Fair Winds and Following Seas…

Well, tenalach went to her new crew this weekend. While we’re happy that the sale is completed, we are very sad to see this chapter of our lives come to an end. To Greg and Aubrey, the new masters of this fine vessel, we wish you fair winds and following seas. You’re embarking on an amazing adventure, and tenalach will care for you well, as she did for us.

To our followers, we bid you a fond farewell. Thank you for joining us on our adventure, and we hope you had some smiles along the way. Bon Voyage! unnamed (5)

Tenalach is searching for new crew!

WP_20150911_18_25_30_ProIt is with a heavy heart that we must list tenalach for sale. Our family situation has changed, and it is time for us, at least temporarily, to put down roots and bring all of us some stability. We do this very reluctantly, as we love tenalach and are very sad to close this chapter of our lives. However, we hope for a silver lining, as in all things. We are looking for new crew to love tenalach as we have, to continue her restoration to her former glory, and to create wonderful memories with her! . She’s not pristine or perfect, but that’s what gives her such great character! She IS, however, a fully functional sailing yacht AND home.

In the last year, we’ve loved her very much, and poured much cash, blood, sweat, tears, and effort into transforming tenalach into a fully functional home, as well as a safe coastal cruiser. She won’t cross oceans, but she’ll safely get you from A to B in the Chesapeake and up and down the ICW! She’s very a very comfortable home for a couple and would even support a kid or two in the V-berth. Full equipment list is below the gallery. If you feel tenalach tugging at your heartstrings, or the call of the water ringing in your ears, please contact us through this site!

tenalach is a 1976 43 ft. Gulfstar Ketch. We’re asking $25,500.

All the items below have been purchased, performed,  or installed since September 2014:

