All posts by Chuck Stollery

Visiting tenalach

Hello again our friends! We figured we should probably do a post on "what to expect" if you're visiting and staying with us on the boat. We'll have some fun with it, so it's not all logistics!

RULE #1: Stay in/on the boat.

RULE #2: Refer to Rule #1.

Now that THAT'S out of the way...

What do I bring?

The short answer is, as little as possible, in as soft a bag as you have. You'll likely be either snuggling with that bag or shoving it into a corner or storage compartment while you're here. Large or stiff suitcases have to stay in the car or in the cockpit, which means they're in the way and exposed to the weather. Just don't bring them, if you can. Bring weather-appropriate things, and something warm just in case it's a lot cooler on the water than you think it will be. It likely will be. We have plenty of jackets, but not many hoodies or fleeces, since cotton and humidity don't really mix. We don't care if you wear the same shirt, jeans, or shorts, every day you're here. It works for us. Bathing suit for sure. FAIR WARNING: It's really hard to move around the topside of the boat in jeans, especially for you gents. We have access to laundry if you really need it or are staying longer than a few days. Bring your regular toiletries, but leave the hair gadgets at home, you can use the admiral's. Hair dryers and straighteners take up a LOT of space and use a LOT of power. Let us help you with those. We have towels you can use, so don't worry about those. Bring a hat with a brim and sunglasses. For footwear, boat shoes or tennis shoes are the best. Flip Flops and other open-heeled sandals are dangerous when underway, but fine for inside the boat. For you list types:

  • Duffel Bag
  • Toiletries
  • Hat and Sunglasses
  • Warm Layer
  • No Hair Dryers or Straighteners
  • The fewer cotton items the better
  • No Towels
  • Things you don't mind slobber or dog hair on
  • Non-marking soled, closed heeled shoes. Reef-type sandals are fine. 

What's it like?

Well, first off, it moves. Just about all the time. As weight shifts from one side to the other, the boat moves. The wind moves it, too. You won't notice it in the slip after a while, unless it's really blowing, but if you're prone to motion sickness, you might want to bring your preferred treatment method. Some people prefer Ginger, Dramamine, Balance Bands, whatever works best for you. At night, the gentle motion will lull you to sleep. 

We have dogs. They're big, and they love people. You'll likely try to sit in their space, which means they'll want to sit on you. The picture above is very common on tenalach. If you don't like dogs, you might want to consider a hotel. We'll still be glad to take you sailing, but you won't be happy in close quarters with 200lbs of dog if you just don't really like them.

The composting toilet takes a little getting used to, but it's pretty simple. Have to go #1? Open the lid and go. Ladies, drop your paper in the can next to the toilet. Mist with the green bottle (Apple Cider Vinegar solution for sterilizing and urine odor control). Have to #2, open the trap door, do your business, drop your paper in the hole, close the door, turn the handle. That's it. No water, no flushing.

We shower in the marina bathrooms, which are modern and very clean, but they are shared. There are 3 shower stalls in each, lockers for your things and a towel rack. They are locked and not really "public," but we do share them with other liveaboards.

Do you have electricity?

It may sound silly, but we've had people ask. Yes, of course we have electricity. We have wifi too. And a stove and oven, too! Even a refrigerator! We fancy!

Where will I sleep?

Wherever you're most comfortable, but most likely in the V-berth. It is private and has lights and a power outlet for your gadgets, and you're right next to the head if you need to use it at night. It will not move much as it's close to the centerline of the boat, and we rarely get any kind of waves big enough to rock a 23,000 lb boat up and down. You've got a window and an overhead hatch as well, for ventilation. If you come in the winter, it's close to the coal stove as well, so you'll be plenty warm. We'll have sheets and either blankets or a sleeping bag for you, whichever you prefer. We'll let you know if it's going to be crowded and you'll need to sleep somewhere else, but we haven't had that problem yet. The v-berth will sleep two adults comfortably and has leg room enough for my 6'4 self to stretch all the way out. 

