The Life Nomadic

Shortly after our arrival in Weems Creek, the perfect engine for our dinghy materialized on Craigslist, and arrangements were made to meet the seller at his house back in town, half an hour away. The routine hunt for needs in strange ports is old hat for seasoned cruisers, but being our first time, we braced ourselves for the predictable curve balls that boat life tends to throw one’s way. By the time we’d rowed to the dinghy landing we were already running late, so we Ubered the rest of the way. Morgan, the man selling the outboard, walked us through...

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The Push to Annapolis

After three long days of motor-sailing, we were knackered by the time we dropped anchor in the Annapolis Boat Basin. Our final leg, most of which was in the Chesapeake Bay, would have been lovely under sail, but the wind was light and right on her nose and there was nothing else to do but burn the diesel and put up with the noise. The water was speckled with crab pots waiting to wreck havoc on our propeller. We took up watch posts, me to starboard and Brian to port, and we spent eight mind-numbing hours scanning the water...

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Sailing NYC to Atlantic City

As we headed out of New York Harbor before dawn, looking back at the lights of the buildings made it too difficult to focus our eyes on the course ahead. We were so fixated on dodged tankers and floating debris in the darkness we forgot to have ourselves a sentimental moment, but given how little I care for sailing a Whitby 42 in the harbor, it was a pretty fitting way to close that chapter and begin another. The sun started to rise as we cleared the channel into the ocean. The boat suddenly started rolling with six foot...

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Goodbye, New York

Twelve years ago, I moved from Boston to New York and everything changed. When I arrived, I didn’t know what to do with myself or even who I was, and at the age of 23, it was exactly the kick in the ass that I needed. My relationship with the city has become more complicated in recent years, but even so, I have tears in my eyes when I think about leaving this place I’ve loved calling home. Today, during our final hours here, I focus on all the wonderful, strange, and sometimes terrifying (in a good way) parts of my long-time love affair with New...

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Waiting on the Weather

All summer long, Brian has quipped that we’d pay for the perfect weather we’ve enjoyed June through September with non-stop rain beginning the moment we’re ready to leave the dock. Sure enough, just as our window for departure opened, so came predictions of a nor’easter and a hurricane threatening to hit the East Coast. Not wishing to be stuck in a storm on the hook somewhere between NYC and Annapolis, we opted to stay at our slip in our well-protected and comfortable marina. Then we went right back into project mode as we waited for the rain. I got into the dinghy and scrubbed the hull above the waterline (for...

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Provisioning for a Sailing Trip (And Not for a Zombie Apocalypse)

Being a food nerd and an avid cook, I’ve been looking forward to the challenge of provisioning for our journey. The internet is full of regretful accounts from now-seasoned cruisers who first stocked their boats as if they’d never see a grocery store again, only to throw away hundreds of dollars in expired cans of green beans and Spam years later. With these cautionary tales in mind, I’ve set the following guidelines to follow for our provisioning: Only buy foods that we’d cook and eat normally – Living in New York, we’ve enjoyed access to tons of great specialty food shops, farmers’...

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The Teak Restoration Project

Nightingale Tune is adorned with charming teak accents that we count among the many reasons we fell in love with her. Sadly, time, pollution, and UV rays wore away her varnish long ago, and the wood has started cracking in some places. Brian and I knew that the brightwork (sailor speak for conditioning and varnishing wood) required to bring the teak back from the silver-grey in the photo above would involve many long days of work, but couldn’t resist the chance to protect the wood from further damage and give her a pretty facelift in the process. The first day and a half was consumed with...

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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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