Westbrook to Stratford to Manhasset and a Christening

This adventure has barely begun and already we are feeling fulfilled beyond belief. The last few days have been a flurry of excitement, fun, memories, people who are so important to us, and support that we can’t even imagine. A while ago John told me that even if something happened our first day out he would be happy because at least we would have done it. Well, just a few days out, I realize how completely right he was in that statement. We hope for four years for our experience, but no matter what, we are unbelievably grateful for what we have already had.

Our trip from Duck Island in Westbrook to Stratford, CT was, once again, thankfully uneventful. We chose a marina in Stratford because the yacht club to which we once belonged in Bridgeport and the marina where we kept our sailboat, Solitude, before that could not guarantee us a dock. With the christening scheduled, we didn’t want to take any chances, so we reserved a dock on the Housatonic River in the town where I spent most of my early childhood years. Boating up past Short Beach where I learned to swim as a very little girl and where we walked out to the lighthouse during low tide brought back fond memories of my father taking us to the beach. At 2:00 on Wednesday afternoon we were safely docked and ready to prepare for the christening to happen on Thursday. Chris and Sam Alesevich showed up with 100 clams and a huge salad. Along with some shrimp cocktail and a pasta salad we had quite the feast for dinner that night!

Thursday morning, John started shining up the boat while Chris picked me up and took me to Costco, BJs, Wal-Mart and Shop Rite to get everything we would need for food and drink for the christening as well as provisions I wanted for AfterMath before we got too far underway. Becky Everhart came early to help us set up and before we knew it, the time had arrived for the big event. Everyone was able to walk around the boat and grab some snacks and then gather on the dock while John and I proceeded to the bow for the ceremony. Unfortunately the gnats arrived about the same time the christening started. Standing up high above everyone gave us quite a funny sight while we watched all of our guests batting the bugs with the pamphlet we gave everyone so they could participate in the ceremony itself! Thankfully we didn’t talk long and everyone was able to return to the boat where no bugs followed along. Regardless of the swatting and fanning during the de-naming and christening, I think everyone had a wonderful time. We were so happy to have so many dear friends and relatives come and share the fun with us. We missed all of those who wanted to be here but could not, but we know that they were all here in spirit.

Here is an assortment of photos of the christening and our guests, thanks to Chris, Judd and Caroline.

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We planned to leave Stratford on Friday, but we had an issue with the inverter on our boat and decided to take care of that before we moved on. An inverter changes 12-volt power, such as in your cigarette lighter in your car, to 120-volt power such as the plugs you use in your house. When we are underway, John uses a computer to help with navigation and we like to be able to make coffee and plug in phones and such when we are at anchor and are not using a generator. Apparently, a hose clamp that had loosened up this past winter and sprayed salt water had done some damage to the circuit board of our inverter. John called around and found a replacement in Branford and, once again, Chris and Sam came to our rescue. Sam picked up John and off they went to get the new part. They then came back to AfterMath and spent the entire day installing the new inverter in a safer place in the engine room. Meanwhile, Chris came and picked me up along with Kirby and Jake and took me to their house where I did three large loads of laundry and went in their beautiful swimming pool while the dogs ran around their fenced in yard. We have a washer/dryer on our boat, but it is small and we just had let our laundry get behind. It’s so nice to start out on our trip with all of our laundry done, clean sheets on the bed and fresh towels in the bathrooms. After a nice dinner with Chris and Sam last night, we said goodbye, thankful that we were able to spend time together and that our friendship had been rekindled.

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Today we left Stratford after a pump out and putting some fuel in the boat and had a glorious day on the water. We made it to Manhasset in New York and have now logged over 100 miles on AfterMath. Tomorrow we hope to go through New York City and start our journey up the Hudson River.

We are so happy that all is going so well and we are so thankful to our friends and relatives for being there for us these past few days. We just can’t imagine life without these wonderful people. We love you all!

We are on our way!