  • USCG Documentation
  • Full bottom job with two coats of Trinidad SR multi-season Oct 2014
  • Bottom cleaned and zincs replaced Nov 2015
  • Nature’s Head Composting Toilet
  • New PVC Rot-Free headliner in main salon
  • Lifeline Netting Installed
  • Insulation added in many areas
  • Bluetooth 4 speaker stereo
  • 8 foot inflatable tender with Tohatsu motor
  • Custom Aft Cabin Mattresses from the Original Mattress Factory
  • Fuel tank cleaned and Fuel Polished
  • Sail Covers and Dodger professionally repaired
  • Stainless Steel Magma Propane Grill
  • Custom Stainless Quadrant Support fabricated and installed
  • MarineAir Reverse Cycle Heat Pump installed with dedicated 30 amp circuit and insulated ducting
  • Newport Dickinson Solid Fuel Stainless Steel Cabin Heater
  • ProSport Three-bank Battery Charger (20A)
  • Prop Shaft Packing Gland Repacked
  • New Fuel Primary and Secondary Fuel Filters
  • Solar Fan in Aft Cabin
  • New Cups and Vane on Wind Instrument
  • Analog Wind Instrument
Here is a complete equipment list, from bow to stern, topside first:
1976 Gulfstar 43 Aux Ketch
  • 40 Lb Plow Anchor with 10 ft of chain and 250 ft of rode
  • Anchor Buoy
  • Spinnaker Pole (Needs Repair)
  • Whisker Pole (Needs Repair)
  • Electric Windlass with Foot Switch
  • Roller Furling Genoa – Sail in Good condition, roller furler has new line and fully functional
  • Teak Rub Rails
  • Secondary Jib Halyard with Light Air Headsail
  • Teak Dinghy Deck Rack
  • 52 ft vertical clearance
  • Aluminum Keel-Stepped Mast
  • Battened Mainsail in great condition
  • Cockpit Dodger
  • Raymarine Tri-data
  • Raymarine Wind Instrument (speed functional, direction inop)
  • Teak Saloon-style Cabin doors
  • Stainless Steering Wheel
  • Lighted Compass
  • Dock Water Inlet
  • Twin 30A inlets
  • Dual Cockpit Drains
  • Battened Mizzen Sail in Great Condition
  • Lifeline Netting
  • 10w Solar Charger
  • Port and Starboard Midships Boarding Gates
  • Barient 28 Jib Winches serviced 2015
  • Cockpit Lazarette
  • Spring 2015 Coast Guard inspection
  • New Flares
  • Flare Gun
  • Cockpit Manual Bilge Pump
  • VHF with Ram Mic
  • Aluminum Boathook
  • Stainless Stern Swim Ladder
  • GIANT stern lazarette!
  • Life ring only 1 year old
  • Dinghy Motor Rack
  • Extra Large Fender (1 year old)
  • Wired for external wifi booster (not included)
And the interior, from bow to stern:
  • V-Berth with 6’5 berth length, storage below, and 5 drawers
  • Hanging Locker with secondary windlass switch
  • Forward Head compartment with stainless sink and Nature’s Head Composting Toilet
  • Newport Dickinson Stainless Steel Solid Fuel Cabin heater (we use hardwood charcoal and anthracite)
  • Port and Starboard Settees with 6’4 length, storage below both, and behind port side settee
  • Double Stainless Sink
  • Under Sink Water Filtration System
  • AC Toaster Oven
  • 3-burner gimbaled Shipmate propane stove and oven
  • Adler Barbour 12-v Refrigeration
  • Large Nav Station with 3 drawers and chart storage
  • Hanging Locker
  • Locker enclosing Heat Pump
  • Large Engine Room
  • Circuit Panel 12v and 120v
  • 6 Gallon Water Heater
  • House Water Filter
  • 12v Water Pump
  • 110 Gallon Integrated Fiberglass water tank
  • 65 Gallon Diesel Tank
  • Perkins 4-108 Diesel Engine
  • Large Aft Captains Quarters
  • Hanging Locker and 5 drawers
  • Large Aft Berth with 6’5 length
  • Head/Shower Compartment (toilet removed) with stainless sink and hand shower
There are lots of extras:
  • Matching set of cups
  • Plastic Dishes (large and small plates, bowls)
  • Spare Parts
  • Tools specific to the boat
  • Dock Box Included
  • PFDs
  • Spare Fuel Filters
  • LOTS of rope
  • Wind Generator (Not Installed)
  • Radar and Display (Not Installed)
  • 40 lbs of Anthracite (for solid fuel stove)
  • 20 lbs of hardwood charcoal (for solid fuel stove)
  • Sheets for forward and aft cabin
  • Installable screen door for forward cabin (use it or toss it)
  • Sunbrella cover for companionway hatch
  • Emergency Flares and Flare Gun

Year 1 Complete!

When we first decided to move to Virginia, we said we had to at least stay three years. This was we had a chance to really become a part of the community, versus having a rough month and moving back too soon. With the boat, we decided one year. We would live aboard for four seasons, and then decide what we wanted to do. As our one year approaches, I have been thinking back on all of the things I have learned. And its a lot!

  1. Weather. I knew there we high tides and low tides, and that they are connected to the moon. I didn’t know there was a variance in the high tides or how extreme that variance can be.
  2. Sailing. I understood that the wind filled the sailed and that is how we moved through the water, but how did the sails get up there? How did they come down? Is driving a boat like driving a car? Where are the lanes out on the water for me to stay in?
  3. My breaking point. I know what I can handle, and I know when I need a break. Period.
  4. Being unplugged. We like to vacation to places that have little to no cell service, along with no internet. But being out on the Chesapeake Bay with only what you have on board, with whom you brought with you is a completely different experience.
  5. Patience. Everything in a sail boat takes longer! Traveling across the water, boat projects, limited space, etc. One project at a time otherwise we have a lot of tension in a small space, and it can get intense.
  6. Chuck. I know more about him without even realizing it. I can sense his moods, and know when I need to jump in or get out of the way. I also know when I need to keep my mouth shut.
  7. Stooges. We have a much better understanding of the dogs needs. Since we can’t pick them up, we have to work with them. Sometimes it takes two of us, but eventually we get there.

