Wine Storage on Sailboats

I’m a little particular when it comes to buying wine, and since my go-tos are not widely available in the Caribbean, I’m stocking up. This week, four cases from my favorite supplier arrived, and combined with the bottles I was already holding, brought the total number aboard to over sixty. Storing bottled wine on a boat is completely impractical. Glass bottles are heavy, fragile, oddly shaped, and take up tons of space. Also, wine goes bad when subjected to manic temperature shifts, sunlight, and constant movement/vibrations; three unavoidable aspects of cruising life. We gave up a lot when we moved aboard, but since I wasn’t ready to give up...

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The Top 7 Boat Projects: Windlass Installation, Removing Vinyl from Transom and More

This morning, my first official day of unemployment, Brian and I woke up early for a quick project review in the salon. It turns out that boat projects and software/curriculum development work pretty much the same way, and I’ll be looking forward to daily scrum for some much-needed structure and teamwork as I deal with workplace withdrawal. We’ve got a lot to do before we leave at the end of the month, and that list will surely grow before it starts shrinking. Not that it’s been all sailing and happy hours for the last three months. We’ve been pretty good about fitting in after-hours projects, all summer long. Here is a...

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Living Aboard: Three Months In

Brian’s mom raised both eyebrows when I showed her the handheld dish sprayer we connected to the bathroom sink to use for showering. “Can you really get clean with that?” People are curious about the details of this way of life, and have a hard time imagining themselves in our shoes. When it comes to day-to-day changes we’ve adopted since the boat became our house, the shower situation is just the beginning. Coming and going requires climbing a steep ladder. We sleep in a tall, cushioned shelf called a berth. The hatches and portlights we unbolt for “air conditioning” must...

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Day 3: Atlantic City to New York City

With our sights set on Sandy Hook, NJ, we woke at the luxuriously late hour of 6AM. We moved a little slower, knowing that we had less distance to cover in great conditions. We made quick work of getting the boat ready to vacate our slip in AC. Once again, I was thankful Gerry was at the helm. The marina was tightly-packed, and moving about in an unfamiliar, heavy sailboat was scary. For one tense moment, the stern of our boat practically kissed the bow of a powerboat behind us. I sucked in my breath, bracing for the jolt of collision, but our boat turned just in...

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Day 2: Delaware Bay to Atlantic City

4:30AM. I woke up in the same clothes I’d worn the day before, minus my waterproof shell layer. With temps like these, I’d be wearing this ensemble of fleece-lined running tights, hoodie, fisherman’s sweater, wool socks, hat, and mittens for the rest of the trip. We were going to be one ripe boat by the end! As Gerry prepared the engine and deck for a speedy departure, Brian and I went forward to the bow to take in the anchor. The previous evening, as we were letting out all of the chain, we remembered that we’d never actually practiced...

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Day 1: Down the C&D Canal to the Delaware Bay

The alarm went off at 4:30 AM, followed by a muffled “you awake?” from the salon. Gerry, apparently well-rested despite the racket of rain drumming above our heads all night, had sprung into action. While I fumbled with the coffee mill in the galley, Brian and Gerry got busy prepping the boat; checking the engine, filters, oil, and checking out the instruments that came with Morning Light. Once they had the lay of the land, there were eight dock lines attached to tall pilings at all four corners that needed to be undone. By the time they’d started the engine,  I was handing mugs of coffee...

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Sailing from Annapolis to NYC: getting ready

Weeks before we closed on Morning Light, we were hatching our plans to bring her from her former home in Annapolis up to our marina in New York Harbor. Timing hinged upon an important question: do we hire a captain to bring her up to us, do we hire a captain to join us on board, or do we go it alone? Having our bareboat charter certifications, a fair amount of small boat (J-24) experience on the Hudson River, and solo charter experiences in the Virgin Islands (40’ Island Packet) and Great South Bay (35’ Hunter), we knew we could go it alone...

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We bought a boat!

It’s been so fun sharing the news that Brian and I will very soon be giving up our Brooklyn apartment to move aboard our new sailboat home. We’d been laying this plan and securing the painstaking details for months, in relative secrecy. Finally announcing the news on Facebook, once the documents that made her ours were inked, felt like stepping out of our cave and into the sun! There have been lots of questions since our big announcement. What will you eat? Where do you shower? Will you sail to work each day? I’ll do my best to answer questions like those as I chronicle our adventures on my blog about life...

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