We did it!  It’s been almost four years in the planning.  It’s been eight months since we first saw this boat for the first time.  Eight months since we took that first ride on a cool fall afternoon on the Mystic River.  Eight months since we decided to take the plunge and buy it and name her AfterMath.  But today we left that dock in Mystic for the last time.

It’s amazing to think of all we have done to get ready for today.  All the work we have done, all the possessions we have sold and given away, all the time and effort we put into getting this boat ready for us to move on to, and all the work we have done since we moved aboard.  But today we are on our way!

The morning started early with John doing last-minute tasks and me driving to the post office one last time and then heading to the Honda dealer to drop off my car.  That process was painless and quick and a very nice young lady drove me back to the marina.  Soon we were ready to go and about five of the people who we had become friendly with on the dock showed up to help untie us and set us off.  One lady video taped our departure on her iPad.  There were a lot of nice people at the marina who were supportive of and excited about our adventure.

Our trip today lasted about three and one half hours and was, thankfully, completely uneventful.  John drove from the pilot house and, for a good part of the time, I sat on the bow and enjoyed the sunshine.  It’s still pretty cool out on the water, but Kirby and Jake love being out there so much while we are moving that I didn’t have the heart to make them come in.  I have finally decided that Jake is perfectly safe out there as he stands at the bow with all four feet on the ground, but Kirby loves to prop his front feet up on the edge and it still makes me nervous.  Thankfully, he loves to sit with me on the bench in front of the pilot house and cuddle up, so I am happy to oblige to keep him from falling over.  Tonight we decided we would add an extra life line on the bow that should keep him from hanging over quite so much.  Both dogs wore their life jackets today, which is quite a sight!  I’ll have to document that in a picture tomorrow!

We arrived in Westbrook at about 4:00 and anchored easily.  It was my first time at the controls and I think I passed the test.  We bought wireless headphones so we can talk to each other instead of just using hand signals, and that was a big help.  John didn’t have to wave frantically as I could easily ask him if he wanted me to go faster and he could tell me which way to turn without having to be frustrated.  They will be money well spent !!!

IMG_1977IMG_1982 After anchoring it was time for a celebratory cocktail.  The dogs both plopped themselves down on the bow and soaked in the sun while we finally felt a little warm air and watched the sailboats heading out for their race.  John then grilled some steaks on the new grill and we had dinner waiting for sunset.  It was a wonderful day with a glorious end and we are finally feeling that we are really on our way.

Carol DeRoche sent me this quote from Mark Twain that really sums up how we feel about our life right now:“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”  Such a perfect thought for our trip.  Please, everyone, live your dreams.  You will never be sorry.

Happy Memorial Day!

IMG_1959 Today is Memorial Day, the day we pause to remember all of those who have served and are currently serving in the military. For our family, the list is long. Starting with our parents’ generation we are thankful for the service of John Daigle, Sr., George Hattersley, Elwood Hattersley, Kathy and Steve Coffey, Jack Hattersley, Dick Tomkins, Caroline Zedella, Matt Coffey, Jason Daigle, and Jeff Daigle. We also thank friends and children of friends who have dedicated themselves to keeping America free and strong. This group has served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard. The dedication of all of our service people and the sacrifices made by their families is appreciated more than they can ever imagine. IMG_0979-2 Life on AfterMath has been busy as usual. First of all, there is the key situation. Some of you may have seen the post on Facebook where we put out a plea for a key that might match the only “house” key we had for our boat. It is a very old fashioned skeleton key and we were a little nervous that it didn’t have a twin anywhere. I went to locksmiths who said they couldn’t make a copy. One dear friend, Gail Pecora, who saw my request, sent me two treasured keys from her old house. We were touched that she was willing to part with them for our cause and we were all hoping they would work just because it would have been so much fun to have keys from a house in Fairfield, CT be a part of this adventure. They weren’t a fit, however, so I mailed them back and decided to visit a blacksmith shop near the marina. It turned out that he was really more of an artist who recreates old iron fences and I don’t think making two key copies was one of his interests. However, a younger man named Matt, in the next shop, who is also an artist, overheard the conversation and said that he liked making keys. Well, Matt is a wonderful and persistent guy! He designed a couple of keys that roughly resembled ours. After many trips back and forth by John, we finally had two keys that worked! And Matt asked for $35. We were thrilled to say the least!

