Thursday, April 10, 2014

We are outta here!

We've pulled the kids from school and are heading to Ireland!  We'll be in Dublin by the morning!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Spring has sprung!

I'm calling it, spring is finally here!  We waited out some super gusty winds (for the most part) Saturday, putting away some winter boat accessories and knocking out homework.  By 3pm we were getting antsy.  We plan to be away for the next two weekends and the sun was out--we had to go!  So between gusts we tossed off the lines and headed out!  We only used the genoa, and not even all of it, and somehow managed to max 9.2 kts through the water on a downwind port tack.  It was great!  

We made it to our anchorage on the Wye River about an hour before sunset.  We were treated to an amazing show while we grilled dinner and it continued after the sun set.  We saw Mars, Jupiter, Gemini, and Orion.  We played Monopoly until way past bedtime.  It was lovely.

We managed to sail for a few hours Sunday before the wind completely died. The iron gennie brought us back to some good times catching up with the neighbors.  It was a great start to the season!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Will the purge ever end?

While we were in Illinois we were able to check in on all of our pre-boat stuff.  It's been in storage with my parents for almost 5 years now.  While we sold a good deal of it a few years back, we still have much to get rid of.  Tools, pots, pans, cribs, beds, cabinets, and books galore.  We made a dent, purging boxes of old files and setting aside books to donate, but we realize that we need more than a few hours there to really make progress.  I wasn't as emotionally attached to some of the items as I was a few years ago, so that's progress!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Small town benefits

We had a whirlwind weekend, taking a train from DC to IL and back to go to a benefit for one of my high school friends who's taking on her own fight against breast cancer.  The event was overwhelming.  So many people donated items, time, and money to support one of our hometown girls.  The hugs were heartfelt, the smiles sincere, and the tears flowing!  It was great catching up with people I haven't seen in years, but mostly it was great seeing the smile on Missy's face.  When we left, I sat in the car sobbing.  Katreina asked, "Mommy, are you happy or sad?"  "Yes, baby."  I was so happy about the outpouring of support and generosity from my small town, but sad that I just don't make it back that often.  It was an amazing trip. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

ANOTHER snow day

Here we are, firmly in March, and we are all home from work and school in the DC area yet again.  A day off is kind of nice, but I do have a lot to do at work!

Over the weekend we knocked out a science fair project and a bunch of chores.  Today it was Legos, sledding, and movies!  Oh, and cooking ribs to warm the house up!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Finally! Back out on the water!

We are fortunate to have a few days with temps in the 50's this weekend so of course we had to get underway!  Besides, we're five days from the next polar vortex.

It's been almost two months, but no real issues getting out today.  The main was jammed in the mast, but we didn't need it and were able to work on it at anchor.  It was chilly on the bay, but a nice lunch of soup helped and now we are sipping cocktails while we watch the wildlife on the Rhode River.  We are also getting to watch little chunks of ice float down to us!

So, so nice to be out for the weekend!

Monday, February 3, 2014

A real winter!

I am actually a little amazed at just how "real" this winter has been on the Chesapeake Bay!  We've had to use the diesel heat and the bubbler, and the kids have been able to go sledding more than once!  The downside?  The pump-out boat and our boat have been separated from each other for quite some time by a big sheet of ice.  In fact it's been at least 2 weeks since the last pump.  That just means that we're getting a lot more practice getting the kids in and out of coats and life jackets this year!  Warmer temps are on the way...

See the pump out boat over there???

Thursday, January 9, 2014

It's a Polar Vortex!!!

Based on the forecast we broke down and rigged the bubbler on the 2nd.  By the 3rd we had temps below 20F and winds just under 30kts and got enough snow to go sledding!
By the 6th the next round of crazy wind hit, with temps still below 20F and the boat "dipping to port" due to the constant push of the wind.
And the next morning the bubbler was churning hard!  6F!

Suffice to say we endured a few chilly days here in Maryland.  We "survived" with a combo of an electric heater and our diesel hydronic heat (each had its "moments," but overall kept us toasty) and good cooking!  The bubbler did a great job keeping the area around the boat ice-free, too.  And for those that are curious...we pretty much always wear life jackets on the dock during the winter since the water is so cold, but it's especially important when there is ice on the docks.

This weekend?  60F!  

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

We mixed it up a little this year by asking our friends Beth and David and their family to join us for our sail up to Annapolis for New Year's Eve.  Our dock neighbors on Nirvana also headed up on their boat.  We had a brisk sail up, and the chop got to one of the littlest passengers, but all in all it was a beautiful, cold day on the bay!

It was bitterly cold with the wind, but we still headed in to town for snacks, face painting, music, and a little time at the park.  But dang, it was cold!

Why do I love Annapolis so much for NYE?  Kid-friendly schedules!  The first round of fireworks went off at 7:30 and they were great!  All the kiddos got to enjoy them before getting to bed at a reasonable hour.

