solar eclipse sail!

It was May 20, 2012. There was a Solar Eclipse commencing. My neighbor, who has a Cal20 (a fast little boat), and I met at his boat and sailed almost to Angel Island just in time to see the eclipse (with quick glances). It was magical!


on the hard part dos

Some photos from the past week. Thanks everyone for your support and kind words!!


on the hard

I’m currently on the hard… in the dry dock… in the boat yard, however you want to call it. There’s so much work to do. Here’s a list of what’s wrong:

1. Needs a bottom job (aka, new paint to keep the hull (bottom of boat) safe and intact). While the sanding/first coat of paint already went on yesterday, the fin (image coming shortly) is pretty corroded due to lack of care from previous owners. This means another $650, sanding and chemical treatment to get shiny metal again, treatment of several coats of epoxy, and paint to go over that.

2. The rigging is being re-done. The rigging is the shrouds (metal lines) that hold up the mast. Therefore, the mast is down. While the mast is down…

3. The mast light needs to be fixed. This is for night time sailing, so other boats can see me coming. I’m not sure if it’s the wiring that’s not connected or if the bulb is burnt out. The bulb appears to be fine, however I can’t seem to unscrew it. Awesome!

4. I need to put up an antenna that I bought for a VHF radio to the top of the mast. VHF radios are important because this allows you to call the Coast Guard should you need assistance. Or if you’re going sailing with a group of boats, you can all communicate with each other. Pretty neat, and pretty mandatory!

5. The thru-hull needs to be re-sealed. The thru-hull is part of the head (toilet) that can dump waste overboard. You are legally only allowed to do this when you are three miles offshore. The problem is that a dummy was working on my pipes and cracked the seal to this piece. Thankfully the crack was minor, but if it wasn’t, my boat would have sank. Big big problem there.

6. The caulking needs to be re-done pretty much everywhere. The life lines (lines that go around the deck where you can hang on for safety) and around the seam of where the hull meets the deck. When it rains, there are several leaks that come inside the boat which just isn’t cool. It’s easiest to fix them all now while the boat is out of the water.

7. The rudder needs to be fixed. There’s a lot of “play” in it, meaning when you turn the tiller the rudder doesn’t necessarily move with it. Apparently if you neglect this problem the rudder can fall of, which means you then wouldn’t be able to steer the boat at all. That’s pretty major!

8. The water tank is leaking. This water tank is for me to be able to pump out water to, you know, wash my hands or brush my teeth. I’ve been filling water jugs and using those for the past few months but I’m over it at this point. I want a working water tank. However, I’ve been trying for a month to get the lid off (I’ve removed all the caulking that I can get to) however there is caulking underneath the lid that I can’t get to. At this point I’m determined to saw this lid off, and fix the dang tank.

There we go. Nice little list of things that I can get done! I will say that I am on day 4 of being in Alameda, and I MISS BERKELEY! I never thought I’d say that. I miss talking to my neighbors, walking and running the dogs around the park, I miss being in water (I sleep sooo much better when in the water!), I pretty much miss everything. I’m glad I’m in Alameda, though. It makes me realize how lucky I am, and what a great group of neighbors I have over there.

It’s Friday the 13th, and after this short day of work I will head over to the boat yard to crank out some efficient elbow grease, to the best of my ability. Whatever I can’t fix, I’ll have the yard fix. I’m already forking enough over, I really just want this crap to be done so I can move on with my life and start learning how to sail. Plus, it’s a small investment compared to a home. It’s worth it. I like this boat, I intend on keeping it and living on it for a while, therefore I am going to put some love into it <3.

——- UPDATE—–

The weekend is over, and oh was it discouraging. I can’t figure any of this stuff out, it all requires tools I have never heard of nor can I easily get my hands on them. So, the yard will be doing most of this stuff. So much for DIY work, but I tried! I am still working on removing the caulking, it just takes so much longer doing it yourself and we all know I’m not the most patient person. Slow and steady wins the race…


the bear dog

This is Bear wearing his new life jacket. It’s yellow in color, medium in size, has two buckles going around the midsection, and features a handle on the back so I can easily pull him out of the water when he accidentally falls in.



the races

My neighbors have a J24 (a great small racing boat) and like going to the weekly races put on by the yacht club. They’ve invited me several times, but I usually have other fun things to do, like sit at the DMV or stay late at work.

Anywho, I finally joined them and it was fun! Here are some pics… You’re allowed to laugh at my hair, it’s OK. After the races we went to BBQ some food at the yacht club (literally, you buy raw meat and BBQ it!) and shared some beers. What a great time 🙂  (am I the only one who thinks this smiley face looks scary??)

And I’m still trying to figure out the formatting, so bear with me here.


pre-on a boat

How did I, someone who is pegged as “high maintenance”, end up on a boat? First of all, I’m really pretty simple. As long as I have my dogs with me, a permanent and safe place to live, along with some income, I’m happy.

Things I hated about land life in San Francisco:

  • There was no way to bring two dogs into an already dog-friendly house. As much fun as living with 8 strangers sounds…
  • 75%+ of my monthly income went towards rent, leaving important things like food to be put on my credit card
  • I wouldn’t ever be able to afford visiting friends and family out of state.
  • I wouldn’t ever be able to pay down my debt (it would only increase, even though I wasn’t doing anything!)
  • I’d have an hour commute (at least) one way, costing a couple hundred dollars a month, for someplace cheaper. Some place cheaper would be $100 less, so that would actually add $100 to the SF rent price. There is no such thing as a good deal here.

All of those items were taking away from my basic joys of life. They were robbing me of my utmost happiness. The photo below is from the one and only time I ever went out in San Francisco. Four years later, people still assume I’m not a boat person. The only superficial difference between that photo and now (four years later) is that I don’t straighten my hair or wear bronzer and eyeliner anymore. On the inside, a lot has changed and it’s been nothing but good things.


Personally, I think it’s nuts to live outside of your means in a city that requires a six figure income to enjoy. I couldn’t join them, so I beat them. Life on the water is far better than life on land 🙂