Product Review: The JavaJug


It’s no surprise that sailors like to enjoy their drink. But today I don’t want to discuss the afternoon glass of wine or the sundowner gin and tonic, but rather the ever important morning cup of coffee. There isn’t a single sailor I’ve met that doesn’t like to wake up each morning and enjoy a hot cup of joe, usually while sitting in their cockpit and enjoying the serene surroundings at the first bit of each morning. How you go about making that cup of joe though varies as much as each cruiser themselves since I doubt many of us have had the luxury of dragging along our automatic drip machine from home. The most widely used methods I’ve seen out there are the french press, the percolator, or the very simple instant coffee mix. Mostly these methods are used out of necessity because they follow the number one rule of living on a sailboat: keep it compact. We don’t have the luxury of the bulky items like Keurig machines or even the popular automatic drip that you find occupying 95% of homes.

I’ve just been introduced to a new way to make coffee though, where not only is the item small, and even better, extremely lightweight, but it makes the best cup of coffee I’ve ever had. Introducing, the AeroPress coffee maker and JavaJug. I’d actually first heard about the AeroPress coffee maker from a review done by a fellow cruiser, and through months of begrudgingly cleaning the grounds from my french press, of which never seemed to want to completely leave the filter, I kept thinking there had to be an easier way, my mind always drifting back to the AeroPress that I had read about. Finally one day I decided to do something about it and contacted the company to see if they could help me out with my dilemma. A few hours hadn’t even gone by before I had a reply from one of the employees who was enthusiastic not only to help me out, but for me to try out a brand new on the market product, the JavaJug, a companion product of the AeroPress. After a few weeks of having both of these items at my disposal, I have to tell you, I probably won’t go back to anything else.

The main product review I’m doing here is for the JavaJug, but since it’s meant to go with the AeroPress I’ll give an explanation of how both work. First, here is the AeroPress and all it’s components.

JavaJug 1

Tiny, right? Plus the whole thing only weighs about 7 oz. The AeroPress works best by making a single serving of coffee, although depending on the size of your mug, you could probably make about two cups worth at one time. The first step is to take a filter and place in the bottom cap before screwing it into the cylinder. Place this on top of your coffee mug. Then using the pre-measured scoop that is provided, use one scoop of grounds per cup of coffee and place it inside of the cylinder. Have a kettle of boiling water ready (I like to use our Bodum electric water heater) and fill to the number matching how many cups you are making. Using the stir stick, swirl the grounds in the water for 10 seconds. Take the plunger, making sure the rubber boot is slightly wet, and slowly put pressure down, taking about 20 seconds to push all the water through the filter.

This is where things get even better than just making a cup of coffee. What you’ve just done is make a shot of espresso. From here you can leave it as it is and sip it as espresso, dilute with water to make regular coffee, or my favorite so far, add milk and make a latte. A latte!! Without all the hassle of super fancy or expensive machines! But I still haven’t gotten to my favorite part, the clean up. When you’ve finished making your cup of coffee all you need to do is unscrew the bottom cap, hold the cylinder over the trash, and push down on the plunger until it pops out the paper filter and all the grounds. I won’t lie, it’s been a few weeks now and I still giggle like a toddler each time I push out this perfectly formed barrel of grounds with a satisfying ‘PLOP’ sound at the end. Because the plunger is so air tight there’s nothing left in the cylinder, and a quick rinse is all you need to get it ready for round 2.

JavaJug 2

JavaJug 3

JavaJug 4

JavaJug 5

So that’s how the AeroPress works, but now let’s add the JavaJug into the equation. Say you have two different people that want their morning cup of coffee, such is the case on our boat, or possibly even four. Or, maybe you’re really looking to get your caffeine fix one morning and would like to have 32 oz cup ready to go. I know we’re not truckers, but sometimes on a night shift it can feel like it. This is where having the JavaJug makes things even easier. This companion product, to quote the company, “Makes it easier to press, brew, & dilute more than one cup of coffee”. Instead of placing the AeroPress cylinder over your coffee mug, you place it over the JavaJug. The two cups of concentrated coffee are pushed into the JavaJug, and then diluting into two cups of American coffee, you fill with water to the designated 2 line inside. Now you have two 8 oz cups of coffee that can be poured into their respective mugs and tasting exactly the same.

Even better than the ease of being able to make multiple cups of coffee at once though is the storage. All of the parts of the AeroPress machine fit right into the JavaJug, with the measuring cup and stir stick going into the cylinder, which then sides into the JavaJug and clasps shut. All of it is held in one place, and it’s even appealing enough on the eyes to store out on your counter. One more great thing about the JavaJug is that it can double as your kettle to boil water. Just place it on a stove or campfire, and you’re ready to be a coffee making fool.  If you have any questions on the whole process, make sure to check out their video on YouTube.

So what are my thoughts on the JavaJug?  I love it!  I love the AeroPress, I love the JavaJug, and I think they’re a perfect combination together.  It’s incredibly simple to make both of us a cup of coffee in the morning, and it’s so smooth that we’ll usually be on 2-3 cups before lunch finally rolls around and we have to force ourselves to stop drinking it.  The fact that we get to store everything together in one handy little container makes it very appealing to us, along with the fact of how light all of it is.  Even adding the the JavaJug it’s still all under one pound.  If I had one complaint at all about the JavaJug, it’s that there is already some rust appearing on the little lever that clasps everything shut, but other than that, it’s been amazing.  A must have for every boat and cruiser.

JavaJug 9JavaJug 10


Come Aground?

Saturday July 2, 2011

This was supposed to be the weekend that we were going to start a two week cruise around Lake Michigan going everywhere from Chicago to Mackinac (through coastal cruising, not the race route) but since I just got done training for my position at my new job they did not feel that a few weeks off would be the best way to retain information.  So we had to settle for what we were left with and that was a three day weekend.  I’ll still take it.  We got to the boat the night before after an extensive grocery shopping trip ready to leave at a few hours after the crack of dawn.  That happened to be around 8:30 and we were motoring to the channel with sunny skies and warm weather.  Getting into the open water there was a fresh breeze blowing around 20 knots and waves were only 2-3 feet but coming in chaotic patterns.  After initially setting the autopilot and sitting there watching it change course between 30 degrees while it would over-correct itself from one direction to the next.  Finally I took my place behind the wheel, the original autopilot.  While I steered us on a pretty straight course we rolled into some fog and temperatures began to plummet.  Not in a ‘Day After Tomorrow’ kind of way, but enough for me to realize that my tank and nylon hoodie were too thin and the only extra layer of warmth I could add would be a spring jacket that ‘should have been warm enough’ to get me through the weekend because after all it’s July.

