LAHOWIND » Just you, me, + the dog.

Dolphin Daze + Breezy Nights.

Another day, another awesome down wind sail, and an equally as amazing dolphin sighting!

Let’s get this out there right now. Downwind sailing is really where it’s at. Following seas and gusty 20ish or more knots of wind filling our head sail is definitely a-okay by me. Seriously, I’m loving this sailboat surfy thing we’ve got going on as of late.

Now that we’ve turned around and are sailing back west, it’s back to making miles and sailing on the regular. And it’s a helluva lot easier to have the wind and waves behind us, instead of beating into them like we did for the past twelve months! So far, we’ve speed raced our way from St. Thomas to Culebra, on to Vieques, and then over Salinas.

And all of ^^that^^ took no crazy passages or special weather considerations really at all.

After leaving Salinas last week, we made the 48-mile trek west to Parguera with 25-knot winds and six-foot waves. Thankfully, it was yet another perfect day for downwind sailing! The icing on the cake was the fun little pod of dolphin who came to say hi just off the coast of Parguera!

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These playful dolphin surfed the waves all around us, rolled in our wake, and even showed off a little by leaping several feet into the air on a handful of occasions! Seeing them never gets old, I tell ya!

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And isn’t it funny that our only dolphin sightings in the Caribbean have occurred coming into or leaving Cayo Enriquee (Parguera)? I mean, there’s gotta be dolphin hanging out in other places, don’t ya think? Our first Caribbean dolphin encounter (way back in November) was in this exact same pretty little spot! …We had such an amazing time that first trip here, so we picked it once again for a quick overnight pitstop on our route back west towards Puerto Real, Cabo Rojo.

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Unfortunately, the extra breezy forecast this time around made for not quite as ideal of an anchorage as it was the first time.

Now, windy conditions at anchor are one thing, but having to launch your dinghy with 30-knot gusts in your face is another ballgame altogether. With a few colorful choice words exchanged, Jer and I very tensely launched our dink (which was stowed on deck for the passage), and were second guessing our choice of anchorage like no other.

It gets a little crazy around here when a 150lb. dinghy (that’s a guesstimate btw) is dangling by a halyard and you are desperately trying to lower it into the water without damaging anything or hurting yourself. You cruisers know what I’m talking about. ;))

As usual, the dinghy was successfully launched and we were off motoring Oliver to the tiny coral island nearby just before sunset.

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Turns out, the howling winds kept Jer and I on edge all night and I’m pretty certain neither of us enjoyed a good night’s sleep. We each kept a device within arms reach (me taking the iPad and Jer the cell phone) so we could quickly and easily monitor our position during the night.

We had taken one of the Department of Natural Resources mooring balls and had arrived a little too late to dive or check the mooring lines. In this particular anchorage, the conditions are not really ideal for anchoring with respect to water depths and proximity to extremely shallow areas/land. It basically goes from 60 feet deep to 10 feet deep (where the balls are) so your choice is to either anchor in 60 feet of water or pick up a mooring. We chose the latter.

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^^A super up close screenshot of our recorded track throughout the night. I must’ve turned on the iPad a minimum of 25 times that night just to make sure that little sailboat icon wasn’t shooting off towards the side. PS – I think we must’ve had a satellite switch and hence the weird random line jutting out.^^

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^^And zoomed out on our Garmin app. Clearly, our mooring held firm.^^

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^^Even though it was breezy, this spot gave us one heck of a sunset!^^

After an uneventful, yet semi-sleepless night, we set sail early the next morning for Puerto Real, Cabo Rojo our home away from home! You might remember, we spent a good three months waiting out hurricane season here. :))

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>>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.

Lisa YoungMarch 16, 2015 - 1:26 pm

The pictures are amazing!!!!!!!!!!!

Janet DormanMarch 17, 2015 - 1:57 am

Love your blog! I’ve been following it since last year when I read about you in the Fort Myers News Press!

LAHOWINDMarch 17, 2015 - 2:06 am

Wow, thanks so much Janet!!! :) -Kim

Scott ans SheriMarch 17, 2015 - 4:56 pm

Love reading along, and your pics are excellent. I was just kind of reading your “tone” during this passage and you guys are starting to sound like old salts! Listen to you, 25 knot winds and 6 foot seas and “it’s a-ok by me” I love it, this is a bit of a different tune than you were singing on your first few voyages. You guys are getting good at this! Awesome.

