Learn Advanced Coastal Cruising on Wild Rumpus!

The best way to learn advanced coastal cruising skills is to sail the coasts of the lovely Caribbean Islands. And, if you are going to sail the Caribbean, then Wild Rumpus is the boat to do it on under the gentle tutelage of yours truly!

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Stanchions? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Stanchions

Our departure from St Helena marked several transitions. We left behind a crew member, the remaining crew was far more familiar and comfortable with Wild Rumpus, and the temperature gradually transitioned from chilly to biting-into-a-freshly-microwaved-hot-pocket, noon-on-a-sunny-day-inside-a-roadside-porta-potty HOT.

Oh, and one of the crew decided we had too many damned stanchions.

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Rode Hard and Put Up Wet . . . Literally (And Visiting Napoleon’s Island of Exile)

Wild Rumpus performed like a champ crossing heavy seas as we departed Cape Town in winter heading to St Helena. The beating we took showed the boat to be solid and the crew capable (if a bit nauseated), and it also revealed a couple of flaws. However, those flaws did nothing to diminish our excitement at visiting St Helena — one of the most remote spots on earth. The novelty of isolation, remoteness, beautiful landscapes and virtually no internet, plus Jonathon, a 190-year-old tortoise — the oldest living mammal — made this visit 100% worth the effort.

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Time To Make The Donuts And Crap The Bed

No actual donuts were made or harmed during the passage. Also, no bed was actually crapped in, though metaphorically, the bed was speckled like a Jackson Pollock masterpiece. But, I hear from my dear readers that details of life on board AND interesting sea stories are what they want. The customer is always right, and I am nothing if not accommodating, so here we go!

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Waxing Poetic (and other stuff)

On an ocean passage, the sea’s boundless indifference stretches beyond the horizon, the sunset’s reflection is unbroken as far as the eye can see, and the wildlife cheerfully reminds you that you are in an alien world. The days and hours, however, are brought into narrow focus by the ceaseless changing of the watch schedule, the dwindling food supplies, the water maker’s reassuring whirring, and the nausea-inducing ritual of sticking your head down into the bilges looking for leaks.

So, join me as I share the joy in this, the first of the blog posts about the passage from South Africa to Grenada.

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4 Months, 5800+ Miles, 2 Remote Islands, 2 Beers, Some Tattoos, and Lots of Memories

We did it. Wild Rumpus and her crew sailed from Cape Town to Grenada with stops in St Helena and Fernando de Noronha. We survived without physical injury, some bruises to our ego, some broken boat parts, one stabbed dinghy, and an excess of Ostrich sausage that nobody could bring themselves to eat, and we all remained friends (or the crew was about to mutiny and we landed just in time for my safety). This is the super brief recap.

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And We’re Off

Decide to buy a boat. ✓

Decide on which boat to buy. ✓

Wait years for the boat to be near ready. ✓

Make lists including lists of lists. ✓

Train to be a better sailor. ✓

First aid training. ✓

Train on marine diesel engines. ✓

Train on marine electrical systems. ✓

Live for an unreasonably long time in a foreign country. ✓

Well, shit- everything’s been checked. Guess it is time to go!!

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