Sailing to the Caribbean Island of Saba

Ever wonder what sailing to the Caribbean Island of Saba might be like? Heck, have you ever heard of the tiny 5 mile long Dutch island of Saba? Join us on our journey to experience a very lumpy sea and our struggles to pick up a mooring ball in the pitch black. Find out what to do when water is flowing into your bilge. And most impressively, experience the sheer pleasure of waking up next to an indescribably beautiful view (that you didn’t know was there)!




We’ll also take you for a bus tour of the island in addition to climbing to the very top of Mount Scenery, Saba’s volcano AND we’ll show you the worlds smallest commercial runway. It might make you realize that sailing to Saba is probably a better choice than flying.

Sailing to the Caribbean Island of Saba Video

You might also be interested in these other videos and articles

  • British Virgin Islands – 8 Best Anchorages
  • Sailing The Spanish Virgin Islands
  • Five Places to Visit in St John’s USVI
  • 5 Reasons To Find A Boat Buddy

Sailing to the Caribbean Island of Saba Tips & Tricks

When sailing from the BVI to Saba it’s a rather difficult passage – you’ll need to pick your weather window. Even when it’s a good window the journey will still be uncomfortable at best. With the trade winds and a current against you the ride is bumpy. So the first tip is to watch the weather as it might take a couple weeks for a good time to leave.

That aside, there’s only so many mooring balls and even if you can get a ball the chances are high that it will be too bumpy to get off the boat. Your best bet is to plan to sail to St Kitts and if conditions permit, visit Saba. At the time of our visit there were mooring balls lined up for the full length of the western shore but spread very far apart.

Getting a mooring ball at night is scary (as shown in the video). My top tip to Saba is to arrive during the day! If possible, add a chafe guard to your mooring lines as the mooring ball painter is full of barnacles and other rough edges. The moorings appeared to be very sturdy and solid but, as always, make sure to scope things out for yourself.

The dinghy ride from the moorings to the dinghy dock is most likely going to be rough and wet. Prepare accordingly!

Any other comments or suggestions, please leave them below 🙂

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The 11 Secrets To Long term Cruising

Couples and families that set off with high expectations regarding the cruising lifestyle can be met with disappointment. What’s necessary for a successful sailing lifestyle is realistic expectations and these 11 secrets to long term cruising. Keep reading…

 11 Secrets to Long term Cruising

1. Being flexible

If you’ve been reading my articles, books or guides for a while you’ll know that I’m a recovering control freak. With a type ‘A’ personality my life was built around perfection, predictability and productivity. I didn’t have the word flexibility in my vocabulary. Incidentally, from a physical perspective I wasn’t very bendable either. I can’t remember the last time I could touch my toes!

The transition from living a corporate, fast-paced life in the City to setting sail on the high seas couldn’t have been a larger shift…and I was not prepared for it. I knew that I’d have to loosen my grip on predicting/forecasting/budgeting for the future but I had no clue as to how much.

When you step onto a boat there’s never any certainty that you’ll get to where you’re going.

Heck, there’s no certainty that you’ll leave! The sea state, weather conditions and a multitude of other factors make sailing an innately changeable setting. Predictability goes out the window. And it’s not just for passage planning. When you enter the sailing lifestyle you enter a different world.

But that’s not a bad thing. It’s only bad if you’re inflexible and unwilling to go with the flow.

Had I been mentally better prepared, or perhaps had different character traits to beging with, I would have more easily accepted the change of lifestyle.

For me, the change from living on land to becoming a long term cruiser hasn’t been easy, however, it’s been one of the best things I’ve ever done. They say that life isn’t about the destination, so much, but the journey.

If you’d like to read my full journey, grab a copy of my book, ‘Changing Lifestyles: Trading in the Rat Race for a Sail Around The World.’ From a 5 star rating reader: “This is the story of a woman who was on multiple journeys; looking for a change in her life’s course, learning the ropes of a new boat, and navigating what it is to parent a child as she and her husband embark on this journey. Great as an adventure story, but also got me excited to read it as a travel guide!” Cherie Shutz

Well, my journey of learning how to give up absolute control has been priceless.

And a note about my belief in my control. Looking back, I didn’t really have control over my life. I simply created a routine that caused things to be predictable. I thought I had control but what I had really done was to create a life that had no surprises, no change and nothing to push me to be a bigger and better version of myself. I was playing life safe.

It wasn’t until I submerged myself into the sailing lifestyle that I was able to break free from my controlling nature. And I’m so much healthier and happier for doing it.

Sure, I have relapses from time to time but overall one of the secrets to my ability to be a long term cruiser, after fours years, comes down to my new found flexibility in life. I do truly go with the flow. I enjoy the moment and see where it takes me!
So…if you find you’re a bit inflexible, start to decrease you’re need for predictability now. A great way to do this is to start saying ‘yes’ to everything especially when you have the desire to say ‘no.’ Watch the Jim Carrey movie, ‘Yes Man,’ to get an idea on how to proceed.

2. Very open lines of communication

On our boat we have three people. There’s my husband, Simon, and my daughter, Sienna (age 8). We often spend 24 hours a day with each other and from time to time that can be difficult.

We have a few rules that help us out. The most important rule is to never go to bed upset. We’ll sit down one-on-one or as a family and discuss any issues in an open and supportive way. In the past, I would overlook things and due to the busyness of life, several issues would disappear or get repressed until an eventual massive blowout.

Our family discovered that it’s easier to announce our grievances, hash things out and get back to living the good life.

In a confined space you’ll go insane if you don’t have it out. We often yell at each other and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. We express our anger, we let it out of our body and then we make-up and life goes back to normal. There’s no time or space to hold things in and let them fester.

Another rule we have is that when someone needs alone time, the space in front of the mast is dedicated to alone space and off limits to anyone else. We all need a place we can go to collect or thoughts, calm down or just take a break from the world.

For the most part our family works fairly well.

If however Simon or I get down about something we take time out, go for a walk on land and express our feelings. We then discuss various options and move forward. It’s not uncommon to have a conversation about selling the boat and moving back to land. We probably have that conversation around 10 times per year!

And it’s not that we want to move back to land, but we need the freedom to sometimes openly talk about alternatives. I think that it’s because we often talk about moving back to land that we’ll actually never do it!

3. Reoccurring revenue

I’m going to keep this short and simple. If you sell up, buy a boat and sail around with only a dwindling bank account to keep you afloat you’re going to spend your waking moments contemplating how you’re ever going to make money. Don’t do it. It puts a dark cloud over the whole lifestyle and it certainly does not lend itself to a long term cruising lifestyle.

Before you set sail you’re going need some sort of monthly income.

That can be from renting out your house, setting up an online business, living off investments, working remotely or creating a way to work on land part time and then sail the rest of the time.

On a positive note, over time the costs of being a long term cruiser reduce substantially. The first couple years money goes out hand over fist. You’ll spent a load of time and money getting the boat right. You’ll also fall into stupid money traps and spend too much with service providers and buying the wrong foods (imports rather than local foods) or going into marina’s when you really should be anchoring.

By year three, however, the costs come way down and that’s when the reoccurring revenue will help you stay afloat.

4. Taking breaks

Just like living on land, living on a boat will become normal. It’s hard to believe that being anchored off a tropical island with white sandy beaches will become ordinary but that’s what happens. You’re vacation lifestyle turns to normal, regular and routine.