Cruising deeper and deeper into the fog we could no longer see the shore and we were blanketed in our own little world in the clouds.  Steering the boat became very disorienting as it felt like I was shooting straight West and was constantly checking the compass to verify that I did have Michigan coastline to my starboard side and not miles of water between me and Sturgeon Bay.  I told Matt that I’d hand steer until we reached Whitehall and then he could relieve me for a bit.  Silly me assumed that through the fog I’d still be able to see their lighthouse and be able to tell when we reached that point.  Since our radar had just been removed and the laptop with our GPS was in the cabin it wasn’t until I was five miles past Whitehall that we took a look at our location.  The winds were being very favorable that day, and since our SOG tracker was also out of commission we didn’t even realize that we were cruising along at a nice 6.2 knots.  With our seemingly endless trip from Holland to Muskegon last year we were allowing ourselves to get to Pentwater near late dinner time but at this speed we were looking at late lunch!  When Matt got behind the wheel it didn’t take him long to get into his old habit of easily getting off course, and the fog was not any help.  We resigned ourselves back to the over-correcting auto pilot while we relaxed under blankets in the cockpit, keeping an eye out for other vessels and shared a craving for some steaming New England clam chowder at that moment.  Not too long after, I was left alone to keep lookout while Matt caught some zzzz’s below.  Fog was continuing to get more dense and I sat on the top step of the companionway while craning my head to the left, under the genoa to the right, and in an Exorcism fashion behind me.  My heart jumped into my throat when a beautiful blue hulled boat came out of the haze like a ghost ship to cross in front of our port side bow.  While it was a little close for comfort we weren’t in danger of crashing and my guess is he knew I was there long before I knew he was.  Even though the stereo was faintly playing in the background it took me a minute to realize I was being hailed on the VHF and by the time I ran below there was silence.  Matt, who had been woken up by the call mentioned it sounded something like ‘vessel crossing on my port side please respond’ but I was too scared to reply back and figured that since we had already passed and collision was avoided it wasn’t a necessity that I get in touch with him.  I should have though, especially since Matt said he may have been hailing me to let me know that he was photographing our boat with sails up wanted to find a way to share them with us.  So if you’re out there somewhere beautiful blue hulled boat with toast colored bimini that was out in the fog on 4th of July weekend and had some newbie that couldn’t make you out on the water, please get a hold of me, I’m curious to what you would have said.  Even if it was just to tell me that I don’t know what I’m doing.

Back at my post I kept an even closer eye for anything moving in the water.  The problem with that was visibility was still getting worse and worse.  I even changed my position to sitting at the bow but when visibility was literally brought down to 50 feet I knew I needed a second pair of eyes with me.  Dragging Matt up on deck we each took a section of water to focus on.  Our speed hadn’t let up at all and after 3 hours of traveling we were already just over half way.  We continued on like this for awhile until the fog slowly started to dissipate. Unfortunately when the fog went away so did the wind.  It was a hard thing to do but I forced Matt to turn on the engine because I was not going to let our now 2 knot speed carry us the rest of the way to Pentwater.  As the sun came back out the layers of clothes began to come off and the grill was fired up for lunch.  I don’t know if it was our food that attracted them, but as soon as the fog or any sign of clouds were gone there were swarms of black flies out in force.  It started out with just a couple here and there, we’d swat them away and continue on with our lunch.  Another couple would join in with the buzzing, but not too much of a nuisance.  Then the biting began.  My god, there are few things I hate more than being bitten by black flies.  The smacking and swatting became rapid fire from me at that point and it was only moments before the fly swatter was out.  One down, two down, then five, then ten.  I’m not kidding when I say they began piling up on the floor of the cockpit.  Then the game went from killing to disposal as they were picked up and thrown off the side for fish food.  We did leave a few around though, just to send a message to the others.

By the time the swarms started to thin out we were coming up on the Silver Lake Sand Dunes.  If you’re not familiar with these, they’re a popular place for people to take dune buggies, Jeeps, Pickup trucks and any four wheel drive vehicle to cruise through the sand and dunes.  It was packed already on this holiday weekend and the top of the dune was lines with ORVs, their windshields glinting in the sun.

 Even with my zoom at max I couldn’t fully capture it


Knowing that Pentwater was just around the corner we started cleaning up the boat and changing into real clothes.  It was at this point that I realized I hadn’t packed a razor for the weekend and tried to substitute with those Euro Smooth pads that you see on tv.  Let me save you the consumer report and tell you right now that they don’t work.  Giving up hope on having smooth legs I turned my attention back to the GPS which was letting me know were were close enough to start looking for the Pentwater lighthouse which for some reason I would have expected to be as big as Muskegon or Grand Haven and was surprised to see just a little green and white striped pole.  Pointing the bow in that direction we bore down on on a beach full of jet skiers, power boaters, and high school to college people out sunbathing.  My brother always told me about when he’d go here with friends in high school and I didn’t realize how popular it was.

(Photo courtesy of

Definitely feeling out of place as the only one around we could see with a mast (don’t let the photo above fool you, there were no sailboats our this day), we navigated our way through the narrow and shallow channel into Pentwater Lake where our guidebook said there were good anchoring spots just past the channel walls.  Making our way into the inland lake the ‘anchoring’ spots were surrounded by mooring balls and only 35 feet from shore.  This was not going to work out.  Continuing our way in we saw a little inlet where a cat had already dropped anchor and it looked like there was just enough room for a 35 ft Sabre to fit next to it.  While Matt took position at the bow I was at the helm slowly motoring between forward, neutral and reverse.  Apparently we’d found a spot with a really soft bottom and weren’t getting great hold.  After sitting for 20 minutes and trying to monitor if we’d moved all the decision came to try again in another area not right next to another boat that we could cause damage to.  Motoring further into the lake we’d scan left and right for good spots to spend the night, but since it was a long narrow lake they were few and far between, and mostly already taken by other boats.  Coming up near the end of the lake we found one more inlet that was much bigger and completely empty!  Getting ready to make the turn toward the inlet I could see light and shallow water that I was making sure to stay very far away from.  I was still a good 200 feet from land when I began cranking the wheel in but somehow within seconds I watched the depth finder go from 30 feet to 14 to 7 and and our boat came to a screeching halt while Matt and I lunged slightly forward from the force.  Yes, I had just run us aground.  I was in complete shock as I thought I had been so careful, and Matt starts yelling “Throw it in reverse, throw it in reverse!”.  It was one of those moments like felt like it was going in slow motion as I came out of my daze and threw the throttle in reverse while upping the RPMs.  My heart was pounding as it felt like nothing was happening and I imagined having to call a tow and forking over our entire savings for it, but the boat starting backing out and soon we were in the clear again.  The whole situation probably happened in under 90 seconds but it felt like a lifetime.  If you ask Matt about it again now he’ll tell you that we hit with such force that we ended up on the coach roof, but I think he’s just trying to make me feel bad for being the first one to run the boat aground.