Our 18 months on tenalach have been more educational, demanding, and challenging than we ever thought it would be. But, we wouldn’t trade a day of it.

tenalach teak fairy

What is there is say about teak? If you have done it, I am sure you have some words. Its tiring, sweaty, messy, yet you end up with your boat looking absolutely beautiful. Chuck started on this project, and I was hesitant. He just kept sanding! And then talked about how many coats of stain we had to put on everything, AND how we had to keep dogs off it while it dried. I thought he was crazy, and had no idea how we were going to do this! But he was persistent and eventually got me on board. Apparently he does know me pretty well as we ended this first session of the project with me ready to sand the entire boat. Fortunately he stopped me before my misery.

Chuck started with sanding around the cockpit. Mostly in the evenings with a beer and without a real plan, so it wasn’t bad. I noticed the changes the sanding was making, but nothing that inspired me to grab my own sanding block.

Then one day I was stuck. We were planning on taking friends sailing when they cancelled last minute. I asked what we were doing for the day, and so the teak fairy arrived! Chuck equipped me with the sand paper he wanted me to use, and we were off. We focused on everything on top of the boat, except somehow the traveler got ignored. We worked on four different hand rails, two eyebrows, dinghy racks on the front cabin top, and some off the back of the cabin, and the area around the cockpit.

The first day we focused on the area around the cockpit, the handrails on the aft cabin top, and the aft half of the eyebrows.

Here was the process:

  1. Sand with 60 or 80 grit sandpaper.
  2. Rinse off. Use teak cleaner. Just let it rest and soak in for 5 minutes.
  3. Then scrub teak cleaner and rinse again.
  4. Let dry.
  5. Sand with 120 grit paper.
  6. Rinse.
  7. Let dry. (Take dogs for a walk, potty, etc. so we can attempt to not have them scratch the stain)
  8. Tape off to prepare for stain.
  9. Coat of stain.
  10. Let dry.
  11. Coat of stain.
  12. Let dry.

Phew! Now do this on all parts of the boat. So we both worked really hard on this on Sunday. But I did get to spend the day in a bikini, it was nice out, and still enjoying mother nature (finding the silver lining here). After seeing how great the boat looked after one day, I was ready for more (insert how well Chuck knows me). However, my body was sore from being in such weird positions all day, I was a little sun burnt, and I’m pretty sure I lost some of my fingerprints and a couple nails due to sanding. In order for me to get more work done, I would need help as Chuck had a meeting, and I needed something beyond my own hands. We ended up purchasing a Black & Decker mouse sander. This was amazing and definitely sped up the time on day 2.

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You can see the right side has been sanded and the left has not had anything done to it.

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Look at the difference between sanded area and the traveler!

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Chuck putting the first coat on!

Day 2 focused on the rest of the eyebrows, the front handrails, and dinghy racks on the front and back of the boat. We attempted to sand the traveler, but it was extremely hard. I was also past the point of being concerned about details. I know this is my stopping point, so I focused on what we could finish vs. what needed to be started. I also didn’t want to have poorly done teak as it takes such a long time.

Kate also joined us! She was the inspiration I needed to finish. So Day 2 was girl time with an awesome woman, more boat work, new tools, and another day in a bikini. Unfortunately, I was so focused that at 4:00 p.m. I realized I hadn’t had lunch or reapplied sunscreen. I did regret this the next day. Whoops!

The best part is I can’t tell you how proud I am of the work we did, how amazing tenalach looks, and how proud I am to say she is mine. With that said, I know we have more work to do. However, the compliments that we have already received from neighbors has been amazing. This means its not just me that thinks things look better, but others as well. My next goal is to work on the traveler, toe rails, and bowsprit. This will provide some interesting stories as I will have to be on the paddle board to be able to reach some of the toe rails. Hmm… Good pictures if nothing else. Stay tuned for more!

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You can see which teak has been done, and which still needs some love in the above photo.

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We were out sailing, but look how great the teak looks! YESSS!!!

