LAHOWIND » Just you, me, + the dog.

Love ya Long Island!

Just trying to catch up on our little life afloat since leaving “land-o-flamingos.” Aka Mayaguana. After leaving our flamingo friends, we made the 124-mile overnight sail to Clarence Town, Long Island.

My. Favorite. Island. Of. All. Time. Enough said.

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What is it about Long Island that I love so much? Well, let me tell ya.

It is perfect. Period. ;))

No, but seriously the small bits of this gorgeous island we have seen have been amazing. Good people. Gorgeous beaches. Perfect water. Vibrant wildlife. Comfortable anchorages. The list goes on and on. There’s just something extra special about Long Island.

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Our sail to this picture-perfect paradise was rather uneventful. Just the way we like it. Five-ish foot following seas and 15 to 20 knot winds. We made the sail in about 23 hours and dropped anchor in the main Clarence Town harbor. We had a few people ask us about this particular anchorage seeing as it’s on the east side of the island and (by the looks of it on the charts) seems like it could go either way in terms of protection.

Well, this was our second stay in the anchorage (you might recall the first time we stayed here we sorta got adopted by dolphins) and it was great once again! This anchorage is actually protected by a series of cays (Strachan, Clem, and Salt Pond), making it a really neat spot to stay! There are more than a handful of gorgeous beaches to visit by dinghy, a miniature blue hole (as we like to call it), tons and tons of sea turtles, interesting beach finds on some of the ocean facing shorelines, and again some of the prettiest water you could imagine.

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Jer, Oliver, and I spent one morning exploring the area on a little dinghy adventure of our own…swinging around all of the different beaches in the area. (Oliver loves when we decide it’s beach + dinghy day!) We saw at least 10 turtles and several huge rays! I snagged a dead sand dollar at one beach and a few other cute shells on another. Gotta love this easy breezy cruiser lifestyle, eh?

Oh and a quick side story on that cool little sand dollar we found…I somehow ended up leaving the sand dollar wrapped in a beach towel and totally forgot about it only to later accidentally wash the towel + sand dollar combo (in an actual washing machine). Whoopsie! But guess what???? It survived the heavy duty cleaning cycle!!! Can you believe it? I’ve had plenty of sand dollars flat out crumble in my hand, so for this one to survive after rocking and rolling with a full load of laundry is insane. I was shocked!

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Anyhoo, we spent the rest of our time in C-town, Long Island attending to a few boat chores. Jereme took apart our wheel-mounted auto pilot and gave it a thorough once over and cleaning to make sure it continues to serve our needs (I think we would both prefer to not have to hand steer ourselves back to Florida).

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We also dinghied over to the Flying Fish Marina to grab a few beers and wifi before saying see ya later to this pretty spot in paradise.

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Tuesday Tell-Tales.

Hope everyone had a great Easter weekend! We sure did over at our favorite little Bahamas beach resort…Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort & Villas. I decided they not only have the prettiest beach around, but hands-down the tastiest conch fritters too!!! ;)) I know, sometimes it’s the smallest things. But their fritters are basically conch donuts, which I’ll admit sounds a little gross, but ya’ll know how much I love a good donut!

And, side note, I seriously cannot wait to get my hands on all the photos from our three-day stay so I can get a blog post pumped out. That place is pure paradise, I tell ya!!!

What else what else?

So we just arrived back in George Town, Bahamas yesterday afternoon after waving goodbye to Long Island. …One step closer to Florida! (Cheers as well as tears are flying around here lol.)

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It was a super easy 27-mile sail (downwind of course) from Calabash Bay and will be another strictly business trip here in G-town this time. In other words, you won’t find us hanging at the Chat-n-Chill, but instead schlepping jerry jugs of (free) water and diesel from the Exuma Markets/gas station through the very wet and choppy anchorage back to our boat. My least favorite boat chore. :((( But, at least this is one of the easier spots to get ‘er done, so there’s that.

Oh, and luckily, I pumped out four loads of FREE laundry while at the resort so we won’t need to schlep our massive laundry bags to shore here. …More bonus points for the Cape. ;))

We made this particular pitstop just to refill our tanks and keep on moving, but are still not sure exactly which route we will opt for as we make our way back through the Bahamas. I mean, with 700 islands and all, I’m sure we can find a few cool spots we missed on our route south. Any suggestions??? Send em our way!

Happy Tuesday!

Jennifer BrickerApril 7, 2015 - 2:06 pm

We were just in Georgetown 2 months ago, visiting friends! Too bad our paths didn’t cross then, it would’ve been great to meet y’all after following your blog for so long. Ah well, another time I guess….{because I’m sure y’all just can’t wait to meet two, total, perfect strangers} :-) haha!

Not a bad place to have a work day! Hope you have a wonderful time there!

Lara SpragueApril 7, 2015 - 9:56 pm

Mmmmm….I can tast the FREE conch fritters right now. So glad you guys were able to make a stop back there:)

Jane SmithApril 8, 2015 - 10:44 pm

Hi Kim & Jer,

I met a guy back in Nov who lives on a sailboat & he piqued my interest in sailing. I started reading about it & through my research I came across your blog. I am a 68 yr old grandmother in Ft. Pierce, Fl & will probably never sail (you never know??) but I just wanted you to know how much I have enjoyed your blog. And the pictures are fantastic. Oh, those flamingoes!

