Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Found a place that we absolutely love! Upper east side about 10 blocks south of our previous hood. So, really a whole new neighborhood to explore. It took us exactly 1 week to find this apartment and just about 2 days to unpack. Hanging pictures will come later as the building is pre-war 1920's art deco style with plaster walls. Once we get the proper tools, pictures will settle upon these walls.

Sarah is in her element (surprised us she's usually anxious in new situations) strutting ahead of us marking every spot she can on the way into Central Park. Dillon is feeling much better. He has stopped scratching so we're not sure if the meds are just working better, he was allergic to the boat, or allergic to southern states. Either way, dogs are now happier so we're happier!

We all feel healthier. Fresh produce is easier to acquire and we're all back to walking, running, and just plain having fun playing.

It feels great to be home.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Beginning of NYC Journey

Crashing at Mandy's Dad's place. Arrived Wednesday evening just in time for dinner and for the dogs to dive bomb his bed. They're happy to have terra under their paws.

Spent Thursday scouting out a proper doggie day care. Found one but still reluctantly left our munchkins to go have lunch at Candle Cafe - phenomenal! Plus, Mr. Munson himself (Woody Harrelson) was at the table next to us. Even a non-vegan would love the food and company at this restaurant. Also, check out Woody's website

While we're a big fan of his, we ignored him NY style and let him enjoy his meal and guest in peace.

Friday, walking down in the Village where really cool people hang out, we happened upon a movie set. Trailer opened - "What movie are you filming?" Response - "Wall Street 2" Ryan: "Hey, there's Oliver Stone!" He even pointed at him. Ollie tipped his head forward under his ballcap probably hoping we wouldn't bother him on his lunch break. He relaxed as we turned the corner and left him alone. Now, if had it been Shia LeBeouf, Ryan would've chased him down the street like the Beatles in the 60's.

No apartment as of yet, because we're short 2 jobs and and long 2 dogs. The exact opposite would be much easier. So far, the apartments are a step down from our boat. Tomorrow's a new day with a new price point. Wish us luck!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Chapter 2 of 3

On this "hometown" search via boat, we've come upon some lovely places but always found ourselves comparing these spots to New York City. Our intention was to settle in Florida but upon further due diligence we realized we'd be trading winter for hurricanes, sailing for motoring, and bums for old people.

We decided on winter, sailing, and bums because it's just best to go with what you know. I'm not allowed to complain about winter. And, I won't be I'll be looking forward to all the wonderful northeast spring and summer sailing.

The boat will be put on the hard in Charleston until winter passes. Then, we'll return in April and deliver her north. We're shopping for marinas in the Long Island Sound.

In these four months, we plan on moving back to NYC and will be 2 of those people out on random weekdays of which we always wondered - what do they do?

For those of you who don't know us well, this seems to be out of left field but rest assured when living on a boat with no t.v., intermittent internet, and a pace that moves about as fast as a bicycle, this leaves plenty of time for discussion.

The best part of this plan is we get the best of both worlds - city life and sailing life.

This plan works for all those involved except for the squirrels and pigeons of NYC. Here come Sarah and Dillon!

Beautiful Charleston

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On our way to Charleston

Look familiar Tim/Ashly?

Good thing we didn't
eat them all at once
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Thursday, November 5, 2009

1,000 Mile Celebration

On our way from Georgetown, SC to Charleston, SC we passed through our 1,000 statute mile marker. Woohoo! We have now logged 1,047.755 statue miles.

In celebration of this milestone and the fact that Ryan is still awake and it's past 7 p.m., we plan on painting Charleston red.

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Plethora of Our Favorite Things

*Music is the ultimate winner because it takes us back to a particular place in time. It's just like a journal.

But our other favorite things on this trip fall into 4 categories: sailing, activities, appreciate, products.

