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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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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