Saturday, April 30, 2011


Tomorrow we move back to Thayers Landing. We look forward to so many things. Quiet days, quiet evenings, quiet nights. The birds. Our own yard. Familiar places. The farm stand, the park, the library. A peaceful river in which we can sail, row or motor the dinghy as a little family. And this year we're not alone! Our friends, Jon and Kelli, along with their son Seth and their dog, will be following us to also live at Thayers. This is so exciting for us all. They are great people and great company.


There are things we will miss too. Justin's short commute to work. Friends. Sophie and Rosy. The conveniences of a large marina. The coffee shop nearby.

Sophie and Rosy on s/v Rubicon

But isn't that the beauty of the boat? We can always return, and most likely will. The things that drive us crazy at one marina end up being the things we miss the most after being away for six months, so while we're ready for some peace and quiet now, come fall we'll welcome the crowds, the city, and all those other things that we thought we'd never miss but somehow suddenly can't wait for again.

Ivy is looking forward to it.

Monday, April 25, 2011

One Month!

Oh my! Ivy is one month old today. What a milestone. What an adventurous month this little girl has had.

Holy crap. She already looks like a little girl.

She had her first boat ride (well, the boat was moved by the people in the marina - we didn't actually start the engine or set sail...) so we are now out on G-dock, awaiting the big move to Thayers Landing. When will that be? It could be tomorrow, it could be May 1st. We're not sure yet.

Our friend Mark going out for a sail...and our view from G dock.

She made a best friend. Willie is totally in love with this little girl.

Willie's form of ear kiss. Or twenty, for her.

We are already spoiling her with gifts and purchased a boat for her...

Eli Scout 8'

Ok ok, so the dinghy isn't really for her...yet. We've gone through two dinghies already, searching for the perfect one. The first: a watertender 9.4. A very nice dinghy, but when we moved aboard Madrigal, it was too large to keep on deck. We traded it out for an Achilles inflatable. It took some time to get used to it, but it was so nice to have a dinghy that didn't clunk against the side of the boat while at anchor.

But then Ivy came along, and we realized with all of her cute little baby things aboard, we probably weren't going to get to take Madrigal out sailing a whole lot this year. Also, we watched a few people on sailing dinghys in the Fore River last year and we were thoroughly impressed and completely jealous, so we've been keeping an eye out on Craigslist for a few months in search of the perfect dinghy. In fact, we nearly decided to build our own dinghy but then we came across the Eli Scout 8' for a steal, and we couldn't pass it up.

The inflatable has already sold, so we're back down to just owning one dinghy.

With all that adventure, Ivy has been one tired little girl.

Happy one month birthday, Ivy! Another fun month awaits you.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Life is moving fast.

Wow, time is really clipping by. In so many ways. There is so much to say, because so much has happened. I can really only touch on some highlights. We'll have to update more often in order to capture some details a bit better!

Ivy, asleep last night

Let's start with Ivy. She's growing. So quick. I expected as much, I had been warned. But it's true, her little cheeks have chubbed out beautifully. She is extremely pretty (I might be biased). She isn't quite 3 weeks old yet, but already some of her newborn stuff is a bit snug. Her big feet barely fit in the newborn socks!

Last week: somewheres around 1 week old

So far, she has been the perfect child. Jenny's parents visited for our first week home with Ivy. My parents visited for the second week. We spent most of that time on Gaia (the same boat we flew to St. Thomas to sail on last winter is now back in Boston and was vacant for the winter). We spent our nights on Madrigal and the days were spent hanging with the new grandparents either on Gaia or bumming around greater Boston. We made run to Nantasket Beach. We showed off our Creekmore project (more on that below). We went to Gloucester. We ate at Woodman's clambake in Essex. Lots of fun was had and we enjoyed hauling Ivy around the area. She had a lot of fun for a newborn.

My Mom and her beloved first Granddaughter, snuggling.

Ivy sleeps pretty well. Awake every 1-2 hours the first half of the night, but just long enough to nurse and go back to sleep (So it's obviously easier for me, Justin). But then in the wee hours of the morning... 4 or 5, she crashes out for a couple 3 hour stretches and Jenny and I catch up on sleep then. It works out pretty well. Of course, I'm back to work this week with a crazy schedule covering for coworker vacations, so now I'll be all messed up. Such is life.

Ivy and Daddy

Here are a few pictures of her from today, April 12th, which makes her 2 weeks and 4 days old. You can really see her change even from the one week old picture above. :)

She is a very "aware" baby. It's weird to say, but she really really stays awake and alert and quiet. Good and observational. I like it.

Her entire pinkie finger is the size of the last joint of my own pinkie.

She is also very strong. Like crazy strong. Jenny read today that when lain on their stomach a baby should be able to lift their own head by 2 months of age. Ivy did it on day 1. She does it regularly. If I lay her on my stomach, belly to belly, and she is cranky or hungry, she'll wiggle/crawl right up to my face and look at me like "Dad, y u no have boobies?" I think soon she'll be able to dance.

I like to stand her up and help her dance.

Pretty Ivy.

How about that other boat of ours? The weather finally broke while the grandparents were visiting. It was the opportunity I'd been waiting for. Jenny's dad helped epoxy putty and filler all the bad spots on deck which had been previously sanded down to lots of shallow craters. Just that was a huge accomplishment, and more than I had expected in the first week of being a first time parent of a newborn!

A test fitting of the hatches before the primer.

But it gets better. My dad then helped sand all those newly epoxied areas back down to smooth and fair. We were then ready for... gasp... paint! Well, primer anyhow. I pulled that silly old plastic sheeting off of the hatches and pilothouse windows and we primered around those areas first. Those areas are the key to everything right now. If I can get those dang pesky hatches installed she'll finally be watertight. That will be a HUGE relief, making her easier to work on, easier to leave sitting, much closer to being livable, and dang prettier.

Here we primed around the hatch openings.

My poor dad traveled all the way from Michigan
to see his granddaughter and I stuck him in a tyvek suit
and handed him a roller.

So now most of the deck is primed. There are a few areas that weren't quite ready yet. There is a hole where Henry had placed a chimney to a long since removed kerosene heater. That is the ugly patch in the middle that needs fixing. Plus the gunwales and cockpit are yet to be primed. But my main concern was the bulk of the deck and the hatch areas. Now a quick coat of topcoat easypoxy and I can install hatches!

The mostly primered deck.

The pilothouse window frames were recently re-welded and strengthened up by a friend of mine. I'll drill some holes in them soon and get those ready to install. Hopefully the next few weeks will see the rest of the deck primercoated and then at least one topcoat before hatches go in. Then 3 total topcoats followed by a grit paint. Likely Kiwigrip, a fantastic nonskid that some of our friends recently used.

Also, I'm slowly acquiring lead for the keel. There are a lot of resources in the works. I'll let you know how things pan out.

Whew. We are certainly busy, but we are loving life. Little Ivy really has made things more enjoyable. She adds a whole new spin on things and quite literally breathes new life into everything we do. There were many naysayers and I still hear people constantly remarking "Oh your life is over now. Everything is going to change. You've got a kid that'll take all your money and time. Your life isn't yours. You've done it now. etc etc." Those people suck and they are totally and completely wrong. Having a baby adds new life, it doesn't ruin yours. It's great fun. Stressful? Maybe, but not really. It's entertaining. She's cute. She's fun. She's a responsibility, but only in a good way. I don't regret a single thing in our babies and boats decisions and at this rate I don't think I ever will.