Part 6 of 7: Sailing to Wilmington North Carolina (USVI to North Carolina)

After checking weather reports, studying the tides and filling the boat with water and diesel, Simon, Sienna and I slipped lines saying good bye to Hyatt’s Peir 66 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Exiting the marina was far easier than entering it. We pulled out of our slip, made a tight right and then another tight right and motored forward between two super yachts.


It didn’t take long to enter the river leading us out of Fort Lauderdale

Sailing to Wilmington North Carolina

With ten minutes to spare before the bridge opened, we got hit with a squall. While pulling in the fenders and warps (lines that hold the boat to the slip) I got drenched! At least the rain cooled us down a bit. The temperatures were in the 90’s when we left.

The bridge opened at 11:30 and we easily motored through and on out the channel. There were several tankers, fishing boats and sight seeing boats all progressing towards the big open Atlantic Ocean expanse.

Simon and I tried to sail but due to very light winds we had to motor for a while

The three of us ate lunch, watched ‘Monsters University,’ and waited for another squall to hit us.

Sometimes squalls, or short storms, happen upon us quickly. Other times it can take hours before they quickly come and go.

While waiting for the weather system to move through I felt our boat pick up speed. Normally we motor along doing 6.5 knots around the 1400 rev mark, but our indicators showed us doing 10 knots!

Sailing to Wilmington North Carolina

We must have found the Gulf Stream again!

Woo woo! It’s great to get more speed for our diesel output.

Eventually, the wind picked up to 20 knots and sailing was the name of the game. We had dinner, I washed the dishes and was in bed at 7pm getting some sleep in preparation for my 1am night watch.

At 1am Simon woke me up. We were sailing in another squall and it was pitch black. With 20 knots of wind we were sailing at 10 knots with the wind behind us. I noted that the cruise liner, Carnival Victory, was behind us but otherwise there was no light.

Feeling a bit vulnerable, I asked sim to sleep in saloon so I could call down to him with any problems

While looking out at the pitch black backdrop I easily noticed the phosphorous bursting into life along the hull of the boat. It reminded me of those buzzy bee fireworks that burst to life, fly around in circles and are gone just as quick as they came.

Sitting around trying to become acclimated to the dark night watch I noted that nothing was on AIS plotter. I thought, ‘easy-peasy…nothing to worry about.’ The AIS plotter tells me what ships are near, where they’re heading and how fast they’re going.

Still feeling unsettled and half-asleep, I listened to the foam wash hissing loudly

I thought about how happy I was to leave Florida and how eager I was to get to North Carolina – our final destination. Being able to see my family and getting necessary work on Britican was overdue.

The wind picked up and I noted that our speed went up to 10.5 knots (see night picture above). Normally we’d only be doing 7 or 8 knots with the wind speed but the Gulf Stream was seriously helping us on our journey.

Eventually I settled into my watch and in wet pants on a damp cushion I started reading my new thriller entitled ‘Gone.’ The book is about a family that suddenly disappears without a trace and a police detective has to figure out what happened to them.

Engrossed in my book I kept hearing a ‘Securite,’ or safety message, broadcast over our VHF radio

The person announcing the Securite kept requesting listeners to switch to Alpha Channel X (can’t remember the exact channel).

The VHF radio on our boat is an old European radio and doesn’t operate on the American system. There was no way for me to pick up the channel mentioned. I assumed that if there was something serious the broadcaster would simply announce the message on Channel 16 so all boats could hear it.

I also thought that over the past couple years I’ve heard hundreds of Securite’s and I have never been anywhere near the problem at hand. Examples included floating logs, military restriction zones, sinking vessels, refugees and so forth.

Around 4:30am I noticed that it sounded like someone was hailing us directly on the radio. I ran over to the VHF speaker and turned it up to make sure I wasn’t imagining our name being called. Within seconds I again heard, ‘Britican, Britican, Britican, this is the US Navy…’

I yelled, ‘Oh Crap.’ And then I yelled, ‘SIMON!!!’

Simon begrugedly woke from his sleep asking me why I didn’t respond to the radio call. It wasn’t that I was afraid to answer the call…I was afraid that the US Navy was going to yell at me.

Apparently the US Navy was broadcasting the Securite. When they asked us why we were ignoring the message and sailing dangerously close to the restricted area we responded that our European VHF doesn’t have the necessary channel to listen to the message!

