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Following our buddy boat s/v Selah, as we sail away from Provo, Turks and Caicos

Sweating and swearing, my head bashed into the bathroom mirror, as I attempted to pull up my pants in total darkness.

Ah, the joys of passage-making.

Passages are the price we pay for the privilege of doing what we do. Our trip from Providenciales, Turks and Caicos to Mayaguez, Puerto Rico marked our fifth time out for more than 24 hours in one shot. We made it in 86 hours, setting a new record as our longest bout at sea.

Thankfully, the passage was pretty uneventful. Sure, there were some big waves, lots of motor-sailing straight into the wind (unavoidable on this particular route), and the fun challenges (like peeing!) that come with living life inside a stagnant, tilted, bobbing cork that never stops moving.

At the lowest points, we lost our lunch a few times (me, Nico), tangoed with an enormous tanker ship in the dead of night (minor heart attack), struggled with mind-numbing boredom, and experienced the hallucinatory effects of sleep deprivation. Balance that with some pretty incredible sunsets and sunrises, cracking jokes with our buds Bo and Allison on the radio at 3AM, 12 unforgettable hours of full-on sailing (no motor!), having the excuse to eat cold pizza for breakfast four days in a row, and arriving in Puerto Rico just before dawn – all in all we’re feeling great about the experience.

And man. We are LOVING Puerto Rico. I can’t wait to tell you more about all the fun we’re having, once I catch up on my sleep.

Looking for more passage nitty gritty? Check out this Q&A with tips and tricks for passage survival.

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Selah at Turtle Rock, Provo, Turks and Caicos

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Brian says “No shaving ’till Virgin Islands!” Sorry moms.

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We shade the boat with Turkish towels for relief from the brutal sun. I’m loving these light, gauzy ones, that I got from a Turkish Etsy seller.

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Sunsets are the marquee event on passage

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Listening to what must have been my millionth podcast

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Whenever we are above deck on passage, we are connected to the boat by short leashes

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This is what heeling looks like

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When I’m on watch from 4 – 7 AM, I always breathe a sigh of relief at the first sign of light. Each sunrise feels like a milestone as we move on to a new day.

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Nico, bracing himself against the heeling boat.

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Selah, looking beautiful with all her sails up on day 3 of the passage. Having a buddy boat for a long passage makes a huge difference for morale. It’s so nice having friends  just a radio call away, ready to break up the boredom and troubleshoot issues that arise. As an added bonus, Selah and Nightingale Tune are sisters – a Whitby 42 and a Brewer 42 – with the same hulls, which means we theoretically move at the same speed.

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Day 4: a pre-dawn arrival in Puerto Rico

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Our first Puerto Rican sunrise

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Clearing Customs and Immigration in PR is easy-peasy for American citizens with the DTOPS decal from Homeland Security (which we registered for online). We simply anchored in Mayaguez and called the customs office to check in, no need to go ashore.