Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Have You Checked Your Rig Today?

Put this into the "Things that make you go BOOM!" category. Photo courtesy from this site.
No sooner had I hit "publish" on my last post when I got a call from Scott;  "Cancel everything,"  he said sternly, "The sea trial is off".  We were supposed to be on a southbound plane tonight at 7:51pm and sailing tomorrow by 10am.  Point for travel insurance!

This morning, our rig surveyor (separate from our marine survey, which was scheduled for Friday after the sea trial) found cracks in a swage terminal at the top of the mast.  This is not good and must be fixed before we sea trail.  For those of you who do not know what a swage terminal is, I have included a picture above (the arrows point to a hair line crack).  To put it very simply: swage terminals house the shrouds which, in turn, hold up the mast (aka the 'rig').  When swage terminals go bad, rigs fall down.  When rigs fall down, it's a very, very bad very, very expensive day.

Upon first hearing this news I was pretty bummed.  Not only was I excited to go down and sail our potential new boat, I was anxious to move forward and either solidify this deal or move on.  Now it seems we'll have to postpone another two weeks.  Sigh.  After a little more thought, however, I realized this is really good news.  Better to find this problem now (when the owner must pay to fix it) as opposed to later when we are underway.  I shudder to think.  Typically, when cracked swage terminals are discovered, the entire standing rig must be replaced.  This is very good information to know before we buy this boat!

Which leads me to my next point:  The importance of a rig survey.  Most of the time a regular marine survey will only inspect the rig from the deck of a boat, they will not go aloft.  Because we are buying an older boat our wonderful broker buddy, Allen, highly recommend we get the rig fully inspected separately.  We (thankfully!) took his advice and the few hundred dollars the rig survey cost has now paid for itself two fold.

This information isn't only relevant to folks buying boats either!  If you have a boat and cannot remember the last time your rig was properly inspected, it might be time to think about it lest you end up with a boat without a stick.  Typically, they say standing rigging should be replaced in full every 10-15 years if a boat is used in the tropics and cruised extensively.  If you feel confident doing it yourself, you can check out this article which highlights what to look for.  If you would feel better having an expert, there are plenty of rigging companies that will do it for you.

So, while this does put a little wrench into the schedule of things, this also puts a little wrench onto our potential new boat's rig, and THAT is a good thing!

Love,
Brittany, Scott and Isla

Update

You have all been very patient with us as we go about this whole boat-buying thing in secrecy.  I know we have been incredibly transparent in this blog, but when it comes to this new boat - we feel we'd rather just keep the information to ourselves until everything is said and done.  There's a long road ahead yet, and at this point - anything can happen.  There is so much I want to tell you because, quite frankly, writing it all out can help me figure things out, but we'll just have to wait.

Anyway - as most of you who follow our Facebook Page know, we are under contract with our "potential" new boat.  I say "potential" because until we accept the boat after the sea trial and marine survey, the boat is in limbo.  There are so many things to consider and, if nothing else, we have learned that boat buying is HARD the second time around!!  This particular boat we are considering has several aspects that are not ideal (or should I say unfamiliar?) to us and we won't know where we really stand on these things until we sail her.  It's actually been pretty eye-opening and we are learning with absolute certainty that there truly is no such thing as the "perfect" boat.  No matter what, there will always be a trade-off.

Scott and I head down south again tonight.  Our sea trial is tomorrow and the marine survey will be conducted on Friday.  Because we have our reservations, we have been very adamant on doing the sea trial before the survey.  As I have mentioned before, a marine survey is not cheap - in fact, when it's all said and done we'll spend about $3,000 on the survey alone (the potential buyer pays for the haul out fee, the survey, and any yard fees amassed).  If we don't like the way the boat sails, however, the deal will be off.  Sailing before the survey will help make sure we spend the survey money wisely.  We are also spending extra money to conduct a thorough engine survey as well as an independent rigging survey (both separate from the marine survey) because we want to make sure we cover ALL our bases.  Again, this is costing us a lot of money - but the idea is that, in the end, it will be well worth it.  

We'll let you know how we fare!

