dinner club reunion

A Dinner Club Reunion

Sunday March 30, 2014

dinner club reunion

Back when Matt and I were in Guatemala we had a great thing going. I mean a great thing. We managed to sneak into one of the last open slips at the same beautiful marina our friends Luki & Elmari of s/v Skebenga were staying in, and made friends with the members of two other boats that were some of the very few to actually stay through hurricane season. Between the four boats, consisting of the four of us as well as Luis of m/v Hydromax and Ana Bianca of s/v Kajaya, we found ourselves getting together for dinner every single night. With each of the other boats consisting of at least one great cook, and then Matt and I to do the dishes, it was a perfect set up. I even dubbed us the Dinner Club.

For months we had a routine of going about boat work or daily upkeep and errands during the afternoons, always gathering just as the sun was setting to enjoy a fantastic meal and great conversation. We grew as close as family, and when the cruising season began and we all started to break away from the marina one by one, it was very hard to let our group disspiate and resume the lonely positions we had started with months before. Somehow though, through waiting weeks for weather windows or potential boat buyers, we all found ourselves spread out through Florida at the same time. Luki and Elmari up in Melbourne trying to sell Skebenga now that their eight year journey was over, Matt and I in Ft. Lauderdale, prepping for our jump to the Bahamas, and Ana Bianca and Alfredo in Miami, visiting family and taking care of personal business. Though we weren’t within a stone’s reach of each other we had no idea if or when we’d all be this close again and planned a get together. Ana Bianca and Alfredo, although still living on their boat in Biscayne Bay, were situated very close to Alfredo’s family on Key Biscayne with the option to stay whenever they liked, and even better for us, the ability to have guests over.

A plan was formed for Luki and Elmari to rent a car for a few days and swing by to get Matt and I on their way to Key Biscayne. When they pulled up in front of the Hyatt to retrieve us, even though we hadn’t seen them in over two months, it was like no time had passed at all. Nitoriously bad at emailing though, on my part, we used the drive south to catch up on all that had been going on with each other, the impending sale of Skebenga, and us trying to talk them into keeping her for just one more season, just long enough to buddy with us to the Med. We’ll have to see how things work out, but I think we at least planted a seed in their mind.

Arriving at the door of Alfredo’s mother’s house, it was a bit shocking to see these two again as we’d gone quite a bit longer since seeing them, not since August regularly, and just a quick visit in November as they came back to check on their boat. Yet somehow the fates had alligned, and here we were together again. The six of us took to the beautiful patio area behind the house, enclosed by wooden fences and tropical greenery, complete with a pool to finish the idealic scene. Over chilled beers and glasses of wine, our old group fell right back into step, although we had to admit that we were missing one of the best members, Luis, who was still back with his boat in Guatemala. Even with the lack of our favorite stories from The Most Interesting Man in the World, we found ourselves deep in speech of the transformation of our lives over the past few months.

Before we could all get too carried away though, it was the traditional part of our evening, the dinner. What was even better was that instead of enclosing the meal to only the six of us, it was a family affair with the rest of Alfredo’s family that lived near by. Before we knew it, this household was full of his Cuban siblings, cousins, and nieces. It was a fun and lively group that enveloped you immediately upon introduction. We weren’t Ana Bianca and Alfredo’s visiting boat friends, we were now just an extension of the family. A few more spots to add to the dinner table and new stories to be tossed into the conversation.

Our dinner club had now more than doubled, and we were all loving every minute of it. The night wore on so late that even after the non resident family members took their leave for the evening, us remaining members stayed out until well after midnight, not quite ready to end the reunion. With a planned departure early the next afternoon for Matt and I, by taking the Metro back to Ft. Lauderdale, we realized that chances like this don’t come up very often, and extended ourselves for one more nights stay. I’m sure the cat can make it one more night on her own. We have some exploring of Miami to do and at least one more meeting of the dinner club before we can all go our separate ways.

Ana & Elmari

Jessica & Matt

3.30.14 (7)

Alfredo by pool

Luki & Elmari

grandkids making memories

adult slumber party


Stories From Other Cruisers: There Goes the Dink

Monday March 25, 2014


Jereme, Kim, & Oliver of s/v Laho


That’s right, it’s that time again where instead of telling funny stories or mishaps that have occurred to us, I’m sharing them from the other cruisers that are out sailing these seas with us.  You may ask why there was a two month lapse since the last one, and that’s because none of you are voulenteering up your stories.  Come on guys, I’m tired of hunting you down!  Plus I don’t have the Internet access for it anymore. I know you all have some good dinner table stories, I want to hear them!