Can I drink the water from the faucets?

Absolutely. The water is from a city source and filtered at least once. We have a 2nd under-sink filter in the galley and a brita in the fridge. You may experience a little bit of a "canteen" taste, but it is very safe. 

What if I fall overboard?

In the very unlikely event that you do indeed go in the water and you're alone,  the first thing is not to panic. Your phone's already dead and you're already wet. Nothing is going to eat you. There is a ladder up to the dock right next to the boat. If you cannot pull yourself up there, there is a floating dock 4 slips away. If you go in and one of us is right there, we'll simply lower the swim ladder on the stern of the boat and you can climb right up. Again, this is very unlikely unless you try something stupid. Accidents do happen and I have had to pull a dock neighbor out of the water, but it is rare. 

If you go overboard while we're underway, you've violated rules 1 and 2. DO NOT TRY TO SWIM TO THE BOAT. If nobody sees or hears you go over, (extremely unlikely), holler for help. We'll toss you a float if you aren't wearing a life vest, and we'll come around and get you. Stay where you are, conserve your energy. Don't try to get to the boat until we've stopped the engine and called you over. You don't want to get nicked by the prop, I promise you. If you go overboard, let the rest of the crew do the work until you're asked or told to get in gear. But seriously, stay in the boat.

What will we do?

Well we'd LIKE to go sailing! That will totally depend on the weather, though. Liveaboard life is pretty quiet most days, unless we're going out on the water or doing maintenance. If there's something you'd like to see or do, let us know and we can arrange it. 

When can I visit?

Just give us some advance notice! Chuck travels frequently for work, and Michelle works Tuesday-Saturday, but we'll make it work if you want to come see us! The best weather is about mid-April through the end of October while we're in the bay. We look forward to seeing you!

Ultimate Adventure

"The journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain curtain of this world rolls back and all turns to silver glass. And then you see it. White shores, and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise." Tolkein

All living things on this earth are on a one-way journey. We all believe differently; some that death is simply a transformation, some that death marks the end of our existence. Those who have the gift of a Christian faith believe that the living are called home to the heavenly hosts, to live in eternal bliss. I don't know what comes after our bodies expire, but I certainly hope it's something.

I am currently in Beverly Hills, FL, readying with my family to say goodbye to my maternal grandmother, Dorothy Wilmot. This has been a tough two years for the Stollery/Wilmot clan. In March 2013 my maternal grandfather passed away. Since then, my paternal grandmother has been diagnosed with vascular dementia and has been moved to a memory unit. She is a shadow of her former self. "Dottie," my maternal grandmother (my mom's parents divorced in the early 80s) had her latent CLL (leukemia) kick in and really knock her down. She had been in remission before her sudden passing last week. My grandfather's 2nd wife, of whom we are very fond, was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer. We just got news that she is cancer-free.  In December 2013, our great aunt Erna, affectionately known as "Aunt Sis," shuffled off her mortal coil.

I did not know Dottie well in my adult life. She moved to Florida in the mid 90s and we only crossed paths a handful of times after that. I visited her for the first time in Florida just last year, while she was being treated for her leukemia. It was good to spend a few days here. I got to know Dottie better in those few days than I had in many years prior. I am grateful for the time I did spend near her.

 It reminded me that there is no greater gift than time spent with loved ones. 

As I sit in her fancy chair in her living room, I imagine her bright smile again set free from pain and discomfort. She loved and and was loved well. The outpouring from the community here as been wonderful so far, and I anticipate that she will be sent on her ultimate adventure tomorrow surrounded by MANY friends and family.

I am convinced that relationships are why we're all here. Surround yourself with and spend time with people that mean something to you. Work at it. I'll be doing making some calls and taking some trips this year, investing in the people and relationships that mean most to me.

