Engraving Through JORD + A Giveaway

JORD Frankie 35 wood watch

For many people, this time of year means giving gifts to those we care about, and with that can come the emphasis of finding just the right gift that speaks volumes by being extremely tailored to the receiver.  It’s not like anyone is going to go gaga over a bag of socks (unless that person is me and those socks are the warm and fuzzy kind), and even the popular gifts of lotions or body sprays can only take you so far. So this year, take the guess work out of your gift giving by giving the gift of style and personality all wrapped in one timeless package.  Pun not intended, but who couldn’t use a gorgeous watch?

We’ve been partnered with JORD wooden watches for over a year now, and every time we’ve received a watch from them we ohhh and ahhh at their clean yet trendy style.  We can’t wear them out without getting some kind of compliment, and on more than one occasion I’ve had someone interrupt me mid-sentence so they can comment on my unique timepiece. So not only are these watches already knockouts, but now JORD has made them even better by offering the service of personalized wood and watch engraving.

For the following watch series: Fieldcrest, Reece, Frankie35, Frankie, and Conway; a 15 character message can be engraved. The cost of the wood engraving is $35 and you have the choice of block or script engraving. If you don’t want to have the back of the watch engraved, JORD will also custom engrave their wooden gift box for the cost of $45.  Although engraving does add the perfect personalized touch for your gift recipient, just remember that engraving will add 7 days to your delivery date, so plan accordingly!

For the holidays I received the Frankie 35 series, in dark sandalwood with a slate face and rose gold for the display.  It is absolutely stunning.  One of my favorite pieces from them, and I can not wait to get as much use from it as I do my tried and true Cora series in turquoise and zebrawood.  The message I had engraved on the back of my watch was Love always wins. Through the animosity that has been clouding our country, Facebook pages and even general conversation for the past few months, even amongst some family and friends, I have to remind myself that Love.Always.Wins. There is always hope and there is always good, and this is what we need to focus on.  Any time I begin to stray from remembering this, my beautiful watch will always be there to guide me back.

Before you’re even left questioning what to get your parent, sibling, BFF, or of course your significant other for the holidays, look no further.  JORD has you covered.

Now….here’s where it gets even better for you.  Not only does JORD want to take care of you for the holidays, but we do too.  If you click on this link here (https://www.woodwatches.com/gi/6219) and enter your email address, JORD will instantly email you a $25 e-card toward your next purchase.

This is the part where we’re going to take care of you too.  For one lucky person, you’ll be walking away with their Ely series in maple; and for five runners up you’ll receive a $50 gift card off your next purchase.  All you need to do is leave a comment of your favorite holiday gift you’ve received in the past.

Jord ely

In order to have the watch sent out before the holidays, the drawing will be held on Friday December 16 at 9:00 am.  Make sure to leave your email address while filling out the comments and we’ll get in contact with your right away to possibly have it shipped out that afternoon.

Happy Holidays everyone!

JORD Frankie 35 wood watch

JORD Frankie 35 wood watch

JORD wood watch engraving

JORD Frankie 35 dark sandalwood

JORD Frankie 35 dark sandalwood

JORD wooden watch

*Thank you to JORD for sponsoring this post.  Although I did receive their watch as compensation, as always, all opinions are my own.

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Chic Clothing for the Travel Savy Gal with Vacay Style

For any traveling girl, whether by boat or by plane, packing clothing can always be a big issue with ‘How I want to appear’ and ‘What can fit in my bag/cabin.’. Have you seen that meme recently going around Facebook of ‘I’m going on vacation for 7 days; I packed 32 outfits just to be safe.’. A lot of us ladies have that issue.  We love options, even if we don’t have the space to carry all the items we need for our three supposed outfit changes every day. But I’ve got a secret coming up for you that will change the way you travel forever, by giving you endless alluring, beachy outfits that can all fit within one carry on bag.

Last year I had spied a clothing collection, created by a cruiser, which really made my head turn.  Multiple collections consisting of 5 pieces, which when added with two essentials, would give you the opportunity for 12 to 15 outfits. I bookmarked the page and thought to myself ‘You need to get in contact with them before you set sail again. This is a revelation for fashion and travel’. Imagine my surprise when, before I could even get a message to them of ‘I love your collections online’, they were the ones to reach out to me to see if I’d be game for giving one of their collections a try in my sailing lifestyle. Of course it was an resounding Y-E-S.

San Francisco company, Vacay Style makes it incredibly easy to wear stylish, resort inspired pieces while giving you plenty of options of multiple outfits to wear, all while taking up minimal room in your travel bag, or in my case, micro cabinet. They make it incredibly simple to pull off numerous, effortlessly glamorous outfits by sending out a guide of all the different ways their pieces can be paired.  Suggesting two essential items that pair best with each collection (think a plain white top or jean shorts), you’re suddenly given two weeks worth of outfits from only 7 pieces.

