img_3676

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.

img_3676

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.

img_3676

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, https://theboatgalley.com/organizing-and-reorganizing/.

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.

 

 

img_3676

The Liveaboard Transition

April 2015, I bought my first boat. A 1975 Catalina 27. More or less derelict, but I got her for a song. I figured I could buy this old girl with some bonus money from my employer and “get my feet wet” as a boat owner.   I’ve sailed quite a bit on Puget Sound, but never owned a boat before… I was sailing club boats back then.

I and my ex girlfriend worked on the boat, cleaned her up and sailed a bit.  Her first experiences on the boat weren’t positive.  Clean up issues, and then a sailing trip that was frightening for her (she’d never been out in much of a blow) and she sort of distanced herself from the boat.

On the other hand, I was eating it up, more and more time spent on the boat, sleeping over.  We lived together in Ashburn, about 1:45 drive from the boat.  We just drifted apart, and in the late fall of 2015, I decided to move out, break up, and live aboard.

A Catalina 27.

In the winter.

I’m 6’2″.

A Catalina 27 isn’t.

But I wanted to see if the lifestyle was for me.

Oh my god.  I just ate it up. Everything was small, close and simple.  It’s almost a monastic lifestyle. Even in the dead of winter, snow and ice, it was like an attack of sweet butter creams.  I’d have been content on her indefinitely, except for one thing.

My daughter.  She lives with me in the summer.

A 15 year old girl is not going to fit on a 27′ Catalina with her 53 year old father.  She would need her own cabin.  The search for a new boat began.

My budget was insanely tight.  I didn’t have much in the way of resources, but I had a steady income and could make steady payments.  That limited my search to an older vessel.  I had a good friend who helped me with the financing.  I knew I wanted a center cockpit, because I knew the master’s stateroom and V-berth would be suitable for me and my daughter.  After exploring a number of boats, I came across this old Morgan 41′.  Her name was Jawz.  Not a good sign.  Then I checked her out, and had her surveyed.  Worse and worse.  She’d been allowed to freeze.  Her plumbing was badly damaged.  Her wiring looked like a tribe of monkeys went after her with balls of yarn…

We took her out for sea-trial.  She was unsailable, her main misrigged, and her genoa missing sheets.  Motored back in.

Something told me to give her one last look, so I said a little prayer to the universe, “If I’m supposed to save this boat, give me a sign.”

When I went back to her, she had 8″ of seawater on her cabin sole.

“This is not the answer I was looking for.”  I almost shut the hatch and walked away… But I couldn’t.  I couldn’t leave her there flooding.   So I found the leak (stuck seacock and damaged A/C water line), ran off to West Marine for fix-it-tape, secured the line, and manually shorted her bilge pump to battery to get her to pump dry.

It was just the weirdest damn thing.

She wasn’t proving to me that I should take her.

She demanded that I prove to her that I was the master to save her.

And I was.

April 2016, She was mine.