<insert quote about life being a gift and precious.>

But seriously. Don't wait.

Earth and Fire

We've had our composting head now a couple of months, and so far we love it! The only issue we've had, oddly enough, is learning how to go #1 properly! I'll spare you the details, but let's just say we've both had to improve our aim.

We've had to empty the solids basin twice now. The first time was a bit clunky; we didn't have the right size bag and it was the first time. The second time was a lot smoother and less messy. Both times, though, I expected it to be a nasty job with nasty smells. I was surprised both times when the only odor coming from the basin was similar to potting soil: earthy and mossy. Honestly the liquids bottle smells worse than the solids basin, but we cleaned that out too! The venting system is working great! You can only smell any odor from the unit when the wind is VERY strong from a particular direction, or when you're sitting right next to the vent filling the water tank. It isn't overbearing, more of an "oh, I smell the vent!"

We are VERY happy with our Nature's Head Composting Toilet, and would recommend it for anyone who has a need for a toilet in a basement, cabin, RV, boat, or tiny house, and doesn't want to mess with plumbing or a holding tank. Or, if you're just hippies like us and want to go more green!

The Lost Art of Burning Coal (Anthracite)

We purchased some Anthracite from Blaschak Coal for our solid fuel heater. We love the lump hardwood charcoal, but we were just burning through it too quickly. We still use the lump charcoal when starting and "re lighting" the coal, but the anthracite is our primary heat source for the solid fuel heater. It produces a wonderful heat, but since there is no shaker grate to knock the ash off, we have to re-light it about every 6 hours. This is still less attention than had been required for the lump charcoal, which required adding fuel every hour or so. Anthracite burns incredibly cleanly, producing no visible smoke from the stack on deck. There is only a smell as it's lighting up, so it keeps our neighbors happy, too. Since I work from the boat, and the last few weeks have been pretty chilly here in Hampton, I keep it running nearly all day. The next two weeks are not looking much better, with lows in the teens. We replaced our electric space heater with a baseboard-style convective heater with no moving parts, so hopefully it will last longer than our last heater, which had a fan and 3 heating elements. It's still a bit chilly in the morning, when the Dickinson has been out for a few hours as we sleep, but it's certainly not unbearable.

We know when it's gotten cold in the main cabin, though, because the stooges migrate into our bed. Enzo is the ninja of the two, we usually don't feel him get up in bed at all. We just wake up with him laying on our feet or legs. Zia, on the other hand, is not as graceful. With her short stature and bum leg, she either launches herself blindly onto the bed, or just warbles at us until we lift her on. Once on the bed she attempts to lay directly on top of whomever she landed on, and works hard to stay there. By morning, I'm smashed against the aft bulkhead, usually with my lower back and rear end sticking out from the covers (brr!). Enzo is quite comfortable in a princely position at the foot of the bed, and Zia is taking up more mattress space than the Admiral and I combined. We'll put up with this until the cold snap passes, but we'll be reclaiming our bed then! 

Warming up the Cabin

Well we finally got it installed! Behold: the Dickinson Newport Solid Fuel cabin heater! It took us two days (getting used to that), some elbow grease, and a lot of patience, but as I sit here drinking my orange spice tea from Adam's Mountain Cafe (Manitou Springs, CO), the heater is burning lump hardwood charcoal and putting out a gentle, steady heat. A neat side effect is the wonderful, rustic smell that emanates from the charcoal. It's way better than any odor a diesel or kerosene heater would generate! It's only been about 12 hours, but so far we are thoroughly enjoying this heater. We'd like to burn anthracite in it, but have not yet found a retailer that would sell in single bags. Since my parents live in WV, they're looking for some for us up there. If anyone knows of where we can get some either locally in Hampton Roads/Richmond or shipped to us, please leave a comment!

