Was that … no, maybe, Noah?!

It’s been raining for about a week now. Today has been one of the bounciest days in a while. Which, candidly, isn’t all that bad. Sure, my necklaces make it sound like water is dripping loudly whilst the galley clangs from the campfire toaster. Still, a small annoyance.

The rain, however, is another story.

When you’re in a slip regularly, you always face the same direction. At anchor or a mooring ball, hey you face the wind. This is great for open hatches! Not when it’s raining so much your stern seam decides to make itself known louder than usual. Looks like facing the same direction during weather keeps the rain out of some of the trouble spots on deck.

So, rain, please stop! We need a few dry days to pull up the teak on the stern and apply some sealant to the deck seam, then reseat the teak and stanchions. Not to mention the tow rail section by section.

Butyl tape to the rescue!

This may help the starboard side lighting issue as well. Considering Shindyah currently has no functioning lighting on that breaker. Bill has traced up to the rats nest of wiring for the time being, in an effort to find the location of the issue.

Update of the mutant kind: Upon turning off the galley lights, one small section of our LED lighting strips is aglow. WTF. Can’t turn them off with the remote. Weird. Turn the breaker off, red light gone. Flip the breaker back on, no lights. We now have a solid 3 volts on a circuit that showed no voltage three days ago.

Ground issue? Mebbe. Bill and I are quite confuzzled. Investigation time. As we rock and pitch in the wind.

To those who think living on a boat is so damned cool – there is the truly glamorous side that landlubbers don’t see. Leaky hatches, leaky wire channels, leaky port lights.

It’s not so bad. Unless the leaks are affecting your sleeping space.

So, rain, please cease and desist! Even the ducks are hiding.


Adventures in living on the hook

At the start of April 2018, we made the switch from slip to anchorage. Thinking we were prepared for this, we set anchor and began the new chapter of our life aboard SV Shindyah.

Have you ever been ‘tested’ by life? Surely once or twice. A seemingly long stretch of bad luck, random hardships, you know the deal. Yup. It has been an experience, to say the least.

It started out with a pleasant evening and following day on the hook. Solar panels doing their thing. House bank all happily charged. Then the ‘test’ started. House bank won’t hold a charge for long. Hey! Great time to really have an opportunity to put a real load on the generator! Considering Winter kept storming back into the room this Spring season, our electric space heaters provided a proper load on the genset. Yay! Then, as the captain of Shindyah is ashore, the trusty XO is aboard cleaning, etc. and just pea-poddling along happily. Guess what happens. Yup, you guessed correctly. The genset gurgled burbled, beeeeeeeep, shut itself down. About five minutes later, I was able to get her running again. An hour goes by. Same. Dang. Thing. Ok FINE! Yanmar to the rescue! Diesel engine for the win!

The house bank was so thirsty. The one thing we never did whilst on shore power was to check the water levels of the batteries. That’s right, we inadvertently murderlated our house bank through innocent neglect.

Sams Club has the batteries a boat needs. Score! House bank replaced. Which, considering we now live at anchor, meant hauling out the old batteries on the dinghy. Then getting the new ones back to the boat. Which brings us to another part of our ‘test’.

The dink.

The dink that likes to dunk, and the little motor who couldn’t.

We have an e-motor that is great for trot lining. But isn’t great for going ashore at distance. Power.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, living at anchor is all about the amps, bout them amps, no power.

Sooooooo … pick up what appears to be a great deal on a small gas powered outboard. Yay! Half the time to shore! For a day. 700 bucks later, runs like a champ. Woohoo! Buuuuuuuut! It shakes loose a seam in the boat. Fine. West Marine, epoxy, some glass. Bam. Patched. Tooling along, no problemo. Help a boat friend out who had his outboard go swimming. Ok. Can do! Few days later, OMFG where is all this water coming from?!?? A new seam issue! That’s where. Epoxy, glass, sit in the sun and bake. Bam! Dink is ok.

Then, our first run with three people aboard the dink. DUNK! You ever see a little boat tuck and roll so fast? Well, we hadn’t and now we have. Thank gods it wasn’t colder water.

Yeah. We are so done with this blue POS! Didn’t want an inflatable rib. Yup. Now we are yearning for one.

That was on 6 May. We have had a series of unfortunate events since. Starboard lighting stops abruptly. Packing gland has a slow and steady leak. The stereo system kaput for no reason. The list goes on.

We are truly grateful the water wasn’t too cold. We have local friends who took us in for the night, and stated their casa is our home base for as long as we need it. Many thanks to the folks who helped us out of the water.

It’s now 13 May, six weeks at anchor. Still determined to make this work despite the insane amount of challenges.


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.


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.




Baking adventures in salt life

Again with the thinking small – baking adventures in salt life. I’m an adapter, more than I ever realised.

