Thursday, March 31, 2011

Introducing Ivy Angela Halteman


Born Friday March 25th, 2011 at 4:37pm, weighing in at 7lb. 10 oz. and 20 1/2 inches long. More details to come as we settle into this new life of ours. She's absolutely perfect.

Ivy asleep on Grandpa Caron (Jenny's Dad)

Jenny had a long and hard labor. It lasted just over 30 hours and we were in the hospital an extra day while Jenny received a blood transfusion. A whole team of doctors were there to deliver her strange placenta... a story in itself. Despite all that Jenny did the entire thing with NO pain meds. It was incredible and Ivy came out perfectly healthy. So far, she has been a dream child. She sleeps well, and often. She does not cry excessively. She is crazy strong. She sucks on my nose. She is beautiful and we love her very much. Willie likes to give her kisses on her ears.

Jenny's parents are visiting this week, and mine are visiting next week. By then we should be into a bit more of a routine and we might find some time to do a nice big birth story kind of post. We'll try to keep you all updated in the meantime. So far, it's wonderful and we are having a great time with our new little life aboard.

Welcome Ivy! We love you so much!

Friday, March 18, 2011


I started having issues with the v-berth a month or two ago. Climbing out of the v-berth with a growing belly became harder and harder every day. I am getting up 3-5 times a night, and to get out of the bed I have to spin around, get my feet on the sewing machine step, and somehow try to not wake Justin in the process. Step 1 was the most difficult, followed by step 3. To get back into bed was just as much of a chore, and frankly it was exhausting. I was beginning to feel very much like this pup:

Finally, I had enough. Our table drops down to form a bed, so we've been sleeping on that for the past week. Truthfully, it's far less comfortable, but I'm not waking up Justin at night now and it has made getting back in to bed much easier. Getting out is still fairly difficult (in fact, I am much more like that little puppy trying to get out of the bed now!) but at least I've eliminated *some* of the frustrations of sleep!

Soon there will be a baby that will keep us both awake at night, but for now at least one of us can get a good night's sleep, and I can get in and out a little easier.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Nachos, Friends and Dogs

This winter has been different than winters past - namely that there have been a lack of dinner parties, or at least far less than normal.

One of my favorite things about having people visit the boat is that it gives us a good reason to actually clean things up. No, we're not slobs, but seriously even ONE backpack clutters the boat up, so to have a few things laying around really makes it seem like a wreck inside.

We had a simple meal of nachos (with paper plates - classy), and had roughly 9 people over.

Even Willie had a playmate - McQueen! Willie and McQueen are the most perfectly matched dogs ever. You'd think they came from the same litter by how similar they are in looks and size, and their personalities blend perfectly as well. I could watch the two of them play all day long.

The food was good, the company was great, and we were even able to get a game of cards in afterwards! Such a great night.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Have You Had That Baby Yet?

Last Week: 36 Weeks

Jenny found this delightfully informative site:

This Week: 38 Weeks

Friday will be 38 weeks.... She could be born any day now.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Deck Prep (or Sanding, Sanding, Sanding)

With the shrinkwrap off of the Creekmore it means I can access the entire deck. That is great news for the sanding that needs to be done. And there is a LOT of sanding to be done due to water damage over the years. Henry had finished the deck, faired it all in and then put a good coating of primer on the whole thing. It was all set to be painted. Then he covered it in tarps and moved on with his life. Well, wet tarps on a primer coated deck for 30 years are not ideal. It caused a lot of cracking, bubbling, and crazing. I had sanded a lot around xmas time and thought I was near done, but when the dust was cleared (literally) there was much more to be done with smaller damage I had not noticed before. So, after many days spent sanding I believe I am finally ready to fill the new gaps and craters with a fairing filler. I am using System Three Quick Fair that I got from Quick Fair is a 2 part epoxy filler that I used previously when I was fixing the cockpit seams on Madrigal. It worked well, the mix was a simple 2:1 and sanded nicely. A year later now and I can not tell the quickfaired part from any other part of the deck. So, I ordered a gallon and a half of the stuff, which arrived today, and now I just have to wait for weather above 50 deg fahrenheit to apply it. Then, I get to finish sand the whole thing again and apply a nice new coat of primer. Then, it will finally be in the same state it was 30 years ago: ready for paint :)

Below are some pics of the deck sanded and ready for fairing filler. The white-ish part is the old primer and the more tan colored spots are where I have had to sand through it right back down to the fiberglass & epoxy.

