Journey to Carabelle
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This will be a quick update, as we have lots to do in preparation for crossing the Gulf to Clearwater.  Our internet has been either non-existent or very sporadic.  But, we have mostly been doing very well.  Our captain gave instruction, but was almost completely hands off.  My 13 year old, Aiden, my Mom and I have run the boat the entire way from Dog River to here.  The instruction has been fairly good and I feel confident in my ability to steer and follow a route.  My Moms steering ability is also good.  Aiden shows great potential. He does very well on rivers and channels where the course is clearly defined but needs more practice on open water, when following the gps chartplotter to stay on course.  I definitely need more practice docking, but I knew when I purchased the boat that docking would be the biggest challenge.  I have had one opportunity to leave the dock and back away, and did it well.  I was proud of myself, but need lots more practice. Docking a fairly large vessel can be nerve-wracking.

We have figured out how to change the head-to-holding tank valves, change the navigation light bulbs, how to clean sea strainers, check the oil levels and have a fairly good grasp of the electrical panel and switching from shore power to generator power.  Although this came with much hair loss over the a/c power alarm.

The kids have done great.  They enjoy the dolphins and swimming off the aft deck.  We had one minor sea sickness episode with one of the kids when we first got underway, but nothing since.

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Next, we head across the Gulf to Clearwater.

 

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Provisioning and Ironing Out Kinks
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My kids were on the docks fishing from 9am to 11pm last night.  They surely would have stayed out all night, had I let them.  You can tell when they catch something from the shreeks and squeals.  They have quickly made friends with the most adorable and polite little girls from the boat next door.  Before we left Boston, I had promised them that they would meet kids and make new friends in their travels, and this lifestyle, thus far, has not disappointed.  The boat has quickly given back to us, and I couldn’t be more pleased to see my kids out catching minnows, alligator gar, snakes, lizards, baby crabs and even a catfish. And that was just yesterday!  Aiden seems to be the best with scooping up alligator gar with the net, but they sure are hard to chop up.  The scales are very tough.  I see now why they are called alligator gar.  I had to run to Home Depot and buy a hatchet.  But, they enjoy catching and fishing with the bait that they have caught themselves.

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My Mom and I haven’t stopped for a minute.  We have been busy finishing up the cleaning, washing bedding and running from store to store.  We have stocked up on our most used items, so that when we arrive in Miami, all we will need to get is dairy products and fresh fruit and veggies.  We eat a lot of fresh produce.

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I managed to get the salon windows open.  The track that they sit in was crusty and caked with years and years of dirt build up, that hardened.  I had to take a butter knife and loosen it up, vacuum it out and then lubricate with WD40.  The metal pull rail came off a couple of the windows, I was pulling so hard to get them open.  I will have to epoxy that back on, but I did manage to get all of the salon and galley windows open.  They probably haven’t been opened in 30 years.  Folks in these parts love their a/c, and for good reason.  The heat and humidity here doesn’t let up.  But I love fresh air.

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A repair guy came to fix the fridge, changed a part, but 2 days later, it broke again.  He’s coming back today.  We have been using the freezer as a fridge as it gets cold like a fridge, but won’t freeze anything.   I am going to pick up a freezer for the aft deck, just in case.  Then we will have extra freezer space.  I just have to figure out a way to protect it from the rain.

I also discovered that 2 of our shower pumps aren’t working.  I suspect that it is just the float switch, as the pump runs manually.  Dog River is sending someone this morning.  Hopefully, I can learn how to change that myself.

The port sliding door to the pilothouse wouldn’t lock, but a bit of chiseling and a minor striker plate adjustment and it works perfect now.  We don’t really need to lock that door here at Dog River, but certainly will when we arrive in Miami.

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The original appliances are working… good enough.  We can only use 2 burners on the cook top, but that’s ok, for now.  I am looking forward to a galley refit.  My Mom had a scare last night when she messed with the timer on the oven, and as a result couldn’t figure out how to get it to turn on at all.  Eventually, she did get it going, although we didn’t end up having dinner until 9.  I think she learned her lesson on that one.

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There are still many things that we have yet to figure out, like how to get the dinghy in the water 🙂  But, we are getting there slowly.  Like folks down here say, “Now, don’t go gettin’ in a hurry”.  We will learn it all in due time.

