Workbench overhaul

Author Bagging, or why writers are cool…

A lot of people are fans of TV & movie fiction.  Generally, they tend to gravitate towards the actors who portray certain roles.  Anyone remember the fangirls fawning over Leonard Nimoy as Spock?

I’ve never been like that.

Actors are fine I suppose, they do bring their own twist and interpretation to the writers work.

But the writers… Ah, the writers.  The wellspring from which the cool stories and ideas emerge!  I really like the company of writers.  They’re interesting people. If you want to engage in a particular story, the actors will have very little depth, and almost no personal stake in what they’ve portrayed.  But talk to the author, and there is often an abundance of backstory, thought, world creation, intrigue and plot that had to be cut from the final product.  For many authors, their stories are very much alive.  I love having conversations with writers.

So without further ado, a list of my favorite author’s blogs.  May you find as much illumination there as I have.

Melinda Snodgrass:
Thomas Thurston Thomas:
Dayton Ward:
David Brin:
C.J Cherryh:
Diane Duane:

I’ll add more as I recollect and revisit.


Workbench overhaul

Boat organization and all that comes with it

Original post started way back in Nov 2016!

I follow The Boat Galley blog, receiving their weekly newsletter.  This week, I came across a post on boat organization, and it got me to thinking,

Bill and I have been steadily working on organizing all the little spaces on Shindyah – what should go where based on need and frequency.  I have found that it’s most definitely an ongoing process.

Fast forward to 10 January 2018 and wow!

I am still working towards sussing out the optimal organization on Shindyah. Carolyn nailed it! How one has their boat organized will depend on the situation. Cruising organization definitely needs to be different than when you’re tied up in a slip. During the last sailing season, we had a glass break whilst heeling substantially. It was the first casualty since SV Shindyah became part of the family. Sure, it was up in the glasses nook, but the table was not put away, and the glass was not in the corner of the cabinet. TUMBLE!

The only time I’ve experienced sea sick icks.

Now I know, don’t leave breakable glasses where they can fall. Let alone attempt to clean up the mess whilst underway, under wind power.

The appearance of chaos

Organized chaos
When a project is in flight, the chaos appears

One might wonder what it looks like aboard when boat organization is thrown to the wind. Where do you put everything when working in a specific space?

The answer, wherever you can find empty space.






Projects, projects, and more projects

Yarnie aboard
That’s a lot of yarn …

I digress – boat organization. On a boat. 41 feet of where can we stow this, and that, and all this other stuff. Like my yarn. Vacuum bags are a godsend! My yarn stash is stowed neatly beneath the dining settee. I have managed to limit myself to two in-flight yarn projects at a time. That way they both fit in my nifty crochet bag, along with the plarn I collect for various other crochet projects.





Boat workbench project

Boat organization and projects
Half way there!

Bill is in the process of organizing the workbench with a ‘tool book’. He’s built us a work table that folds down when we need the port side settee for guests. Unless it’s summertime, then the dorm fridge sits there, so it’s not in Kyrie’s cabin. When a project, or projects, are in flight, there appears to be no organization at all. Controlled chaos, essentially. However, once the tool book is finished, my Sunbrella fabric will be strewed, seemingly about haphazardly in appearance, but with ordered chaos! As I complete my current sewing projects – hatch covers.



Workbench overhaul

Liveaboard challenges: Wintering on the Chesapeake Bay

Honey, why do we live where the wind hurts our face?

This winter season is our second aboard SV Shindyah. Not only have we dealt with some bitterly cold temps, like -4F, but some rather intense tide swings as well. High tide on Sunday was lower than low tide typically is. Low tide, well now, what more can I say but ‘Nothin’ but mud, baby!’. Yep, that’s right. Our keel all snuggled into the Chessie mud; which makes for some creative ways of getting on and off one’s sailboat. Or, in this case, staying aboard. Either way, such adventures are par for the course for those who choose the liveaboard lifestyle.

SV Shindyah winter 2018
Is it low tide, or high tide?!