The installation of the heater was relatively straightforward in its technical demands; but of course, a bit involved in execution. The most difficult part of the installation, both technically and emotionally, is cutting a hole in the boat. There's something completely counter-intuitive about doing that, and I just don't like it much. Because we have a rack for our rigid dinghy on the cabin top directly above where the heater is installed on the bulkhead, we had to shift the chimney stack starboard by 2 feet and aft by about a foot, to leave the dinghy a safe distance from the heat of the stainless steel stack. We also had to balance keeping the flue a safe distance from anywhere someone would put their head or hands. After the location was decided, the fun began! We went to our local Ace Hardware and picked up a 5" hole saw to do the deed, and got to it. headliner down, start drilling. I went from the top down for most of it. The pic to the left is just cleaning up the last bits from underneath. Below is what the rough cut looked like after about 4 hours of drill, charge, drill, charge. I guess we need a new battery!

 Once the hole was complete, we called it a night at about midnight. The forecast was for a pretty solid line of storms the next morning, so I went up, put the through deck fitting over the hole, covered it with a bucket, and made sure it was secure. After the rain the next morning, I went up to complete the through-deck installation. After a couple false starts, I realized that the screws Dickinson provided were not self-tapping, so a quick delivery of drill bits through our new 5-inch hole from the admiral and we got the through deck centered and locked down. Drop the H-style cap on, and the above-deck part was complete. Note: the flue is only 3 inches in diameter. The installation manual required a 1-inch air gap all the way around the pipe as it went through the deck. We lined the inside of the hole with life caulk to protect from any water intrusion that is sure to happen at some point. The through deck fitting has a weather gasket under the screws.

After we placed the flue pipe where it needed to be, we marked  where the liner and heater needed to be set, drilled the bolt holes through the liner and bulkhead and locked it down. Of course it takes 10 seconds to write it, and about 3 hours to actually do. 

Zia was project manager for this one. 
We got that all installed, peeled the protective plastic from the stainless flue and liner, and fired her up. We're very happy with this purchase and it gives us freedom to anchor on cool nights, without the need to be tied to power for our electric heater. Below is the finished project. Pardon the mess with the settee, we're redoing that, too. 

And here's a silly video of me and Enzo, just for fun!

Our First Winter Aboard and New Stuff!

Well, it's been a month since we've blogged, and winter is in full force in Hampton. Extreme High and Low tides, rapid temperature and weather changes, slippery docks, and my all-time favorite, "East Coast Gray." 39 degrees and raining is the absolute worst. Tenalach is doing great, though!
East Coast Gray on the Ponds, Dec 2014
In better news, we ordered and installed our Nature's Head Composting Toilet! Our original head setup was with two manual pump marine toilets plumbed to a direct-overboard discharge. This is illegal within three miles of any US coastline, and so not a viable option for us to keep, in that setup. We could have opted to plumb them for a holding tank, but after our dock neighbors on Veritas had a leaky holding tank, we weren't interested. On top of that, having a large tank of poop soup sloshing around under the V-berth didn't sound very appealing to us. So we removed both of those when we were in the yard at Dandy Haven, and traded them with the owners of an Endeavor for their cushions, which they were replacing anyway. We'd been using a port-a-potty from a friend for emergencies, but mostly using the marina bathrooms to do our business. With winter fast approaching, we knew this would not be a viable situation for us, so we did the research and took the plunge into the composting world. So far, we just love it. We've had one single issue with the installation (and it was my fault), which was not securing the agitator handle correctly. We've got that situated and we're golden. No odor, no chemicals, no poop soup. 

Of course, it wasn't that straightforward. We removed all the original pedestal material as it had molded and was stinky. We rebuilt the pedestal with marine polymer material (which was crazy expensive), to give the head enough clearance off the hull that it would not take up the entire compartment. We had to consider seat height and clearance from the sides as well. The resulting compromise was to angle it slightly so that it fit snugly against the hull, and gave more standing room in front of the sink and mirror. 