After a bit of discussion the Navy gave us a latitude and longitude for the restricted area. Apparently we had to stay at least 12 miles away from the coordinates yet we were 3 miles from going straight over it!


We were instructed to take a hard left and sail out until we hit the 12 mile mark and then we could proceed north. Simon explained that we’re a sailboat and we don’t go very fast. He also explained that if they let us carry on we’d be through the zone quickly as we were in the Gulf Stream.

The US Navy delined our request to stay in the Gulf Stream doing 10.5 knots

We then had to head east, doing 5 to 6 knots sailing into waves.

The US Navy called us again asking why we weren’t moving quicker. Simon explained, again, that we’re a sailboat and we can’t go much quicker. In the end, we took our sails down and motored at 6.5.

A month after this incident Simon discovered that the US Navy was shock testing the hull of a new naval ship. Apparently they were detonating bombs under the hull!

Can you believe that?!

After all the excitement, Simon took over the watch at 5am and I went to bed.

Sailing to Wilmington North Carolina

Later on in the morning I woke up. It was Simon’s 50th Birthday so Sienna and I wrapped some presents that Sienna got him before we left Florida. I gave her $10 to spend at the Dollar store so she got: reading glasses, camouflage sun glasses, one beer cosy, a woopy cushion, a freezer mug (for beer), a card and decorations.

Sienna was so excited to wrap and prepare for our little celebration

One by one, Sienna gave Simon the presents and although they were all silly things it was a memorable birthday. It’s not every day that you turn 50 years old while sailing on the Atlantic Ocean opening presents from the Dollar Store!

Sailing to Wilmington North Carolina

After the festivities, I noticed that we were doing only 4 knots with 10 knots on a close haul. Then, out of nowhere, the wind shifted and suddenly our head sail moved to other side. I jumped up and tacked so to bring the sail over to the correct side.

Within seconds we went from a slow poodle to 8.7 knots

There were dark clouds on the horizon so the the change of wind direction and speed was the result of a weather system moving through.

Just before the increase in wind, Simon was saying that it will take three more nights to get to NC rather than two going at 4 knots.

Getting 8 knots brought our ETA (estimated time of arrival) way down.

Watching the ETA can be exciting or soul destroying

Sailing to Wilmington North Carolina

By lunch time we were back down to four knots.

After Simon played with his calculator for a few minutes, he explained that we did 190 miles in 24 hrs. We might have broke our record (208 miles) if it wasn’t for the US Navy pushing us off course. The darn Navy!

For lunch we had pitas with tomato, cheddar, honey ham and blue cheese dressing. We also had left-overs of store-bought Mac and potato salad. I was feel huge – for some reason I’ve been eating like a horse since we got to the States.

After our midday feast, I laid in the cockpit feeling like a beached whale

Sim and Sienna were in the aft cabin watching a Harry Potter.

With no one around I started to contemplate my life. Half of me wanted to sail for weeks and the other half wanted to get into North Carolina. My parents offered their house and car to us for a week while they go on vacation… I thought it would be nice to play house – just the three of us living back on land with lots of space.

Looking out over the sea, I noticed that the waves had increased in size and we were sailing right into them. The motion was very rocky, but an up and down rocky rather than the side to side rocky that usually makes me green.

Trying to reduce our ETA, Simon and I tried to pole out jib and staysail

We just didn’t have enough wind but making the sail changes ate up almost 2 hours of time. Eventually, we had to turn the engine on.

While Simon and I were messing around with the sails, Sienna got ‘hangry,’ a term used when you’re so hungry that you get angry, but we had a good chat about it.

It’s amazing how sailing along at the pace of a turtle isn’t as boring as you’d expect. There’s always something to do, to try or to deal with. Whether it’s play with the sails, prepare for a squall or teaching a 6 year old about moderating emotions.

After a dinner of beef stew and special birthday éclairs (long narrow donuts filled with cream) I went to bed.

Around 12:30am Simon woke me

We were doing only 4.5 knots with the engine on. The tide was against us and we had no wind. Bummer!

Simon went down to bed and I once again abosorbed my surroundings. It was pitch black with no moon. The Milky Way was very easy to spot and I noticed quite a few high planes. The sea was flat but there was the typical Atlantic undulating swell so the ride was not smooth.

As usual it took me a few minutes to grow comfortable with my night watch. I almost always use distraction to get over the discomfort of sailing into blackness. I either read or play on the IPad. My distractor tools help me to forget that I’m sailing a 35 ton boat into pitch black surrounded by millions of creatures below me – some of which would happily eat me.