Eventually, after the newness of it all, you’ll complain about the weather (too hot), the fact that you can’t find broccoli or fresh milk at the supermarket (errrr, scratch out ‘super’ and there are no supermarkets) and you’ve absolutely had it with your generator.

Just like land based life, you need a break from time to time.

HOWEVER, there’s a massive difference between a vacation from land and a vacation from the boat. When you’re on land and you go on vacation/holiday you generally rest, recuperate or have some sort of adventure that kicks a bit of life back into you.

When you vacation away from the boat, on the other hand, you get a reality check and a reminder of how freaking awesome your life actually is while living on the boat.

So – taking breaks off the boat is important for no other reason but to remind you about how we all tend to eventually take our lives for granted.



5. Developing positive habits

New liveaboards or cruisers seem to overlook the importance of consciously creating positive habits when moving aboard. And let me remind you that the reason I know all these things is because I made the error myself 🙁

The biggest issue that most cruisers have is regular exercise. On land, we might be good at going to the gym X times per week, going for a routine run, doing Yoga or taking walks with neighbors. On a boat, however, your routine frequently gets shot out the window. First of all, there is no gym so that’s not an option. If you’re sailing you can’t get off to go for a run, do yoga or work out. If you’re anchored you might be able to get off to land to run but it might not be safe to run (bad roads, roaming dogs, etc.)

The second issue that I see with new cruisers is the lack of positive habits regarding alcohol consumption (again, present company included).

When you’re on vacation you often drink.

When you’re a livaboard cruisers it feels like every day is a vacation (in the beginning). There’s the warm sea air, the beautiful views and the vacation pang in your head that constantly says, ‘hey – it’s wine’oclock’! Hopefully that pang hits at 5pm rather than noon. Hehehehe.

If you start off as you plan to go on, the holiday mode of daily sundowners (drinks when the sun goes down) can become a habit that isn’t so positive. With all the social functions, lovely surroundings and easy access to anything you want (food, alcohol and even drugs) it’s easy to create a new life with a bad habit.

Knowing this is an issue can help combat the problem. Considering some rules like, ‘I’m only going to drink on the weekends’ or ‘I’m only going to have one glass of wine a day at the most, ‘ or ‘I’m only going to allow myself a drink every other day,’ might be worth exploring before you get on board.

When you find something that works well shoot me an email as I could use the help! The book I’m reading now, that I’m hoping will provide some valuable insights into more exercise and less alcohol is this one:

6. Continuous education

With boats, you’ll be learning until the day you get off the boat whether you want to or not. That being said, it’s more rewarding to also learn proactively as you go. At first the whole liveaboard lifestyle is overwhelming. It’s not like just moving to another house – you’re actually changing your whole lifestyle.

When we first started out it was a baptism of fire. We learned because we had to fix something. Now, however, we have a very sound grip on being proactive and we’re often seeking information about better ways of doing things. Through the use of all my best selling guide, Checklists For Sailors we’re also able to stay on top of things rather than having a reactive approach.

Also, with new technology and better products there’s always something to be gained by researching battery options, alternative Man Over Board (MOB) procedures, the latest First Aid CPR procedure (it changes!), solar power, green technology, new rigging options and so on.

So another one of the secrets to long term cruising is to get yourself sorted (probably takes a year or two) and then get interested in learning about how you can sail better, do woo varnishing better, maintain the engine better, and on and on.

Here’s a great article on SailingBritican.com about the 11 secrets to long term cruising.Click To Tweet

7. Balance (me time, social time, couples time, family time)

As highlighted above under Developing positive habits, your life can be knocked off kilter quite easily. With a new boat, new schedule, new lifestyle, new climate and on and on there’s so much to do and so much to see. It’s very easy to lose balance regarding your own time and spending it with friends and family.

Most new cruisers lose the plot in the beginning and that’s okay.

It’s part of the whole process. You might go overboard on the social side of things and forget about taking time for yourself but you’ll soon realize that something is not right. Just knowing that balance can be an issue is half the battle.

Now days Simon helps me have my ‘me time,’ by taking Sienna to shore or going for a long dinghy ride. And when Sienna has a evening playdate or goes to sleep over at a friends house, Simon and I have our date nights. It’s very easy to do everything for everyone else. Contrary to my tip under topic one of saying ‘yes’ to everyone, you also need to learn when to say ‘no’.

8. Maintaining and increasing the comfort factor

Being comfortable is important! Another secret to long term cruising is to make your boat and your life as comfortable is possible! If you love latte’s make sure you have the equipment to make them. If you enjoy your sleep, ensure that you have the best mattress possible (or best mattress cover possible)!

Of course there are compromises with everything on a boat. There’s a limited amount of space. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make your living area as lovely and comforting as possible.

For me, I must have cushions everywhere!

There’s no way I’d EVER sail without having a cushy place to place my bum. In our cockpit we have cushions, pillows and beanbags! And I also have blankets and hot water bottles if it gets cold.

Another comfort factor for me is my bedding and sleeping area. I have Egyptian cotton sheets and a very, very thing 1 tog Egyptian cotton duvet cover. My pillows are perfect and my bed welcomes me in every night for a peaceful night’s sleep. I have a fan mounted to the ceiling that keeps me cool and screens on all my windows keeping the bugs out. I am comfortable!

9. Have perseverance

I doubt there’s any cruisers that didn’t want to give up in year one, year two and on up. We all have bad patches. There are times when the weather won’t let up, something breaks and we have to wait weeks (and even months) to move or when we get stir crazy while wintering or laying up for hurricane season.

During these rough patches it’s important to remind yourself about the reasons you left land in the first place AND think about all the amazing memories you’ve had thus far. It’s great to keep a 1-line/day journal about a good memory, something funny that happened or a line that will remind you about fun times.

When things get a bit blah you can look through your journal and rekindle the good feelings. The better you feel the quicker the slump will pass.

10. Having a plan

Having a plan seems to reduce anxiety about the unknown. Some boaters have very specific plans – whether to sail around the world in two years or spend two years in the Caribbean and then head to the Med.

The plan will change – I assure you of that. But with a plan there’s something you’re working towards. Without one it can be easy to drift around feeling lost or boaters can also find themselves latching onto other people’s plans. That can be good or bad – depends on whether the other boaters are doing things in line with those of the boaters hopes and dreams.

Our first plan was to sail the Med and cross the Atlantic in one year.

We sailed the Med, loved it too much to leave so crossed the Atlantic after our second year. (In hindsight we should have stayed in the Med a few years longer!). When in the Caribbean our plan was to sail up the east coast of America, head down and then west. Instead, we sailed up the Caribbean, stopped in Charleston, South Carolina and stayed there (living aboard the boat) for one year to take a break. It was a great decision. We had time to recuperate from so much sailing, our daughter had a blast going to 1st grade and we made some life long plans.

This past year our plan was to sail down the Caribbean, winter in Grenada and then head to the ABC’s and beyond. As it stands now, we’re not heading west (yet). We’re going to hang out in the Caribbean for another year (at least).

Plans change, but it’s nice knowing there’s one in place. There’s comfort in that. Or perhaps it’s just my control freak nature coming out in me?! What do you think?

11. Proactive maintenance and servicing on the boat

My friend Ron from sailboat Samana gave me some wise words. He said that if you own a boat you either need a load of money to pay someone to keep it going OR you need to have a mindset that allows you to enjoy fixing things and troubleshooting. If you don’t like fixing things or solving problems then boat ownership is not for you.

