Ep. 23 Sailing Across the Atlantic - Off the Beaten Path [8 Lessons Learned]

Ep. 23 Sailing Across the Atlantic - Off the Beaten Path [8 Lessons Learned]

Join us on a 1,690 nautical mile journey across the Atlantic Ocean from Mindelo, Sao Vicente, Cape Verde, Africa to Cabedelo, Brazil, South America. Our original plan was to take the easy Milk Run route, crossing the Atlantic with the tradewinds and heading due west to the Caribbean. But that’s not what we did. We left the popular tradewind route and went off the beaten path. This gave us extra challenges of sailing in the doldrums, facing brutal heat, and daily thunderstorms. No sailing passage is perfect. We did a lot of things right, but we also learned some valuable lessons along the way. There are a lot of things we did right and some valuable lessons learned along the way about strategic passage planning, self sufficiency, fighting boredom, proper provisioning, beating the heat, trusting your gut, preparing for storms and squalls and how to get a handle on three weeks of trash onboard.

Read More

Ep. 22 - Preparing to Cross an Ocean

Release Date: February 9, 2019

Preparing to cross an ocean is a lot of work. We spent a month in Cape Verde catching up on work for our clients, provisioning, and doing major boat repairs in preparation to sail across the Atlantic to Brazil. With engine trouble at sea during the last passage, repairing the engine was our first priority when we made landfall in Cape Verde. But other boat maintenance was also important and urgent.

Ep. 21 - Engine Trouble at Sea - Relying on the Free Power of the Wind

Release Date: February 2, 2019

What do you do when the engine breaks down with no land in sight and 600 nautical miles to go? Find out how we discovered a crack in the casing of our heat exchanger and then couldn’t use the engine for eight days. On this 1,058 nautical mile passage from the Canaries to Cape Verde, we manually steered during the day and then used a portable generator to charge the batteries so we could run the auto pilot at night. Fortunately, we were traveling in a sailboat and not a motor boat, so we could rely on solar and wind power, and of course, the free power of the wind.

Ep. 20 - Life on the Open Ocean - Sailing Morocco to Canary Islands

January 13, 2019

During our 520 nautical mile passage from Morocco to Arrecife, Lanzarote, Spain, one of the Canary Islands, we had remarkable encounters with dolphins and a curious sei whale who played with us for more than 40 minutes! We had mostly smooth sailing and settled in to daily life while underway—great preparation for our Atlantic Crossing in a few weeks!

Ep. 18 - Why Would Anyone Sail to Morocco? Part ONE

December 8, 2018

SAILING TO MOROCCO FROM LISBON, PORTUGAL In this episode, we sail from Lisbon, Portugal to Rabat, Morocco. Michelle takes a short trip to Alabama to surprise her family for Thanksgiving and we get Seefalke ready to head to the Canary Islands for our Atlantic Crossing. But first, we have to ask the question…why would anyone want to sail to Morocco? We have met many sailors who are bypassing this destination on their way to the Canaries, and we can't understand why? We battled fog and seasickness during our passage. After 369 nautical miles and about 75 hours, we had made it into Morocco and now it was time for us to learn why so many sailors skip this stop on their way from Portugal to the Canary Islands. Our first impressions were positive. We ventured into Rabat, took a day trip to Casablanca where we got to visit Rick’s Café, and we also took spent a day in Tangier. But would we recommend a trip along this route less traveled by sailors? We will explore Morocco in much more depth in the next episode to find out!

Ep. 17 - Sailing Spain to Portugal

November 15, 2018

In this episode, we survive a scare from Hurricane Leslie, and then sail our way to Lisbon, Portugal. After arriving in Vigo, the very next day Maik took off for a week of work in Germany, while Cap’n Jack and Scout and Michelle stayed in Vigo. We explored the city a little, did some boat chores, and we both tackled a lot of work for our clients. Toward the end of the week, the sunny skies turned black, the wind picked up, and Maik raced back a few days early to prepare Seefalke for a visit from Hurricane Leslie. Thankfully, Leslie missed us and a couple days later we headed toward Porto. This was calculated to be about a 20-hour voyage. We wanted to arrive during high water the next morning. It was a beautiful, sunny, warm afternoon, so on our way, we decided to take a little detour and check out Playa de Rodas, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. After our short detour, a school of common dolphins greeted us as we headed toward Porto. They stayed with us through the night and we were treated to the amazing bioluminescence created by the algae and plankton in the Atlantic. After sailing to Lisbon, we took two weeks to catch up on our real jobs with work in the US and Germany.

