Back on Land

It has been a while since we posted on our our blog, we promise we will do better.

To say the past couple of months have been busy would be an understatetment. We, along with the Smith family, left South Africa and sailed Private Island accross the Atlantic ocean, with a stop in Saint Helena, and another stop on an Island off the coast of Brazil (Fernando do Naronha). From there we sailed up to Grenada. In Grenada, the Smith family headed home and we added two new crew members. The first was Judy Nelson, an old friend and regular at our neighborhood bar in San Diego. Judy brought along, Gary Clark, a childhood friend from Massachusetts. After a short delay in Grenada, the four of us sailed the boat up through the Carribean and into Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The Caribbean leg was amazing. Luckily, since we fell down on the blogging/video job, Gary picked up our slack and wrote an epic poem (see the end of this post), which decsribes our journey .

The journey from South Africa was definitely a “bucket list” adventure. However, somewhere along the way between South Africa and Fort Luaderdale; Bonnie and I came to a realization…While we enjoy being on boats and island hopping around the Carribbean; ocean crossings are just not our thing. Since sailing the boat to different destinations (ie: Atlantic to the Mediterraean, and back) was a major portion of the gig on Private Island, we have resigned our commision as crew and moved back onto land.

Before we even left the boat, our schedule starting filling up. We went to meet up with friends
in Las Vegas and San Diego (many thanks for Van and
Christopher for opening their home to us again!)





And then to Victoria, British Columbia for a housesit with an adorable labradoodle
named Chutney

Now we are doing a house sit in New York city with two very playful cats


From here, we are off to Europe, starting with Spain.

Watch this space to keep up with our crazy life…..


A Long Starboard Tack On The “Private Island”

By Gary Clark

She called out of the blue

And said How-Do-You-Do

It’s kind of sudden and maybe rude

But you once told me you’d work for food


Not rude at all

For a trip like this

A sail up the leewards

Is more like bliss


A California Girl

A Captain and his wife

We land in Grenada

And begin our new life


The quick trip to the “Private Island”

A yacht beyond compare

She’ll take you around the world

But only if you dare


Port engine is giving us trouble

Twice we were on our way

But it’s back to the Marina we go

Hopefully just for a day


Third time is a charm

We head for Prickley Bay

Fill her up with fuel

And we’re finally on our way


Day after day

Night after night

Our Journey is long

But our course is right


The seas have been huge

The ride has been tough

But we’re a strong crew

And no one has made a fuss


We’re all very tired

But nobody is breakin’

Tonight in Puerto Rico

The drinks will be shaken


We anchor in a cove in P.R.

Enjoy an amazing meal from Brazil

We leave in the morning

For three days with not much of a thrill


More of the same

As we march on

Next stop Grand Turk

Some time after dawn


Two days on the hook
Rejected by Grand Turk

Covid rules are a pain

And the Dock Man is a jerk


We pull up to the dock for fuel
The men tie us up with glee

But when we go to leave

They want a hundo to set us free


They see the fancy yacht
With stars in their eyes

But we won’t be held hostage

By low life dock flies


I climb up on the dock

And set us free

Captain George backs her out

Without paying the fee


As the boat glides by

It’s too far down to make the jump

So I head to the end of the dock

And dive into the water with a big ol’thump


Back to the hook

Some repairs to get done

Two days to Rum Cay

For another night of fun


We head out of Grand Turk

But the winds are light

Too late in the day for Rum Cay

So it is on to Cat Island for the next night


A beautiful cove, a beach of white sand

To the restaurant for drinks and dinner

Caipirinha’s and some new friends

Music and laughs are always a winner


It is so peaceful and relaxing

We enjoy the next day

Next stop the Berry Islands

Thirty three hours away


We land at Great Harbour Cay

My daughter, family and girlfriend to greet us

The owner’s of Soul Fly Lodge

A fly fishing destination that is a MUST


Two days of hugs and love

Young Micah is growing fast

We enjoy the time we have

But we know it is not going to last


The last leg to Florida

Following the pink line

We arrive at Port Everglades

And everything is fine


We navigate the narrow, winding “New River”

