All posts by Michelle Herbst

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.


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


Look at the difference between sanded area and the traveler!


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!


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


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.





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!





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.


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!


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.


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!


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!




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.




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.



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














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.



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).



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!



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!



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.


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).


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!



We Survived the Winter!

Well, spring is finally here, and we could not be more glad! We were very comfortable inside the boat after we got all the heat worked out, but the short days, cold weather, and low tides kept us tied to the slip far more than we would have preferred. The composting head is working great, we've cleaned and flushed our water system and have sold our sailing dinghy in favor of an inflatable with a motor. This will allow us to be more stable in the water with the two of us and the stooges in the boat. We'll also be able to ferry ourselves and passengers from tenalach to the shore on Sunday Fundays at Paradise Ocean Club and other fun places and overnight anchorages.

We serviced out two main Barient 28 winches today after sailing for an hour or so this morning. We would have spent all day on the water, but the inlet still is unsafe for any draft over 5 feet past mid-tide. The dredge project is currently in procurement, and bidding closes this week. We continue to be assured that the inlet dredging will be complete by Memorial Day, and that in case of emergency, there is a narrow safe path in at "0," which is mean low tide. We love the community here at Southall Landings and the Salt Ponds general, so we hope the city figures out a permanent solution to this problem sooner than later. Anyway, the winches took about  3 hours to do, and that was with both of us working on them. They hadn't been  serviced in some time, apparently. Chuck had done this once before on a friend's Catalina, but it has been years and wasn't above looking at the directions! We got plenty greasy, even with latex gloves on. The stooges supervised, of course, in between letting the springtime visitors to the marina know that they were being watched!

It was a lovely time on the water this Easter morning. While neither of us are religious, we are both very spiritual. We had meditative music playing on tenalach's radio while the sails were up, and hardly said a word to each other. We were both struck by the warmth of the sun, the cool breeze, the sparkle of the water, the company of the newly-returned osprey and other sea birds, who keep a wary eye on tenalach as we ply the water. The Chesapeake Bay is a beautiful wonder of nature, and we feel very connected to it. This morning before we left the slip, a beautiful jellyfish caught its tentacles on the growth on one of the pilings in our slip. A quick move with the boat hook sent it on its way, no worse for the wear. It flapped its pink body to the surface as if to thank us, and the current swept it away. These small moments of beauty helped us through the long winter, and remind us that we are all connected to the earth.

One of Chuck's college friends is coming to stay with us this week and we're very much looking forward to having a guest with us again! I think we'll need to do a post for those of you who would like to come stay overnight with us! It's not terribly difficult to acclimate to life on a boat, but there are differences from your land dwellings! Look for that one! Happy Spring and Easter to you!

Lemon, Lavender, Peppermint uses!

Lemon, Lavender, and Peppermint are sold as a starter kit for DoTerra oils because they each have so many uses. I have listed below the different uses of each oil, and highlighted my favorite uses of them! I look forward to hearing how you are using your oils. More information can be found here.
  • Air/ Water Purification
  • Common Colds/ Cold Sores
  • Constipation
  • Sad feelings
  • Sanitizing Dishes
  • Disinfecting/ Cleaning
  • Fever
  • Furniture Polish
  • Oily Hair and Skin
  • Hangover
  • Laundry
So far my favorite use for Lemon is to use a drop or two in my water during the day. This helps with purifying the water, and helps my body get the benefits of lemon. I have also been using this on my cold sore and seems to be helping it heal faster.
  • Seasonal threats like pollen and dust
  • Anxious feelings
  • Blister
  • Chapped Lips
  • Dry Skin / Diaper Rash
  • Insect Repellent
  • Poor sleep
  • Relaxing/ Sleep/ Stress
  • Stretch Marks/ Wrinkles
I have been using the Lavender on my feet or neck before I go to bed. I put some of my hands, take a nice deep breathe, and then rub it either on the bottom of my feet or my neck. I have also rubbed some on my dogs paws before I leave them for the day. This seems to help them with their anxiety while I am away at work.
  • Alertness
  • Respiratory support
  • Bad Breath
  • Cold Sores
  • Cooling
  • Cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Immune Support
  • Headache
  • Hives
  • Motion Sickness
  • Nausea/ Vomiting
Love this for bad breath! I am a coffee drinker, so I think enough second. I look forward to using this to cool me down on warm days, along with having this around for sailing trips. Just in case some nausea, or motion sickness sets in for friends on board I know this will help them!
What are you favorite uses of these oils? If you are looking for a sample, leave a comment and send me your address. Thanks!
As always, pictures of the kids. This was last night when we were watching the sunset on deck and listening to a strange as a different boat fool around on his guitar. It was wonderful and one of the simple joys of a simple life :) (And no they wouldn't look at me to take a picture...)