Getting my nerves to settle back down we made it into the inlet and dropped anchor right in the middle.  That way if we dragged during the night, no matter which direction we went hopefully one of us would realize before we could do anymore damage that day.  Since it was still just late afternoon I was hoping that we could take the dinghy into town and do a little strolling around.  Apparently Matt was more hoping for a quiet evening at anchor and since I get my way 95% of the time I figured we could do what he wanted that night and just chill in the cove.  Once I realized we weren’t going anywhere I poured myself a glass of wine and pulled out a notebook to start writing the post about our maiden voyage from Holland.  The one that happened over a year ago.  I’m that far behind on my writing.  Good thing my memory is impeccable when recounting things I enjoy.  We also went for a swim but since the ladder was not an option because the dinghy was in the way we resorted to using the fender step which is normally incredibly helpful from when getting to the dinghy to the deck but not a great way to pull yourself up from water level.  Even when Matt lowered it an extra 3 inches I couldn’t leverage myself up and made the decision to stay in the water until I was done for the night because once he helped me up I was up for good.

It was exciting to be in a different place for once and even though we were confined to the boat for the evening it was interesting to get a different view of our surroundings and get a little taste of what our life will be like starting next year.  Not even having experienced much yet Matt asked if I thought I could do this everyday for a few years and it didn’t take me a moment to respond “Absolutely”.

Humpty Dumpty Got Pulled Up the Mast

Sunday June 26, 2011

After a few weekends spent moving into our new place and spending Father’s Day with my dad who happened to be in town for the weekend on business, we were finally able to make it back to the boat.  It was a little strange going there for the first time since the move because after all the changes recently happening in my life (new home, new job, loss of my puppy) the boat was starting to feel like the only constant in my life.  Except Matt of course, but he’s become such a part of me that I forget to include him as a separate entity sometimes.

Waking up in the morning we were so excited to get out on the water and do some real sailing after being out of the game for a few weekends which was starting to feel like a lifetime.  Plus I’ve been reading up on my sailing books and and wanted to pay decent attention to the sail trim instead of falling into the pattern of Matt being the line handler and I the helmsman as we always do.  Motoring out to the big lake it was just before noon and it was obvious there was a race taking place that day as all the yachts from MYC were following our lineup out into the open water.  Shortly after exiting the channel we unfurled the jib, raised the main, and cut the engine.  Wind wasn’t very heavy but there should have been enough of a breeze for us to at least point in a direction and slowly amble along.  But no matter what way we positioned ourselves there was nothing filling the sails and they’d just luff and taunt us while the racers cruised steadily by.  Trying every point of sail we were getting no kind of forward movement.  Even copying the compass heading of all the boats on the water that were leaving us in their dust we did nothing but stay stationary.  Finally when three other racers passed us with their mylar sails perfectly trimmed to this illusive wind Matt threw his hands up in the air and questioned, “What are they sailing on?”.  I just had to laugh at him and reply “…..skill”.

After clearing out of the way from the more skillful sailors we decided that with the lack of wind and waves it was as good of a time as any to remove our radar from the mast so we could sell it and use the money towards a newer model.  At first I assumed it would be my ass making it’s way into the sky which scared me a little, and when Matt said it would be him going up that scared me even more.  Not because I know he is afraid of heights and didn’t know how he’d handle it up there but because it was going to be me hoisting him up.  Now if you remember a few posts back I’ve mentioned there is a complete lack of muscles on my part.  I can’t even hold a paint brush above my head for more than 5 minutes without getting exhausted.  And the fact that just a few weeks ago I needed to be relieved from raising the genoa because I couldn’t complete it myself.  I was assured that because of the gear reduction in our winches it would be enough for someone even as weakly as me to raise a 160 lb male 60 ft in the air.  Even if there was a way I could get him all the way up though I didn’t know if I’d be able to let out the line gently enough to keep him from crashing all the way down or even pulling a Mission Impossible act where I stop him six inches from the deck surface.

After working the halyard around two winches I was told that I could do this and to start cranking.  Inch by inch the halyard became taut and Matt slowly became suspended in the air.  It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, there wasn’t much of a strain at all, it was just slow and steady all the way up.  Once he was where he needed to be I cleated the line and went blow deck to work with the wires at the bottom of the mast that he was working with at the top.  10 or 15 minutes in he’d realized that the wires were not coming undone as easily as he’d hoped and instead of swaying around in the breeze while I fiddled around for who knows how long trying to fix it, that it would be easier for him to be brought back down to take care of it himself.  With beads of sweat coming down my forehead I followed the instructions of keeping one hand on the line wrapped around the winch and making slow 1-2″ counterclockwise turns to gently ease him down.  Before I knew it he was safely back on deck and I was quite proud of myself for not killing him.

After getting everything in order and Matt up the mast a second time (which was slightly more difficult on my arms) the wind that had been hiding from us all day was starting to make more and more of an appearance and although it wasn’t dangerous it was definitely making for a bit more motion at the top of the mast.  Like the pro that he is though, the radar was successfully removed and lowered to safety and he was shortly behind.  Getting everything safely secured we cashed in on the fresh breeze we couldn’t find before and turned back towards the racers ready to hold our own.






* Here I was thinking I was so special for getting Matt ‘all the way up the mast’, and now I go back and realize it was only about 20 feet up.

Well We’re Moving on Down, To the West Side, To Trailer Parks and Crime, We’re Going to Die

Friday June 17, 2011

As of today we are officially homeless.  Or more acurately living with Matt’s mom, but the only home we have of our ‘own’ now is on the boat.  When the house went on the market last fall and we were still planning on leaving this August she very graciously offered free room and board to us for what we all assumed at the time would be 3-6 months max.  Of course plans change and now we have just over a year before we’re leaving but the offer still stood and we decided to take it.  A year of rent free living plus free electric, gas, water, internet/cable?  We’ll take it!!  This is definitley going to help to add to the cruising kitty.

