Saturday, September 28, 2013

Baltimore, MD

At the National Aquarium, we were watching the dolphins frolicking together in the underwater observatory when all of a sudden one of the dolphins peed directly in front of the window, leaving a long yellow stream. The group of young adults next to us collectively groaned. "Did that dolphin just pee?" asked one woman. Her male companion said, "Yeah! I mean, that's just disrespectful. We didn't need to see that." The woman said, "Wow! I didn't know dolphins peed!" Nice to know the aquarium is meeting its objectives of educating the public.

Monday, September 23, 2013

To a hammer, everything looks like a nail

Or, to a boat owner, every problem requires a complex solution. Matt is getting really efficient at taking things apart and fixing them. We have had a long string of these taking-apart-and-fixing episodes. So much so that when the running lights stopped working at the start of our overnight passage from NY to Cape May (NJ), Matt had the electrical switch panel cover taken out and had tested all the connections in less than 15 minutes. When nothing got the lights running again, and just before he brought out the snips to cut all the zip ties holding the wiring bundles together, he finally stepped back, thought for a second and realized that there was a separate breaker for the running lights that was off for some reason. After turning the breaker on, the lights started working. To be fair, while he was in the guts of the wiring he did find a loose connection, which could have been the original cause of the breaker tripping.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

New York, NY

Arriving in New York City after spending a month in sleepy Cape Cod was a bit of a shock to our systems. Fortunately we were able to ease into it a bit by anchoring in Port Washington, which is just outside of the vortex of downtown.  Port Washington is probably the most boater-friendly anchorage we have encountered.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Mainsails R Not Us

One of the reasons we wanted to live aboard with our two kids was to seek adventure. Yesterday was one of the days that we accomplished that goal.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Detour to Point Judith, RI

After a rolly night at anchor, we left Cuttyhunk for Block Island, which is normally an all-day sail. The winds were forecasted to be 20 knots at the high end. As we sailed along, we happily encountered the forecasted 20-knot winds. Then they crept higher. As they pushed into the high 20s with gusts into the 30s, Matt put a reef in the main sail.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Happy cake day, Matt!

I don't think this lighthouse is the Edgartown is the smallest one in the U.S. but it is the smallest one we have seen. We held true to our pledge not to pay to climb any more lighthouses. It was a pretty easy decision because it just didn't seem worth it to pay $5 a person to climb the tiny tower when we have been to the top of some of the highest.  When it comes to lighthouses, size does matter, apparently.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Oak Bluffs (Martha's Vineyard)

Today we took the bus up to Oak Bluffs. It has a real-life old-timey carousel where you try to grab the brass ring for a free ride, just like in The Catcher in the Rye. We figured we would let the kids ride it once and then we'd move on to something else. Matt paid to go on the ride because he wasn't sure the boys would be able to reach the rings. Well, we didn't have to worry about Conrad and Mark missing any rings. They had no trouble at all.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Martha's Vineyard

Edgartown is another town packed with great restaurants, galleries and ice-cream shops on every corner, albeit with a distinctly high-end flavor. If it wasn't for the fact that even at 4:30pm every other person on the crowded street was busy shoveling ice cream down their throats, we'd wonder how all the shops managed to stay in business.  Tempted by the ice cream, but refusing to give in, Matt went into a bakery and was standing in line to buy something unhealthy and yummy for dessert. The woman in front of him tried to order a salad and the twenty-something behind the counter said, "I'm sorry, we stopped serving lunch at 4:00" It was 4:08 and all the salad and other lunch items were still sitting out. Matt thought, "Really?" to himself and walked out. He didn't feel like patronizing the shop after that nonsense.  At least he didn't pull out an M-16 like Michael Douglas.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Here comes the sun

Conrad and Mark practiced faces. This is "scared."
You can see more at
After a serious boat rinsing yesterday, the sun finally came out today. Our solar panels made some ground on charging the batteries but they aren't going gangbusters like they were when we had the summer/equatorial sun.  We'll take that as our cue to start thinking about heading south.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

50 shades of gray (weather)

The only other sailboat left in the anchorage.
There were a few hours of sunlight this morning, so we spent some time on the beach. We saw thousands of these periwinkles in the tidal pools on the beach. They're a delicacy in Great Britain and other places but these were so tiny it seems like you would need to be pretty desperate to snack on them. Apparently when they're sold as street food, they give you a pin to get the meat out. We also played monkey in the middle, which is a funny game when the kids can neither catch nor throw very well. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Rain, rain, go away

Rainy day + new game from cousin Charlie = instant addiction
We have been living on the boat for over 8 months and, after 4 days of little to no sunshine, we had to for the first time turn on the generator to charge our battery bank. That's a pretty good run for our solar panels. But on the other hand, we feel like we have somehow failed.