Past lots of bridges and boats

It’s a tricky ride but George is a pro

We pull into the Marina and we’re still afloat


George and Bonnie are top notch

They’re just really awesome folks

It’s been a great journey

With many laughs and lots of jokes


Three weeks at sea

Lots of time for reflection

But it’s nice to be home

Now we will all head off in another direction

South Africa

Following Seas

We’ve FINALLY left Knysna and now we’re in Cape Town, making the last minute arrangements to head out towards the Caribbean. So much has happened, but the “to do”  list just does not seem to be getting any smaller. 🙂

Ray, Tonia and Eddie (the owners of the boat), arrived last week and we have been quite busy settlng in.

Meanwhile, we have had several visitors since we have been here. A couple of our youtube channel followers (Derek and Elmarie) reached out and came by for a visit, it was so great to meet them after a long email correspondence.

One of South Africa’s more famous muiscians, front man for the band Just Jinjer, Ard Mathews is refitting a pirate sloop close to us, He has been over to visit a couple of times, and we are now following him on YouTube.

Speaking of following, if you want to track us on our travels you can use this map.

More soon!

South Africa

Final fittings

We’re currently docked in the marina at the Knysna waterfront, while the folks building the boat do all the final fits and finishes before we head off to Cape Town. We’ve had plumbers, electricians, carpenters and painters working on the boat 6 or 7 days a week since we launched. George, of course not wanting to be left out of the “fun” has been doing his part. He’s been up the mast working on the antennas, in the water working with Malcolm to center the rudders, and battening down the hatches during the (at least weekly) storms that bring some crazy wind.

Meanwhile, there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel. They delivered our fuel for the trip today. Since there isn’t a fuel dock here, all the diesel is delivered by truck – yes, they bought 900 liters of fuel in jerry cans and siphoned them into our tank by hand 😳

While I was writing this post, George was working on a (very) short teaser video showing the boat dressing and ready to show off. Check it out on our YouTube channel and stay tuned for the detailed walkthrough coming soon.


South Africa

Down to the waterfront…

In December of 2019 we first began talking with Ray about moving onto the new boat that he was having built in Knysna. In November 2020, George and I arrived in South Africa expecting the boat to be completed in Jan/Feb. And now, finally, after more than 3 years of design and construction, the very first Knysna 550 rolls out of the shop and down to the waterfront. The boat is so high that they could not install the helm and top of the flybridge in the factory.

South Africa

Just a Few More Days!

After almost 8 months of waiting here in South Africa, it is almost time for us to move onboard the new boat.

To say that we are excited is an understatement. Soon we will publish videos of moving the boat down to the waterfront, installing the roof on the flybridge, floating the boat for the first time and eventually adding the mast and boom.

Then the big one, a guided tour of our amazing new home “Private Island”


Knysna Heads

Still Waiting….

Soooo….it’s June and the boat is still under construction ??‍♀️. Since neither the designer or the builders have ever built this model boat before, there have been plenty of unexpected design/construction issues that needed to be resolved – this is one of the reasons folks are hesitant to buy “Hull #1”. However, the flip side to the longer build time is that we’ve had an opportunity to learn this boat inside and out as well as make real time changes that will improve the boat’s performance and livability.

Meanwhile, if you’ve been watching our videos, you will know that George and I have been finding plenty of trouble fun to get into while living in South Africa. We’ve sailed and safaried (not sure that’s a word, but I’m going with it), wined and dined, and even travelled back home to visit family (and get vaccinated!).

Our latest target splash date is July 1 and we’re supposed to move onboard on July 16….(cross your fingers).

South Africa

5 Wine Tastings in One Day!

Watching the boat being built and providing input to day to day decisions does not take up all our time. We wanted to make sure we took in some of the local culture, so we plan trips (such as our game lodge trip).

Last weekend we traveled to the lovely town of Franschhoek, we stayed in a wonderful B&B with some of the largest rooms we have ever seen in a hotel, anywhere in the world.