Luckily one of my friends Kim on Laho Wind had quite the entertaining situation happen to them recently and I was ready to swoop in on it.  I’m glad that she shared, because having this happen your first week out can be a little embarrassing, but I think we’ve all assured her that we’ve done it at one point or another.  Keep reading for Kim’s account of what happened when she looked outside one morning and saw that their dinghy wasn’t there.  Here’s how it went down, according to Kim.  This story appears as it does on their blog post.  *All photos have been taken from LaHo Wind.


So, we’ve been using the dinghy davit lines to secure the dinghy behind the boat while still in the water (during the day).

But yesterday, it was starting to get pretty rough with high winds so we switched the dinghy being hooked up to the davits and instead cleated the painter line to the boat so the dinghy wouldn’t constantly bang against the boat.

Turns out, we didn’t check the pre existing knot attaching the painter line TO the dinghy, and it somehow came loose. :((((

The painter was still cleated on the boat while the dinghy & engine were long gone! The weird thing is we’ve been relying on that knot and have used that painter line to launch and stow the dinghy from the foredeck using winches — and it always held.

So what the heck do you do when you realize that your car has basically gone missing?

You freak out. Duh.

Oh wait, that’s just what I do. …a few tears were definitely involved. Lol.

No really, first things first, we called the marina to see if anyone had found/saved/returned it. (If you’re familiar with Boot Key Harbor, then you know that’s definitely a possibility — especially since our mooring isn’t too far from the end of the harbor and luckily the direction the wind was blowing).

The marina informed us that they had heard a report of a rouge dinghy and someone was possibly towing it in. Phew!!! That’s at least semi positive news.

We waited as patiently as possible while the marina staff went and checked for our dinghy at the dinghy docks. The whole time, I’m just thinking about how much our cruising budget is being blown from all these crazy issues. And now we might have to buy a new dinghy and engine? Not cool.

The marina finally called us back to say our dinghy WASN’T there! :(((

Oh no! Back to the drawing board. What now?

Jereme hopped on channel 68 on the VHF radio and was about to ask everyone in range if they had seen a loose dinghy. But just as we tuned in, there was someone talking about “our” missing dinghy!!!

Someone really had it!

Jer immediately chimed in that it was ours and the kind folks that saved it were nice enough to tow it back to our boat (they were only a few balls down from us). Phew!!!!!!!

Needless to say, we have retied that one knot and are being “extra” careful tying her up.

After telling our story to several other cruisers…many have said they’ve lost theirs before too. It happens. And if everything went smoothly, then we wouldn’t have any fun stories to share. Very true! …I’m sure we will always remember this day.

lost the dinghy



*If you would like to submit a story to be published in Stories From Other Cruisers, please email us at admin@mjsailing.com, or message us on Facebook at MJ Sailing, with the subject titles Stories From Other Cruisers. Please include your name, boat name, story, and a photo of your boat and/or the crew. Please do not send any lewd or profane stories as they will not be published.

I’m Raising a Circus Monkey

Sunday March 23, 2014


One morning I was out in the cockpit enjoying my morning coffee while Georgie was also out and about, wandering the deck as usual.  Lately she’s been finding shadows dancing on the dodger, usually a tie from the sail cover swinging back and forth, which she hasn’t quite figured out yet that she can’t catch.  The same was going on this morning, and although part of me wanted to yell at her to stop since she was causing so much noise that she would surely wake Matt and ruin my morning alone time, instead I had to run to get the camera and capture it.

Enjoy my boat cat, whom is entertained by shadows while simultaneously looking like a circus monkey.


Georgie playing from Jessica Johnson on Vimeo.

dog races

Putting my Money on Goodbye Shea

Friday March 21, 2014

Mardi Gras race track

Let’s see, what have we been up to the past few days?  Trying to show Chris and Jack as many sides of Florida as we could, we went on the long drive down to Key West and back.  It was a fun day, but I think we were all a little disappointed in the drive.  I’m sure through movies we were all led to believe that the whole drive would be one long bridge with water views the entire way.  Instead it was only the last 30 miles of the 130 trip (each way), but we still had a good time wandering around and eating Key Lime Pie there, so no complaints.