LAHOWINDMarch 17, 2015 - 6:16 pm

Thanks Scott and Sheri! We only sound more legit because we are sailing DOWNWIND! And it’s way easier. Don’t let my tone fool you. Lol. :) -Kim

[…] pulled into the marina after our easy trip from Parguera, which was a wee bit different than our 300-mile slog all the way from the Dominican Republic that […]

Turtle Diving Take Two.

Remember our insane swimming with sea turtles experience in the Spanish Virgin Islands back in December? It was so magical, so unbelievable, so perfect that we couldn’t possibly sail to Culebra again without visiting our turtle besties!

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And, of course, make another video ya’ll!!!  I know I know, I already made a turtle video here. But that first one was rejected from Vimeo, so I had to stash the file over on dropbox, making it much more difficult to watch and enjoy (for some reason, Vimeo allowed the turtles on their site this second time around). Plus, we just couldn’t leave Jer’s folks out of the video fun, and we had so many fab clips from our most recent turtle encounter.

I’ll tell ya, the cutest, friendliest family of green sea turts lives just off Tamarindo Beach in Culebra, PR.

Most turtles we’ve encountered throughout the Caribbean have been just as breathtaking, but certainly not nearly as tame as those here in Culebra. There’s really something special about these guys. Our frenzied snorkeling and GoPro toting antics didn’t seem to phase them at all. These turtles just continued munching on tasty seagrass without a care in the world as we (mostly just me) swam (over-) excitedly towards them trying to soak in as much turtle time as humanly possible.

Luckily, this time around we got to bring Jer’s parents along to share in the joy as we swam with the turtles!

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Jer’s folks were equally as delighted to take part in the turtle viewing festivities and even attempted some up close and personal turtle diving right alongside with us.

These friendly Culebra turtles will definitely go down in our memory banks as one of the best experiences we’ve had on this sailing adventure of ours!

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>>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.

Turnaround Time!

It was bound to happen sooner or later. The bittersweet time in which we would need to turn our cute little sailboat around and start making the sail back to Florida.

And that time has come for the three of us.

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Oliver is probably the most excited to return to his awesome backyard with countless lizards to hunt, along with endless unplanned potty breaks that definitely do NOT require the use of a dinghy.

Jer and I, however, are a bundle of mixed emotions.

All along, we knew we would be back in Florida by Hurricane Season 2015. That was the plan. This life afloat was never a forever for us.

Luckily, home is beautiful Naples, Florida. We can’t complain much, can we? I mean, lots of folks travel from far and wide to vacation in our very hometown. It really is paradise, and we would be fools not to think the same. We own a cute home near the beach. I have a beloved photography business. And, honestly, we enjoy land life just as much as this simple boat life we’ve been living for the past year.

We have lots of grand plans for our future and a family. What’s great about this sailing journey is that it’s really just one small notch in our grand adventure at life. And what a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t happened yet.

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^^a big thanks to Jer’s dad for snapping these photos last month!^^

Of course, we are a little sad that our time floating around from island to island is winding down, yet totally excited to get back to our family and friends (and, let’s not lie, lots of life’s little luxuries like long hot showers, flush toilets, etcetera etcetera).

We’ve got a big haul ahead of us to get ourselves and this sailboat all the way back to Florida, and we still plan to spend some quality time in the Bahamas, where we will hopefully get to visit a few of our all-time favorite spots and maybe even some new ones too!

Wanna know the best news of all about having to turn around? After all this time, we finally get to sail DOWN WIND!! Halle-freaking-lujah! :)))

>>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.

