Thursday, April 28, 2011


We saw a couple of manatees just 30 feet from our boat.  Frank had spotted one about 5 ft away from Moitessier as we were leaving to run some errands.  He saw it's whiskers pop out of the water and shouted at me to come look.  Of course, when I got there, it had disappeared.  So feeling disappointed, we continued on down the dock, and that's when I spotted this hump that looked like a mud bank.  I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me since I was thinking about manatees, but nope, I was right, it was a manatee.  A mom and a pup at that.  Apparently, they were stuck in the shallows behind the dock and couldn't get out till high tide.  Our neighbor decided to feed some water to them because that's what they seek out, and so he took a hose and dangled it over the edge of the dock.  Low and behold, they came right up to the hose and drank away.  It was really cute, because they would push each other away when one was being too much of a hog.  I had no idea that these animals were so friendly, nor did I realize that they craved fresh water so much (they drank from the hose for a good 45 minutes).

Friday, April 22, 2011

Up, Up, and Away

The past couple of days were spent cleaning and moving in the rest of our stuff.  We realized that we were doing things a little backwards and were trying to tackle projects even before fully moving in, which was stupid.  Frank, finally, sorted out his workroom, which is now organized with all of his hand tools and power tools.  We were surprised to see just how much stuff he could actually fit in there since there were so many tools both from him and from the ex-owner.  I think we have about 30 screwdrivers, 3 full sets of sockets, about 10 hammers, 10 wrenches, a drawer full of pliers, about 2000 ss nuts bolts and screws, drill bits galore, and a partridge in a pear tree.  That's not including our closet full of power tools and even a small stick welder.  Somehow though, the boat was able to fit it all, which was a very lovely surprise.

I went up the mast yesterday just to see the condition of our rigging and our mast hardware.  They recommend replacing rigging after 10 years, ours is original, meaning 27 yr old, so we're taking it upon ourselves to replace our rigging.  We're also looking to replace our chain plates, but overall, the condition of our mast looks good, there are only a few areas that need touch up painting.  We're planning on changing each wire out one by one, with me going up and down the mast.  We're thinking swage upper terminals, and mechanicals at the bottom, but we're not positive yet if we want to invest in the mechanicals or to just swage it all.  We're torn between making the investment; it'll be smarter in the long run to have mechanicals because we can inspect the wire more thoroughly, or to just be economical and swage it all (trying to prioritize our budget).  If only our bank accounts were bottomless....

I look so little... 

Moitessier looks so little :)

Our marina

Friday, April 15, 2011

Our First Homecooked Meal

Don't judge our coozies

Now that we have our stove fixed, our refrigeration all set, and some running water.  We were able to cook our first home cooked meal on board.  Fish tacos...yummy yummy.  Mahi-Mahi with salsa fresca, chipotle aioli, sprouts, avocado, sour cream, and green salad.  I made a bit of a mess whilst cooking, which Frank reprimanded me for (I always make a mess when I cook).  I guess I have to really work on that since a messy kitchen is not acceptable while at sea.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

No more Spaghetti-Os

Ice cold!
We spent today re-bedding the port-lights and fixing the refrigerator.   Frank discovered that the reason why the fridge wasn't running right was because of the water strainer.  The water strainer, that strains out the sediment and debris from the saltwater that comes into the water pump that cools the compressor, was clogged with twigs and gunk.  Also, the strainer had corroded through, so we had to go to West Marine to find a replacement.  After a bit of trouble, we found one, and Frank spent a little while reinstalling it as well as tightening hose clamps to remedy a few leaks that had developed in the system.  Eventually water finally started spitting out of the thru-hull, which meant that the refrigerator was properly cycling through and cooling itself, which in turn means that we now have a REFRIGERATOR.  Whoopee.  No more Spaghetti-Os and Progresso.  

All better

We also spent the other half of the day replacing the seals on our leaky port-lights (aka-windows).  The process basically consisted of removing the old seals (which were brittle and weathered), scraping up the gunk that was left over, re-caulking and putting new seals in.  The process was simple enough, and I hope that it works. As well, we met the previous owner of this boat today.  (Not the one that we had bought it from, but the owner before that).  It was a brief meeting, and he talked about how he single-handed the vessel for 4 years, from Puerto Vallarta, all through the South Pacific, to New Zealand, and the half dozen times to and from Bermuda.  It's amazing imagining that one person can single-hand this boat, whilst taking only 20 minute naps, traveling the world.  Makes you think, if he can do it, so can I.  He agreed to come aboard for a half day and show us the systems aboard, so we're really, really grateful for that.  All said and done, I think we had relatively productive and encouraging day.  Hope tomorrow goes as well.  

