” Our longest passage was coming back from the Bahamas without an engine. We left from Nassau on New Providence Island and sailed for 55 hours non-stop covering 346 Nautical Miles. It was quite the adventure and accomplishment for us.“
Wildly Intrepid, Hunter 33’
Interview with the Captains – Alex and Cory
Who introduced you to boating/sailing?
Alex: The very first time I went sailing was back in 2008 on a trip to Vancouver Island, British Columbia on the Canadian West Coast. I was hitchhiking with a girlfriend and two guys stopped and asked us if we wanted to spend the afternoon sailing around Nanaimo. We instantly jumped on the opportunity and loved it. At the end of the day, they handed us the keys and told us we could sleep on the boat and leave the keys at the marina the following morning before we left. It was all so new and peaceful.
On a backpacking trip around the world in 2015 we started pondering at the idea of living on a sailboat to explore the world, but then thought you needed way more experience to live that kind of lifestyle. Cory and I started learning the ropes in Newfoundland, on the East Coast of Canada back in 2017. We only went out a handful of times with people we met at our local marina and fell in love with it. So, in 2018 we took the leap and purchased a 1981 Hunter 33. It was a huge learning curve.
Where have you sailed to, and what was your longest trip so far?
Our first sails together were short ones on the Bay of Islands in Newfoundland. We then spent our first two summer seasons sailing on Lake Erie, one of the Canadian Great Lakes. This was where we really learned to sail all by ourselves, did our first overnight sail and dropped the hook for the very first time. Luckily the sailing community of Sugarloaf Marina in Port Colborne, Ontario was extremely helpful and friendly. In 2019 we set sail from Lake Erie on our biggest trip. We followed the Erie Canal to then enter the Hudson River. In New York City we met with the Atlantic Ocean and set sail South as we followed the East Coast of the US. In Florida we took the leap across the Gulf Stream and crossed over to the Bahamas. This is where we really learned the art of sailing because our engine died less than a week after crossing, with no land in sight. We have spent two seasons sailing around the Bahamas so far.
Our longest passage was coming back from the Bahamas without an engine. We left from Nassau on New Providence Island and sailed for 55 hours non-stop covering 346 Nautical Miles. It was quite the adventure and accomplishment for us. And we were so happy when we entered the Ponce Inlet, and found the protected waters of the ICW near New Smyrna Beach.
Any notable memories/stories from your sailing adventures?
A moment I will never forget is the day we decided to go with our gut and not listen to the naysayers. We were in Eleuthera Island where we thought we might get our little engine repaired, but with no luck we needed to make our way back to the US for that. Some people told us we should turn around and not continue sailing through the Bahamas. But we really didn’t want to cut short our time here because we had only just arrived. Instead, we decided to pay real close attention to the weather and wind and keep sailing around Eleuthera and the Exumas. This was the best decision we made because we gained so much more confidence in our skills and really became real sailors, and a stronger team. We saw so many islands and made lifelong friends which we wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for that.
Most under-rated piece of equipment for long-range cruising?
A gennaker. I didn’t think we’d use it as much as we do and initially, I was kind of intimidated by it. Such a huge sail to handle. But it has allowed us to sail in very light wind. I remember one time the wind was only 5 knots, and we were still doing 4 knots. That was a happy moment.
Do you have any other notable resources you use (apps, devices, etc)?
We use Aquamaps for most of our route planning and navigation. It has an anchor alarm built in which is nice. The charts are really good for the Bahamas. It has a yearly subscription just like Navionics. For weather and wind we use mainly Windy along with Predict Wind and NOOA weather.
About the Boat
Why did you choose to buy this model/make?
Back in Newfoundland, we sailed on a Hunter 30’ and we absolutely loved the way it sailed, it was responsive and easy to handle. But 30 feet was a bit small, the 33′ version seemed a better fit for us living full-time aboard. And with Cory’s height, 6’1″ the headroom on the Hunter 33′ was perfect, and carried well forward. We did look at many other styles like the Corbin, Catalina, Bayfield, and C&C. But this was the right one for us at the time, in our price range. We also didn’t want to get in way over our heads and realize that the cruising life was not for us.
What boats have you previously owned?
SV Wildly Intrepid is the very first sailboat which we’ve owned.
What are the features you like most about your boat?
I love the way it sails, especially when it’s light winds and other heavier sailboats need to turn on their engines. Unless we are heading upwind, we can simply hoist our gennaker and still go pretty fast.
The interior layout is great with having the head aft and the black water tank in the lazarette. No smells inside. And I really enjoy cooking in the galley – the stove, fridge and sink are well positioned, and I can easily brace myself when cooking underway with a bigger swell.
What features/improvements have you added or do you plan to add?
We’ve added a dinghy davit which has been so useful, we can easily stow away our dinghy during passages of all length. Plus, its floor stays much cleaner, no growth. Last season we upgraded our batteries to lithium, and we’ve been extremely satisfied with it. Having plenty of power is very important to us, and for editing our videos. We also added solar, initially with semi-flexible panels which was a terrible mistake. They were overpriced and only lasted two years. Our new rigid panels were much cheaper and are producing way more power.
What is the biggest challenge you have in servicing your boat?
Rebuilding the Yanmar engine was quite the challenge because it was hard to pull it out and we are no mechanics. Its location made it so awkward to use pulleys to lift it out because we couldn’t go straight up.
Do you have any advice for those looking to buy a Hunter like yours?
Do a good survey and make sure you have a good inspector. There are still some things that will be missed. Make sure to test out the engine well, inspect all tanks for leaks, look out for blisters or soft spots on the hull and deck. You want strong bones, everything else can be fixed. Wear and tear happens way faster on saltwater boats than freshwater. We noticed it firsthand when we sailed from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic. Our sailboat hadn’t seen saltwater in 38 years, and things started rusting quickly.
What’s the story behind the boat’s name?
Wildly Intrepid was our adventure travel brand and it seemed like it suited the sailboat well. She’s fearless and adventurous, the perfect definition of intrepid. And Wildly because she’s wild and sails to wild places. Our little Hunter 33′ has been through a lot and has always kept us safe. She’s Wildly Intrepid.
Click the gallery below for more photos and information about Wildly Intrepid!