Doggie Adventures!

Some of my favorite memories have been just hanging out on the docks with like minded people. Turns out, some think you are a little strange for wanting to live on the water. Hmm… Fortunately, pictures say a thousand words and the below pictures do this afternoon justice. We watched as a friend threw the ball off the dock and his pup, Patina, jumped in right after it. Then we watched Bristol learn to jump off the dock for the first time. It was very interesting to watch as she got better at her doggie paddle. Much less splashing as the afternoon went on.

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And the best pictures of them all? That is right! To all you nay sayers, non believers, and dream killers (insert LOTS of sarcasm here), Enzo and I took the next step on my dream of SUP with him. You can read about how I obtained my SUP here, a great story in my opinion. No one believed me at first, and I just kept putting it out in the universe that one day Enzo and I would paddle board. Now, we took a huge step forward with him on the board!

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While we still have a ways to go, at least we are making progress. I was not at all ready to take him away from the safety of the dock as there is no doubt in my mind I will end up in the water the first couple times.  At the end of the day, a wonderful afternoon hanging out with good people and great dogs on the docks! Life really is about relationships, experiences, and memories, not the stuff we can obtain.

 

Invasion of Invertebrates!

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Jellyfish next to tenalach

From time to time, Salt Ponds is invaded by jellyfish. Sometimes they’re red, or clear, and sometimes we even get Leidy’s Comb Jellyfish flashing around tenalach. They tend to get sucked up in the strainer for the heat pump, as the admiral mentioned in the last post. A couple days ago we saw literally hundreds of them, floating by for hours. Having grown up on the Atlantic and Chesapeake Bay, we would normally see jellies that were dead and long since devoid of their tentacles, thanks to waves. These, however, were very much alive and swimming, and nearly all of them were fully intact. All these photos were taken in the same 5 minutes; and there were many more that I couldn’t get a good image of. This lasted all afternoon. Nature sure is beautiful.

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Pink Jellyfish
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Dont touch this one!
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There are two in this photo
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Two More
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A little below the surface, but this one had very long tentacles

 

Lots of new things!

After about 6 weeks of silence from us, I feel there is a lot to update you on! Fortunately or unfortunately, Chuck and I have been traveling for the past three weeks. One here, one gone! However, we snuck in some evening sails when possible, and even got caught in our first rain storm!

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Since the AC install, life is drastically better. Especially during the day for Chuck and dogs, and at night for everyone! I love sleeping in a chilly bed, and this makes the pups all cuddly! Since Chuck has been traveling, I am obviously responsible with more things around the boat. Normally he does things throughout the day that I am unaware of. One item being the sea strainer. I never knew we could suck up so many things. I was most mind blown by the jelly fish! When I pulled the strainer out, something flashed blue at me. Amazing, but I also thought I was going a bit crazy. Asking the dogs if they saw it also didn’t seem like the best step to convince myself I’m not crazy. There was a lot of suction, and just kinda mushy clear stuff. I dumped it in a bowl and watch out, JELLYFISH! It must have been a big one as I had to empty the strainer a couple times, each time flashing blue, until the AC was running solid again.

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Last night when I emptied the strainer, I saw something moving SUPER FAST. I sucked up a little crab. Also threw him in a bowl, but he just ran around it. Fortunately, I was able to get him back in the water. Who knows what would’ve happened if he would have gotten out of the bowl and in big dog land? Ha!

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As far as big dog land goes, let’s talk about bathing! I wouldn’t really say we have water dogs, and that they mostly tolerate  bath time. Since they insist on cuddling, and they do their best to steal time in the bed, bathing is a must. If I pay someone to do this, it gets really expensive since they are so large. And it is not that I am incapable. So now we bathe on the dock! Haha! Below are pictures of Chuck bathing them. They both look pathetic, as if they are being abused. Don’t let them fool you, Enzo loves to be dried off and will actually push Zia out of the way when I come around with the towel!

