Category Archives: World Tour Stories

New York to Norfolk/Portsmouth

Before we finally arrived in Miami, there was quite a long way to go from New York, which was the last sailing update you got from us here on the blog. The wind started slow and calm as we left Sandy Hook at sunrise. After lunch we had only a scanty 5 knots off the land to play with. We knew the winds would shift to N and pick up later in the evening to around 20-25, something we welcomed immensely because there’s nothing as frustrating as bobbing around on the deep blue with no wind, and a mixed swell from two directions which our tiny two blade propeller would have to suffer through. Note to self: Get a new prop asap. 
A couple hours after the sun had set and we reached closer to the coast of Atlantic City some 60 miles from our starting point of the day, the wind suddenly died out completely. And two seconds later it had changed direction as predicted, and it hit our full sails and it hit it hard, with 25 knots from nowhere, in a second. The boat heeled over, releasing the pressure off the mast by pushing the rail into the ice cold blue water. The 25 knots grew quickly into 30 and it didn’t leave our side before early the next morning. We should have reefed earlier! We yelled at each other through the howling wind. The stress that dramatic winds and weather brings on always pumps up your adrenaline but we’ve learned by now that the last thing there’s time for in such a situation is an argument. You just have to shut your mouth and do what you have to do. Discuss the details later. 
The genoa got quickly reefed from the cockpit, but we didn’t have the time to put on our life vests when Alex rapidly went to the mast to take a few reefs in the main. I cursed myself for not having made sure he wore it before the wind arrived. It usually increases slowly and doesn’t normally surprise you like this. But who am I to think I can control the nature. We should have known better. 
It always fascinates me how quickly the sea builds with stronger winds, and now Alex was up by the mast, lowering the sail while I did my best in keeping the boat near the wind while maintaining the boom under somewhat control. The waves, the wind, the darkness. Please hold yourself. With three reefs in the main and only a few square meter left of the genoa, the boat became much better balanced again once we got back on track, now running before the wind. So glad we got that extra reef built into our new mainsail. It has our nervous boat feeling so much better in winds above 30. This night we had an established 30 knots and gusts up to 37 from approximately 7.30 pm to sometime after midnight when it dropped with five and stayed like that until arrival in Delaware Bay. At least we could be happy with the fact the wind came off the stern and not the nose!
We arrived in Delaware Bay and Lewes around 7.30 am, 120 miles in 24 hours isn’t such a good progress but at least we were safe behind the breakwater. Exhausted from no sleep (we have no auto pilot so must steer all nights through), we decided to stay with the anchor firmly on the bottom for two nights. Also a good place to await our friend and his boat.
Leaving the dunes of Lewes with destination Norfolk.
A quick and easy meal at sea. Penne pasta with Tofurky Ground “Beef” and a dash of Hampton Creek’s phenomenal vegan mayo Just Mayo. You don’t have to believe me if you don’t want to, but this shit tastes better than any egg mayo you’ll ever find in your grocery stores. I swear. You have to try it. GMO free too.
A lonely little bird caught up with us some 30 miles off the coast. How did you get here little thing? He or she was all scruffy and looked confused as it landed on the boat but with a master meal of oats and pumpkin seeds that we fed her or him with, it regained energy and could fly off once we got nearer land. The boat often functions as a resting place for birds lost at sea.
This is just before it flew away. Looking sharp now!
Arriving to Norfolk, Virginia, which boasts the largest navy base in the world as well as one of NATO’s two Strategic Command Headquarters. Lots of helicopter and fighter plane action witnessed. So incredibly much tax money wasted.
After having received several tips from you awesome blog readers on Facebook, we docked at the free town dock in Portsmouth, across the river of Norfolk. Since this whole trip was made so late in season, we were the only boat around until our friend arrived the following day. That was pretty much how it went down on almost all stops we made. It felt a little like those seasons we sailed in the Caribbean during hurricane months. Not many other boats out except us. We always seem to be doing things when they are not meant to be done. Or at least when other people choose not to be doing them. But hey, more space for us!
Christmas in Portsmouth.
Restocking provisions. Kroger Market was definitely the best of the two grocery stores we found in town. Took a 20 minute bus ride to get there and 20 back but much worth it.
A very typical breakfast onboard (well for me that is, Alex always has coffee and a couple toast with bitter orange marmalade): Creamy oats that was slow cooked with almond milk, agave, cinnamon and grated ginger. Served with more almond milk and frozen fruits. I like buying frozen organic fruit and keep them in a tupperware container in the freezer box. Easy to spoon out of and avoids fruity juice from escaping into the fridge. Plus it’s easier to deal with than having to chop and clean fruits and berries while underway.
After that we were ready for the canal. We opted to avoid the notorious Cape Hatteras during winter, especially since a Nor’Easter was approaching. Instead we decided to duck into the Intracoastal Waterway for a few days. Three days of motoring all the way to Morehead City in North Carolina didn’t sound much appealing at all. Our Perkins 4108 engine does not have a separate room but is installed in the saloon under the saloon table. The table/engine cover does have some sound proofing, but still it does feel like you have your ear right next to the engine at all the times when the engine is on. So obviously we prefer not having to use it all. BUT life is not always as comfortable as one would like, and that’s probably why we love it so when it is.
More about the ICW later!