Sparing you all the details, you fill this thing with peat moss and do your business into a trap door, spin the agitator handle and the material breaks down into dirt. This is rated for 2 people to use full time for 30 days before it needs emptied. Since we use the marina bathroom and Michelle works outside the boat, we won't need to empty it that much. 

Liquid waste is diverted into the 2.2 gallon tank in the front of the unit. This is easy to remove and empty into any toilet. The only resources the Nature's Head uses is a very low draw of 12v power to run a computer fan that keeps the fumes generated by the composting process vented overboard. I re-purposed one of the light fixtures to provide access to the 12v line.  In the picture above left, you can see the vent hose coming from the right side of the unit. We used a hole saw to make a hole in the side of the cabin, put a nice stainless steel louvered vent cover on top of it after sealing it all with LifeCaulk. It turned out pretty nice and we've had no leakage or odor whatsoever. We insulated the hull (not yet covered) before putting in the new pedestal. 

While we were just finishing up the project, I emerged from the head compartment and noticed our lights where very dim in the cabin. I went to the engine room to check on the battery charger and found that it was no longer functioning. No lights. Nothing. Looked for fuses, tried everything. It was dead. There wasn't enough juice left to start the engine to charge the batteries, so we powered down everything that ran on the batteries to a single light bulb in whatever cabin we were in, and I went to get a new charger first thing in the morning. 

While in the engine room rewiring the batteries to the new charger, I decided I would take the opportunity to remove the factory charger that was long-defunct. This thing was HEAVY, but only on one side. As I was hauling it up on top of a rolling suitcase to dispose of it, it fell off and landed on the back of my leg. It was only a minor cut as I had two layers on, but the impact HURT. Three days later I woke up to a swollen and black and blue ankle! It lasted two weeks. Unfortunately we were traveling a bunch and didn't get any photos. Sorry!
We've also gotten a dehumidifier to help with the "indoor rain" that accompanies winter on sailboats. We found a nice, out of the way spot for it and it can drain right into the sink, so no need to empty the tank! 

It hasn't all been cold and dreary! We did get one quick sail in on a very warm day in December. It was very light wind and calm seas, perfect for taking photos!

Talk of tenalach

It't not all so serious! Sometimes the stooges just talk to each other. This time was Enzo trying to convince Zia it was his turn on the bed, which was on the floor.

Just a little laugh for you today! Happy 12/13/14!

Our First Cruise

We were lucky enough to be part of a group of boats (flotilla) heading to Norfolk for the annual Grand Illumination Parade! We reserved a slip for the night at Waterside Marina, in the heart of Downtown Norfolk, and set to making plans.

Crewmate Susan, of Veritas
The admiral couldn't make the trip down, as she had to work, so our dock neighbors Capt Dave and his wife Susan were gracious enough to lend me a hand to get tenalach from Southall Landings in Hampton down to waterside. It was about a 20 mile trip, and took us almost exactly 3.5 hours. The wind was out of the south, which gave us some sailing time between the outer marker to our home channel and the turn toward the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, but we had to motor sail the rest of the way, as the wind was nearly right on our nose. We didn't have time to beat the wind to death on our way to Norfolk. We dropped the mizzen and furled the jenny, content to continue making headway and be in our slip before sunset.

The trip down was uneventful, which we love. We passed a large container ship from Hong Kong anchored inside the HRBT, which upon raising its anchor, found that it fouled in its own anchor chain. They dropped it again when we were about 200 yards off, and it sounded like a jet engine! What a roar!

As we were passing NOB Norfolk, where all the large navy ships are berthed, Susan broke out some delectable cheese and crackers, and I had a wrap that I'd gotten earlier at farm fresh. We had great conversation, and tenalach's  Perkins diesel purred right along. The air temp was about 50 degrees when we left, and steadily declined as we sailed toward the setting sun.