And so it begins

For years, I have been asked and invited to all kinds of parties to start selling all types of products. Amway, MaryKay, sports nutrition and supplementation, Beyond Organic, etc, etc etc. For years, I resisted. I knew I would not put 100% into it and therefore it would not be successful. I had yet to find a big enough "why" to starting a side home based business, and hadn't found a product that I believed in enough to put my name on it. Then I found my big why!  

The flexibility to travel with my family, and continue experiencing new adventures!

If you know me, you know I will try anything once. You also know I like to do things naturally, and always opt for the chemical free option (even if that means using baking soda on my hair or spending my afternoons making my own sunscreen and hairspray). I started working with a soul coach about 6-9 months ago, and she introduced me to Essential Oils. Now with my background, this was obviously not the first time I had run into them, but I was finally in a place to add them to my life.

What a great decision! <HAPPY DANCE>

The world of Essential Oils is huge, and can be overwhelming (resources below). But I am taking one step at a time, and I invite you to come with me. Not only are the oils natural, but they come with so many uses. With limited space on the boat, this is a huge benefit. In one small bottle, I can have a first aid kit, cooking spice, oil for aromatherapy, and much more!

To help others see the value of Essentials Oils, I will be offering free samples for the next three months with the top three most popular oils. Lavender, Peppermint, and Lemon! You will receive the sample of oil, a small spray bottle, uses and information on the oil. If you would like to be one of the individuals to receive a sample, please leave a comment below. I will be in touch to get your information to send you the sample.

There is no cost to you, I will just ask for your feedback on the oil. I look forward to seeing how essential oils can naturally help you in your life!

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doTerra blog

Because no blog should be without pictures of the pups...

Snow? On a SAILBOAT?!?!?!? Who knew…

First snow storm
First off, yes we are surviving! Second, and more importantly, I can't wait for bikini weather. I am extremely sick of layers, socks, sweater shirts, gloves, hats, scarves (for warmth, not style :)), sweat pants, sweat pants over yoga pants, and my long, dirty, puffy coat! I think you get it, just OVER THIS WEATHER!

With that off my chest, we have been learning a lot about snow on a boat. I suppose this didn't cross my mind as reality since last year everyone told me that it didn't snow in VA, and the snow last year was a fluke. Apparently, it does snow in VA. I am on my second winter here and I can count a handful of snow days.

We are currently up to three heaters. The solid fuel heater works fantastic, as long as the wind is not too high. Otherwise, we are unable to use it because the wind just blows back down the pipe and blows out the fire, along with smoking out the boat. (Not something I enjoyed waking up to, even though I did appreciate the effort from Chuck.) We have another oil heater for the aft cabin, and a small space heater. Oh, and my large babies that have been sleeping on either side of me in the bed and keeping me toasty.

Last snow storm!

The biggest concern is getting the dogs off the boat. They think the snow is quite amazing, and makes Zia jump around like a Gummy Bear. This is fine, as long as she doesn't jump herself in the water or push her brother in. So far, so good with only one really close call! We have used bath rugs for landing spots on the boat so they can get some traction to get off. We also have spent a decent amount of time and energy clearing off the boat, our dock, and the main dock of snow. This last round was REALLY wet snow, so now we are just swimming in slush! Main concern here is just ice over night with freezing temperatures. We have been using a basic kitchen broom to sweep it off, and the marina and another captain has been providing some ice melt and sand for the docks.

With this weather, we have mostly just hunkered down. Read a few books, watched some Netflix when the internet wasn't freaking out, and laid around with pups. My favorite is laying with the pups, so there has been a lot of that, as you will see from pictures below!

Lastly, I started selling doTerra oils (be on the lookout for free samples coming in March 2015). And Chuck created our very own diffuser in the boat. Simply a mason jar full of water with essential oils, and set on top of the heater. Works like a champ! We have been exploring with different scents. Chuck's nose is more sensitive, and overall I only had one that "smelt like cough syrup"! The rest have been really nice, add some relaxing music and a cup of tea and it makes for a nice snow day!

My favorite! Obviously warm by the heater with no socks and a tank top on!

Look at his silly tongue!

The busiest weekend!