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Magic city

So we did finally arrive, didn’t we? It’s all a blur. Feeling the tiredness kicking in hardcore now a couple days after arrival. Sailing literally non-stop for 4-5 weeks whereof 90% of the trip was done in cold temperatures is draining on your body. Although you might not notice it as much before you stop what you’re doing and allow yourself to take a moment to relax. So very tired now. But this is anyway what greeted us as we pulled into our new home town the other night. It’s always a grande experience arriving to a new city ocean side, but somehow this neon colored town on water additionally pimped with christmas lights carried extra magical sparkle. It feels good to be here. Real good in fact. Though a tad surreal still.

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Magic city

So we did finally arrive, didn’t we? It’s all a blur. Feeling the tiredness kicking in hardcore now a couple days after arrival. Sailing literally non-stop for 4-5 weeks whereof 90% of the trip was done in cold temperatures is draining on your body. Although you might not notice it as much before you stop what you’re doing and allow yourself to take a moment to relax. So very tired now. But this is anyway what greeted us as we pulled into our new home town the other night. It’s always a grande experience arriving to a new city ocean side, but somehow this neon colored town on water additionally pimped with christmas lights carried extra magical sparkle. It feels good to be here. Real good in fact. Though a tad surreal still.

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North Carolina to Georgia

Sing Hallelujah, we’re back in the sun! Or at least in an anchorage on the coast of Georgia. The final state before our new home state, Florida. It’s quite chilly in the air still, but that’s ok, nothing beats Boston when it comes to cold. Just a little tan now and we’re ready to roll like winter never happened. And um, a hair wash would be good too..
Did I tell you we are moving to Miami? Will tell you all about why etcetera another day, but we are extremely excited for a bunch of reasons. More sunshine hours in each day being the primary of course. We have 3-5 more days of sailing/motoring along the long coast of Florida before we arrive though but hot damn how marvelous being able to soak in some Vitamin D again!
Unfortunately no time to launch the dinghy and explore the state of Georgia today but be sure we’ll be back here with the bike some time soon. Charleston we had to pass this time too, we loved it last time we visited and will definitely be back one day again.
After 48 hours of uncomfortable sailing with mixed swells and much stronger winds than predicted (never since we left MA has the forecast been right, winter is like that I suppose), it’s suddenly so calm out so looking much forward to a few hours sound and steady sleep. More miles to make tomorrow..

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New York

Who does not love New York? Although we hadn’t planned to stop there on this particular trip since our intention was to get where the sun shines asap, faith had it that we had to make a two day stop there anyway. If you follow us on Facebook you might be familiar with the accident that another boater brought upon us by ramming into our transom while we were leisurely cruising through the final part of East River. I know, it’s so stupid that it’s hard to even imagine such a thing possible. Such an incident is at the least of ones concerns when planning for a long sail. But it did happen, and we had to pause the trip for a couple days to look through the damage and deal with insurance companies. Of course it happened on a Sunday of Thanksgiving so that delayed us even further. We had the other boats insurance company visiting us to look over the damage while we later on arrived in Norfolk which we’re happy they could accommodate so fast, and we’re hoping this whole ordeal will have a good ending. At least I managed to get some pretty nice photos of New York in the process :)

We stayed at Liberty Landing Marina in Jersey, super nice facilities and great views over the Financial District of Manhattan as you can tell. Had a nice dinner at the Liberty House one of those nights and as many hot showers as we could possibly squeeze in within 48 hours..

