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With A Little Help From My Friends…

 

musical-notes.pngLike the lyrics from this Beatles song, I got by with a little help from my friends.  I would not have been able to complete the cleaning out and moving process without several friends lending hands for the physical process and offering support for the mental adjustments.

Thank you, thank you to my dear friends who stepped in and saved my sanity and allowed me to meet the deadline of selling our house!

walesWales Court – SOLD!

Of course, the process of moving out after 20 years was fraught with conflicting emotions, but one feeling that doesn’t vacillate is the relief that communication is so easy and universal these days. The knowledge that I can keep in touch with my family and friends, wherever we are in the world, is what allows me to make this commitment to a totally different lifestyle.

This year, living on LIB while we still owned our land home, I always knew in the back of my mind that I had a bail out plan if cruising didn’t work for me. With the house sold, I feel a little untethered and I wonder how it will affect my attitude.  Will I be more committed to cruising or will I have a slight sense of unease because now I am truly “all in?”

Frank is at peace with the house sale and completely satisfied with boat life.  Thankfully, our sons are very supportive of our decision; so that is 75% of the family in good shape…. I’m confident I will be happy too, it’s just the finality that is hard to accept.

But enough of the emotions, let’s talk about what we are doing on LIB!

For a variety of reasons, we have been at a dock in the Annapolis area for several weeks.  So we are using the time to knock a few items off the To Do List.

Recently we completed a project that I think will make a nice improvement, though it is a little difficult to describe. (And probably of NO interest to non-boaters.)

We have had an issue with rain coming in from the sun deck and the helm station down into the cockpit. This resulted in a very wet cockpit which restricted our use of that area.

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The Helia cockpit ~ Fountaine Pajot photograph

The cockpit is sort of the equivalent of a covered porch and it practically doubles the living area on our boat, so when it is too wet to use, our space is significantly reduced!

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Fountaine Pajot designed the boat with a very small drain under the step where the sun deck meets the step to the helm, but the opening between the step and deck was much too small to be effective.

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We modified the step to slide it further away from the sun deck so rain water can efficiently drain below the step.

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When we removed the step, in addition to its’ being filthy, we found the drain holes were much too small. In the picture above, the drain holes are just outside of the center white portion and are hard to distinguish from a regular screw hole.

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First we cleaned the area under the step, then we enlarged the drain holes significantly.

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Water ran out of these holes onto the helm platform.

FP’s design was to have the water drain from under the step, down the ladder support and out through these small holes onto the foot of the helm station.  We didn’t like having the water drain near our feet at the helm station, so we put our heads together to design a different place for the water to exit the step supports.

Our solution was to create a way channel the rain water all the way to the well in the floor of the cockpit and out into the ocean.

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So we eliminated the drain holes in the supports and added a metal extension to the stair supports that would be below the fiberglass.  

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Once the ladder was in place, we add a hose to the bottom of each ladder support. 

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Our access point was the speaker above the refrigerator.  Next we angled the hoses along the side of the refrigerator and down toward the floor of the cockpit.

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Frank shimmied into this tiny place so he could reach the other end of the hoses and attached them to the plastic fittings we added to the drain well in the cockpit.

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We tested our work using a hose and here is a picture of the water flowing from the sundeck, down through the ladder supports, through the plastic hose and out through the drain well. From here the water falls into the ocean.

We are pleased with the aesthetics of the modification and are happy our cockpit will stay dry when it rains.

When your permanent residence qualifies as a “tiny house” it’s important to maximize all of your space and this project will certainly increase how often we can comfortably use our cockpit.

Zipping Down the Leeward Islands

The last couple of weeks we have focused on two things: looking for kiting wind and getting down to St. Lucia where we were picking up our friend, Al.

The result is that we have spent a good amount of time making southern progress but I don’t have a lot of photos to show.

We managed to have a couple of great kiting days off Green Island in Antigua before the winds slacked off a bit and we began sailing south.

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Hunter does a melon 180

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Frank looking casual as he rides.

