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Picture: white sandy beach, clear blue ocean, palm trees swaying in wind, toes in the sand, bob Marley off in the distance, the coconut smell of sun screen in the air, you look out to the sea to the bay full of boats bobbing to the rhythmic waves...you see...what's that...yes...yes it is...it's a girl shaving her arm pits!!! YES!! Now she's going to town on her crotch...holy shhhh...That girl on that boat is for sure...ME!!

I LOVE this lifestyle but if you told my early 20's self with my manicured nails, and waxed eyebrows that I'd be shaving my legs in public, and bathing in the ocean I would've laughed all the way to the beauty shop to get my hair done. When you live on a boat, all is out for everyone to see, even strangers or your friends anchored next to you. There is no mystery in my marriage...nope. Luuck knows and sees everything I do -no privacy to tweeze eye brows or any other girly thing- he sees all and in that he has also seen me at my worse. Once Stormer threw my one and only hairbrush overboard while under way (sorry Mother Ocean) and I didn't brush my hair for almost a week!!! Not by choice of course- it was a remote area and believe it or not, it was slightly difficult to find a hairbrush once we got to civilization. I took the unpriced pocket sized hairbrush to the check out- the sales lady saw the joy, desperation and relief in my eyes and the rats nest on top of my head- chuckled and then proceeded to charge me 20usd. Luuck has also seen me with legs so hairy he mistake them for his own. He still finds me irresistible-that's love right there.

Living on a boat - space is small- Boat heads (bathrooms) even smaller....not to mention you will be the ones to clean out your sump pump or bilge....catching my hairy flow??!! It's hot and sweaty- you don't even want to get dressed most of the time. I never ever consider or thought about how living on a boat would affect my daily hygiene activity. Someone should've warned me! So ladies that are about to venture into this life, it's a great life but here's your warning! Living aboard changes you! Also make sure you have back ups of everything as well- I now have 4 hairbrushes and razors galore! To the ladies that already are living this life styles hope you find humor in this and know you are not alone walking around with armpits of that of a teenage boy from time to time. It happens to the best of us!

Here are some things i could not live without on the boat...

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Coconut oil- it's amazing I put it on the ends of my sun damaged, wind blown,salty hair to make it soft like a kitten again.

Rosewater & Glycerin- when hot and I have the lingering baby poop smell in my nose a little spritz spritz and refreshed!

40 Carrots & Victoria Secret moisturizer- basically it just is nice to smell good.

MAC bronzer & eye cream- these kids run us ragged and I have the bags to show it- this helps it!

Electric razor- I will always have a back up now- no more big foot legs for me!!

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It's that time of year- Fall! Not much of a season change down here in the Caribbean- still hot, and sun shinning. Stateside though the air is getting crisp, leaves changing, and everything is turning into pumpkin flavor. I miss fall and I miss pumpkin spice lattes! Finding pumpkin spice creamer in these parts- its not impossible but pretty dang hard so I made my own here's what I did....

14oz sweeten condensed milk
3 cups milk
3 tablespoons puréed pumpkin
1 teaspoon Cinnamon, nutmeg & ginger
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Shake it like a Polaroid picture and instant Fall!! Luuck and I will be enjoying the taste of the season this morning with the seabreeze in the air!

 

 