Capt Jonathan of Tempo, who organized the trip, coincidentally met up with us as he was departing Willoughby Bay. He hailed us and we laughed about the timing, and he let me know about 3 other boats that were close by and heading to Waterside to enjoy the festivities. Soon after, we got word over the radio that the S/V Blue Ghost was hard aground near the Norfolk International Terminals. Blue Ghost was sailing again before we got to her, and we passed her in the channel in the Elizabeth River. We ended up being berthed right next to her at Waterside, and her crew were good people!

Ah, the most fun part of the trip. It was my first time docking at a new marina AND in a floating slip that was two boats wide. Since we have to dock stern-to, this required turning tenalach around in very tight quarters and back her into a starboard tie up. Suffice it to say that I have not mastered prop walk. We ended up directly diagonal in the slip, tossing lines to the dock hand to pull our bow in. He assured us it happens all the time, and despite judgmental looks from our powerboat neighbor, we got into the slip and tied up without hitting anything. The admiral met us shortly, we took the stooges for a potty break and began the festivities! Several friends made their way to tenalach, and we made even more new ones! Lots of sailors came by to meet the stooges and see our home, and a good time was had by all.
Capt Dave of Veritas and our good friend Ginny!

A group of 7 of us went to Hells Kitchen on Granby St in Norfolk, then retired to tenalach  for the rest of the evening.

The admiral and I got an early start the next morning, so she could get to her pottery class by 1. At 0830 the engine was running and we were making the undocking plan to depart Waterside and head back to Southall Landings. There was NO wind, so despite being prepared and hopeful to get some sailing in, it was again a motor trip. The temperature was about the same as the trip down and rising, but Sunday was cloudy. It was a shorter trip without the wind on our nose and we arrived back at our home slip at 1130. After a couple false starts, I had tenalach lined up and moving into the slip without so much as kissing a rub rail! It was a nice change from the embarrassment the previous day. We tied up, cleaned up, and got the admiral off to class, while the stooges and I took a well-needed nap! All in all, a great first cruise with great friends, and we look forward to doing it again!

Admiral's favorite picture from the day!

Antibes to Tenalach

The Transformation

Many of you wanted to see some before and after pics of the work we've done on our home, so I'll detail some of them here. First, the biggest investment we made: fiberglass work on the keel and a bottom job. We had several blisters to take care of, which was not that big of a deal, but the area needing attention on the keel was more than we wanted to attempt ourselves. Craig from Coastal Fiberglass did the work for us.

 For the paint, we used Trinidad SR over a coat of Interlux Primocon. Since we didn't know what was on the bottom when we got the boat, we thought it was better safe than sorry. The bottom job was dirty, took forever, and cost us a month's salary, but the Trinidad paint is rated for 3+ years. We'll see!

The Headliner

You may have seen what the "ceiling" looked like when we purchased tenalach. It was, to put it nicely, a "hot mess." Imagine the original marine plywood, fastened to the underside of the cabin top, then a vinyl liner much like what you'd find in older cars, then a layer of household fiberglass insulation held up by thin plywood. Add to that years of a leaky mast, and what resulted was a moldy, smelly mess. We took it all down in the main cabin and replaced it with PVC wainscot tongue-and-groove paneling. It might sound like it was easy, but it took us the better part of a month to get everything out, dry, and hung. After some trim, it looks pretty good!
Rotten plywood from a leaky mast/deck joint
After removing what was needed, down to the fiberglass

The Deck

Since the stooges aren't exactly the most graceful things on the boat, and the admiral and I have our moments, too, we added lifeline netting around the deck. This was a bit of a pain, but not terribly expensive, and gives us all peace of mind. We also put some grip tape on the aft cabin trunk to help the stooges get up and down off the aft deck. 

The Forward Cabin

The forward cabin has dual functions as the guest quarters and the Stooge Cabin. They're quite comfortable in there, and we've fashioned a restraining door that has worked beautifully. Big thanks to my dad, "the Colonel," for his hard work designing and constructing the door. We keep the guest cushions in the aft cabin with us, so if you come visit, they'll be clean for you!