For the past few days there have been boxes scattered all over the house, although due to the fact that all of the furnature and appliances are staying behind there isn’t too much to move overall.   Last weekend Matt had taken a van home from work for me and I was able to get everything to his mom’s in two car loads.  We only left behind what we needed to make it through the week.  And as of today the papers are officially signed and we’ll probably never walk back into that house again.  I didn’t think I’d be sad about moving, But, thanks to credible movers’ help, which made the job all the more easier – click for more information. I’d done it so much as a child that I’d never gotten attached to a house before, but walking out the door one last time I almost mustered up one tear.  This was mine and Matt’s first home together and I was really going to miss it. To know more on moving you can read here from an expert in her latest blog.

Now onto our new residence.  Most people assume that when you move from your own starter home to your parent’s home that it will be a move up.  Larger house, nicer furnishings, and a lot of the things you couldn’t afford when you’re young and just starting out.  I can joke about it here because we joke about it to her face, but moving in with his mom was almost a step in the opposite direction.   Open the cupboards and you’d find all mismatched plates and glasses with half of them being plastic.  There’s actually a plastic Ronald McDonald plate from 1992 that is used in rotation quite a lot.  Tupperware is a washed out Hillshire Farms Deli Meat container.  All of the washing detergent, toothpaste, and cold medicine come from Dollar General.    It would almost appear as if we just moved into a frat house.  I think half of our moving time was spent teasing his mom about the almost role reversal going on here between the two generations.   If changes like these won’t prepare us for living on a cheap budget during our circumnavigation I don’t know what will. To move, you need to find the best moving company and you can know about the company here.

All kidding aside, with 7 grandkids rampaging through the house from time to time it’s great to have plastic dishware and if you don’t have OCD like Matt you use what works instead of having to buy brand name tupperware containers or laundry degergent.  (Although I always did the laundry in our house and I will stand beside Tide)  It may not be what we’re used to but there’s no reason it can’t work.  Besides, in a few years this will look like high living to us.  Showers, ac repair, and easy access to our food?  Psh, we’ll be begging for these luxuries in the future.

Notice how I didn’t go on about storage space though.  We didn’t bring a ton of material items over with us but we did have to bring enough to get us through a full year in a four seasons climate.  If I were still working at the OB I could whittle my work wardrobe down to two pairs of black pants and two work shirts…but now that I’m at an office job (that no one knows I will be leaving in a year) I need to have an array of nice tops and pants and can’t been seen in the same outfit too many times without my fellow coworkers wondering if I do in fact come from the trailer park across the street.  And since there was not an abundance of storage space even before we came, making room for two new people has left us with our bedroom, part of the attic, and one shelf in the bathroom to keep all our belongings.  I’m sure we’ll make it work by learning to live in a room packed full of boxes or learn to live solely on essentials.  Or maybe it will be like living on the boat were I’ll have to move around six boxes and unpack a container just to get to a pair of shoes.  Only 13 months to go until we can finally leave on our adventure.   The countdown starts now.

What to do with all these boxes now that the closet is full?

Oh, and there’s an ongoing joke in the house now that things will continue to downgrade and we’ll eventually move down to frisbees to eat off instead of plates.  I can see Chris eyeing the dog’s right now.

*I should mention the crime part in the title is only because when Matt lived here 10 years ago his car was broken into twice on the street.  Since then the neighborhood had really changed and things like that don’t happen anymore.

What’s Blue and White, and Wet All Over?

Sunday June 5, 2011

It’s our boat, because she’s finally back in the water!!  Somehow this years transition from on the hard to in the water seemed to go by much quicker than last year but that could be because I spent far far less time on her in 2011 than I did in 2010.  I think I made it out to the boat yard a total of six times for hard labor vs the countless times last year.  Which means that Matt deserves a big thanks because 90% of the work was done by him.

For our first night back on the boat I wanted nothing but the best and picked up two NY strips for dinner, drizzling in a delicious teriayki glaze along with greek pasta salad and a classy 1 liter bottle of White Zinfandel.  It was a little sad making this trip without Mazzii now and the boat seemed so much more empty without her there.  And not just because she took up so much space.  Our wonderful neighbors on Buen Tiempo happened to be out that night as well and asked where our cute little dog was.  Having to explain the story again partly it felt like salt in the wound and partly I just went into autopilot retelling the same story that I’ve probably told about 50 times now to friends and family.

One of the first things we had to do when we arrived was to flank the sails (or attach them to the mast and furling roller).  Luckily winds were light and we didn’t quite have the debacle we did last year where I was almost flung off the boat like some kind of bucking bronco ride.  I don’t know why, especially since I had just finished the torture of bottom painting less than a week ago, but for the genoa Matt thought it would be best for me to control the winch.  The first half was easy and I was actually quite proud of myself but once there was enough sail up to start flapping in the light breeze it was beginning to take all my strenght to make one full turn.  When there was only about one foot left to raise we switched places where he finished in 10 seconds.  That’s ok….I loosened it for him.

Dinner was absolutely excellent although we still have a little work to do on figuring out how our grill displaces temperature.  Less than 10 minutes on the lowest setting and the outsides were getting black.  I forced Matt to pull my off as I still like some pink (red) in the center and I didn’t want to kick off my summer with a well done steak.  However, after cutting into the steaks the center was still raw and purple.  Back onto the grill they went.  Mine came back off after only another two minutes to a perfectly red center while Matt’s still stayed on a little longer and ended up being more red than he wanted, but he didn’t want mine to get cold while I waited for him.  So sweet.  : )  For the occasion I had pulled out our ‘good’ wine glasses that came with the boat.  As I was climing around the cockpit I moved my glass to the side as to get it out of my way.  Wouldn’t you know I forgot it was there and while making a wild gesture with my hand it got a good smack.  Click…. click…. plop.  I guess those don’t float like I thought they would.  This would be the reason why I’m not allowed to have nice things.

*I wasn’t being sarcastic earlier, I really do like those glasses


Not wanting to spend our first night on the boat watching movies like we can do any night at home we sat in the cockpit until the sun went down and turned the sky and water all kinds of brilliant shades of pink and purple.  I retired down below before Matt as I was loosing light for my Nook and was also beginning to lose too much body heat.  Since he had just installed a wifi antenna on the boat he was happy to stay out there all night long on his laptop cruising the forums.  I guess his night wasn’t much different than at home.