From Antigua we sailed to Guadeloupe where we stopped overnight in Deshaies.  We first visited this quaint fishing village in June but this time we only stayed one night. It was fun to share it with Hunter and have him experience a bit of French culture.

Next we scooted down the coast to visit Vieux Habitants, Guadeloupe where we had heard of a beautiful hike that started near a coffee plantation and ended at a waterfall.  Unfortunately, between our unspecific knowledge and our poor French, we wandered most of the day and never found the hike. 

Still, we enjoyed the day as I had a chance to practice butchering my high school French and we had a picnic on the lawn of a pretty bed and breakfast on the edge of the river.

Sailing south on the western coast of Guadeloupe took us past the Pitons. I would have loved to stop, but it wasn’t part of our plan this trip.

The area looks absolutely beautiful, but I must say that the aggressiveness of the ‘boat boys’ makes me much less interested in going to The Pitons.

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As we were sailing past the area, two boats zoomed toward us and tried to convince us to follow them to their mooring balls inside the anchorage. Neither accepted our “no” and they brought their boats way too close to LIB for my tastes!  This was less than pleasant and is making me reconsider stopping on our way north. I will have to do some reading before I decide if I will stop when we work our way north again.

Anyone want to offer advice or opinions and/or experiences at The Pitons?

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Regardless of that experience, you can see the area looks fabulous!

Iles des Saintes was the next stop. We had a very pleasant sail to Bourg des Saints on Terre D’en Haut.

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Guadeloupe is easy to see on a clear day.

The anchorage was very pretty and on clear days Guadeloupe looked close enough to be just a long swim away…. Ok, that might be an exaggeration, but it did look close!

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The anchorage itself was charming and the dinghy dock one of the best we have seen in the Caribbean.

Frank and Hunter tried to kite, but the wind was too light. So we spent a day tooling around Terre D’en Haut in an electric car/golf cart.

The views from so many places were so pretty it’s tempting to post too many photos…

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LIB in the foreground.

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A prettier picture of Bourg des Saintes.

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Cappy loved being free among the trees.

This stand of trees right by the ocean was shady and peaceful and I could have stayed here for hours just absorbing the serenity of it. 

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A colorful local.

We also visited Fort Napoleon which was built in 1867. The fort is well restored and held an eclectic assortment of displays. We began our tour too close to the lunch hour as the closing bells rang not long into our visit.  I especially enjoyed the models of old wooden ships and seeing the interior cross sections of what the ships held and how things were stored to balance the ship.

I’ll stick with Let It Be, her modern equipment and two engines, thank you!

We barely touched Iles des Saintes and I really hope we will stop for a week or so on our return north, but this trip we wanted to skip on down to St. Lucia so we could accomplish a few boat projects, re-provision and prepare for some guests to arrive.

Arrival in Rodney Bay, St. Lucia marked our first Windward Island as opposed to one of the Leeward Islands. Once again we experienced only a fragment of St. Lucia as we only afforded ourselves of the conveniences offered such as laundry, groceries, chandleries and restaurants. This stop was more of an opportunity to repair and prepare than explore.

Hunter continued to spend a good portion of each day programming, since that is his job. Frank and I set to work cleaning, crossing off maintenance items and generally preparing LIB for visitors.

The best part of our stay in St. Lucia was meeting up with David and Amy of Starry Horizons. You may have already seen the beautiful pictures David and Amy took for us as we left?! Kind of makes us want a drone too.

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LIB heading south to Vieux Fort, St. Lucia.

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LIB on the left and Starry Horizons on the right.

A rare photo of Frank, me and Hunter.

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David and Amy, these excellent pictures are much appreciated.

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Starry Horizon and crew.

We had a chance to have dinner and catch up with Amy and David because of their incredible willingness to accommodate our schedule!  Our time with them went much too quickly and Amy and I have since exchanged texts saying, “wait, I forgot to ask ….” or “Oh, I wanted to look at this on your boat…”   

I just cannot tell you how much I enjoy the company of the two people and how hard it is to know that from here forward our Helias will take us in opposite directions! 

