Sailing the Intracoastal Waterways

Cruising with the Waterlust crew from Annapolis to Miami in wooden sailboats.

August 20, 2016
in Sail

Patrick Rynne, Fiona Graham, Jennah Caster and Laura Graham are ocean scientists and adventurers at Waterlust, a purpose-driven company that travels the world to create films about water. Recognizing a shared passion for sea-based adventure, marine science, and a love for all things water, Sperry has partnered with Waterlust to explore and embark on new adventures around the world.

After 3 weeks of intense hours spent building two sailboats, the Waterlust team finished building their Expedition Canoes at Chesapeake Light Craft in Annapolis (read more about boat building here) and set sail down the Intracoastal Waterway towards their home port in Miami. The aptly-named boats, Anna and Mia, were named after the towns that mark the start and end points of their Odyssey, and were built alongside partners and members of the Annapolis community who rose up to the challenge and pitched in to help the team craft the perfect vessel for their Odyssey.


View part one of the Odyssey, where Waterlust test their newly-built wooden boats at sea.

A pair of Paul Sperry Flex Deck CVO‘s sits harnessed into the pedals of one of the boats.

With many stops to go, boat building and sea trials were just the beginning of this Odyssey. On the first leg of their travels, the Waterlust team sailed from Annapolis, MD to Norfolk, VA and then continued from Virginia to the Carolinas. For some of the crew, this thousand-mile odyssey was a first-time experience with sailing.


Watch Part 2 of their Odyssey as the crew sails from Virginia to the Carolinas.

Traveling from Virginia to the Outer Banks, the highlight was sharing an island campsite with wild horses in Shackleford Banks.

When traveling nearly 1000 miles by boat, its important to recognize the fact that the ocean, while beautiful, is no joke. On the third leg of Waterlust’s Odyssey, the crew set out towards Beaufort, South Carolina to find Little Blue, an abandoned and uninhabited vacation house on Hunting Island. While it may seem wasteful that the home is uninhabited, the reasoning for it’s seclusion and emptiness is clear.

After years of heavy storms and erosion rocked the coast of South Carolina’s Hunting Island, the home known to visitors as Little Blue is one of the lone remaining signs that people once settled and vacationed on Hunting Island. Reports claim that the home, now the last standing home in the area, has been vacant since 2009. The crew’s visit to this spot was especially noteworthy because Little Blue is set to be torn down by the state later this year.

Little Blue, an uninhabited vacation home on Hunting Island in Beaufort, SC stands alone along the shoreline on top of rickety wooden stilts. Little Blue is an iconic symbol of the ocean’s power and is a visible reminder of the effects of hurricanes and erosions.


For visitors stopping through Hunting Island State Park, Little Blue has served as a reminder that the ocean is a powerful thing. This message of the ocean’s power was soon reinforced when Hurricane Hermine (or was it a tropical storm? Refer back to our Hurricane Research blog post HERE to check) swept clean across the Waterlust crew’s 1000 mile sail to Miami. The crew’s boats, Anna & Mia, took the storm head-on, strapped to the roof of the crew’s truck, while the crew battened down the hatch and found safety in the comforts of a hotel room in Savannah, GA.

Watch Part 3 of their Odyssey as they stop to see Little Blue here:

Careful what you wish for! Patrick Rynne remarks at the irony of the fact that when he pitched us on this project idea back in June he was wishing for a hurricane. Despite Hurricane Hermine’s windy power, all were safe and sound and the 100 mile sailing Odyssey continued south towards Miami.


In the final stretch of their journey, the Waterlust crew pedaled and sailed their way through the Intracoastal Waterways of Georgia and Florida and arrived in Miami after two months on the road. Homecoming is always a bittersweet moment because it means that the adventure is over, but with 1000 miles of memories and two hand-built wooden sailboats, the crew will never forget this journey. And who knows – those same two sailboats may even take them on their next Odyssey… 

View Part Four of their Odyssey as the crew returns home to Miami here:


Building a Wooden Boat

The Waterlust team travels to the seaport town of Annapolis where they learn to build a wooden sailboat with the boat building experts at Chesapeake Light Craft.

July 31, 2016
Learning to Fly on Foils

Using hydrofoils on a wakeboard to fly above the water off the shores of Miami.

February 8, 2017