Love,
Brittany, Scott & Isla

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Top Ten Tuesdays: 10 Questions to Ask About a Prospective Boat

Inspecting boats is fun, but a lot of work can be done before you jump in a lazarette!
Buying a boat can be a long, arduous process.  This time around we are a lot more thorough than we were last time.  While nothing can take the place of going to see a boat, you can cover a lot of ground over the phone and via email as well.  Asking probing questions beforehand can help you to make an informed decision and better prepare you for your first visit.  Scott and I have come up with a list of questions to assist you, here are:

10 Questions to Ask About a Prospective Boat 
  1. How was the boat used? How a boat was used can tell you a lot about her.  Was the boat heavily used?  Lightly used?  In fresh water or salt? Was she predominately a day sailor or was she cruised full-time? Learning about a boat's history can tell you a lot about what sort of boat you'll be getting, what type of systems she'll have and what you might need to add.
  2. Why are you selling?  Is the owner selling because of health issues or are they looking for a new boat?  If they are looking for a new boat - ask what is wrong with the one they have.
  3. How long have you owned the boat?  Learn as much about the boat's history as you can.  How many people have owned and for how long?  The fewer the owners, the more simple it is to trace the mechanical history of the boat.
  4. What upgrades, if any, have you done?  We saw one poor boat who's owner hadn't done a thing to her in over twelve years. While her bones were still good, we didn't want a project but for someone else, this boat might be just the project they're looking for and a chance to start from a clean slate.
  5. What are upgrades you would do if you weren't selling?  I always like to ask this question and I have found most people are pretty honest about it.   It's good information to have moving forward and almost always the answer will make you think.  
  6. How long has the boat been for sale?  Times are certainly tough these days but if a boat has been on the market for a very long time it *could* indicate that either the boat is priced too high or isn't up to snuff.  Finding out how long a boat has been on the market can also be a tool to assist you when the time comes to negotiate.  Usually, after two years on the market - people tend to be a little more flexible. 
  7. Has there ever been any osmosis issues?  Blisters on boats, though relatively common, are not good.  While this issue can be fixed, it can indicate a future of hull problems if it hasn't been taken care of properly.   Some models and makes are more prone to osmosis issues than others and they are a real pain in the butt to deal with (so we hear, Rasmus never had an issue with this).
  8. What do you like best about the boat?  Least?  Again, use the current owner to your advantage.  Learn from him/her.  I have also been known to take to the forums and find other owners of the particular make of boat and get their opinions as well.  
  9. Age of the following: engine, rigging, electronics, plumbing...etc.  Some owners will know all of these down to the date, others will not have a clue.  A proper marine survey will tell you what you REALLY need to know, but if you know beforehand that the standing rigging is 15 years old you can go into the deal knowing with relative certainty that you are going to have to replace it.
  10. Do you have a mechanical log? Receipts?  Many boats that have been well cared for will come with a logbook that will show the mechanical history of the boat.  Some of these boats will even have receipts.  The more you know about the age and history of the boat's systems, the better off you will be in the long run.  Knowledge is power people!
These questions are just a few to get you started.  A proper marine survey will tell you what you really need to know, but a good survey is not cheap so learning as much as you can beforehand will certainly be worth your while.  What questions do you ask about a prospective boat?  Share in the comments!

Love,
Brittany, Scott & Isla

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Baby's First Sail

Isla's first sail,  June 16, 2012
This day was a great one on many fronts.  But getting our little girl out on the rail with the wind in her face was definitely the highlight.  She loved sailing, and was a happy little camper both on deck and below.  When she wasn't looking around curiously at the sky, waves and all the stimuli a boat underway has to offer, she was lulled to a sweet slumber by the gentle motion of the boat.  She's a natural and we could not be more excited to do this every day with her!!  There is so much to show her, so much for her to learn and so much she'll teach us!... Scott and I agree wholeheartedly:  cruising is going to be a lot more fun having this little monkey around.  Not only are kids the world's greatest ambassadors, we'll get to see the world through a child's eyes and seriously, is there anything better than that?

Love,
Brittany, Scott & Isla

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Top 10 Tuesdays: 10 Things to Look at When Inspecting a Boat

Awww...this is me inspecting under the cushions of Rasmus three years ago.
Scott and I have looked at a good number of boats the last couple of months.  As I mentioned in my earlier post, boat buying is certainly different the second time around!  While we still have a lot to learn, we know enough to be dangerous which has helped us a lot in this process.  Looking for a boat is not unlike looking for a prospective home (or so I hear...) - you want to make sure a) you're not getting a lemon b) you're getting what's "right" for you and c) you will love it for years to come.  This is a pretty daunting task, and one that should not be taken lightly - especially if you plan on sailing that boat to far off corners of the globe.