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SH looks pretty in the fresh morning light.

I have every confidence that Amy and David will have an amazing journey on Starry Horizons and we will follow their blog, FB and videos faithfully!  Happy, safe and fabulous journey you guys. Our love and prayers go with you!!!

Next stop Vieux Fort where we pick up Al Young, the first of our 3 kiters to arrive.

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Sunset in Iles des Saintes

As always, thanks for reading our blog…. sorry the s-l-o-w internet has delayed my posts!

Our First Official Visitor….

Let It Be, as a live aboard boat, had her first guest this week. Frank’s mom, Jackie, arrived on Tuesday, Oct.20th. I am so fortunate to have a Mom-in-law whom I respect, admire and love. Jackie is game for anything we suggest and is always willing to lend a helping hand.

We spent the first two days in the dock finishing a few projects (surprise!) and taking care of some necessities, like provisions.

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Frank and Jackie at the helm on the way to Culebra

Thursday afternoon we motored out, as what little wind there was went directly on our nose! We headed for Culebra, a U.S. Territory and one of the Spanish Virgin Islands.

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Approaching Culebra

We looked at a couple of coves but, with a north swell, the coves suggested to us had a bit too much movement.  We found a beautiful spot in Bahia Lynda, a little bay with a nice reef out front to break incoming waves.  We had rain every day while Jackie was here, but we still managed to have an excellent visit.

DSC00460The sun peeked out of the rain clouds just before it turned in for the night. 

Perhaps this post should be titled “Things mom’s do” but the things Jackie does are unusual. For instance, how many octogenarians do you know who carry ear plugs in their purse? Sure enough, Jackie was going to help Frank as he cut some starboard for the forepeak project and when he offered to get her some earplugs, Jackie said, “Oh, just a minute. Let me get mine from my purse.”  Impressive, right?!

Do you know any 80 somethings who carry earplugs???

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Even in the rain, Jackie is there with a helping hand and her own earplugs.

Still no wind, so we motored along the north side of Culebra and toured the beaches from the comfort of LIB.  A solitary dolphin came to play and swam along our bow in welcome. He left before I could get a pic.

We stopped at Cayo Norte where we had to beach completely to ourselves.  Captain, Frank and I swam to shore and spent an hour playing on the beach and letting Cap expend a bit of energy.

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Our own private beach for the afternoon.

Next stop was one of the prettiest I have seen – Tortuga Beach on Culebrita. Music and laughter from day charters and motor boats sharing the bay entertained us as we had lunch. We spotted several turtles and even a pair of Remora fish. The remora fish actually nibbled at Frank’s toes when he was sitting on the back of the boat. Thankfully these remora were not accompanying any sharks – that we saw.

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Image by In The Blue (www.intheblue.co.uk)

The two remoras we saw were about three feet long, so big ones!

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Tortuga Beach, Culebrita

By nightfall, all the other boats had departed and we had this lovely beach to ourselves.  We had a slight problem with the hot water heater and Frank was working in the port engine compartment when the rain arrived. In true motherly fashion, Jackie wanted Frank to be nice and dry while he worked. So she stood guard against the rain.

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Jackie gets soaked while keeping Frank dry.

We returned to Puerto Rico yesterday as Jackie had a flight out today. We are so thankful that Frank’s mom is willing to travel and visit us and we thank God that she has the health to do so! Safe travels, Jackie. We miss you already!!!

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Another view of Tortuga Beach

Sailboat Guideline – Only Multiple Use Items Allowed

Since space is a premium when living on a boat, sailors try to find multiple use items to save precious storage. This mantra can lead to some fairly creative multi-purposing of standard items.

Case in point; the ice chest.

As part of her standard charter packaging, LIB was outfitted with a large ice chest which hangs out in the cockpit.  When it is only two of us on board, the ice chest is rarely used for cold storage. But it serves many purposes such as holding fresh water to rinse scuba or snorkeling gear. It can act as a dry container in the dinghy when transporting laundered clothing from shore or perhaps provisions from the local grocery. It is an extra place to sit or a place to store gallons of water.