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New Bedford

Buzzards Bay can be a nasty son of a … to get through in the wrong conditions, and instead of the predicted NW 10-15 knots, it quickly turned into SW 25-30 on the day we had planned to get to Newport. South West which was exactly the direction we were heading and instead of fighting currents and banging into steep waves for an eternity, we decided to call it quits and ducked into safe harbour in New Bedford. These photos are from when we arrive in the late afternoon, tied up just before sunset, an early morning wake up and headed right back out to the bay.
We have a friend sailing with us, on his lovely Fuji 35 that you can see in the photos. We’ll be sailing much of the trip down to Florida together. Christian who is from Montpellier in France, has lived in Boston for approx. fifteen years for work and love, but though it seemed a good idea to escape the cold now as well. It’s a very nice new thing for us. We have never really sailed much with other people/boats, and although our boat is a little faster,  it’s pretty sweet having someone to hook up with on arrival to various ports and anchorages.
We stayed at Pope’s Marina in New Bedford for a very reasonable winter rate of $0.50/ft. A great place and friendly service, but the dock we pulled into didn’t have 30 amp shore power so we slept the whole night without heater which was a freezing experience, somewhere under zero degrees Celsius. I guess we could have moved to another dock but you know you’re tired when you rather choose to sleep in freezing cold bedded under two hundred wool sweaters, than having to move and re-tie up the boat. Or maybe we’re just getting used to the cold?
We’re now finally in Newport after a night at anchor by Cuttyhunk island, and have finally got a hold on propane bottles for our MrHeater space heater so the nights at anchor will be less chilly. Luckily we have the cold Cape Cold behind us now and air and water is already a tad warmer. We’re thinking of sailing over to Long Island Sound tonight or early tomorrow morning so we get that leg done before the arrival of a new Nor’Easter that is fast approaching.
Follow our trip on Facebook and Instagram.

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Southbound

Goodbye Captain’s Cove Marina in Quincy and everyone else in Massachusetts! We left a few days ago and are now in Buzzards Bay waiting for slightly less wind so we can steer over to Newport. Should happen today. The wind’s been brutal so far and air pretty cold obviously. The coldest we’ve ever sailed. But like I said on my Instagram, we’re slowly getting closer to Southern warmth so it will be worth freezing toes and fingers off now for a few days. Our dear friend Michael has been right all along, it all depends on just how many layers you wear. Thanks for all the warm wool sweaters, and everything else you’ve helped us with over this past year!
Follow our trip on Insta or better yet on our Facebook page where I post daily. Easier to connect to it while underway. You don’t need to be a registered Facebook user to check our progress.
If anyone is looking for a good place to keep the boat, winter or summer season, do make sure to consider Captain’s Cove in Quincy. We stayed there from April to November and it’s a very friendly, quiet and super affordable place to stay. Thanks for great service Kimberly, Tim, Mike and the crew!

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last minute deals

 
Ok we are leaving very soon and if I was a neurotic person I would have probably been a complete mess right now. We did make the decision to sail 1500 nautical miles, half of which will be through winter weather, only a week ago. We are moving our life and home to a whole different place, and we must get going asap to not get stuck in worse weather systems that are so prone for this time of the year. So there is a fair amount of things to get done in terms of boat preparation, packing up, provisioning, installing of a water heater, engine servicing, taking farewell of people, ordering of engine parts that must arrive within the next 48 hours etc etc… it does not help that I drank a bottle of prosecco last night (as part of the farewell procedure). It rather makes the organization a tad more… confused… much to my mans chagrin.
The reason why I’ve allowed precious time for writing this post, is that I wanted to let you know that I have lowered the prices on all recently uploaded things in my shop because I really want to get these things sent out before we leave as it might take a while before I get a new opportunity to do so. 
The only real reason why I’m showing the backside of myself in today’s post is because I found one of those beige bags in my friends place, and that one is now on the shop as well.
If you buy two Colombian bags, I will send you a third, smaller one, free of charge. Plus now it’s free shipping on all orders above $50.

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Montauk

Just a few photos from our stay in Montauk and MYC this past summer. I think that was the only week in which I managed to catch a wee bit of tan this year. This 16 month long stay on the south shore of Boston has been all about indoor workworkwork for me, so it will be aaaaahmazing to soon be able to shift from pale and unfashionable (one of my good friends recently told me that that is what New England has done to me: “Taru you’ve changed..” hahah) – to fresh, tanned, très chic and très sexy again. LOL. Alex on the other hand has worked quite a bit outdoors on the boat so he has been able to keep his golden tan all year through the lucky bastard.

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Cleaning out the boat.

Thank you everyone for all your comments and emails regarding our move. Glad you are as excited as we are (only the thought of soon being able to wear a bikini makes my heart beat faster). Will talk more about it all and share some plans with you very soon. But first we need to get the boat ready. During this preparation process, I’ve found tons of Colombian bags on board, you remember the ones I sold while in Cartagena? I have a few more of them for sale now in my store.

I’ve also added some great vintage pieces from my wardrobe, for the ones that are interested (my beloved Mahina bag from Louis Vuitton that I too rarely use these days, for example). There’s also a very good Canon lens, and the awesome fleet-broadband for serious cruisers (for a splendid price if I may add!). And of course, the ever so beautiful golden pieces from We Dream In Colour – always with 10% off for blog readers.  