Many of you have written asking about what, specifically, to inspect when looking at boats.  A blog follower turned us onto his incredibly thorough and fantastic post about Boat Inspection Tips which I highly recommend.  Between his great insight and our own experience and research - we've come up with a few items that should be checked out when looking at a boat.  Of course this list is not finite, and by no means does this take the place of a proper marine survey (similar to a home inspection), but here are:

10 Things to Look at When Inspecting a Prospective Boat
  1. Overall Look - This is the "first impression" and the easiest thing to see.  Has the boat been cared for?  Does she look nice both inside and out?  Is the woodwork peeling?  Is the gelcote cracking?  Are there rust streaks around all the hardware? Are the cushions in good order?  You can learn a lot about how the previous owner cared for his or her boat by this first look.  If you don't like what you see on the first impression, you can be pretty certain you're REALLY not going to like what you see when you start digging around.
  2. Anything that opens and closes - Portholes, hatches, seacocks and cupboards...open and close a few of each.  Check the portholes for water damage, and see if the seacocks move with relative ease.  You don't need to check them all, but a good sampling should tell you what you need to know to start. 
  3. Rigging - look for corrosion, chafe, and anything that is misshapen.  Run your fingers up and down the shrouds for smoothness and uniformity.  Look up the mast track - does it lean one way or another?  Do the swage terminals of the shrouds look to be in good shape?  How about the running rigging - do the halyards look old and frayed?  Do things run freely?  Replacing these items can get expensive!
  4. Deck hardware - Do the winches move properly?  Can you pull on hardware and does it feel secure?  Do the handrails on deck look clean or rusted?  Check the cleats - does the bedding look solid or could water enter anywhere? A little poking and prodding here and there can tell you a lot.
  5. Bilge - take a peek into the bilge if you can.  Most bilges will not be bone dry, but can you see any oil in the water?  This might indicate a leak in the engine.  If there is an abundance of water you might want to make a note and inquire about it.
  6. Inspect for water damage - Scott and I went on one boat where the headliner was rotting away in the far corners of the aft cabin.  No bueno!  Leaks on boats are not good and can lead to a LOT of very expensive problems if they have been left untreated for a long time.  Headliner is notorious for hiding leaks, but look for discoloration or saggy spots which are telltale signs that water has come through.  If there is no headliner, look for discoloration in wood or any signs that water has come in - stains, rust, and streaks are all things you want to keep an eye out for.
  7. Under the floorboards - I can't be sure, but I think the number one cause of boat's sinking is bad plumbing.  Take a peek under the floorboards to see the condition of the hoses.  Are they properly labeled?  Do they make sharp turns?  Are they dangling freely or secured well?  Do they look old and cracked?  Are the hose clamps warped and rusted? Replacing hoses is an expensive task.  Trust us, we know!
  8. Control Cables - the steering and shifting should move freely.
  9. Electrical panel -  This is perhaps our favorite thing to look at because we spent a LOT of time re-wiring Rasmus.  Check to see if the wires look neat and tidy.  Are they zip-tied and labeled?  Is there a wiring diagram? Trust me, when you want to fix a broken pice of electronic equipment later you will be very thankful that the wiring is done well and not a rats nest! 
  10. Engine room - I think I might have mentioned it before, but you can learn a lot about a boat by looking inside it's engine room.  Is it organized and neat - or does it look like a mess of hoses, wires and gear?  Do the hoses look cracked?  Do the engine mounts look secure?  Do the belts look degraded?  You don't want any of the above to fail when you need them!
Like I said, a proper marine surveyor will look at all of the above, but a marine survey is not cheap.  You can eliminate an unnecessary survey on a bad boat by doing a little work yourself not to mention you'll learn a lot in the process!

What have I missed?  What are the areas that you like to look at when inspecting a boat?  Please share in our comments!

Love,
Brittany, Scott & Isla

Monday, June 18, 2012

Catamaran vs. Monohull

Image of a traditional dhow I took off the coast of Zanzibar
Everyone loves a good rivalry.  Coke vs. Pepsi.  Leno vs. Letterman. Bears vs. Packers....Catamaran vs. Monohull.  "What?" you say, "There is a rivalry between mono and multihulls".  You better believe there is!

Don't get me wrong - it's a healthy rivalry and, for the most part, friendly - but it definitely exists and almost all of us have gotten into a debate, whether serious or humorous, as to why one hull is better than two or visa versa.  We have lots of friends who sail on cats and an equal number who sail on monos and we all get along because at the end of the day we are all after the same thing: freedom.