Around 4:45am I swapped my night watch with Simon and passed out quickly

At 8:30am I was back up. Sim made made me a coffee and I drank it while admiring the flat calm Atlantic. Never did I expect to see this beast of an ocean as flat as a pancake. The air was so fresh. The blues were so calming.

I piered down the aft cabin hatch and noticed that Sienna was watching Hotel Transylvania 2. I then felt a pang of guilt for not playing with her but I reminded myself that in a couple days she’ll be going to a summer camp, enjoying her cousins and being a ‘normal’ kid.

My thoughts then drifted over to that funny smell I noticed yesterday

I told Simon that we had some bad food or the bilge was stinking up the place. Later I realized it was me. That’s what happens when you don’t shower for three days!

Gone are the days when I showered and groomed myself to a high standard. Am I letting myself go or has the desire to fit in disappeared? Perhaps a bit of both.

Eventually the wind started to increase and we were finally sailing again. With the wind on our beam at 9 knots we were able to sail at 4.5 knots.

I noticed my thoughts oscillating – I’m hungry, what should I have for lunch? Mac salad, potato salad, tossed salad and a sausage?

What do I want to at our next stop – boat stuff, work, Sienna school/social, sight seeing?

Then, once again, I felt the deep love I have for sailing on the sea. Wow… I love this. Just sailing along on the flat sea. Do I actually want to return to land? Not when the sailing conditions are so smooth…when they are so perfect. I must say many times per day…it’s so beautiful yet I look at the same thing every day – deep blue sea and graduating Sky Blues. It’s a lot of blue. When I see green land, however, I am happy too!

We sailed for a good chunk of the day in light winds and a favorable current too. Simon and I started the day thinking we’d be out for two more nights but recent thinking is that we’ll be in around 4pm tomorrow.

With the flat seas, I was able to play with Sienna much more than usual. We did some reading and worked on rhyming. She only partially understanding rhyming so I thought about coming up with some different rhyming games for the next day.

We also did fashion plates – Sienna made the etchings and I colored them in. Sienna’s plan was to sell the designs for money when we get to land. Gosh – is she her mother’s daughter or what?

While coloring we saw a pod of dolphins

Otherwise we played Uno for four hours having a shower break in between for all of us. It felt great to be clean. Sienna also gave us a dance, singing and acrobatic show. With the boom pulled in and the preventer dangling down she discovered that she could spin around the lines from the boom to the traveller – a new addition to her act.

I’d love to get her lessons in dance and even singing or acting. She has the ability and confidence to entertain.

For dinner we had pork loin, stuffing and salad. After tidying the saloon I went to bed.

My final night watch was pure black again. There was no moon and loads of stars. I had two ships to watch at my start. One passed quickly behind. The other lingered for what felt like forever. I just wanted it to pass so I could go back to my reading.

During Simons watch we got twenty minutes of massive waves and I mean MASSIVE waves

The whole boat was going side to side with severity. I thought there was no way to sleep. I said to myself after position 20 if I don’t fall asleep soon I’m going to try sleeping on the sofa. I must have fallen asleep as I woke in my bed!

Sim later explained he had troubles staying in his seat. I wonder if the waves were created from the US Navy detonating a bomb? That would be interesting if that’s what caused the waves. What else would do that? Waves from tankers can be big but they don’t go on for 20 minutes.

Sailing to Wilmington North Carolina

In the morning, we finally saw land

We saw North Carolina. Sienna and I were so excited. We had big plans to look forward to – seeing family, getting the boat fixed up, Sienna attending a summer camp, Simon and I getting work done.

The plan was to stay in Wilmington for three months to a year depending on Sienna. We felt it was important to put her in school so that she gained a solid grasp on what education is, why it’s important and what ‘normal’ kids do. My homeschooling efforts were usually effective but often after a screaming match and many refusals to do the work.

What should have taken a couple hours could take up to a full day and it wasn’t fun for anyone

Before arriving in Wilmington, North Carolina we had to motor up the Cape Fear River. The journey took around 4 hours as we traveled with the tide. Along the river we noticed one town, several houses, a bit of industry, some islands, many crab pots, loads of grassy lands and a few other motor boats.

Sailing to Wilmington North Carolina

Eventually we made it to the bridge before the city. Simon rang the operator saying that we’d be at the bridge in about twenty minutes. To our surprise the bridge operator started opening the boat bridge almost immediately!