Shop away and email if you have any questions at all!

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what’s worth most

These photos are from a couple months ago. In Boston Harbor Islands. Not this warm here any longer..
So came the winter season in New England, the first snow has fallen though melted for now, and it’s been interesting to observe ourselves in this unpleasant second transition from summer to fall to now early winter. A very uncomfortable feeling has again begun tinting our minds. You know the sense of quiet desperation, or frustration if you will. The knowledge of something very uneasy that is about to go down, and the involuntary, almost enforced agreement that we will just have to go through it. Yet again. 
We notice life slowly slipping out of people around us here in the marina. Their faces, expressions and body language have shifted from summery optimistic with strong straight backs and loud laughter, to a bitter hunched discontent and a vocabulary and sound level dramatically scaled down. Nobody likes the cold, yet they all live through it. Put life on pause for half a year. They say it’s just the way it is and begrudgingly accept the pain. We know how it is, we were just about to do the same, for the second year in a row. But seriously. Is this what we call life? What are we doing here? Are the work opportunities and the money made here really that much worth? Do we really want to miss out on six months of a year? Ridiculous is only one way to put it.
One day, out of the blue not so long ago, an email dropped into my account. An email from an old friend that reminded us that we do in fact have similar, if not better opportunities in places where the sun is a norm and not a rarity. Have we just been so busy learning to accept the fact that we will have to go through this again, that we have totally forgotten to look further? We have not yet stabilized our savings accounts so work is still an important part of our lives. As for most people. But are we really okay with checking out from the pleasure of life, just in order to save a few bucks? Because let’s face it, it’s really not that cheap living in the US so how much do we really get to save? And how many years would we have to do this shit, to feel we have enough money?
Nah, this is not for us. I don’t know how we could have mislead ourselves to believe it could be worth it. We love life, and we don’t need to suffer more than necessary, right?
We will be leaving South. Boat is being prepared. And we are simultaneously studying routes and weighting opportunities in our next new home base. It’s not an uncomplicated task to sail South from these high latitudes this late in the year, and rough storms happen more often than they do not.

We’re thinking to set sail sometimes right after thanksgiving, out into Buzzards Bay to start, through the Long Island Sound, and hit ICW before Cape Hatteras. Anyone of you done this trip late November, early December? Don’t say it is not a good time of the year to do it, because we know, yet we will, no matter what.

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six months till spring?

Here we go again! Second nor’easter storm approaching in such a short period of time. What does this say about the following six months of winter coming up? We do not look forward to it at all to be honest. Have contemplated whether to put the boat on the hard and live in our friends house on the South Shore for the winter. Or stay on the boat like last year, but with the difference that we’d stay on the boat almost all nights rather than only 75% of the nights that was the case during the previous winter when we had a great little apartment in Cambridge to escape to every now and then.
Neither of our current options are perfect. Because you know, living on a boat in the winter is a very chilly and quite draining business. And staying in our friends house on the South Shore of Boston might’ve been good for me who have the kitchen nearby, but for Alex whose work is in Cambridge, it would mean four hours of commuting each day (traffic is HORRIBLE around here) and that is naturally not very practical. Plus it would mean we’d have to buy a car since the bike can’t be used more than until the first snow falls.

An additional option would be to rent a more accessible apartment over the winter that would be somewhere in the middle of our two work places (25 miles/40 km from the kitchen where I work to Alex’s studio). That would be a place that was located near a metro station that we both could make use of. But a minimum of $1000 in rent per month will end up at $6000 USD before the winter is over, and really, those are the sort of bills we’re trying to escape by the choice we have made to live on a boat. Hauling the boat or keeping it in a marina are costs enough. Not to mention boat maintenance, winterizing of engine, shrink wrapping, additional heater etc. It just seems silly living with one foot in each world, paying double just for the fun of it.
Winter is pretty much here already but we have still not decided what and where, and we’re planning on procrastinating a little while longer just for the sake of…. indecisiveness. The only “good” thing with this procrastination is that the longer we keep the boat in the water just the way it is, the longer can we keep holding onto the slight (tiny) hope of us being able to leave this cold climate behind and sail South. One shall never let go of dreams! haha… oh my god. not sure how we would/could deal with another winter here. Se.ri.ous.ly.
Anyways. There’s an expected +50 knots coming our way in the next 12 hours so we decided to move the boat to a more secure spot in the inner harbor. We’re now protected by a larger houseboat. Let’s just hope the docks stay where they are so that said houseboat does not come rumbling into us in the middle of the night. Life on a boat, always exciting!
 
X is more or less where we’re at.

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