At the moment there are 6 different collections to choose from, and boy was I having a hard time narrowing it down to one. Enchanting nautically inspired pieces to vibrant colors reminiscent of the islands, I honestly wanted each one. Working with the creator, Elizabeth Hynes, we decided it would be best to sample a few pieces from two different collections, and I ended up splitting my outfits between their Newport and Belize collections.  Just another highlight of shopping this line.  You’re free to browse your favorite pieces and create your own collection, tailored to suit your style. Any purchase of 5 pieces or more in your cart are considered a collection and are eligible for their 20% discount and free Vacay beach bag.

Today I’ll be focusing on the Newport Collection.  Consisting of pieces in blue and white, this collection elicits all things nautical and a life reminiscent of the sea.  Perfect for a sailor girl such as myself.  Of this collection I secured the 2 Piece Maxi, which can be worn as a full dress, or with the two pieces switched out to feature just the top or bottom with your own essentials; as well as the convertible dress, to be work as a full maxi or folded down at the waist to be featured as a skirt with a top of your choice.

newport collection

Vaycay Style Newport 2 piece maxi

Vaycay Style Newport maxi top

Vacay style Newport 2 piece bottom

Here are just a few of the highlights you can expect from each piece and/or each collection:

  • Vacay Style offers captivating styles of resort wear for smart travel.
  • Each collection is made of 5 pieces, exclusively designed to easily mix and match to create 15 outfits.
  • Any collection, along with its essentials, can easily fit on a carry on case.
  • Items are wrinkle resistant, and always ready to wear.
  • Receive 20% off your order and a FREE Vacay beach bag with any purchase of 5 pieces or more. (Take an additional 20% off by using code MJSail20; initial 20% discount is applied as soon as 5 items are in your cart)
  • Vacay Style offers free shipping, both ways, within the United States, for easy exchanges/returns.

Vacay Style Newport 2 piece maxi

Vaycay Style Newport 2 piece maxi

Vaycay Style Newport 2 piece top

 Although I can not wait until we are traveling again and I can strut my stuff in these pieces through the beautiful islands of the Caribbean, I have been enjoying running around Stuart in them while we’re still in Florida.  Such as the stunning Hutchinson Island pictured above.  These pieces are very comfortable to wear for a day out and have such fantastic detailing that accessories aren’t even needed.  Like the beaded element of the top in the Newport 2 Piece Maxi. Plus, I was surprised at how light and breathable they are.  Even on a 90 degree day the items felt airy and well ventilated.  A big bonus for the tropical climates we’ll be moving through.

Vacay Style Newport convertible dress

Vacay Style convertible dress

 The Newport Convertible dress is so versatile that I feel I could wear it anywhere I go.  Easily transitioning from a day at the beach to a dinner out, to even enjoying sundowners on a friends boat, this truly is a piece you can dress up or dress down to go anywhere.  Plus the fabric is so soft, it almost feels like I’m wearing pajamas.  So much better than the constricted feeling I get with other dresses, that I can’t wait to tear off as soon as I get home.  These pieces are so comfortable, I could lounge in them all day.

So what is my verdict on Vacay Style so far?  I am in love!  Even with just the two pieces featured above, I was able to create so many different styles, and received compliments (from strangers even) on each outfit I wore.  Every item is incredibly comfortable and tailored to travelers. The collections are designed to need minimal accessories, each piece in the collection being able to pair with a single pair of shoes and/or bag, leaving you with few extras necessary.  The tops have built in bras and the skirts have built in slips, so there’s never a worry of being over-exposed.

I already know these collections will be a main feature in my travel wardrobe, and I’m just sad I can’t fully stock my cabinet with every piece from every collection.

*Pieces from the Belize Collection to be featured once we reach the Bahamas.

 

** P.S. A big thank you to my brother for sending me the Joby Gorilla Pod for my birthday, I’m already getting tons of use from it.  Can you believe all these shots are self portraits?

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Improvements on Our Cruising Necessities

Every cruiser has them.  The certain necessities they can not get by without while boating.  Items ranging from logically needing to function, or simply making our everyday lives easier.  Of course there is a wide range of articles that one find themselves requiring for their life on the water, but we were lucky enough to make some major improvements on a few items we use All.The.Time.

Here are a few categories of items that we find indispensable to have aboard or while traveling, and the new products we have which are vast improvements on how they used to work for us.

Backpacks

Friendly Swede 60L water-resistant combined duffel and backpack

As any cruiser knows, things on a boat get wet.  Easily.  Add in any trips to and from shore in a dinghy, and your chances of getting splashed go up exponentially. That is why we’ve spent the past few years carrying a dry bag/backpack with us, to get certain items to and from shore while keeping them dry.

Just as we were on the hunt for another bag to do the same thing for us as our old one is deteriorating, we were contacted by The Friendly Swede to try their new 60L duffel/backpack.  And wow, this thing is heavy duty. As soon as we saw it, we knew it would get the job done. It has so many features that will work out great for us in acting as a backpack that will keep all of it’s contents safe and dry.  The entire bag is made of industrial grade 500D PVC tarp and has waterproof zippers, covered by an extra flap to make it extremely hard for water to get in.  Just remember though, this bag is water-resistant, not water proof.