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Fourth of July you say? Why did that come and go so fast this year? Now I LOVE fireworks, and Chuck does a great job of taking me to see them when they are near us. If you remember, our first night anchored was to watch fireworks from the boat, living off the hook!   But this year, we weren’t that motivated to go watch for whatever reason. We stalled and stalled, pretending we wanted to go out until eventually caving in and deciding to stay home. But what a great decision that was! While relaxing, the dogs started barking at what we thought was thin air. Chuck went up on deck, Enzo assisting, to see the commotion and it turns out it was FIREWORKS. Chuck came back down to tell me what was going on and to put Zia on deck. Once up there, she heard one firework and jumped back down. She fled to the aft cabin where she laid in a super tight ball and shook out of fear. I went up top to see the fireworks, and without exaggeration we had around 6 different firework shows going on! The pictures were hard to take, but the shows lasted for a good 30 minutes. I have no idea if they were legal, but we definitely appreciated the shows around us. I was checking on Zia the whole time, and she would barely move. When the shows quieted down, I climbed into bed and let her cuddle with me. She finally started to calm down once we all four were in bed! Pathetic! Unfortunately, she spent most of that weekend on edge because there were lots of fireworks.

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Last but not least, SAILING! Like I said, we have been traveling and only able to sneak in a couple sailing trips due to time, wind, etc, etc. First, a sunset sail. I am beginning to learn how to captain the boat. Nerve racking for sure, but something I need to do.

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We started with me driving tenalach out of the slip and through the inlet. As Chuck said, preparing the boat to leave the slip is something I know how to do, but telling someone what to do is a bit of a different story. I definitely need to work on sailing in straighter lines, but all with practice.

 

We normally do not sail with the dogs on deck, but the wind was very light and the cabin was warm so we let them up. After spending more than a week on land, and not much time on the boat before we went sailing I was definitely reestablishing my sea legs.WP_20150724_18_47_39_Pro

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Puppy Selfies!

 

 

 

I thought I would save the best for last, at least in my opinion, with our first rain storm! We went out with a friend Matt knowing it would be light wind and we all had to be watching for weather. With both Matt and Chuck being pilots, I left that to them :).

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How are morning started!

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So we went out and by time we were on the Chesapeake Bay, the wind was gusting up to 5 mph. Needless to say, it got hot fast and boring. I knew they were watching the weather and I had full confidence in them. As we were packing up and heading home, I went down below to get something. When I came back up, Chuck asked for his rain jacket and I wanted to begin to put sail covers on. He told me just to sit down and get under the dodger. And he was correct, next thing I knew it was pouring rain!

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Can you see the storm coming? Literally happened right before our eyes!

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Pictures were taken by Matt as we all huddled under the dodger, while all still getting wet. Fortunately, the storm moved past and we were able to dock in dry weather. Docking is not something I want to do while raining, but I suppose that adventure will come in time.

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Light at the end of the tunnel…phew!

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Here is to an August full of much more sailing! Below pictures are of tenalach under sail at Ft. Monroe Public Beach.

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A/C makes everyone happier!

Our Reverse-Cycle Air conditioning unit is installed, not leaking, and making a very happy mamas and stooges! (Unfortunately Chuck has not been home much to fully appreciate his hard work). I won’t tell you this was an easy job, and I think we lost about 10 lbs. from sweat; but the bruises, blood, and sweat was well worth it!

         This couldn’t have been completed without the help of fellow sailors so a HUGE thank you to Dan, Capt Dave, Susan, Justin, and Logan! There is also a HUGE thank you to those that Chuck used as a resource before we even started this project. Last but not least, thank you to Chandler, Charlene, and Bosun for offering their guest room to us and the stooges as we completed this project.

Oh, you wanted the details? My bad! Here ya go! This is the layman terms version as Chuck is much more technical in his blogging, but you get me today 🙂 This all started when a fellow sailor was getting rid of his heat pump to upgrade. The unit was literally in the back of his truck to go to the dump, and Chuck said “WAIT! We’ll take it.” This blog shows you the physical act of installing this unit, not the mental energy Chuck spent thinking about this, and planning the install. Without that, we might all be a pile of sweat at this point.