In the morning the sun was shining in a cloudless sky and although winds were low we made way for the big lake to drift around all day if nothing else.  It didn’t take long for it to warm up enough for a fleece and yoga pants to turn into a bikini. I can’t say the same for Matt though since he’s always bikini ready.  There wasn’t much to do with the sails because of the lack of wind so while Matt sat back and stared into the horizon I pulled out my notebook to read up on auto and home coverage for the new job I just started.  This is how we spent most of the day, me switching reading materials a few times or joining in on the blank gazes over the open water.  There were no exciting stories this day, nothing of great interest happening, just two people who missed the water back on it and ready to start another season.



Eye’ve Had About Enough of This

Monday May 30, 2011

We’ve been working hard to get the boat in the water as soon as possible this year, but since up until two weeks ago I’ve spent every Sunday working (at an actual paying job) I haven’t been able to help Matt and the progress has been a little slow.  Since he’s working on more intricate things, the supposedly easy job of painting the bottom of the boat was left to me.  Matt had been able to do this last year by himself in only two hours and his only advise was to move fast because the paint dries even faster.  He had applied two coats with one can of VC 17, very thin ones, so this year we bought two.  And since I did have a fight against the quickly evaporating paint, I was told it should not be poured into a paint tray to then be applied to the roller, but rather be put in a squirt bottle (like for hand lotions) and squirted directly onto the roller.

Even though this had been a two hour ‘Matt’ job, I was giving myself a two day time limit since I’m well aware of my strengths, or lack thereof.  After the waxing and polishing last spring I knew my arms would not last very long on a project containing the entire hull.  May I just say that I did want to pump iron to put some bulk on my arms over the winter, since my job of waitressing consists of carrying heavy trays above my head for hours at a time, and  I did not want to go into work with weak and wobbly arms after an extensive workout.  Losing a whole tray of food onto someone’s head would not be worth it.  So as I prepared myself to hire commercial painters in Connecticut, a hull I knew it would be hard and time consuming for me, but I had no idea just how much that would be so.  Even though I expected my arms to get tired from the workout, I also expected that the paint would actually spread when applied.  Not so much.  At least not for me.  I originally asked Matt for a 4″ roller because I knew I’d have to put most of my weight behind it and figured the more weight I could put into a smaller space the better.  But no matter how hard I tried, every time I’d go to roll the paint it would come out spotty.  And even though we had purchased two quarts this year….it was still only two quarts.  I did not have the luxury of fixing the problem by just throwing more paint on it.  I’ve probably said this before, I know it happens a lot, I don’t mind a time consuming project as long as there is progress being made.  But when you are working on something and it isn’t going anywhere…’s maddening.  This is what I felt like on the first day of bottom paint application.  Almost 8 hours later of hard labor, this is what I was left with.

I think I’m done now

Day two: There is no way this is going to get done.  Not this weekend anyway.  Which means that Memorial Day weekend will now be spent painting as well.  I think it made everything worse today, going in with defeat after the lack of progress made the day before.  Although the dark skies looming overhead did give me hope that maybe we’d be rained out..but then that would be just one more day I’d be behind.  Then at some point during the day a stroke of genius struck me.  Finger paining.  I may not be able to get the paint to spread on a roller, but I sure as hell could apply it to my gloved hand and spread it over the hull pretty easily.  I was pretty happy working along like this until I shared my plan with Matt, and he told me that ‘finger painting’ wouldn’t spread it easily and I’d have to go back to using the roller.  Boo.  Just when I thought I was getting somewhere.  So back to the roller it was.  Working like this for a few hours I was making even less progress than the day before because my arms were sore and could only be held up for two minutes at a time before needing a break.  Nearing the early evening Matt and gone in the cabin to do work and left me outside alone to work.  Without any prying eyes I decided to go back to finger painting.  Screw it, it was progress!!

I was actually quite happy working along with this and could have kept going all night except those dark clouds from earlier were now becoming even darker and there was thunder in the distance.  I assumed that we would go home with the rain but the direction was ‘keep working’.  When the rain actually did start I was saved from getting wet by actually working underneath the boat.  Cradled in the boat’s cradle I sat there while my bum slowly started to lose feeling.  People who were passing through the lot gave me strange looks as I worked that way, and a few even came over to tell me that severe storms were on the way and I should get moving.  After about three ‘warnings’ I was finally able to convince Matt that the whole boatyard was fearing for our safety and that it might be about time to pack up.  With my two days gone I didn’t get all of the painting done, basically only one side, but it was still feeling like success to me!


Seeing as the world didn’t end yesterday like it was supposed to, we went back to the boat and put in more work so we could get it in the water as soon as possible.  I knew I was going to have a long day in front of me, but at least the sun was shinning and temperatures were close to 80.  My first order of business was to re-tape around the water line again before I could get into the daunting task of actually painting.  Matt jumped into the lazarette to start painting that a nice clean white while I struggled with with the 20 knot winds blowing my tapes sticky sides together down below.  It was definitely getting more spacious in the yard with more and more boats going into the water, but it seemed that 70% of the people still on the hard were out working on their boats today.

After spending close to 30 minutes trying to perfectly apply the tape to the waterline I started gathering up my painting supplies while praying for 7:00 to come as soon as possible.  But with it not even being 11:30 yet I had a long way to go.   I was also nervous about switching to the 9″ roller we purchased on our way out since I wasn’t getting very far with the 4″ one last week.  If the new roller that was twice as big, was twice as hard to use, I had no idea how I was going to get through the day.  I started fresh on the port side instead of being discouraged by what I didn’t finish over on starboard.  I squirted a little bit of the paint on my roller and was elated when it glided across the bottom actually spreading the paint in a much larger area than I was able to achieve before.  I started happily painting away thinking that the first coat on this side and a second coat on both sides could very well be completed by the end of the day.

Things were going along well enough, and I had even taken a few breaks to chat with a fellow boater that was admiring our boat and had plans himself to leave soon and complete ‘The Loop’ with his wife.  Work was starting to slow down a little in the mid afternoon, and I was back to my position on the cradle painting areas above my head.   I was reverted to using a combination of the roller and finger painting, as a hand was much easier to lift above my head than a roller for these places.  I must have been getting a little sloppy and put too much paint on my gloved hand because when I went to raise it above me to spread, a big fat drop fell off and landed right in my eye.  Now it is never a good thing to get paint in your eye, but marine anti-fouling paint is highly toxic.  For a split second I thought to myself, ‘Ha, I don’t even feel anything.  So much for toxic’.  And then the burning started.  It was bad!!  Luckily we were only a few hundred feet from the restroom and I sprinted over there to flush my eye out while yelling “Matt!!  Matt!!”, although I doubt he heard me and wouldn’t have been able to do much to help anyway.  Busting open the door and throwing on the water, I started throwing handful and handful right onto my face.  When this didn’t feel like it was doing much I realized it might be best to get my contact out so it wasn’t blocking anything.  Trying to peel it off was so difficult, it felt like the paint had tried to attach the contact permanently to my eye.  Once it was finally free of my eyeball, the cool water felt like it was finally starting to take effect and I spent 5 more minutes with my face practically under the spout.