When we started out we didn’t now how to fix anything. We couldn’t troubleshoot either because we had no knowledge – there was no base for us to start. Simon and I spent years being frustrated and it almost caused us to stop cruising. Something eventually snapped and we both decided that if we don’t start enjoying our problems we’re going to go nuts.

Simon and I had a change of perspective in addition to a load of experience. Now when something breaks we don’t even blink – we just set out to fix it. For Simon he gets a big grin when he finds solutions. I suppose it’s like any other game of life – you can enjoy i it or not. For now, we’re having a blast.

What are your secrets to long term cruising?

Or do you have any questions about what I wrote above? How about a story that highlights one of my points? We’d love to hear from you. Simply add your comments below.

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22 Ways To Stay Cool On A Sailboat

One of the most common complaints I hear from a newbie sailors is, ‘I can’t adjust to the heat!’ Whether you plan on sailing in the Med during the summer, the Caribbean throughout the year or anywhere near the equator it’s going to get hot. Here are 22 ways to stay cool on a sailboat.

22 Ways To Stay Cool On A Sailboat

22 Ways To Stay Cool On A Sailboat

1. Shade coverage

Make sure there’s a permanent Bimini, or shade coverage over the cockpit. And when stationary, have a variety of options available to further shade the cockpit and/or other parts of the boat. For example, we have side panels that can be attached to the sides of our Bimini to further shield us from the sun. I’ve also seen people use sarongs or light sheets clipped to the Bimini. Consider an easy-to-attach tarp for other areas of the boat. Many catamaran owners have a cover they can put up over the front netting area when they’re at anchor (see below).

2. Boat tent

A more advanced form of shade coverage is a boat tent. These are often larger, cumbersome and take quite a while to put up (not to mention that they cost a fortune). Tent owners usually put them up only when at anchor or in a marina for an extended stay. Not only do boat tents provide shade, they cool down the top deck and the inside of the boat in addition to keeping the rain from coming in. When our Sumbrella boat tent is up we experience at least a 10 degree reduction in temperature inside the boat.

3. Air conditioner

If your boat doesn’t have an air conditioner the likelihood of getting one probably isn’t practical. They take up quite a bit of space, seem to break down often and need quite a large amount of electricity to run. They also create quite a bit of condensation, or pooling water, which can smell and create a breeding ground for mosquitos. We have three built in air condition units on our boat but we have to run the generator to run the aircon. The generator is loud and considering we service it every 300 hours, it’s not just the cost of Diesel that adds up. During services we change the oil, filters and often the impeller. The only way I feel that an air conditioner is practical is if you can run it from solar power (that’s our current project so make sure to subscribe to our newsletters to find out our results. Sign up here!)

4. Fans

On a boat it’s not just about having fans. Airflow is an important factor when choosing the right boat.   Not only do you want fans to be strategically placed by port windows but you also want a system to allow fresh air to naturally flow into the boat. One of the biggest complaints I hear from my catamaran friends is that they don’t get any airflow. In other words, when they’re at anchor the fresh breeze isn’t making it’s way into the boat and/or the back seating area. Ideally, you want hatches and windows to catch and funnel the air down into the boat and the fans to move it around (and even extract the hotter air, if possible).

5. Hatch windsocks

These are typically made out of a parachute type material where you hook the top to a halyard and the bottom to the back of a hatch. The wind blows, fills up the material and is then funneled down into the boat. Anything that forces fresh air into the boat not only cools the boat down but also prevents mold and mildew from forming.

6. Misting system

This might seem a bit over the top but there are inexpensive systems you can buy to hook up to your aft shower hose or a tap. Considering that boats are set up to get wet why not enjoy a bit of mist as you chill out in a hot anchorage?

7. Port window rain visors


In many hot climate sailing regions not only is it hot but the area also has a rainy season. This year in the Caribbean it seemed to be dry for months but as soon as the rainy season hit we experienced torrential downpours several times throughout the day. When you have to close the windows on a boat the heat can get unbearable. Consider affixing rain guards to some of your windows so to be able to keep them open at all times. Check out SeaWorthGoods.com to learn more about these rain visors.

8. Wet handkerchiefs or cooling bandanas

These work amazingly well. You simply pour some water over them and then wrap around your neck. With a very tiny breeze the bandanas generate a cooling effect which helps to cool the whole body. We’ve found these to be particularly useful for children and grandad’s that visit us on the boat.

9. Cooling Towels

Cooling Towel’s are made from a hyper-evaporative material that retains water while remaining dry to the touch. When wet, these cooling towels begin to evaporate and cool, providing cool, soft comfort to the user. When it stops cooling, all you have to do is simply re-wet it in hot or cold water and wring it out, within minutes, it’s cool again.

10. Ice packs or frozen rice

When I was a kid in school the nurse always had frozen packs. She would soak a couple paper towels in water, fold them up, place in a ziplock bag and then freeze. If you have any space left in your freezer they’re easy to make. What’s even better is to put rice in a sock and freeze the sock. Before you go to bed, put the icepack or sock near your feet. Keep reading for more of the 22 Ways To Stay Cool On A Sailboat…

11. Hot water bottle (frozen)

Similar to using ice packs or frozen rice it’s possible to freeze water in a hot water bottle! On a boat, freezer space is often an issue but if you can get the hotwater bottle in, give it a go.

12. Before bed dip in the sea

Or you can take a cold shower! It’s amazing how well this works to lower your body temperature. There was one week that we spent on the boat off the coast of Sicily that was particularly hot. It was around 105F during the day and didn’t cool down much at night. We all slept in the cockpit to catch any breeze that was flowing and every few hours we dipped our bodies into the sea. Our sleep was broken but it worked to keep us cooled down.

13. Sleep in the cockpit or outdoor hammock

As mentioned above, sometimes it’s best to just sleep outside in the cockpit or along the deck. We’ve even pulled our mattresses off the bed and laid them on the deck. Make sure, however, to rig a mosquito net over you if you’re in a buggy area.

14. Cooling mattress mat or pad

Used for centuries in China & throughout Asia during warm summer months, to cool and comfort you while you sleep these mats are a great alternative to needing air conditioning. Made from Bing Si, an ancient Chinese blend of polyester fiber with a silky hand and Rattan stands, a natural material similar to wicker.

15. Wear loose cotton

Many sailors think that it’s best to wear a bathing suit in the hot weather. I find them uncomfortable. Furthermore, they don’t protect you in the sun. Long sleeve loose cotton works really well to keep your body cool and protect you from the sun.

16. Keep your body moisturizer in the fridge

The cooling effect doesn’t last too long but it’s a very nice treat in the morning or just before bed.

17. Eat room temperature foods and light meals

Hot foods make you hotter. Meals with a lot of meat cause your body to work harder to digest warming you up. Furthermore combining carbs and proteins cause the body to work hard. Think about eating salads, loads of fresh fruit and vegetables.

18. Don’t use the stove or oven – BBQ outside or use the solar cooker instead

In the morning, when it’s cooler I often prepare my meals to be cooked in the solar cooker outside. I get dinner out of the way when I still have energy, there’s no noise or heat generation inside (having to run the generator to run the oven), the clean up is easy and fast (solar cooked meals never bake-on so the pans are a breeze to wash up) and the meals taste awesome.

