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4 Months, 5800+ Miles, 2 Remote Islands, 2 Beers, Some Tattoos, and Lots of Memories
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4 Months, 5800+ Miles, 2 Remote Islands, 2 Beers, Some Tattoos, and Lots of Memories

We did it. Wild Rumpus and her crew sailed from Cape Town to Grenada with stops in St Helena and Fernando de Noronha. We survived without physical injury, some bruises to our ego, some broken boat parts, one stabbed dinghy, and an excess of Ostrich sausage that nobody could bring themselves to eat, and we all remained friends (or the crew was about to mutiny and we landed just in time for my safety). This is the super brief recap.

I’ve been home for about 28 hours and thought I’d start sharing some pictures and give some insight into our journey, which was planned for years and took months to complete. I am hopeful the writing process will help me organize the trip, which is now just a giant mishmash of memories in no particular order.

With the benefit of hindsight, I’ll do my best to give an honest recap of the entire trip and my thoughts on what I would do differently next time. For now, suffice it to say that we made it, and the trip was great.

Leg 1- Cape Town to St Helena

We departed in the late afternoon on July 14. The weather prediction was for cloudy weather with 14-16 foot seas. The crew for this leg included Stacey, Eric, Dinna, Bernard, Jay, and Nik (Nik is an Xquisite employee they sent along since our shakedown was an ocean crossing.)

Our evening departure from Cape Town.
A lovely view from the helm.

No matter how big the sea, a picture or video always makes it appear calm.

Ho hum- just some more ocean sailing.
Dinna and Nik hauling in a fish. Dinna was the scourge of the seas- hauling in three great fish out. Given she only had four opportunities to fish- her record is impressive.
After arriving at St Helena, a small ferry picked us up at the boat and brought us to the island. The only way on the island is to wait for the swell to raise the ferry near the ropes, grab one, and jump!

Leg 2- St. Helena to Fernando de Noronha

We said goodbye to Nik on St. Helena and departed for Fernando de Noronha. Overall, this was a calm sail with good winds and relatively moderate seas.

St Helena can be seen in the distance behind us.

99% of standing watch is just like this.
Off-watch crew setting up for a movie.
Sunrise and sunset on the ocean can be pretty spectacular.
We arrived at Fernando de Noronha and anchored in one of the only anchorages in the area. I’ve never seen more turtles or dolphins in one place. They are strictly protected with constant enforcement by the local police. As a result, the turtles and dolphins go about their days and don’t bother to avoid humans at all. In fact, the law is that humans must avoid turtles and dolphins to the point of getting out of the water if necessary. That is Wild Rumpus in the distance.

Our visit to Fernando was lovely. We left Jay there to make his way back to the U.S. via Recife, Brazil. We were also lucky enough to re-meet Matt and Amy of Sailing Florence. We met them briefly at St. Helena and they ended up anchoring next to us for a few days.

Leg 3- Fernando de Noronha to Grenada

For the final leg we were down to Stacey, Eric, Dinna, Bernard, and me.

Fernando de Noronha behind us.
Dinna made fantastic cinnamon rolls (recipe courtesy of Lisa Alspach) while underway.

Although pictures and videos don’t accurately depict the sea state, this one taken from the cockpit near the stern gives some perspective. Watch the front windshield. When you don’t see water, we are climbing up a wave; when you do, we are racing down the other side.

We crossed the equator and had a little ceremony to celebrate.
On a super calm day we ignored our PFDs and took a group shot on the bow. (Bernard was on watch and thus required to wear his PFD.)
More carnage, this time by Dinna and Eric working as a team.
Approaching Grenada

Current Status

I am back in California, slowly acclimating to land life and focusing more on work. Stacey and Eric now live on the boat and are hard at work fixing what we broke. Dinna and Bernard are off for more adventures.

More writings to follow along with new adventures.

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