You’ve got two burners, and this little oven in a boat galley built for one.  Safer that way, the whole idea of being slammed around the galley does not sound appealing.  At. All.  Think of that Easy Bake oven you had as a kid.  Those small round cake pans.  They’re perfect for galley baking.  Ok, so those may be a bit too small.  You go into Wally World and the only place you can locate 4in round cake pans is in the fancy baking aisle, and they’re $6 bucks a pop.  Yeah, it’s going to be worth it.

I have found cookie sheets that are the perfect size for our oven. Score! Wally World has these cookie sheets for, like, 87cents. Perfect!  Then I used those to size cupcake/muffin pans. I think the one thing I struggle with is making sure the temperature is correct. I’ve got a propane oven at the house; however, this little thing is even more particular about fluctuating temps.

An oven thermometer is essential, no matter what oven you have.  Even more so on a boat. Keeping the temps around the recommended degrees for break-n-bake cookies seems to do just fine. I had one batch of cookies appear to scorch on the bottoms – the temperature got too high. They weren’t all that bad, especially since the cookies in the middle of the cookie sheet turned out perfect. The corn muffins turned out perfect! Today I will be baking cupcakes for the first time in this easy bake oven.  I’m looking forward to some tasty desserts to follow dinner.  Will I be able to fit the two muffin pans side by side? We shall see!

Check back to see if this endeavour has been a success – or an adventure in galley mishaps.

Update 15:03 

cupcakesWe definitely need larger mixing bowls. I wasn’t sure if the bowl would overflow with chocolately cake batter goodness or not.

Cake mix, check!

Eggs, check!

Vegetable oil, check!

Bill picked up a manual hand mixer for me at Target the other week.  Living on a boat, one must always keep in mind the amount of appliances they have which require a wall plug.  I’ve never seen an electric hand mixer that was 12v friendly. Besides, I love manual hand mixers. They’re fun!

I was starting to think this may get out of  hand, so I slowly started mixing in the water. Then I grew a bit more concerned as I continued to mix up this gooey, chocolately awesomeness. The mixture was swiftly approaching the lip of the bowl.  This is when one is grateful to have a manual hand mixer.  I am fairly certain that a hand mixer would have made quite an effective mess.

No spillage.  AWESOME!

In 15 minutes or so, we’ll see the first batch of cupcakes baked up in Shindyah’s oven 🙂 🙂 🙂



Boat for sale – and it’s YOUR vessel, two owners ago

Boat curiosity leads one to strange waters, especially when wanting to make modifications.

We plan to update Shindyah’s cove stripe to burgundy.  Along with adding a linen coloured Bimini and canoe for the sail.  I very much want to upgrade her wheel to a wooden one with knee knockers.  Bill and I are also looking to add a teak sole to the cockpit.  We feel that the linen Sunbrella colour would compliment the classic feel we are after.

I’ve been quite curious about what our boat, Shindyah, looked like straight from Catalina in 1991.  We know that our current table is not from the manufacturer.  How did the salon look then, compared to now; what has changed besides the beautiful inlay Compass Rose table we have now?

To Google!

Bill and I looked at pictures of various Morgan Classic and Out Island models.  Then, we came across an image that was strangely familiar.

1991 Morgan Classic 41' boat - salon

Then we realised.  It’s our boat!

Sailboat for sale

Hakuna Matata - 1991 Morgan Classic 41' boat

Meet Shindyah, two owners ago – as Hakuna Matata.  The bell was above the ship clock, rather than above the light right above the port settee.  Even the television was the same.  We’ve recently updated the TV of course, to a newer HDLCD version and the older, and ditched the Black & Decker coffee pot for a Keurig.  The appliance stopped working properly a couple of months ago. Coffee is a must!



The charms of salt life and living aboard a sailboat

Salt life = thinking small.

One must always keep this in mind when living aboard a boat.  You only have so much space.  One learns how to become more organized.  Being great at Tetris is a huge help.  Especially when your ice box isn’t the same size as the one you’d have in a house.  You learn what is essential versus what is trivial, like all those chachkies littering the mantle in a house.  One of the hardest things for my honey to give up has been his books.  Yay for the iPad and Kindle app!  Still, being able to thumb through a book, the feel of the pages, and the scent of old paper can’t be duplicated with a device.

Salt life = serenity.

On those fantastically excellent days, you can pull up your lines and head out for the day.  No need to drive to the marina, you’re already on the boat.  The peacefulness of a marina in the off-season is beautiful.   The sound of the water slapping against the hull can be a sweet lullaby, and floating wind chime farm can be as well – as long as it isn’t YOUR halyard slapping against the mast.  Having the opportunity to look up, whilst laying in bed, looking at the stars through the cabin hatch is amazing.  Even more so, when doing this, you catch sight of a shooting star.  Needless to say, I don’t want to live on land for an extended period again.

Salt life = adventure.

Living aboard a sailing vessel isn’t always glamourous.  Think about it.  If you’ve ever traveled in a motorhome, it can be quite similar.  Banging doors, rattling dishes, and of course the inevitable slamming of tool boxes when an overly excited wake of a Rodney comes up suddenly.  Not to mention the whole ‘what is that funky smell emanating from the head?!’.