Sunday, December 9, 2012


Finally moved into the tent. Hopefully this will enable us to keep momentum for the winter. Haven't been getting much done lately because it has been cold and raining but that should change now that we are protected.
In other news, we will be in San Diego next weekend. Can't wait too see all you guys!

Friday, November 2, 2012


Hurricane Sandy passed us without any major problems. There were strong winds and moderately high tides but no big issues. We got cold and wet but were unharmed.

In other news, we got approval to move into a tent for the winter so we can continue working without freezing. It would be pretty impossible to redo the decks and lay up epoxy laminates in <40 degree weather so we are pretty stoked about the move. We didn't get much work done in October because we worked at both the Sailboat and Powerboat shows but once we are moved into the tent we will resume working on the old girl.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

Getting prepared for hurricane Sandy here in Annapolis. The boat yard is working double time doing emergency haul outs and people are preparing for the worst. We unstepped our rig Friday afternoon and have been making sure everything is secure so that we are ready for high winds. Now just have to wait it out and see what happens.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

It's October Already

So October is halfway over and we are still working on our Summer project. To be honest I kinda expected this to happen because it rains here more days than it doesn't. Since the weather has been so uncooperative we took on a lot of additional projects that could be completed under a tent or inside the workshop. It's important to me that we keep doing those little side projects so that we keep the momentum moving forward. I am getting the itch to be out on the water pretty badly but it will all be worth it in the end.

Things completed so far:

9 Thru hulls replaced
2 Thru hulls plugged permanently
2 Strops fabricated
1 Windvane acquired & refinished
1 Wind generator acquired
Removed, cleaned, and painted grey water tank
Removed, cleaned, and painted diesel tank
Spinpole refinished, ends re-bedded
Back stay chain plate replaced
Stripped and refinished transom
Cabin settee cushion foam replaced
New cabin curtains 
Safety harness strap fabricated and installed in galley

Structural Repairs:
Hull stripped and sanded
2 full frame replacements
7 Dutchman/scarf frame repairs

I am sure there are other things that we have done that I am not thinking of but this gives you an idea of what we have been doing...

...Did I mention I am ready to be finished. Arg.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Things I miss while being hauled out...

Using the head on the boat. Climbing down the ladder at 3 in the morning in the rain really isn't fun. Not to mention the high yesterday was like 56°F so now we have that to look forward too also. Yay.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Labor of Love

Yes, yes it is.

I have lost count of how many times people have walked past us over the last few months and just blurted out, "Wow, that's a labor of love!" It's odd that most people choose that specific comment because even though, yes, we do love our beautiful boat dearly, we are not fixing it ourselves out of love. I think sometimes other people don't realize that if we could afford to have someone else do all the hard work then we wouldn't be doing it. This is the boat we have and this is the boat we love, but it sure would be nice for someone else to do all the work. (Sorry for the rant.)

In more relevant news, we are still working on repairing frames. We have fully replaced a few frames and have been working on dutchman scarf repairs lately. I'm not going to show you any photos yet because it's messy and unfinished. I'll post lots of photos when we get closed to the finish.

In the mean time here is a photo from last 4th of July at La Playa in San Diego. It is photos like these that keep me motivated.

Friday, August 3, 2012

New Coffee Contraption??

I read about this coffee maker this morning and it perked my interest. As you know from this post, M will literally kill people if he doesn't get his coffee in the morning (ok, not literally, but close). Me, I could take it or leave it. I mainly don't drink coffee because I don't like cheap drip coffee. Give me a nice creamy latte or at least a strong espresso with cream. I was reading Windtraveler's blog this morning and their post HERE reintrested me in streamlining our morning experience. We have tried moka pots, percalators, french presses, cowboy coffee, irish coffee, just about everything. They all get the job done but it's always nice to try something new. The french press is the most common thing that we use to make coffee onboard but it is messy. Don't even bother trying to get the grounds out of the bottom. They will just live there forever. If you are a germ-a-phobe or ocd this is not an option for you. Anyway, Brittney from Windtraveler seems like a stickler for cleanliness and she seems to swear by this AeroPress so I think we will be trying it very soon. What are your thoughts? Has anyone out there tried it?