IMG_1945IMG_1948 IMG_1951 IMG_1950 Wednesday night brought us visitors again! The Daigle family is learning to love Florida. Jim and Julie own a second home in Cape Coral while Rich and Kathy recently bought a second home on Amelia Island. Everyone has just returned to the north for the summer so we were able to have a get together here so they could tour AfterMath. There were stories told and secrets shared and it was a great night with them all here. IMG_0646-2 IMG_1953 The big news this week is that the dinghy finally arrived on Thursday. This was the last piece of the puzzle that was keeping us from leaving Mystic. This weekend has been a flurry of activity as we had tie downs for the little boat to be tied on top of AfterMath, and with the final outfitting we need to be underway. John has tightened 256 hose clamps in the engine room, checked the water levels in 12 batteries, pulled the fuel gages out to measure the fuel in the tanks, replaced hardware on the anchor rode, made numerous runs to West Marine, and performed countless other last minute tasks. As for me, I’ve stocked the freezer, refrigerator and cabinets to their capacity. I also had my car cleaned and detailed and went to the Honda dealer to find out what we would do about getting rid of the car. I will tell you, if you ever want to lease a car, I suggest Honda highly. We were willing to sell the car to any family member who wanted it if they just wanted to meet what we owed on the lease. When no one replied, I took it to Honda who will take the car back and send me a check for its additional value. You have to love a deal like that! IMG_1965 IMG_1960 IMG_1969 As we prepare to leave, I thought I should show you the view most people get as they pass by on the dock. Kirby has become the good will ambassador, greeting everyone he sees. Often when sitting inside the boat I hear a chuckle and a quick comment about that “cute dog” that loves to say hello. Jake, on the other hand, is happy to relax a bit – make that a lot!

So, with the final preparations just about done, tomorrow morning I will head to Honda, drop off my car (and hope they give me a ride back to the marina!). Then we will untie and shove off as long as the weather is good. We expect to anchor at Duck Island in Westbrook, CT tomorrow and then head to Stratford for two nights. In Stratford we will have a boat de-naming and then christening party. Chris Alesevich has offered to drive me around to buy the food and champagne and I know that will be a fun day of preparation for a fun night. It looks like this adventure is about to begin for real!!

A Walk Around Noank

Everyone knows that I love Florida.  Often, while living there, I was asked if I missed the seasons. I always responded with a resounding, “NO!”.  John would answer a little differently.  He would explain that there were seasons, just much less defined than in the north.  Yesterday afternoon, though, I was reminded of the beauty of spring as I took a walk around Noank, which is a small village in Groton, CT and is where our boat is docked.  I brought a camera along to document a few of the flowers that signal spring has arrived to the Connecticut. (To clear up any confusion, I realize we have been talking about Mystic.  Mystic is also a village.  It is in New London county and is partly in Groton and partly in Stonington.  Mystic is next to Noank and is much better known as it contains Mystic Seaport and a very nice aquarium.)jpg collage flowers IMG_1898 While photographing some flowers on a doorstep of a store, this nice gentleman walked out with his wife.  He said, “You don’t have to take my picture, I’m not Johnny Depp.”  Of course that meant I HAD to get a shot!  His wife prompted him to smile, but he wasn’t going for that idea! IMG_1891 IMG_1883 This is the center of the village on Main Street.  There is one other shop on the other side of the street, but that is all there is.  You can find a couple of lobster shacks down on the water.  I’ll have to get over there and get a few shots before we leave, but they are down some serious hills that I did not want to have to reclimb! IMG_1924 And, in typical form, there are always people who use a good sense of humor to get their messages across.

AfterMath’s First Trip From the Dock

One thing is always certain on a boat: nothing quite ever goes as planned.