Ep. 16 - The Reality of Working While Sailing - Sailing the Spanish Atlantic Coast

October 21, 2018

Working while sailing is not easy at times, but it gives us the opportunity to live our dream of sailing around the world while also continuing with the reality of the necessity of work. Fortunately, we both have jobs that allow us to work remotely. Come along with us as we take a break from our high-adventure, blue-water voyages to simply sail along the gorgeous Spanish Atlantic Coastline. We do some anchor hopping and let Cap’n Jack and Scout play on the beaches while we catch up on a little work. Check out our cool DRONE footage!

Ep. 15 - Sailing the Bay of Biscay on a Good Day

October 7, 2018

Sailing the Bay of Biscay was a sailing adventure that created challenges and struggles along with excitement and reward. It was difficult, to say the least. Even with favorable conditions, we sailed across the infamous Bay of Biscay during the worst possible time of year. But even on a good day, The Bay of Biscay is ruthless. At times, it was a glorious passage filled with playful dolphins, a whale sighting, a full moon lighting our way each night, and bright sunny weather. At other times, the constant pounding of the 3 to 4 meter waves rocked our bodies and our minds. We battled seasickness, exhaustion, and dehydration, but we made it 362 nautical miles in 80 hours to A Caruña, Spain. This was the one passage Michelle feared the most. We now know first hand why The Bay of Biscay has such a feared reputation. Read Michelle’s logbook entry for the real nitty gritty about this adventure! Follow this link for Maik’s actual captain’s logbook entries.

Ep. 14 - Sailing The English Channel - A Strategic Chess Match

September 28, 2018

Sometimes sailing is like chess. You must know your opponent, predict his moves, and develop a strategy. In the opening we put our Queen, Seefalke, on the board during high water to create an advantageous position for the mid game. Despite some unpredicted moves from our opponents, we were able to materialize our advantage and make it to the end on a four-day nonstop passage through The English Channel.But we did take a short break from the strategy game to play with the DOLPHINS... Read Michelle’s logbook entries - Part One and Part Two - for more details and insights about this adventure! Follow this link for Maik’s actual captain’s logbook entries.

Ep. 12 - Sailing Kiel Canal to the Island of Helgoland

September 11, 2018

In this episode, we pass through the Kiel Canal and into the mighty Elbe River. And then we face The North Sea for the first time on our way to the remote and beautiful island of Helgoland. We also spend some time with a few salty sailors who know a lot about Sailing Seefalke! Read Michelle’s logbook - Part One and Part Two - for more details about this adventure!

For actual Maik’s actual captain’s logbook entries, please follow this link.

Ep. 10 - Wind Power, Provisioning & The Potty Experiment

August 23, 2018

More than two weeks behind schedule, we work hard to finally set sail on our cross-Atlantic journey. This video is all about the final week, the final details, and the final countdown. We cover wind power, provisioning, and the potty experiment. You'll also find a sneak peak at some footage of our first couple days at sea!

Ep. 09 - Sailing with Dogs - First Aid at Sea

August 13, 2018

Since we have decided to take the four-legged members of our family with us on our cross–Atlantic sailing journey from Stralsund, Germany to Gulf Shores, AL, we have taken every precaution to keep them safe and happy. We have an amazing veterinarian back in Gulf Shores, Dr. Nietjse Langston of Magnolia By the Gulf Animal Clinic. Not only is she an excellent doctor of veterinarian medicine, but she’s also a SAILOR! This means she knows exactly what being on the open water in a sailboat is like for people and for pups. She put together a thorough first aid kit for Cap’n Jack and Scout and was gracious enough to let us film this video of her explaining every detail for keeping our canine crew safe at sea! In this video, Dr. Langston discusses the different medications that would be great to have for pets on a boat. She also gives specific examples of when to use each one. We truly believe this video would be helpful for all dog owners -- even if you are not traveling on a sailboat.

Ep. 06 - Sage Advice from a Salty Sailor

August 3, 2018

Bob McDonald is an expert sailor with deep experience. He is our neighbor on Plash Island and a legend on the waters of the Gulf Coast. We call him Sailboat Bob. He was a wastewater system pipe operator in Chicago before he retired to Gulf Shores 15 years ago. We invited him to join us on our cross-Atlantic journey, but he has a different destiny in mind. This year, at the young age of just 79, he will embark on his lifelong dream of setting sail for good. Take an afternoon sail with us down the Intracoastal Waterway to learn some sound advice from a salty sailing legend.

Ep. 05 - Cross-Atlantic Sailing Route

July 28, 2018

This video shows our route and some principle thoughts to it. Of course it is subject to change, especially since it seems we are running late getting the boat ready. Even though it has been one of the hottest summers we have ever had here in Germany, the days are getting shorter and if we are not out of here by mid-August, we may not be able to make it past the winter in this season - with the Bay of Biscay being the bottleneck. Our British friends take the dog stuff bloodily seriously so we may need to skip the UK in favor of France.