The Friendly Swede duffel has both both backpack and hand strap carrying capabilities, meaning we can either wear it on our back for long hikes, or use the shorter handles to carry it as a duffel when it suits us better.  The 60 liters of space gives us the option to tote tons of groceries and other items once we’re cruising again, and even has mesh zippered compartments in the top and sides to store items you need quick access to.

My only wish for this product is that it had a little more back support for when wearing as a backpack, but overall we’ve been very happy with it so far, and I see it getting us through a lot of wet conditions!

Friendly Swede duffel

Friendly Swede dufel zippers

Friendly Swede duffel and backpack

Friendly Swede 25L Ultralight Packable Backpack

Just as important as the ‘keep everything dry’ bag, we also need a good ‘go anywhere with us bag’.  So when we saw the Friendly Swede offered a packable backpack, we jumped right on it.  This little guy can hold up to 25 liters of goods, but folds down to 6″ in size and only 8.5 oz.  This means when it’s not in use we can stick it basically anywhere in the boat, but when we do want make a day trip to shore or carry some essential items with us on a hike, it is more than up to the task of toting around everything we need.

Made of a rip-stop nylon, it’s tough against wear and tear, which is especially great for us because it will probably be a secondary grocery hauling bag, now with the added bonus of easily clipping on to our primary bag.  On walks around town or hikes up hillsides, it will make a great bag to carry a few bottles of water, snacks, and my camera (safely tucked inside their 5L dry bag, of course).  Plus, its bright blue color makes me smile.  :)

Friendly Swede Ultralight Backpack 1

Friendly Swede Ultralight Backpack 2

Clothespins

FIXCLIP Storm-proof & Lockable Clip

Even if you are the kind of cruiser that will schelp all their clothing and towels to a laundry mat every few weeks (and we’re those people too), chances are that at some point, you still have items hanging on your lifelines to dry.  Towels from your day at the beach, your foul weather gear after the storm has passed and the sun comes out again, or those sink loads of underwear we all do because you can never seem to store enough clean pairs.

Whatever the reason, whatever you are hanging, there is a new clip in town that will knock your socks off.  Unless they’re secured to your lifelines, because these knew clips will keep them there in any kind of condition. Introducing, the FIXCLIP.  Winner of the Plastic Innovation Award of 2015, this clip is lockable, storm-proof, and can withstand winds up to 70 knots.  Versatile between your lifelines or pulpit, it securely locks onto surfaces from 0.5-32 mm, and won’t release its grasp until you unlock it.  If that were not enough of a selling point right there, the clips are made of plastic and are UV resistant, so you won’t have to worry about them rusting or becoming damaged from the sun.

We haven’t had the chance to put ours to the full test yet, but based on the conditions they’ve withstood shown in a video made by the company, I’ll be setting damp items out to dry no matter the weather.  Without the fear of losing clips, or worse, our clothing, overboard to strong or unexpected gusts, I see a lot more bucket laundry in our future…and I’m completely ok with that!

FIXCLIP 1

FIXCLIP 2

Turkish Towels

From what I’ve been reading on a few of my friend’s pages, Turkish towels have become all the rage lately.  It seems as if everyone I know has said goodbye to their regular terry towels in exchange for these smaller and more stylish versions.  After a little research into them, I’m beginning to see why.

Hammamas

Hammamas tout themselves as ‘The clever cotton towel’, that can double as a sarong, beach dress, beach blanket, picnic topper, you name it.  We also have it on good authority from friends that these towels make great cushion toppers on your boat to prevent sweat from leaking through in hot Caribbean climates.

We love them because of their super absorbent qualities, and the small amount of space they take up when folded down. During our vacation in Siesta Key, I was stunned to find how little room these towels used in my bag.  The last time I had tried to prepare us for a trip to the beach with my North37 bag, I was lucky to get a single beach towel and a bottle of sunscreen in there. On this trip however, I had four Hammamas towels in there with plenty of room to spare. Even with sunscreen, two one liter bottles of water, my camera, and our tablet…I was only at 2/3rds full.

These are going to turn into great beach towels for us, with their absorbent qualities, and quick drying time. The bright colors they’re offered in just scream seaside, and will make great a swimsuit cover when the wind picks up enough to give me a chill.  Something that seems to happen a lot. Another great feature is, the more you wash them, the softer they become.  And nothing beats nuzzling up in a super soft towel after a day of playing at the beach.

VV, Hammamas, North37

Hammamas 1

Hammamas beach

Doga Towels

I have just found the very last towel I ever want to own.  Mostly used for shower and bath purposes, but just as at home at the gym or on the beach, Doga towels have literally been engineered to be the best towel in the world.  On its way to perfection, this towel went through eight iterations before arriving at the current version sold by the company today.  After consulting with textile engineers to make sure they were using the best materials possible, they also studied the history of towels and different weaving patterns to learn what worked best, and areas that could use improvement.

