Stories of raw adventure as we travel the world in search of wind and waves.

Back to Tortuga

Tortuga KitesurfingWe had an interestingly painful week in port prepping for #9, the trip we are now on. I had two large shipments to navigate through customs and in some ways was unsuccessful with both. The first were 8 solar panels which had been shipped to Miami two months ago and then brought down to Margarita by boat. I’d done this to avoid the hefty import taxes Venezuela places on “luxury items”. The second was our paragliding tow winch, which was coming from Slovenia via Air France freight, to arrive in Caracas.

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Los Roques Dreams

Los Roques KitesurfingThis trip ranks as highly or better than any I’ve done in the past 8 years. With lighter winds than expected and hoped for it proves that the group dynamic is the most important thing on any expedition and these guys rank among the best. Of course, the mood was helped with 12 out of 14 days of kiting, most of them either at sunset or under the full moon with a strong sea breeze blowing late in the day.

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Way, way out there

Tortuga KitingMy return to Discovery was not exactly welcoming, nor even pleasant. A long flight from Seattle to Caracas, a sleepness night in a ratty hotel near the airport and then an early flight to Puerto La Cruz burdened with three massive bags and boxes stuffed with gear, parts and galley equipment only to be met with a frantic Nico. The water pump to the freezer had quit the night before and we were losing all our frozen goods. I dumped all the gear, hooked up the cooling water intake to the shore water and ran to the chandlery to purchase a new pump (and spare). The next 5 days would be of much the same. Replace the impellar for the generator after overheating, two of the 4 electric heads were down and needed replacement,…not a fun week in the blazing heat.

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Hiatus and New Plans

Venezuela entranceThe crew of The Best Odyssey has been on a short hiatus the last couple of weeks, but we’ve been far from docile. After the last trip ended in Grenada Jody, Nico and I sailed down to Trinidad to pick up a couple new sails, then headed east over the top of Venezuela to Puerto La Cruz to prepare her for our absence. A number of large projects will be completed before our next trip July 21st, including a tow winch for the dinghy for paragliding a few thousand feet over sea level, a large solar panel array to minimize generator run time, a new freezer to keep the beers cold…

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Winding down

Frigate Island, GrenadinesIn some ways we’re back where it all started. At least this is where it all started on trip number 1 back in February. I can’t believe 6 months have passed. 6 trips, 6 thousand miles (if you include the passage from Italy to Trinidad), 32 kite spots, 15 countries, plenty of memories and smiles. It hasn’t been without its disappointments and hardships of course, but that’s what an expedition is all about. We said goodbye today to Ethan, Rogier, Jason and Bruce and tomorrow we set sail right away again for Trinidad to pick up a couple sails, some frozen goods, then hightail it for Puerto La Cruz in Northern Venezuela to get a short break and get Discovery ready for the rest of the season.

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Wind and kiting

Union Island, GrenadinesThis trip by location is just about a dead repeat of trip number one. A 15 day Epic from St Lucia down to Prickly Bay, Grenada. From there we’ll sail a few hundred miles to Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela to take some much needed time off as well as complete a few major projects on Discovery, including a topside freezer, large solar array for some greener charging, which will double as a surfboard rack, possibly a new tender and outboard…it’s a long list.

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