Strong current astern, well marked channels, visible obstructions, making bridge openings, deep water, calm anchorages, sticky mud for holding, opinion free conversation with other cruisers, meeting other young cruisers, accurate weather forecasts, silent VHF passes perfectly executed, ranges that help line up tricky channels with extensive shoaling, co-pilot assisting with navigating, rising water depth, Boat U.S. gold unlimited tow package, new binoculars, marinas, wind when under sail in just the most ideal direction

Activities (kind of like spotting license plates from different states)
Finding boats from far off areas - Australia, Grand Cayman, England, and not so far off Canada. When we see a boat from Canada, we can’t help singing “My girlfriend, my girlfriend she lives in Canada” (musical Avenue Q - very funny for adults only), free wifi and then look at real estate, update blog and read NYTimes (check out Block-a-Thon by Andy Newman) just our sense of humor (especially liked making the sign - ‘Post No Bills’), Sirius radio (love music and love to sing all songs with my own made up words - this can entertain one for hours), spy nature - pelicans, dolphins, goats, turtles, deer swimming, fish jumping, Spanish moss, hay colored grasses, fireside chat (R lights hurricane lamps with paraffin fluid and we sit and talk about how we’re surprised we still have stuff to talk about

Hot water, spacious showers, block ice, strong pump out stations, sunny days, walking towns, pressure cooker, labeled cycle time and functioning washers/dryers, fresh produce, fresh baked bread, time, sturdy garbage bags, strong paper towels, fuel disposal, seashells, slow passes by motorboats, sleeping dogs, easy to read charts, helpful guidebooks

Ruffles potato chips (Pringles second), Biobags for dogs (they’re made of corn and so will disintegrate even if buried in landfill - the blue biodegradable bags only compost if exposed to sun so they’re no good), Seventh Generation wipes, Amy’s, A’s homemade soup and bread, Indian spice packets, Chili Oil, Hot Sauces (Texas Pete, Sirachi, Green Tabasco, Chiluha), seltzer, boxed wine, French fries, Giovanni peppermint shampoo, Kiss My Face shaving cream, Jason unscented body wash, Alba coconut face wash, Nature’s Gate toothpaste, Near East Rice, Fantastic Sloppy Joes, BioNature jam (no refrigeration necessary), Agave nectar, Planter’s mixed salted nuts, Pacifico vegetable broth sold in individual sizes, McLube

So, back to music...

Don’t stop believing
Hold on to that feelin’’’’’’
One day we’ll see sunnnnnnnnnnnnn

Who doesn’t love Journey?

The sun will come out tomorrow
Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow
There’ll be sun

The whackiness goes on but don’t want to share too much this early on!

Motoring the ICW - NOT Sailing :-0

Sailing is a blast when actually under sail - main/jib hoisted, wind just right - even better when the sun is shining - Oh, what a beautiful feeling…

When motoring like we are on the ICW, it’s a bit more like a never ending road trip without any pit stops. Mind you, as anyone close to us knows, we enjoy a good road trip. But on this trip, we’re in a convertible exposed to rain and wind.

We feel like we’re delivering Prudence south rather than sailing her. It will be a ceremonious occasion when we are once again sailing.

Now, we’re not complaining (too much), it beats work and the scenery is stunning in most places.

And the conversation…well, let’s just call it quirky. Just like on a road trip (without music playing b/c we must monitor radio), random thoughts appear in one’s head. We’re the kind of people who share those whacky thoughts at least with each other. Thought I’d share some with you as it’s rare I let people see this side of me.

So, the morning starts out with drizzle and 50 degrees. Cloudy. I can’t help but sing - Rain drops keep falling on my head. That turns into Raindrops on roses and whiskers on “dogs”. Which leads me into a couple activity - make a list of our favorite things.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sweet Potato Salad

by Mark Bittman of the NYTimes

Delicious! Definitely a make it again. Try it out :+)

Sweet Potatoes
Red Onions
Black Beans
Olive Oil

Something just isn't right

What's wrong with this picture?