We were looking forward to Monday with such anticipation! We would get to see Alex again after so many years and we would take AfterMath off the dock for a ride. We were ready! Lunch was made, the dogs were walked, Alex arrived right on time and, unfortunately, it was foggy. By noon the fog lifted, though, and we were really ready to go. Lines were loosened and some untied, the electric cable was disconnected, the dogs’ boarding ramp was stowed, and the engines were on. John went down to do a last minute check of the engine room, however, and found water spraying from somewhere. Everything was retied, reconnected and turned off. After investigation John found the leak, which, although not serious, needed to be fixed. The boat ride turned into a car ride for John and Alex where they found some gasket material and came back to get to work. It was getting late by the time the work was finished so we convinced Alex to stay overnight and have dinner with us. The next morning the repair was completed, but the fog had returned, never to leave again for the rest of the day. There would be no leaving the dock on Tuesday. John and Alex took care of some other chores though, and Alex helped me set up and check out the folding bikes that will be the only means of transportation off the boat beside walking and taxis. Although our plans were not successful, we did enjoy having Alex here and, as usual when he is around, our time was filled with laughter.


Tuesday night was an enjoyable one as our niece, Caroline, and her husband, Mark, invited us to dinner at their house, which is about 45 minutes from Mystic. We were so pleased to see their beautiful home, to spend some more time with them and their baby, Charlie, and to have a wonderful meal that they prepared.

We had plans for my brother, Jack, and sister-in-law, Jean, to come spend the night on Wednesday, but with the delay in taking the boat out for a spin and with an issue with the air conditioning system, we had to postpone our visit. We were so sorry to do so, but Tom, the previous owner, agreed to come by this morning and accompany us on our maiden voyage and to help figure out what was going on with the air. Tom and his wife are getting ready to move to Sarasota, Florida, right near where we lived and today was the only day he could make it, so we jumped at the offer. Tom was here bright and early and, once again, we were ready to go. Thankfully, the air conditioning turned out to be a simple switch in the wrong position, and we once again untied lines, disconnected electricity, stowed the ramp, and started the engines. This time, though, everything was good in the engine room and AfterMath finally moved away from the dock. What a feeling it is when you are out on the water again. John said he saw me just grinning away sitting on the bow with the dogs. I hadn’t even realized I was smiling, but I was in heaven there. The sun was shining, the seas were calm, and there was a light breeze. All was well with my world! We were out for a while before we headed back feeling great. John slid AfterMath back into her dock and we easily got her tied up and secured again. Our time out on the water made us both so anxious to get underway. Neither of us wanted to come back!

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For those of you who are not from New England, you may not realize how rocky this area is. In Florida you would be hard pressed to find a rock in the ground, but in New England you would be hard pressed to dig a shovel full of soil and not hit a rock or a boulder! These pictures from today show a little bit of this rocky area.

We did finally get some news on the dinghy. The engine is now here from Texas and we should have it soon. We were disappointed because the dealer had promised to have the whole boat ready when the engine came in so they could just drop it on and hook it up. It seems they didn’t follow through on that promise, though, and the whole boat still needs to be assembled. John, using his best salesman tone, reminded the dealer of the arrangements we had made and they said work will be started tomorrow. Hopefully we will get it quickly because the boat yard has told us we have to be out of here by Memorial Day. We will be calling and stopping by the dinghy shop to keep after them and to keep them on task.

So, this weekend we will try to finish up the last of the supply shopping. We need to buy a grill and some headphones so we can talk to each other while docking (John can’t see me if I am on the stern and I can’t hear him when I am that far away). I am going to get serious about filling up the freezer and stocking up on paper goods and staples now that we are getting closer to leaving. The last big project will be selling my car. Thankfully, it’s a leased car so we have lots of options on how to get rid of it. That will be a big event in our lives!

We were sad to hear the news that my uncle passed away yesterday. He was my mother’s brother and the last of my parents’ generation. We will try to get to New Hampshire on Monday for the services. Uncle Bob was a great guy and he will be missed.