With the frigid temps, which brought snow with them, not to mention nicking our tub water and dumping it around the Boston area for a holiday, our hatch kept freezing. Guess what that means – you got it! A wee bit of trouble getting OUT or into the boat. More so out, of course. Who would’ve thunk you’d ever need a heat gun for a door key! William got crafty and stuck one of the small space heaters on the top step and left the hatch cover snapped only at the very top to provide a comfy blanket of heat for said hatch. It worked, for the most part. What we need is a decently warm day to melt the ice and wind to dry things off a bit. One more challenge under our belts as liveaboards.


SV Shindyah wintering on the Chessie
Is this high tide, or low tide? Low tide! About an hour before.

The water is starting to return to Lerch Creek. Burst fenders are getting replaced (a friend of ours whose on another dock here at HYH experienced this), boats returning to more reasonable boarding levels. The bubblers are no longer churning the top four inches of water.

Life has returned to winter normalcy at this point.

Back to the usual turning off a space heater to run the coffee pot and water heater. It’s just like living on the ship Serenity. And here I thought we were on a 1991 Morgan 41′ Classic, not a Firefly Class vessel. Then again, I am lovingly referred to as Kaylee after all. So maybe Shindyah just might be a TARDIS powered by Firefly technology, stuck as a sailing vessel. With broken time circuits.

The temps here will reach almost 60F by Friday. Crazy, ain’t it! It’ll be warm enough to beak out the bikini and boat drinks. I still think it would have been a hoot if William had gotten a piccie of me ‘snowbathing’ with a boat drink whilst it was snowing. Would make a great GISHWHES item! Hmmm, maybe I should suggest this idea to Misha Collins …


Locker and mattress condensation issues thwarted
Den-Dry Condensation Products
Got condensation issues?


One thing we’ve found incredibly useful the past two winters is Den-Dry. Ravenwolf Marine’s mattress underlay and locker liner products have helped to keep our clothes dry and our aft cabin mattress free of mildew funk. Considering my allergy to mildew, this has been a godsend at keeping my headaches to a minimum. If only it would help the hatch drips over my laptop. Alas, that is a propane heat byproduct in the severe cold.

Workbench overhaul

I Owe my Soul to West Marine…

I posted this to my sailing groups… But not publically. A Maness Original, with profound apologies to Tennessee Ernie Ford.

(To the tune of 16 Tons)

maintenanceSome people see a sailor, say he’s got it good
Poor sailor spends his life misunderstood
It looks so easy when the sunny wind blows
But there’s a hole in the water where his money goes

You fix sixteen holes, what do you get
The boat’s still leakin’ and the bilge is still wet
I’ve spent more money than you’ve ever seen
I owe my soul to West Marine.

I started one mornin’ when the sun didn’t shine
Signed all the papers and the sailboat was mine
Untied from the pier, sailed out for the bay
The curse was on me from the very first day

You fix sixteen holes, what do you get
The boat’s still leakin’ and the bilge is still wet
I’ve spent more money than you’ve ever seen
I owe my soul to West Marine.

The wind started howling, it was a rising gale
It blew right through all of my brand new sails
Thought I’d be alright but I was going too slow
There was three feet of water when I looked below

You fix sixteen holes, what do you get
The boat’s still leakin’ and the bilge is still wet
I’ve spent more money than you’ve ever seen
I owe my soul to West Marine.

Now she’s lyin on the bottom, my heart just sank
But I’ll bring her up again, another loan from the bank
When you see me coming, man toss me a line
Cause I don’t have a dime I can still call mine

You fix sixteen holes, what do you get
The boat’s still leakin’ and the bilge is still wet
I’ve spent more money than you’ve ever seen
I owe my soul to West Marine.

— Capt. Bill Maness, SV Shindyah

Workbench overhaul

Winter is coming…

Laura and I began to notice that the main salon heat wasn’t quite keeping up. Knowing that we’ve been relying on the reverse-cycle from our two air-conditioning systems, I suspected that the water temperature had finally fallen low enough that they were no longer efficient.

