Boreas is a sailboat again, almost


  We both fretted about stepping the mast. We thought we might have the option of hiring someone, but no such luck. So we searched the internet for suggestions. The marina had a crane, but we had to figure out how to hook the mast, lift it without harm to us or the boat and then detach the crane,  

 named giraffe.

I found this great knot and article

Then I researched a rolling hitch on Grog’s knots and came up with Ashley’s variation, knot 1734. 

This kept the mast knot from slipping up the mast as it was raised. 

All went well until we couldn’t undo the knot ( because we strayed from internet suggestions and tied it above our radar and spreaders and couldn’t slide it down).

We attracted spectators including one who provided helpful suggestions. We tried tilting the boat to the bulkhead but ultimately fixed a knife to the end of the boat hook and cut the loop.  Not elegant but only two feet of line was sacrificed.  Next time we’ll attach our improvised sling below the radar and spreaders. Then the crowd dispersed until we mistakenly hung our Canadian Maple Leaf, courtesy flag, upside down. We’ve been known to do this before. 

Tomorrow, when the wind lies (lays?) down, we’ll put the sails up and Tim will be on his way while I walk to the bus, take the bus to Longuiele, take the Metro to Montreal, a bus to Plattsburgh, walk two miles to the marina and drive an hour home.  I have to remember it took me 4 days to get here by boat. 

Here’s our evening sunset over the St. Lawrence Seaway before we had pizza delivered to the boat!


Loose ends

Tying up and fixing things before another adventure. Tim left yesterday to begin the first leg of a multiyear journey – a big loop, north out of Lake Champlain, via the Richelieu River and canals; east on the St. Lawrence seaway, hopefully to the Sanguenay River/fiord this year. Then further east along the St Lawrence out to The Atlantic, Nova Scotia, Maine, Long Island Sound, the Hudson River and back to Lake Champlain. 

He will travel for a month this year and I’ll be along for parts of the ride – to help with the canal locks and will travel to and fro via Canadian public transportation and the bu-uh-uh-uh-uhuhuhuh- us. 

We’ve (Tim more than me) have been running around like chickens without our heads getting everything in order. Provisioning, customs, mast down, radar installed, dodger measurements, lost items, IT support. 

I had to repair some knitting before I was ready and plan my crochet project for the next several days. 



Is experienced fully with body and mind aboard a boat. A delightful sunny day turned from this:

To this:


Winds picked up, water turned green, happily after we were safely anchored and had swum and taken a tour in the dinghy.

These clouds were a dead giveaway there was something brewing.


Sunset was beautiful despite (or because of) the whistling wind.


Getting ready to tie one on

Tie one onto my loom that is! I have been so busy. My floor loom is languishing and has been sitting there with my last project still threaded so I can use the same stripe pattern for a new batch of towels.


Last week we were blessed with perfect weather and went sailing for 5 days on Lake Champlain. It began warm, got very windy, rained a little and cooled off. I swam 2 or 3 days off the boat (our hot water shower is not) and love fresh water.

We spent two nights at Valcour Island and explored the trails, lighthouse and other ruins. I thought I was tracking bear scat but now think it may have been coyote. In the late 1800’s, there were camps, the lighthouse and a scandalous, free love commune on Valcour. During the Revolutionary War the island was the stage for the first naval battle in the United States, when Benedict Arnold was an underfunded hero.

No approach shots because it was so windy but here’s a typical rock island with evergreens.



The lighthouse had its light removed in the 1930’s and was replaced by a steel tower as happened in several lighthouses along the lake. Happily now, the steel tower is an osprey nest and the light is back where it belongs.





The wind was behind us when we headed north and then spun around and followed us home, which made for a very pleasant sail.



Ah, big city life

It’s so strange to me that we venture off on our boat and spend time in harbors busier than home. We’ve heard barking dogs, Johnny Cash covers and tonight, classic rock, with a lot of Jimmy Buffet thrown in.


The night sky is obliterated by lights and this morning we awakened to a triathlon in Burlington, VT. That white line is swimmers on the 1.5 k course.


We encountered a time warp when we walked through the Lake Champlain maritime museum and found a reenactment of an historic encampment. Now they are out on a replica boat near us shouting hizzah! Where am I?!


Vacation from vacation

Our life is basically a big vacation but we occasionally still need a vacation from our vacation. So we go sailing. This trip, we sailed five hours north on the NY side of Lake Champlain and today crossed the lake to Burlington, VT. We are in a minority at anchorages since the vast majority of boats are from Montreal and a wee bit bigger than ours.



My new towels are coming in handy on the boat.


Time to get the island back into this blog

We traveled south where the skies are blue and the water is warm. We chartered a sailboat, with friends, from the eastern part of Puerto Rico and sailed from there to and around the island of Culebra. A good time was had by all. We had all sorts of weather except snow. We relied on the kindness of strangers on more than one occasion and the universe delivered. I think I saw three rainbows in all.

What you won’t see are the torrential rains that doused us, because I wanted to protect my camera. Since I have no digital images of the storms, I may simply forget all about them. I may also forget the fact that our berth’s porthole leaked and we began the trip with damp sheets and mattresses.

There were some beautiful moments every day. We swam off the boat and I was reminded of how much I enjoy sailing or camping because I am outside from the moment I wake up until I go to sleep.

These colors work in the Caribbean but they would be too bold for home; they don’t meet the Adirondack Park Agency guidelines.

Cats on a Cat

Well it’s finally happened. Both cats have joined us on Water Lily. We aren’t sailing but are moored in Salem, MA waiting to go out to the lighthouse. Shirley has explored the boat and we can see her walking around the salon. Loki is social but hides when he hears anything. He also can’t figure out the steps. I think they are called ship stairs. Each tread has a cut out over the one below it that alternates so they only take up the square footage of one step. He can’t make the turn and just jumps down to the floor with a thud.

And in the morning…we’ll have waffles!

BreakfastI am so excited.  Since we packed up  all our possessions last spring, I stored my well used and seasoned electric waffle maker.  I love waffles.  In the interim, I have become very creative with different flours, buttermilk and make all sorts of pancakes but they are not the same.  And while Tim has agreed to install an oven on the boat for our year of cruising (he can’t go a year without apple pie) we won’t have the power for an electric griddle on the boat or next  summer when we move to Massacussetts as lighthouse keepers.  Essentially we will be off the grid for the next couple of years and I need waffles.

So I began investigating waffle irons.  I am reluctant to buy food related items from China and most of the new cast iron waffle makers are made there.  Camp ones seem too flimsy.  Plus I remember a wok from the 70’s that I could never season right.  I am too impatient for the slow, low temperature method and end up burning the oil onto the pan.  Then I found a used, cast iron waffle maker, not belgian, made in Pennsylvania, with innovative handles that stay cool, on ebay – and it was already seasoned!!  It arrived and was clean but seasoned.

Waffle iron

Waffle iron

Now I’m back in waffles and will be set for the next couple of years.  I may get rid of the electric waffle maker when we finally unpack the PODS.  I had a great breakfast and then played some more with kool aid dye and roving.