A note on our partners: There are a lot of bloggers out there who like to scoff at partnerships/sponsorships and blogs who have them, which is fine. But please know that we approach the companies that we work with after a good amount of research. WE SEEK OUT THEIR PRODUCTS because we want them. We are not simply pitching products for a merchandiser because we got an item for free. We are contacted almost every week by companies looking to sponsor/partner/or advertise with us and believe it or not, we politely turn almost all of them down. We CHOOSE to work with the companies below, and we only work with companies whose products or services we would use regardless of sponsorship.
"Row it. Motor it. Sail it. Tow it." Whatever it is you want to do - Walker Bay has you covered on the water! The dinghy is the cruising sailor's "car" and we are so excited to partner with the company that has been re-defining fun on the water since 1977. Most famous for their fantastic sailing dinghy, many people don't realize they also sell Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIB) and more. Our dinghy is the 10 foot Odyssey Superlight RIB 310. It's light, has a water deflecting hull, and features draining channels in the floor to keep your feet dry.
Having an unlimited supply of water on a cruising boat makes a huge difference on the comfort factor of cruising. On our first boat, we loved our 5 gallon per hour watermaker but decided we needed more for Asante. After much research and on the urging of blog followers, we chose to work with Cruise RO Water and Power. They produce high quality, high output watermakers for the lowest prices around. For more information, read why we chose them.
Excellent ground tackle should be a top priority of the cruising sailor and as such, we could not be more thrilled to partner with Rocna Anchors. The supreme craftsmanship and careful design of the Rocna have combined to make these anchors some of the most sought-after in the cruising world. People don't often equate an anchor with "love" but we have heard "I love my Rocna" more times than we can count on our travels. We knew we had to have one. The primary anchor on Asante is a Rocna 33 (70 lbs) and we will sleep much more safely and soundly because of it.
We have loved and been using Sailor Bags since day one! Originally designed to meet the touch standards and lifestyles of sailors, these bags range in size and style and are not only rugged, but stylish as well. We particularly love our messenger bag and tote as well as our extra large duffles for traveling, they make packing and stowing much easier!
Water toys make cruising more fun. Period. When Walker Bay offered us one of their Airis Stand-Up Paddle Boards (SUP), we could not say no. We'd been wanting one for a long time and - in our opinion - inflatable SUP's are a perfect toy for the cruising boat who doesn't have space for a fiberglass board. This one stows into a large backback, it's easy to inflate and surprisingly rigid and sturdy. We love our Airis SUP and usually you can find at least one of us taking it out daily.
Having toddling twins is no joke! With three little ones in tow, there are times (like in airports, in town or on docks) when I need to keep them as contained as possible. I have been on the hunt for an economical, practical, and functional double stroller that is as small, compact and light as possible. At first I was using two generic umbrella strollers with connectors, but this was wide, flimsy and cumbersome. After some research, I discovered the Kinderwagon Hop. This stroller is amazing! It has the same footprint as a single umbrella stroller, it is narrow enough to fit through any doorway, easily collapsible, and weighs only 21 pounds! It is the traveling twin mamma's DREAM stroller. Kinderwagon was created by a husband and wife duo who once had - you guessed it - three kids under two so you know this product has been tried and tested. We are so thankful and excited to be partnering with this company, and super grateful for this great stroller.
Now that our girls are a little bigger, I knew I needed an alternative to the double umbrella strollers I was using to cart them (and all our gear) to and from the beach. I hit the internet and decided a wagon would fit the bill! Not only would it fit all three of our girls, it could do 'double-duty' as a means to lug heavy items to and from the boat. We didn't need just any wagon, though - we needed something that could work on any type of terrain (beach, please!) and fold up as compact as possible. After reading hundreds of reviews on every type of collapsible wagon out there, I decided that The Wagon Store folding sport wagon was the best that money could buy. Lucky for us, they agreed and now we are happy owners of the best collapsible wagon on the market. Stay tuned for pics and a review!
I have never been much of a jewelry person. Don't get me wrong, I've always wanted to love it, but I never had the discipline to take it on and off when going to bed, in the shower or in the ocean. If it couldn't be worn 24/7, I didn't wear it. A few years ago I discovered Bronwen Jewelry and it changed everything. Not only is Bronwen's stuff absolutely beautiful, unique and bohemian, but it is jewelry for the active woman (or man or child). Sweat, Swim and Shower friendly, I never need (or want!) to take it off. My current faves are the Toltec stacking rings, the three petal tiny charm necklace and the Beleza bangle. The glass-wrap bracelets are amazing as well! Check out their Facebook Page for deals and inspiration.
