Category Archives: News & Blogs

2015 Florida Bareboat Charter Deals

The incentive from the 31-year-old company in Cape Coral applies to charters that begin on or after Jan. 1, 2015, and end on or before Dec. 31, 2015.

Based at Tarpon Point Marina, Southwest Florida Yachts has a fleet of sail and power yachts for captained or bareboat charters. The sailing fleet comprises vessels from 29 to 41 feet, and the power fleet includes trawlers from 32 to 42 feet. Courses include hands-on liveaboard instruction for real-life sailing and cruising experience. For details contact the company (

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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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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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2014 International Sailing Summit

Only a few spaces left for the International Sailing Summit

Heading to the Marine Equipment Trade Show (METS) 2014? Have you booked your place at the 13th International Sailing Summit?

Taking place on 17 November, the Summit is one of the key events at METS and places are filling up fast. But it’s not too late to make sure you’re part of this must attend for any company who wants to increase participation and gain more business in the future.

World-renowned speakers, including Olympic Gold Medallist Iain Percy OBE and Molly Winans of Spinsheet, will deliver discussions on the theme “Waking up the sailing industry – how sailing needs to modernize, diversify and develop to attract and retain participants.”
Want to learn how you can be like speaker, Simon Lovesey of SailRacer and see participation double for your business?

Simon Lovesey remarks: “We have seen participation double over the last five years and a 26% growth in the last year when we have introduced several new features such as GPS tracking, enhanced results analysis and social media engagement.”

Then join a globally unified sailing community and become inspired by testimonies of success as well as receiving innovative strategies and thinking proven to deliver individual business success. To book your place now:

But for those that simply can’t make it there is still the chance to view the talks via a live stream on the website. This worldwide industry forum has never before been as accessible to a truly global audience, with content available at the time and as a resource after the event. To view the live streaming visit the ISS website from 8am (GMT) on Monday 17 November.

Full program for the 13th International Sailing Summit:

09:30 Welcome
10:00 A message from Iain Percy OBE, America’s Cup sailor and Olympic Champion
10:15 Session 1: “Diversification”
• “Engaging Young Sailors”
Riki Hooker and Martin Wadhams, RS Sailing
• “Changing Your Game Plan to Welcome Diverse Customers”
Molly Winans, Spinsheet Magazine
• “Reaching Out to a Diverse Audience”
Carl Blackwell, NMMA
• “Sailing in Asia and ASAF 2012-2016”
Mala Shroff, ASAF
12:15 Lunch
13:15 Session 2: “Participation”
• “Empowering Women Through Sports”
Mrs Salma Al Hashmy and Her Highness Sayyida Ghada Al Aaid
• “Increasing Sailing Participation Internationally and the Bart’s Bash Effect”
Richard Percy, Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation
• “Learning from Another Industry – Growing Participation in Cycling”
Terry Greenwood, British Cycling
• “Defi Wind and Defi Kite”
Philippe Fourrier, Ilago Event
15:15 Afternoon Tea
15:45 Session 3: “Innovation”
• “Gunboat: Building a Brand, a Culture, and a New Market Segment in Sailing”
Peter Johnstone, Gunboat
• “Increasing Participation and Engagement through Cost Effective Technology”
Simon Lovesey, SailRacer
• “New ISAF World Cup Format”
John Craig, ISAF
17:15 Innovation Discussion and Verbal “Showcase”
17:45 Wrap Up, Closing Comments, Thank you
18:00 Drinks
19:00 ISS Gala Dinner
Hilary Lister, Record-Breaking Quadriplegic Sailor
Rod Carr CBE, Chairman of UK Sport

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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.
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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Throwback to Halloween night 2009. Exactly five years since I met my beautiful, strong, sensitive, intelligent, temperamental, goodhearted, intense, hard working, brave, dramatic, sexy, solid man. How would life have looked without you? Love him like a brother, son, best friend, lover. ~ Peace, love and love forever.

Listening to one of my playlists from that year, which you can find here and another one here.

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Catch up on the Volvo Ocean Race

Life at the Extreme is the Volvo Ocean Race’s weekly show. If you’re wondering what this race is all about, this episode the perfect crash course. Check it out!

Episode 3
That’s it. The seven teams are leaving Alicante, Spain for the first leg of their round the world race. And first, they have to go through the capricious Mediterranean sea with its thunderstorms and lack of wind. The perfect start for the toughest race on the planet.

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Scholarship Fund Named in Honor of Captain

Captain Virginia Wagner believes the time she spent as a student aboard traditional vessels — brigantines, square-riggers and schooners — turned her life around, and for the better.

Now, with more than 400,000 sea miles (115,000 of them via celestial navigation) and a 3,000-ton Ocean Master’s license to her credit, along with an endless list of nautical accomplishments, she wants others to have the same type of opportunity that spurred her on to a remarkable and unique career.
The Captain Virginia Wagner Honorary Sail Training Scholarship Fund will be used to help financially disadvantaged youths attend at-sea educational programs offered by the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry. The 200-foot, three-masted vessel, Rhode Island’s official tall ship, is a platform for student programs as well as an official ambassador promoting the maritime heritage of the tiny state, which has a coastline of nearly 400 miles.

