Sunday, November 30, 2008

sailors, waifs, and strays part two.

You may or may not remember this post in which we all had Thanksgiving in Marblehead at our friend Nicolas house.

Once again, we all convened on Nicola's home for a feast. Sadly, Nicola herself got called away at the last minute and had to fly home to Scotland for a family medical emergency. As is the standard for Nicola, she was so kind that she insisted we all still have dinner at her place, even if she couldn't be there. So Jenny and I and our friend Jim were placed in charge and it was a great time with a great dinner. Things are definitely more organized with Nicola around and we nearly had some cooking disasters, complete with smoke and blood! But it was tasty in the end and all were happy.

There are quite a few pictures from the day, but they are still on Jenny's camera. For now, the only pic I took with my phone was of the placard on the front of Nicola's house. All the old houses in Marblehead are labeled this way and it is fun to see how the town had been built by its inhabitants in centuries past.

Also, of note is that Jenny received an early xmas present today from her parents. (It had to be early because we bought it locally off of craigslist.) Jenny finally got a real sewing machine. And an awesome one at that. It is an older model, but it is an industrial strength machine from a local sewing factory that went out of business. It is a White 782 Zigzag Machine. It is plenty strong enough to do all of our future sunbrella, canvas, and sail needs. Now we just have to learn how to use it and how these nautical things are properly put together. Pictures of the machine are forthcoming. We are darn happy about it though. Jenny has a good bit of sewing skill already, but lacked a machine. We've had so many things which needed to be fixed, trimmed, fabricated, or otherwise sewn on this boat and have had no affordable way to do it except sending them cross country to Jenny's mom and back again.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


A previous post, which asked for boat name ideas, generated more response than we've ever gotten for anything on this site. Lots of suggestions, emails, and comments. Thanks!

We might have come up with a name to give our boat in the spring: NOROMBEGA.

So, it may not be the most radio friendly name we can come up with, it is surely simpler than Popol Vuh or Aguirre. At least Norombega can't be mispronounced in too drastic of a way.

Norombega is or was a mythical city somewhere in Northeastern United States. It is believed that it is somewhere in Maine. There are scarce records in early explorer accounts about, of course, a lost city of gold and wealth that was somewhere coastal or just up a river here in New England. That in itself is a cool enough reason for an archaeology student to pick it as a name.

To make it even better though, the entymology of the word is that it was roughly an Algonquin word which meant something like, "calm place in rough waters". Perfect!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


So, my (Justin) birthday was at the end of October and I'd been holding on to some birthday money from my parents and was unsure of what to spend it on. I'm too money-cautious for these kinds of decisions!

Well, I decided to go half practical and half less-practical but darn cool and still pretty useful.

The practical half was a sunbeam mattress pad heater. Holy amazing to be so warm and cozy. Dual controls so Jenny and I can set our own halves. It's awesome and highly recommended for any Northern latitude liveaboard.

The more fun half is that we finally got a nice brass Weems and Plath hygrometer, thermometer, barometer as seen here:

I think these things are awesome. They are really old school looking and all the fancy pretty yachts out here have them. We just could never justify purchasing one with all the rest of our boats needs. So, what better to spend birthday money on? I love it. We just need to get the matching clock for it now so they can hang side by side. That'll have to be another present for another holiday.

Speaking of boat needs, our freshwater pump is leaking before the intake, just after the in-line filter. This is sorrowful because we just filled our water tanks and now I have to waste my time by emptying them, taking the lines apart, drying the lines out, re-taping the threads and hose barbs and put it all back together again. Of course it is in a hard to reach place and it is no fun because it doesn't really make any improvement, it just fixes something that should be working fine. Oh well. So it goes. It wouldn't matter so much if it were just leaking into the bilge, but it is running down the board it is mounted on, pooling on our teak woodwork, and coming out of the settee just above the floorboards. Hence it makes a puddle under our dining table that is no fun to have your feet in. This will have to be fixed soon.