Remember to live each day to its fullest.  Tell someone you love them.  Be kind.  Every day is treasure.

Life Long Friends and Little Improvements

Do you remember your very first best friend? The one you shared every secret with? Did that friend last your lifetime? And if you take your really true long time friends, how many years of friendship can you add up? This was a week of sharing our new life with friends and family who have been a part of our lives for so many years it’s almost unimaginable.


This smile is one I’ve known for 58 years!!


When I met Chris, we were in kindergarten. We have been friends forever. As little girls we spent countless hours at each other’s houses. We knew every member of each other’s families and I even remember Chris coming on vacation with us one summer, but, aside from Christmas cards, we sort of lost touch over the past several years. I sent her a change of address card, though, when we left Florida and one day, while we were still in the cabin before moving on the boat, she called.   As with all true friends, it seemed as if no time had passed. We vowed to see each other soon and before I knew it, on Wednesday, she and her husband Sam were on our boat. We had so much fun together. We caught up on all the happenings with kids and pets and family and had just a wonderful time. I kept thinking about that old song about keeping old friends – they truly are golden (and, yes, we were girl scouts together)!


On Friday Ned came to visit. Ned worked with John years ago and he and Anne became our good friends many years ago. Ned has a house in CT and Anne has a house in St. Petersburg, FL. We used to visit in Connecticut, but when we moved to Florida our friendship really took off. Countless dinners were shared with Ned and Anne over the years and we really miss seeing them on the almost weekly basis that happened whenever they were both in Florida. Ned was in Connecticut this week so he came to check out the boat and to take us to lunch. Now, the truth is, Ned and Anne taught me to love Manhattans, so I had to have one ready for him when he showed up to see AfterMath!


Our next visit was on Saturday from Vera and Rolf. We have known the Redins for almost 40 years and they were part of our “Gourmet Group”. Our kids grew up together and they are some of our dearest friends. We are really more family than just friends as we all know each other so well and love each other so much. Vera and Rolf now live in North Carolina, but they were in Connecticut this week and came to Mystic to check out our new home. We loved having them here!


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Today we were treated to more visitors. John’s brother, Chris, and family came to see the boat. We had so much fun having Chris and Chris and their three girls, Jessica, Amanda and Caitlyn, come visit us here. If we hadn’t been at the dock, I’m quite sure those girls would have been diving off the top of AfterMath! John and I just love those young ladies and we really enjoyed their visit. The family came bearing pizza and they made Mother’s Day come to life! Of course, I did get to talk to all of my kids and really, and I had a wonderful day.

As for boat news, after Jake falling in a total of four times, we bought a boarding ramp that is perfect. Not only can the dogs walk on it, but so can we and the trauma of the dogs ending up in the water seems to have ended! We have also been working on upgrading the electronics. We have a new computer and navigation software that is constantly updated to keep us safe.

Tomorrow is an exciting day! Alex Jakimenko is coming to the boat. Our very first sailing trip to the Virgin Islands was with Alex and his wife Marty, along with another couple, the Grady’s, and a lot of sailing on Solitude was with him. So, tomorrow, Alex will accompany us as we venture out of Mystic for the first time on AfterMath. We will be returning to the dock as we are still waiting for the dinghy, but we are excited to be taking the boat out for a ride.

So many years of friendship! I sat tonight thinking of the number of years I have known all of those who have visited us over the past couple of weeks and I am astounded. Counting each family only once, when I add the number of years I have known Carol and Jim, Kathy and Steve and family, Becky and Judd, Chris and Sam, Ned and Anne, Vera and Rolf, Chris and Chris, and Alex and Marty, I come up with 347 years of friendship. It’s so wonderful to have so many life long friends. We love you all!

Becoming Aware

I tried writing this in the past tense, but with each word, I reverted to the present. I guess to write it I need to relive it. Please understand.