We couldn’t go much faster and we felt terrible to see all the traffic pile up as the drivers waited for us to pass the bridge.

I think the poor people in the cars waited over 10 minutes for us to go through

Once on the other side of the bridge, we passed several lovely waterside restaurants, noticed a few tour boats and saw the back of Wilmington’s main street.

Fortunately for us we’ve visited Wilmington a couple times in the past so we knew the general area

We finally spotted the marina and started to line the boat up to moor on the outer wall. We arrived after the marina attendants were gone so they made it easy for us to simply moor on the outside.

Thankfully, the tide, wind and Simon’s driving skills were good. As we approached the wall, the bow thrusters failed. It’s always possible to moor a boat without thrusers moving the bow left and right but it’s a bit unnerving when you expect them to work and they don’t.

Sailing to Wilmington North Carolina

Simon had no issue. We came close to the wall, I jumped off with the midship spring in my hand and between the rope and Simon’s boat handling skills we were in a perfect position to tie Britican down.

We quickly cleaned ourselves up, jumped off the boat, walked into town and got ourselves the biggest yummiest meal we could.

Sailing to Wilmington North Carolina Video

Whats next?! In the next post in this series you’ll see Britican being hauled out of the water and put on the hard ready for her antifoul servicing. Make sure to sign up to my newsletter to ensure you are notified of new articles :)



Part 5 of 7: Sailing to Fort Lauderdale Florida (USVI to North Carolina)

For our first full day after leaving the paradise of Hogsty Reef, sailing to Fort Lauderdale, we had our normal routine. The adults drank a lovely cup of coffee, Sienna had her Lucky Charms, we had fantastic discussions about the state of the world and we cleaned up the cockpit and boat.

Before 11am one of our fishing reels went off.

Sailing to Fort Lauderdale

Hogsty Reef in the background – this is us leaving 🙁

Simon hopped up and started reeling in. I furled our headsail in and pulled the main into the boat to quickly slow us down. I then washed down the back deck, grabbed our fish cleaning towel, our cutting board and Kyle and I dug out our huge wash bucket.

After fifteen minutes Simon pulled up a 86cm Mahi Mahi (also called Dolphin Fish or Dorado). Kyle was in awe of how colorful the Mahi Mahi was – when you seem them alive they’re spectacular.

Sailing to Fort Lauderdale

Simon’s MahiMahi catch!

Once they’re no longer living they quickly turn gray and pale

Kyle offered to fillet the fish. We have a ‘Cruisers Guide to Fishing’ book onboard so Kyle read what he had to do and went to work. To date, Simon has only filleted one fish while crossing the Atlantic. As for me?! When I was younger I remember filleting fresh water Bass and Perch but I’ve become more emotional as I’ve gotten older. I never kill anything – whether it’s a spider or a fly I catch it and put it outside. I don’t even like killing mosquitos. Whenever I kill one I say a little prayer and wish them well…not that I’m religious or anything. Perhaps I just value nature more than I ever have before? Hmmmm. I’ll have to ponder this line of thought, but not now.

So – Kyle filleted the fish and Simon went downstairs to cook it for lunch

Sim cut the fish into fingers, dusted it with flour, dipped it into egg, then into breadcrumbs and the Britican Galley Seafood Blend and finally cooked the fingers up on our electric hotplate.

Sailing to Fort Lauderdale

MahiMahi dipped in flour, egg and then breadcrumbs with Sailing Britican Seafood Blend- YUM!

The end result was two meals worth of fresh natural deliciousness

We gave thanks to the universe for providing the Mahi Mahi and of course thanked the Mahi Mahi for giving his life. Hopefully our daughter will grow up valuing where food comes from due to these experiences. In the past I wanted to shield her from the filleting process but I’ve never stopped her from watching.

Kyle was extremely pleased with the meal. I think he said, ‘this is probably one of the best fish meals I’ve ever had.’ I couldn’t help but wish that Kyle caught the fish. There’s something very rewarding about catching a fish and then cooking it. I explained to him that there’s plenty of time for him to get one.

Interestingly, Kyle mentioned after the meal that he felt a bit emotional regarding the Mahi Mahi and the killing process. I think it was brave of him to share his thoughts. We’re all so far removed from where our food comes from that we just eat it and fail to consider that a few hours ago…or perhaps a few days ago it was a living being. Unless you come from a fishing or hunting family it’s a somewhat uncomfortable experience to kill something.