Where are we?
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Butler Island Views

Spanish Moss

Spooky Tree
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Georgetown, SC

Thirty mile jaunt turned into a quicker trip with a 2-3 knot current making Prudence go 9.3 knots at one point! This is equivalent to about 130 MPH in a car. No need to check our math. It's true. Prudence now travels faster than I run.

Surprised we made it without any incidents given all the flotsam. Logs, branches, grasses, and trees growing right in our path.

Today's a good day for many reasons. The sun is shining. The rain has stopped. The current was swift. Our dogs are marina happy. Yes, we're at a marina again. Sometimes, it's just easier on all of us.

So far, we anchor 2/3 of the time with the remaining 1/3 spent at some pretty nice places. This is a vacation too after all - as Ryan keeps reminding me. I think we enjoy the marinas so much more because we do without sometimes. It makes us appreciate land amenities like a flush toilet and hot, spacious showers that much more!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Wrightsville Beach

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Cousins of Wilmington

Ryan has cousins from both sides of the family in the Wilmington area so we had a blast. A planned 1 night stay turned into 3 nights. Caught up with Brent in Surf City. Then, hung with Tim, Nick, Catherine, Ashly and finally got to see H1N1 Ian when it was decided that he may not contaminate us or our boat.

When not with the hospitable cousins, walked historic district and downtown Wilmington. A great artsy feel with beautiful homes. With the borrowed car, headed to Wrightsville Beach twice where we collected shells, dreamed about becoming great surfers, and ran like wild with the dogs.

Memorable meals - best falafel sandwich from Black Sea Grill on Front St. and Tim/Ashly whipped us up a delicious vegan meal complete with portabello/eggplant burger sandwiches with roasted potatoes and salad on our last night.

Dog status - Sarah is still sweet and calm as ever just chillin’. Poor Dillon is becoming frustrated and we’re worried about his happiness. Brought him to Tim and Ashlys’ place to play with Daisy but it just wasn’t enough to satisfy him. He needs more walking and running time. Plan is to stay in a few towns like Charleston and Savannah longer and when we hit Florida stay long-term on monthly moorings. He’s just so full of life. Sarah is our snuggler. Dillon is our runner! Hopefully, we don’t all go insane before we reach Florida :-)

Rain, Rain - Go Away

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Pelicans, Turtles, Goats, and Deer - Oh, MY!

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

SNOW Cut Exit - Should’ve known with a name like snow!

Approach to and through Snow Cut from Wrightsville Beach area thornier than a porcupine with currents pushing Prudence 90 degrees off course even at full throttle. Luckily, several boats earlier in the day ran aground and alerted us to extensive shoaling encroaching past markers into the channel. So, at least, we knew to try and avoid those sandbars while surfing Prudence through currents like a swimmer in a riptide.

Entered Snow Cut with currents pushing Prudence from port to starboard right beneath the bridge. Exited Snow Cut without any issues and feeling pretty darn confident about my “captainshipabilities” (Mandy). No worries even as we approach Cape Fear. Fearlessly, I approach the channel from the northwest as indicated in our guidebook, depths start decreasing 10, 6, 5, oh - s---. We draw 4’ 11” seeing 5’ just ain’t no good.

Port. Starboard. No depth anywhere! 3.8’ problem solved. Stopped dead and tipped slightly to port. SOP (standard operating procedure) initialized immediately. Throttle ALL the way down. Neutral. Reverse. Throttle all the way up. BUMP. BUMP. BUMP with wake and current. 3.8’ still. Called Tow Boat U.S. What will we be thankful for this Thanksgiving? Buying the unlimited tow package.

In the meantime, huge wakes came by thanks to the rude people driving powerboats that just seem to lack common sense when it comes to being considerate of other boaters around them. Despite alerting approaching boats about our situation and requesting little to no wake, these motorboats kept creating wake and making our boat slam further into the sand bar floor.