What surprised us the most during this particular boat search was the amount of blog followers who wrote us suggesting catamarans after I specifically mentioned we were looking for a monohull.  While I could go on about the pros and cons of both, here's the deal:  We are not catamaran people.  It's as simple as that.  Are we being closed minded?  Maybe.  Are we stubbon?  For sure

For us it is probably more about history than anything.  Both Scott and I grew up sailing monohulls.  And, selfish as it may seem, we want our kids to sail on monohulls too.  We grew up heeling over on boats and surfing along on a tilt.  That is what sailing is to us.  In fact, some of my favorite childhood memories were of my brother, sister and me sitting on the low side of my parent's boat desperately dangling our toes over the side trying to touch the water and squealing with joy when we did.    Forts on the bow, halyard swinging while sitting in the bosun's chair underway, lee cloths...We loved life on an angle. It meant we were going places.  Heck, it meant we could stand on a slant without falling over (very, very cool to a five year old)!  Sure, we had to make little adjustments to accomodate life like this, but we liked it.

At the risk of offending our catamaran friends, I would be lying if I didn't say it is also about beauty.  Luckily, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but for us - a monohull wins the contest every time.  The aesthetics are hard for us to overlook; we love the lines of a traditional sailboat - they are as breathtaking as those of a thoroughbred racehorse; strong, lean, powerful and elegant.  Cats just don't have that same appeal to us.  We've been on and sailed catamarans and can definitely see their appeal; they are indeed much roomier, they are (usually) faster, and infinitely "flatter" but not once has one turned our head and made us pronounce "that is beautiful."   While there are a million other variables within the catamaran vs. monohull debate (safety, cost, upwind performance, blue-water ability, strength...etc), I will not go into them as I am, obviously, biased.  A quick Google search, however, will bring up hundreds upon hundreds of stats and opinions for you to dig through and find out what side of the coin you fall on.

I know that amongst our followers we have devout lovers of both - and that is great.  Some of you have only sailed cats, others are purist mono sailors like ourselves and I know many of you started out with one and switched to the other.  We all have a right to our opinions and thank god for that!  I'm not saying we'll never own a catamaran (I've learned never to say "never") but for now, we like one hull.  But here's the thing:  whether you sail on two pontoons or one, there is always one thing that will unite us - and that is the call of the sea.  And nothing is more unifying and more powerful than that.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Top 10 Tuesdays: 10 Father's Day Gifts for the Sailor Dad

It's *someone's* first Father's Day!
It's that time of week again...but this week is special, and because Father's Day is coming up this Sunday I thought I would make a Top 10 List* for those of you who are looking to get something special for that special (sailor) someone.  Scott has been given strict instructions NOT to read this post, because two of the items I have gotten him are on this list - and another item on this list is something I am getting him for his upcoming birthday so hopefully you all can keep a secret!

For those of you who are still looking for that perfect gift - here are:

