Best of 2016

It’s that time again: time to usher in another Baby New Year with his sagging diapers.  Just when I was getting used to writing 2016, along comes usurper 2017. This is the year we plan to leave the dock. If all goes well, (knock on all the wood in sight), we will be cutting our lines sometime in June of this year after a long haulout in Olympia. We’re kind of flexible about the date, but not overly so. You’ll notice we’ve never posted an actual date of departure, in spite of the common wisdom that says ‘if you don’t choose a date you’ll never leave’.  We think posting a date is tantamount to throwing a gauntlet of challenge down in front of the gods. No, thanks. We’ll know when the time is right, and you don’t need to worry that we’re the kind that has to have everything perfect. Nothing has ever been perfect in our house or on our boat and that has never stopped us. Safe, yes. Perfect, no. 

By way of reflecting on this year, I’ve gone through all the blog posts to see what we’ve accomplished. Here are the highlights from 2016 I like the most and think are worthy of a second look. It was hard to choose because I tell you what: if we didn’t have a blog, I wouldn’t remember 10% of what happened this year. A lot happened.

And another thing: the blog is over 5 years old now and has 351 posts. No one, including me, is ever going to read all of those. Also, if they follow the trajectory of our path to here from there, they will know we are sailors by the way we tack back and forth until we get a good tailwind to push us forward. We’ve accomplished a lot, but we’ve been all over the map sometimes doing it. Life. So it goes.

The Best of 2016

This post gives you my top secret recipe for sugar-free Chai Tea. It’s still a winner and I brought Mike a huge container of it for the boat. Great Cuisine of India is still one of our favorite places to eat. We had dinner there last night after a day of helping the kids move things around back at the ranch (house).

Warm and delicious.

By February I was already well into almost panicking about the house, the plan, the life, the everything. Why? Is it because I don’t want to go sailing? No. Is it because I can’t live on our boat? No. It’s because I have an anxious brain that gets into trouble if I don’t give it something to do. And I had a lot of downtime. Still, I remember that time as one of sometimes stillness and a gentle appreciation of my home and garden. I did spend the last year just loving on our home.  Now Andrew and friends are living in the home and keeping Skippy well and happy. Things sometimes work out. I’m glad I have this post for many reasons, not the least of which is the photographs of the hellebores. When they bloom this year, I’ll go over and teach the new generation how to look for them and care for them. 

In April I participated in the A to Z Challenge and wrote a post every day. It was pretty brutal but I’m glad I did it. My chosen topic, Anxiety and Sailing, was well received. It’s amazing how many people have to deal with anxiety in this world. If you aren’t sure about the difference between general worry and anxiety, then you can start reading about it here. Better get settled because there are thirty posts about this topic. I made this fun ‘fear-o-meter’ to help teach people about how anxiety builds up to sheer panic. Now what do I do with it? I’ve threatened to take it with us so I can use it to ‘splain to Mike where my brain is at then he tries to anchor too close to rocks. 

Our Rumpus Room was one of the projects we completed in anticipation of moving aboard. It’s turned out to be a cozy and comfortable space to watch movies, just the way we planned it.  We’ve also been happy with how our fun and functional cockpit mat has continued to make our cockpit cheerful and easy on the feet.  This was the year we finally got an Aft Cabin makeover.  We sleep like babies in there.I

After living in fear that someone would visit our boat and literally turn their noses up, in September we finally solved the Case of the Mysterious Smell and also discovered we have a ghost aboard the boat. The ghost was not, actually a surprise.  The mysterious smellI was a difficult case that turned out to have multiple solutions, the final one an easy but obscure one. Yeah, it’s all easy once you know the answer.  And so far, we’ve been smell-free. We’ll see if things stay smelling sweet when the weather warms up.

All the fun of home!

Also in the ‘smell’ department, this was the year I took matters into my own hands and used Science to determine which holding tank treatment was going to work best for our toilet paper of choice. The winner was Zaal NoFlex Digestor. Challenged by some of our readers, I went further and upped my game, using our dogs as donors for the test ‘materials’. It was an interesting project and we are please to report continued good results using the Zaal product. We aim to be informative here. Watch out, Practical Sailor Magazine. We’re coming for you.

We hardly left the dock this year due to boat projects. I guess that’s pretty normal when people still are working for a living and are getting a boat ready to go cruising. The worst part of that was not having a long cruise this summer. Mike is saving his vacation time. We both were sad as the summer wore on and no cruise was in sight. To help, we did take a fun trip down to Jarrell Cove to see our friends. We also joined a race boat crew so we could get out on the water every week. That was a great decision. We made good friends and reminded ourselves why we like sailing. We would be glad to join the crew next season except WE WON”T BE HERE!

On a mooring ball for the first time.

It’s been an odd, emotional year and I’m glad it’s over. It’s nice to finally have made the move aboard so we can get settled and get used to calling this ‘home’. Even though it’s a big adjustment and there are moments when I just grieve to be back in my house, on the whole, things are going well. We have a lot to be grateful for in spite of the growing pains of adjustment to this new lifestyle. Now that the New Year is upon us, Mike will go back to work for a few more months and I will create a routine that includes getting back on track with my ‘lifestyle choices’. Ahem. And I will schedule time each week to go see our Skippy dog and give him lots of pats and love.

We have a considerable galley re-model on the horizon, so stay tuned.

Here’s to a fresh year! Happy New Year to you, wherever you may be.