Sometimes we use the ice chest as a large container to wash clothes because we do not have a washer/dryer on LIB, nor do we have plans to add one.

Now that we will be living on LIB and will use our ice chest more often to wash clothes, Frank decided to modify it to try to make it a bit more self agitating and hopefully create less human agitation. IMG_0596

Plastic cut-outs ready to glue inside the ice chest.

The hope is that when we put clothing, water and soap in the modified ice chest, the plastic edges will act as bumpers and increase the movement of the clothing inside the ice chest thus allowing the clothing to agitate/clean itself while we sail.

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Here is a picture of the inserts actually glued into the ice chest.

The modifications to the ice chest are fairly small and will not significantly affect our ability to use the ice chest for other purposes, so this could be an excellent way to improve the washing machine function of our ice chest while retaining its other functionality.

I have some concerns that since our boat is a catamaran and does not heel like a monohull, the agitation inside the ice chest/washer will be insufficient to clean the clothing.  However, if we find that is the case, we could put the ice chest in the dinghy and tow the dinghy for a while when we are sailing.

Surely the bumping and movement of the dinghy, combined with the modifications Frank has made, will be sufficient to bump and clean the clothing….

This may not be the perfect solution to our laundry needs, but in this case, my laziness is the mother of Frank’s invention.

Thanks, honey, for working on making laundry on LIB easier. I sure hope it works!

The Results Are In…. and We Won!

Okay, so we weren’t actually entered in any contests, but we feel like we won anyway.

Why? What did we win?

Well, we just completed an in water and out of water survey on LIB to see how she is doing now that her charter life is completed.

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LIB, the day she arrived at TMM from France

I am thrilled to report that the “Deficiency” list did not have any big items!  TMM has done a fantastic job of keeping up with the maintenance of LIB and making sure any problems were addressed properly.

As a result of their admirable care and good judgement on who could or could not captain the boat, LIB remains in excellent condition.

Now that isn’t to say we don’t have any issues to address, but thankfully they are minor and mostly related to maintenance that is expected after two plus years of charter.

The list included 31 items, so initially I sort of gasped thinking there were problems. However the report was very detailed and several items are cosmetic or were already on our list.

Seven points were superficial like “Emergency fire extinguisher ports in both aft cabins should be marked.” “Topside Gelcoat shows scrapes and scuffs and should be buffed.”   “The scuffs and scrapes at the galley surfaces are consistent with regular use and would benefit from a clean and polish.” These are to be expected.

I was surprised to read that a few items were not up to “ABYC H 27 standards” since they pertained to factory installed parts. But I didn’t really know what ABYC H 27 standards were, so I had to do a tad bit of research. (Some of you must be shaking your head at me and others are probably saying you don’t know either.)

ABYC is the American Boat and Yacht Council. The link will take you to their mission statement, but in essence they are “the essential source of technical information for the international marine industry.”

At first I thought, “oh, well this is the American standard” and LIB was built in France.  But then I read that ABYC considers themselves the international standard…. I guess Fountaine Pajot either doesn’t agree with the ABYC standards or perhaps many boats don’t quite meet up to the “standard” when built.

SO, having said all of that, what didn’t meet up?

Well some of our factory installed through hulls, made by Randex, are molded plastic.  Our surveyor recommends we replace any below the waterline through hulls with marine grade bronze or Marelon.

The fuel tank hoses are type B1 and the surveyor recommends changing those to A1 or A2 to meet the ABYC standard. Ditto for the related fittings and connections.

Apparently our 110V AC outlets are not fitted with GFCIs, and I think we should probably add those.  Shocking right?! – OKAY, I know that was a really poor pun.

Some items the surveyor listed were already on our list:  anchor chair needs to be cleaned and proven, zinc anodes at the prop hubs need to be replaced, sliding door into salon needs attention (again) and the bottom could use a scrubbing and fresh antifouling.