What they came up with is a towel that is fast drying, extremely absorbent, and super soft and cozy.  I’m not joking, these are is the softest towels I have ever laid my hands on.  Forget ever trying to make myself feel like I’m lying on a bed of clouds, I want to lie in a bed of Doga towels.  Any time there is the slightest chill in the air, I can guarantee you will find me wrapped up in one of these.

I haven’t even gotten to two of the best features for cruisers though.  They are incredibly thin, which means they fold down to 1/3rd the size of regular towels; and they are antimicrobial, meaning they won’t grow mold or mildew, or give you that gross towel smell.  Those are HUGE benefits for us, as storage space on a boat is always at a premium, and we can get away without washing them for much longer.  The list doesn’t end there though.  Here are other elements you can expect from this luxury towel.

Doga Towel Features:

  • Natural + Organic made of Aegean cotton and bamboo
  • Machine washable
  • Antimicrobial! Naturally won’t host infection causing bacteria, mold or mildew
  • WON’T EVER GET THAT GROSS TOWEL SMELL
  • Repels sand!
  • Engineered weave allows air to pass through, allowing towel to dry three times faster than traditional towels
  • Super Soft
  • Nice and big measuring in at 31” x 69” BUT folds down to ⅓ the size, perfecting for saving space and travel!!

Doga brand antimicrobial turkish towels

Doga at beach

 

Now that you’ve seen our list, what do you think?  Do these items fit into your necessities as well?  What other items do you have on board that you can’t live without?

*Although the products mentioned above had been given to us in exchange for reviews, all opinions are our own; we only work with companies whose product we believe in.

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Pure, Simple Beauty; In Mountains & Wood Watches

Its no surprise that part of the draw of visiting  Arizona is for it’s mountainous landscape.  It’s rare you’ll find a flat piece of land here, and even if you happen to be in one of it’s few valleys, you’re never far from a spectacular view of peaks in the distance.  Vacationing over from one of the flattest states in the US, these sights were a welcome change from the horizontal grounds we’ve been living in for the past year.

One of the exceptional things about all the ridges and sierras we’ve seen so far is not only how beautiful they are, but how simple they are in their beauty.  There’s nothing flashy or flamboyant about them, yet they are so mesmerizing you can’t take your gaze away.  One of nature’s best canvases unfolded in front of our eyes.  No bells and whistles needed, just pure, simple beauty.

Not only have we noticed this trait about the vistas around us, but also from our new JORD watches.  This is a company we’ve worked with before, who offer unique timepieces made from wood.  Directed at those who lead an experiential lifestyle, this company is all about individuality and a touch of natural elegance and practicality in their products. It’s hard not to find yourself getting lost in the wide series of time keepers offered through their site.

When they contacted us to work with them again, we jumped at the chance.  There’s already been so many compliments to our first set of watches that I couldn’t wait to grow our collection.  This time around, Matt picked the Fieldcrest  in Dark Sandalwood, a choice that he almost went with last year.  Since I’ve recently fallen in love with maple after we’ve begun using it for the counters and floors in the new boat, I selected the Ely Series in Maple.

If both of our watches have one thing in common, along with these astounding mountain views, is they are also pure and simple in their beauty but uncommon enough to make you turn your head with a second glance which turns into a long gaze as you try to pinpoint what it is about it’s simplicity that makes it so fascinating.  The oiled woods themselves are gorgeous and the faces bring your eye in with their intricate markings.

I’ve already begun pairing mine with as many outfits as I can, and whenever Matt slides his up his wrist I can’t help but blurt out, “That looks so good on you”.  I’m sure we’ll receive just as many compliments on our new set of watches, and who knows, maybe we’ll keep our collection going!

Back to our original subject though….  Although it would be almost impossible for me to write posts on all the marvelous sights we took in and stops we’ve made with our time in Arizona, I thought I could at least put together something on our favorite landscapes during our time here, and also sneak in a few photos of our impressive new watches.  Included will be a few tidbits about each stop, although you’ve already read about our first one to Payson.

Rim of Payson, AZ

JORD Fieldcrest & Ely

Another great stop on our visit to Arizona was Sedona.  Famous for it’s notable red sandstone formations, this area is a must see for anyone passing through the state. Taking a run over to Cathedral Rock, one of the most photographed sites in Arizona, we were able to get a wide assortment of amazing photos as Matt and I scaled the steep rock.

I’m saving this destination for a full post, but here’s a few snippets of the day.

Cathedral Rock Sedona

JORD Ely in Sedona

Cathedral Rock Sedona AZ

Cathedral Rock, Sedona

In the middle of the week we took off from the house to view some of the best ‘close to home’ sights.  Things that weren’t more than a 30 minute drive away.  A place I had visited before but wanted to see again was Fountain Hills, just outside of Scottsdale.  Every hour on the hour, there is a  large fountain in the center of a pond that will shoot up 560 feet in the air, the fourth tallest fountain in the world!

Filled with playgrounds for kids and shaded picnic tables for the adults, its a great place to pack a snack and a few drinks to sit and relax before or after the big show.  Or if you stay long enough, you get the chance to see it over and over again.