I feel I’m getting way off on a tangent so allow me to get back on track

After cleaning up from lunch we were all so hot. With a lack of wind and full bellies we all were desperate for a dip in the dark blue waters. As chance would have it the boat was passing over Columbus Bank having only 15 meters below us. Not liking to swim in deep deep waters we were all eager to jump off.

Simon tied a fender to a rope allowing it to trail behind the boat. With all the sails removed the boat moved at around 1 knot. With one person on the boat at all times we took turns jumping in and holding onto the rope as the current pulled us and the boat along our route.

At first I was super scared to jump in

It wasn’t until I grabbed my mask that I had the confidence to hang off the moving boat. At least with the mask I could clearly see the ocean floor. We spent a good 15 minutes being pulled by Britican and noted a Barracuda and Trigger Fish that joined us.

After the swim, Kyle hooked another Mahi Mahi but lost it before he got the fish to the boat. Later on that day Kyle hooked what we thought would be a big one only to discover it was a plastic bag. Ho-hum…

I explained again that, ‘you still have time…it will happen!’

And about the plastic bag. I wish I could report that the amount of rubbish in the Atlantic is reduced from what I saw in the Mediterranean. Sadly we’ve passed and have successfully collected a wide range of plastic bags, wrappers, broken buckets and unidentified crap.

Sailing to Fort Lauderdale

Kyle’s first Baracuda

Finally Kyle landed a fish! A Baracuda…

Errr…Kyle managed to get the silver, sharp toothed, big-eyed predator to the side of the boat. As he kept it dangly in the water while we went to seek pliers and gloves the beautiful fish detached from the hook. On one had we were relieved as Barracuda’s are aggressive fish but on the other hand I couldn’t get the iconic picture of Kyle holding a 3’ to 4’ Barracuda stretched out in front of him out of my mind.

Luckily we were motoring when Kyle hooked the Barracuda so it was easy to slow the boat down. With no sails out we simply put the engine in neutral and went to work preparing for the fish.

And then the alarms went off. Beep….Beep….Beep….Beep.

None of us knew what the Beep was for. We have loads of alarms. Alarms for waypoint arrives, boats being within one mile, shallow depth, a clogged water separator filter (Racor), anchor alarm and on and on but this alarm we’ve never heard before.

And then the smell hit our noses! CRAP – Turn the engine OFF! TURN THE ENGINE OFF!

Simon opened the engine door and smoke, heat and the dreadful overheated engine smell wafted out of the small compartment.

CRAP…There’s no wind. We’re in a shipping channel. CRAP.

We all went into problem solving mode. I said to Simon, first thing first, let’s get the sails out so we are at least harnessing what wind we do have. Even if we’re going 1 knot at least we’ll have more control over the boat rather than drifting.

After the first survey Simon noted that the area below the engine was filled with rust colored water. In hindsight I should have immediately known that it was an issue with our closed looped water cooling system rather than our raw water (sea water) intake…but when things happen you seem to default to what you know.

Sailing to Fort Lauderdale

Simon and Kyle checking the raw water intakes.

We waited for the engine to cool down and first checked our raw water intakes

There are large filters that catch anything that can clog the system. We then took the raw water impeller out. In the past we’ve overheated due to the impeller breaking down. The impeller pushes the water through the system and cools the engine.

While surveying the engine for the fifth time Kyle yelled out, I found it!

It was a u-bend hose connecting the closed water system near the oil intake. The hose was busted allowing all the water to spill out.

Simon removed the hose and we considered how we might make a repair. We wondered if we could extend the hose and re-clamp it. We discussed whether or not we had extra hose on board…

Duck tape was even mentioned, but only as a joke!

We discussed our passage without use of an engine. Discussion was had about diverting to Cuba but after a quick look on the maps we couldn’t find a safe haven. Considering that the forecast was calling for little to no wind I started to wonder how many days it would take us to get to Florida! Key West was mentioned…And then we spoke about having to get a tow from the entrance of Ft Lauderdale and how we might make arrangements.

Before the engine overheated I used our Satellite phone to pull down the latest weather report. Finding 10 knots of wind seemed to be a challenge! What a predicament.

While Kyle and I sat in the cockpit looking at the defective part we heard a ‘YEEEEEESSSSSSS!’ come from down below. Simon found the spare part we needed, the hose, in our Perkins Spare Part Kit.

Sailing to Fort Lauderdale

The u-bend pipe that split and the mess the leak made!