There were two items I did not expect though. One was that the air conditioning duct in the generator has heavy condensation above the generator battery. A drip pan is suggested to protect the batteries. That seems pretty sensible to me.

The bigger of the two concerned the exhaust system for the generator. While the generator has worked great and we have had no issues with harmful fumes in the boat, apparently the exhaust flows toward the bridgedeck and has made a sooty mark. The surveyor does not see damage from this but suggested we alter the exhaust so concentrated heat from the exhaust doesn’t harm the gelcoat or the hull.  Glad to know about this before it is a problem.

General maintenance items include gasket washers on the gooseneck that show compression, the saildrives show minor movement and need to be serviced and the bearings on the rudder stocks need to be serviced.

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Spinnaker flying on LIB

An issue caught by the surveyor and a known problem on LIB concerns the spinnaker halyard. Here is the verbatim remark: “The Spinnaker halyard is chafed, and the block at deck level is cracked. Both should be replaced or the line retained as spare gash line only. There is distinct chafe and abrasion at the line below the mast cap sheave adjacent to the main halyard that should be end-for-ended and trimmed, or replaced. The cause of the abrasion is unknown, and the line reportedly replaced recently. We recommend the cause be should be sourced by a rigger and measures taken to prevent future chafe, and all lines replaced as needed per the currently maintenance schedule.”

This has been a bit of an ongoing problem and is a focus of our energy. We definitely need to determine why we are having the chafe problem and fix it. Believe me, we will figure it out!

That about sums up the survey report.  We are pleased our Helia has held up so well to the myriad of skippers she has had over this 30 months of charter.

We are especially grateful to TMM for taking care of LIB and us.  It is with sadness and excitement that we leave the safe haven of TMM.  We will certainly look back with fondness and gratitude to everyone there who has made our experience so positive as well as helped us improve as sailors.

Let me know if you have any questions about the survey for LIB.  I don’t have enough experience to know how most surveys go, but I am pleased with the results of this one.

Really? THAT Triggered a Spasm of Panic?

The countdown has really begun. In the next 30 days I will attempt to shut down our house and move to a boat.  Mental lists are being converted to paper (okay computer) so nothing is forgotten.

Many decisions have simply been a matter of research, like determining how to move our physical property to the boat:  compare companies, costs and timing, then choose a reputable company.  Determining what to bring and estimating how large a palate we need is more of a challenge, but it is do-able.

The odd thing is the little items that pop up and cause emotional upheaval. Some item or service that I take for granted in my house that will soon be lost.

The perfect example?   Internet.

Internet???  Yep.

Is it just me or does anyone else get blindsided by an unexpected emotional response?

Today on a little square of my calendar I wrote “terminate internet service” and suddenly my stomach clenched and my heart stuttered.

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Sitting in my house I have uninterrupted access to excellent, high speed internet. My computer automatically connects, the lights are on and I have information and communication at my fingertips – without thought, without fail.

Or I grab my trusty Iphone and everyone I care about is a few buttons away.

Thirty-one days from now that will no longer be the case! Internet and phone communication will become a variable instead of a given.

Now that proximity to my family and friends is being lost, I feel myself clinging to communication as though it were the oxygen I need to breathe.

People think the idea of living on a boat is a bit scary, what with hurricanes, storms, sharks, etc.  I won’t say I don’t think of those things, but right this minute, as I plan my disconnect from home, communication seems to be the lifeline I am most afraid of loosing.

Surely someone understands my slight panic?  Am I alone in this fear or have you suffered this somewhat illogical fear?

How did our forefathers leave home and country without knowing how they would remain in contact with family?

Thank God it is 2015 or I would never be able to sever the cord!

From Charter to Live Aboard – Scheduled to Change – Part I

Now that LIB is finished with her charter life, we are implementing some changes to make her a bit more specific for our use.  Some of the changes will be made immediately while still at TMM and others will be made when we are in Puerto Del Ray Marina in Puerto Rico.

