Catching a Break

OK! We're getting there. This weekend will see several projects finished (we hope). A large solar fan/vent will be installed in the aft cabin hatch to keep the air moving day and night. It's reversible and has an on/off switch, so we'll have lots of options for moving air. Blisters ground out,

My dad is coming this weekend to help with some installations and upgrades. We'll be engineering a restraining grate for the dogs in the doorway of the v-berth, installing an AC unit in a nearly-perfect sized void below the water heater, Rebedding another fixed window and portlight and replacing water damaged side panel on the port side of the cabin.

Howdy Bailey finished and got our stainless steel quadrant support bracket, and quadrant can be reinstalled on the rudder post and the aft cabin put back together today. Howdy was very accommodating and would recommend him to anyone. Our mattresses are ready and as soon as we find the source of our deck leak, we'll put them in and have a real bedroom!

Oh the deck leak. SO we figured out that our bilge water problem was NOT from the water tank, because it's empty. It rained a TON yesterday, and the bilge was again full of water. I pumped it, and it was all clean water. No oil. This is good news and bad news: the good news is the water is coming from the deck somewhere. The bad news is there's a ton of places that could be. The other part of the bad news is that it re-soaked the keel, delaying any repair again. We've got a grinder and heat gun now, and we'll be getting after the blisters in the hull this weekend as well. The keel problem, though, will require more than that. The keel repair and subsequent paint job is all that's keeping us out of the water now. I'm guessing it's going to require relatively major surgery that is beyond my skill set. HOWEVER:

We did catch a break from the universe. Our current landlord's next tenant doesn't arrive until the 11th, so we can stay until the 10th in the house. That gives us a LOT more time to deal with the keel problem, and took a lot of pressure off of us. Our surveyor came out and looked over the boat, made some recommendations to us, but said aside from the bilge/keel problem and replacing our halyards, the boat is solid. This was great news. This sunset photo was from Tuesday, shot by the Admiral on my Lumia Icon. On to a busy weekend!

One week away!

We are down to the one week mark, and I have to keep faith. There is so much do in the next week and I know that I cannot control everything. Therefore I HAVE to keep faith that this will all work out. Fortunately, we have made great friends that reassured me we would not go homeless :)

As we get into what we think are small projects, they end up being a little larger than expected. The only real concern is that we are on a timeline and the project needs time to dry out. Therefore time is not on our side. (The keel has a large blister and this has a lot of water on it. Not completely sure where the water is coming from, so yeah...)

While Chuck was with the boys at a bachelor party, me and the kids worked our butts off at the boat. Dandy Haven Marina has continued to be absolutely amazing in helping us at the boat yard and providing assistance when needed (  As we continue on this journey, I am growing leaps and bounds in my confidence. I am learning a lot about the boat, and also paying very close attention to what I can and cannot handle. There is a lot on this journey that is taking me to the edge of explosion (insert sarcastic, over dramatic laugh here), but I would rather be challenged each day than not. Also making sure to keep a very positive outlook because we need help, positives thoughts, and love to get this together in the next week. I do not know how this will happen, but I know we have to continue pressing on.

Thus far I have (this last weekend that is):

1. Removed a toilet ALL BY MYSELF
2. Removed hoses for two toilets (Gross, stinky, but I won)
3. Sanded the bottom of the boat (I have abs and shoulders to show for that) Also learned a ton about sanders
4. Removed rotted wood from the galley
5. Cleaned the shaft and replaced zinc
6. Scrubbed toilets and inside the engine room
7. Sold a lot of stuff! I didn't realize how much we had until I started really looking (A lot we have barely used to)
8. Emptied the water tanks
9. Realized how AMAZING this journey is that we are on.

No it is not easy, and no it is not all fun. Yes we have spent money, and I have paint in places you don't want to know. But I wouldn't change it for anything. Chuck and I are pulling together as a team like we never have before, and we are having the opportunity of a life time. So many people say how jealous they are that we are doing this.

I wonder what keeps them from having their own adventures??!?!?!?

On the list as we move forward (I'm sure I'll miss something)
- survey/ rigging inspection
- Custom sheets
- working with Scott Haley on the keel
- Finishing putting the bracket on from Howdy Bailey (
- Selling more items
- Chuck's father is down for the weekend to help and take items to storage
-Replacing inside panels

If nothing, I (we) hope you gain inspiration from our story to pursue your dreams. Life is not about the things you buy, but the experiences you get to have with the people you choose to surround yourself with.


Sunday Funday… and some more!

The good news is that we moved the boat successfully without any major issues. This was a huge hurdle for us, and Captain Chuck was more than impressive behind the wheel. Thanks to Kathy, Josh, and Gabe for helping us crew through the channel and in case something happened. With small mishaps on the channel and backing into the haul out slip, we made it and the boat has been out of the water since Saturday morning.  