Fountain Hills, AZ

Fountain Hills, Arizona

On this busy local day of ours, we also made a stop at Saguaro Lake.  Just 20 miles outside of Mesa, this is a reservoir on Salt River that becomes a very popular spot for locals once the temperatures start going up.  We’ve heard that if you try to get in here on a weekend during the summer, there can be a wait of an hour just to find a spot in the parking lot.

Getting a close up look at this lake, we could see why it’s such a popular haunt for anyone looking for time on the water in the middle of this desert.  The water was extremely clear, and dipping a toe into it, was refreshingly cool.  With the impressive mountains that drape as a backdrop, it’s the best of both worlds as you cool off from the heat and take in the bouldered landscape.

Saguaro Lake, AZ

JORD Fieldcrest

Saguaro Lake

The drive home took us back to the outlook we visited our first day here, overlooking the Superstition Mountains.  Because the sun had been in our eyes and blinding us a little during our first visit, we thought we might get  better views by stopping once more in the afternoon.  By this time the sun was resting behind us and highlighting the mountains much better.  We could clearly see Salt River winding in front of us, and fly fishers wading through.

We’d heard that tubing season on the river just opened, and although it was the middle of the week, you could see the stray person here or there floating through the water.  Another great spot to cool oneself in this climate while enjoying breathtaking views. In the distance we could just make out Four Peaks, another recognizable landmark for it’s 4 peaks, which also grace the state’s license plate.

Superstition Mountains, AZ

Four Peaks, AZ

 The last extra local sight we took in was one I had been begging my dad to bring me around to after I’d seen an amazing photo of it online, and that was Red Rock.  Originally he’d told me that there were no good roads leading up to it and the closest you’d actually see it was from the expressway.  Luckily for me, as we were taking a county road home one evening we found a park that offered xx views from just across a small river.

Pulling into the parking lot, we wandered up to the waters edge and caught a few glimpses just as the sun was starting to go down.  This is still one of my favorite sights of the trip, and coming upon this park was a complete act of Serendipity.

Red Rock, AZ

Red Rock, AZ

A special note from JORD, right now they are offering a special $25 e-gift card toward any purchase!  Sign up for yours with just your name and email address here and have yours sent over.  You’d better hurry though, supplies are limited, and once they’re gone, they’re gone!

JORD Ely Maple

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Look and Feel Good while Helping Clean our Seas

If there is one troubling fact we’ve observed from spending so much time in and around the water, its how much plastic ends up in the sea.  We notice it mostly on the windward sides of islands; jugs, bottles, combs and shoes that wash up on shore and litter the beach in a rainbow of non biodegradable items.  Its a sad sight, and while we ourselves try to use as little plastic as possible, or get reuse from the items we can, there’s little we’ve been able to do in a lot of the countries we’ve visited, as any plastic we would even be able to round up from the beach and dispose of would be set up in a big blazing fire instead of being recycled.

This is why my heart lifted with joy when I was contacted by Norton Point so they could tell me about their new project where they collect plastic from the seas and use it in turn to make stylish sunglasses.  Their kickstarter campaign of Sea Plastic Differently is a great way to contribute to the cleaning of our seas while still providing yourself with an accessory indispensable to anyone who spends time outside.

Here is a short announcement the company uses to describe their mission:

Norton Point is an eyewear brand based on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, MA. We believe that the 8 million metric tons of plastic flowing into our oceans is one of our planet’s greatest environmental challenges and we have chosen to become part of the solution.

We have developed the first line of eyewear made from recovered high-density-polyethylene (HDPE) ocean plastics. HDPE is a consumer plastic used in millions of products around the world and is one of the most common plastics you will find today.

Ocean Plastic sunglasses 1

Swell_Angle_Cropped

Now here is where the facts get really cool.  For every pair of sunglasses purchased, the company has pledged to collect 1 pound of plastic from our oceans.  I don’t need to tell you that it takes a few handfuls to gather that weight, so with every pair made, you can only imagine how much debris is being removed from our waters. Next is that 5% of all net profits go toward global clean-up and education, but here’s what I think is coolest.  They’re not just buying this plastic from a major manufacturing company.  Norton Point is working with The Plastic Bank who have established a network of collection centers in Hati called Social Plastic® Recycling Markets.

These markets not only help to give employment and a source of income for their local collectors, but they also help to keep the streets and canals of Hati clean after so many plastic bottles are tossed aside here due to it being the only source of potable water around.  With your help and the growth of Ocean Plastic Sunglasses, Norton Point hopes to build their own Social Plastic® Recycling Market here as well.

Norton Point Hati 1

Norton Point Hati 2

Another disturbing fact is that 8 million metric tons of plastic enter our oceans yearly.  By 2050 its assumed that 1 billion tons of plastic will be consumed, many for one time uses. With a rate of 400 years to break down, it won’t be long before there is more plastic in the sea than fish.