P.S. Don't worry. There will be haul out updates soon. We are still working and it sucks.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Actual Naked Boat

Well 80 hours later and we have the paint stripped and the hull sanded to 36 grit. It feels good to see what she looks like underneath and to know that the planking is solid. It occurred to me last night that I haven't really shared with you guys the scope of this project we have undertaken. We have a front and center spot in the boat yard and just about every person who walks by has asked us what we are doing... it is getting a little repetitive...

Anyway, we have hauled out with the anticipation of the engine going back into the boat. The engine has been rebuilt and is ready to go in. However, we noticed that the engine stringers need a little reinforcing so how it the time to do it. Also we figured now is as good a time as any to fix the cracked frames too. AND since we are going to do the frames they need to be fastened through from the outside. Which means the paint on the outside needed to come off to find the frames to fasten. So might as well redo all the paint while we are at it. There you have it; that is the scope of our project. One week down, few more to go.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Photo Courtesy of Gina Downin

This is what progress looks like: hard work. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Much Needed Rum Break

Ron Zacapa in made in the moutains of Guatemala 7544 ft above sea level. It is an exceptional rum
and one of my all time favorites to sip after a long day of work.
I took this photo at the end of March while there was still a crisp chill in the air. You can see our propane heater going in the background. As I sit here in 90 degree F heat and about 99% humidity I can't help but have a sip of rum with a huge chunk of ice and think about how nice it will be once this project is finished.... 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Yep, It's A Wooden Boat.

Last Thursday we made a somewhat last minute decision to start the biggest project we have attempted on the boat. We have never been great at planning and are more the 'winging it' type. We took the plunge and we are on the hard. So far we have stripped the white paint off the hull sides and started sanding on the bottom paint. Stripping the bottom paint has proven to be quite a pain but we are making steady progress. I'll be sure to keep posting photo updates of our progress. We are hoping to be finished in 3 weeks but it will probably end up being more like 2 months. We'll have our work cut out for us between full time jobs and living aboard at the same time. I'll let you know soon how long we can keep up this pace. Ha.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Cooking Aboard: My Valentine

I know it is a little late but here is the amazing dinner M made for me on Valentines Day. We have learned by now that going out to dinner for forced romance doesn't ever work. Restaurants on Valentines day are always overly crowded and usually have limited menus. They are designed to get massive amounts of couples in and out the door with no money left. So instead of going out this year we decided to do nothing. We agreed that neither of us was allowed to spend any money on buying gifts and the evening was to be mellow.

Lets just say that I wasn't expecting anything. I got home and found that he prepared steak and lobster tails and hand made me flowers. To top off the evening he made me a chocolate cake in the shape of a heart. I love this man forever.

Surf and Turf

Champagne and Paper flowers

Heart Cake

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Just another sunset. I never get tired of the beauty nature creates.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What we have been up to

This is just one of the projects M had completed in the last few weeks. He tiled out galley counters with this amazing cobalt blue tile. This area is used as our bar and is usually filled with rum, whiskey, and gin bottles. He inlaid a cutting board right into the counter so that there is one less step between an empty glass and limes floating in my drink. Perfection.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sad Computer

Sorry I have been so MIA lately. My computer is broken. First the screen died and now it won't turn on at all. :( We have actually be very busy with boat projects lately. New tile counter, curtains, new opening ports... the list goes on. I'll tell you more once I can figure out how to get my photos onto another computer....

Monday, February 20, 2012

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Cruising Seminar

If you are in the Chesapeake Bay area this weekend then check out this FREE seminar for cruisers and wanna be cruisers alike! Our friend Mike Meer will be speaking about rigging at sea and what to do in an emergency situation. Mike runs a full service rigging shop at Port Annapolis Marina in Annapolis, MD. Come check out the seminar and talk to Mike about rigging your boat for offshore cruising. See you there!