The excitement in the air was full-blown!

It then took Kyle a good 45 minutes to get the hose replaced and clamped on. In the end our engine problems started around 10am and by 5pm we were ready to use the engine again. Fingers crossed we turned the engine on and she purred as usual.

With our engine working again we motored through flat calm waters. I know that it’s not proper sailing but I felt great!

No seasickness at all when we’re motoring without a swell

I managed to create a Mahi Mahi stir-fry meal for dinner that had garbanzo beans, broccoli, red onion, green pepper, Chinese mushrooms and rice noodles. I used some lime, soy sauce and a wee bit of sugar. The meal was a success.

In addition to the stir-fry I also made a batch of brownies and boy did we all enjoy them.

It’s amazing how something small like brownies makes everyone happy.

The night watches were uneventful. We had some squalls but we were actually happy to find ourselves in a storm – it was the only time we got some wind. I did the 2am watch and Kyle didn’t get me up so I woke around 3am. I sat reading from 3am until 6am, letting Simon sleep in.

The thriller I was reading, ‘The Girl on the Train,’ was so, so, so captivating that three hours went in a matter of minutes. Never did I read thrillers before doing night watches but now they’re my definite go-to to keep me awake!

During my watch I could make out one lighthouse but other than that there were no ships. The sky was magical. With a crescent moon behind some clouds I had a full view of the Milky Way.

Around 6am Simon came up into the cockpit and asked, ‘why didn’t you wake me up at 5?’ and I explained that he needed some sleep. The book was so engaging that I was happy to stay up longer.

I then slept until 9am when I woke and drank my lovely coffee

Unfortunately the real milk had run out so we moved over to the cartons of long-life milk. One thing is for sure about how I’ve changed by living on a boat. I am certainly not picky anymore. In my land based life I wouldn’t even drink coffee from home…it had to be from an overpriced gourmet coffee shop. Now I love my coffee brewed by our Brazilian coffee maker…and I’ll settle for long life milk.

Incidentally, I’m not even afraid of bugs being on my fruit or vegetables either

Before I’d throw away the whole piece of fruit or veg if I found something living in it. Now, I cut the bad part off and eat the rest. In some ways I’m not even that concerned if I have to eat bugs. Weird or what?! Perhaps I simply feel that any food is better than no food!

So I drank my coffee while considering what to make for breakfast. The day before I made pancakes for everyone. Today, however, it was only me that was hungry. I quickly scrambled up some eggs, threw in some jalapenos and onions. Added cheese to them and slid the concoction into a pita. YUM.

While eating my pita Simon and Kyle decided to see if they could fix the manual furling unit on our gennaker

Our gennaker is a downwind sail (a sail you put up when the wind is behind you) and might just allow us to sail instead of motoring. We have enough fuel to make it to Florida but we’ll be getting close to empty. Ideally, we want to sail! Watch Sailing with a Gennaker

Kyle and Simon fiddled around for a while and discovered the problem! The furling unit was being attached to the deck upside down – that’s why it wasn’t furling. Hehehehe. We all make silly mistakes. We’ve flown that gennaker loads of times so I’m not sure where the brain fart came in but it did. Needless to say, when the guys got it set up correctly the sail unfurled and we managed to sail for a bit.

After going below 1 knot however, we furled it in and turned on the engine

As the three of us where on the foredeck packing the sail away, I heard the noise I didn’t want to hear again.


Kyle ran back to the cockpit, turned the engine off and took a quick look. We once again overheated but there was no water on the engine floor. We decided to let the engine cool down and then check the vitals.

After checking the oil and the water Simon discovered the water was down. What we think happened is that we added water to the closed water cooling system but only to the bladder rather than the whole system. Once the engine ran it pulled in the water that we added but it needed more.

Simon added more water, we turned on the engine and everything was fine.

We then started checking the engine and water every three hours. It was so hot…with no wind we were all feeling it – even our lovely workhorse of an engine.

Here’s a picture of our Log Book during the journey

Sailing to Fort Lauderdale

Our log book!

After five days at sea we eventually saw a line of buildings on our horizon!

It was Miami. Big smiles were on all our faces. Knowing that we’d be on land soon caused us all to discuss what we wanted to eat first – a hamburger, chicken wings and a huge salad were mentioned.

Sailing to Fort Lauderdale

Sienna keeping an eye out in the Fort Lauderdale channel entrance

Hogsty Reef sailing to Fort Lauderdale Video