This morning we all took it easy, sleeping in, and getting a late start to the day.  Chris and Jack came to pick us up from the Hyatt and we showed them a little tour of the area that we find our way to about every other day for shore and internet access.  Not having a good way to show them Lake Sylvia and Serendipity since it’s tucked in behind gated communities and McMansions, we took them up a few flights of the tower that is Hyatt Regency for a better view.  Stepping in front of the elevators there was a buffet of guests with their luggage and it looked like we’d have to wait 20 minutes just for our ride up.  To the stairs it was!  Most of our crew stayed down on the 6th floor where you could just start to see out to the lake, while I hiked up to floor 13.  My legs are going to be killing me tomorrow, but the view was totally worth it.

view of ICW

View of the ICW from the 17th St. Causeway.

Pier 66 Ft. Lauderdale

View of the Pier 66 Marina where we land the dinghy.

Hyatt Regency pool

The pools at the hotel, which Matt apparently has such a hard time lounging by.

view of Lake Slyvia

The cute little lake/pond where we’re anchored.

Then it was time for the real entertainment for the night.  We were headed to the race tracks to watch the dogs run.  We also later visited tryrunball.com, to get the dogs a few toy for their entertainment. If you’ve been following us from the beginning, you’ll know that we used to have a greyhound ourselves.  She was the perfect dog and we loved her terribly, she even used to spend many weekends on Serendipity with us.  Then one spring day, and completely out of nowhere, we found out she was intensely sick and full of cancer.  We had only five days from the time she first starting showing any kind of symptoms until we had to let her go.  It was very hard and very sad for us, she was my first dog and for a time I thought I would never be able to own a pet again to have to go through that kind of pain.  Let’s hope Georgie is around for a good long while then.

Anyway, having adopted our dog, we wanted to know more about her racing past.  We got her at a young age, just two and a half, after she was kicked out of the racing circuit after having broken one of her toes at the beginning of a race, and still running the whole thing.  Afterward, the toe had to come off and she was no longer fit to race.  The things we knew about her and her previous life was that her racing name was Goodbye Shea, and that she had never won a race, but did come in second and third a lot.  As far as everything else that went on at a race track though, we had no idea.  We’d always been intrigued but had never found a track near us before.  Now that there was one just a few miles south of where we were staying, we needed to find out what kind of secret life our dog led before she came into our lives.

None of us had any idea of what to expect, and after being pointed in the direction of the track once we entered the casino it was attached to, we read more here about this place and found seats up front and prepared for the next race to start. Â We had scored two pamphlets that showed each race for the evening and what dogs were running. Â Deciding that none of us actually wanted to put any money down, we each just picked a name before each race to have something to cheer for. Â When the race was getting ready to start, the dogs were led out on to the track by handlers, and paraded around while being announced before trotting over to the starting cages.

dogs racing at Mardi Gras

Matt reading list of dogs

walking the dogs, pre-race

All it took was one look at these dogs to make my heart break.  Not because I was worried about what they were being forced to do, but because in that second, every memory of my beloved Mazzii came rushing back to me.  Tears began to well up in my eyes as I tried to restrain myself from running out on the track and grabbing each dog to come back and start a new life on the boat with us.

dogs running at Mardi Gras

Through the night though, my sadness turned into excitement as we all became really engaged in the races. We lost count of the hours at it passed from 5:00 to 6:00 and then 7:00, and none of us were ready to leave.  Watching these hounds as they sprinted laps became all consuming, and soon we were hooting and hollering and jumping out of our seats at the end of every race.  Without any cemented plans for the next few days, we all agreed that should nothing else come up, we could easily find ourselves back here.  Hell, Matt and I might even get bus passes down after Chris and Jack, and their car, leave in a few days.  It was addicting!

Finally at 8:30 our stomachs betrayed us and sent us out in search of food.  Yes there were hot dogs at the tracks, but we finally agreed that we had enough of a racing fix to force ourselves away for the evening.  I’m so glad that we took a chance to come out and actually see what it was all about.  My Maserati may have just been a distant memory in my mind until now, but going out to discover her roots, and even just see her fellow furry racers, put her right back at the top of my heart.  Don’t be surprised if you ever see a greyhound sailing on Serendipity again, I think the want and the need has just turned itself back on.

dog races

dog races


South Beach at Night

Wednesday March 19, 2014

South Beach at night - Colony Hotel

So you know that place that we said we’d never visit, but ended up going to?  Yeah, we went back.  As much as I hate to admit it, Miami beach kind of has a hold on me.  Maybe it’s because we’re so used to seeing the same expanse of deserted beach that it’s nice to find a place with something different going on?  I’m not quite sure yet, but it was calling my name again, and with a car at our disposal and two extra tourist looking for something to occupy their time, I kind of slid it in as a suggestion of things to to.