-L & M 

Handling Emergencies at Sea Seminar  

As the sailing season approaches, captains and crews are busy making plans for offshore passages, family cruises, long distance races and all sorts of adventures at sea. In most cases all these trips go off without a hitch, but what happens when things go wrong and your enjoyable passage becomes a horror story. It doesn’t take much to upset the precious balance aboard and the next thing you know, you are at the mercy of the sea. The open ocean is a formidable opponent and as yachtsmen, we need to be prepared. We need to have the skills, tools and a plan in place to handle emergencies at sea.

Chesapeake Sailmakers Presents:
"Handling Emergencies at Sea" 

When: Saturday, February 4, 10:00 am til 3:00 pm 
Where: Chesapeake Sailmakers, 222 Severn Ave, Annapolis 
Cost: FREE 
RSVP: 410-263-4840 or

Seminar Features: A hands on personal approach to solving many of the common emergencies en-countered when sailing offshore.

Karl Allen, Karl’s Marine Engines - He will focus on how to solve problems with fuel systems, cooling systems and charging systems related to your engine.

John Balano, Chesapeake Sailmakers - John will focus on emergency sail repair on board. He will present attendees with creative sail repair options and a hands on experience.

Mike Meer, Southbound Cruising - Mike specializes in rigging and yacht systems. He will focus on solving rigging problems, jury rigs and emergency steering solu-tions for offshore sailors.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Cooking Aboard: Non-electric Chopper

One of my favorite things about living aboard is eating aboard. Anyone who has ever eaten aboard the good ship Ellen Louise knows that M can feed Armys of people. He has this magical way of starting a meal expecting to feed only me and transforming it into a meal for not only me but also 9 of our closest friend that just decided to stop by randomly. I love it about him. He has an innate ability to bring people together over a meal.

One of my favorite meals he ever made me was a Mako Shark White Pizza. One of our neighbors dropped by in his skiff and asked if we wanted some Mako...and of course we accepted. We happened to be out of propane for our stove but had a small green bottle that screwed into our grill. For a normal person pizza wouldn't be an option at this point but M didn't skip a beat. He made a pizza crust from scratch and concocted some sort of white garlic sauce. Half hour later we were eating Mako shark pizzas. As I took another slice from the pizza in front of me I paused to appreciate what was happening. We were on our old wooden boat in the middle of the bay with a sunset over the hill on my left, the city reflecting the beauty of the sunset to my right, and a man that I love in front of me...and a free (delicious) meal in my belly. It is moments like these that I find surreal.

M has his secrets though. Don't believe his magic- he has his ways of making cooking aboard easier. One aspect that people don't ever think about is power restrictions. While at the dock plugged into shore power it isn't really a concern for most people. However, anchored out it is a totally different story. There is no using the 15 million watt electric blender, chopper, dicing machine while underway or at anchor. I know I have mentioned Lehmans non-electric goods before and I cannot say enough good about them. However, we reticently purchased a pretty sweet item from William & Sonoma that can blend, chop, dice and all around mix: the Chef'n VeggiChop. It is great for making pizza sauces and curry pastes. This is just an example of making the best of our power supply while not sacrificing eating well.

Check out the video clip below of M mixing up a home made curry paste.


Chef'n VeggiChop Vegetable Chopper

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Snow and Ice and New Beginnings

It has been almost a month since I have posted. Christmas has come and gone, the holiday season is over. The past month was particularly hard for us but we made it through to the other side. This is the first post of the new year and I am going forward with optimism. I have a renewed sense of wonder for what the future may hold. I wish everyone only the best happy moments this year; but for those of you who will inevitably feel loss and sorrow, I wish you comfort in knowing that time will heal your wounds. There are things that happen that we can't control and we don't always understand why, but trust in the knowledge that you will always have your memories. No one can ever take those from you.

It's winter now. Real snow on our decks.

Rest in peace.  I will miss you forever.