19. Drink water

I know this is obvious but new sailors (and even old sailors) don’t realize what dehydration can do. I’ve suffered once not knowing what it was (read my Dehydration Article here) and this past sailing season my husband, Simon, passed out in an old British Fort on the island of St Kitts. We had to have an ambulance come. It was terrible. The reason – he didn’t have enough water in him. His body was trying to sweat but it couldn’t so he heated up and passed out. Drinking water helps the body to cool down. If you ever notice that you’re hot and you’re not sweating get water into you, and an electrolyte or rapid hydration pills/packet into your body immediately.

20. Yoga cooling breathing

This is a technique that Yogi’s use to cool down before sleeping. Hold your right nostril closed with your right thumb, breathing in and out with your left nostril. Pause at the inhale and the exhale. Be conscious of your breath. Continue for four minutes, after which time you should feel cooler and calmer.

21. Sleep time guided meditation involving snow/cold imagery


Our daughter, Sienna (age 8) often has trouble drifting off to sleep at night. This is in the cold and hot weather. We often play sleep time meditations. On one of our iPad apps she has a meditation that involves playing in the snow. When it’s particularly hot Sienna requests this meditation and it really helps to cool her down and send her to sleep! Check out Bedtime Meditations for Kids at the Appstore.

22. Replace all lights with LED lights

You’ll want to do this for energy reasons anyway. We replaced all our lights to LED and watched our energy consumption drop massively. And old style lights not only take up a lot of juice, they produce quite a bit of heat. LED don’t produce much heat at all.

Any other suggestions above and beyond the 22 Ways To Stay Cool On A Sailboat? Please leave them below and share with other readers.

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Sailing Around The BVI (British Virgin Islands)

In this episode, part two of the British Virgin Islands video series, we start off on a mooring ball in Trellis Bay, Tortola. With two guests we then sail along playing a kid-made board game to Road Town. We anchor off Peter Island for the night and then head to Cane Garden Bay to celebrate our daughter, Sienna’s, birthday.

We’ll then take you for a hike up Sage Mountain with a few other buddy boats. We’ll show you what cruisers get unto for fun when swimming gets boring, we stop in Nanny Key to get fuel and check out the hurricane damage and a couple other boaties sail with us to Spanish Town to book out in preparation for our trip to St Kitts.

Resources or links – Sailing around BVI British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands Vide Part 1: https://youtu.be/yCKJD6mo_Fc

Simons Sailing Britican Logo t-shirt: https://www.etsy.com/listing/230710486/mens-sailing-t-shirt-sailing-t-shirt?ref=shop_home_active_3

Vela’s YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tl2OQfSiQw&list=PL2981FH1K5Gu7Yf8KIUzPjbpPhuwDDU9N



Also…

Make sure to sign up to our weekly newsletter to get notified of new videos and articles! Coming next is more in the British Virgin Islands.

If you have any burning question about the Best Anchorages In The British Virgin Islands or cruising in general… or just want to chat with Simon or I, buy us a drink and we’ll email or ring to you answer your questions. All donations go to keeping these articles and videos free. If you’re interested in our monthly mentoring program or joining us for a sail on Britican, learn more here.

You might also be interested in these other videos and articles

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8 Best Anchorages In The British Virgin Islands

In this video episode, number 18 of the season, we’re going to show you what it’s like sailing the British Virgin Islands. Rumors abound about the state of the BVI after hurricane Irma. Watch this video to see what it’s really like.

We’ll show you Spanish Town on Virgin Gorda, the famous geological attraction called The Baths. We’ll then sail over to Leverick Bay to catch a pirate singing show and give you a tour of the Leverick Bay Resort and Maria. Britican’s Captain, Simon, will do a drive by of Bitter End and Saba Rock – two massive sailor hang-outs that were destroyed in hurricanes.

We’ll then sail down to Cooper Island to enjoy some raft fights and a drink at the Cooper Island Beach club.

Next we anchor off Salt Key to then take the dingy to the Rhone Shipwreck site followed by a calm sail to Norman Island where there’s rumored to be buried treasure on the island. From Norman Island we sail over to Great Harbor on Jost Van Dyke to visit the famous Soggy Dollar and visit Roxy’s. We’ll show you some rather horrific hurricane damage in Trellis bay on Beef Island but change the atmosphere with a full moon party.

Best Anchorages In The British Virgin Islands Video

Resources in the British Virgin Islands Video

  • Kim’s T-shirt ‘Home is where the anchor drops’
  • Floating Patio for kids and adults to enjoy! Find here on Amazon.
  • Simons T-shirt ‘I’d Rather Be Sailing’
  • Simon’s T-shirt ‘Sailing Britican’ logo

Also…

Make sure to sign up to our weekly newsletter to get notified of new videos and articles! Coming next is more in the British Virgin Islands.

If you have any burning question about the Best Anchorages In The British Virgin Islands or cruising in general… or just want to chat with Simon or I, buy us a drink and we’ll email or ring to you answer your questions. All donations go to keeping these articles and videos free. If you’re interested in our monthly mentoring program or joining us for a sail on Britican, learn more here.

You might also be interested in these other videos and articles

  • Sailing Puerto Rico – Drop a hook or pass it by?
  • Sailing The Spanish Virgin Islands
  • Five Places to Visit in St John’s USVI
  • 5 Reasons To Find A Boat Buddy




Best Anchorages In The British Virgin Islands Photos

Best Anchorages In The British Virgin Islands

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7 Steps To Creating a Sailing Blog

When asked what are the Steps To Creating a Sailing Blog, you’d think there’d be a quick and straightforward answer but as with many things, the answer is ‘it depends on why you want a sailing blog and what you want to achieve by having one.’

In my five years of blogging about sailing the seas I’ve come across several other bloggers and vloggers (video blogs) and the three main reasons that people start blogs are as follows:

  1. Update Family & Friends. To update family and friends as to where they are, what they’re doing and what their life is like. It’s so that they can permit those that cheered them on to share the journey. Additionally, it allows them to prove to naysayers (those that thought they were crazy for wanting to sail away) that the choice they made was a good one. In addition to updating family – it’s something they can look back on in later years to serve as a record (especially for children).
  2. Make Money. To generate an income to fund or provide extra income while they’re sailing.
  3. Creative Outflow. To have a creative outlet. Many new cruisers come from a highly engaged business or professional background. Going from being a company owner or a Doctor to a sailor is a drastic change. The emphasis from brain to labor work shifts and the creative outlet can often get lost in the mire of servicing and maintaining a boat. Some people create a sailing blog to exercise their creative juices and learn a new skill.

Your decision to create a sailing blog might be one or all three of these reasons.

It could also be that you want to eventually make money from a blog, but you have no idea how that might work. You’d rather start off with something simple for family and friends and see how that goes. There are no rules.

The reason I’ve started off with the WHY is due to the fact that, like anything in life, if you don’t know why your doing something and what you’re trying to achieve you’ll never get there.

This article will cover the HOW for those that want to start simple and set something up for friends and family to see.

If you’re interested in the making money part of a sailing/cruiser blog, subscribe to my newsletter and other freebies and you’ll get notifications of new articles as and when I publish them.

Sign up here.

Before we get started and just for clarification purposes, I want to define ‘blog.’ A blog is a website. The two words, ‘blog’ and ‘website’, are synonymous. Yes, some companies have products and services pages in addition to areas called the ‘blog’. In that case, the blog area is usually educational articles, press releases, news and anything other than sales pages.

