We Left on a Trans-Atlantic & No Working Watermaker (MJ Sailing – EP 77)

The time has come, we’re leaving the Caribbean to sail across the Atlantic towards Europe!

Matt takes a minute to explain the situation with our watermaker, why it isn’t working, and why we decide to leave anyway. Making a 12 mile sail from Simpson Bay on the south side of St. Martin, to Marigot Bay on the north side, we fill up our water tanks and get on our way.

The first two days at sea are just spent getting into the swing of things, but by day 4 we find ourselves in the middle of the Bermuda/Azores high and have lost all our wind. It is a beautiful thing to be hundreds of miles from any land and have the water be glass calm around you.

We take advantage of the calm by putting down our swim platform to take bucket baths off the back of the boat. With only 60 gallons of water to get us through 30 days of showers and dishes, we need to conserve it everywhere we can.

Much love from the Atlantic Ocean!
Jessica, Matt & Georgie

Provisioning For 30 Days At Sea (MJ Sailing – EP 76)

It’s the week before we head out on our Atlantic Ocean crossing toward the Azores, and there are still a lot of preparations to do!

Going halvsies on a rental car with our friends Bill and Grace of s/v Calico Skies, we hit up the biggest grocery stores St. Marten has to offer, both on the French side of the island. We load our carts with non perishables from Super U in the morning, and then make a run to Carefour at night to see if there is anything we missed.

While we have a set of wheels at our disposal, Matt and I take a scenic drive around the island to explore a few beaches and foothills we hadn’t been to before. We stop at the beautiful Orient Bay on the east side of the island to admire its beautiful waters while enjoying a cold beer. While there we see the remains of the Club Orient Resort, a complex of bungalows completely destroyed by Hurricane Irma.

Our last few days on the island are finishing up our remaining boat projects and chores. After Jessica takes a tip to give the bottom one more cleaning, we try to clear out the mess of our aft quarter berth so the off watch person can sleep there during our crossing.

Much love from St. Martin!
Jessica, Matt & Georgie

Our $35 Cockpit Enclosure (MJ Sailing – EP 75)

With our Atlantic crossing looming, we work hard to get our cockpit enclosed, and finish job with $35 worth of vinyl.

Before we get that far though, we take what we hope is the last of our very wet rides, from Saba up to St. Martin. Leaving Elements under the careful watch of friends, we fly home for 10 days, and then attack projects with a fury.

The main thing was to enclose our cockpit so we could comfortably sit out there without the worry of being soaked in salt water. We knew there wasn’t enough time to do the proper finalized version with our Sunbrella canvas and strataglass vinyl, so we did a temporary fix.

With a sheet of 20mm uv protected vinyl that we had ordered off Amazon for only $32, we sewed it to the bolt rope running through our tracks, with the main goal to keep it as taught as possible so ripples would not disturb our vision. And….it actually came out better than we hoped for!

Much love from St. Martin!
Jessica, Matt & Georgie

Part II of Our Dodger Canvas Build (MJ Sailing – EP 73)

It’s time to get back to work on our dodger, now we’re laying the tracks on the cabin house and cockpit combing for the bolt rope to slide into.

First though, we take a little time to appreciate Antigua after our busy schedule and go for a hike on the Goat Trail next to English Harbour. Passing through the old fort, it is full of history, spectacular views, and you guessed it…goats.

When we do get back to work it’s time to lay the tracks on our cabin top and adhere it directly to the deck. Finding the the proper line for the track to follow is half the task though. Once we do get it figure out, as well as the curve we want the track to take on the cabin top, it’s time to secure it down with West System G-Flex. Bending the track to the proper curve, we weight it down overnight and in the morning are confident enough in the adhesion to continue the project.

Otherwise, we just spend our time hanging out and enjoying our last few days in Antigua. One night while having a friend over for a beer we go on a runaway dinghy chase and end up having sundowners on the beach. Our last night in Antigua is spent with s/v Calico Skies and s/v Jabberwocky, trying to find some good and cheap eats at a local joint, after a crazy cab ride with our driver Bling.