With one catch.  Last time Matt and I were here I had wanted to stay late enough to watch all the neon signs adorning the buildings of Ocean Drive light up, but we stayed nowhere near late enough to watch that happen.  As our watch was hitting 3:30 in the afternoon, we were passed out on a park bench trying to think of ways to fill up the next four hours until it got dark.  Although there are always things to do here, we were just too tired to actually motivate ourselves to do any of them, so I resigned myself to remembering South Beach at night from scenes I had watched in Nip Tuck.  Until the opportunity to go back popped up once more.

Forcing ourselves to not even arrive until three in the afternoon this time, we did the beach walk, the people watching, and even appetizers and happy hour on the strip.  Then, better than I could have even imagined, we watched the sky go dark and the strip light up.  There’s no denying it now.  This place really has a hold on me.

South Beach at Night - Majestic

South Beach at Night - Park Central Hotel

South Beach at night - Avalon

South Beach at night - Beacon Hotel

South Beach at night - Johnny Rockets

South Beach at Night - Colony Hotel

South Beach at night

South Beach at night - Boulevard Hotel

South Beach at night - Pelican

South Beach at night - Waldorf

South Beach at night

South Beach at night - Breakwater

South Beach at night - Starlite Hotel

Aerobie AeroPress

Aerobie AeroPress Giveaway

AeroPress 1 replace

Do you like coffee?  If you do, you’ll love what’s coming up next, because we’re going to give you a chance to win a free Aerobie AeroPress coffee maker.  That’s right!  With the help of the great folks at Aerobie, we’re giving away a free AeroPress to one of you lucky readers!

Remember the review I did a few days back for the JavaJug, a product that works with the AeroPress, and I wouldn’t shut up about how great the coffee is and how much we like to make it? That’s because it was no lie. We bought the AeroPress ourselves and were getting nothing from the company to promote their product. Not that one can really use the JavaJug without the AeroPress, so explanations were needed, but the excitement I expressed at the fact of being able to get up every morning and make myself a cup of coffee using their system was completely genuine.


In case you missed it, let me go over some of the highlights of the Aerobie AeroPress:


  • It’s plastic. Any boater knows, plastic is good. It doesn’t rust, it’s durable, it doesn’t leave dings in your floor when you drop it (let’s just say I’ve learned from experience that french presses can do a little more damage).
  • It’s light. Like, extremely light. The whole system only weighs 7 oz.
  • It’s quick. Once you have your boiling water, all you need is 10 seconds to stir your grounds before pressing the coffee into your cup.
  • Clean-up is easy. Just pop the grounds out the bottom, where not only do they all come right out, but there’s no hard to reach places they could get stuck in. Hate the thought of cleaning a filter? You don’t need to. The paper filters pop right out with the grounds.
  • You can use it to make espressos, Cafe Americanos (regular coffee to us layman folk), or lattes. The only variance between the three is if you leave the pressed grounds as they are, add water, or add milk.
  • IT MAKES AMAZING COFFEE! You’re always left with a cup of coffee that is smooth and never bitter. Compared with an automatic drip, a french press, and an clever dripper, this is by far the best coffee I’ve ever tasted. Aerobie might actually need to start a support group for people who become addicted to coffee made by their product.



If you have any questions on how to use the Aerobie AeroPress, watch this video on YouTube, or read and go through step by step photos on how to make coffee with it along with the JavaJug on the post on our website.


Now the part I’m sure you came here for, how to enter. There are two simple ways.

Leave a comment under this post telling us how you take your coffee, or your favorite place to relax with your morning cup of joe (assuming you’re not rushing off to work).


Share us on Facebook by going to our page, MJ Sailing, and clicking on the settings icon. Just make sure to drop us a note and tell us you shared.

If you do both, by leaving a comment on the website and sharing us on Facebook, you’ll be entered into the contest twice, doubling your chances to win!