Chuck and Dan first started by getting the below elbow off the thru hull. This provided a thru hull to use, along with space for them to install the sea strainer, and the pump (pictured below).

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I was able to join them in time to do some of the plumbing (yeah for being the small person aboard), which entailed running the hose underneath the bed in the aft cabin. The most technical part was the drilling of the holes, however there was one portion that took all three of us, and some creativity with rope to get the hose run through the drilled holes!

We did have to drill another hole in the boat, which we always hate doing. Fortunately this one was much much smaller than the one we had to drill for the exhaust for the heater! However, this put me in the dinghy on the outside of the boat. It was so hot that the second you stepped outside, you started sweating. So by time we drilled the hole, I looked like I had taken a shower. Eww!

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I’m not sure how I was stable enough in the dinghy long enough for Chuck to get this picture, but yes that is me outside in the dinghy, looking in the hole we just drilled. Added some caulk and put the thru hull fitting in.

Below is a good picture of the aft cabin/ bed that became our work bench. This is just one of the reasons we stayed at a friend’s house. This way we didn’t have to completely clean up each night to tear the boat up again the next morning. It was so extremely hot those couple of days, and having to squish ourselves into awkward positions that made you sweat more made it that much more tiring. When given the opportunity, we opted for a clean bed, cold shower, and pizza!

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I was exhausted!!! I can’t even be mad at Chuck for taking this picture, because who would pass up this opportunity!

Before we even started this project, we had to spend a lot of time figuring out where we would put the unit. The unit ended up in our “chemical locker” which is located directly across from the engine room, and right outside of the aft cabin. This was not only enough space for it, but made a shorter distance for wiring and ducting. However, we did have to make a hole in the closet bulkhead!

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Our boat neighbor, Justin, came to help Chuck with the wiring. Logan, his son, entertained me while the men worked on that. This is Justin working on the unit. If nothing else, it shows the small space we had to work in. For the wiring, we had to install another 30 amp inlet so we had enough power to run the unit. Not extremely hard, just twisting my body in weird ways to get to where I needed to be in the engine room (I like to pretend I am a part of Cirque du Soleil, haha.). We then had to wire from engine room to the unit.

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After the wiring was done, we had to finish the ducting. This runs behind my closet and drawers, which did involve two large holes. We still have to do some insulation around the ducting, but for now we are in business.  Cold air is pumping like a champ out into the aft cabin. We did lose some space for chemicals, and I lost some closet space. Just another chance to reevaluate my wardrobe, and if there is anything to get rid of (there was, shocking :))

Last but not least, here is one of the dogs helping! They are in the passage way to the aft cabin. While we were working, we had the hatch AC unit in the aft cabin hatch so this was as close to the AC  as they could get. (Don’t worry, they tried hard to get back there but unfortunately they take up more space than they realize).

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After installation, we needed to check the plumbing and look for leaks. We didn’t find any initially. Chuck then installed the control panel while I was at work. He put this right next to the nav station, and right below our radio. By time I got home from work, this was all complete.

Later on, I did find some water when I woke up the next morning and when I returned to the boat in the afternoon. Fortunately, I was able to repair this while Chuck was away. The drain holes from the drip pan were the culprits. I feel extremely proud of that fact, so I had to brag a bit. It wasn’t rocket science, but hard to find with the small space of the heat pump and where it was located. We are now enjoying cold air, and a cold room for sleep. A fan blows some of that cool air out into the main cabin. With 100 degree day yesterday, unsure of humidity, the boat was 84 degrees for the dogs to be in! In the mornings, I am waking up to somewhere between 68-76 degrees!

HAPPY MAMAS!!!

 

Radio Silence is Over!