We will be leaving Dog River, Mobile Alabama on Thursday.  After a quick shake-down, we will have our first cruise!  My kids are excited to head to Miami.

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We made it!!!
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As I pulled up to the curb at JetBlue arrivals, I panicked for a moment.  I knew that I had a challenge on my hands.  It was about 1am and my kids were exhausted between a beach day with school and hauling luggage on and off planes, as was I.  My youngest, Gaege, was fast asleep on a lounge in the terminal with my Mom.  My teens gazed weary eyed, wondering how the heck I was going to pull this off.  They had confidence in me, and I was not about to disappoint.  When we departed Boston I had dropped the bags and suitcases to Logan with my pick-up truck.  Hadn’t much considered transporting them on the other end.  I quickly began packing the rear cargo area with the largest luggage, right up to the headliner.  Then I opened the Goodwill disposable suitcases and pulled out trash bags filled with clothing and unbreakables.  I packed those bags on the floor of the mini-van and between the seats.  Those raggedy suitcases went straight to the trash.  I packed the smaller duffle bags in the access space at the center of the van.  I had the kids jump in and the rest went on laps.  Not sure how I got all of that stuff packed into that little van, but I did it.  Broke a sweat, but did it.

We had an uneventful flight to New Orleans.  My 14 year old, Ronan, was mortified with embarrassment when some of our carry-ons wouldn’t fit in the overhead space, and I had to perform surgery on one of the disposable suitcases during our layover, but all in all, not a bad trip.  We arrived to the hotel, I rigged a temporary litter box for Sassy and off to bed we went.

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The next day, we woke and drove the 2 hour jaunt to Mobile.  When we arrived I was delighted to see how amazing our new name looked.

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Gaege, my soon-to-be five year old was tickled that his name is on the boat.  Our neighbors asked where we got the name.  They chuckled when my Mom jokingly told them to “board uninvited and you’ll find out”.

The kids and I set up a train and we quickly unloaded the luggage and moved it aboard.  It’s great having this many helpers, even the little guy chipped in.

We spent the rest of that day and the next cleaning and purging the yacht of unwanted items.  I was surprised that I hadn’t noticed how many plastic plants and flower bouquets were aboard.  I think that we counted 16.  Luckily, there is dumpster very conveniently located right next to our dock.  So we were easily able to dispose of the glass coffee table, pillows, lamps and all the other items that we didn’t need.

My Mom and Skyla scrubbing the galley

My Mom and Skyla scrubbing the galley

Me, cleaning drawers

Me, cleaning drawers

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In between cleaning and shopping the kids have gotten a kick out of watching the fish jump out of the water, and chasing tiny crabs.  I have enjoyed rolling out of bed in the morning to a hazy placid river were the early birds are out grabbing their morning catch.

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We are all very pleased with our new home.  Even Sassy has had fun exploring.  We discovered that the refrigerator is not working properly, which is a real bummer.  I will have to do something about that before we head to Miami, but other than that, we are delighted.

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7 People, 21 Bags and a Cat
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Organization (noun): The act or process of organizing; The state or manner of being organized

 

My Mom is the wise one, she makes lists and labels things.  She knows were to find stuff and were she put things.  Her suitcase is organized; she will know exactly were to go if she needs anything inside.

Me, not so much.  Try my best to keep the same kids clothes together.  Try my best to keep the kitchen stuff together, but in the end, inevitably, most things will likely end up out of place, and all over the place; jammed in crevices, and totally mixed up.  That part of my brain that wants to be organized and pack correctly is always beat out by that other part; that part that wants to hurry up and get it done quickly and not forget anything; that part that is telling me through the entire packing experience, not to worry, I will sort it out later, it’s all going to the same place anyhow.  In my own defense, I have to acknowledge that I am packing for 6, my 5 kids and myself.  I have a lot to remember.  I am also packing all of my business paperwork and the cat.

