Thursday, April 16, 2015

Happy 6th Boativersary!

Though the Captain is off gallivanting in Nicaragua today, the kids and I wished each other a Happy Boativersary!  6 years ago we arrived in Everett, Washington after a cross-country move and started moving aboard.  I'm not sure any of our friends and family thought it would last this long, but I think I knew from the start.  Still love our little home!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Ahoy, land-lubbers! (a.k.a. my family)

Our Illinois family finally made it out to the east coast for a brief visit!  Though only here for a few days, they managed to tour the Pentagon, tour Arlington Cemetery (with a behind-the-scenes visit with the Honor Guard!), see the peak of the cherry blossoms (and all the downtown craziness that ensues on closing weekend of the Cherry Blossom Festival), and experience a fantastic day of sailing on the Bay!  Good wind and no waves--couldn't ask for better conditions to take a few land-lubbers out!  :P

One other highlight was discovering a fun, local lodging option--the Seahorse Cottage!  Clean, artsy-quirky, and just 2 blocks from the town's boardwalk.  They loved it! 

The trip was too short, but I'm glad we got a little time together!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Science! TP race

These two adorable third-grade scientists asked a very boat-important question--which type of toilet paper dissolves the fastest?  They compared:
- 2-ply marine/RV "quick dissolve"
- 1-ply value (Scott)
- 2-ply value
- 2 play premium

And the winner was...

...1-ply!  Okay, that wasn't a surprise--Scott pretty much melts in a dry hand.  But, of the 2-ply entries, the value tissue dissolved the most!  It broke into much smaller pieces with gentle shaking than the marine/RV type.  Have we all been led astray???

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Happy Easter!

Boat kids don't have a yard to hunt for eggs in, but the bunny gets creative around the marina!

I think they were happy!  Lots of eggs had money inside, so they are planning a big shopping trip!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Mini Spring Break Escape

With rain and gusty winds in the forecast we decided to check some more things off our "local fun" list while we're off for spring break.

Friday fun--the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland.  We've been before, but not since they completed the new Blacktip Reef feature.  It's awesome!  The place was pretty crowded, but we still had a great time.  We left early in the evening and headed further north!

Saturday adventure--Philadelphia, Pennsylvania!  After spending the night near the Philly airport we headed into the city--a first visit for everyone!  We toured on foot, sticking mostly to the sites of the Independence National Historic Park--Independence Hall, Congress Hall, Christ Church burial ground, Franklin Court, Liberty Bell, and Betsy Ross's house.  It was awesome!  And I now know why capital letters are called "upper case!"  

We hit all of our "must" sites before 5 p.m. and are on our way home from a great mini trip!  

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Back on the water

After 3 painful months of real winter, we finally escaped the marina yesterday!  First we had to say farewell to our dear neighbors who are heading south.  They found that the channel dredging wasn't quite what we all thought, so we waited a few hours before heading out.  On the Bay we enjoyed five hours of sweet, full-sail sailing before we completely lost the wind.  We anchored up the Little Choptank and enjoyed a spectacular sunset.

Today the wind is blowing from the south, kicking up whitecaps and rolling us a bit as we head downwind back to the marina.  It's pretty cold on the water!  The forecast for the rest of the week isn't favorable for a spring break on the water, so we are coming up with some other plans.  For now we are just happy to have made it out for a night.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Welcome, Spring!

It's still not that warm, but we are ripping through the annual maintenance list.  I also managed to repair the bimini window I busted over the winter.  Got the materials from a local shop...Frank went in asking to buy a remnant, but the guy gave it to him for free because it was "nice out."  Love that.  Anyway, taking down the bimini revealed that I had a lot more than a window to fix.  Many seams were suffering from serious UV damage, so I did a lot of reinforcing.  I stitched the new windows over the old, then cut the old out.  Not perfect, but pretty good and hella cheap!

We biked, worked, celebrated a neighbor's birthday/retirement...a really good weekend, but we are ready to get our genoa and outboard back so we can get out!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Slippery situation!

Freezing rain through the night made for a treacherous walk on the dock this morning.  I'm glad I was wearing my life jacket!  The worst part was getting up the little hill to where my car is parked!  It's pretty, but we are ready for a taste of spring.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Escaping the tundra

This winter has just been brutal!  So I decided to use my airline miles to escape to Houston for a weekend with one of my friends.  It was so nice!  Temps near 70, wearing boat shoes, not wearing a jacket...aaaahhhhh.  Now, time to head back to my chilly reality!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Snow day!

Wow!  This morning we woke up to lots of snow!  It's about 7 inches deep on the dock, which is impressive given how much wind there was.  It's a nice, dry snow so removing with a deck brush was pretty easy.  A flexible cutting board also made a nice "shovel" for scooping it off the deck.  But my excitement got the better of new!  While "punching" the canvas bimini to pop the snow off, I forgot to account for just how brittle eisenglass would be at below-freezing temp and busted right through one!  Fortunately it was a small one.  Now I get to use my industrial sewing machine on a new project!

As for the inside of the boat, things are better.  Super glue repairs to the freshwater strainer cover worked and the lines have thawed out.  We didn't tighten it on super tight so there is a little drip, but we are good for now.  The only other damage to the freshwater system was a cracked faucet head in the kids' head.  Rescue tape fixed it for now.  West Marine is still closed so we can't do any better today.  The heads have thawed and can be used again.  That said, we are completely iced in so it will be a while until the pump out boat can visit us.  Still didn't start the engine...waiting a while for that.

