The Gift of guests: sailing for the first time (again)

the gift of guests sailing for the first time sailing blog

I am sitting in the cockpit of Cheeky Monkey, enjoying an evening glass of wine with a view of several thousand gleaming boats in the Real Club Nautico Marina in Palma de Mallorca, when I get a message from my friend John saying, “I’m ready!” just as this picture comes through my phone: I start laughing and immediately reply that…

7 lessons learned catching our first fish

7 lesson learned catching our first fish mediterranean turf to surf

“Fish on!” I hear John scream, slowly nudging me out of a deep sleep below deck. I pull on some clothes and rush up on deck to find Ryan running around the cockpit, desperately searching for something. “We don’t have a gaff! Wait, I have a trident!” He pulls a long-handled deck brush out of the lazarette. “No, that’s not…

Making it Work in Menorca

making it work in menorca turf to surf sailing around the world

As I pulled on a layer of thermal underwear and dug out my buried collection of wool socks, I realized that Ryan and I had out-stayed the warmth of yet another region. Being October in Menorca and already too cold for flip-flops, it was time to leave the Mediterranean and the Balearic Islands and start making our way towards the…

Dodging a waterspout in Almerimar

cheeky monkey almerimar spain turf to surf

When Ryan wakes me up at 6 am for my watch, he looks tired and defeated. “I’ve been motoring at full speed for the last four hours and we’ve made barely any headway,” he says. “And now we’re almost out of fuel.” He shows me on the charts where we are. We’d passed Malaga a few hours earlier and the…

As the sun rises over Gibraltar

the sun rises over gibraltar turf to surf sailing

As the morning light starts to crack open the cloud-covered sky over the Strait of Gibraltar, I make Ryan a strong cappuccino and give him his 15-minute warning to start his watch. We dropped our mainsail during the night, expecting to hit strong gusts and messy waves near Tarifa with sea states predicted to get worse as the ocean funneled…

The 80 Percent Rule

diy cheeky monkey boat decal

Having spent the last seven years on an older (1986) sailboat, which has required us to replace pretty much every moving part on board (some of them twice), I’ve been feeling pretty darned smug about our new boat, s/v Cheeky Monkey. I mean, she is three weeks old. Three weeks! I have underwear older than this boat. Wait, what am…

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