Probably wondering how the hell we could possibly fill 21 bags. So easy.  And if I had more space, I could fill that to.  Clothing was the LEAST thing that we packed.  Figured I would take them shopping for summer stuff when we arrive in Mobile.  These are some of the things that we couldn’t live without:

  • pots and pans
  • kitchen utensils
  • printer
  • 3 Wii’s
  • board games
  • basketball
  • football
  • 3 baseball gloves, bat and baseball
  • 5 laptops
  • 2 blankets
  • electric tea kettle

 

We have a lot of luggage, including 7 checked bags, 7 carry-on bags, and 7 personal items (backpacks).  My Mom, being the smarticus that she is, had the brilliant disposable suitcase idea.  We had to maximize the space, as to avoid tons and tons of shopping when we arrive.  We have enough to purchase as is, the more we bring the better.

The plan is to leave early tomorrow.  My Mom and I will go to the airport while the kids are in school and drop all of the checked bags, then return back to my Mom’s.  When my kids get out of school, I will drop everyone to the airport with the 14 carry-on bags.  Then I will go back home and drop off my pick-up truck and get a ride back to the airport.  My kids are out of school at 2:30 and we have a 6 flight, plus we need time for dinner at the airport before we depart, so there isn’t much room for error.  The good news is that the airport is only 15 minutes from my Mom’s house, of course, that’s if the traffic cooperates.  We will be heading in the opposite direction of rush hour, so we should be ok.  “But GG, why don’t you just keep your kids out of school on tomorrow?”  I wish I could, but Monday is the end of the year class trip to the beach.  They have been looking forward to it all year, so I can’t disappoint them.

My only concern besides a smooth trip to the airport is the rental car when we arrive in new Orleans.  I reserved a mini-van that we will take to Mobile.  With all this luggage and bodies, we absolutely won’t fit in anything smaller, and even this van will be pushing it (good thing some of it is disposable)  If we don’t get the van that I reserved, we’re screwed; stuck in New Orleans until we can get one.  But, I’m going to think positive and all should be a smooth transition.

I’m pretty much all packed up and ready to go.  I’ve checked almost all of the items off of my To-Do List.  I even made a homemade  weather-guard for Harley’s automatic cat feeder.  We decided to leave him here for the summer.  He is an outdoor cat, who does not appreciate being brought indoors and would be too difficult to manage in the hotel and at the airport.  I have a couple of friends that are going to keep an eye on him and monitor his food and water, so he will be fine while we are away.

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Wish us luck!  We are outta here Monday and should be in our new home Tuesday.

 

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goodwill packing
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In less than 48 hours we will leave Boston to head to Dog River Marina in Mobile AL to move onto our new-to-us 63′ Hatteras MY, newly named 45 Gaege. It is one year & 2 months since we first listed the house for sale. We had high hopes back then of having it sold and closed by the summer, kids would be out of school and we would have the luxury of time & mobility to travel to the boat, do what ever work & refit required to move aboard, enjoy some time cruising while heading back to Boston. As usual, the universe always makes the first move and life takes it’s own course while we plan it. Well a bit more time than we had hoped has passed by, but the house was a successful sale, and here we are getting ready to embark on our journey a year later, but still the summer months.

After going back & forth for a week, our quandary being whether to rent an SUV and drive to Mobile, or to fly. There are advantages & disadvantages to both options. While the idea of the long 3 day drive wasn’t very appealing, the fact that we could load the vehicle up with whatever we could squeeze in was, and that was the only thing on the plus side of that option. Since we will be spending 2 1/2 months on the boat before we arrive in Boston, (if we come back at all! tehe…) with 7 people, there is much ‘stuff’ to bring, clothes being the least of them. And to say we’ll just buy those items down there just isn’t feasible, as there are household items, especially kitchens items that would cost way too much to replace, not to mention the redundancy buying these things would create. As well, there is sports equipment, that are not only necessary but too expensive to have doubles, a collection of legos, many limited edition, that would be extremely costly to replace & a unique collection of plastic & rubber small marine animals, that would make any collector envious.

These type of things take up quite a bit of real estate, in fact probably need their own suitcase. Like some of the kitchen stuff, the kid’s stuff, not only well used and loved, are just things that can’t be left behind for three months.  One would think that driving would be more economical, but as it turned out, between the cost of renting the vehicle, gas, meals for 7 for 2 1/2-3 days, plus 2 nights hotel, made flying far more economical than driving.  The only real sacrifice we would be giving up by flying is being able to pack as much ‘stuff’ in as we could fit. The up side of flying, besides being cheaper, is no long 24 hour drive with 5 kids, trying to coordinate pit stops, so as not to be stopping every hour.  There was also the time factor of having more time to clean up, set up and get the boat in order, provision and get organized for the first 5 day leg to Miami, before getting underway until our captain arrived.

