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!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Fall sailing and Halloween preps

Finishing off this weekend was crazy!  It started all calm with coffee and a beautiful sunrise.  I love anchoring in Harness Creek!

We had a great sail back, though I'm a little sad that it's the last sail we'll do with the Halloween decor this year.  

We were home long enough to spray off the boat and chat with neighbors before we hit the road for a 3-hr round trip that would get us a Nettle Net!  We've been thinking about getting one and found a great deal on Craig's List for a gently used one.  At least it was a nice day to take a drive through the farmlands!  Next summer swimming off the boat is going to be so much nicer without worrying about jellyfish.

We returned to find very low water at the marina, so low the boat was touching bottom at the slip.  The kids and I had some fun with this and hiked WAY out off the beach!

As if today wasn't already busy enough, we cleaned out our pumpkins so they are ready to carve tomorrow.  Kids are in bed, seeds are roasted, and the house is reasonably clear of pumpkin guts!  Up next weekend--Downrigging in Chestertown!!!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Best. Day. Ever! (Titled by the 2nd Mate)

Such a great autumn day on and around the water!  Honey's Harvest breakfast, bald eagle, gentle sailing, spiders and ghouls, intense sailing, rowing, a peaceful walk through Quiet Waters Park, geocaching, playground antics, deer, feeding gulls, bird watching, Star Wars, popcorn, snuggles.  Perfect!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fall maintenance

Took advantage of the government shutdown, took a day off, and did a short haul!  The bottom actually looked pretty good, but it was definitely time to scrape the prop and change the zincs.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Boat Show 2013

We took advantage of the government shutdown and a day off to hit up the boat show on a rainy Friday.  Despite the weather we had a great day, scoring good deals on the gear Frank needs to crew on a boat later this fall and blocks we've been wanting, and getting to hop on some dream boats.  And of course we got Painkillers!

The fun continued back at home with the kiddos.  Pizza night, Star Wars movies, and even a fireworks show!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Fall fun

80 degrees?  In October???  Though there was no wind Saturday we headed out for San Domingo Creek, our favorite way to get to St. Michaels, for a great day of family fun.  Dinghy ride, fun at the local playground, ice cream at Jo Jo's, and even swimming!  We swam until sunset, enjoyed grilled steaks, and had a Star Wars movie night.  Talk about perfect!  

Sunday we finally had wind and got to sail with our Halloween decor up.  Loved it!  We made it back with plenty of time to scrub the boat, chat with neighbors, and watch football.  Talk about a perfect fall weekend!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Party Weekend

This weekend was full of excitement!  We kicked it off Friday night at Honey's Harvest's Biergarten--great food and drinks, good times with our neighbors, and well-behaved kiddos (thanks to Netflix!).

Saturday morning (after a touch too much pumpkin pie liquor, I might add), we were awoken by the bilge pump running continuously.  And salt water in the bilge.  Uh oh.  A quick trace of all through-hulls revealed no major issues and finally a leaky intake to the forward a/c unit.  Frank had been wanting to replace the bleed valve anyway, so it became a project day!  All was fixed in short order and we were able to enjoy the beach bonfire.  I really enjoyed it with my new wine baggy!

After striking out at a used paddle board sale, we shopped Annapolis for a few more Halloween decorations and headed home to deck out the boat.  Love it!  Can't wait to get underway!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Showing off her good side!

While the guys from Offshore Pix were hanging out at our marina and around the bay this summer, it seems they got some great shots of the boat underway!  We saw them flying around one day and wondered if they were taking random shots of the boats.  Frank checked their website a few weeks later and here we are!

We may just have to order one!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

End of summer, Cambridge style!

Winds were perfect for a trip to Cambridge for their end-of-summer BBQ Street Party!  Just like last year, we were right in it with a bunch of racers heading to Oxford, and we anchored right in the inner harbor by Snapper's again.  We were bummed to find that the German baker wasn't back, but we did enjoy a nice dinner at Jimmie and Sooks and had a few drinks while checking out the shops along the street.  It was a great weekend for sailing!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Shawapalooza! A new experience on the bay.

Before I get to just what that title means, I have to mention the antics of Friday night.  In anticipation of a rocket launch from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility at 11:27pm (for the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE)), the dock crew imbibed rum and "rocket fuel" and amazingly all made it to the launch (though the kids and I snuck in a 2-hr nap before it).  It was pretty cool to see it on such a clear night!

While at the party, one of our neighbors told Frank about "Shawapalooza," an afloat concert put on by the Eastport Oyster Boys out on Shaw Bay every year.  It sounded fun so we changed plans!  Light winds Saturday morning gave us a chance to use the spinnaker again (success!) and the weather for the concert was perfect for this fun show.  Lessons learned for next year--bring Natty Boh to pay the band, bring snacks to pass, and bring more booze to the dinghy raft-up!

On the return trip Sunday we had decent wind for a little while and our little Mate did a great job at the helm!  It's so great seeing her excited about driving!

Final stop was, of course, the pool.  It's only open for one more weekend so we're trying to get in as much time as we can!