I need to shrink wrap, plumb, and finish the darned headliner!

Midterms first though....

Monday, November 10, 2008

home and on the mend

Jenny here!

I just wanted to let everyone know that I am now back home after six days in the hospital. I'm so glad to be back home, and am feeling so much better now. Thank you all for your concerns.

It turns out I have viral meningitis which just needed to run its course. I definitely needed the be at the hospital, as I was constantly on an IV drip to keep me hydrated, and they had to make sure it wasn't bacterial meningitis which would have been a whole other story...

Anyway, I just wanted to let everyone know I'm on the mend and feeling a world better now. I decided to even take a picture since the last one wasn't entirely flattering :)

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Our friend Mike had moved aboard a 35 foot Oday a year before we moved aboard. When we moved in he was one of the first people we met and we sailed with him that week. It was our first time ever on a sailboat. Since then, Mike met Alyssa and got engaged. He upgraded to a Pearson 424 (pictured below) and a few weeks ago they quit their jobs and went cruising. He states their destination as, "South."

They have began a cruising blog at:

I will add it to our links so it can always be found at the right of our page.


Ups and Downs.

Jenny is still in the hospital. She has some form of Viral Meningitis. She feels better for a couple hours, then feels worse again. There is some good news though, her temperature has been gone since last night. With just the headache and some weakness from not eating being all that is keeping her down, the hospital is debating on letting her go home. Essentially, whenever she feels up to leaving, she can go, with a pocket full of prescriptions. But for now, we know she can't go just yet. Perhaps this evening she will feel strong enough. If not, then tomorrow hopefully.

Thanks for all the concern and emails.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


We usually keep the blog restricted to boating matters only but in this case the circumstances are a little outstanding and I just wanted to post a picture.

Jenny is in the hospital and has been for 2 days now. She checked in tothe ER at Mt. Auburn Hospital 14 days ago for very bad flu like symptoms but was sent home with some meds. It seemed to work and she got better for a couple days (one of those days was Halloween when she was dressed as the pirate posted below). Then on this past Sunday night/ Monday morning her head started hurting extremely bad and she became sensitive to light and sound. Seems kinda migraine-ish, except that she had a fever of 102 which isn't normally migraine related. Tuesday morning it got so bad that I took her into Mass General Hospital. Her temp got to 104.5 during the day in the ER. They checked her into a real room and have been pumping various fluids and antibiotics into her. They did a spinal tap which is the only thing that has proved useful so far, as it turned up to show a virus in her spinal fluid. Other than that, she has seen umteen doctors and even some infectious disease specialists. As yet, they can't tell what it is and it won't go away. She is feeling a bit better at least because the headache has resided to a dull throb and her temp is staying down below 100 and sometimes even down to the normal 98.6 range. So she seems to be on the mend, but it is slow and the disease is persistant and confounding. MGH seems to be treating her well though, and we are happy she went there. Hopefully she will be home soon. Willie misses her, and it is tough on a dog being alone all day.

Monday, November 3, 2008


The picture came out kind of fuzzy, but it should get the point across. I built the shrink wrap frame the other day. All built of wood, cost about 30 dollars total. The door is awesome-- it was about to be pitched in the dumpster by somebody and I took it before he could throw it. It is a solid wood door off of a house or apartment. Has 3 glass windows in it. I put a new stainless doorknob on it and built a frame around it out of 2x4's and it is good to go. I'll be happy to have a real door this year. Should be all wrapped up in the next few weeks.

In the meantime, the heater is still happily burning away on its first tank of propane!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I wish I could watch hockey right now, but I can't

The dinghy, Olly (the one on top), has been placed on its winter rack. We'll pry pull it down again to help shrink wrap in a few weeks, but the motor is retired and the dinghy is now generally going to be out of the water. We took a last ride out into the harbor. It was fun, but a wee bit sad :(

In the meantime, Jenny is now a pirate: