About Us

Docked at the Surfrider, Little Creek, Virginia
Booker and Dave Deakyne bought Tortuguita in 2006.  She had been in charter in Martinique for 5 years and was bought by a Belgian who sailed her for a while and ended up in Cuba.  He married a Cubana and left the boat there to be sold.  Not too many Americans were able to look at her there.  In January 2006 the broker moved the boat to Florida.  It was there, in April when Dave went to see her and the rest is history.
 She was a real project boat, but a very pretty catamaran.  In Cuba, there were no parts available, so things were just wired together to make them work one more day.  Everything was broken or assumed to be broken.  A fixer upper in all aspects

Dave worked on her for 3 months in Florida to get her seaworthy enough to sail to New Jersey.  With the help of college friend, Peyton, they moved her there in 
July.  Not much worked in those days but she floated and they made it. 

The winter of 2006/2007 was a shakedown cruise to the Bahamas.  Jeff and Peyton helped crew to the Abacos.  We ended up spending the whole winter in Marsh Harbor partying and fixing.  Peyton crewed back to Norfolk and Booker joined up to New Jersey.  

Timmy and Fred crewed to Bermuda in Nov. 2008 and we got hit by Hurricane Noel.  Tortuguita held up better than the crew.
Timmy stayed on in Bermuda and was joined by Jeff to crew to St. Maarten.  The plan was to head downwind back to the US, but cruising plans are always fluid, so that changed now to a loop around the Caribbean.
St. Maarten was a great cruiser base.  It was tough to leave all the good friends we had met in Simpson Bay and start heading Down Island.  Tortuguita spent that summer in the boatyard at Spice Island Marine, Grenada, while we headed to NJ for the summer.
We returned in the fall and joined up with friends on ‘Zenitude’, who had been in Venezuela for hurricane season.  We cruised with them until Curacao where we headed up to Puerto Rico.  We now were able to head downwind through the Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos, and Bahamas.
Once again in New Jersey, Tortuguita got some major modifications because she would not be returning home for quite a while.  

The 2009 cold rainy fall and winter from hell chased us down the US East Coast and we didn’t warm up until Mexico.  We cruised Belize and Honduras.  Tortuguita stayed at the La Ceiba Shipyard for the summer while we went back to NJ.
Rare 6 Pointed Starfish - Guanaja, Honduras

The 2010-11 season started with a few months in the La Ceiba Shipyard, Honduras.  A great place for work which I would go back to anytime.
We stopped at the island of Providencia, Columbia on the way to Panama.
Tortuguita spent Christmas at PanaMarina and we returned to cruise the San Blas Islands for 2 months.  

We transited the Panama Canal on March 2nd-3rd and worked our way north along the pacific Panamanian, Costa Rican, and Nicaraguan coasts.  Tortuguita spent the summer at Marina Puesta del Sol in northern Nicaragua while we returned to New Jersey.

2011-2012 While we were in New Jersey, Tortuguita was struck by lightning in Nicaragua.  Just about everything electronic was fried.  Fortunately, the autopilot, fridge, and chartplotter were alright. We met up with and sailed with Don and Gayle Fox the Lagoon Catamaran "Permanently Temporary" to Puerto Vallarta.  We brought a bunch of stuff back from the US at Christmas and had the mast pulled, stripped, painted, and rerigged in La Cruz, Mexico during February.  We headed up to La Paz in March and explored the Sea of Cortez, ending up in Guaymas for haulout at www.marinasecaguaymas.com.  We went back to New Jersey for the summer and made plans to cross the Pacific starting in February and ending the season in New Zealand.  That destination later changed to Australia.

2013 was the South Pacific year.  We left Mexico in March from Cabo San Lucas and sailed 26 days non-stop to the Marquesas, French Polynesia.  We explored the Marquesas, Tuamotos, and Society Islands.  We touched the Cook Islands at Suwarrow.  Apia, Samoa was a nice surprise and Savaii was a quiet hangout.  We short stopped at Tin Can Island, Tonga on the way to Fiji.  Fiji was the highlight of the 8000 mile trip with their rich culture and food.  New Caledonia was a weather waiting spot for the week long sail to Brisbane, Australia.  We spent 68 days underway in 8 months to cross the Pacific.

2014 was the year of big projects.  Our time in New Jersey was spent almost entirely doing carpentry and when we returned to Australia in May.  We undertook some huge projects that we have been avoiding ever since we bought Tortuguita.  The cruising season for 2014 is the Whitsunday Islands and Great Barrier Reef and a return back to the Gold Coast City Marina for another layup and more upgrades.
We tried to get to Vanuatu and the Solomons in 2015 but the weather didn't cooperate.  Instead we pressed up the Australian coast from the Gold Coast to Darwin covering the 2000 Nautical Mile trip in 30 days.  We pressed harder and longer than I ever care to do again along any coast, let alone the Great Barrier Reef, with a sleep/rest cycle of 36 hours underway and 12 hours off for the entire month passage.

Boats are like bicycles in coastal Indonesia.
We left Darwin with the Sail Indonesia Rally and covered another 2000 miles through Indonesia to Malaysia during the following 3 months.  We were reunited with cruiser friends from our South Pacific days who had also been touring Australia or New Zealand during the past 2 years.

 We dovetailed with the Sail to Langkawi Malaysia Rally with many of the same boats we have been with since Darwin and a whole different group of boats from the Sail2Indonesia Rally that left from Cairns when we left from Darwin.

Our Indonesian buddies
In December 2015 we hauled out Tortuguita at Pangkor Island Marina where we will take advantage of low labor costs to accomplish many renovation projects.  We are spending about 5 months each year in Malaysia doing projects that could not be done elsewhere.  We have bought a car and are renting an apartment.  This is a great area and we will probably stay around these cruising grounds for quite a while after Tortuguita returns to the water before crossing the Indian Ocean.

As the saying goes: Cruising plans are written in the sand at low tide. 

For more photos, go to:picasaweb.google.com/djdeakyne


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