Monday, March 23, 2015

Moving Forward (aka South)

It's amazing how time passes while living on a boat. We've been back in Dinner Key for nearly 12 days (what?!). With the shocking turn of events of our companion Wyatt, life has been different. The saloon feels much bigger yet lonelier, coming back to an empty boat with no dog wagging his tail anticipating your arrival still saddens us, and some days aren't nearly as entertaining. We've felt a huge outpouring of love from friends, family and new sailing buddies whom Wyatt has befriended so easily. Thank you all so much for the support, we really appreciate it. It's lovely to own a dog. Strangers feel so comfortable flashing you a smile or feel compelled to stop, pet your dog and stick around for a quick story about how you got your pup or how old s/he is. Dogs teach us patience and reliance. Why can't humans connect in this manner more often? Dogs are the link between human interaction.

We are eager to leave this somewhat "tainted" place for new landscapes and fresh sunsets. We crave a different anchorage, seeing new people, and absorbing a renewed energy for ourselves and Aletheia. During our extended period of time in Miami, our Yamaha EF2000iS Inverter Generator also took its last breaths. It started acting up on our trip down from Ft. Lauderdale. After fiddling with the generator, Nate suspects the electronic control board blew out and the generator came to its end-of-life. This Yamaha has a conservative lifespan of 500 hours and, I dare say, we've pushed that limit no doubt! We bought the boat with the gen so who knows how many hours its seen before us. After contemplating fixing the current gen or buying new, we decided to purchase a new generator. Same as how the former generator functioned, we will be able charge our batteries to run our motor or run directly from the generator to the motor. The new gen is scheduled to arrive today. We plan to leave Dinner Key Tuesday morning with the rising sun, head towards Elliott Key and anchor near Sands Key just inside Biscayne Bay. 

In the meantime, we've been keeping busy with boat projects and visiting local landmarks. I'm working on sanding and varnishing toerails (teak wood lining the siderails on deck) which has taken more time than I anticipated. Nate is working on adding moulding around the portholes. We visited Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, an Italian Renaissance home built in Coconut Grove from 1914-23. It reminded me of where Cinderella may have grown old with the Prince. Also, mentioned in 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, the villa was a must see. We followed up the tour with a self-guided visit to South Beach with dinner at a local Cuban eatery and spring breakers abound! Sure brought back moments reminiscing of my HS senior spring break in Daytona Beach with my eight dearest girlfriends (yeah, that's us below ten years later and even more beautiful!) I can't believe our parents let us go so young! LOL!

Love to All!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


There is never an easy time or way to share sad news, but we thought since our dearest friends and family are following this blog, it would be best to share here in this safe and supportive community.

Nate and I put our beloved Wyatt to rest on March 17th. After multiple vet visits and blood work, Wyatt was diagnosed with a sudden onset of acute renal failure (kidney disease). The link to this article explains the disease very simply. 

Resting comfortably in the shade on Tuesday

Wyatt was happily running by my side one week ago and within the week he became very sick. It happened quickly with no prior symptoms. Our choice wasn't easy, but it was the right thing to do for Wyatt's quality of life as well as our own. After getting bloat in 2011, an ACL replacement in 2014 and an ear hematoma removal just this past month, this dog has seen more than his fair share of vets and to put Wyatt through numerous vet visits, IV fluids, shots and on-going medication, we'd rather him rest in peace with his buddies because as we all know all dogs go to heaven. Wyatt has some pretty great friends up there too.

On his last day here, we took him to a nearby beach to run free, bound through the water chasing coconuts. For a few hours, all three of us forgot about the sickness and had smiles on our faces. This was definitely the Wyatt way!

Happy, salty wet dog - just the way he wanted it!

Instead of sharing details of his illness and how quickly he went from a healthy, athletic dog to his diagnosis, we want to share positive moments (and numerous amusing photos) with our Pancake. If you'd like to know more, feel free to give us a call. If you have any photos you'd like to share with us, please send to

We've been so blessed to care for Wyatt these last five years, as well as my sister, Lisa, who raised him from a puppy until he was 4 years old. We became his parents after our wedding in 2009 and couldn't have asked for a better opportunity to care for a devoted and affectionate pet. We've provided him with a happy and healthy home with so many stories, so many memories. Wyatt has shown us love, loyalty, humility and new ways to laugh. From roadtrips, Dinner in the Hood parties, impromptu bbqs, trail & road running dates, camping trips, used as girl-bait, mountain biking rides, and sleepovers, Wyatt was always there with a smile on his face, tail wagging like a set of nun-chucks. And thank you to all of our friends and family who always treated Wyatt like their own. He has been so easy to love.