Somehow all four kids slept in one bed. Somehow we got back today in very choppy seas without anyone actually getting sick!  I had so much fun (did I mention it was cold?)!  I loved the craziness of having four adults and four kids under the age of 7 on a 39' boat!  I loved being one of only two boats in the entire mooring field.  I loved having all our Christmas lights glowing while we were hanging out in the harbor.  I loved having the hydronic heater humming away all night. I loved sharing one of our little family traditions with our very brave friends.  :)

Happy New Year, everyone.  Can't wait to see what 2014 brings!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

A frigid, gusty Christmas Eve and a lazy, cold Christmas Day have us still tied to the pier, but it's been lovely!  We did a pre-Christmas hibachi and gift exchange with our local family on the 23rd before coming back to the boat to bake cookies, lower the table, and get ready for Santa!

I love how the boat looks at the holidays, all decorated with cards from friends near and far.

As is our tradition, we left out cookies and milk, and even had a bowl of reindeer food up on deck!  I awoke to the sound of ice dropping from the rigging and a little girl tip-toeing out of her room. Santa came!

The kids scored a ton of Legos, Kindles, Wii games, cards to buy food for the food bank, and books.  The Captain got the coveted infrared thermometer and a ton of zip ties.  And I got a full suite of yoga gear AND a GoPro camera!  Can't wait to take pics of the boat from new angles!

We are so fortunate.  We are healthy, warm, and happy.  And this year we are together.  Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 13, 2013

When "sizzling" is a very bad thing

Well, the pictures say it best--we had a big meltdown on one of our main power disconnects yesterday (the one for the a/c units) that also fried our charger/inverter.

We think there was a pinhole leak in a water line in the lazerette which sprayed the electrical and caused a little sparking/meltdown.  What we can't explain is why the breaker never tripped. Bad, bad, bad.

Nonetheless, I'm still thankful.  Thankful that Frank was working from home and returned from running errands before it got any worse (he had to isolate the power since the breaker didn't do the job).  Thankful that we were able to still sleep in a heated home last night (diesel heat wasn't impacted) and that our home is more or less whole still (just a little singed).  Thankful that nothing was hurt that a credit card can't fix.

We (mostly Frank) will make some adjustments to the plumbing as we put it all back together, but life goes on!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thankful for a wonderful week in...Jamaica!

Once again we grabbed Grandma and headed out of the country (via plane!) for Thanksgiving break.  This trip was "new" for us in a few ways--first trip to Jamaica, first time using to book a trip, and first time staying soley at an all-inclusive resort.  The Hilton Rose Hall Plantation resort didn't disappoint!  As soon as we got checked in we hit the buffet for a late lunch and were immediately surprised by the selection and quality of the food (and drinks!).  This was definitely a step up from our Costa Rican all-inclusive.  Right after that the kids discovered the waterpark and slides--they would be happy there all week!

This was the most "resort-y" vacation I've ever been on, and while I still prefer getting lost in a rental car, this was a great vacation.  The highlights:  water slides, reggae music, the White Witch of Rose Hall, the beach, warm salt water, Hobie Cat sailing, jerk chicken by the beach, football in the sand, snorkeling, hiking Dunn's River Falls, swimming with dolphins and rays, exploring the aqueduct, soda/beer chugging contests, island food, and family time.

Sunday, November 10, 2013


The Captain left 5 days ago to crew with our neighbors to Bahamas.  I have every confidence in them, but still find myself "busying" the kids and I so as not to notice that we miss him.  A visit to see the cousins, bike rides, parks, shopping, cleaning, scrapbooking, errands...yep, we miss him!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Downrigging 2013

We hit up Downrigging Weekend in Chestertown, Maryland for the second year in a row.  And while this year we didn't have the excitement of Superstorm Sandy preps to contend with, we still had a blast!  Of course, I love any festival where the street food consists of pulled pork, oysters, and sangria--great fuel for walking the docks!  This year we got underway on the 1901 skipjack, "Elsworth," for an afternoon sail.  Kudos to Captain Billie for keeping his cool as we grounded pretty firmly at very low tide as we left the dock.  Once we were free we had a great sail down the Chester River.

The weather went downhill near the end of our sail, with showers moving in.  We hit up a little bistro in town for dinner before dropping Frank off for his educational experience, "Rum Through the Ages," where he got to sample many fine tots of rum!  The kids and I walked, drank sangria and hot chocolate, and took in the lovely sunset views.

It rained, it was cold, but we enjoyed the fireworks from right down on the docks.  We had a great night relaxing and are now enjoying just a little more fun before we head out!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Halloween for the Republic!

Is there anything more painful than Halloween and Trick-or-Treating on a school night?  Anyway, the kids indulged their recent Star Wars obsession by dressing as Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amadala (Episode II) for Halloween this year.  Once again, they got waaaaayyy more candy than two kids need, but they had a blast!