And then there’s Oliver. He is ADORABLE! He owns that dinghy & seems to be as agile as a cat.

I can imagine “the cheers & tears”. Thanks so much for sharing your journey………Jane

Spotted! Pink Flamingos in Mayaguana!

So, I kinda sorta LOVE Mayaguana. Sure, we had a great time last year when we scouted tons of baby conch shells and coral over on the west side, but this time we love Mayaguana for a few new reasons…

#1. We saved 300 bones at the customs and immigration office at check-in since they allowed us to enter the country using our cruising permit from last year. Apparently, we arrived in the Bahamas in April 2014 on our first go round so our one-year permit was still valid (seeing as it was March twenty-something when we arrived this time)! Score one for the good guys! And the customs officials were so insanely nice about it all.

#2. This super remote little island (one of the farthest in the Bahamas) actually has a functioning Batelco office (right next door to Customs no less) with real live people working there and normal 8 to 4:30 working hours. I couldn’t even believe it! Twenty minutes after arriving in Mayaguana and we were rocking and rolling with some fast Bahamas wifi service on our iPad! I thought getting us back up and running internet-wise would’ve been a much bigger pain in the you know what.

#3. PINK FLAMINGOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Need I say more?

We FINALLY spotted the elusive pink flamingo. Right here in Mayaguana!

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I know. Insane. We’ve been looking for these pretty pink flamingos at every island along the way on our route south, and nothing. Not a single pink bird. We were beginning to think that all the Bahamas guide books were lying to us. Flamings in the wild? No way!

WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Here they are. Right smack dab in our faces in Mayaguana, Bahamas. Seriously amazing. So amazing I took over 500 photos in less than 30 minutes. But that’s another story. Lol.

We spotted these flamingo friends while dinghying Oliver to shore the other morning. (Again, more bonus points for the tedious task of taking your boat dog to land.) The flamingos were quite aways away from the dinghy dock in the shallow end of the Abrahams Bay anchorage on the south side of the island, but still just right here, basically in the open ocean.

Jereme noticed them first and we thought for sure we were seeing things. From afar, they looked like a bunch of buoys. Pinkish buoys…so that was kinda weird. ;))

Jer went in for a closer peak while I waited for Oliver to do his business on shore. When Jer returned, he confirmed his sighting. Flamingos indeed! At that point, we made a beeline back to the boat to grab my camera and drop off Oliver (we definitely didn’t need a barking poodle in tow who would for sure scare away these beautiful birds).

We dinghied back to the end of the anchorage and snuck up nat geo style on these gorgeous creatures. Who would’ve thought they’d just be sitting standing pretty in the ocean?

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We got as close as we could before turning off the dinghy engine and floating downstream towards the flock, careful not to make any crazy movements or loud noises. They were totally cool with us hanging by at a comfortable 50 to 75-foot distance. Anything closer and the entire group immediately took off flying to a safer 200-foot distance. But still stuck around nonetheless.

After soaking up the experience for a little while longer, we finally called it quits and dinghied back to the boat totally awestruck and in disbelief that we finally saw a flamingo!

And then went back again. The next day. Lol.

Yup, the very next day we went in for another flamingo viewing party. We are ridiculous.

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We (mostly me) just couldn’t get enough of these crazy birds and turns out the flock we saw on day one doubled by day two. This time, the flamingo fiesta was in full blown party mode with 30+ birds hanging around. Unfortunately, with a cold front rolling through the area, the photos are a little less beautiful, but still it’s freaking FLAMINGOS! In the wild.

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Oh and I figured I might as well throw in a couple consolation “non-flamingo” photos I took while in Mayaguana…

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^^anchor down in Abraham’s Bay.^^

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^^the view from our boat looking out towards the atlantic. the water is just insane.^^

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^^there are our friends on s/v Altera who made the trek from Puerto Rico the day after us.^^

>>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.

Barb LienhardApril 2, 2015 - 2:57 pm

I love seeing your pictures and reading your blog. I feel like part of your adventure. And you’ve given us great ideas on where to go when we leave the US in December. Sail on !! And thanks for sharing!!!

LindaApril 3, 2015 - 3:14 am

Gorgeous photos!

Jane HubbardApril 7, 2015 - 8:43 pm

AMAZING photography….and the flamingos and turquoise water are incredible! We will look for Lahowind in a couple years when we take the plunge! :)

[…] trying to catch up on our little life afloat since leaving “land-o-flamingos.” Aka Mayaguana. After leaving our flamingo friends, we made the 124-mile overnight sail to Clarence Town, Long […]

Ms.CharltonJanuary 31, 2016 - 11:47 am

I am so glad that you three enjoyed your overall stay in The Bahamas! Hoping you return soon for a sequel 😉 You’re blog is amazing!

Boat Life Lately. According to my iPhone.