We may have been quiet for a month or so, but we have been out living the life. That is the point of this whole journey, right? What have we been up to… let me tell you! We have been sailing more, meeting new friends at the marina, my birthday (more details later), went on a land lubber vacation, and last but definitely not least we spent our first night anchored out! See, living the life! Now of course we have boat projects going on while we are doing all of the above, but as we continue to acclimate to boat life, not every project seems post worthy!

More sailing…and learning to anchor!

Since the days have gotten longer, we have had the opportunity to do some evening sails. We have also been practicing anchoring. Not quite as easy as I expected, even with the windlass. Getting that anchor up can sometimes take all the energy out of me. Not only is it heavy (45 lbs. not including the chain) with gravity working against me, but you are having to balance and brace yourself at the bow, sometimes up and down and up and down! So it can get a bit tricky, but we are learning. As other sailing couples have told us, there is a HUGE learning curve to communicating to each other on the boat while under sail. In our first instances of anchoring, Chuck was at the helm and I was doing the manual work (which I happen to prefer). There were some frustrations there are we figured out this communication, and I learned how to let the boat to more of the work for me. But just last week, I got to be at the helm. After Chuck successfully pulled in and stored the anchor, he comes back with the “man that was hard work” look on his face. And I didn’t even say I told ya so!

My birthday…

came and went like it does every year. But this year I was surprised with a Tower 14ft. Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard! Kuddos to Chuck for arranging this behind my back as I had NO IDEA that he was even up to something. And let me tell you, I LOVE IT! So far we have just been paddling the inlet, but bigger adventures are coming. Right now, I am still learning to just be fearless on her and to handle some waves. Nothing too crazy for this lady yet!

Chuck fell in! Whoops!
Puppy love on my birthday morning!

Land Lubber Vacation (much needed)

We had the opportunity to return to our favorite vacation spot, Moab, UT. We stay at Basecamp Adventure Lodge! If you are looking for a unique experience, this is the place for you. What I truly love about this place is that you can start your day by sleeping in and reading a book on deck (with absolutely breath taking scenery around you), and by the end of the day you have gone kayaking, ATVing, hiking or more. You can make the vacation into whatever you want it to be, and there is one amazing thing missing. Cell service! There is limited WiFi, but who needs it? The pictures never do it justice, but I continue taking them in the hopes that one day it will!

This is called Jacob’s ladder, and we actually climbed this!

Living “on the hook”!

The best news to report is there was really no news! Of course we had some lessons to learn, but nothing that couldn’t be easily fixed or avoided for next time. We decide to anchor out at Mill Creek so we could see the fireworks for the Black Beard Pirate Festival in Hampton, VA. I think fireworks are already amazing, but they are that much better on a boat!!! And of course the pups added to the experience by making sure to bark the whole time to chase the fireworks away. Silly pups! We had some delicious rum, a friend brought dinner over, and it was gorgeous out! Even did some star gazing. We each woke up a couple times (Chuck to check the anchor, and me to just be aware of where we were), but overall slept great! Waking up was so peaceful.

The dogs still have work to do about learning to go on their spot, but if they have to go bad enough they eventually will. When we woke, we realized that the fridge had drained all of our power. Lesson learned! We had to get a jump from Boat US, which took a maximum of 5 minutes, and we were good to go! Beyond that, the main lesson we learned was to pack more food. And food to make a meal out of, not just the random things we end up with.

As far as boat projects go, the main thing we are focused on right now is our AC unit. We have a small hatch unit which works for sleeping, but with Chuck and the dogs there all day, they will need something more for the real heat of the summer. Chuck scored an old heat pump from another sailor who was headed to the junk yard, so he is currently getting parts to start assembling this. We also managed to get the dogs in the dinghy with Chuck successfully. We both just grabbed a handle on their life vests (safety dogs!), it was high tide and we went to a lower finger dock. In they went, happy or not. Enzo actually went in first, which is not like him. He just hunched down as far as he could. He did try to stand up while pressing against Chuck and Chuck almost went in the water. teeheehee. As they slowly motored away, all you could see was his big ol’ head. Kinda funny! Zia Marie was up next, and seemed to want to stand and let her ears blow in the wind. We will get pictures next time, as we just wanted a successful adventure (mostly so I didn’t freak out)!