Progress is good.


Friday, March 4, 2011

A productive, yet terrifying step forward.

Drilling holes in a boat is always kinda scary, especially in any exterior part of the boat. The first time I had to drill a hole in Madrigal's deck was to install the 3" flue vent for the fireplace. That was a scary one. Madrigal however, was already full of various holes for deck fittings and thru-hulls.

Our Creekmore, is another story. I had before me the brand new, unspoilt, hand-laid, 45 foot, fiberglass hull of a future offshore cruising sailboat. And I held in my hand an 8-volt DeWalt power drill with a 1-7/8 hole saw bit. Ugh. I was sick to my stomach at the thought of what I was about to do.

"Measure twice, cut once" is the ever present advice of my Grandfather. I must have measured at least 10 times and I was still shaky with bad nerves when it came time to pull the trigger. Of course, this begs the question, "WHY? Why are you drilling holes in your new boat?" Well, the shrinkwrap was a bit of an ordeal and eventually leads to a need for holes.... The wrap and frame was hastily erected with a storm about to blow in, and our big trouble was that there are no stanchions, cleats, lifelines, masts, rigging lines or anything else to tie the frame off to. Nor could we tie the shrinkwrap strapping to anything. All lines had to be led under the boat as belly bands (which only works until the keel starts sloping forward and then the ties just shimmy off the bow) or they had to be tied to the boat stands. Lets just say the whole job came out shoddy, floppy, loose and annoying. Amazingly, I was able to coax it along and keep the system upright and shedding snow through all of our winter storms and large snow falls. I was impressed -until last Sunday. We had one of those awesome 50 mph nor'easters blow through and it finally collapsed the wrap. The frame splintered, the wrap shredded. It was a mess.

No shrink wrap creates issues. There are no hatches in the boat and there are no cockpit drains. We can tape off the hatches with plastic and no-stick duct tape (amazing stuff). That's easy enough and seems very waterproof. The cockpit drains are another issue. Hence, I had to drill holes in the boat.

Hull core plug.

I put two drains the back wall of the cockpit (using fancy little flat sided thru hulls I found, but do not currently have pics of- sorry) that run back into the aft lazarette and down though the overhang. Soon I will install two more that go down through the bottom of the cockpit and out the sides, and I'm even going to put a big ol' pipe or two that goes straight out the back in case we ever get a boarding wave. Lots of cockpit drainage is a good thing. In the end it will be four 1.5 inch drains (2 down and to the sides and 2 going back) plus two 3 inch pipes going out the back.

Looking forward and port this is a cockpit drain that comes back out of the aftmost
cockpit bulkhead and runs down out of the overhang above the waterline. (a temporary install)

The current scupper/drains are only siliconed in place for now. They are just place holders that are just waterproof enough until I can properly bed them. It was a quick job to accomodate the sudden lack of shrinkwrap. But really, it works out well as it gives me a good launching point. I can now spend a day fairing in the areas around scuppers and molding things exactly how I want them before I 5200 them in permanently. Hopefully I can get this cockpit to shed tons of water in no time flat :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

New England Aquarium

It has been a long winter aboard Madrigal (and in New England in general), so to celebrate the coming of March, Justin and I took a trip to the New England Aquarium. I can't count the amount of times I have been there (umm, LOTS)...and honestly, nothing ever changes much with their displays (understandably so!), but I love it there. I can't wait until we have a kiddo to take with us!

Maybe we're not in the tropics where we could see some of these things while swimming around with them, but honestly, I love the seasons. That is not to say that I don't want to someday be swimming with these crazy looking creatures, but for now it's ok...because spring is right around the corner now, and the aquarium keeps me entertained.