So, the decision was made to fly. Now the dilemma was to optimize the free checked luggage and carry on bags.  While one of our cats will stay behind in Boston, the other will travel with us, so that is one carry on. JetBlue allows the first checked bag for free, X 7 bags, 50 pounds each, plus 6 carry on. That is alot of luggage to fill. Since growing kids need new clothes seasonably, it seemed prudent to hit Walmart in Mobile, which left more space for ‘other’ necessities, such as kitchen items that were earmarked for the boat to begin with and everyday things such as those mentioned above, plus things like computers favorite blankets, pillows, etc…

Now the biggest dilemma! We only have 4 large checkin size suitcases, and 3 or 4 carryon sizes. We certainly want to take full advantage of every square inch of free space, but the other dilemma, storage on the boat for suitcases. We had the option of buying army/navy sea bags, easy to store once we arrive. but we certainly weren’t going to purchase large suitcases that we couldn’t store anyway! But then again,  the fun of any dilemma is trying to solve it without spend spend spending.  Well, after much thought and brainstorming, I came up with a very inexpensive, cheapo really, way to take full advantage of the free air line real estate baggage. At first the idea did not go over so big. It was kinda like,

“Rrealleey??”

“Yup! Perfect solution.”  Cheap, throwaway, no need to store luggage in much needed locker space! “Yes, really.”

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So, off to the Goodwill we went. Haha! Well, after visiting three Goodwills in one day, a couple didn’t even have any suitcases to offer, by the fourth one, those shabby old suitcases didn’t look so bad!

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Now, when I say old suitcases, I don’t mean these…..

jessjamesjake vintage suitcases

 

Or those chic vintage ones they sell in antique stores like these……

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Or even these………

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 Hah! One suitcase we got is so old, it isn’t even a pullman! Nope, just crappy, shabby, ripped in spots,old suitcases from the seventies & eighties, these ones were never nice.

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This one above was nice & clean for $20, but way too rich for our blood! So we went for what you might call the “shabby cheap”.

But, the main thing we were looking for was, the maximum space requirement, working zippers, and no tiny residents ( Yukky bugs). Oh, and most importantly, cheap price, so we wouldn’t feel bad tossing it later. Although the outsides were quite shabby, the insides were a pleasant surprise. We got two of the big ones, a huge pullman duffle bag, one brand new carry on,a really shabby pullman carry on, and another shabby duffle carry on, all for about $50, which the brand new carry on was worth anyway.  Brought them home, left em outside, (in case of bugs) I sprayed the hell out of all of them, inside & outside, with 90% alcohol, (did you know it is said,  that 90% alcohol is supposedly the only substance that kills bedbugs?) let them dry in the sun, then scrubbed them down with strong ammonia.  So, if there were any residents, they are gone now. By the time I was finished they looked, well, 5% better!

It is easy to solve a dilemma with a money solution, but it is so much more rewarding when you figure it out without spending a bundle of money. But when it is all said and done, solved, and your daughter says, “What a great idea!”,  now that is priceless!

 

 

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Fairwell to the “Suite Life”
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I’m sure there will be something to miss about hotel living.  After all, we have made them our “home” for the past 5 months, since the house sold, while waiting to move aboard.  Hotel life was definitely one of those experiences that my kids will look back on one day and say, “Remember when we went to those hotels?”

They have come to fondly know each hotel by it’s amenities and perks.  There is the hotel with the omelettes, Embassy Suites; that’s my favorite.  It has 2 separate rooms, cooked to order breakfast, indoor pool, snacks in the evening for the kids and it’s completely renovated with the most COMFORTABLE beds.  I would have stayed there every night, had the rate allowed.  Lucky for me, I managed to snag Embassy 4 nights every week. In the winter and Spring, Thursday through Monday are the slow nights.  My kids came accustomed to knowing that come Thursday, we were heading to Embassy, no matter what.  The hotel staff knew us well, and it was the one hotel that felt like home.  I got such good deals at this hotel that I’m convinced that with the cooked breakfast, they must have lost money on us.