Three kids on a 44 foot boat means we don't have a lot of space for big extras, but building gross motor skills and being able to have fun shore-side is a big deal to us which is why we partnered with Micro Kickboards. These scooters are the best in the biz, and offer the highest rated, quality scooters for EVERY age. Our twins, who are not quite two, each have a Mini2Go Scooter (which grows with various stages for a child 18 month to 5 years) and Isla will be zipping around on a Micro Mini which offers great balance (with it's three wheel design). All scooters are Swiss designed and offer a smooth ride with non-marking wheels. Fun for all ages!
Finding shade on some Caribbean beaches is easier said than done, and having a place to get out of the heat is key. The Pacific Breeze beach tent is our answer! It has a patented easy up technology that allows it to be set up and broken down with ease. Don't believe me, see for yourself. Aside from the ease of use, the tent is very light weight and packs up to just larger than a yoga mat, making it super portable. We are thrilled to partner with Pacific Breeze products and looking forward to some shady beach days ahead!
Three kids + a need to be off the boat and outside as much as possible does not leave a lot of time for cooking. As such, our meals suffer. I did a lot of research on ways I could either a) cook quickly (i.e. pressure cooker) or b) cook early (i.e crockpot) but was coming up empty. We had a pressure cooker on board for years that we hardly ever used, and a traditional crockpot - while great in theory - just doesn't make sense on a boat. Through the coconut telegraph, I heard about the Wonderbag. Not only is this a slow cooker that works just like a crockpot without using ANY energy, the company is both socially and eco-conscious. In addition, their site has a great recipe index for inspiration! Stay tuned for a full review...
Our girls LOVE yogurt. Unfortunately, it is not cheap in the BVI's which led me on a search for an easy way to make our own. Luckily, our friends on Necesse introduced us to their Easiyo and I was sold! Not only does it make delicious yogurt, but it is EASY. Just add water to their packets, let sit overnight and voila! Yogurt! For someone like me who is not gifted in the galley, the easier, the better. And I don't have to drop a small fortune on yogurt every week! Win/win!
Based in Ft. Lauderdale, UMT Marine is the GOLD STANDARD of custom stainless gear on boats. They custom craft only the highest quality products for everyone from the cruiser to the mega-yachtie. Whether it be custom dinghy davits (which is what we will have), boarding ladders, instrument arches or gangways - they will have you covered in both strength and style. They make your stainless look sexy! Our davits are AMAZING.
Babies on a boat living in the Caribbean mean one thing: BEACH TIME. We spend an average of three hours a day at the beach, and while we are of the mindset that water and sand are two of the greatest "toys" that nature provides for small children, we find that sand toys help our girls stay busy and happy for hours on end. Enter Spielstabil. These wonderful toys are German Made and high quality, which is usually not the case with beach toys. We have several sets for our girls and these toys stand up to the UV and daily use infinitely better than their cheaper, poorly made counterparts.
We take UV protection and swimwear seriously for our little girls. We have found that cheaply made suits not only deteriorate early with constant (read: daily) use in the tropics - they can be really hard to get on and off little toddler heads! SwimZip is our solution. SwimZip is the UPF 50+ clothing brand people trust to keep themselves and their children sun safe. They feature a full zipper down the front of their rash guard shirts and are soooo easy to put on and take off! Made with the best materials and built to last, SwimZip suits are one-of-a-kind. We can't say enough good stuff about 'em.
Buckets and boats go together. They are used from everything from storage to laundry to bailing. When I came across these amazing tubs by TUBTRUGS, I knew they would be awesome for a boat. Flexible yet crazy strong, UV resistant, made out of food grade plastic and in a fantastic array of colors, these tubs have 101 uses on a boat and because they flex, they are much easier to store than their rigid (and prone to cracking!) counterparts. We opted for the nesting triple play combo pack aboard Asante.
Our twins LIVE in swim diapers. Reusable, stylish and comfortable - the BambinoMio brand is our brand of choice. Their diapers come in a wide variety of sizes and styles and are perfect for both the pool and the beach. Not only are they super affordable, but they are also:
Sun protection is a must when you call a tropical island paradise your home, if it's stylish - that's a major bonus. The Snikwah line of shirts are patented, convertible neck performance shirts featuring full range head and upper body coverage. They are made of top quality wicking material by Drirelease®. Drirelease® removes moisture from the body to stabilize your internal body temperature in challenging environments like the heat of the burning sun or biting wind with UPF 50+ for additional sun protection.
We have tried a LOT of sun hats for our girls and out of all of them, Flap Happy was by far the best. The brim is big enough to provide full coverage, but not too big that it flops over your child's face, and the material stands up to all weather, and is easy to rinse and clean after a day at the beach. Our favorite style is the UPF 50+ Floppy Hat, and with the neck ties and great variety of colors and styles, they'll keep our girls safely covered for many years to come. They have a wide variety of hats for girls and boys, so be sure to check them out!