Winter is coming...
Winter is coming…

Well then. That’s the end of that. We just shut down the reverse cycle heat pumps and have turned on the basic oil-filled electric heaters. We’ll see how it goes. If you don’t hear from us before spring… Well, you know what happened.

Workbench overhaul

Maintenance… Filters filters and more filters…

We had a minor diesel leak in our Racor fuel filter/water-separator… By minor, I mean a drip every couple minutes.  It was gradually getting worse. We couldn’t figure out where it was coming from, so took the whole thing off the bulkhead and did a proper rebuild.  So glad we did! The paper filter was saturated.  O-rings (the source of the leak) had degraded into little rigid lumps.  Cleaned it out, put a new paper filter in, and got it all back together.  fuelfilterDid the air conditioning (heater at the moment) raw-water filter while we were there.  All and all, a successful day in the engine room. Laura has mad #KayleeSkills.  Great in the engine-room on her own, or as an extremely capable assistant.  It’s awesome.img_0054


Workbench overhaul

Yacht potato, yacht potato…


Here we are… Pleasant evening indeed at the Inn at Pirate’s Cove… A walk out to the committee platform, watching the stars go by… We come back to the boat (I’ve thoughtfully turned on the foredeck light) and my lovely lady Laura says to me, “Hey… Are those spider webs up there? I look up the mast, and sure enough, cobwebs between the mast and shrouds.

DAMN I need to get this girl out of the slip…

Yacht potato, yacht potato….


Workbench overhaul

About our Tagline…

Shindyah isn’t a new boat.  She’s not an old boat either.  She’s a classic.  Both in name and in feel.  She’s cut broad, but sharp forward, with a rise to her bow that the racers eschew.  Her stern is bluff and solid.  Her lines harken back to earlier vessels, though her materials and finish is more modern.

She is our salt-water lady.  A song by Roger Creager caught my ear when we commissioned her as Shindyah…  It’s called Gulf Coast Time. Here are the lyrics, and a link to the song is provide below.

We very much love our ole salt-water lady…

I like the way this salty, warm breeze feels
As I make another cast with this old rod and reel
Sounds like things are going well
From the tone of your letter
Am I doing okay?
I guess you could say
I’m keeping my head above water

On the deck of this old saltwater lady
Dancin’ ‘cross the waves
The seaside world slows down to an idle
The sun sets red over Copano Bay
You moved on with your life in California
I’ll move on with mine
Sometimes things take a little longer
Here on gulf coast time

It’s nice just getting back to the simple things
Like the taste of this fresh key lime in my drink

Took that watch you gave me
Tossed it ’bout a mile offshore
Just another anchor around me weighing me down that
I don’t need anymore


And I know
I’m getting better with every breath of ocean I breathe in
And my soul gets stronger every moment I spend


Sometimes things take a little longer
Here on gulf coast

Youtube: Gulf Coast Time – Roger Creager, anthem of SV Shindyah


Workbench overhaul

Fruit Flies, Cider and Nationalistic humor…

We enjoyed the company of Captain Bill Richards of Celtic Cross at dinner aboard last night. Fine sailor, teaches navigation at Annapolis school of sailing, and drives water taxis up there for fun. I digress…

Laura (the XO) was having a “Beesting” last night. Well, we all were… 1/3 mead 2/3 hard cider… seriously tasty. But also seriously attractive to the little fruit flies that are (astonishingly) still buzzing around. Plop, into her drink one goes… Which occasions me telling the following story.
Gotta love the Scots.

Workbench overhaul

On Rodneys…

rodneyLaura and I often refer to “Rodney” or “Damn Rodneys” much to the confusion of our lubberly friends.  The term is most often applied to careless power-boaters, blasting through moorages at 20 knots, kicking up tsunami-like wakes that shake every boat they pass.  The term comes from the movie Caddyshack…  Where Rodney Dangerfield has a particularly memorable scene trying to control his behemoth yacht.   The clip is provided below.

If you find yourself being referred to as a Rodney (and your name isn’t Rodney) make amends quick, or you’ll find yourself buying your own beers.

Rodney Takes Command