A cleaner space...

End of a good day :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Water, water everywhere, not a drop to drink

Aluminum Corrosion under inspection port
3rd day in and things have been more than stressful.  Let's see, we have no water or refrigeration yet.  We finally have a working stove, because Frank fixed the propane leak that was in the locker.  We spent all day yesterday draining out our water tanks so that we can shock the system.  Just as we were about to refill it, we discover a second tank that no one (including the surveyor) knew about.  Not only did we not know about it, but we don't know where it leads to or what's inside (since it doesn't have an inspection port).  So, no water till we figure this tank business out.   

Vacuuming out the debris
You don't wanna drink this...

Meanwhile, Frank is mapping out where all the hoses go, from the water tanks, to the holding tanks, to the water maker, and so on, so that we don't end up doing double work in terms of shocking the system.  As he was doing this, and testing out where the waste from the head goes to, our dc electrical panel blew a fuse.  This was caused by the flushing of our electric head (who needs a damn electric flusher?  We are replacing this unit as soon as we can afford it).  The flushing of the toilet proved to be too much load for our dc system and tripped it up.  We, of course, went into a panic.  After about an hour of crying (from me, of course) and rueing the day we decided to do this, Frank figured it out (with a lot of guesswork).  We are still not even close to halfway unpacked, and the immaculate boat we stepped aboard is long gone.  The whole thing seemed to have flipped upside down, and every inch of space is covered with our stuff, some of the previous owner's stuff, and a sprinkling of garbage.   There's always something to do.  I feel so grateful for Frank's mechanical know-how.  This whole thing has put us in a situation where we're forced to work as a team.  This has all been challenging, as Frank and I are complete opposites in every way, including how we approach things and how we see the world.  I once read somewhere that "successful crews consist of an optimist and a pessimist: without the optimist, the crew would never leave the dock,; without the pessimist, they would lose the boat..."   With that being said,  I believe that if we get through this, we can conquer anything.  Whatever doesn't kill you only makes you stronger, right?  Multi-tasking on a vessel is extremely difficult and I'm already learning that it takes a lot of patience and self reflection to do this. I admit, I'm yearning for the days of complacence, wondering when that will be again.

Our beautiful mess

Monday, April 11, 2011

Moving In

We're finally here on the boat.  Just spent the day moving some stuff onboard and getting rid of some of the stuff that was left here by the previous owner.   We've only moved in a fraction of the stuff that we brought down.   It's still so surreal that we are now living on a boat.   We spent the hottest part of the day napping in our pullman berth.  Surprising, the cabin was pretty cool, considering the high today was 90 degrees.   I think it's because we have a lot of hatches that open up to allow airflow, I was really nervous that the boat would feel like an oven.  

It's only our 2nd day in St. Augustine and already I feel like we live here.  I don't know how I feel about being here yet.  Things are so....different.  I can't figure out if that's a good thing or a bad thing.  The people here all seem very friendly, and already a couple times today, complete strangers have come up and started conversations with us.  The first time was when we were getting sandwiches, this guy from Africa came up and started talking to us about how Chinese women don't usually marry black men and about the crisis over in Japan.  Another time was at Walmart, our cashier told us about her dentist and how she got her tooth pulled  (I think the lady was on drugs) , and then a few times today at our marina, with a couple of other liveaboards.  Frank and I aren't used to it...all this loquaciousness and friendliness.  I guess we're just suspicious New Yorkers ;)  We're not used to people who want to talk to us and not want anything from us.  

I still can't believe that we own this boat.  That this is going to be our home for the next couple of years is just completely mind boggling.  There are so many systems that we have yet to figure out, and right now, as I'm writing (it's about 11pm), Frank is trying to figure out why our refrigerator is not pumping water like it's supposed to.  I have a feeling that this is just the beginning of a series of problems that we are going to have fix and problem solve on Moitessier.  