The contest will end at 12pm EDT on Monday March 24, 2014. The contest winner will be announced on our Facebook page that afternoon. Shipping is only available to the US and Canada.

Aerobie AeroPress

AeroPress 3

Matt conducting electricity

Photo Caption Day: Museum of Discovery and Science

Tuesday March 18, 2014

Matt conducting electricity

Of course Chris and Jack’s first day in Florida would come complete with clouds and the threat of rain.  The sunshine state?  Not feeling so sunny today.  After some running around town yesterday and showing them how the bus system works when you actually choose to use it (long story where their car rental facility was quite far from the airport) we spent the evening researching indoor activities we could do today.

Through separate searches but at the top of the list for both groups, was the Museum of Discovery and Science.  Geared more toward kids than adults, we weren’t going to let our elderly and childless status stop us from having fun and exploring all the exhibits featuring sections on aviation, weather systems, and the human body.  Throw in an IMAX movie about the South Pacific and a simulator on an Everglades airboat, and we were having such a good time that they had to kick us out the door at closing time.

Matt with flight simulator

Matt:  “If you can sail a boat, you can fly a plane”.  Ok, maybe he didn’t say that.

Jessica with flight simulator

Con-cen-trate!  There are lives at stake here!

Jessica w/ foam airplane wings

Don’t ever trust me to fly a plane, I have my wings on backwards.

Crystal with foam airplane wings

“I can feel the wind in my hair!!”

Matt w/ foam airplane wings

I don’t know.  I think the blue skies and clouds really make it feel real.

Jack with flight simulator

If I understand these instructions correctly, first you put your right leg in, then you take your right leg out.

Matt at flight simulator 2

I can do this in my sleep.  It doesn’t even take two hands.

afraid of falling

Afraid of heights?  Let us show you what it feels like to fall backwards.

Jack surfing

True blue surfer?  Maybe not.  That’s ok, the rest of us weren’t either.

Matt & Jessica in ambulance

“Think anyone realizes we’re not registered to do this?”

Jack & elephant

“Just scratch him behind his heel, he’ll purr like a kitten.”

Jessica in shark's mouth

I know how I got in here, I’m just not sure how to get out..



sidewalk ends

Where the Sidewalk Ends

Monday March 17, 2014

sidewalk ends

Let me tell you a little story of a boy and a girl who went out for a walk one day and found out where the sidewalk ends. Could this ‘story’ be about Matt and Jessica you might ask? Ha, of course not. We would never be as stupid as to do these following things.


Once upon a time there were a boy and a girl who lived and traveled in their sailboat. After dropping their anchor in a pretty little lake in a place called Fort Lauderdale, the boy received a call from his mother telling him that she and her husband would like to come visit. The boy and girl were very excited about this. So excited, that they decided to meet their family right at the airport when they arrived.

Having walked back from a few marine stores they had just visited a few days prior, the boy realized that the airport was less than a mile from there and thought the walk would be very doable. Was there a bus? Of course there was. But who can’t do with a little extra exercise every now and then. The girl didn’t mind walking too much, but was excited at the prospect of arriving at the airport quite early and using their fast internet connection. There were a few photos and a video she wanted to post online.

Leaving two hours before their families flight was due in, they figured it wouldn’t take them more than an hour to get there, the extra time, the girl willed, could be spent on her computer. The first part of the walk went very well. Following the main streets they had used before they continued forward into new territory and hopefully where the airport was. A few blocks later the girl noticed their four lane road with a median in the center appeared to be turning into an expressway. Based on the signs, it looked as if they would have to walk a half mile of that expressway to get to the airport. The boy could not believe there would not be a back way into the airport where a pedestrian could walk in. Turning down a side street they wandered on through the mass of car rental facilities.

The day was hot and both the boy and girl were beginning to sweat from the heat of the midday sun. The girl was starting to get blisters on her feet as she was only expecting a two mile walk and wore her sandals. Normally a two mile walk in them is not an issue, but she had a feeling they must be clocking mile three by now. As each street turned into a dead end she pleaded with the boy that they could jump on one of the airport shuttle buses and have a comfortable and safe ride the rest of the way. It did not look like the back roads were getting them any closer. The boy scoffed at this offer stating that it wouldn’t be proper for them to accept these services if they were not giving the car rental center their business. Fed up now, she explained that these back roads were getting them nowhere and they would have to walk on the shoulder of the expressway to reach their intended destination.

