Saturday, January 6, 2018

Baby, it's been COLD outside

After a cold start to the year, things didn't improve much this past week. On Tuesday I broke down and headed to Bacon Sails to pick up a used 1/2hp Kasco de-icer. I also filled the water tanks ahead of the worst of the cold snap. As winter storm Grayson started chugging up the coast, school was cancelled Thursday and we recorded the lowest tide we've seen, with the fatho showing 3.8 feet.

Just to keep things interesting, Thursday was also the day our new mattresses for the kids' beds arrived from Portland Boat Mattress! We had a little fun getting them from the marina office to the boat, and unpacking cardboard boxes in 15-20 knots of breeze was exciting, but when it was all said and done, the kids were VERY happy about their new, cozy mattresses! And they were a perfect fit!
Riding in the back of the truck with one of the boxes!
Starboard berth
Port berth

The winds got pretty sporty Thursday evening and I took a solid hit to the head from the reefer hatch when a 25-30 knots gust hit us while I was scrounging up dinner. I hadn't thought to secure it in port! Our little guy also got nauseous while trying to read a book before bed. All part of the experience!
Icing my noggin with a cold one

Power outages in the area wreaked havoc on the school routine Friday and tripped our breakers a few times. The kids ventured out for a walk out on the frozen beach, but after a few minutes were ready to get in from the wind. We decided to cancel our weekend ski plans to keep an eye on the boat and reduce our risk of frostbite! Temps are forecast to get above freezing next week so we have hopes of a pump-out in our near future!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!

That, my friends, is a shiny layer of ice in the marina. That is also why we decided not to get underway for NYE--we were afraid we wouldn't make it back to the slip! We returned this morning to very low water and a ~3/4" layer of ice. We made a good call this year. So what did we do instead? Staycation in the Baltimore/Annapolis area!

First stop was Heavy Seas Brewery! Our kids rock and happily joined us for yet another brewery tour. Our guide, Chris, was great and it's nice to see a local crew doing so well. I'm a fan of their TropiCannon and it was super fresh and yummy here. It didn't hurt that the space is set up nicely and they have the Pieces of Eight food truck on site. We sipped and munched happily before heading into the city.
Swab and 2nd Mate enjoy some non-fermented beverages.

Next we headed to our hotel in the Inner Harbor of Baltimore.  I'm generally a fan of Hampton Inns, and the Hampton Inn Inner Harbor topped my expectations!  Set in the 1906 U.S. Fidelity and Guarantee building, the lobby kind of wowed us!  The hotel was clean and quiet, the staff was very nice, and the park & stay option was a great value and made for a stress-free stay.

As part of this staycation I decided that we would become members of the National Aquarium.  As long as the family goes twice in a year, it pays for itself and the perks are great.  With our new membership in hand we headed to the aquarium both Saturday night and Sunday morning!  It was nice not feeling like we had to do everything in one visit and we really got to slow down end enjoy it.  The highlights?  Petting skates, horseshoe crabs, and moon jellies; learning about how coral reefs are formed; 4D shark movie; watching divers in the tanks; and spotting a sloth and Tamarind monkeys in the rain forest.  I also liked their consistent message on reducing single-use plastics.

The touch pool was a hit.
I think she wants to try diving now!

We ended the trip with our traditional viewing of the Annapolis fireworks show, only we didn't do it in the traditional way.  We got a room at the Navy Lodge on NSA Annapolis, cooked a dinner of party foods that we picked up at the commissary, and drove to the marina on base at midnight.  It wasn't the same as watching from the boat, but we were warm and had a great view!  And now that we've returned to ice in the marina, I'm pretty happy about how Plan B worked out. 

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Where the f%#* is all the water?

Seriously! Where is the water?!?!?? I finally take some leave from work, the kids are off of school, and we are trapped! Sure, it is freezing outside with single-digit wind chills, but that hasn’t stopped us before. Lack of water beneath the keel, however, is the ultimate party pooper. At today’s high tide, our fatho was showing 7 feet—as we draw 6’3” (and plan for 6’6” as a loaded liveaboard!), that wasn't much wiggle room. We stayed put again, hoping that the wind shift tonight will help bring water back into the bay. Right now we are sitting on the bottom and still have 80 minutes until low tide. I am crushed!
We draw 6.25-6.5 ft... problem!
Tough to see, but that's a boat that's listing to port as the keel sits on the bottom.

Monday, December 25, 2017

A non-traditional Christmas

Oh, how I've longed for a Christmas at anchor for the past 2 years! But alas, it wasn't meant to be. After filling water and warming the engine to get underway on Christmas Eve, we got stuck on a hump of bottom as we tried to leave the dock. Rather than get stuck in the channel, we pulled back in and changed our plan. Just based on the tide charts, we should have been fine, but when winds are out of the north the Chessie tends to empty a bit and tides can be lower than expected. We could have made it happen, getting underway or anchoring in the dark, but our desire to relax and goof off with the kids was strong, too. Winds on Christmas were forecast to be "sporty" so it all just kind of worked out.

We had a LAZY holiday! We played games, watched movies, and of course exchanged presents! I scored a ukulele, the boy loved his new Barcelona Messi jersey, the girl got clothes and books, and the Captain got a new back-up plotter/game platform. ;) And the whole family is going to head to the mountains to try our hand at skiing. It was a very merry day!

Time for a little Star Wars action--we have tickets to go see the new movie later this week!

Saturday, December 9, 2017


We got our first decent bit of snow this weekend! It didn’t stick well to the warm ground, but piled up nicely on the docks. And this was good snowball snow! It didn’t stay too long, but it was fun while it lasted!