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Adios NY traffic

I <3 NY, bye!
After 2 days of driving, we're finally in St. Augustine.  The drive down was a pretty easy one.  We got to see the transition from winter to spring to summer.  We went from having no buds on the trees to buds, to leaflets, to beautiful green leaves.  40 degrees to 80.  Frank was worried the whole ride that the shocks on our pick up would give up on us (the back of the truck was so low to the ground that you could barely stick a foot under the mud flaps), but somehow, we managed to make it.  I'm having a semi-anxiety attack because Tom has yet to get back to us about our meeting time tomorrow, and I have already wired the balance to his escrow account.  Again, cue visions of him sipping margaritas in Fiji on a hammock while we're pathetically sitting in our truck full of all of our stuff just waiting for him to show up.  Of course, Frank tells me I'm just being paranoid, and I believe that...but that 1% doubt lingering in the back of my mind is simply eating away at me.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Truck Cap for the Ranger

We finally got a truck cap for the ranger.  Yay! Frank basically spent today modifying and installing it.  We got it off Craigslist for $100 which seemed cheap enough. It pretty much took him all day, since there was no way to attach it, on top of the fact that it wasn't the right size.  I spent my day doing paperwork and our finances. Calling this person and that and feeling worried that I was doing something wrong.  Transferring large sums of money to the yacht-broker's escrow account, all the while having paranoid little thoughts that Tom (our broker) is going to run off to Fiji with our money.'s been a terrifying day.  It's funny, when you think of buying a boat, you don't really think about all the stupid little things that are involved, and how those stupid little things can really stress you out.  The paperwork, the insurance, the contracts, the transferring of funds, the talking with this agent or that, all the while packing everything you own into the back of a pickup truck and praying to Poseidon that it all fits.  Then you can top that with having to figure how the heck you're supposed to lock all your crap in the back so that no one decides to steal it, or the alternative of having to drive a straight shot down to St. Augustine from NY.  I don't mean to complain, but it's just been nuts.   

It took all day yesterday getting our stuff out of the apartment.  Frank had to take about 30 trips up and down with our boxes while I had to stay in the pickup to watch everything and fend off the traffic cops.  It then all had to be tarped because we didn't have the cap yet and it rained for our drive upstate.  We just pushed our closing date to be the 11th instead of the 8th; we just cant get it all together in time....

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Feeling very sad today....saying goodbye to people you care about is really hard.  I know it's not forever because I'll definitely be back in NY, but it's just hard to say farewell to everyone you are so used to seeing on a day-to-day, week-to-week basis.   I guess you can say I'm mourning the death of this part of my life.  I have had so much fun meeting these amazing friends and getting close to them that it's really heart-breaking to think that they're not just a phone call and a subway ride away.  Leaving NY has made me realize just how much people take their lives and loved ones for granted.  It's taught me a lesson about expressing how much you love or care about someone while they're still around to hear it.

On a lighter note, the party was a blast.  Everyone got Frank and I a really cool cake that was in the shape of fried chicken wings and Grape Soda (our favorites cause we're ghetto).  They also got us jackets with Moitessier embroidered on them.  It was a really touching gesture and I can't quite find the right words to say thank you.  As well, our friends from upstate and some of Frank's friends that he hadn't seen in years, also came and showed their love.  It was a blast.  Thank you, Sandra for arranging all of it, and thank you everyone for making us feel like we'll be missed.

My <3...Sandra

My Cake

My girls

Saturday, April 2, 2011

April Fools...

So, just a couple more days until the closing date.  Still freaking out that we're actually moving.  Frank and I keep saying to each other that we can't believe we're actually doing this.  The past week or so has completely flown by....with my last day at my job being just yesterday.  It was a very melancholy day for me.  Tonight, we're going to try and let loose, and go to our going away party, thrown for us by Sandra, one of the most special people I've ever met.  I'm really sad that this is all happening so fast, and it's hard to even process it all.  Frank keeps telling me that he can't envision know, living in Florida, living on the boat, being in a completely new and different environment.

So far, we're about 70% packed..still have a couple more days of organizing.  Just bought a pickup truck because our Passat won't make it down that far.  Frank has some ideas as to how to pack all of our stuff because we don't have a cap.  We bought the truck last minute....made sense since we needed a new car anyway and u-hauls cost an arm and a leg.  Unfortunately on our way home, the rear brake-line burst...Can't catch a break...rather a brake.  So cue, Frank's obsessive research via Internet tutorials followed by Frank the greasy contortionist.  Five hours later, after a whole lot of cursing, at both the inventor of steel brakelines and me....we have an all new set of rear brakelines, installed and bled.  I must admit, I was pretty impressed with his resourcefulness and mechanical skill.  I guess that's what you need, if you're trying to do what we are trying to do.