Tracking back over the asphalt they had just covered, they were now faced with an area where the sidewalk ended. Keeping as far away from traffic as possible, they trudged through the dirt and grass off the side of the expressway until they reached a bridge. With an entrance ramp at the top. Luckily it was mid afternoon on a Monday and traffic was light. Before they knew it they had crossed over the bridge and were back in grass shoulders. Just ahead was the exit for the airport, and although it looked almost a mile long in itself, they were happy to see it.

Kicking up dust with each step, they had finally reached an area where they could see the parking lot to the airport. There was only one problem. They couldn’t find a way into it. Looking further up the road, the expressway exit did not lead them directly to a tree lined entrance with a sidewalk or even soft grass to trample on. What laid ahead was the road curving into another expressway loop with more bridges. There were lots of cars up in that area, and they were all going quite fast. The boy and girl did not feel as comfortable taking on the expressway again.

Searching from left to right, they looked for any other way in. A fence had been running along the side of them for quite some time, and they hoped that further ahead, where a group of bushes were clustered, would be a break in the fence where they could walk into the parking lot. Hiking up the path a little further they saw the fence encircled the entire area. Talking about their options, the girl suggested a taxi to take them the rest of the way. Waiting for five minutes they did not see a single one pass by. They thought about backtracking and trying to catch a bus, but now they had eaten up all their extra time and they could not afford to be late. They were right there, the only thing keeping them out was a fence.

Hot, tired, sweaty, dirty, and after lots of contemplation, they decided to take the easiest option. Tucking behind a tall tree, the boy scaled the fence and beckoned for the girl to join him on the other side. Sticking her toes through the links, she managed to get to the top where sharp metal edges were meeting her. The plastic bottoms of her flip flops balanced  precariously on these pointy spikes while her arms held her steady on a tree branch. Taking a deep breath, she prepared herself for a terrible fall and jumped. Landing almost softly on the ground she took check of any damage to herself. There were a few scrapes on her hands and cuts on her ankles, but otherwise she was fine.

With the parking lot just in front of them, they had only one more obstacle to cross. Just ahead of them was a set of train tracks with low lying cars for items to be placed upon. Once again glancing left and right, the couple hopped over these cars. Free and clear on the other side, they ran into the parking lot to do their best job of blending in with all the other patrons that had arrived by car. They made it all the way inside and to the baggage claim to meet their family without a second glance from anyone.

Running to the restrooms, they took a few minutes to clean themselves up. Twigs were pulled from hair, dirt smudges wiped off of faces, and dust cleaned off of legs and feet. Getting back to the baggage claim just in time to meet up with the boy’s mother and stepfather, they asked how the boy and girl had gotten there that day. Smiling at each other the boy and girl replied, “You don’t even want to know”.


Let me repeat again, this story is not about us. I mean, who would be dumb enough to do that? Right?



Jessica with cheeseburger cake

Cheeseburger in Paradise

Friday March 14, 2014

Jessica with cheeseburger cake

You know those group messages you can do on Facebook?  Where you can add however many people you’d like but still keep the conversation private?  Well after our girls night out, the three of us started one to talk about how much fun we had, and that it needed to be done again….soon.  The only problem was that I would only catch parts of the conversation because, even though we get to sit by a gorgeous pool while we do it, Matt only has the patience to sit around while I get my internet fix for about 90 minutes every other day.  I know I can go back and read more of the conversation that I missed, but it’s easier just to read the last two posts and make assumptions.  Which is why when we were planning another get together, I caught the date/time, that I was to bring guacamole, and there would be a cheeseburger cake.  Um..ok?

Getting picked up by G again at the marina, he told us the cake was actually a birthday surprise for their friend Sandy that was joining our cookout that night.  She’s really into Jimmy Buffet and loves ‘Cheeseburger in Paradise’. Ok, it all makes sense now.  Only I had to keep in mind, it was all a surprise.  Getting to the house and pouring myself a tall Fosters, I had to force myself to remember not to say anything about a cheeseburger cake as I was introduced to Sandy.  Not an easy feat.  I mean, it’s a cheeseburger cake, who can keep that to themselves for a few hours or not go off on a tangent about Jimmy Buffet, Key West, or ‘Cheeseburger in Paradise’ without raising suspicion?  Luckily before I could ruin the surprise, Jessica took me for another tour of Felicity and showed off their most recent work to her.