CaitieMarch 13, 2015 - 12:44 pm

Hey Kim and Jereme! My fiancée and I have been following your blog for the past year or so as we prepped to take a similar trip (sailing from the Great Lakes to the Bahamas) and first I have to thank you for making such a beautiful, entertaining and super helpful blog! We often checked yours for tips as we made decisions along the way (“what did Laho do for solar panel mounts?!” etc) and had been hoping that our paths might cross at some point. We are still in the Bahamas and will be here for at least another 6-8 weeks then back to Florida and up from there. We’d love to meet up and have some drinks and finally feet you in person! We’ll keep an eye out for you, and hopefully see you later this spring. Safe sailing :)

Caitie and Mark
s/v TARA
http://Www.optrop.com

Mark and Cindy - s/v Cream PuffMarch 13, 2015 - 12:59 pm

Looks like we may pass each other in the Florida Straits. We are heading up the east coast to the Chesapeake Bay area for hurricane season. We’ll probably get underway in April/May and take our time getting there. In October/November we’ll head south the the Caribbean.

Thanks for doing the blog. We have made a list of places to visit with some of the postings.

Turn around is hard but, think of all the nice comforts you will enjoy once land life resumes. No doubt you’ll appreciate the little things that others take for granted.

Mark and Cindy
s/v Cream Puff
http://www.creampuff.us

Kelley - Sailing ChanceMarch 13, 2015 - 1:56 pm

If you can, go to the Abacos. Hope Town, Powell Cay and Double Breathed were amazing! May be too far north for you, but so beautiful :)

HeatherMarch 13, 2015 - 3:10 pm

i just found your blog a few weeks ago linked from another sailing blog and we have enjoyed following your journey and all of your incredible pictures. We are planning for a year long sail in about 5 years when our toddlers are a little older. My husband is Bahamian so if you need any help planning your stops in the Bahamas, shoot us an email and we’d be happy to help!

Jennifer BrickerMarch 13, 2015 - 8:35 pm

Say it isn’t so! 😉 …Is this move back to land a forever thing or will you be back to sailing after hurricane season?

My hubs & I have really enjoyed your blog & it has been such an inspiration to us! We will miss your updates & gorgeous photos, but wish you both the best of luck on your next endeavors!

JulieMarch 13, 2015 - 9:55 pm

I have been following your blog for awhile now because you are living my dream. I am sad to hear it is time to head home.
I see that you love the Bahamas and I just went there in November and am going back in July. I loved it. From reading your blog, I know that we have similar tastes in what we like in a beach. Quiet…hidden…secluded… Do you have any secret spots on Grand Bahama Island that you would be willing to tel me about?

Safe travels!

Breezy // wavetothewindMarch 14, 2015 - 2:12 am

Congrats on chasing down dreams wherever they lead! It’s been great getting to know the 3 of you on this awesome blog of yours. Keep sharing your adventures land or sea!

Lara SpragueMarch 14, 2015 - 11:01 pm

Congratulations on living your dream you two!
Now get cracking on those wedding plans:) Do I see a boat wedding on the water with the fam in the future? I can picture Oliver in a little doggie tux.

I have thoroughly enjoyed extending mine and Cole’s week in Long Island by following your blog.
Hopefully one day we’ll meet again on some awesome Bahamian beach!
Cheers-

[…] that we’ve turned around and are sailing back west, it’s back to making miles and sailing on the regular. And […]

[…] everyone’s sweet comments here on the blog and over on Facebook when we posted our little “turnaround” notice made us feel so so great! Seriously. You guys are the best. […]

Scott and SheriMarch 17, 2015 - 5:06 pm

What an amazing adventure you guys, enjoy the rest of your trip Northwardsish. I can’t wait for the book!!!

GregoryMarch 17, 2015 - 9:21 pm

I love this website and the photos are awesome! You guys have inspired me to buy an Endeavour as well. I plan to sell my MacGregor trailer sailer this summer and buy something similar to what you guys have. I like the 37 B plan layout with the enclosed quarter berth. Although I don’t see a lot of listings for them online…. Have fun on your trip.

It’s Video Time!!!

It’s video time!!! My favorite!

Real quick, before I get into the fun new video we made, I just have to mention that every time I say “It’s Video Time!” in my head, I am instantly transported back to 1990-something and, for some strange reason, really feel the need to sing the Troop Beverly Hills movie song “It’s Cookie Time.” Jereme, of course, is absolutely no help when I am desperate to reminisce scenes from this classic childhood movie. Come on, the Nefler house? “Beverly Hills, what a thrill!” Please tell me someone reading this blog loves this movie and watched it as many times as my sisters and I did growing up? Side note, if you want a little update on all the characters and locations from the movie, I stumbled upon this fun Glamour.com article. Just saying.