 The Floor

We knew when we bought tenalach that new carpet would have to happen. The existing carpet was in pieces, full of mold, smelly, and simply just ugly. We replaced with a remnant from Abbey Carpet in Newport News, and were lucky enough to get enough square footage, with enough padding for under $120. We're very happy with it, and since we plan to replace it every year, this is a price point we can be comfortable with. And now we have a pattern, so it will go much more smoothly next time!
The finished main salon

 There's more to tell....
We have not yet finished converting the head to a composting toilet, but we'll update you as soon as we do! We've also got our eye on a diesel cabin heater....

For now, we and the stooges are quite comfortable! Stay Tuned!

2 Weeks in and DOG OVERBOARD!

Well, we've just about made it to the two week mark! We're still working on making tenalach a bit more home-y, but we're already feeling quite at home. All 4 of us are sleeping better each night, and Zia is making herself quite comfortable!

Enzo, on the other hand, is still figuring it out.

Shell's mom came to visit this past weekend, and got to experience some great and not so great things! Just a couple hour after she arrived, Zia got a little ambitious with the boarding ramp and went overboard. I heard Shell say "OH ^%$@ Zia's in!" and we all sprang to action. It was dark, and I didn't realize that Deb still had a hold of Zia's leash, which was attached to her safety harness. I was going for the boat hook and to drop the swim ladder, but before I could, Deb and Michelle had Zia back on deck. She was a little cold and pumped full of adrenaline, but otherwise uninjured.

We took tenalach out on her first sail. We bit off a bit more than we could chew with having an overnight guest and two other friends, Erika and AJ, on the boat with us for the first time, AND the dogs going on their first sail. The wind was blowing about 18 knots, which the boat LOVED, but the dogs didn't like the heeling so much.

The trip started with us leaving a spring line attached when leaving the slip, which is always embarrassing. We got that cleared and out into the fairway and channel with no other issues. Once out far enough into the bay, we put up the main and relaxed for a bit. We then rolled out our large genoa, and tenalach sprang to life! We briefly topped 8 kts through the water, and we didn't even put up the mizzen. We were VERY pleased with how she sailed. We learned a LOT as we went out and rounded the Thimble Shoal light, which you can see both from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel. On our way to the light, Enzo decided he wanted to be in the cockpit, which is a safer place for him anyway. He was comfy there until we tacked and he slid right off onto the cockpit floor, taking some of our skin with his claws as he went. We had originally put the dogs on the aft cabin trunk, thinking they'd just stay out of the way. They didn't, opting to stand RIGHT next to the helm and directly over the traveler. This is obviously not safe, and as we got around the lighthouse we pulled the sails in and motored back. We will have to find a different place for them next time. Here are some images; it was a beautiful day! Thanks to Erika for taking these photos.

Securing the Stooges!

The Admiral!

Thimble Shoal Light. Ocean View Beach in Norfolk is in the background.

And so, our adventure continues! Stay tuned for more of our story, and subscribe to get new posts delivered straight to your email!

Turned the Corner!

We finally feel like we've turned the corner from tearing things up/out of the boat and into putting what we want IN the boat. The headliner and side paneling started going up today, and will make an ENORMOUS difference in the look and feel of the main cabin.

It's been a messy job! The admiral has done all the priming and painting.

We've engaged Craig from Coastal Fiberglass to repair our keel. He assures us that he can get it done in enough time to allow us to paint the bottom and get tenalach back in the water no later than the 10th. He'll start Thursday. We'll be cutting it very close, but we'll have enough time to finish the interior and start to move things aboard while he works. We will most definitely be ready for a relaxing sail and a rum cocktail when this phase of work is all done! Our good friend Dan has been awesome, and claimed the end of the bowsprit as "his spot" today while working on the windlass.

The boat is still a mess, but we're really getting close!