Deciding it was time to find Matt so he could tell me exactly how much trouble I had just gotten myself into, I marched back to the boat, unable to keep my eye open.  Climbing up the ladder to the cockpit with a paper towel covering half my face I don’t even think I had to tell him what happened before he knew.  Without freaking me out about how I probably just blinded myself, he pried it open to have a look and asked how it felt.  Although it was blurry and painful while open, it felt fine as long as I kept it closed.  I got a spiel about how we probably wouldn’t be able to know anything for sure until it had some time to recover, and I was pardoned to the car to begin a little of that recovery time.  While sitting fully reclined in the front seat with a cold paper towel over my face I thought about how this could permanently affect me, and how I might be sporting a bedazzled eye patch pretty soon.

Happier times

After an hour of praying for full recovery, I choose to get back to work as we still had a lot of daylight left and that bottom wasn’t going to paint itself.  Using some of the frog tape, I attached the paper towel to my eye as a makeshift eye-patch for the day.  Not wanting to get under the boat again and risk blinding myself completely I went to work near the bow and slowly plugged along until it was time to go home for the day.  Not before trying to capture exactly what my eye looked like though.  Those who do not want to see an extreme close-up of my eye, look away!  For those that find these things cool, look at the B-U-B-B-L-E that has formed on my eyeball!!

Ok, so it doesn’t look that bad here.  But it did hurt like hell.

The next day my eye was still a little sensitive and I wasn’t even going to try putting contacts in.  The bubble was still there but the redness had gone down.  There was a chance that I might just be alright after all.  Finally coming near an end of this 2 hour turned into a  4 day project, my body was exhausted.  The bottom paint had to be finished since the boat is being launched in a few days.  All I can say is on this last day I worked hard and breaked hard.  When Matt was away on one of his many trips to Home Depot I’d sprawl myself on the dirt ground and soak up the sun.  There was a crew that just came back from a race, celebrating with beers, and I was half tempted to walk over and ask for one myself although I couldn’t actually pull myself off the ground to do it.  At the end of the day, Serendipity’s bottom was fully covered in a beautiful copper colored paint, and I could look forward to visiting her the next time in the water instead of on the hard.

Finally finished!!

*Note:  I made an appointment with my eye doctor five days after spilling paint in my eye.  When I pulled up to their office I checked my eye in the mirror and it appeared to be perfectly back to normal.  I walked in the door and cancelled my appointment.  Looks like I’ve made a full recovery!!

Rest in Peace, My Maserati

Wednesday April 20, 2011



Some sad news, our sailing greyhound is no longer with us.  It’s something we were not expecting at all as we hadn’t even known she was sick and was still pretty young as far as greyhounds go.  I think the story would best be expressed in the letter I sent my family:

Hi everyone.  I have a bit of bad news, Matt and I had to put Mazzii down yesterday.  The doctors believe she had multiple cancers, they just didn’t become apparent until a few days ago.  The (really) sad part was that even just a week ago she seemed perfectly healthy and at 100%. 

 Tuesday night she got sick and we assumed it was something she had eaten, we’ve been giving her a lot of table scraps recently.  She threw up quite a few times that night and was completely dehydrated by the next morning.  We let her drink a ton of water Wednesday, but apparently if a dog gets dehydrated to the point there is nothing in their stomach, if they drink too much water too soon their body can’t handle it and they throw it back up.  When we figured that out Wednesday night we started giving her small amounts of water at a time, but she still wasn’t interested in food.  By Thursday she seemed to be keeping her water down (mostly, and in small amounts), but still wasn’t interested in food.  I called the vet to make an appointment for the next day, but Matt and I just thought that maybe she had a virus and would only need a few days to get over it.  So when Friday came and Mazzii seemed slightly better (she was eating peanut butter and moving around more), we thought she was starting to recover and cancelled the vet appt.

Saturday night Matt noticed that she had a yellowish hue to her and we thought maybe she had jaundice (or a dog version of it), which we knew would be more serious than we thought and we contemplated taking her to the emergency vet.  We decided to hold off for one more day when we found a clinic that was open on Sundays and would be much cheaper than the $1000-1500 of taking her to the ER.  I was unfortunately at work when Matt took her, so I don’t know all of what went on there.  They did some blood work and it came back normal, but when they did an ultrasound they noticed that her gallblader, liver, and kidney all looked enlarged, which were signs of cancer.  They said it was hard to tell though b/c she was still so dehydrated, and at this point hadn’t eaten any real food in five days.  They suggested we take her to our regular vet the next day for a 2nd opinion, but they said it didn’t look good and she wasn’t likely to survive any surgeries.  By this time Mazzii looked terrible, she didn’t even look like herself.  She had dropped about five pounds, all her exposed skin was yellow and her eyes were almost swollen shut.

When we took her into our regular vet yesterday we knew that we weren’t going to be coming back with her.  We had spent the entire day plus the night before not leaving her side, and even let her sleep in the bed one last time after keeping her in the sunroom for the past five days due to her getting sick and ruining the carpet.  When the vet saw her she didn’t even need to do any test to confirm what the other vet said.  She said what we already knew, and that was there was no getting her better even if they figured out exactly what was wrong with her.  We made arragements to have Mazzii cremated and get her ashes back.  I’d like to take her on the trip with us and leave little parts of her everywhere we go.

I’m not sure if it’s fully sunk in for Matt and I yet, it all happened so quickly.  We’re taking it pretty well, although there’s still reminders of her everywhere.  There’s so many times (and there will be many more) where I walk into a room and expect her to be there.  It will be hard getting used to life without her, though I’m sure we’ll be ok.  She was a great dog and we’ll miss her terribly.

She really was a great dog.  And not because she was the first and only dog I’ve ever had.  She was a part of our family, she made us feel whole.  From the days she was so excited to see us when we walked through the door and we knew she needed us as much as we needed her to the times she pretended the only thing she wanted to do was get 100 miles away from us although we all knew better.  She put up with our weekends on the water and even learned to get as excited about the word ‘boat’ as she did for ‘car’ or ‘walk’.