We also spent the day being delivered from one farm to the next onboard a Tuk-Tuk, which is a great alternative to driving. Another alternative would be to take the wine tram, but we shied away from this given COVID. 

We did wine tastings at five sites, ate some amazing food, purchased 47 bottles of wine (at some of the best prices we have ever seen) and had a great time! You can watch the video we made of the day, and see the impact of the wine throughout the day.

If you find your self in South Africa, anywhere near Cape Town, make an effort to visit Franschhoek, you will not be disappointed.

South Africa

Our New YouTube Channel is Now Live!

You may have heard us mention that we are launching a new video channel about our adventures onboard a new 55 foot catamaran that is being built in South Africa. Well, the day has finally arrived and the first video is online now. We will be delivering a new video each week. We hope that you will enjoy the channel and help us spread the word about it. The first video is just over 16 minutes, so grab a glass of something refreshing to drink, get comfortable and don’t forget to subscribe so you won’t miss an episode!

Knysna 55 “Private Island”
South Africa

Our Next Adventure: Life on a “Private Island”

After our extended quarantine in Mexico and a nice house sit in Arizona, it is time for us to move on to our next big adventure!
On Friday November 6th: we are traveling to South Africa where a beautiful new 55 foot catamaran is being built by Knysna Yacht Company. When it is eventually completed, we will move on board and become the live-aboard caretakers for this handsome new yacht.
Right now the boat is still ‘on the hard’ at the builders location. It will go into the water in mid January and we will move on the boat a few days after that.
A bit more about this sailing catamaran: it is being built for, and owned by, our Australian friends Ray and Tania Smith. It has four cabins, each with it’s own shower and toilet. To say that this boat will have all of the modern conveniences would be an understatement; we are definitely looking forward to it.
So what does live aboard caretakers mean? Well in short, we will be on the boat to make sure it is taken care of and delivered to wherever Ray, Tania and their son Eddie want it to be when they get ready to use it. Bonnie will look after the care and feeding of the passengers on board, George will take care of all the regular maintenance and repairs and we both will take our turns sailing the boat during our ‘watch at the helm’ while we’re in transit.
What can you expect from us going forward? We will be producing LOTS of new video blogs; these will include adventure videos, sailing logs and how-to videos on repairs and etc. In short, pretty much everything we do on board will become the subject of a blog story or video.
So whether we are sunning in the Caribbean, lounging in the Med or moving the boat from one location to another, you can track our adventures, learn about the gear we are using and just see what we’re up to on board this new vessel called “Private Island”


A Pleasant Goodbye to Mexico

As we prepared to (finally!) leave Mexico, our friend Van took us on an excursion to the Agua Termales (hot springs) in Puertecitos about 90 km south of San Felipe. We drove about an hour south from the house, paid the 200 pesos entrance fee and turned into a pretty shabby looking settlement of houses and outbuildings. As we drove up to the springs we had a gorgeous view of the Sea of Cortez.

The springs themselves are a carefully created set of pools, built into the hillside, each slightly higher than the last. The hot springs feed directly into the top spring, bringing the water temp to a scalding level. This scalding water feeds down into the lower pools and finally directly into the ocean.

At low tide each of the pools are isolated from the ocean water and are thus all quite warm. As the tide rises the pools begin to fill with sea water and the thus become cool enough to sit in and enjoy. The trick is to move up the hill to each successive pool thus staying in the balmy water. 

As noted, the highest pool which is fed directly from the hot springs and is scalding hot. The only time you can sit in this pool is when the tide is at is peak and washing enough cool water in to make the temperature manageable and it is lovely.

As you might have already guessed, as the tide turns and begins to go out, the top pool gets increasingly hot and eventually you are forced to move back down the hill to more suitable temperatures.

Since it was a full moon, the tides were very dramatic while we were there. We hopped from pool to pool while enjoying a cool beverage and, in general spent a lovely day in the Agua Termales!

Adios, Mexico y hasta la vista Sam!



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