Special Delivery: Parents’ Visit and Portland Pudgy

We’re looking extra pudgy around here these days, and it’s not just the extra pizza and pork buns we’ve been eating to compensate for life after we leave New York. My parents drove down from Maine for a visit and brought our brand-new Portland Pudgy dinghy with them. Now we own two boats! We’re thrilled with the dingy so far. To celebrate her arrival, we rowed my mom around the marina, before hoisting her up onto the deck for storage. Among the features that we love so far, she has nifty handles on the bottom, which makes handling her out of...

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How to Name a Sailboat (And Avoid Pissing Off Neptune/Poseidon)

After months of mulling and debate we finally came up with a name for the boat that is meaningful to us and befitting of her style. With the hard part finally checked off the list, we couldn’t wait to begin the de-naming and re-naming processes. The nautical world is so filled with superstition, if you followed all of it, you’d never leave the dock. But, as sailors who love our boat as much as we love a good party, we embraced the de/re-naming according the nautical custom and made it our own. We gathered some friends to help us celebrate the occasion and toast the boat. Brian and I...

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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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