Man oh man the work has begun! So many things we are learning and definitely learning the hard way. I never thought or really wanted to sand the bottom of a boat, but I have done that for 2 days straight. Monday we changed strategy a bit and really starting making progress. Props to Dan to helping us out. Dandy Haven Marina ( has been MORE than helpful and hospitable. So far we are about halfway done with the sanding. After that comes the painting. Fortunately, we get to wear this really sexy suits and masks that make us look like ghostbusters! (Catch the sarcasm?) Who ya gonna call??

Along with sanding, we have removed both heads (toilets) in the boat, and have removed one of the windows. We still need to remove one more, but found a lot of wood rot with the initial window leak. Fortunately between removing the heads and the rotted wood, the smell is continuing to improve.

Howdy Bailey came out to help us on the quadrant bracket. It took Chuck at least 3 hours to remove 4 nuts so that Howdy can get proper measurements. (

Dan spent plenty of time today polishing the very shiny prop so we will definitely be moving faster when we move the boat next. We also cleaned the bilge, and Chuck has been focusing on blisters on the boat (Boat acne as Dandy Haven called it). 

There was a ton of marine growth between the skeg and the rudder. It seems a lot of small shellfish moved in there and grew so big they were unable to get out! The picture below shows a portion of what we took out. Some alive still too!

I am sure there is more work that we have done, but after all the work we have VERY SORE everythings (mostly hands and shoulders) and dogs that need tending to (how dare we leave them out of the action. P.S. If you want a fun/ gross dog story, ask Cookie at some point).

Until next time....

Tenalach continues becoming our home (Oh yeah, I sanded off the old name so we can repaint the new. Told ya there was more...)

~Cookie :)

Rain Rain Go Away!

Look at that face!
Huge Paws!

Sunday was an extremely successful and productive day on the boat! We even had our first meal on Tenalach! 

  1. 2/3 done with the life line netting (we ran out so we couldn't finish)
  2. Grip tape on the deck so Enzo and Zia can move around on deck easier
  3. Learned how to fill the water tanks (I am running white vinegar through the tanks and hoses and it is helping TREMENDOUSLY with the mold smell) 
  4. Partially fixed the stanchion that was broke in Hurricane Sandy before we owned her (The new stanchion is ordered and will be here Tuesday)
  5. New mattress ordered! (
  6. I am working with a guy for the quadrant bracket to be fixed (

One of the funniest things (to me at least) that happened was right after we finished cleaning and putting the grip tape, Zia slid right down the center like a slide! No use of the grip tape! I was cracking up and Chuck was in disbelief. The joys of dogs :)


Chuck is traveling the next couple days, so I am now starting to work on the house. I am deciding what we are keeping, what we are taking, and what we are getting rid of. This will take some time, but we have done it once before. If you know of someone looking for furniture, have them contact me :) We will also be preparing for the boat to be hauled. Once that happens, we will be sanding and painting the bottom, replacing the head, cleaning the bilge, adding a heater, and many more        things. 

With the rain Monday, it showed the leaks we have in the boat. One from the mast (pictured below) and another one in a window. Also working on the repair work for these. Again, funny story in my opinion, leaving the dock we were COMPLETELY soaked due to rain. Between wind and rain and the smallest umbrella, nature won! Chuck had to change clothes are the airport before he got on the plane :)

Scrubbing the insulation off the fiberglass
Captain Chuck working on the engine
Zia finding the areas we have not put netting up!
Happy dogs!

Making mistakes a.k.a. Learning lessons!

After a long and stressful day at work, and some learning lessons on the boat this evening, Captain Chuck is over it. Here I go with Cookie's first blog post!!!

This week has definitely slowed down the progress of the work since we both have full time jobs, and we have limited light as the nights get shorter. Last night we got rained out as well! So tonight's focus was life lines for the dogs. They are getting much more comfortable getting on the boat, but tonight we tried out the new ramp from Grandma and Grandpa Stollery! Enzo decided he didn't want to do that and just JUMPED on the boat almost knocking Chuck off! Zia did great and walked right across. Progress :)

We shared our first beer on deck with a new glass we purchased. The community feel and neighbors have been fantastic and tonight and we were invited over for drinks at another couples boat. We had to take a raincheck as we were busy learning lessons.

Lessons learned tonight:

1. Don't accidentally drop dog treats in the water as they attract ducks (This wasn't all of them either)

2. Bring bug spray (DUH! Our house is IN the water now.)

3. EVERYTHING takes longer than you think especially when doing it for the first time

4. Don't put life lines up permanently in the EXACT spot you lay the ramp for the dogs to get off the boat (Whoops)

I am excited for this weekend to have two and half days to just focus on the boat and get some things done! All in all, extremely happy with our decision and even more excited for adventures and making more mistakes :)

Thanks for following our adventure!


We have touchdown! Enzo is IN THE BOAT!

He's still taking some coaxing to get across the boarding ramp and down the companionway ramp, but he made it and no worse for the wear. He even decided to help dad measure for our mattress!

Here's a view of the companionway ramp 2.0, which was part of our pilot's berth. Chuck reinforced it with some metal strips and Zia went right down. It stows easily underneath the port settee.