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Eleanor is on her way to Panama!

Hi there everyone! A quick one to share the latest news. First and foremost, Eleanor is finally underway!! Alex and Pete left Palm Beach this morning. If you want to know where they are you can check their Spot page here:

Nacho and I spent the last month up there with them and it was such a blast. After a year and a half of owning Eleanor I had only spent a handful of nights on her. Alex flew in first to get her sort of ready (and kick out all sorts of critters and rodents) and after a couple of weeks Nacho and I came to join him. It was so nice to spend a month all together on our new boat, and she’s such a beauty. It was love at first sight and we love her more everyday. Nacho hasn’t quite figured out how to get in and out of the boat but he’ll get there. We need to build something for him to get onto the bed but that’s it, no biggie. Also we want to convert the aft bunks into a queen size bed
like we have on Splendid, it’s a bit of a challenge because the mizzen mast comes all the way down but we’ll try, the three of us like to sleep together, especially Nacho, he can’t make up his IMG_1738mind who to sleep with otherwise, we’ll have to fix it. Other than that she’s absolutely perfect in every sense. There’s so much light and so much room and so much storage. And she’s heavy at anchor, such a comfortable boat to live on. My favorite place is the settee with the table, Alex loves the couches/bunks in the sitting room (we got one now, fancy).

The challenge for this trip was all the stuff he has to bring to Panama. We are bringing all of Joe’s boxes from his house in Okeechobee, plus the new bike, all the equipment we bought for the movie which is in Pelican cases, plus (hear this) a washing machine and an acoustic guitar Alex’s sister Sara Jane gave us, plus my new cello hahaaa yep my dad got me a cello to compose music for the film. We had to devise line systems here and there to keep all that stuff from falling during the sail but I think it’ll be ok.IMG_1741

Another exciting piece of news is that Pete Shaner is giving Alex a hand sailing to Panama but he’s also a film maker and might join our team behind the camera. We’re keeping our fingers crossed, he’s super fun and talented. We took two afternoons to try the new equipment and were very impressed with the results. We are so looking forward to shooting this film, we really can’t wait. We feel it’s going to be a much easier and more effective way to let everyone know about our lifestyle and the freedom it can bring about. Alex has been growing his hair for the character, you can already see some changes in the photos he sent me this morning.

During my stay in Florida I also got to spend time with my dad and my brother’s family, which is always lovely and fun. We also received a couple of amazing visitors: Todd Townsend (another proud new Westsail owner, who has been helping with Eleanor since the beginning, remember?) who will play the part of a street musician in the movie, and David Wilson, who ran this website
IMG-20151111-WA0009for over a decade. We also hung out with Alex’s friend Chuck who lives there in Palm Beach and has a mooring in the same anchorage where we stayed those weeks. His 15-year-old son, Zach, plays the viola wonderfully and might join the soundtrack team. Boris, the charango player from Bariloche, has just entered the studio to record a new album, so we will have more material to choose from soon. And a few girls from Argentine band Las Taradas are also writing music for us. They’re amazing, check out who they are:

Nacho and I would have loved to sail down with them, but we had to come back to look after Joe. He did not ask us to come back, but we knew he’d like the company. He’s been working hard on the script too, making his character deeper and more interesting. We’ll be shooting his scenes first so that he can relax. If we take a long time to finish the movie, at least we want to make IMG_4628
sure his scenes are done. He’s doing great, we’ve been even talking about doing a second part later with him too. But he’s 84, we know he’s got lots of energy now, we have to take advantage of it.

Pete has to go back home before the end of the month because his latest independent production has been selected for a film festival, he’s flying back for the screening. After that he’ll decide whether he’s interested in coming back to Panama to help us shoot The Minimalist Sailor. His fiancee, Vick, is a very talented actress too, we were hoping she would also play the part of Alex’s sister. But we have to wait and see. Alex will have to take some time off when he gets here anyway, he’s been working like crazy and has been having a lot of pain in his shoulders. If they can’t make it, at least I’ve seen Pete work in Florida those two days and I have a better idea of what to do if I end up having to be the one behind the
IMG_1733camera. He has been an invaluable asset during these past couple of weeks, we’re so thankful.

Now they won’t have a working phone or internet for the next couple of weeks, they are planning to sail straight here as quick as possible. Pete has some satellite email sort of thing. But at least the Spot page seems to be working, so we can see their trip on the map.

Can’t wait to have the movie to share with you, guys. We’ve been quiet but we’re working hard. It’s a very small production, but we’re putting our hearts and souls into it. Talk to you soon!

Take care,


Published in Carla Dorsey
Updated: May 3, 2016 — 13:43


  1. He’s leaving San Salvador island in Bahamas early in the morning and they have one more stop. After that it’s straight to Panama! They’ll be here in no time ;)

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