image  Our first boat Yolo we had a 40lb Danforth anchor holding us down. We never had any problems anchoring- drop anchor, let it sit, dig in, then back down- job done. Luuck usually dives our anchor for peace of mind as well. We never had a scary drag incident on Yolo. No trust issues in that anchor for that boat- never thought twice about it. Then came Kalani.... Kalani had a 65lb CQR- while we already heard stories of CQR's not being the best we thought 65lb is way too big for our boat - we won't be going anywhere! Boy, was I wrong.... 5 months pregnant and Luuck's time off work we decided to take Kalani cruising for the first time since we got her. Get off Grenada and enjoy this last mini adventure as a family of 3. We first sailed up to Sandy Island, Carricou, got there in the evening, dropped anchor- took us 2 times before it caught. Since it was getting late Luuck did not dive it. We back downed extra hard and longer than normal- we thought we were set. 3am I hear the wind pick up, the halyard started to bang against the mast, the rigging shaking...then the rain pounding down on the hatch above me. A nasty squall passing by. I was sleeping with Stormer- he was at the stage where he needed either Luuck or I to sleep with him. I lay there listening to Luuck open the companion way and check...nothing. I close my eyes to get awaken to "Darcy get up were dragging!" Nothing was said or asked I jumped up big belly and all grabbed, the spotlight and went out. Luuck was already at the helm, engine on moving forward. It was raining just as hard if not harder- a complete wall of rain and the wind howling. I saw a boat 10ft to port side bobbing away....oh...s**t! Still nothing was said between us- we knew we were in a crappy situation and we each knew what our job to do was. I stepped out of the cockpit and started getting pelted with rain- in next to nothing- I was freezing and swearing like a sailor. I went up to the bow and shined the light in the direction to where Luuck had to steer the boat to help get the anchor up. I occasionally shinned on the other boats around so Luuck could see better to what was around us. Finally the anchor came up....it was covered in weed!! Luuck turned off into deeper water away from any boats. The rain by this time was a sprinkle- we dodged the bullet. I took the helm while Luuck cleaned the weed off the anchor. My big baby belly was no good for that. And we anchored again. All hunky dory! That one incident not necessarily the anchors fault-WE dropped in weed and when the wind started howling it gave way. This anchor though was ruined-tainted- for me- it was a freaking scary situation- that stays with you. This anchore was even so more ruined by the fact when ever we anchored on that cruise it was at least 3 times before it held. We looked like idiots of the anchorages. Luuck dove the anchor every time and sometimes he found it not securely dug in but dug on its side- he manually would pick it up and dig it in himself and come back up and back downed. CQR's, in our opinion, don't hold jack....maybe if we anchored in quick sand or tar I'd have a easy night sleep with it. You put trust in your anchor...your life really...and when that anchor doesn't perform the way it should it's time to break up. We got a old (new to us anchor) off friends- A 44lb Delta to hold our 12ton girl, Kalani, and we can already tell it's a much better anchor- not shiney but does the job! It was a good investment- We will all be sleeping better this time cruising up! image

Cruising pregnant...
Cruising pregnant...

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We fueled up and filled up with water. Last minute odds and ends done and our last "big" shop finished. We are ready to roll outta here!!! Has not quite hit me that we won't be coming back or at least coming back for a very long while. Bitter sweet it is!

We left St George and sailed North to Isle De Ronde. A small inhabited island between Grenada and Carriacou. It was a 5 hour sail- 21 miles into the wind. It could not have been any better though because the seas were calm, clear sky, and the kids behaving like angels!!! Sails like that I could do forever!! We tried to fish- no bites- just weed. But stormer liked the appeal of fishing and kept his eyes banana peeled for where fish could be lurking. We sailed right over the top of Kick'em Jenny- the active under water volcano. Stormer was disappointed when it didn't erupt- he wanted to see "hot hot lava".

We pulled up about 5pm to our new spot for the next couple days-Corn Store Bay. We had been here before with our BFF buddy boat, Asante, from windtraveler, where we interrupted a nude swingers party of the sorts. Low and behold- the only 2 boats in the bay- NAKED. Not intermingling like before but very much nude. Ronde island must have some pull to pull your clothes off. We anchored took in the beautiful view of the bay and sunset. And decided to join in on the fun! If you can't beat'em join'em...right?! So while here we enjoyed daily naked activity...even Rio. We loved the island and the nakedness it brought- we might become nudist in the future. I think Luuck especially so- dingy up- naked- fixing the sail- naked- pulling the paddle board up- naked.

The water is beautiful, clear and full of life- Luuck and Stormer went snorkeling. Stormer saw his first sea snake, which he was amazed by the zig zagging through the water. Eagle Rays, squid, baby black tip reef sharks, numerous sea birds, and an abundance of fish were about. We spent the day on the beach, floating in the sea, and paddle boarding. We explored the beach a bit as it was a fisherman's post, old nets and boats are still around. We even found an green sea turtle shell. Yes, they hunt for turtles in these parts.

At night the sky is amazing! There is no light pollution so millions and millions of stars could be seen lighting up the sky. Stormer is into space at the moment and loved pretending he was an astronaut in space on the bow of the boat. Then looking down into the water, you see the squid lighting up- beautiful! Rhonde Island is a magical naked place. Stay tuned for the video- sorry to disappoint but we WILL be clothed.