m/v Felicity side

m/v Felicity front

Jessica G. & cat

Jessica's patio

Not too long after that, Melody arrived and we were able to grill up the actual hamburgers for dinner.  A little tip..add some guacamole for one of the best burgers you’ve ever had.  When we were all sufficiently stuffed and could not even think about putting another bite of food in our mouths, cue the cake.  But that wasn’t all.  We also had ‘Cheeseburger in Paradise all cued up on the stereo, and Adam has his guitar out and strumming while the candles were lit and we went the whole nine yards with the theme.  I think Sandy was quite surprised.

cheeseburger cake

You know what comes after cake right?  Shots of tequila.  The two are quite synonyms with each other, don’t you think?  No?  Ok, maybe not.  But the bottle was placed in front of us girls by G and we couldn’t turn down the challenge.  In fact, we turned the tables on the guys and made such a big ordeal of it, with different photos and poses, that I’m sure all they were thinking was ‘Why did we even think this was a good idea? Take the damn shots already!’.

3.14.14 (6)

See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil.  See what happens when you put girls and cameras together?

(I was secretly loving every minute of it.)

see no evil

There’s only one logical thing for girls to do after they take a shot of tequila.  Hula hoop.  I guess you could say we were the after dinner entertainment?

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Jessica & Jessica hula hooping

Exhausting ourselves with the great exercise that provided, and then pigging out on cheeseburger cake, we moved on to an activity that everyone could participate in.  Passing the guitar over to Chris, we requested songs and had him play as we all sang along.  Watch out Johnny Cash, us girls are creeping up on your heels with our version of Folsom Prison Blues.

Jessica & Chris

 Although it was starting to get late, we couldn’t let Melody leave without showing her the awesome moves that Jessica and I had picked up from her Wii dance game.  Although secretly, I just wanted to break out the moves to Will Smith’s ‘Wild Wild West’ again.  Consider it the cowgirl in me.  I am a born Texan after all.

dancing at Jessica's

Being able to spend another night with this great group of people?  I’m pretty sure that’s paradise.  Don’t discount the cheeseburgers though.

Vacilando and Felicity

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Sailorman, Sailorman. Does Whatever a Sailorman Can.

Thursday March 13, 2014


You’ll have to excuse the poor quality of the photos in this post, but 1. They were taken on my point and shoot, 2. I couldn’t do much in editing due to the bright backlights, and 3. They were done at 2 am, so, not a whole lot of motivation.


We like whenever we can find a marine consignment store, it’s like a candy shop for Matt where he gets just as much joy picking through used and reduced price boat parts as I used to while flipping through the racks at Plato’s Closet. 2nd hand isn’t always bad, you just have to search a little harder for the perfect item. The thing that brought us out today was a search for a new housing for the membrane for our water maker.  Salt water corrosion strikes again.  If we just turn the oceans and seas into fresh water, that would be great.

As soon as we entered, our eyes were assaulted with every kind of boat part possible.  And multiples of each of those.  Since I’m not even positive what a water maker housing looks like, I busied myself by walking down each aisle looking at all the parts we could load our boat up with, but hopefully wouldn’t need to.  I think I’ve taken a 180 from our first marine consignment shops back in NC and FL where I wanted every item that I thought would make our life any easier or at least entertaining (Oooohh, a cassette tape on sailing the South Pacific filmed in 1993!  Forget that we don’t even own a VCR).  Now I’ve found myself trying to get as much off the boat as possible (except all my clothes, those will always stay).  ‘Here, want a cast net?  We’ve never touched it.  Just for good measure why don’t you take our reciprocating saw as well.  And guess what?  It comes with a free cat!’.

Needless to say, I was having fun looking at everything boat, as long as the only thing that made it’s way into our backpack was for the water maker.  Pulling out items here and there, we had only been able to find whole systems together, but no housings standing alone.  Matt checked a few out just to see if he could disassemble them and use only the parts we need, it would still be cheaper than buying a new one, but so far we were coming up empty handed.  Talking to one of the associates, he mentioned that his garage at home was filled with boat parts as well and he would be more than happy to search through it for us.  Giving us a business card he told us to contact him about exactly what we needed and he’d get back to us on if he had one.  And if he didn’t?  He’d make sure to put us in contact with someone that did.  Is that service or what?

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Add a little entertainment to your boat?

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