We had a nice mix of clearing and snow, playing in snow, and knocking out chores while the Captain teleworked.  We made a big pot of chili to keep us going.  We even got to see one of our non-liveaboard neighbors and helped him rig a bubbler that will actually benefit us a little, too.

The only real bummer is that this is about the warmest day we will see all week and the freshwater at the pier head is completely frozen.  We last filled about 2 weeks ago so we are in ultra conservation mode.  Hopefully it will get warm enough this coming weekend.  The rest of the week looks to be record-setting cold.

Monday, February 16, 2015

A difficult end to a very "cool" weekend

Despite the crazy cold forecast this past weekend (and the Captain's concern about leaving the boat given that forecast) we headed to Williamsburg, VA for a long weekend of history!  We missed a pretty stormy night Saturday, but with both our electric and diesel heat on the boat, we felt ok leaving.  With a decent snowstorm forecast for Monday night we cut our visit to Yorktown short and headed home.

We returned just as the snow started.  I opened the hatch and immediately knew something wasn't right.  It was too dark, too quiet. The electric heater wasn't on, and the diesel wasn't working either.  Clocks and displays that ran on batteries were dark.  Icicles trailed from the faucets.  And it was COLD.  In the words (or rather, word) of Robert Redfearn's character in "All is Lost," "FFFFF$$$$$$&&&&&&&KKKKK!!!!!"  

Ok, so we had lost power, probably Saturday night.  A breaker had tripped so that was an easy fix.  The diesel heater wasn't cycling on, but why?  Quick inspection revealed a big pool of the antifreeze mixture in the bilge.  Grrrr!  We found a likely source of the leak, tightened a screw, and added more fluid to the system.  That's the abridged version!

What else?  Opened the engine obvious sings of rupture or damage, but we decided to very slowly warm everything up and monitor it.  Oh!  While tracing heater issues we discovered that the filter cover on the freshwater pump had frozen/shattered, freshwater, even if the lines weren't frozen solid!  West Marine?  Closed due to weather.  Hardware store?  Ha, no Jabsco parts there!  But guess what?  I'm a whip with superglue!  Need to use the head?  Too bad!  Frozen solid, and the aft one had some leaking of odoriferous fluid so we weren't sure if there was serious damage.

It all amounted to a realization of all of Frank's worst fears about leaving the boat this weekend.  Would the engine be okay?  Had any lines/fixtures/connections been seriously damaged?  Time will tell.  By 6:30 the boat was warming nicely and the crew was hungry.  We were ready for $6 half-pound burgers at the marina bar!

By bedtime things were beginning to thaw out.  We had to use a pot of water from the marina heads to brush our teeth, but the boat was afloat, we had power, and we had heat.  I'm thankful for it all!  Oh, and we have a snowstorm tonight that just caused OPM to close federal offices in the DC area tomorrow!  Woo hoo! 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Brrr, it's chilly.

We are actually dealing with winter this year.  The water in Herring Bay is starting to freeze over.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

NYE 2014

It's really become quite the tradition for our family--freeze your booty off to get the best view of NYE fireworks on the Bay!  This year did not disappoint!  I love the peace of being on the water, darn near alone.  This year we mixed it up a little, joining our dock neighbor on Compromise for dinner and the first round of fireworks.  And once again, the show was awesome!  I am definitely going to miss this next year.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Last stop--Harness Creek

After a completely lazy Christmas Day, we took advantage of a light breeze yesterday to shift to Harness Creek so that we could stretch our legs in Quiet Waters Park.  It was some pretty sweet December sailing!  Slow and steady...  We got to the park in time to hike and geocache for a few hours--it was a splendid afternoon!

On the way back to the boat we realized that there was an ice rink in the park!  The kids begged, but we headed back to the boat....and Trent lost his first tooth!  Woo hoo!!!!!  

And...we went skating this morning!  It was great!  Trent struggled for about 2 hours, but he never gave up and started to get the hang of it.  I'm so glad we decided to come back to the park today!

Alas, it was time to return to our "home" marina.  There are chores and homework to get done, and I have a date with a friend tomorrow.  Of course we came back just after low tide, on a barely positive tide.  And rather than wait since we wanted to get fuel, we just plowed through the mud between the 3 and 4 markers!  Good times!  We got our fuel, may have plowed a little more mud on the way to our slip, and got settled in with time to toss the football on the beach before sunset.  It's been a great holiday!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

"Santa came!  Santa came!"  Amazingly it was about 8am before we heard the kids cry that out, but indeed, Santa had come!

We were completely spoiled by our families!  And just as we were baking our traditional cinnamon roll breakfast we heard something.  Voices?  Singing?  It was kayaking carolers!  Such fun!  It was a couple from a nearby house, stopping by to thank us for the light display last night!  We chatted for a bit, they gave us a yummy bag of cookies, and Trent showed them all of his new Legos.  It was so nice to have visitors!

We stayed in our pjs most of the day, and even got some good family pics!

We are staying here for another night, then maybe we will move tomorrow.  We have a big Christmas feast in our bellies!

Merry Christmas!