10 Great Father's Day Gifts for the Sailor Dad
  1. DaKine No Zone Surf Hat - Scott has been looking for a sailing hat for a long time and he just bought this one for himself and LOVES it.  In fact, when he put it on yesterday he said, "I think I am going to wear this to work tomorrow".  Obviously he is joking, but all kidding aside - this is a great hat.  It looks good, fits well (yes - even on my hubby's super large head!), will block the sun and even comes with a removable chin strap (bonus!) and an adjustment strap to make the hat more fitted.  The charcoal color is really nice as well.  
  2. Nigel Calder's Mechanical and Electrical Manual - we have owned this book since day one and cannot sing it enough praise.  Nigel Calder covers everything from installing electronics to maintaining your diesel engine to designing a 12v system.   If you own a boat, you should have this book on board.  Period.
  3. Oakley Mens Bottle Rocket Glasses - shhh! I got these glasses for Scott for Father's Day.  He's wanted a nice pair of sunglasses for a while and he tried on a few pair in the Savannah airport a couple of weeks ago.  I chose these because of the fact that they are polarized (don't bother buying sunglasses that aren't if you plan to sail in the tropics!) and they have rubberized ear pieces so they won't slide off his head.
  4. Havaianas Men's Brazil Flip Flop - I also got Scott another pair of these for Father's day since he has practically worn through his latest pair.  These flip flops are the best.  They do not absorb water like Reefs (which not only make your feet slip around in them but make them SUPER stinky after a while) and at about $18 a pop are cheap enough to replace when they blow out.  Scott originally refused to wear these, but when we thought we had a dead mouse on board and traced the foul odor back to Scott's old Reefs he agreed to try them out and has never gone back.  Thank goodness!
  5. Fein MultiMaster Oscillating Tool and Sander - Scott has been wanting this tool for the boat for a while (after using my dad's on numerous occasions) and I plan to get it for him for his birthday.  These little tools are super useful on a boat, from grinding to sanding they certainly have their place in the sailor's toolbox!
  6. Patagonia Men's Save The Waves Tee - I got Scott one of these a long time ago and he wears it at least once a week so I thought I'd include it as a fun little extra.  I love Patagonia as a company and happen to love their tee shirts as well.  Scott has a decent collection of their shirts as he usually gets at least one or two of these a year from me.  The "Save the Waves" tee is especially cool because a portion of the proceeds goes to the Save The Waves Coalition.
  7. Garmin Worldwide Handheld GPS - no matter what type of instrumentation (or lack thereof) you have on your boat, a handheld GPS can come in handy!  We actually have two back ups on our boat and keep one in our ditch bag as well.  These are great for everything from navigation to making sure you're not dragging at anchor or remembering a great hike on land!
  8. The Morrow Guide to Knots - we have this book aboard Rasmus and have used it on more than one occasion!  It is very easy to follow and the step by step diagrams are a piece of cake to mimic.  Do you know how to tie two different sizes of line together?  How about how to secure your boat to a piling? Whatever knot predicament you come into - you can be sure the answer is in this book!
  9. Deluxe Rigging Knife - Every sailor should have a good knife.  We have two of these aboard Rasmus, one for each of us.  Many sailors sail with one of these attached to their person at all times because they are so useful.  A rigging knife is designed to work with lines and shackles and is considered essential to the sport of sailing by many sailors.  If you are not familiar with this tool and curious as to what they can be used for, I found this PDF to be much more articulate than I'd ever be!
  10. Sea Eagle Fast Track Inflatable Kayak - is it any wonder that Father's day is right around the beginning of summertime?  While this is by far the most expensive gift on our list - if you are looking for a great inflatable kayak to paddle around with your hubby or family - this is the one to get!  We own it ourselves and LOVE it.  It is super durable, incredibly sturdy (Scott used it to stand-up paddle board!) and easy to store.  Fun for the whole family!
Hope this helps you find your special sailor daddy something special!

Love,
Brittany, Scott & Isla

* We have recently become Amazon Affiliates.  I know, I know...many of you told me to do this a LONG time ago so here we are.  Basically, if you choose to buy any of the products I have linked to above - we will get a small cut.  I hope you know by now that I would not recommend anything frivolously or without a genuine intention so please, please do not think that my "Amazon Associate" status will change the way I suggest anything to you.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Same boat: Apples to Apples? Not Quite!

Scott and I have been looking at several different models of boats, and have seen numerous examples of each of them.  While the boats might look (almost) exactly the same, they most certainly are not.  Every owner customizes his or her boat in a certain way, and in order for Scott and I to be able to keep all these boats straight and know what each offers (and which is the better deal) - Scott made a spreadsheet.  Again, it really pays to be married to an engineer!

While this does require a little bit of work, it is well worth it because not only does it organize all the information swimming around in our heads on one piece of paper, it offers a side by side comparison of the boats we are looking at.  We learned a lot when we put the boats we are considering into this spreadsheet, and discovered that our contenders are - as we suspected - very different indeed.  They are, however, all appealing in their own ways - what one boat has, another does not and visa versa.  There is no glaring "winner" which is precisely why a spreadsheet like this was so necessary.

For those of you looking for a boat and interested in our spreadsheet, the information we gather is the following:

For most of these line items, you will want to know at least three things: a) if the boat has said item b)type and c)year.  For many of these articles, you will also want to make specific notes on the condition.  Do not forget to include things on this list that are not only important to you, but things that you have grown to like such as, "aft deck shower" or "# of opening ports/hatches".  You will not get all of this information from a listing, you will most likely need to speak to the broker and probably even the owner to get all of these questions answered. In the "notes" section, Scott and I made specific observations about what said boat would need to get it up to the cruising condition that we are used to, such as: "needs SSB" or "needs watermaker".  Other notes such as "dinghy unsuitable" or "radar and chartplotter may have issues" went in that section as well.

We put all of the items listed above in one single column on an excel spreadsheet, and then in the subsequent columns filled out the appropriate information for Boat A, Boat B...etc.  That way, all the information is side by side and very easy to compare.  You'll be surprised what you learn when you view boats this way!