You can have a blog that simply has pictures and a diary of where your travels have taken you. You can also sell t-shirts on your blog, feature videos, have a forum, create a private ‘members only area’. Again, there are no rules.

So a blog is a website but it can also be an area within a website. Generally, it’s the area that gets updated with new articles or posts.

Creating a sailing blog for friends and family

There’s loads of ways to create a blog but I’m going to give you one of the easiest step-by-step ways so that you can get your blog up and running today. When you take a deep breath and say to yourself, ‘I can do this…’ you’ll be astounded at the result you can achieve within an hour or two.

Let’s get this party started…

Visit WordPress.com and sign up. It’s free. Over 30% of all the websites on the Internet are created in WordPress. It’s the least risky thing you can do. It’s fast. You don’t have to worry about domain names, hosting or configuring stuff.

If you decide that blogging isn’t for you you’ve lost nothing. And if you want to get more involved (e.g. get a domain name like www.NameOfYourBoat.com or move the information you create – pictures and text – you can always do so in the future).

WordPress is an open source platform meaning that it’s free. It’s open for anyone in the world to create websites and/or develop programs that enhance websites (for free or for a charge).

Programs that enhance WordPress are themes (overall look and feel of the website) and plugins.

A theme is a structure that you can choose that will hold your pictures and text. Themes come with color options, menu’s (placement and functionality) and page layouts. No one designs a website from scratch anymore.

All you need to do is find the theme you like and then fill it with your photos and text.

When you first get into WordPress there’s a default theme.

It’s boring. You have the option of using the boring theme or picking from others. Some themes are free and others you pay a nominal fee for.

A plugin is something you virtually pull off the shelf, plug it into your website and have new functionality. Plugins include: ecommerce shop, fancy photo gallery, facebook/instagram/pinterest feed, sign up form for people that want email notifications about new posts and so forth.

Before, however, you set up your WordPress blog, choose a theme and find plugins it’s best to outline the categories or menu structure that you’d like to have for your blog.

To create your menu there’s two main components: Blog Articles & Pages.

(Stick with me here…you’re almost done with the explanation part. Soon, I’ll provide you with a checklist to get you up and running quickly).

Let’s first talk about pages, as they’re easy to nail down. A page is static. You write it once and it’s on your website for all to see. It’s not an area with updated entries. So, pages include: The Crew, The Boat, Our Story and Contact Us.




The blog articles, however, are under a menu heading that gets updated. When you go into ‘Blog’ or whatever you want to call the heading, the latest article you wrote is at the top. Under this menu heading you update it once a week or month and can be written by you, your partner, your kids. You can set your blog to be on the home page of the website or in a separate area under a menu heading.

At it’s simplest, there’s no classification of blog articles.

You simply write something every week and it shows up on the home page, under ‘Blog’ or ‘Our Journey’ or whatever you want to call it. If you want to get more advanced, you can separate it into different categories and have blogs or articles about your sailing destinations, galley recipes (you want to share) and your servicing and maintenance log.

If you don’t know how you want to break down your blog articles, don’t break them into categories. Write something every week and if you eventually discover that you have two themes you’re writing about you can always ‘tag’ the articles and easily separate them into two menu headings.

The key thing to grasp about WordPress is that all your pictures and your text are held in a database.

Once you put the content in WordPress, it’s there to stay. If you want to change the display side of things everything can be changed. You can always change your theme (website structure, colors, menu, page style, etc.), move your website (and database) and/or restructure your categories. It’s a brilliant system.

The best advice I can give, at the beginning, is to start simple.

If you overthink things they appear to get complicated. Before you even start it’s easy to shut off, thinking it’s too overwhelming. Keep telling yourself that it doesn’t matter if you mess up – you can change things later.

7 Steps To Creating a Sailing Blog (For Family & Friends) Checklist

1. Decide the pages you want to have (About us, Contact Us, The Boat, The Crew)

2. Have an idea in mind what you want to write about (Blog). Many people write a routine update as to where they sailed to and what they did while they were there. Some families have their children write articles too. You can have one blog section with different authors.

3. Sign up for a free website at WordPress.com and click on the ‘Get Started’ button. Fill out the four screens to get started. Don’t opt in to pay for anything. Just go the free route for now. You can change things later.

Set up a WordPress Site

4. Once you’re into the system, you’ll have the ‘control panel’ on the left and the website, or blog, on the right. Start first with the theme. Look at the Customize themes option (along the left side of the screen as shown below – the red arrow is pointing at it) and pick a free one that looks best to you. Any theme without a price is free and you can refine your search by clicking on ‘free’. (Again, don’t worry if it’s not perfect – you can always change the theme). Each theme will have online help regarding options and ‘how-to’s’. The best thing to do, however, is to just have a play with it – change all sorts of configurations and see what happens on the screen. Add a header image and find out what it looks like. Don’t worry about messing things up…you’re just playing around for now. Go click crazy – who cares if you break it. You didn’t pay anything for it!

5. Activate the theme and publish it (don’t worry – no one can find the site yet so no one will stumble upon it). ‘Activate’ and ‘Publish’ can be scary words but ignore them. It’s not until you tell people about the site that they’ll be able to find it.

6. Go to ‘Blog Posts,’ (along the left side of the screen) and click ‘The Journey Begins’. That’s a holding page that you can change. Change the headline, change the text and change the photo. It’s just like using MS Word. Swap out the picture that’s there for one that you have. Write some text. Publish it and see what it looks like. Play around like a kid. You have permission to click on everything and give it a go.

Start with Themes

7. For Pages (along the left side of the screen), update the ‘Contact’ page that’s already there and then add a page like ‘The Crew’ or ‘Our Story.’

~

Play around for a bit. Add content – pictures and text. Click on things to find out what they do. You can’t break things (too easily). So get familiar with the layout of WordPress. If you don’t like the theme, go back and change it. See what happens when you change it.

If you have something written already or loads of images, you can get something published in a few minutes. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look good at first – no one can find your website unless you give them your web address!

Play around.

Yes…play around. It’s a foreign concept to us now days – to play. We set out to do new things perfectly and knowing we’re destine for failure, we actually never start. Don’t let this happen to you.

As time goes on you’ll get more and more familiar with the control pannel and you’ll make small improvements. For today, just get something up and running.

Once you have something set up, make a commitment to post a new article every week, bimonthly or monthly.

Or – if you have the time, write a couple posts every week. What ever you choose, make it a habit. It’s the only way that you’ll carry on.

When you’re ready for friends and family to see your creation, send them the link to your website via email, on Facebook and any other social media that you’re on. Invite your readers to comment on your posts.

Creating an all-singing and all-dancing sailing blog doesn’t happen from day one. All successes come from starting small and making incremental small changes as we learn and grow.

My first blog was a mess. Over time I got better at writing and deciding on photos. I’d try out a new plugin and see what it would do. And the learning curve continued. People so often get bogged down with the enormity of creating a perfect blog and never get started.

Remember – there are no rules. No one can see the blog until you send them the link.

If you don’t set it up and make a commitment to do a bit each week/bi-monthly you’re going to end up at the end of your sailing adventure with a bunch of photos on your computer and no blog-styled record to show the journey! And that would be a shame.

Amen.

Let me know if you have any questions by leaving them in the comments section below.

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Steps Creating Sailing Blog

 

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10 Reasons to Sail down the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW)

Intracoastal WaterwayThe Intracoastal Waterway, or ICW, is a 3,000-mile (4,800 km) inland waterway along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts of the United States. It runs from Boston, Massachusetts, south along the Atlantic coast and around the southern tip of Florida, then following the Gulf Coast to Brownsville, Texas.

The ICW allows boaters to travel the east coast of America without having to entering the Atlantic Ocean.

It’s a rather narrow river, or canal, that’s protected from the ocean. The best boats to travel down the ICW are motorboats or sailboats with a mast no higher than 64’ or a keel not too much deeper than 5’.

There’s a stretch of the ICW that will, however, allow boats with tall masts (over 64’) and deeper keels (7’ or so) running from Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale. All the bridges within this stretch open up. The depths are around 13’ for the whole passage (or so the charts stay). In other parts of the ICW the bridges are 65’ high and don’t open.

After spending loads of time in the Atlantic swell we thought we’d have a go in the flat calm waters of the Intracoastal Waterway. The plan was to stay one night at the Palm Harbor Marina in Palm Beach where we exited the Atlantic Ocean.

After our night’s stay we found a restaurant dock that would allow us to dock overnight.

The Two Georges, located north of Del Ray, had a jetty with a depth deep enough for our 7.5’ keel. And our solo sailing companion, Michael on s/v Entitled would be able to ‘raft’ onto us. Rafting means that we’d tie ourselves to the jetty (side-to) and then Michael would tie Entitled on to us. And failing the Two George’s, there was an spot that allowed for anchoring with the depth we needed not further on.

In the end, we ran aground four times, couldn’t stay at the Two George’s due to a big power boat taking up the whole dock (the Captain tied on right smack in the middle of the dock) and couldn’t find a place to anchor until it was pitch black at night. We were suppose to go through four bridges and stop and I think we finally found a place to anchor after 13 bridges or so?!

Needless to say, it was a brilliant journey.

If a you’re going to sail to Florida consider motoring along the ICW. Here are 10 reasons why:Click To Tweet

Here are the 10 reasons a sailor should take a journey down the ICW

1. Boaters don’t follow any rules. Boats go as fast or as slow as they want. And regarding speed, as long as the boat is not in a ‘no wake’ zone it can fly by. And for the most part, the ‘no wake’ zones are only around the bridges. It’s a rather lawless canal where huge mega yachts cruise through at 30 knots and small sail boats putter along at 3 knots. You have to experience it to believe it. There’s no etiquette.

2. The architecture is eclectic and there’s loads to look at. There are no duplicates. All the properties are different. Some are ginormous palaces and others look like inner city apartment blocks. You’ll see traditional homes and super, super modern fortresses. One plot will have a shack and the next will have a 50 million dollar mansion. There’s so many properties to look at, there’s never a dull moment.

3. The boats that you’ll see along the journey are eye-catching! Some of the mega yachts are larger than the mega homes. Others are flat out interesting to look out. There are gold pimp-yatchs and four story moving islands. There are tour boats and even a floating tiki bar to check out. If you’re not ogling over the homes, you’ll certainly ogle over the boats.

4. There’s no swell – errrr, there’s no constant swell. The Atlantic swell can really get a sailor down. Every few minutes the boat shifts from left to right, left to right, left to right indefinitely. It’s annoying. For those that experience seasickness it’s down right debilitating. In the ICW, however, there’s only a swell when a boat larger than you passes by. Sure, there were many boats passing us through our passage but the swell was only temporary!

5. The atmosphere is electric. There’s always something happening. One bridges is opening and another is about to close. A super yacht is trying to pass. You’re trying to pass a slow poke. A bunch of silly teenagers are jet skiing within inches of your bow. A tiny motorboat is pulling a tuber. Bars are turning out loud live music. You run aground. It’s crazy.



6. There’s nature to admire. Interestingly, amongst all the mega yachts, mansions and hubbub there’s a massive amount of birds, mangroves, natural areas, green areas and sea life. If you get out of your cockpit and away from the constant chatter on the VHF, there are parts of the ICW that are actually quiet and peaceful.

7. There’s an awesome sense of camaraderie. During our two day passage we enjoyed saying ‘thank you’ to the bridge operators for opening and hearing their ‘thank you’ back. And at one point of our journey there were five sailboats in a convoy. The first boat, a boat that we didn’t know, would VHF the bridge operator and give the names of all the boats in the convoy. Although it was a crazy waterway there was a sense of kinship with the people we had to interact with and travel with.

8. Bridges. Even if you’re not a keen bridge lover it’s amazing to see each and every bridge. They’re all different! Some open faster and others slower. Some have really awesome gears. Others are broken and only one side opens – providing the captain a very narrow gap to maneuver (watch my video below)!

9. A sense of adventure – especially if you have a deep keel! The charts are not accurate. We ran aground four times. Each time only spending a few minutes being stuck. It’s not ideal to run aground but it certainly adds a bit of spice to the journey. Ever time we ran aground it was more of a slow stop. We were only going a slow speed so no damage was done. And eventually the tide would rise if we got really stuck.

