The other day, as we made a trip to shore sans dogs, Marigot nearly gave us a heart attack. As we pulled away from the boat, she managed to squeeze herself between the lifelines and was balancing with all four paws on the two-inch wide, wooden rubrail that stretches around the hull. Miraculously, our rolly polly tightrope walker managed to scramble back over the jerry cans on deck – but whew! Close call.

At that moment we knew – it was time to net the boat.

On land, there often comes a certain time in one’s life, when one is forced to trade their sleek sedan or sports car for something more practical and family-friendly – like a minivan. In sailor terms, putting a net over a cherished boat is an equivalent trade-off.

Predictably, Brian did not embrace this transition. Let’s face it, there’s nothing sexy about a bunch of netting hanging off the lifelines of a boat, no matter how pretty her hull. But, like many men before him, he sucked it up and did it for the kids.

Thanks to our generous friends Pete and Mary (who gave us netting from this company that they happened to have aboard), we have enough netting to cover 3/4 of the boat. All of Marigot’s favorite launch pads are now secure, and we’re feeling a lot better about leaving the pups alone on deck for short stretches. We’ll finish the job as soon as we get to San Juan, but for now, we’re looking extra Clampett-y with our partial netting.

PS – If you feel like testing the strength of your marriage, watch this video and install the netting together. It’s frustrating, monotonous, and takes FOREVER. Pro tip: when weaving the leechline, hold the slack in a little bundle as you pull it through the net and/or around the lifelines. Do not try weaving the end only and pulling it through as you would with a needle and thread – the line kinks up and turns into a big mess! Trust me on this.