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We are heading North folks!

While yes, it is still hurricane season (hurricane season is from June-November) we are leaving the "safe zone"of Grenada to slowly make our way North. We love cruising this time of year, as anchorages are thinned out- naked showering off the back- yippee!!! Heading North is BIG for us- we spent the last year and a half here in Grenada, as our home base and haven't been North of Bequia in that time. We sold our boat, bought a new boat, had a baby, and Luuck was working as captain on the 101ft schooner, Diamant, for Island Windjammers. So Grenada was the place! Busy year and a half -I know!!!

We plan to hang out in The Grenadines and watch the weather closely- if something is stirring we have enough time to high tail it back down. This is also BIG for us as we aren't planning at all to come back down to Grenada- it's bitter sweet like all things that come to a end. Luuck has a new job in the BVI's where he will be home EVERYDAY!! His pervious job was 3 months on- 1 day a week home in port. 2 months off. It left me and Stormer to take care of the boat and entertain each other. Now with a little baby boo on a boat that job just isn't feasible anymore. Me alone with 2 kids on a boat- I'm sure the boat...would...ehhh...sink...accidentally!

This move is also BIG for us as we are sailing up with our newest crew member, Rio, our 5 month old son. We need to learn and get into the swing of things with him on board. We have a car seat we rigged to be in the cockpit secured down while under way. We think he is still to small for a pfd or harness. So the car seat and baby wearing we'll do. Sailing with Stormer- it's one or the other- a harness or pfd, which ever he prefers-he knows the drill. So this is all exciting times for us- BIG things are happening all around and hope you come along for the ride. We'll be writing along with making videos of our excursions!!!

imageAfter our backpacking extravaganza we decided to start our life in St Maarten. Luuck lived there for a number of years beforehand and already had a job lined up. After a year or so of traveling we were beyond broke and needed to make some moola. No better place to do this than on a beautiful Caribbean island - no need to twist my arm!! We worked hard and played hard- payed our debit off from travels and saved some money in the meantime as well!

We were ready for our next adventure- backpacking through South America- then something happened- totally life changing- we were with child!! This threw a monkey wench in our plans. St Maarten we continued to live and work saving money. We had Stormer on the French side via c section in October 22, 2011. Parenthood still to this day is the greatest adventure of all- I love being a mommy and seeing my now 2 boys learn and grow. More on mommyness later....

Shortly after Stormer we had island fever bad and the need for change was knocking. We went to visit friends on a boat they were watching. We spent 25 minutes to say a quick hello on the boat and walking up the dock back to the car I said, "I think we should buy a boat". Luuck had a quick response, "ok"! And that is what we did! I kid you not- from the time we decided that on the dock that day it took a month....A MONTH- to be under contract to buy our first boat- a freedom 32. Yolo was the first boat we saw!! She was priced right (under 40k) and in good condition. It was fate. Irresponsible....maybe...Crazy....yes....lucky....very!! I had zero sailing experience. The only boat with sails I was ever on was a party cat for a day where I got hammered (before baby). Luuck had some experience but not as much as one would think- we both had a lot of learning.

Our families always expected crazy from us but this move they thought we were insane. It was shock if not a joke. It wasn't easy at first but now our families support and some even love the life style we chose. Our thought process was we'd do this for a year. We were paying 1500usd in rent plus utilities for a one bedroom apartment in St Maarten. We wouldn't "lose"anything in that year if we decided not to like it. It's like paying rent. Naive...silly us....Yolo was on the hard for 3 years and while still in "good condition" needed some TLC. We had to put some money into her...new batteries, hot water tank, solar panel to name a few. We quickly learned it takes you about 2x 's longer to get anything done on a boat and it is twice as much work. Right away we loved living on the boat -even stormer. It was his very own little pirate ship. It wasn't all hunky dory tho- we mother f'ed Yolo a few times- questioned a number of times as to why are we doing this- got stuck in squalls in the short day sails we did around st Maarten to learn. We finally got all systems up and running and got the confidence to start island hopping on Yolo, which was 8 months from the time we bought her. We stuck it out and the payoff was and is amazing. Here we are today still island hopping with a bigger boat and extra crew member...