With the dreary cold weather and "east coast gray" we have been experiencing in Virginia, we took advantage of one great weekend. Between being out of the slip for a change, and a mini-spring cleaning session on the boat, it was a weekend for record books!

Our first project before we could go sailing was changing out the furling line. The one that was on when we bought her was too big, and also to short. Furling was an issue, and the genoa was unable to be out all the way. With a great deal on rope at West Marine, this was an easy fix. Normally everything takes longer than expected, but somehow this did not. Simple to uninstall the old and just as simple to install the new rope. As always, Zia provided the Captain with some supervision :)

While it was forecast to be 50 degrees and light winds, about 10 mph, we invited our friends Captain Dave and Susan out for a day on the water. If nothing else, we could enjoy the Chesapeake Bay. Unfortunately the wind died when we actually got on the water, but it was still an absolutely GORGEOUS Day! We were all happy to just be out of the slip, enjoyed some fantastic cheeses, crackers, fruit, and beers that Susan and Dave supplied us with.

Since the wind was so light and we had extra hands on deck, we decided to play with a new sail. We thought it was a spinnaker, but quickly realized that was incorrect. We then decided it was an asymmetrical, and we ended up sailing it from the main hailyard and just holding the sheets. Captain Dave wanted to experiment with the spinnaker pole, so we rigged something up to try. With the small mount of wind we had, we had great success! The sail was beautiful, and we were happy to just fly it. 

After some more research, it turns out the sail was a mizzen staysail. We have learned how to properly use this, and we look forward to that for the next trip out. Until then, we learned a lot about tenalach that day. The best news is that there was nothing to report! No engine issues, no sail issues, no dog issues, no docking, etc etc. IT WAS A WIN!!!! And we couldn't be happier or more proud. Days like this make us really appreciate the leap that we took, and give us more faith in our journey. We might not always know what we are doing (as if anyone does), but we can enjoy the water on a great day, and get home safely!

Above was the fun part of the weekend, below is where the work comes in!

Since we got a fun day, we decided to take the next day to get some work done on the boat. We have been somewhat limited with this due to cold weather and rain. It has been raining on our days off, which is not helping us accomplish boat projects. Instead we find ourselves dealing with leaks, BIG thumbs down on that!

So here we go...

1. I found some mold below the mattress and below the hypervent in the aft cabin. We needed to not only change sheets, but basically tear the entire cabin apart to get to all the mold, clean it, and dry it out. I used vinegar and water to scrub. I also have another product coming that is supposed to prevent mold from growing as well. Women Who Sail recommended this, and I trust them! Because of the hypervent, mattresses, too many pillows for Captain Chuck, and the v-berth cushions in the aft cabin, when I work in there the whole boat is then occupied :) Not pictured is the v-berth cushions that were airing out on deck, and the blankets that were in a pile somewhere else on the boat. 

Pillows on the port settee

Mattresses in the v-berth

Hypervent in the hallway
Finished project! And as close to a made bed as we get
2. I bought frozen strawberries to keep in our small freezer, first time since moving aboard. We seemed to have no issues, until I went to pull a beer out and it had frozen red water on the top. Upon more inspection, apparently the frozen strawberries melted just enough to leak everywhere and then freeze again! Delightful! The below picture shows the galley taken over so I can stick the top half of my body in the fridge to clean!

3. Captain needed to work in the engine room. When we changed our water filters, we didn't bleed the line completely. However we didn't realize this until we were running off of our tanks versus the hose. Obviously Enzo needed to supervise this time!

4. Lastly, heater! We obviously installed the new heater, but keeping it producing heat is another story. We have been using lump hardwood wood charcoal from Ace Hardware which works great, but we burn through it so fast! Five pounds/day.  Since Chuck works from home, it is literally burning all day. When it is burning, Zia likes it as a face warmer and is intrigued by the popping and cracking of the fire. 

The electric heater we were using is mostly just a fan now. Apparently we burned it out on the cold nights before our new heater.

We are now working with Anthracite, which is a great heat producer. But we are having quite the time keeping this lit. While there are frustrations with it, it is also nice to figure something out versus just turning a switch on. Until then, wool socks are my best friend (even while I sleep). And if you've paid attention, I dislike wearing socks all the time!

Here is to warmer weather, and being slightly jealous of those in warmer temperatures! It will be our turn before long, and I like to think we will appreciate it that much more after experiencing waking up to 47 degrees in the boat. BRRR!
~ Me and my pups!