I take my morning coffee out to the bow this morning and Kirby and Jake accompany me there. It is warmer out today. A light fog has just blown in, but it is in the process of blowing out already. I sit in my favorite spot on the boat, the seat in front of the pilothouse. It’s comfortable there and the previous owners left us cushions that make the seat really feel luxurious. As the sun reappears I begin to feel the warmth that I loved so much in Florida. That feeling that the sun is melting your bones, perfect and beautiful. There is a light breeze blowing. It’s not a cold one this morning, just the kind of breeze that contrasts that warm sun with just the right touch. I notice the foghorns sounding in the distance. I guess the fog has not lifted farther out at sea. I love that mysterious sound of the horns. They make you think of captains of old returning home to their loved ones.

I decide to listen for other sounds, so I close my eyes and hear. I hear cars and trucks on the road on shore, and the back up beeps of the lifts working in the boat yard. I hear a dog bark a long way away. I hear birds chirping and an occasional boat motor. I notice that the sea gulls are unusually quiet this morning and I wonder why. An airplane flies overhead. I try to peak and look at it, but I can’t find it in the sky. Someone is whistling as they work on their boat. Others are chatting to their friends. I hear a cart being wheeled down the dock to deliver supplies to a boat. And I hear Jake panting and pacing.

The dogs switch roles on the bow. Kirby, our normally inquisitive and active one, curls up next to me and lets me run my fingers repeatedly through his soft, fine hair. He relishes the attention. Jake wants to go! Whenever he has boated with us in the past he has loved to go fast and has barked wildly when we slowed down or when someone passed us. My suspicion of his discontent is confirmed when a boat passes by and he is even more excited. His panting is distracting me, so I put him inside with John who is working on a project. I know he will lie down and go to sleep inside and I will be able to concentrate on my surroundings.

I start to look around. I see those lovely old homes that line the shore. The tide has risen and from my vantage point I can see over the breakwater and watch the boats as they head out to sea. It is very calm. The nearby house and the breakwater reflect perfectly on the water creating a mirror image so precise that it would be difficult in a picture to tell which is up and which is down. A lone gull flies past making a call but he is not answered.

John brings me a second cup of coffee and I smell the rich aroma mixed with the unmistakable scent of the sea. I breathe deeper unintentionally and then I realize that I am doing so, so I continue to take deep, satisfying breaths of coffee and sea air. I sip my black coffee and wonder how long it has been since I have been so in tune with all of my senses at the same time. The sun continues to warm me and I am able to remove my fleece and be in a short sleeve shirt for the first time since I left Florida in March. My arms feel wonderful in the sun. I think that I should be writing all of this down right at this moment, but then I realize how much I need to stay where I am and how being plugged in would ruin the spell, so I vow to try to remember every little thing that is happening and that I am touching, seeing, smelling, tasting and hearing right now. I lean back, put my feet up and concentrate, marveling that I have time in my life now to experience so much.

Finally I look at my watch. Almost three hours have passed. Three hours where I did so much by doing so little. This much I know. We have made the right decision about what to do with our life.

Visitors, Lessons, Tasks, and Mishaps

Days pass by so quickly on Aftermath! If I were an outsider, I would think that spending a week and a half at one dock without moving the boat more than to turn it around would be getting old, but life here has been far from boring. Since our last post we have been blessed with visitors, learned a lot, done some work, and had a few minor mishaps!


Tuesday brought us a visit from Carol and Jim DeRoche. Carol and I have been friends since 8th grade, but, unfortunately, we hardly ever get to see each other anymore. When she emailed to say that she and Jim would like to come down from Massachusetts to see AfterMath I was thrilled! We had a wonderful time catching up over a Mystic Pizza; the restaurant was the setting of a Julia Roberts movie several years ago, you may remember. Carol and I have known each other for almost 50 years now, but somehow when we get together, we still feel like the teenagers we were when we met so long ago.