And then there’s just the details of her.  The big doe eyes and the softest fur I’ve ever felt.  How her ears were so silky and how they’d half perk up when something caught her attention.  Her missing toe on her front paw which allowed us to call her gimp.  How she’d lay down right on top of me and slowly slide off onto the bed or couch letting her get as close as possible to me.  The way she’d get an attitude when we’d kick her off the bed at night and she’d actually huff as she plopped down on her dog bed.  How she could sprint a lap around the house in under five seconds and could fake left and then fake right when you’d go to chase her.  There are a million things to miss about her, and I’ll never forget a single one.

But to keep the memory alive, here are a few links to videos of Mazzii:

I’ve Got My Heart Set on Anywhere but Here

 Friday February 18, 2011

This will still be my view in 12 months

 I’ve known in the back of my mind for awhile that there would probably be no way around this and as of yesterday the news is concrete.  We’re going to have to push back leaving for about year.  Now instead of leaving in August 2011 like originally planned we’ll be leaving in June or July of 2012.  I did not take this news well.  It was becoming excruciating just counting down the next six months, but to add about 12 more to that I actually stormed upstairs to pout for the rest of the night when Matt gave the final verdict.  There also may have been a few tears shed.  And aside from that episode on the boat last summer it would pretty much take my dog dying to make me cry so you can tell this meant a lot to me.

There are a few reasons we’re allowing ourselves this extra time.  One of them is the house not selling quite as quickly as we’ve wanted it to.  We knew it wouldn’t sell right away but I think four months on the market is what we were hoping for.  Now it’s been five and a half and although there was one offer where we could have signed the papers already, the buyer found out that two people in the neighboorhood were having a disagreement and said he ‘couldn’t live in a place where people didn’t get along’.  I think he was a little messed up in the head.  Now with all the time that’s gone by it would pretty much take someone walking in the house tomorrow and saying they want it for us to feel comfortable enough to deal with moving and making all the final preparations on the boat to be able to leave on time.

Another reason is that as you may have read a few months ago, we’ve decided to possibly expand our trip by going all the way around the world should the urge to keep going still be there once we hit the Bahamas.  So a 2-3 year trip around the States and Caribbean could now be a 3-4 year circumnavigation which means we need to have enough cash in the bank to make it all the way around should we desire.  This brought up many discussions of stopping to work along the way (we found out you can get a work visa in New Zeeland between the ages of 18-30), but going back to number 1, we were afraid we’d be all set to leave with the exception of the house possibly still being on the market.

And then the icing on the cake although this hasn’t been affecting us as much as I thought it would, the company I’ve been with for the past five years has downsized me right out the door.  So now my part time waitressing job at an Australian themed restaurant has now become my as close as I can get it to full time work.  Thank god for that 2 hour wait every Friday and Saturday night.  So far I’ve been able to keep things pretty close to where they were before, but I’ve heard it becomes a ghost town in the summer.  Crikey.  I’m going to need to start looking for additional/replacement work.

So there you have it.  We will be stuck on land for one more year.  One more year of work, one more year of scraping and saving, and one more winter (damn you Michigan!!).  I guess there are upsides to it too.  That’s another year to spend with friends and family, one more year to get to know the boat and prepare it exactly how we want her, and one more year to scrape and save.  Plus Michigan summers are unbeatable and almost worth the torture of snow and cold, so I think if I can get through the next two months until warm weather comes I just might be ok.  Check back with me in a year though, two winters and I may not be as optimistic.


Think I’ll miss winter walks like this in the park?

Mazzii seems pretty indifferent

Strictly Sail Chicago

 Friday January 28, 2011

Only a few small projects have been worked on for the boat this month.  The table in the salon Matt had taken out a few months ago is complete.  He shaved off a few inches from the aft  end to make squeezing into the port side settee a little easier.  He was also able to refinish the teak and add a triple stainless steel tracker cup holder which is great because it doesn’t take much for me to knock over basically anything.  My progress on the dodger is slow, but at least it’s still progress.  After having it out with the sewing machine and some nasty name calling on both sides we decided that time apart would be the best thing for us and I’m still sewing by hand.  It is incredibly time consuming but the stitching just comes out terrible when I try it any other way.

Then there’s also that one thing in late January that most sailors in the mid-west look forward to, and that’s Strictly Sail Chicago.  We planned on going only on Friday since it went into our schedule better.  It’s about a 2.5 hour drive for us, so after dropping off the sailing greyhound at grandma’s , picking up another solar panel in Michigan City, and passing through 3 toll booths in a car where the drivers-side window doesn’t go down, we made it to Navy Pier just before the show opened.

Mostly on our schedule that day was attending seminars, all put on by the same hosts, John Neal and Amanda Swan Neal of s/v Mahina Tiare III.  John and Amanda are a very nice couple who charter expeditions on their boat through New Zeeland and the South Pacific.  As much as Matt and I would like to join them for one of these trips our pockets aren’t quite deep enough at the moment so we thought we’d see what kind of information we could pick up on dry land.  The first seminar we attended was ‘Ocean Voyaging Preparation’.  Not that we’d be completely unprepared without this seminar since all that Matt does from the time he wakes up every day to when he goes to sleep is research things online that will prepare us for ocean voyaging, but it’s nice to have the chance to hear from someone person to person on what it is like.  We were the first ones in the seminar and John was more than happy to greet us and get us set up with an itinerary, a free copy of Blue Water Sailing, and lots of other goodies.  As other people started to file in Amanda came to have a seat near us to ask about our sailing experience, boat, and future plans.  For some reason I was overcome with a terrible bout of shyness and wasn’t able to get out much more than my name and my boat.  I’m used to Matt being the talkative one between us and since he was in another conversation I was on my own and words just seemed to escape my mouth.  It was a shame because the seminar was very helpful, and some one on one time could have benefited me greatly.

After the first seminar we had a few hours to kill and decided to see if we could find me a good deal on foulies.  We checked out a few vendors including Slam and Henri Lloyd, where I hobbled around getting ‘dressed and undressed’ about 10 times, before I settled on a nice pair of drop-seats from Gill at the very low price of $79.  At the sight of the decent quality and cheap priced tag Matt picked up a pair for himself as well.  Only problem is that except for size and the drop-seat on the back of mine, they look exactly alike.  We worried a little that if we had to get them on in a hurry how we could keep from mixing them up.  I told Matt I’d be more than glad to sew some flowers on the leg of his so we would know who’s are who’s.  Bright pink flower designs?  I think he’d love it.

