Brian and I posing on the ladder while our friend Emily takes our photo. It’s hard to see, but I had just started sanding away all traces of the cove stripe (the thin blue stripe at the top of the boat) Photo: Emily Grainger

As the days roll along here in Deltaville, we’re finally in the groove with our projects and feeing the momentum towards relaunching. The necessary parts started arriving a few days back, and we can’t move quickly enough to get everything replaced, set up, and working. Today we ripped the tape off to reveal our brand new navy boot stripe and WOW – huge difference. Once we paint the bottom and polish the hull, I’ll do a full reveal. She is almost unrecognizable!

brian painting

Brian, painting the final coat of navy blue awlgrip for the new boot stripe

new batteries

New battery bank of golf cart batteries (3 of 5 pictured here, in the engine room), plus a ton of rewired electrical connections that Brian replaced due to corrosion. The batteries each weigh over sixty pounds. We used the outhaul from our mizzen boom to to safely lower the old ones down to the ground.


After surveying a million other sailors, we broke down and bought a radar system. We’re not psyched to abandon our minimal setup based on charts and iPad navigation. Here, Brian surveys our limited mounting options.


The town tailor proposal for mounting our solar panels to the bimini and dodger, was not to our liking, so we decided to take matters into our own hands. Time for me to learn to sew!

new bookshelf

Two things to note in this photo: the bookcase and the cat. I grew tired of not being able to stand our books up on the old shelf, so I removed all the hardware and the unnecessary shelves and am pleased with the results. I am NOT pleased with the cat. Here, he stews after terrorizing the local vet and her assistant for 45 minutes.

Having friends nearby has kept morale high. Brittanny and Kjell, old friends from Northern Spy in Manhattan where I was pastry chef at the same time that Britt was sous chef, took a day off from killing it at their acclaimed restaurant in Richmond to check up on us, and we spent a glorious afternoon celebrating Brian’s birthday with oysters at Merroir. There’s nothing like seeing your friends follow their dreams and kick ass doing it.

brit and kjell

With Britt and Kjell on Brian’s birthday


I am in love with Chesapeake oysters

And here in the yard, we’ve become instant friends with a group of fantastic people. There’s Emily, a Michigan native who circumnavigated (sailed around the entire world) with her family during her teen years and has returned as an adult to resurrect the long-dormant family boat. Justin (or “counselor Justin” as I like to call him), a Floridan and nautical entrepreneur who knows more about boats at the age of 26 than I will know in a lifetime. I’m not sure we can ever repay him for all of the advice, materials, and completely contagious positive attitude he’s bestowed on us. And finally, John, a British engineer with an impressive sailing record that includes crossing the Atlantic by himself. We’re feeling nothing but gratitude for the folks that we’ve met here, and parting will be difficult, as eager as we are to leave.


Me, walking Emily, Justin, and John through the bread making process in Justin’s galley. Boat cooking seems to be the only skill I have to share in this new life of ours.

Deltaville project list:

Clean putrid, rotting sludge out of the bilge
– Finish LED installations
– Change zincs
– Install keel cooler for Frigaboat cooling plate (this will help our fridge and freezer run more efficiently)
– Install a gate in our lifelines near the bow for launching the Pudge as a liferaft
– Sand and repaint boot stripe (did not repaint, as I like how it looks as is)
– Sand and repaint cove stripe
Chip off flaking bottom paint and apply two coats of ablative bottom paint
– Clean and wax hull
– Haul out old batteries and install new ones
– Replace alternator
– NEW learn to use Sailrite
– Sew flexible solar panels into the bimini and dodger (canvas shades over the cockpit)
– Wire solar panels to solar controllers and batteries
– Install new depth sounder
– Replace piece of broken rub rail (this project is on the Annapolis Water Taxi, as they were responsible for the damage)
– Complete Nico’s paperwork for clearance into the Bahamas
– NEW install radar system and Garmin chart plotter