Our first little mate on board! Welcome Carter man!
Because…my babies!

 

UP-grades and Repairs

Hello friends! The last couple weeks have been pretty busy for us on tenalach. as we’ve been taking advantage of the warmer weather and longer days to get some repairs and upgrades complete. If you’ve been following us for awhile, you know that our home wasn’t in the best condition when we got her, and there’s still work to do. I have a bunch of travel coming up so we needed to get ahead of a few things!

First, tenalach brings us the luck of the Irish!

A fellow boater is outfitting his boat for extended cruising upon his retirement next fall. One of the things he was upgrading was his vessel’s reverse-cycle heat pump. I happened to be up in the marina office while he was on his way to junk the old one (that still worked, btw), and the marina manager Steve mentioned to him that we needed one. He looked at me and said, “Do you want it? I’m just taking it to the junkyard.” I emphatically accepted and we got ourselves a 16,000 BTU unit for nothing! I was very happy to have the universe in our favor that day. We’ll still have to get about $600 in parts and practice some serious boat yoga to get it installed, but the bulk of that expense was saved by the luck of the Irish!

Tenalach came to us with an older ST-60 wind instrument. The masthead unit needed some repairs, so we replaced the wind vane and cups for the anemometer last fall. The anemometer works fine, but the wind indicator instrument just spins. We didn’t have an analog wind instrument at all, so we decided that before we spend money getting the ST-60 repaired, we’d install a masthead WindDex. It always sounds so easy…

I stepped into our bosun’s chair and Captain Dave of Veritas,WP_20150423_20_00_32_Pro an Island Packet 40, helped hoist me up. On the way, I replaced the spreader boots we knocked off on our first sail way back in October. They’re now secured with cable ties, and shouldn’t go anywhere for a while. That took more time than I thought and we ran out of daylight, so the next night we tried again. Up, up I went all the way to the top of our 50′ mast. The wind was light so there wasn’t a ton of movemeWP_20150423_20_00_08_Pront, until ANYONE moved around on deck or down below. It felt like an earthquake with every footstep!

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The WindDex location pre-install.

I located the best place for drilling holes for the mounting plate screws and set about it. The only place feasible was on the port (left) side of the mast, and I’m right handed. The halyard I was attached to was on the aft side of the mast. You can work out the math there. It was hard. After finally breaking through, I started working the self-tapping sheet metal screws into the mast. With myleft hand. 50 feet in the air. That took some time. After I got those anchored in securely, Captain Dave sent up the new WindDex, and I got it all secured to the mounting hardware. Now we have a working wind indicator!

The next project, which had been on the list for a while, was getting our fuel tank cleaned. If you remember from our post, “We got cocky with our docking,” we had an engine failure due to fuel starvation last fall. All’s well that ended well with that, but we needed to get that fixed. We called Captain Alan with KleenFuel and he set to work. Upon his arrival, I showed him where the fuel line pickup is, just behind a hatch under the companionway ladder. He shook his head and said, “I need a hole about an inch and a half across to do this, yours are way too small.”

The solution was every boat owners nemesis: drill a hole. He got his hole saw and drilled a hole in the top of the tank. We made our best guess for a good lWP_20150427_10_52_58_Proocation, and it turned out to be correct. 10 seconds and we could see diesel below the hole. Capt. Alan set up the rest of his gear, and we were off.

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Fuel Cleaning
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KleenFuel Filtering Machine

The pump apparatus can handle 600 GPH, and we have a 65 gallon tank that was nearly full. That means in the 3 hours he was pumping, we cleaned all the fuel in the tank about 30 times. The return line sends the clean fuel back into the tank under pressure, to get the fuel in the tank moving and cleaning the surfaces of the tank. Five filters later, we got a clean fuel bill of health. Captain Dave moved Veritas over for the day to have his tank done, as well.

That’s all for this update! Stay tuned!