May you rest in peace Sir Wyatt and chase your tail until the end of time

Checking out the digs in Halifax
After a solid run in Halifax
Just another grooming day with dad
Touring Port Clyde, ME 
After a rough day trying to leave Sambro Island, NS - this little guy comforts me
Hardly containing his excitement, going to the beach!
Exploring the woods

Our first trip & anchorage outside Halifax - boys absorbing the sunset
First time in saltwater - Blue Hill, ME

Gloucester, MA - beach time
Tea time with bears
Look mom, my new life jacket!
Heading ashore - Wyatt's favorite ride!
Stopping off for a cold beer

Enjoying sunset on the bow
Wyatt enjoying a party with new friends

Happy 2015!
Such an endearing moment with a fast friend
Oh boy, water all around me!
A cold Virginia sunset with dad and a warm lap for Nate
I'm so happy to be hanging out in the cockpit, Mom!
More cockpit action - my dad is a sucker!

And because of his utter love and cuteness, just a few more photos during our time of mourning:

Best head-tilter around!

Love to all,
Nate & Jenn

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Indoor Projects

Here are pictures of two small boat projects we've completed (or began) since inception. All you need is looking for something to do or feeling a need for success to get going.

While Eric & Amanda were visiting, Eric and Nate installed this LED rope lighting under the galley cabinets. It was already on board and wasn't doing any good sitting in a dark hole. It actually adds a great deal of light while cooking or as mood-lighting. The dimmer is a nice touch too!
A dimmer for extra galley lighting
Tiny LED lights give a nice ambiance

Yesterday, I finally felt motivated to pull out some fabric I've had for some time intending to make a closet curtain to cover up clothing, foul weather gear, computers, etc. There used to be a big ole' heavy wooden door where there is now nothing. We removed the door in Freeport, ME. It's a very simple rectangular piece of fabric, but not being much of a sewer, the thought hemming and hand-sewing the 25"x 58" borders sounded like a lot of work for ME. But as Aunt Bev told me, what do you think they did before sewing machines?! Good point. Also, with the fabric staring at me, I thought today is the day. I've hemmed the borders and will sew the edges within the next 1-2 days and assemble with onboard resources of eye screws and bungee. It will also add a bit of color to all the dark wood.

Hemming the edges
Current visual
A closet curtain in progress
Completed look to follow...


Friday, March 6, 2015

Plans Written in Sand

Happy Friday from the ever-so-sunny Sunshine State! It's 81 degrees and gloriously warm. I've forgotten that it's still winter, but soon Spring will spring for everyone! Looks like the temperatures around here will hover between 75-80 degrees for the foreseeable future. Sorry if you're reading this in wool mittens and hats or in slippers sitting next to a warm fire cuddling up with wool blankets due to the outside temperatures. Although, come to think of it, that doesn't sound like a bad place to be either! I do love wintertime!

We have a slight change of plans, as with sailing, plans are written in sand at low tide.

According to Windfinder, we have a continuous week of forecasted winds straight from the east, in the direction of the Bahamas. Therefore, instead of waiting on the hook for a shift in the wind and sailing in what sailors call "headwinds" or "beating into the wind" which is no fun for anyone or any dog, we're going south into Biscayne Bay and in and around the Florida Keys. 

We're getting antsies in our pantsies. In this compromising way, rather than enjoy the weather at anchor (which has been lovely!) and wait for an ideal weather window, we get to sail in beautiful weather, in protected bays (two thumbs up for Jenn), and explore the numerous islands and keys that neither of us have seen. 

We scrubbed Aletheia down this afternoon and provisioned for our trip. We plan to checkout* Saturday morning and head towards No Name Harbor about 30NM from Ft. Lauderdale. From there, we'll hop around sailing south, stay boat-bound only going to shore to explore, build a bonfire or possibly find a beachside restaurant. We hope to find some desolate anchorages and beaches along the way.

Love to all,

*Although we'll likely have cell service, we're going to disconnect during our time in Biscayne Bay and the Keys. 
p.s. Don't forget to Spring forward one hour this Saturday night!

Freshly scrubbed decks this morning
Ft. Lauderdale River Walk
Briny's Famous Irish Pub
Creative design concept throughout the restaurant - very ecclectic