My sailing friends can probably imagine several of the items on the list.  My land loving friends will probably shake their heads at the items needed. But anyone who knows Frank can imagine the detail and thought put into the list…. Would you wager it is well organized?

I am fortunate to have such a capable captain; and no, I don’t mean the dog!

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PDR is a very large marina.

Frank has put together a spreadsheet of changes that includes everything from important functions to pure luxuries. The list includes 66 items that range from maintenance to extravagance; from a one hour DIY to a 3 week contractor job. We will not complete all of the items on our list because we are not sure we truly want all of them and the costs would be prohibitive. Below are some we know we will complete before we leave PR.

Steering on the Helia:

Let It Be is Helia hull #4 and was built with the original specifications. On later hulls, some changes were made to improve the Helia. One major revision was to the steering system which was underrated for the early Helias. We have already had to replace the steering cable on LIB twice. Fountaine Pajot has changed the steering on later Helia models from a teleflex push pull rod system to a hydraulic one.   We have reviewed a couple of steering options and decided to install the warrantied system FP is now using. Some people dislike the lack of feedback on hydraulic steering, but we are willing to loose some “feel” in our steering to insure it will hold up to the weight and size of the boat.

Anchor Windless:

Our windless has been extremely reliable and the size is sufficient.  However,  the whole windless was installed a little too close to the starboard side of the anchor compartment.  We cannot fit the manual lever handle onto the gypsy cogs because the handle hits the fiberglass frame of the compartment. This means that if our windless failed, we would have to pull the anchor chain up by hand.

The plan is to move the windless slightly to port so the lever handle can fit onto the gypsy in case we have to use it manually.  When we adjust the windless, we will also reinforce the platform of the windless to make it a bit more substantial. While the platform is adequate, we think it would be better if it was stronger.

Finally, we will install a windless remote at the helm station which will deploy and retrieve the anchor as well as count the amount of chain released.

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We anticipate using this Lofrans Remote

Water Maker:

We found that the most limiting factor in our six week trip this summer was water.  It is very possible to live without a water maker, but I found water was a focus of my thoughts whenever we ran low. In other words, running low on fresh water made me nervous. In my opinion, there are many things that require attention while sailing and I don’t want water to be one of them on Let It Be.

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RO 30 GPH Watermaker Pre-filter.

Dive Compressor:

We have decided to add a Coltri MCH6 110V compressor to LIB. The convenience of refilling tanks on board and avoiding transporting them in the dinghy every time we need to refill is worth it to us. Plus this allows us to have a total of only 4 tanks on board which reduces the weight on LIB and means we need to find a storage place for fewer tanks.

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Coltri MCH6 Dive Compressor

Cushions:

The cushions on LIB have always been an issue with me. They were ordered in a neutral color for a charter situation, but they are BLAND and hard. We will replace all of the outdoor cushions while in Puerto Rico. This is a major investment, but it is also the best way to make the boat unique to us and add some color. I have been wrestling with the cushion material for months now and I am so tired of thinking about it that I am ready to just pull the trigger and order the fabric. I just pray that I like the final product because the cushions will need to last a loooooong time to get our money’s worth!

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A combination of this stripe and the solid blue will be used for our new cushions.

These are the big ticket items on our spreadsheet that we know we will install.  Other expensive additions we are considering are an enclosure for the helm, a sun shade for the aft side of the cockpit, additional solar panels and new sails. But we are not sure what we want or if these items are necessary, so we will probably put them off until the end of our first full season aboard.

We do have plans to upgrade our communications options, but I will cover that after we have fleshed out our decisions a bit better.

Tortola Marine Management has done an excellent job of maintaining Let It Be, but we want to be sure she is in tiptop shape when we depart.  To that end, we have a very long list of maintenance items on the spreadsheet.  Frank has done a tremendous job of listing each task along with the supplies, parts and tools required for each one.  He has also assigned particular jobs to each of us.