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Then there is the hotel with the cookies.  That would be Double Tree.  Gotta love those warm chocolate chip cookies with nuts and a hint of cinnamon.  I’m sure most don’t realize that if you ask the front desk for more, you can pretty much have an endless supply of delicious treats.  We have even been known to munch cookies on the drive to school (but don’t tell).

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The hotel down the street is the Marriott.  It is walking distance to my kids school, so we slept late on those days, although we still drove to school.

The hotel with the ice-cream is Holiday Inn.  Who can resist a Ben and Jerry’s vending machine in the lobby?  Fudge Brownie was the flavor of choice.  Fair to say that our sugar intake these past 5 months has been through the roof.  Oh, the “sweet life!”

I have become a Hotwire “Master”.  I know exactly which hotel I am booking, just by looking at the stars and amenities.  I have also used Priceline quite a bit.  I have really gotten some pretty amazing deals.  And who can complain about housekeeping and free breakfast every day.  The only problem; I had to constantly remind my kids that despite the fact that they were swimming in a pool every evening and washing with soap that comes in a pretty green box, that they were not on vacation and still had to go to bed on time and keep up with homework.

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But alas, just as the “Suite Life” ends, so comes “Life on Deck”…  It really is the perfect analogy.

 

 

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Chief Cook & Bottle Washer
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Well, not really true. As we do have a system where the one who cooks doesn’t clean. Not that

it’s always in place. However the four older kids take turns cleaning the kitchen after supper.

And if everyone does their part to rinse their own dish and place it in the dishwasher, it really

makes life easier for the person whose turn it is to clean up.  One of my grandchildren loves to

cook and is a dab hand in the kitchen as well. As my mother used to say;

“Many hands make light work”

Which leads to what this post is all about. Running a large household is no easy task. Since I

do a good deal of the cooking, at least in the last few months since the house has been sold, and

probably will do the lion’s portion of it while aboard the boat, (did I mention I love to cook?)

it just seemed natural that I would take the job of organizing and setting up the galley.

I am thrilled to have this job, and really am looking forward to the challenge. I have been

scouring through liveaboard blogs with galley sections. Although much of it seems like common

sense and drawing on past experience, (I grew up in a family hotel business, and spent a huge

portion of “my other life” in kitchens), there have been some great tips on the blogs. Many of

them though, although very informative are geared toward liveaboard couples, or small families.

And while tips on stainless sets of 5-7 piece nestling pots & pans are terrific ideas for

space saving, my most used pot has a diameter of 15″, as well as my 2 burner griddle &

frying pan for cooking breakfast, grilled cheeses, or anything in general that gets cooked on a

stovetop in a frying pan.

I finally found one blog, in particular, that stood out and gave me the steps I needed to stop

seeking and start planning. That blog, by Robyn Coulter, called SV Yofy

“Sailing in the Winds of Peace.” So a huge shout out to Robyn whose blog is

interesting as well as informative, but also became my ‘one stop shop for how to organize my

galley’. Although the crew of Yofy is a cruising couple as well, with occasional guests,

Robyn’s presentation is quite simple, very organized, and IMO, works whether you are a

liveaboard couple or like us, you will be feeding a minimum tribe of 7, with occasional guests as

well. For those interested; here is the part one & 2 of

Robyn’s post on provisioning. Alas!  it is so much more than just provisioning, for me, these

two posts kind of summed up how to set up & organize my galley!

There are some basic things like removing all boxes, labeling with sharpies, and storing

staples in plastic containers that suit your galley storage space, that all the

galley blogs seem to cover, much of which is common sense, but also trial & error, and

experience! I have no problem learning from someone else’s experience, so there ya go!

And while I am not sure what about Robyn’s galley posts made so much sense, after reading

it over a few times everything just clicked.  So armed with my pencil, and smallish spiral

notebook full of lists that were populating faster than my hand could keep up, suddenly I

felt in control and ready to embark on the task of planning and setting up my galley!

 

Turns out the hardest part for me,( being a thinker I put far too much thought into this),

was figuring out what pots were most necessary without overloading the galley with

unnecessary items that would only be used once a month, thereby taking up valuable space.

Then suddenly ‘light dawned on marblehead’ and I realized I would be cooking on the boat

much the same way I cook on land, with only a few adjustments. Then it just became a

matter of deciding what was absolutely necessary and which items could do double duty.