10. Stories to tell. Perhaps our journey wasn’t typical? I can only speak for ourselves but I felt it was a very fulfilling experience. There was loads to see and take in. Yeah, we ran aground which isn’t ideal but we found a way off. It was an adventure. One that I will always remember.

~~~

So there you have it. Ten reasons to take a journey down the Intracoastal Waterway. Watch our video below to gain a tiny insight to our journey 🙂 Perhaps after we’ve had enough of sailing (if that ever happens), Simon and I will buy a motorboat and do the Great Loop.

The Great Loop is a system of waterways that encompasses the eastern portion of America and part of Canada. It’s made up of both natural and man-made waterways. These include the Atlantic and Gulf Intracoastal Waterways, the Great Lakes, the Rideau Canal, and the Mississippi and Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. Amazingly, the entire loop is approximately 6,000 miles long.

More Information on the Great Loop

Britican does the Intracoastal Waterway – Video

Any questions, comments or thoughts?! Leave them below.

Visit our Sailing Britican sailing guides books shop if you’re thinking of buying a boat, are in the process of buying a boat or if you own a boat! All guides are digital. Some hard copy versions are found in our Etsy shop and on Amazon. The guides will help you to save money, avoid making mistakes and ultimately allow you to get out sailing quicker.

Check out our one-of-a-kind nautical t-shirts and other sailing gifts at our Sailing Britican Etsy shop. We have great stuff for men, women and children. Grab a t-shirt, bathing suit cover-up, spices for sailors, nautical pillow covers and more!

Profits from the guides and t-shirts are allowing us to keep this website going but it’s not enough!

If you enjoy what we offer please support us. Buy a guide/guides, a t-shirt, become a Patreon Patron (click the link for more information).

Or donate to the cause  below through Paypal (see button below). Proceeds from the guides, Etsy shop and Patreon supports are keeping these articles and videos free. If you like what you see and want us to continue please support Britican today. (And if you already have, thank you very much!)

Intracoastal Waterway

The post 10 Reasons to Sail down the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) appeared first on Sailing Britican.

Sailing Florida – West Palm Beach

West Palm Beach What’s it like to sail into West Palm Beach? Find out here by joining us on the journey. From Cape Canaveral out into the Atlantic Ocean and then into the Intracoastal Waterway, we made our way to Palm Beach Harbor Marina.

In our last article and video, Sailing to Florida – Cape Canaveral, Simon demonstrates our passage from St. Augustine to Cape Canaveral, our volunteer crew member Andrew, slips our mooring ball lines. Sienna thanks St Augustine for having us, Andrew comments what it’s like sailing at night and I discuss my excitement to see Kennedy Space Center. Simon docks us at Cape Marina followed by our solo sailing companion, Michael on Entitled. Finally, I offer a tour of Cape Marina and show some clips from the incredible Kennedy Space Center.



Our trip from Cape Canaveral to Palm Beach was fairly uneventful.

We had an amazing sunset, managed to sail half the time and motor the other half. We also enjoyed a yummy sausage pasta bake. Prior to entering the marina, we had to wait for on bridge opening. After we went through the bridge the Palm Habor Marina was directly on our starboard side.

West Palm Beach

The tide was running and Simon had to navigate between the bridge and the jetty. With the tide pushing us towards the bridge he had to drive straight at the pontoon and then quickly turn at the last minute. Simon did a great job. Michael, our solo sailing companion, was lined up to come in behind us but the marina put him on the T-head making the docking job much easier.

Once we tied the boat down we cleaned the inside and outside.

We all had showers and got ready to go out to dinner. Lucky for us we were invited to a free BBQ by the marina staff. A photographer was doing a photo shoot and needed extras. I think the photographer really wanted our daughter, Sienna, more than anything else. In addition to getting the free BBQ we were all given $25 gift certificates to use in the marina store and deli. That made the $200 berthing fee not so bad. We saved money on dinner and had $100 worth of goodies that we could get.

West Palm Beach

Palm Harbor Marina

The crew on Britican and Michael all met at the Palm Harbor BBQ area and had a lovely meal. We simply had to act like normal and the photographer went around us taking photos. Afterwards, we went to the main strip and took in all the sights and sounds of West Palm Beach at night. There were festive sand castles, a meet Santa area, festive music and loads of lights.

As we walked down the strip there were bars and restaurants packed with people. We ended up a sports bar/restaurant so that Sienna could get an ice cream and the adults could enjoy a beverage.

The following day, we left the marina for our Intracostal Waterway (ICW) adventure.

Little did we know what we were in for. Make sure to subscribe to my weekly email notification to find out when the next article/video is published. Sign up here!

West Palm Beach Video

Any questions, comments or thoughts?! Leave them below.

Visit our Sailing Britican sailing guides books shop if you’re thinking of buying a boat, are in the process of buying a boat or if you own a boat! All guides are digital. Some hard copy versions are found in our Etsy shop and on Amazon. The guides will help you to save money, avoid making mistakes and ultimately allow you to get out sailing.

Check out our one-of-a-kind nautical t-shirts and other sailing gifts at our Sailing Britican Etsy shop. We have great stuff for men, women and children. Grab a t-shirt, bathing suit cover-up, spices for sailors, nautical pillow covers and more!

Profits from the guides and t-shirts are allowing us to keep this website going but it’s not enough!

If you enjoy what we offer, like this Sailing to Florida St Augustine article and video, please support us. Buy a guide/guides, a t-shirt, become a Patreon Patron (click the link for more information).

Or donate to the cause  below through Paypal (see button below). Proceeds from the guides, Etsy shop and Patreon supports are keeping these articles and videos free. If you like what you see and want us to continue please support Britican today. (And if you already have, thank you very much!)

The post Sailing Florida – West Palm Beach appeared first on Sailing Britican.

Sailing Florida – Cape Canaveral

Sailing Florida Cape CanaveralAfter spending two enjoyable days and nights in St Augustine, we, and Michael aboard s/v Entitled, slipped our mooring ball lines. It was a crisp cool morning and there was a very slight breeze. The sun was shining and we were eager to head down to Cape Canaveral, a 20 hour sail.

If you missed our last article and video, Simon explained our passage plan from Amelia Island to St Augustine, our volunteer crew member Andrew gave an update regarding the race we had going between us and our sailing companion Michael aboard s/v Entitled. We entered the port at St Augustine and took a mooring ball for two nights.

We enjoyed the festive boat parade and millions of lights for the nights of lights. The five of us went to the Castillo de San Marcos and I provide a bit of history and we stop off at the Flager College to appreciate the architecture. Get the full scoop here Sailing to Florida St Augustine.

As we motored out of the harbor we all said our thank you’s to St Augustine for having us.

We went out through the Lions Bridge heading back into the Atlantic Ocean. The water was calm and the temperatures were finally rising.

Our seven-year-old daughter, Sienna, and I played in the cockpit for quite some time. First we played hair salon and then we played on the iPad. Previous to setting sail, Sienna and I completed her homeschooling.

We’re on week three of homeschooling and so far it’s really going good. I’m in the process of writing a full article on what I’m using for homeschooling (a variety of resources and tools), so I’ll share that with you when it’s finished. The whole concept of educating a child is overwhelming. I’ve been struggling for years with the concept alone but with some help from a friend and loads of research I’m definitely making progress.

Sailing Florida Cape Canaveral

Our passage into the night was non-eventful.

Simon and Andrew put a fishing line out but had no luck. The sunset was lovely but there wasn’t any wind. We motored until darkness set in and then a bit of wind finally appeared.

We sailed through most of the night. My husband, Simon, and Andrew, our volunteer crew member, did three hours on and three hours off doing night watches. During a night watch there’s not much to do or see. It’s usually pitch black helping to easily spot boats. If our AIS or boat positioning system is working we’ll see them on the plotter way before they appear by sight.

Aside from keeping an eye out for any lights, the person on watch ensures the sails are trimmed appropriately in addition to looking for potential squalls, or short storms. When a storm is approaching sails often need to be pulled in. For 95% of the time, however, a night watch consists of watching a movie on the iPad, playing a game or reading a book. It’s quite peaceful being in the cockpit alone in the dark. Many would think it was scary but it’s such a pleasant experience. For more on night sailing, read my article Sailing through the night – is it scary, exhilarating or boring?.

Sailing Florida Cape Canaveral

The sun eventually came up and the sea was flat calm.

I was able to join the boys up in the cockpit to excitedly talk about the Kennedy Space Center that we could see on the horizon. For as long as I can remember I’ve always wanted to tour the Space Station. When I was a kid, if someone asked me to go to space without being able to return to Earth I would have gone. I love the moon, stars, and all the amazing photographs that the Hubble Space Telescope takes.