Life lately has been very colorful. Literally. Lol. Our Instagram feed is so pretty, I love it! ;)) Lots of vibrant fun times that I would not trade for the world.

This has definitely been a whirlwind of a month as we began the trek towards Florida. Be it slowly, I might add. Over the past few weeks, we’ve had a blast seeing friends old and new in our favorite Puerto Rican fishing village, dealing with a few boat projects and chores, and now finally making the haul all the way back to the Bahamas! What a month!

For those of you not following on Instagram (but you should be!), here’s what we’ve been up to lately…

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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.

Gimme ShelterMarch 31, 2015 - 12:47 pm

Looks like an amazing time! We can’t wait to get to Puerto Rico in June.

Kevin WilsonApril 1, 2015 - 12:46 pm

I love following this adventure! I have been following for 5 or so months but have read everything prior. I appreciate the updates. The posts are a great escape from my daily routine! I am sad to see this winding down.

Making (more) Miles. Puerto Rico to the Bahamas!

Four (and a half days) days and another four hundred and forty plus miles under our belt! Oh and a crap ton of photos. ;)) You gotta fight the passage boredom somehow, right?

This was our longest passage ever!!! If we weren’t real sailors before, I’d say we are now.

DCIM100GOPRO

It’s crazy to think that we literally sailed our floating home across a small slice of this huge blue marble, watching the sun rise and set for four days straight, totally disconnected from the real world and slowly making miles before eventually dropping hook back in the Bahamas.

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We are officially closer to Florida than to the Virgin Islands. Now, that’s a strange feeling!

This hefty passage was one for the record books for sure! We broke it into two long, uneventful (thankfully) legs with lots of shift work to boot. Jer and I took turns single-handing the boat…trimming, tacking, and taking in and out the head sail while the other napped below deck.

Leg 1 – 303.5 miles – Puerto Rico to Big Sand Cay, Turks and Caicos
Leg 2 – 140 miles – Big Sand Cay to Mayaguana, Bahamas

With fair winds and following seas, this made for one of our most comfortable passages ever! Long? Most definitely. But mostly comfortable no less. And when you are sailing 440ish miles, I would easily give up speed for comfort any day of the week. I guess that seems sorta backwards, but I prefer feeling great for almost five days rather than puking my guts out to get there in three. You know? Plus, we were able to maintain normal human activities without any real effort. Like cooking real meals and sleeping without being tossed onto the floor! And that makes me a happy camper.

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We left Puerto Real, Puerto Rico on Monday, March 23 and sailed across the Mona Passage and along the coast of the Dominican Republic for what felt like forever. Man, I thought the coast of the Dominican was never going to end. That is one long country lol.

The Mona Passage gave us no troubles whatsoever even though we found ourselves basically buddy boating a mile or so away from a Coast Guard cutter for a few hours. We heard them radio-ing other boats headed towards Puerto Rico, but obviously they didn’t care at all about little ol’ us since we were headed west. No radio calls to LAHO.

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Fortunately, we were able to sail without the motor for the entire second leg!!! Once again, yay for downwind sailing! It rocks! Woot woot!

Oh and Oliver…he did great! Considering. He honed his boat dog skills and actually “went” on deck this passage. Twice!

Well, the the first instance was a little peculiar considering he “went” on deck at hour -0.5. Yup, thirty minutes BEFORE we freaking even left the dock. What?????? He must’ve gotten the memo that we were leaving on a big sail and wanted to show us that he could in fact handle it. Lol. Thankfully, he went again at hour 46 after about six coercing attempts by yours truly. Phew! What a relief for Jer and I.

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Regardless of Oliver’s new skills, we still opted to make a quick overnight pitstop at Big Sand Cay (the south eastern most edge of Turks and Caicos). This was equal parts letting Oliver romp around on land and getting Jer and I a good night’s sleep. Not to mention, forgoing this detour wouldn’t have helped at all in the Mayaguana arrival time department. Not stopping would have basically just caused us to arrive in Mayaguana in the middle of the night. Not optimal for entering a reef-enclosed anchorage if you know what I’m saying.

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There was lots of fishing during the four days too. Although we hooked six or seven big boys, the only one that made it all the way into the boat, was the little flying fish that hopped aboard sometime during the night. ;))

Overall, it was another safe and successful passage…and that is all we can truly ask for!

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PS – if anyone wants to see how we pass time while cruising non-stop for four days, here’s a little clip after we rigged the GoPro on our flag halyard…

LisaMarch 30, 2015 - 12:54 am

Your mama appreciated the message update. Love knowing you three are safe and sound!!!!!!!!!!

AllysonMarch 30, 2015 - 3:37 pm

We miss you guys already! Thank you for making out time in Puerto Real so much fun! We are currently in Boqueron with engine troubles. Hope to see you three again some day! —Allyson, Dan and Capt Bela

LAHOWINDMarch 30, 2015 - 4:12 pm

Miss you guys too!!! Get that engine fixed and hurry back to the Bahamas with us. 😉 Or at least visit us in Naples! -Kim

Scott and SheriMarch 30, 2015 - 4:20 pm

Yay, you made it safe and sound. You can get bored and take that many pics all the time! Nice photos.