What can you do to help?  Back this project and it’s mission! They are currently offering three different styles of sunglasses, all which come adorned with their signature stainless steel compass point, and choice of mirror blue or charcoal gray lenses.  The high quality lenses offer a scratch resistant and anti reflective coating, as well as a polarized and 100% UVA & UVB blocking filter.

Norton Point Swell

NP_Nic_Turner-6644

KS_Header_1

Norton Point closes their campaign by saying:

It’s been a journey getting to this point. There has been moments filled with total joy and moments of heart-crushing setbacks, but if it were easy everyone would do it, right? Innovation takes time. Sea Plastic Differently is over a year in the making. But the most exciting milestone for us will be seeing how we all come together and share our passion and commitment for cleaner oceans.  

With future sites for Social Plastic® Recycling Markets include China, Thailand, Vietnam, and even the Bahamas, the next time you take a stroll in one of these areas on a pristine beach clear of plastic and debris, you can smile and know that you helped make the difference.

 

(All photos and information are property of Norton Point)

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Styling while Sailing

styling while sailing

A strange thing has been happening to Matt and I lately, and it’s that we’ve been receiving a lot of emails lately from companies wanting us to review their products.  Strangely, they rarely boat related as I would have expected, considering that’s what our lives vastly revolve around.  Instead, the majority of requests have been coming from clothing companies.  I might have attributed this to the fact we both recently made the list for Sexiest Male and Female travelers of 2015 (thanks again Megan!) and were now on a list for top models (kidding!), although we’d been contacted by these companies long before those lists were ever published.

Although I personally get much more excited about fashion over boat parts, we still do not say yes to every company that contacts us, as we feel that we only like to stand behind companies that we believe in their products. Two of the companies that we did say yes to produce items are clothing based, but I believe they do have a good functionality in a sailors life, and that is why I agreed to give them a try.

The first company is Mizzen + Main, who produces high quality, yet very functional clothing for men.  Using advanced performance fabrics, you receive all the style of a regular dress shirt that has the added behavior of your favorite athletic gear. Let me list a few of it’s benefits for you:

  • Moisture wicking
  • Four way stretch
  • Wrinkle free
  • Machine washable

For a guy like Matt who leads the life that we do, this shirt is absolutely perfect for him. We’re usually in such warm and humid climates that he prefers to wear no top at all when possible, and quickly sweats through any cotton shirt he puts on when we need or want to run to town. It’s a breeze to keep clean and does not even need to go in a dryer.  Slip it on to a hanger and it’s dry and good to go in 16 minutes.

The shirt Matt received is from the Leeward collection of Mizzen + Main. This style comes with a structured fit and has remarkable quick dry properties, which will be fantastic for when we are back on the water (or when we get caught in Florida’s rainy season again).  Matt loves this shirt for it’s fit and comfort, and I love it for it’s style and wrinkle free properties.  We do have an iron on board, but it’s rare that it ever comes out. This shirt can be stuffed in the back of a cabinet and still come out completely wrinkle free. Trust me, I’ve watched it happen.

This shirt has definitely become a staple in Matt’s wardrobe and I can easily see why it’s received so many great reviews. I know we think highly of it’s but it’s also quickly raising as a favorite with glowing reviews from Men’s Fitness, The New York Times, and Esquire as well.  And I have to believe they have a lot more access to men’s clothing than we do, so if they love it too, you know it’s good.

M+M Homepage

Mizzen + Main

Mizzen + Main Leeward collection

Mizzen + Main

The other company we agreed to work with is a brand new venture out of Melbourne Australia, specializing in leggings. There are many things to love about Pins to Kill, but the number one thing that enticed me is you are able to create your own custom leggings!  How cool is that? Although there are a number of fascinating established designs on the site to choose from, the site encourages their customers to create their own custom patterns by uploading photos or artwork.

I wanted something that would easily get the point across of what my lifestyle is all about, and had the text ‘Sail the World’ printed down the leg.  There are so many other options running through my head though….anchors on a blue background, wave type patterns, or boats with palm trees.  The option are literally endless! It was hard to come up with only one. And whatever you can come up with, they’ll make them for you.

I love them because they are just so smart and efficient for boat life.  Another wrinkle free option of clothing for my life, full of comfort and flexibility. They take up very little space in my already small cabinet, and can easily transition from passages, to lounging, to exploring.  After getting several wears out of them already, I’ve noticed they don’t pinch or strain like other leggings I own, and still keep me very warm when the temperatures begin to drop at night. Plus they’re another quick drying item where I don’t have to worry too much about dinghy butt (the splashed of water that come over the dinghy and soak your behind) like I do when I’m wearing cotton or denim. A big plus in my book.

The founder of Pins to Kill, Linda, is making sure that her products are making it to the far reaches of the universe in every form of activity possible.  They’ve been featured on dancers, mountain hikers, fitness professionals, and now sailors.  There is a fantastic collections of her leggings featured on all these women on her Instagram account, @pinstokill.  Take a look at some of her fantastic creations, and then make sure to create something of your own!

