Chief Cook & Bottle Washer


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!


 “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”


“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”!


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

Car rental companies don’t want us to know…

that our credit card company will cover damage to our rental car!!!



car wreck


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


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!!!


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.


“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.


“Gingerbread cottages at the “Campground”





















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!

100_6143 100_6144 100_6145   100_6147

“A pensive moment”


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!


100_6149 100_6150

“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!

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)!


“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………


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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Enjoying the Cape Cod Canal

cape cod canal


Only a few more weeks until school lets out and we are finally able to move aboard our new home.  We have been very busy organizing, packing and getting ready to leave.  We have also been trying to squeeze in a few day trips that we would typically have done over the summer, but since we will not be in Massachusetts this summer, we thought, why not do them now, before we head out.

I have wanted to take a Cape Cod Canal Cruise for the past couple of summers, but missed the boat twice because of extremely heavy traffic on the Cape.  But, not this year, we arrived early in the season before the crowds flock to the Cape, and practically had the boat to ourselves.  What a fun, relaxing ride.



Preparing to depart with extended family

Preparing to depart with extended family


"Wicked Island".  A private island on Cape cod that has been for sale through the years ranging in price from 2.5 million to 1 million

“Wicked Island”. A private island on Cape cod that has been for sale through the years ranging in price from 2.5 million to 1 million


Cape Cod Canal Railroad Bridge

Cape Cod Canal Railroad Bridge



Canal Art

Canal Art






Bourne Bridge

Bourne Bridge



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I bought a boat today!!!



After a year and a half of planning and research, I am pleased to announce that I am now the proud owner of 45 Gaege, formerly Ladie Sadie.


She is a beautiful 1987 63′ Hatteras Motoryacht.



  • 4 Staterooms
  • 4 Heads
  • Twin Detroit Deisel 12v71ti
  • 2 Onan 20k generators
  • Bow thrusters
  • Naiad Stabilizers
  • Watermaker
  • Radar arch


Rather than post interior photos, I will post the transformation photos as they unfold.  Stay tuned…


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Down to the Wire



What a hectic week.

Paperwork, paperwork, and more paperwork.


My closing deadline is tomorrow.  I have spent all week scrambling and preparing.  I had to make my final commitment on the insurance, and get my application and payment in to bind coverage.  I was afraid to close on the boat without having the insurance in place.  I also had to get the LLC paperwork over to the marine documentation company for titling.  I decided to title the boat in an LLC, rather than my name personally.  (More on that later).  I had to get to the bank and open and fund a business account for the LLC, so that I can pay the bills.


Yesterday (Wednesday) I was freaking out a little, thinking I may not get everything done in time.  It wasn’t so much that I couldn’t pull it together, but trying to get other people to move as fast as you would like, can sometimes be daunting.  But, every day is a new day and a new opportunity for things to go right, and that it did.  Today I received a signed Bill of Sale from the seller, my bound insurance policy, and all my titling documents that will be sent to the USCG.  I am eagerly awaiting final wiring instructions from the seller, and that will be a wrap on that folks.


Boat details tomorrow!!!



Freedom and Boat Insurance

sunk yacht


The funny thing about boat insurance is that it really forces you to take a hard and realistic look at your cruising plans.  If you are feeling ambitious and get more coverage than you really need, you will pay for it.

I am hoping to have my new-to-us boat in about a week and a half.  My plan has changed several times, at best.  Nothing has gone quite as initially expected.  I had been hoping to close on the boat and bring her straight to Boston weeks ago.  But, now the end of the school year is drawing near, I figure, why rush?  The boat is currently down south.  Might as well enjoy the ride, take our time, and pit-stop in the Bahamas before heading up.  If I get lucky, and the plan takes another great turn, maybe I will not have to return to Boston at all (insert smiley face).

A couple of months ago, I was getting insurance quotes for strictly cruising New England waters.  Now, I am seeking unrestricted quotes.  The two prices vary greatly.  The latter, of course, being significantly higher.  I have also learned that you can get a partially unrestricted quote. Meaning, you basically have to be above Cumberland Georgia before July 15th.  Cumberland, Georgia seems to be the insurance cut off point for the East Coast.  Not sure where that came from, but that’s what it is.  The partial policy is the middle price point between the others.  So, if you have a situation like mine (living in the Northeast), essentially you have a choice of Discount insurance, Moderate and High, depending on how much freedom you want.

When you are deciding on which policy to go with, you really need to be honest with yourself and decide if you will actually cruise the grounds that you are going to pay for.  I have thought about this in depth.  Wondering if I will have the time with the work that I have to have done on the boat.  Plus, I will need a captain, and hurricane season… and so on and so forth.  Ultimately, I have decided to go for it.  I want the unrestricted policy!!!  I first decided over a year ago to purchase this boat in the spirit of Life is Short and Just Do It, so why stop now?  This is why I wanted a boat, so my kids and I can enjoy life, in a better way.  So, might as well start now.