On Saturday, October 25, 2014, under cloudless skies and brisk winds at Hinckley Yacht Services in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, Wagner, who’s battling the aggressive cancer mesothelioma, was the guest of honor at a reception aboard the Perry.
The catered event, which came only a few days after the launch of the scholarship fund, included live musical entertainment and the ship in full dress. Attending were Wagner’s former crewmates, family, friends, Perry officials and supporters, as well as the owner of two of the boats aboard which Wagner, along with her partner and first mate Jamie Stark, were employed.

While Stark and others looked on, Wagner, dressed in a black three-quarter length down coat and wearing her signature touch of elegance — pearl earrings and necklace — gave a short speech, stressing the importance of sail training to a career aboard boats, and emphasizing the enormous influence such an experience can have on lives, including her own.

Admitting that she was overwhelmed and a little embarrassed by the attention, Wagner enthusiastically told her audience why it should donate to a fund that promotes good seamanship.

“If you can help one kid find his or her way, it’s worth it,” Wagner said. “I was one of those kids — I was horrible!” she said to laughter. “I got a job as a cook on a tall ship and it turned my whole life around.

“These programs,” she added, “are incredibly valuable. They are so worth it. Even in the yachting industry, we need more seamanship skills. It’s important to get experience aboard a real, working ship. There’s no replacement for it.”

The fund has raised $50,000 so far. For more details log on to the Perry website.

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Nominations of the 24th Design Award METS announced

45 products have been nominated to go forward for final judging by the jury of the prestigious Design Award METS (DAME) 2014 competition. The products have been selected from a total of 116 entries from 23 nationalities all over the world. The Jury will eventually choose up to seven Category Winners and one Overall Winner. The DAME winners will be announced during the Breakfast Briefing on the opening day of METS 2014, taking place 18 to 20 November in the Amsterdam RAI Convention Centre.

Initiated in 1991 to recognize the best designed product at the METS exhibition, the 2014 DAME competition once again promotes the importance of design for all marine products, from function to aesthetics and from packaging to end product. The DAME Jury also considers the overall expected impact on the marine industry of entries, their suitability for intended purpose, the level of innovation, cost effectiveness and environmental impact.

Entries from all over the world
DAME 2014 received 116 entries from 23 nations all around the World. The 45 nominations represent companies from 16 different countries. The Overall Winner and Category Winners will be announced at the ICOMIA-METS Breakfast Briefing held in the Forum of Amsterdam RAI before the official opening of METS on Tuesday 18 November at 8:00 a.m.. The award presented to the Overall Winner has been designed by Naval Architect Tony Castro, former chairman of the DAME Jury, and reflects the international nature of the competition. Products that the jury considers to be exceptional, but which do not win the award in their category, may be given a special mention.

DAME Winners in new Innovation LAB
During the show winning products will be on display in the new Innovation LAB in the Elicium building supported by iPad presentations of the products offering visitors more background information. For the first time all winning companies will present their products on the Innovation Stage.The nominated products will be displayed in the entrance of the Holland Complex (halls 9-10-11), again with virtual presentations.

Much product development despite a long period of constrained budgets
Commenting on a strong field of entries, the Chairman of the DAME Awards Jury, Bill Dixon, observed that it is commendable to once again see so much product development at a time when the marine industry has been experiencing a long period of constrained budgets: “Developing new, well designed and innovative products is very difficult for relatively low manufacturing volumes. Nevertheless many of the companies that we recognized in this year’s nominations have looked at a problem, found a new and interesting way to solve it and came up with a confident solution. Others have discovered ways of making the boat builder’s life easier though better integration and ease of installation.”

“There’s a growing challenge from consumer expectation.” Bill continued. “Today’s boat owners are familiar with intuitive user interfaces on smart phones and tablets. When they get on their boats and superyachts they do not want to be confused by something a lot more complicated. Simple, elegant design with cohesive integration is the future and this is the challenge that the DAME Awards will continue to address by highlighting the endeavors of the best entrants.”

DAME categories
The DAME Jury carefully assesses entries for overall design, build quality, functionality and use of materials. Other factors taken into account are originality, ergonomics and price/quality ratio. The short listed products are divided into seven categories:

1.         Marine electronics and related software
2.         Interior equipment, furnishings, materials and electrical fittings used in cabins
3.         Marina equipment, boatyard equipment and boat construction tools & materials
4.         Deck equipment, sails and rigging
5.         Clothing and crew accessories
6.         Lifesaving and safety equipment
7.         Machinery, propulsion, mechanical and electrical systems & fittings

Click here for a list of the DAME 2014 nominees

DAME 2014 judges

DAME 2014 judges

This year’s DAME Jury is made up of eight leading industry experts:
Mr. Jean François de Prémorel, Beneteau Groupe – France; Mr. Chris Beeson,  Sailing Editor of Yachting Monthly – United Kingdom; Mr. Bill Dixon, Dixon Yacht Design (Chairman of the DAME Jury) – United Kingdom; Ing. Andrea Frabetti, Ferretti Group/Advanced Yacht Technology – Italy; Mr. Klaus Roeder, Carpe Diem Yacht Design & member of the ICOMIA Technical Committee – Germany; Prof. Ger Bruens, TU Delft / Associate Professor Design Aesthetics – The Netherlands; Mr. Nigel Calder, independent Technical Marine Journalist – USA
The DAME 2014 Jury was supported by a non-voting secretary: Mr. Kim Hollamby, du Pré Group – United Kingdom

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