I see a good amount of learning in my near future as I tackle some jobs I never imagined myself taking on.  I both look forward to and dread the challenge. I am sure I will have some embarrassing  interesting stories to share. It’s a little daunting to know I will be doing the maintenance on parts we will rely on every single day!

Care to share any tasks you have taken on that you never expected to tackle?  I could use the encouragement!

3 Houses and No Place to Nest…

The decision to move to Let It Be was made more than two years ago.  Since then, many changes have been accomplished. Our plan to move aboard is close and will be realized within 8 weeks. Yet I have found myself a bit muddled and out of sorts.

Have you felt this way after making a major decision even though you still believe the decision is a good one?

Currently our house in Texas is for sale, which means we maintain it like a House Beautiful photographer is on the way.  To escape the model home syndrome, we are vacationing off and on in a darling VRBO house in Durango, CO.  As for Let It Be, she is finishing her charter life in the British Virgin Islands, taking happy folks from one beautiful beach to the next.

So in a sense, we have three “homes” in three very different places right now.  I know LIB will become our one home, but right now I feel like a three legged stool with a foot in each location.

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And as happens in these situations, I am not perfect at keeping up with which things are where.  Like my one remaining pair of dress pants which I needed in Durango, but I realized I had left in Dallas. Only when I got to Dallas I learned that one pair of pants was accidentally put in a box headed for Let It Be via Puerto Rico!!

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The pants are not a tragedy, but they have allowed me to finally put a finger on why I feel so muddled.  I am not the type to decorate and redecorate my home, but I really like knowing what I have and where it is.  “Nesting” for me means I have one place for my things.

This doesn’t mean I have to have a lot of stuff, but it does mean that what I have is in a single location and I can put my hands on whatever I am looking for.

A few people have wondered how we can think about letting go of a land home to live on a boat. Or they think we should have a small land place somewhere so we can “go home” if we want.

Well, I think this feeling of wanting all our toys in one sandbox might just be the answer to why we think owning only a boat sounds like a great idea.

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We want to travel and see new places and by living on LIB, all our toys, clothes and doodads will travel with us – including my one remaining pair of pants!

Admittedly choosing a boat as our residence is not a mainstream choice and it means a significant reduction of ownership, but right this minute, I am soooo ready to put all my possessions in one house boat!

How about you – do you prefer just one sandbox? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Jolly Harbour, Antigua

We left St. Barts about 5 pm and motor sailed about 15 hours to Jolly Harbour, Antigua. The sail was a bit bumpy as we had to go more into the wind and waves than we would have liked. But the crossing was safely completed and entering Jolly Harbour was like arriving in a post card.

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Entry to Jolly Harbour, Antigua

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Frank prepares the lines and bumpers.

We were concerned about getting Captain registered into Antigua, but the veterinarian was very nice. Happily her paperwork was in order and Cap was quickly accepted.

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Captain loves the dinghy!

Jolly Harbour was beautiful and unique in that the harbor included a marina but also had a residential feel to it as houses with (large) boat docks lined much of the waterway.

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See the houses behind LIB?

We took advantage of some local services available in Jolly Harbour including a haircut for Frank.

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Shamone and Frank, post haircut.

Antigua is 11 miles wide and 14 miles long; much larger than any other islands we have visited so far.  Because of our limited time frame, we will only stay in Antigua about a week and we won’t have time to explore the interior. Instead we will stick to the bays and inlets along the shoreline.

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Jolly Harbour was a pleasant, calm anchorage which I welcomed after our bumpy crossing. 

It’s Such a Little Thing

Perhaps only people with really small spaces can understand this, but I’m really happy about a recent change on Let It Be. 

Fountaine Pajot installed a huge drawer at the foot of each bunk which allows easy use of sub-mattress space:

 
The only problem is that the whole drawer becomes a jumble of disorganization very quickly. 

However, little help from our woodworking friend and voila- organization!

  

  • Cost: a few measurements and a couple American dollars. 
  • Finding items easily: Priceless! 
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