Here are some great tips for new boat owners from robster at Cruiserforum.


Here is what you should look for (at a minimum):

1. What kind of towing/vessel assistance is covered? Many companies place a fairly low dollar limit on what they will pay for towing or assistance.

2. Make sure the agreed value of the policy is adequate for replacing your boat and possessions. All of the good companies will require a survey and that will establish the value of your boat.

3. How do they cover mechanical problems that result in other damage? I have two friends that were insured with Premier, and each had a defective part in a diesel engine fail resulting in complete damage to the engine. Premier would not pay for repairing/replacing the first guy’s engine until he hired an attorney and started a lawsuit. My second friend is still fighting them a year after his engine failed. Most yacht policies will not pay for the original failure but will pay for resulting damages. Example: a fuel injector fails, spews fuel into a piston, causing damage to the piston that damages the rest of the engine. Most yacht policies will not pay for the fuel injector but will pay to replace or rebuild the rest of the engine. Premier’s policy language requires that an accident take place (like you hit a sandbar or ran over an anchor line, etc.).

4. Protect your future and get the highest liability limits you can. If you are smart you will also have a Personal Liability Umbrella.

5. How much environmental damage coverage does your policy provide? A good yacht policy will provide somewhere north of $700,000. Your Personal Liability Umbrella will not cover environmental damages.

Did I mention you need to read your policy? 🙂


Marine insurance is tricky to sort through.  Now any other good tips?  Leave a comment and your 2 cents!!!




What’s in a name?


I have to keep pinching myself because I still can’t believe that the house is sold and the boat is under contract.  For months, thoughts of boat names have crossed my mind, but I put them aside, thinking “I have bigger things to get accomplished right now, then worrying about a name.”  I have been taking things step-by-step, but always thinking ahead to the next move.  Every step is a new one for me.  But, now is the time. Name Time!

The boat will be ready for Coast Guard documentation within the next couple of weeks.  The new name will be needed to complete this process.  My Mom and I have hashed over  some thoughts, but nothing has really hit me yet, as the one.  I want a unique name.  A name that no other boat has, but has meaning and/or purpose for us; a clever name.  Any bright ideas?

And… of course, the renaming ceremony.  I am very superstitious and the last thing I want to do is piss off the Greek Gods and sentence my new boat to an unlucky fate.

Capt Pat, from Boatsafe wrote an interesting article,  Renaming Your Boat.

“According to legend, each and every vessel is recorded by name in the Ledger of the Deep and is known personally to Poseidon, or Neptune, the god of the sea. It is logical therefore, if we wish to change the name of our boat, the first thing we must do is to purge its name from the Ledger of the Deep and from Poseidon’s memory.”

He goes on to describe the ceremony to properly change the boat name and avoid the wrath of the Gods.  There are several different variations of this ceremony, but they all have the same goal, to appease the Gods.  But first, we have to come up with the name.


Know any great boat names?  Leave a comment and your 2 cents!!!





Survey Says…



I have good news, bad news, and more good news regarding the survey.  First off, we used Ed Rowe, who came highly recommended by many.  I thought that he did a very good job. He was thorough and patient when explaining and answering all of my dumb newbie questions.  My survey with Ed was monumentally different than the survey that was commissioned for a previously failed sale.  Ed found a whole bunch of crap that the last surveyor missed.






The good news is that the boat that I am purchasing is a “good boat”.  Ed said on more than one occasion that he was very surprised and impressed by the condition of the boat, given its age.  He was impressed that there was no leakage or staining near the windows.  He was impressed that the boat was dry in areas that he claimed were typically moist in Hatteras’ of this age, such as near the overhangs where the rails are bolted to the deck.  I was pleased by his positive attitude and feedback.  But, I was not terribly surprised.  I have looked at several of these boats, and this was part of the reason that I chose this particular boat.  It is unmolested, in terms of previous owner, “cosmetic improvements” and there is barely any water staining anywhere, not even on the exterior door panels.  In fact, this boat had the least amount of water damage of any of the boats that I have looked at thus far.  This boat also has nice features such as a functional bow thruster, 2 generators, a watermaker and a very clean bridge with a radar arch, which was important to me.

The bad news is that the boat had been severely neglected.  Luckily, the boat was fresh water and had been kept in a boathouse most of its life, so the deferred maintenance is mostly all correctable.  I knew going in from the prior survey that there were some items that needed attention, but Ed revealed many more that I was not aware of.  It was more than I expected.

The good news is that the seller agreed to have the boatyard where the boat is docked correct almost all of the deficiencies.  I am happy with that.  I have already accepted the boat and I am waiting for the repairs to be complete so that I can take possession or “delivery” in boat terms of my new-to-me yacht.  The closing should take place by the beginning of June.  For those of you who have not figured out yet, from all of my clues (should be easy) what boat I am purchasing, I will reveal it after the closing.


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