Back to the point of my post, our newest VIDEO!!! Yippee!!!

A montage of clips, if you will, from our three awesome sets of guests who graced us with their presence and hopped aboard lovely LAHO in February for some fun in the sun and a sailing vacay through the Virgin Islands!

I know I say this with every vid, but this might just be one of my most favorite ones yet. Hope you enjoy! PS – There’s some bonus footage at the end. ;))

>>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.

Kristi ManganMarch 11, 2015 - 2:55 pm

I haven’t even watched the video yet because I got so sidetracked checking out all of the Troop Beverly Hills stuff you found….. AMAZING…… thanks for that trip down memory lane…. Now…. I’ll go watch your video!

Lara SpragueMarch 11, 2015 - 10:02 pm

Best movie ever! Watched it a ton!

Patches? We don’t need no stinkin patches!

Same as Kristi here, still need to watch your video :)

LAHOWINDMarch 11, 2015 - 10:08 pm

OMG Lara, best quote of all from the movie!!! Love it! I’m glad I got a few nods of approval on my Troop Beverly Hills blast from the past. Lol. :)

A SMarch 12, 2015 - 3:59 am

I totally forgot about that movie! I loved that one!!!

SV Gimme ShelterMarch 12, 2015 - 12:46 pm

I’ve never even heard of Troop Beverly Hills. Now I have to go look it up.

[…] buzzfeed published this article about the movie Troop Beverly Hills. You know, just two days after my own Troop Beverly Hills blog rant? Coincidence or not? I wonder. Lol. […]

Tuesday Tell-Tales.

Since I gave Culebra so much love yesterday, I’d be remiss not to at least give a teeny shout-out to pretty Vieques…you know, Culebra’s next door neighbor in the gorgeous Spanish Virgin Islands!

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^^Seriously, how gorgeous is this island???^^

After a downright perfect 22-mile sail from Culebra, we made an overnight pitstop at this beautiful beach anchorage just the other day. Surprisingly, we had the place all to ourselves for the night after a small mega yacht left us all by our lonesome that same afternoon.

What a nice change of pace that was following three months in the USVI and BVI where we constantly found ourselves in packed out anchorages amongst the hoards of charter boats and cruisers alike. We made the most of our short stay and enjoyed a late picnic sammie lunch on the beach with a few cold brewskies to go alongside. Oliver, of course, was thrilled to find himself able to run wild and free on yet another gorgeous golden sand beach.

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And in other randomness on this beautiful Tuesday…

We’re officially on a new yogurt+granola+berries kick! Thank you Culebra for giving us access to fresh groceries once again.

(And yes, fun new yogurt breakfasts qualify as news around here. Lol.)

We, however, accidentally made a gigantic mistake on our yogurt binge and picked up an extra large container of the much grosser and more boring plain jane yogurt instead of our usual yummy vanilla flavored variety. Oh man, what a disappointment that was when Jer and I awoke. Plain yogurt = inedible in my book. Don’t worry, we’ve since remedied the situation. ;)) It was a bowl of non-fat vanilla greek yogurt with granola and fresh raspberries and sliced banana this morning!

So yesterday, I actually busted out leggings and a long-sleeve for the first time in months! I know, shocking that it got down to 74 in the boat. That’s pretty much freezing in the Caribbean if you ask me. ;))

What else?

Jereme, being the super star handyman he is, fixed our semi-broken dinghy engine the other day. Our outboard motor had been in a bit of a funk for the past week or so, running basically at one slow-ish speed and cutting out if you tried any funny business. New spark plugs and a fuel filter (all of which we had in stock on the boat) and that baby is running like new! Yay for that!

That’s all I’ve got for today. 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.

TimMarch 15, 2015 - 8:40 pm

I will really miss seeing your blog, It has given me hours of pleasure. Take care…

LAHOWINDMarch 16, 2015 - 2:18 am

Thanks Tim! It’s not disappearing, so keep on following! 😉 -Kim