This behavior just confirms my dislike of people who drive motorboats like they’re in a racecar. I put a hex on them as of today. May they all run out of gas and have to stay put while all their onboard accoutrements begin to fail due to lack of power and all their frozen foods melt especially their meat - may it go rotten! As we sail by on free power!

Saturday, October 24, 2009


Galley Cook

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Oriental Region

Anchored last night in South River outside a creepy cemetary that apparently is still in use but grave stones indicate it's been around since the 1700s. We did our last dinghy ashore with dogs in daylight because we were so afraid. Felt like we were in a Stephen King movie.

Other than being spooked, pleasant and windy night. Best part, galley wench had the evening off. Ryan put together a nice spread of pasta with bread and red wine. It was delicious!

In Deaton Marina tonight. They let us borrow a truck so we reprovisioned food and spare parts. All set for tomorrow's departure. Deaton owners (husband, wife team) extremely helpful! Oriental town is just wonderful. Too bad we leave in the a.m. At least, we'll leave if R's first oil and filter change are successful. I'm sure they will be :-)

Sea Life

Bubba Gump


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On route to mile marker 135

Firsts for US

  • Swarmed by mosquitoes - more than ever seen before (hid down below)
  • Dillon (always hot) shivering it’s so cold - had to make him stay down below to warm up
  • Passed by motorboat (we throttle down and so do they when they reach our stern for less wake)
  • Boats on ICW mimic a slow parade
  • VHF used TOO much
  • Sighted Bald Eagle in tree
  • Stars and Bars everywhere (not just one)
  • Southern accent thick
  • Pod of dolphins surfed our stern waves
  • Pitch black night in Belhaven Harbor dinghying ashore with dogs - R hit stump? and chipped our outboard propeller. An appropriate wife response per Ryan, (A) “We’re o.k.” - (B) “Are you o.k.?” - (C) “The boats o.k.” I went with (D) “Oh, F---!”


24 ounce man

Sarah at the helm

Dillon on watch
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Take That!

Sun Dance Step 1

Sun Dance Step 2

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Dead Body, Artillery Firing Squad and Beer

Goodbye Elizabeth City
Hello Alligator River (didn’t see any though)

On our way to the Alligator River Marina, we heard over the VHF the NC Coast Guard being hailed to report a dead body on our route with an anchor wrapped around it! Suspicious - huh? The Coast Guard instructed the sailing vessel to remain with the body and if possible bring the body on board without damaging the body.

Ryan and I decided that if we find a dead body, we’ll bring it on board using our life sling and a halyard. We’d place the body on the bow until officials arrived. We have planned for all the typical cruising mishaps but this one we never even considered. Glad we now have a plan. But, we still haven’t figured out how to keep the dogs away from the dead body.

We’re not sure if the cruisers were successful in extracting the body from the water but we have our own idea about what happened. Someone(s) not familiar with the shallow local waters (possibly the mob?) dumped the body not taking into account tides, currents, and depth. The perpetrator(s) is most likely far gone from this area which is good because we have 3 anchors on board.

Bam! Is what we heard but not like from the Flintstones or Emeril. A BAM that vibrated through our bodies, echoed in our ears and chests like a concussion or percussion instrument, and immediately put us on guard. Turns out the military practices artillery firing in an area somewhat nearby to where we were sailing. Regardless that we were well out of the restricted area, we still felt it strong! As for others, we heard boats being hailed left and right to get the hell out of the restricted area! Don’t people read charts??? Is the military liable for injury if a person disregards charts and announcements informing them of firing???

Upon arriving at the marina for the evening, ice and beer were in order to celebrate the fact that we were still alive and having quite a fabulous life! Ryan came back though with 24 ounce cans of beer. Is he nuts? I can barely drink the normal size. Actually, I prefer the minis. His reasoning…

1 beer = tired
2 beers = just right
Hence, purchase four 24 ounce Coors Light cans (our beer of preference while cruising) for a $1.49 thus only 75 cents per beer less than the 6-pack charge for Budweiser. Mispriced.