Charlie's visit


Yesterday we had a visit from Kathy and Steve and Caroline, Mark, and Charlie. Kathy is John’s sister, Steve is her husband, Caroline is our niece and Mark is her husband. (It seems so impersonal to put these relationships this way. I have known Kathy since I was 15 and she is as much a sister to me as she is to John, I believe. And Steve has been in the family so long that just calling him Kathy’s husband seems strange, but the relationships are written here for clarity.) Charlie is the youngest member of the clan and we had not yet had the pleasure of meeting him. At first Kirby was noisy and Charlie was a little scared, but before we knew it, both young ones had settled down and Charlie was happy to sit on the floor and play with Kirby’s feet. We were so happy to meet Charlie and to have a little one on the boat with us. After a few snacks and an afternoon of touring AfterMath and chatting we went to dinner at a Mediterranean restaurant nearby where we had a delicious meal of authentic Lebanese food.

Everhart visit


Today our good friends, Becky and Judd, came to Mystic to see our new home. We have known Becky and Judd for almost 40 years and trust me when I say we have shared a lot of good times and treasured memories. Becky has been one of my closest friends over the years and we love spending time together. Today we had so much fun showing them both the boat and sharing a late lunch in the pilot house. Something about that pilot house seems to bring out the silliness in everyone! After our meal we went for a ride and a look at the area around Noank and Mystic. It’s always interesting to see the old houses here with their dates of construction on plaques at the front door. Most of the homes date back to the 1850’s and they are beautiful and well kept.

Thursday was another day of learning while Tom, the previous owner of our boat, came and spent time showing us everything we need to know about the systems aboard. In all, Tom has spent four days with us and we think we are pretty comfortable with what we need to know now.

While we wait for the dinghy to arrive, which will be in about two weeks, we are busy preparing the boat for the trip. We are both getting anxious to get moving! In the meantime, I have been working on some sewing projects. I am making bedspreads and throw pillows for the v-berth, I will be covering the mattress in the pilot house with a new cover, and I have altered our comforter for easier bed making. For those of you who are boaters, you understand the issue, but for those of you who are not, nothing is harder than making a bed on a boat. The v-berth is obviously irregularly shaped so you can’t just go to a store and find a bedspread that fits. Our bed is a strange size (extra long double) and is mounted all the way against a wall. Many boaters just don’t bother to make the bed each day, but I really can’t stand messy beds, so I am making everything custom fitted. For our bed, I cut a whole side and a foot or so off the top of a perfectly good, brand new comforter. Now you can kind of pull up the sheets and blankets as neatly as possible and then toss the comforter on so that it covers the bed without having to tuck it in on the wall side.

John has been busy researching what we want for upgrading the electronics and is working on selecting a computer and navigation software. Every day brings another task or two that needs to be done, but all is well and we are getting more ready every day.

As for mishaps, well, I don’t have pictures to share because when mishaps happen they need to be taken care of right away! Actually every mishap that we have had has been a dog falling in the water. Kirby has only fallen in once, but Jake has fallen in four times now! Poor guy! All falls have taken place when getting on or off of the boat. Usually the missteps happen because of overconfidence in making the jump from the boat to the dock or vice versa. Kirby likes to get on and off first and Jake just jumps before we have a chance to move the boat as close as possible after Kirby gets on. We are working to correct this problem, and we will probably buy a ramp to make this easier, but for now both dogs have to wear harnesses all the time so we can reach in and pull them out if they make the splash!

eating on the bow

The weather here is starting to get better, but certainly it is not what we relocated Floridians are expecting. We have had a day or two when you could go out without a jacket for an hour or so, but generally it is still to cool for our taste. We did have lunch outside one day and I have had my morning coffee outside a couple of times. Hopefully it will warm up before we take off even farther north to Canada.

We are looking forward to more visits from old friends this week and we are hoping to get some more work done around here so we will be able to leave as soon as possible. More updates will be coming soon, but for now, if you have any influence at all, will you please send some warmth up here!

Until it warms up, I at least have some beautiful flowers, courtesy of Carol, and a little herb garden to keep me smiling!