Island Water World is THE Caribbean yacht chandlery. With store locations in strategic ports like St. Maarten, St. Lucia and Grenada, you are never far from what you need. They have an incredibly knowledgeable, friendly staff; their stores are clean, organized and well-stocked and they have a great, user-friendly, comprehensive website to make your search easy.
MOOSEJAW - Anyone worth their salt in the world of the "outdoors" has at least heard of this company. They are amazing. And THEY popped our sponsorship cherry, which, if you know them - is SOOOO appropriate. We love them. I wrote about their super cool sponsorship here. Go to their website and peruse...not only will you have a good laugh - you'll get some awesome gear for the outdoors too!
Chris Parker, known in sailing circles as the "Caribbean Weather Guru" runs the Marine Weather Center. Aside from his free reports on the "net" he also provides custom weather reporting and routing for small vessels in the Caribbean Sea, Bahamas, and US East Coast for very economical prices. We are THRILLED to be able to use his forecasting and routing services. For the next year he will provide weather reports specifically for us; taking into account our vessel, our location, our destination and, of course, the weather. Weather predicting is not an exact science and to have a meteorologist in our corner gives us the confidence we need to move forward. If you are a sailor embarking on a cruise in any of the waters above, you would be doing yourself a disservice to not utilize his services. Aside from being a great meteorologist - Chris is also a great guy and fellow cruiser!
It gets HOT down here in the Caribbean and the sun not only bakes you, but it bakes your boat as well! By having a Shadetree boat awning, the interiour temperature of our boat is much less - not to mention we'll protect our gear from UV damage and divert rain from coming down our hatches! Check out our review here.
Port Louis Marina in Grenada in St. Georges is situated in a beautiful lagoon on the "lee" side of "Spice Island" and is the premiere marina here in Grenada. The amenities are first class and you cannot beat the location. From the office down to the docks this staff is top notch and customer service is obviously their priority. They have made us feel like home in their native Grenada and were kind enough to house us safely for hurricane season. If you are looking for a break from anchorages or a permanent base for hurricane season, Port Louis should be your #1 choice.
boatnamegear.com is the place to go for, well, boat name gear! From shirts, to towels, from blankets to totes they've got gear to slap your boat's name on and make it official! Personalized boat name gear is the perfect gift for the sailor who's got it all! We love our swag.
Do you want to visit loved ones during hurricane season? Perhaps you have a few projects you would like done while you are away? If so - then Island Dreams Yacht Service is for you. They provide a range of top-notch services and excellent care for your boat while you are away. Not only are the owners, Mark and Anita, wonderful - but the staff they employ is professional and skilled. They will make sure Rasmus is safe and sound for us while we are in Chicago and we are grateful and thankful for their service!!
Red Bull has, since the beginning, been a staple aboard Rasmus. Because it's just Scott and I ninety percent of the time, we are always on three hour shifts when we sail overnight. Making a cup of coffee or tea at 2am is...tedious and, in any type of sea state, can be impossible. Coming on deck all sleepy for a three hour watch and popping a Red Bull makes this much easier. It give us just the right amount of energy for a three hour shift, without that jittery feeling. Yes - it gives us wings. Even though we're on a boat, we love to fly.
Truly Pure, Natural, Organic products keeping in balance and harmony with nature. Hosie Naturals never uses any artificial ingredients or GMOs: synthetic preservatives, artificial fragrance, dyes, emulsifiers, fillers. Their products are never tested on animals and the suppliers have the same cruelty-free policy. The owner, Kari, also happens to be a fellow boat mama (yay!) and when she found out we were pregnant with twins she sent us the most amazing arsenal of goodies for mama and baby. If you are interested in pure, natural products for you and your family - check our Hosie on Facebook and get healthy!
WEBER GRILLS - How are we going to cook all that awesome fresh fish that we (hopefully) catch while we're at sea? We're going to GRILL it, of course! And we're going to grill it on an awesome lil' Weber Baby Q grill. Scott and I already have one of these lil' guys at home and they are AWESOME (seriously, buy one, you know you want to). Weber is also going to hook us up with a custom mount too, and we'll test it at sea!
C & E Marine Group - Walt Genske is the owner of this great company and one heck of a guy and friend. Not only did he get us GREAT (and I mean GREAT) deals on gear, he sat with us for hours and hours on end patiently giving us he knowledge. We would not be where we are today if not for the generous help and expertise of this man and his great company. He helped us outfit our first boat and he came down to get us ready on our second boat too.