And to be able to share a visit with our daughter too! What a treat. I couldn’t wait for Sienna to actually see the rockets and shuttle that went up into space.

Entering the canal leading to the Cape Marina was easy.

We had to sail quite a bit more south and then come back on ourselves due to NASA restrictions and shoals. But once we were in the canal it was a straight motor to the Cape Marina. Along the canal we saw tankers, a variety of ships, boats, and pleasure crafts. There were industrial buildings, marine storage facilities, restaurants, casinos’s and bars. It was a hodgepodge of all sorts.

The marina was easy to spot and since our berth was on a t-junction, Simon simply used the tide and our bow thrusters to slowly and easily line us up to the jetty. Andrew and I fixed the warps and then we helped Michael, on Entitled, moor next to us.

Like little kids we all jumped up and down (err…Sienna and I jumped up and down) thinking that we’re one step closer to the Space Center.

Simon and I booked ourselves into the marina.

There’s a marina store filled with touristy clothes, trinkets and all sorts. We also found drinks, food and ice. We were pleasantly surprised at all the facilities the Cape Marina offered – ATM, security gate (locked at night), coin operated laundry room, picnic table area, BBQ grills, a lovely pool and a games room (air hockey, foosball, pool, TV, games console and tiny workout room).

The one thing to note about the marina, from a boaters perspective, is that the marina operates with a pylon system. When parking your boat you’ll need to tie the bow or stern to the jetty and the other side to two opposing pylons. If you’re not accustom to this type of set up it’s probably best to enter the marina when staff are on hand to assist. Getting lines from the boat to a pylon isn’t always easy.

Sailing Florida Cape Canaveral

Britican moored up on B dock, Cape Marina

Within walking distance from the marina there’s a handful of restaurants and bars. We opted for Millikens. Another boat that visited the marina just days before we did said that they had a fantastic Prime Rib special for $14. With Prime Rib on my mind, we all headed to dinner. The meal was fantastic.

After a good nights sleep we woke the following day excited to see the Space Center.

Using Uber, we got a taxi within five minutes. The cost was $30 for the twenty-five minute ride to the Space Center. We were dropped off at the front door and then spent the entire day going from one exhibition to the next.

Sailing Florida Cape Canaveral

The Kennedy Space Center was fabulous.

Just seeing the Saturn Five rocket that took Neil Armstrong and others to the Moon was awesome – and I’m using that word it’s truest form. And the Atlantis Shuttle making 26 voyages to space – we saw the actual shuttle!

What I loved most about the Space Center was that there was a consistent message, music and theme across the whole park. Every exhibition spoke loudly to me and what I learned/felt was that as humans we can do amazing things. We can work internationally to create something magnificent. It’s not just about America or Russia or China… it’s about all of us as humans. When we all work together we can move mountains or at least go to the moon.

The first exhibition we saw was about ‘Hero’s’.

It starts off with a slide show and video of kids, adults and astronauts talking about who their hero’s were. Some said my mom and dad, others named a super hero. The list went on and on. After the show we then walked into an area that had all these pods with a characteristic of a hero over the top. To name a few, there was tenacity, confidence, discipline. In each pod the characteristic was showcased with examples of that characteristic in action.

I couldn’t help but think that if every child had the opportunity to just see this one exhibition they’d be better off for it. After the pods we walked through the astronauts hall of fame. Sienna quickly noted that the pictures were all of men. I quickly said, ‘oh no…there’s loads of women that have gone to space.’ We then looked further down and saw the many women that have been a part of the space program.

When walking out of the exhibition I felt proud to be human, proud to be a woman…and proud to share the amazingness of Earth, space and life with my daughter. Amen! (Make sure to watch my video on Cape Canaveral to get just a small feel for the Space Center – press the play button on it below.)

Sailing Florida Cape Canaveral

After our tour, we returned to Cape Marina and shared our stories and experiences with Michael. He stayed back so to visit with his sister and brother-in-law.

It was nice to have someone to talk and share or excitement with.

All feeling very tried, we went to bed ready to make for West Palm Beach the following day. Simon was very excited as our plan was to motor down the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway). There’s one small part of the ICW that had the depth we needed to make the passage. For me, I was slightly nervous. I couldn’t help but wonder if running aground was in the cards.

Stay tuned to find out how our West Palm Beach voyage goes and join us for our trip down the ICW. Subscribe to my newsletter and get a notification when I post a new article and video. Sign Up Here.

Sailing Florida – Cape Canaveral Video

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Resources on Cape Canaveral

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Sailing to Florida St Augustine

Sailing to Florida St AugustineAfter sailing to Amelia Island (American Georgia/Florida border) from Charleston Harbor Marina we headed further south. Sailing to Florida St Augustine was our next destination. Knowing that the warmer weather would kick in the further south we went, we were all eager to get going.

When leaving Amelia Island it was slightly above freezing!

The trip to St Augustine took 12 hours. We left our mooring in the darkness at 6am and arrived in St Augustine Municipal Marina mooring field around 2pm. Our aim was to leave early so to ensure a daylight arrival at our destination. Getting back into the Atlantic Ocean was uneventful. Simon motored us out with the backdrop of industry behind us.

Once we were in the Ocean we put our headsail out leaving our main down. The wind was from behind and it was easy to simply unfurl the jib. Similar to the previous voyage, my daughter, Sienna, and I laid in bed under the covers watching movies on my laptop. It was so wonderful to relax and let my husband, Simon, and Andrew, our volunteer crew member, get us to our next stop.

Usually Simon, Sienna and I are all in the cockpit but with the cold temperatures it wasn’t exactly enjoyable!

It wasn’t long before Simon came down and let us know that we were entering St Augustine. We were all excited to see America’s oldest city. Additionally we arrived just in time to see the Nights of Lights Christmas lights and the annual Christmas Boat Parade.

After sorting ourselves out we dropped the dinghy, collected Michael on Entitled (a solo sailor joining us for the journey to Fort Lauderdale) and went into the marina dinghy dock. After paying our fees of $25/night staying for two nights, we parked Doris the Dinghy. We immediately went to the highly recommended restaurant, Harry’s, and booked a table being told that the wait was around an hour at least. In actuality I think we waited around two hours but it was worth it.

If you go to St Augustines, make sure you eat at Harry’s – from what I’ve experienced, and heard from others, it truly is the best value for money spent.

At Harry’s we were hoping to get a table overlooking the harbor to enjoy the parade from inside to escape the cold weather. While waiting for our table, we took a stroll around the town. We were all so impressed with the rows and rows of cute streets, eclectic shops and old style buildings. My husband announced, ’this is one of the most un-American cities I think I’ve ever been in…’ In other words, it had quite a bit of character…it was devoid of the standard American franchises, new builds and high rise hotels.




We were fortunate to get a fantastic table at Harry’s. We enjoyed the parade from inside and gobble down some great food. It was the perfect night. After the meal, parade and enjoyment of the festive lights, we took the dinghy back to the boat and all passed out.

The next day we went to St Augustine to explore the town, Castillo de San Marcos (Castle built by the Spanish), and Flagler College (all in the video). Considering I’ve covered our exploits in the video I’ll allow you to simply watch the video below to get a taste for St Augustine.

Out of all the east coast American cities to visit, sailing to Florida St Augustine should be on every sailors ‘must-see’ list.

It’s beautiful, usually warm/hot, has something for everyone and is down-right cute. History buffs will enjoy the past. Shoppers will love the boutiques. Foodies will be filled with amazing options. And sailors will be very pleasantly pleased with the St Augustine Municipal Marina moorings, slips and facilities.

Sailing to Florida St Augustine Video

Any questions, comments or thoughts?! Leave them below.

Visit our Sailing Britican sailing guides/books shop if you’re thinking of buying a boat, are in the process of buying a boat or if you own a boat! All guides are digital. Some hard copy versions are found in our Etsy shop and on Amazon. The guides will help you to save money, avoid making mistakes and ultimately allow you to get out sailing.

Check out our one-of-a-kind nautical t-shirts and other sailing gifts at our Etsy shop. We have great stuff for men, women and children. Grab a t-shirt, bathing suit cover-up, spices for sailors, nautical pillow covers and more!

Profits from the guides and t-shirts are allowing us to keep this website going but it’s not enough! If you enjoy what we offer, like this Sailing to Florida St Augustine article and video, please support us. Buy a guide/guides, a t-shirt, become a Patreon Patron or donate to the cause – click below 🙂

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