Saturday, September 27, 2014


So here's what it is about:  bloggers recognizing other bloggers.  The Liebster Award is a project that promotes the discovery of new blogs.  If you're selected for the "award", you must answer some questions given to you by the blog that selected you, and then also choose other blogs for the award and give them some questions to answer.  Thanx to Paul and Debra (Latitude 43) for awarding me.  Here are my answers to the questions they asked:

When did you first catch the sailing/cruising bug?
Back when we lived in Colorado, we had a kitchen design/remodel business, and our watersports consisted of canoe camping on lakes and rivers.  One of Jaye's colleagues asked if we could redo the laminate in the galley of his 24-foot Catalina sailboat.  Small project, he said.  We didn't even need to come to the boat, he said, he could deliver the piece to us, it fit in his car trunk.  When it came time to return the finished piece and he asked how much he owed, Dan said it was such a small job, it's almost embarrassing to charge you.  "Tell you what, I spent about 3 hours total on this, why don't you give us 3 hours of time understanding your fascination with this boat thing?"  His boat was in Lake Granby in the Rockies.  One summer Saturday we drove up to where he was, sailed around for a bit, dropped the anchor and had some snacks, then motored back to his mooring.  This small project is now remembered as the most expensive kitchen job we ever did.  Dan was utterly hooked from that moment.  A few months later, at a candle party, we met the best friend of Jaye's office mate, who was a charter yacht trip broker.  She said she thought we'd hit it off really well with one of her charter yacht captains (she was right, we still count David as one of our A-list friends).  A short time later we were on a 1-week liveaboard/learn to sail cruise in the Virgin Islands.  We were boat owners within a year.  Not a bad trajectory for a Kansas farmboy!

Water life pre-sailboat: canoeing with friends at Ruby Canyon on the Colorado River, sometime in the early 1990s.
Bassackwardz, our first boat, 1975 Erickson 27, Northport, Michigan

Describe your worst repair or maintenance job on the boat besides the head. Everyone already knows that’s a shitty job.
Um, writing the check to the boatyard?  Certainly that's the most painful.  The weirdest job had to be getting rid of wasps that had built a nest at the top of the mast.  Think about this -- you normally get 10-20 feet away and spray.  But when you're climbing the mast, if you annoy the wasps before they are all dead,  you can't get away!
Up to the top of the mast with a can of wasp spray!

Improvised safety gear: foulies so the spray wouldn't contaminate skin, and mosquito netting that normally keeps critters from coming down our hatches draped over a wide-brimmed hat to prevent stings.

If you could turn back time just 3 years what would your cruising life be like today? If I could turn back time just 5 minutes I would have asked a different question because now I have that stupid Cher song in my head.
Delighted to say, I would do it over again the same way.  According to our ship's log, three years ago today, Sept 26, our marina in Annapolis completed engine service and alignment, and we left for an ICW trip to Florida on Sept 29, 2011.

Music soothes the soul. Do you listen to music onboard? What type of music and on what media? If it’s 70’s disco please decline the award and I’ll remove you from my feed. Just kidding. Feel free to add a mirror ball to the salon and dance all night long. I don’t judge. Much.
We've got a crazy-eclectic collection on our iPod: lots of jazz, steel pan and soca from the islands, reggae, Broadway show tunes, rock, big band swing, old sea chanteys.  And, courtesy of my last boss, a collection of the Billboard Top 100 from every year from the 1940s to the 2000s, so that includes 1970s disco.  (**blush**)
We have at least a little bit of every kind of music imaginable on our 160 GB ipod, from "Zulu Men's Singing Competition" to Baroque recorder, jazz, rock, reggae ... and some disco.  (Image, and a link to purchase your very own disco ball, here)

Was there ever a time on the water when you thought "Oh shit!" and all the fun was over for that day?
Well, there was one trip when I went below while we were underway and noticed the floorboards were floating in ankle-deep water.  It was right after Hurricane Irene in the Chesapeake Bay, and I blogged about the adventure in a post called May You Live In Interesting Times.

Wine, beer, booze or tea?
Rum is our preferred; packs the most buzz per ounce, and efficiency of space is prized around here!  And wine with dinner.  But it's all too easy to overdo.  We know too many boozy cruisers and are scared of that particular slippery slope, so we try to restrain ourselves to no more than one or two per day.  The rest of the time we use a SodaStream and just fizz our cold water.

Has there ever been a destination you couldn't wait to arrive at only to be disappointed when you got there? 
Parts of the Bahamas on our first cruise in 2009-2010.  The water was crystal clear and gorgeous ... and too darn cold to snorkel for more than a short time! We'd been thinking we'd be jumping off the stern and swimming every day, instead, even in our wetsuits it just wasn't warm enough.

What part of cruising do you dislike the most besides no flushing toilets or bloggers asking stupid questions?
I miss the freedom and independence of a car, at the same time that I love the way walking instead of driving lets me see our cities and towns from a totally different perspective.  And I miss having lots of tools and a woodshop. I miss having an ongoing relationship with a trusted hairstylist and my awesome physical therapist Jen, and yet, if we weren't cruising, I'd miss the mobility and the opportunity to experience new places more than I miss the things I just mentioned!

Describe the best time you ever had on a boat unless it was illegal, then just email me.
Neither illegal nor immoral, but all I will say about that particular week of sailing is that when we came home, neither of us had any tan lines. Anywhere.

And now, I'd like to nominate:
Little Cunning Plan
Out Chasing Stars
Dock Six Chronicles
s/v Octopussy
Cat Tales

Some questions for those bloggers:

  • What got you started on boats/sailing/cruising?
  • What was your life like, pre-boat?  What did you do for recreation?
  • What's the most unlikely thing you currently have aboard?
  • Tell us about your first night at anchor.
  • If money were no object, what addition/change would you make to your present boat?
  • Aside from finances (we all have that issue), how has boat life changed you?
  • Most bloggers have a story about someone they met through their blog, or an amusing connection or opportunity that happened because of their blogging ... what's yours?
  • Give us a link to your most popular blog post.
  • And to one that you think deserves a wider audience.


  1. Thank you so much for the recommendation! I love the story about how you fell in love with being on a sailboat. From Kansas to sailing? That's pretty cool. Looking forward to exploring your blog more and connecting with the other blogs you follow and recommend.

  2. Nicely done. I also like the love story and I do not know if I could deal with a hornets nest up top. I would have to buy a copter drone rigged with automatic release of wasp spray.

    1. Wow, that would have been brilliant ... except we were kinda in the middle of nowhere. You know the guy in the Peanuts cartoon who always had a dirt cloud follow him around? We felt like that.

  3. Wow, the wasps nest is certainly an unusual - and terrifying! - one.

    1. Better in the retelling than the living through, to be sure! (Heading over to check out your blog now)