Pins to Kill

Pins 2 Kill

Pins2Kill

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Keeping Time with JORD Wooden Watches

Jord wooden watches  I don’t know about you, but I always have a terrible time shopping for any of the men in my life unless they tell me exactly what they want. Girls are so easy, for the majority of us we just love stuff, but guys can be a little trickier to decipher hobbies and random comments for actual wants

Which I thought was really cool when we were contacted by JORD Wooden watches about their wooden time pieces.  They’ve managed to combine an essential accessory with style, beauty, and a uniqueness to fit every personality.  Something everyone needs and after seeing theirs, will want as well.

All of their watches are made out of recycled sustainable materials which we love, and the beautiful woods are not coated in varnished but only rubbed down with tung oil to protect the wood.  Trust me, they are items of beauty. I’ve chosen their Zebrawood & Turquoise from the Cora series which features swarovski crystal markers and an automatic drive system, and Matt and sporting their Red Sandalwood & White Carbon from the Delmar Series and fortunately for him comes made with a scratch proof glass.

I think they’ll work great in our sailing/nomadic life as there are times I want to don something nicer than my sport/passage/glow-in-the-dark watch for outings into town, and it has the beneficial trifecta of being stunning, extremely light weight,  as well as splash proof (just remember, not waterproof). Plus, they just get us and our style of life.  With quotes like ‘We make our watches for people who don’t just have somewhere to be, they have somewhere to go’, and ‘Moments are bigger than minutes and your watch should tell more than time’, it’s like we’re soulmates of the company/consumer world.

Another great thing about JORD is they offer free shipping worldwide!  So before you get hung up on what to get your special someone for a birthday or the upcoming holidays, just click over to JORD Wooden Watches and find the perfect gift. Who knows, maybe you’ll be lucky enough to get one in return.

Jord Zebrawood

Jord turquoise and zebrawood

Jord turquoise and zebrawood

Jord Red Sandalwood

Jord men's Red Sandalwood

Jord men's Red Sandalwood
Wood Watches For Men

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Kraken Up

Sunday March 3, 2013

I know I said a few weeks ago that if we were still here for March’s First Friday Art Walk, that I would burn the boat down. In my defense though, I had not thought through that the first day of the month would be a Friday. So here it is on March 3rd, and Serendipity is still standing. I guess I will just have to eat my words and keep her structurally standing. But with how cold it has been this past weekend, highs hovering around 50, low’s just entering freezing, and winds howling outside, we probably could have used the heat from a good fire. Luckily our little heater managed to keep us just warm enough, and we realized we were still far better off than our days down the ICW with the same kinds of temperatures, sleeping as close as we could get to each other and wearing four layers of clothes, just to keep warm. Even now though, when temperatures drop below freezing and I can see the cloud of my breath in the air, I will always wear flip flops while traipsing the few hundred yards to the bathroom and back. Maybe the sight of the few lone palm trees buried in with the deciduous ones across the street that remind me that I’m in Florida and not Michigan, because in Florida it’s never too cold to wear flip flops.

Today was still one of those days where the temperature was just a little too low and the winds were just a little too high to get any productive work out of us. Instead we each settled into our own settee dressed in sweatpants and fleeces, taking advantage of the Internet access that we won’t be having for much longer. Being a Sunday there were no workers in the yard, and since we seem to be the only people on our side of the yard living aboard, we usually have the run of the place on weekends. Which is why it was strange, while perusing Cruiser’s Forum and other blogs, that we should hear a few voices that sounded like they were just outside our boat. Sometimes the woman with a small day sailor behind ours will come out to work on it on the weekend, so for a moment we thought it might be her, although it seemed strange that she’d want to come out during such blustery conditions.

The voices continued to grow and begin sounding like they were coming from directly next to our boat. Again, it seemed like something we could brush off since sometimes owners that had their boat at the marine center would stroll the yard and admire other boats. We had done it when we first arrived, and we had met a few other boaters in the yard when they’d come to check out our boat. The strange part came when we heard a ruckus outside that sounded very near our boat. Like someone was climbing up a ladder near our stern. It’s fine when people walk around the boat to give it a look, but if they were about to climb aboard to check it out, that’s another story. Really curious about this noise now, I got up off the settee and tentatively climbed up the steps, slightly pulling back at the sliding glass on the companionway and just letting my eyes peer out. Sure enough, there was a woman that looked to be my age, teetering on a step ladder right off our stern.

Still thinking it was a curious wanderer that did not know the etiquette that you never step aboard someone’s boat without their permission*, I was all set to give her a mouthful, but lost my nerve. Having her not see me yet, I slid back down below and whispered to Matt, “There’s someone climbing up our stern.”. I expected him to pick up the slack where I had dropped it, going out and yelling for them to get off our property, since he’s much better at being an authoritative person than I am. (Remember our anchor dispute back in Beaufort?) He climbed the steps and stuck his head out as well, but instead of yelling, he issued a polite greeting. Some conversation ensued after this, and left me still below, scratching my head. What was going on out there? For the second time in one week, I had to go check out these strange new visitors for myself.

