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!

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!

My store
doTerra blog

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

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.

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!

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! 

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!

How to make your boat a home

Just because you move into a new house, or buy a boat to live in, this does not make it a home. From different conversations I have had with people, whether online or in person, they ask how did you make your boat a home? In short, I made it ours! With a few decorating techniques and a little bit of love, tenalach quickly become our home. A place for us to relax, be comfortable, and enjoy the simple things in life. Below are my top five things, in no particular order, that helped to make tenalach our home.

1. Lighting
2. Smells
3. Hanging Decorations
4. Carpet 
5. Be aware of the clutter!

Lighting - one of the biggest changes we noticed was when we went from dark brown in the entire boat (including the ceiling) to an off white. We had to replace some side paneling, and when we replaced them we also painted them an off white to add some light to the boat. The headliner we put in was PVC and that was painted the same color. Instantly, the top half of the boat was white and therefore lighter.

As far as physical lighting goes, Chuck and I really prefer a warm light. (This was something we discovered when his mom came to help me decorate our first home in Manitou Springs, CO. We had to buy new lamps, and it made such a huge difference for us.) For us to create an even softer light on the boat, we recently purchased new lamp shades and man WHAT A DIFFERENCE. I am almost annoyed at what an impact a $13 lamp shade from Defender Industries is making!

Smells - Scent is tied to memories, therefore we try to "burn" some of our favorite memories. One of our favorite things is to burn incense, both for the scent and for the spiritual benefits. I recently purchased sage smudges for Chuck, which historically were used to send bad spirits away. I like to think it sends some of his work stress out from the boat before I get home, so I have a relaxing environment when I get home. Chuck's mother gave us a smudge spray to use as well for Christmas.

We have large dogs. They smell. We have beds for our large dogs. They smell. Hmm... We had to invest in a fabric cleaner to help with some of this because we are in much smaller quarters and during the winter we are not able to spray the dogs off with the hose or throw the beds out to air out. Very soon I will be trying different doTerra oils that are meant to do the same thing, but are obviously much more natural. I will keep you updated!

Hanging Decorations - While wall space is limited, and taking up too much space will make the space seem smaller, a few well placed pieces make a big difference. We have a couple frames hanging with family pictures and have some art we bought together at an Art Festival in Manitou Springs, CO. Lastly, I somewhat took over the aft head and added some of my daily affirmations and inspirations while I get ready. We lovingly call this Cookie's Corner :)

Part of Cookie's Corner

Carpet - Chuck and I both don't like wearing shoes, and I really don't like socks either. One of my favorite things to do is take off shoes and socks after work so my feet are FREE! Walking on a cold, wood floor was not working for us. We spent the $120 on carpet and it made such a difference in making this boat a warm and comfortable place where you don't need shoes!

Before... eww!

After :)

Clutter - I know Chuck would agree with me when I say he has spent the majority of his life NOT putting things away. This obviously does not work on a boat. In my opinion, tenalach is like a really big, 3-D puzzle. We are still making changes as we add different things to the boat (composting head, dehumidifier, heater), and after getting new collapsible kitchen gear for Christmas. But clutter very quickly takes away from this amazing little home we can have. We both had temper tantrums at one point or another because something didn't fit right, or we still had too much stuff. We are slowly getting there, and realizing that if we just pick up after ourselves right away, this makes for a much happier boat and couple. Plus the dogs can't eat it or slobber on it if we pick it up!

I would love to know how you made your boat your home! I am always looking for tips!

~ Cookie, and Enzo my lapdog :)

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!