this is a grout sponge (and grout is sanded), it really does a phenomenal job of picking up the even the smallest morsels.

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The tile sponge is easy to keep in the dinghy, easy to replace if necessary (i.e super cheap), and best of all easy to use! Win, win, and win!

:)))))))))

And there you have it…our favorite dinghy tile sponge tip!

>>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 CrewJanuary 22, 2015 - 1:48 pm

Great idea!

PaigeJanuary 23, 2015 - 2:52 am

Love the Seinfeld reference Kim. Haaaa!

LAHOWINDJanuary 23, 2015 - 7:30 pm

Haha, thanks! I’m glad someone got it. 😉 -Kim

Kelley - Sailing ChanceJanuary 24, 2015 - 1:53 am

Your dinghy is so clean!