Much love from Antigua!
Jessica, Matt & Georgie

It’s Always a Beat to Windward – Antigua Sail Week Part II (MJ Sailing – EP 72)

No matter which course you’re sailing on the south end of Antigua, there is always going to be a beat upwind.

(This is a new version we have uploaded since some were having problems with the format on the video that came out this morning).

We pick up on Day 4 of race week, Lay Day. No sail planned, but instead lots of games and competitions at the beach. We arrive later in the afternoon, but are still able to catch tug-of-war; beer drinking; and the bikini competition.

The following day, on race day 4, we are amped and ready to sail, but the winds have lightened more than we were hoping. Running out to the east end of Antigua we miss a few squalls and pass a catamaran in the group ahead of us that demasted. Luckily everyone aboard was unharmed, but our spirits for the day sunk a little as we crossed the line in 5th place.

Race day 5 started with a delay, but that just gave us a chance to hang out at the harbour entrance and watch the parade of race boats come out. Our finish for Antigua Sail Week was a long beat upwind, and we came over the line in 5th place once again, putting us in 4th place overall for race week in the Club Class.

The next day we get back to boat work with Jessica jumping in to do a bottom cleaning. It is her first time using a hookah system, and she enjoyed it so much that bottom cleaning may be her new job.

Much love from Antigua!
Jessica, Matt & Georgie

This is What You Came For : Antigua Sail Week Part I (MJ Sailing – EP 71)

This week’s episode has it all: sailing, racing, parties, friends, and of course, beautiful surroundings!

Still nestled in Falmouth Harbour of Antigua, we pick up just after our snorkeling excursion when we stop by to say hello to our friends and crew for Antigua Sail Week, Liz and Jamel. We get talked into a crew dinner of fish tacos aboard their boat that night, but not before exploring Nelson’s Dockyard.

The festivities for Race Week kick off with the Neon Party at Nelson’s Dockyard, where everyone is invited to wear neon clothing under the black lights, and enjoy free drinks with English Harbour Rum.

When the races kick off two mornings later, Team Lister Marine is ready to go, with the addition of a local youth sailor, bringing our crew up to 5 people. We have a great race day, and learn where we need work. The next morning we go back to a crew of 4 and really get in our groove. On race day 3 we smash the competition in our Club Class and come in 2nd place….with only 10 seconds keeping us from first!

Of course we celebrate this success heavily, and luckily our friend Hugo (The Sailing Frenchman) is around to handle the camera for us as we go on stage and accept our prize. Stay tuned for next week’s episode and our finish to race week!

With love from Antigua!

Thank you SO MUCH to our Patrons. These amazing supporters help keep us on the boat, our camera equipment up to date, and the videos coming. Without our patrons, these videos would not be possible.

Thank you!,
Matt & Jessica

I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends (MJ Sailing – EP 70)

After taking a little time to ourselves after recovering from the tragic news of Jessica’s brother’s passing, we’re now in Antigua and have a few days before the excitement of Antigua Sail Week begins.

Realizing that our cupboards are getting empty since our last big provisioning trip was in Florida, we take the bus to the capital of St. John to hit a big and modern grocery store. Along the way we explore the town a bit, find their HUGE fresh market, and take in a lunch of shwarma and local beer.

A few days later, friends begin to arrive and we start to take full advantage of the company. Going out with our long time friends Bill and Grace of s/v Calico Skies, we find a snorkel spot at the entrance to Falmouth Harbour, and Grace even catches a stingray on film!

With love from Antigua!

Thank you SO MUCH to our Patrons. These amazing supporters help keep us on the boat, our camera equipment up to date, and the videos coming. Without our patrons, these videos would not be possible.

Thank you!,
Matt & Jessica

The WORST Kind of News (MJ Sailing – EP 69)

Plans have changed and we decide to stay in St. Barth’s!