With an hour left still before the next seminar we made our way to the area of Navy Pier with all the food stands.  Years in the past I had always picked McDonalds because I thought I was being cheap and saving us a little money.  And every year I’d forget that the cheapest combo on the menu of a McDonalds located in Navy Pier is about $7.  So this year I got what I was really craving and that was a burrito from a stand I’d been eyeing our past two years here.  I was so excited to dig into it until I took a bite and realized it was the most bland thing I had ever tasted.  Since Matt ordered the same thing as me I asked if his had any flavor.  It was the same thing for him.  Guess I would have been better of with my chicken nuggets.

Looking at our watches we realized the next seminar by the Neals of Panama to New Zeeland was starting in 15 minutes.  Racing back to the room we thought we were making it in with two minutes to spare and pulled the doors open to take a seat.  When we saw the room was already full and the lights were dimmed we realized we had read the schedule wrong and were already late.  Quickly taking a seat in the back I pulled out my notebook to jot down any information that might be helpful to us on our own journey through that area.  We got a lot of good information on the islands, even where to find free showers and the cheapest food at market.  And since we’ll be hitting some of these islands just after the Marquesas where we’ll be living of the government regulated cost of bread since a burger at a restaurant can run upwards of $18 USD, those are good things to know.  With 30 minutes between this seminar and the next one of Mastering Storm Avoidance & Survival Tactics we thought it best just to stay put and not interrupt again.

At the end of the next seminar with more good notes it was only around 5:00.  The past few years we’d be able to wander around for hours looking at each booth and what they had to offer.  Now we were a little older, wiser, poorer, and slightly jaded.  We knew every booth because we’d already been there before.  The great prices that had seemed so low before were always beat out with deals online (as Matt found after his hours of research).  Other than the seminars there was nothing for us this year.  Although it was great to get out of the house for a day and cross that magical line between Michigan and Indiana where the 28 straight days of overcast weather turns into sun (it literally happens every time we go to Chicago), all I wanted to do at that moment is pick up my dog, throw a movie on the projector and enjoy a glass of wine.  It’s always nice though to have that reminder of what’s waiting just around the corner for you as the snow melts and the covers begin to come off boats.  Mid-west winters can be tough, but they never last forever.  I can almost taste summer now.

(photo not taken by me)

Sunday November 28, 2010

‘ Globetrotting’

In the planning for our upcoming trip we’ve gone back and forth about plans to stay in the Caribbean and the States or to sail all the way around the world.  The very first initial plan for us was to sail around the world anyway, but I was terrified of sailing across an ocean and begged Matt to let us stay near land.  In my defense, this idea originally came up less than a year after I had stepped foot on a boat.  I was far too unskilled and unknowledgeable in sailing to want to take a journey like that.  I liked knowing that should something go wrong I wouldn’t be more than a few hundred miles from land.  There were also a few other factors of wanting to stay stateside.  Once was time.  I figured this would just be a sabbatical where we’d be picking up our lives and careers right away and didn’t want to be away for too long.  Matt had a tentative work opportunity waiting for him if he could be back in 2013.  I don’t have anything waiting for me when I get back but I also didn’t want to start all over in my mid 30’s.  Plus I always had this strict timeline in my head of when I wanted to start a family, and even being gone 2-3 years was pushing that back.  Change that to a 4-5 year journey and in my mind I was f*%#ed.  Then lastly and more importantly is Mazzii.  By staying in the states and Bahamas we could bring her with us.  Anything past that and we would half to jump through a million hoops and pay out of our ass for the honor of her company.  And the thought of having a dog that large on an ocean crossing and constantly having to stay close to the boat for her….not going to work when we’re trying to see the world.

Then about a year ago Matt introduced me to sailing blogs.  Slapdash and Bumfuzzle….I was addicted.  Up until that point I had no real idea what cruising would be like because I hadn’t heard stories of anyone that had actually done it.  It opened my eyes to the possibilities in front of me.  Reading these stories was so exciting and inspiring.  After all, what they were doing wasn’t all too different than what we were planning.  Except they were crossing oceans and visiting multiple continents while we’d be ‘crossing the Gulf Stream and visiting multiple states’.  I was getting a little jealous.  I’d try joking to Matt that ‘Hey, maybe we should just go all the way around’.  Although over the past summer I don’t think he was too impressed with my knowledge to learn and wasn’t sure if I could be trusted for night watches or if something were to happen to him and I’d be left to handle the boat myself.  I had to agree, I didn’t try as hard as I should have.  And then there’s Mazzii.  Neither of us could bear the thought of leaving her behind.  We love her almost as much as we love each other and (mushy part here), didn’t think we could get through the days without her.  Even tropical weather and crystal blue seas can compare to her deep brown eyes and the kisses we get from her each morning.

So then the talks turned to ‘I’d love to sail around the world….but I couldn’t leave Mazzii’.  And ‘Visiting other countries would be great….but I’d feel terrible about leaving Mazzii behind’.  Having these conversations more and more, one thing dawned on us.  Would Mazzii even want to spend two years on a boat?  Sure her ears would perk up every time she heard the word boat and dinghy rides are a past time I’m sure she’ll never get sick of.  But when the dinner bell rang on Sunday nights and it was time to go home she was more than ready to hop in the car on the way back to her own bed.  Plus the fact is this dog was built for speed and we didn’t know how she would handle being away from land for a day or two at a time.  Soon conversations turned to ‘Let’s start with her and see how she does.  If we hit New York…North Carolina …Florida …and she doesn’t like it we can rent a car, take her home and carry on without her’.  Home being Matt’s mom’s house who graciously decided to take in our saildog should we decide she isn’t up for the trip.

In the end we decided we’re going to take the leap without her from the beginning.  Who knows, we could hit Detroit and realize that we can’t live without her and change our plans all over again.  But the tentative idea is that we’ll leave just the two of us and make our way down to the Bahamas, and if we’re loving life at sea we’ll turn West and just keep going.  If not we’ll stick to the original plan.  Or who knows, maybe after six months of living on a boat we’ll decide it’s not for us and either come back home or travel somewhere new.  The best part is that we don’t have to decide right now because there’s  nothing holding us back.  Once you sell your house and quit your job….life is just kind of open.  All I know is that there are too many wonderful things in the world for me to see rather than just staying put.  But where it stands now we’re going to  pull up anchor and head into the unknown and not experienced. We’ll just have to see what’s wiating for us.  After all, it’s a big sky.