Again, we're not telling you what we've come up with - but we do have some answers (wink) - and it looks like we'll be making an offer on Boat #1 in the near future!  Might we have a new home in the next month?!?  

Love,
Brittany, Scott & Isla 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Boat Search Is Winding Down...

We are honing in on our new boat.  We're not quite there yet, but it looks like we might be making an offer on something in the next few weeks.  And no, we're not going to tell you about it until it's all said and done.  Sorry for that, but we're going to play this hand close to our chest.  There might be one more trip in the near future, but either way - we're getting there.

Unfortunately, it doesn't end when and if we buy a new boat.  There is a lot to figure out once we open up this can of worms!  First, we must put our beloved Rasmus on the market (luckily, we've had a good amount of interest in her from a handful of our readers) and then we must get to work on some logistics.  Because the boat we might buy is here in the USA and our Rasmus is in Trinidad - we need to work out how to get the boats together so we can do the good ole' switcheroo of our belongings.  Right now, it looks like Scott might fly down to Trinidad with a delivery crew and sail Rasmus back to wherever it is we buy our new boat.  There are a couple reasons for this:  first, it allows us a couple of months to get our new boat up to speed (any boat we buy - no matter what - will require *some* customization and work) and second, it allows us to put Rasmus on the market here in the USA where we feel she will have a better chance of getting sold (she is the perfect Bahamas boat and ready to go!).  From there - we'll most likely deliver our new boat to the Caribbean to pick up where we left off!

There's a lot of work ahead of us - but we're excited as ever for it!!


Love,

Brittany, Scott & Isla

Thursday, June 07, 2012

A Little Perspective...

The other night, Scott and I took some friends out on my dad's boat and enjoyed sailing conditions that were about as perfect as they get up here in Chicago: warm air, breathtaking sunset, a southerly wind blowing about 11-15 knots, flat seas and of course, the beautiful Chicago skyline which never, ever disappoints from the water.  We cruised along at 6-7 knots, sipping on wine, nibbling on cheese and crackers and enjoying great conversation with people we love.  It was... perfect.  At one point, our friend Dave looked at me with a smile and said, "Wow.  So this is it!  This is your life!" he paused as he looked for my reaction, "I mean, this is your life...right?"

While sailing certainly is a large part of what we do, I had to ponder his question for a minute.  Scott and I, while sitting on the back of the boat together, had just been talking about how evenings as perfect as this one were few and far between, even when you spend 95% of your time on a sailboat.  For us, sailing is a way of life, a way to get from point A to point B - and while we still get a lot of enjoyment out of it - it's a little different than packing a cooler full of sauvignon blanc, some good cheese and heading out for a sunset cruise with a handful of great people.  In our world back on the boat, sailing conditions are rarely (if ever) ideal, we hardly (if ever) take out a group of friends simply for a pleasure cruise, and we never have chilled sauvignon blanc with cheese while under sail.  Moments like the ones we were experiencing we're, truthfully, not at all reflective of our life on the boat.

That is not to say that our life on the boat isn't wonderful - because it is!  It's just...different.  Coincidentally, the fact that this night was "different" was precisely why it was so special.  Not only did it offer us a nice break from terra firma and a chance to catch the wind in our sails again, it instantly reminded us of what we love the most about sailing; enjoying time in nature, laughing and chatting with friends, ghosting along the water toward a setting sun or rising moon, kicking back without a care in the world and the freedom of knowing we can go wherever the wind blows...

As we settled into our groove on the boat, I looked at Dave and smiled as I thought to myself, "Yeah.  This is our life".
Action!
Lauren's first time sailing on a big boat.  She was a natural!
My beautiful little sister, Chelsea
Dave would want you to know he doesn't *really* wear his sweater like this.
Erika, on the other hand, is always like this ;) 
Good times
Life is good!

Love,
Brittany, Scott & Isla

Friday, June 01, 2012

Off Again!

Isla's first plane ride went great! Hopefully this one is a repeat!
We're off to scope out a few more boats down south!  We're heading to Savannah, Georgia first thing tomorrow morning to check out three different boats in three different cities in South Carolina.  Fun stuff!  Our wonderful "Uncle Al" will be picking us up from the airport and hopefully we'll be reuniting with our good friends over on Forest and Fin for dinner one night.  Our little Isla is one traveling tot - this will mark the third weekend in a row that we've traveled with her! We'll see how this trip goes and let you know about it when we return.

Love,
Brittany, Scott & Isla
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