To get out of the extremely rolly and uncomfortable main harbor, we drop our mooring ball and take the 2 mile trip around the corner to Anse de Colombier. Here we figure we can begin to tackle a few of the boat projects which need to be done before our Atlantic crossing.

Matt discussing our 3-D sheeting set-up for the mainsail, and I talk a little bit about route options and why we’ve decided to stay put. On our list of chores is removing the traveler from our boat, but before it can be *all* the way completed, our grinder burns out.

Making a few trips in the dinghy all the way back to town, we find that we can not get a replacement grinder in St. Barth’s…..and also learn of some tragic news back home.

With love from St. Barth’s!

Thank you SO MUCH to our Patrons. These amazing supporters help keep us on the boat, our camera equipment up to date, and the videos coming. Without our patrons, these videos would not be possible.

Thank you!,
Matt & Jessica

Exploring the NUDE BEACH of St. Barth’s! (MJ Sailing – EP 68)

It turns out you don’t need a lot of money to be able to enjoy St. Barth’s. You just need a scooter to take full advantage of all its beaches.

Having spent much of our time centered in Gustavia, we wanted to see what else the tropical paradise of St. Barthelemy had to offer. And prior to this, when we asked other travelers what there was to see and do on the island, their answer was always ‘So and so beach’…and of course the airport.

Heading out in the morning we had a list of beaches to tackle, although really the main goal was just to drive and stop when something looked good. And it turns out…a lot of the beaches looked pretty good!

First was Anse de Colombier, which was a great hike leading to a beach and anchorage that left us drooling…and then back on the bike to Anse de Lorient which was fairly empty and had a laid back vibe.

Anse Marechal was the next stop for us…a popular beach with the kiteboarders. From the air, it was a spectacular view. Our fourth beach for the day we knew we needed to make a visit to. Anse de Grande Saline, or the nude beach. In French islands, all the beaches are topless, but usually they have one or two nude beaches also. And well….we kind of wanted the chance to go skinny dipping without getting a fine. The water here was amazing and we could have stayed all day.

There was a late lunch at JoJo’s Burger Shack before watching the planes come in to land at the airport…the 3rd most dangerous in the world. And then and visit to our last beach of the day…Govuneuers Harbour.

Saint Barthelemy, you have really stolen our hearts.

Cheers from St. Barth’s!

Thank you SO MUCH to our Patrons. These amazing supporters help keep us on the boat, our camera equipment up to date, and the videos coming. Without our patrons, these videos would not be possible.

Thank you!,
Matt & Jessica

I GOT ON STAGE WITH JIMMY BUFFETT!! (MJ Sailing – EP 67)

Now that all of our chores in St. Martin are done, it’s time to head back to St. Barth’s and have A LOT of fun.

Arriving a few days after their annual regatta begins, the Voiles de St. Barth, we actually find ourselves sailing into Gustavia mid-race! And not knowing what the course is, we find ourselves right in the middle of the action!

Even if the ride to get there was a little bumpy and at some times hair raising because of all the boats finishing the course next to us, we were completely rewarded later that night at the festivities. A surprise concert by Jimmy Buffet! And, while trying to sneak toward the stage with my camera, I actually get pulled up there for the best seat in the house!

The remainder of the race week held a few more activities for us, like getting the chance to wander parts of the island and shoot a few photos for one of the companies we’re an ambassador for, Code Zero Sportswear. Not only do we get to sport some of their stylish gear for the event, but while going out to meet the founder, we even chill at the very posh Nikki Beach for a few cocktails.

Race weeks ends with some great live music, brilliant fireworks over the harbour, and a toast of Prosecco with old friends and new. Absolutely one of our best weeks in the Caribbean.

Cheers from St. Barth’s!

Thank you SO MUCH to our Patrons. These amazing supporters help keep us on the boat, our camera equipment up to date, and the videos coming. Without our patrons, these videos would not be possible.

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Thank you!,
Matt & Jessica