So rather than try to purchase pots when we arrive in Mobile, I decided to take the

things I could not easily replace, and divide those things up in our check in luggage,

dispersed for weight management. And while this may seem like over thinking a simple

everyday task, (well yes, it certainly is;-) the reason being, I want to keep things

as simple as possible (simple being the operative word). So the homemade-from-scratch

chicken pot pie from stove to oven that takes me an hour from start to finish and easily

feeds 10, stays just that simple, fast & delicious! So, in terms of pots & pans,

there will be a few items we will bring in our suitcases, don’t forget we have 7

(yes seven) checked, and 6 (minus the cat) carry-ons, so that is 13 items we can bring

with us. Once I got a basic plan, everything sort of fell in place.

“Out with the old and in with the new”

As far as what the boat came with, every thing is basically junk. Do you remember

the flowered 5 piece pot sets when no stick first came out in the sixties? (I know,

dating myself) Smallish and oldish. Useless for my clan!

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 “Out they go!”

Very heavy 4 piece set of old dishes, (no antique value) will be replaced by an 32 piece

place setting of pure white Corelle ware!  I was from the Corelle Ware generation, so no

one had to suggest Corelle to me!

As far as flatware, I think what’s there is better than our ‘eclectic’ set at home. There are

just some things that are absolute necessities, steel potato masher, good meat knife & cleaver,

a mallet, electric kettle and other odds & ends, one such being lobster crackers! Even though

I doubt we will get Maine lobster down south.

We will have to add it to our list of “NE haunts, jaunts and eats we will be missing this summer”

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“Oh well, mustn’t gwumble!”

It is the simple pleasures in life that make it worthwhile. One is being assigned a job you love,

then there is also the wonderful feeling of knowing that not only am I thrilled to do this,

but I am also lightening the load of our soon-to-be captain GG, and that is priceless.

The only thing I need now is an apron that says “Kiss the Cook”!

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How do you organize your galley?   Leave a comment and your 2 cents.

Car rental companies don’t want us to know…
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that our credit card company will cover damage to our rental car!!!

 

 

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I know….Crazy right?

 

I just had to share this with you guys.  Today, while researching a rental van to take to Mobile. (Our flight arrives into New Orleans)  I somehow discovered that most major credit cards insure damage to rental vehicles.  They will NOT cover liability, only damage.   Many people have full- coverage on their personal vehicle, which would cover them anyhow, but for someone like me, who only carries compulsory insurance, this is a huge benefit.  And, even if you do have full-coverage, your credit card company will cover the cost of your DEDUCTIBLE with your primary insurance company.   So, you would NOT have to pay your deductible or any minor damage to your rented vehicle.

You have to check to see if your company provides this benefit.  I found out that both of my credit cards have it.  One of them will cover the rented vehicle for 15 consecutive days, and the other will cover the rented vehicle for 30 consecutive days.

 

These are the rules for my MasterCard:

Your rental agreement must be for a rental period of no more than fifteen (15)

consecutive days.

Rental periods that exceed or are intended to exceed fifteen (15) consecutive days are not covered.

The rented vehicle must have a MSRP that does not exceed $50,000 USD.

The kind of coverage you receive:

We will pay for the following on a secondary basis:

• Physical damage and theft of the vehicle, not to exceed the limits outlined below.

• Reasonable loss of use charges imposed by the vehicle rental company for the period of time the rental vehicle is out of service. Loss of use charges must be substantiated by a location and class specific fleet utilization log.

• Towing charges to the nearest collision repair facility.

This coverage is not all-inclusive, which means it does not cover such things as personal injury, personal liability, or personal property. It does not cover you for any damages to other vehicles or property. It does not cover you for any injury to any party.

 

 

Be sure to read your benefits carefully.  They may not cover certain vehicle types, such as trucks, pick-ups, full-size vans, and certain sport utility vehicles.

You MUST use your card when renting and paying for the rental of the vehicle to receive the coverage.

 

I also discovered that most major credit cards also have other benefits such as:

  • Price Protection
  • Extended Warranty
  • Roadside Assistance

 

 

Who knew???

 

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Floating Home Update
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I have received several inquiries wondering “How is your new home?”