Climbing out in sweats and unwashed hair, not how I normally look when I’m expecting visitors, I found out that the stranger was actually a friend of a very good friend of ours, sent on a courrier mission. Angie was the girlfriend of Jeremie, who is best friends with our friends Jackie and Ron back home. When they found out that she’d be passing through St. Augustine on business, they called in a huge favor to her to stop by our boat with a little present: Kraken spiced rum and Skittles. The first time I had ever been introduced to Kraken was on Jackie & Ron’s boat last summer, and their going away present to us was a bottle to take with us on our travels. Having gone through most of it during our Frankenstorm party with the invention of the Frankenstorm drink, I had always kept enough left in the bottle for when they were to come visit us in the Bahamas. But our unfortunate accident not only kept us from meeting up with Jackie & Ron in the Bahamas, but had actually tipped over our bottle of Kraken and drained out the remaining few shots. Although there had been lots of offers by them to have a new bottle sent to us in the yard, I said I would not accept a new bottle unless it was handed to me personally. I was intending this to mean that they either needed to make a spur of the moment sixteen hour drive across the country to see us in St. Augustine, or that they made sure to book tickets (much closer to the visit date this time) in whatever tropical location we happened to be in the next winter.

I was not expecting it to be hand delivered by a friend passing through town, but I still wasn’t about to turn down the gift. We chatted with Angie and her friend for a few minutes and thanked her profusely for making the side trip over to visit us, before the cold had everyone running back to their warm shelters, her the rental car, and us the salon. It wasn’t until I was talking to Jackie online shortly after Angie left, to also thank her profusely for the gift, that I found out the whole thing was orchestrated just that morning. Just to bring a smile to our faces and with no expectation of anything in return. Can I just say that we have the best friends in the world?

 

*Angie, it’s completely fine for you to step on our boat, especially if you’re bringing us booze or candy.

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Built Rocna Tough

Friday February 1, 2013

It’s official, we have our first sponsor!  The very kind people at Rocna Anchors have collaborated to work with us after we lost our original Rocna during our grounding in the St. Augustine Inlet.  It was a big blow to us to lose our trusty Rocna, and before we hauled out and found out what the damage was, at the time, it was to us the worst part of the whole incident.  After we got back that night after some much needed dinner and drinks with our friends on Hideaway, I kid you not, Rocna Anchors were the first people we contacted.  Not family, not friends, but a thank you note to Rocna for saving our boat from certain demise.

Let me explain a little.  When you live on a boat and you’re anchored out all of the time, you anchor is a HUGE part of keeping you and your boat safe.  When we left, we went big with our anchor.  It was 55 lbs of peace of mind attached to our bow.  The one we purchased was rated for a boat ten feet larger than ours, but in the case of our anchor, we really wanted to oversize.  When the size and brand of your anchor can determine whether or not you might drag through an anchorage in bad conditions and crash into shore, or worse, other boats, you want to go with the one that’s going to give you the least chance of that happening.

We had heard great things about Rocna from other sailors, and while getting all the last necessary bits to start cruising, it was enough to make us switch over from our Manson Supreme this spring.  And I have to tell you, we could not be happier with it.  I’m not kidding when I say this, it sets on the first try every time.  There have been so many times where we’ve been sitting at anchor when another boat comes in and they go through a routine of dropping and upping their anchor multiple times because they just can’t seem to get their anchor to set.  Not only do I feel bad for their extra hassle, but I worry that they may not stay set and might go bump with us in the night.  We on the other hand, drop, back-down, and relax.  It has never failed us once.  During Hurricane Sandy we were relying solely on our Rocna to keep us safe while settled up a creek, and any worrying was for naught.   We never even straightened out our chain.  It has been magnificent, and certainly the most trusted part on our boat.

The biggest test for our Rocna so far though, was when we had our grounding mentioned above in the St. Augustine Inlet.   Our prop was fouled leaving us dead in the water with no engine power, and the wind was right on our nose giving us no way to sail out.  Although we were eventually rescued by US Tow Boat and a local Search and Rescue team, they were nowhere in sight while we were quickly drifting back towards shore.  With his quick thinking, Matt dropped our anchor to keep us from drifting any further back than we already had.  And guess what?  It set right away.  No positioning, no backing down, just solid and secure.*  If our anchor had not held right away like it did, there is no question that Serendipity would have rolled over in the breaking waves of the shore and our boat would have been a true shipwreck, completely totaled out.

So do we love our anchor?  Yes.  Do we love it even more knowing that it’s a Rocna and built Rock Solid?  You bet.  Would we trust our boat and our lives to it?  Already have.   And it has passed with flying colors.

To check out our testimonial on Rocna’s website, including pieces of the letter we sent to them thanking them for saving our boat, check it out here.  And if you’re at all interested in buying a Rocna, please do.  We’ll feel much better if you’re ever anchored next to us.

*Not that I’m suggesting you shouldn’t always anchor properly.  I’m just stating that in this emergency, it did what it was made to do without any help from us.

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