 

Well… although we do own the boat now, we aren’t moved in… yet.  My oldest son graduates 8th grade in a few days and my kids are out of school for the summer in about a week and a half.  We will fly down at that time to move into our new abode.  The boat should be all ready for our summer cruise.  We will pick her up at Dog River in Alabama.  Dog River has completed a list of survey repairs.  I have also hired them to give the boat a fresh coat of bottom paint, wax the hull, install a new set of batteries and, of course, change the name.  The boat is on the hard now having that stuff done, so that she will be ready to go by the time we arrive the week after next.

In the meantime, we are busy organizing and packing; jamming all of our favorite things into suitcases.  Our flight departs Boston on the 23rd.  Can’t wait!!!

 

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LOVE Martha’s Vineyard!!!
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New England is beautiful! We love summer and have always taken full advantage of everything the NE states have to offer, each and every one. There are too many wonderful things to list here, and we are already mourning the loss of some of our favorites, trying to squeeze in some of our summer haunts & jaunts before we leave for the boat;  2 weeks and counting!  One of our all time favorites is Martha’s Vineyard, and the weather could not have been more gorgeous last weekend, so off we went to Woods Hole for the 45 minute ferry ride to Oak Bluffs.

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“Motley Crew”

So to Martha’s Vineyard this post is dedicated! And for those readers who have never been, we hope we will do the Island justice, and possibly inspire you to visit, should you ever be in the neighborhood.  The charm and distinct uniqueness of (otherwise affectionately KA) “the Vineyard”,  has a way of sneaking under one’s skin and staying there, making it impossible not to want to visit year after year, forever more.

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“Gingerbread cottages at the “Campground”

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Originally inhabited by the Wampanoag, which in their language was known as ‘Noepe’ or “land amid the streams”.  In 1642 the Wampanoag numbered 3000, that number dropped to 313 by 1764.  Purchased by Thomas Mayhew of Watertown, MA from an English explorer who sailed to the island in 1642, Thomas supposedly had friendly relations with the Wampanoag when he began the first English settlement on the Island, although one has to wonder if relations were so friendly, how did the Wampanoag population drop so drastically over the next century after Mayhew’s purchase and subsequent English settlement.Ah well, I suppose that would be worth pondering another day, as for today, we just want to share with you a bit of the beauty that lies right in our own backyard off the coast of Cape Cod.

 

The Alpaca farm was a blast, although a bit smelly on a hot day, kids never seem to mind smells or sweaty, furry bodies!

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“A pensive moment”

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The Alpaca are shirred once a year in spring, and the most beautiful wares come from their fur, all sold at the gift shop.

Of course, summers here, so the last thing on our mind is wool anything!

 

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“Anayah tickled pink!”

The United States board on geographic names worked to standardize placename spellings in the late 19th century, including the dropping of apostrophes. Thus for a time Martha’s Vineyard was officially named Marthas Vineyard, but the Board reversed its decision in the early 20th century, making Martha’s Vineyard one of the five placenames in the United States today with a possessive apostrophe. * (Wikipedia)

The Island is about 100 sq. miles and the 58th largest island in the United States.  The year round population exceeds 16,000, but not surprisingly, the summer population swells to over 100,000!

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Like the nearby island of Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard was brought to prominence in the 19th century by the whaling industry, during which ships were sent around the world to hunt whales for their oil and blubber. The discovery of petroleum in PA led to almost a complete collapse of the industry by 1870. Both Martha’s Vineyard & Nantucket are steeped in the history of the whaling industry and many books have been written regarding this fascinating and dangerous hunting of whales all over the world.
One book that immediately comes to mind, and I highly recommend for all you sea lubbers adventurists is the

“In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex” by Nathaniel Philbrick.

One bit of interesting trivia I learned directly from the book was why the  right whale is called by that name,

the reason simply being because the right whale was the “right” whale to catch, (as opposed to the “wrong” whale)!

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“Old Whaling Church in Edgartown”

But for today, we were more than thrilled to be on the dock in Edgartown, eating our lunch and watching fisherman,

 watching the Chappaquidick barge take cars back and forth………

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Watching the little ones clown and flirt……… 100_6155 100_6153

and just enjoy each other’s company…….

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All agreed, a wonderful time was had on the “Vineyard”

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