Friday, February 26, 2010


A boat by any other name .... and there will be another name, we just don't know what it is yet. Good Company is a good name, but it's not our name. We have a tradition of putting "bella" in the names of our boats, Bella Luna and Isabella, and we're not opposed to re-using either of those names.

However, the possibilities are wide open. Our working list has 39 names on it. We've scoured lists of flowers, herbs, colors, musical terms, birds, sanskrit and stars (the astronomical kind). There's even a fruit on the list.

But one thing's for sure: we will NOT be following certain, annoying naming formats.

1. No stupid sailing-related names: Wind Chaser; Wave Dancer; Breaking Wind, Blew Bayou, Dances With Waves.

2. No tired song lyric references: Southern Cross; 5 O'clock Somewhere; Margaritaville

3. No fishing influences: Gone Fishin'; Shark Bait; Reel-laxed; Reel [[anything]]

4. No ridiculous combination of the letters of our names: Chammy, Tip, Chipammy

5. There will be no reference to the wine and beer business: Dos Winos; Beer Float; Happy Hour

6. No water names: Liquid Limo; Aqua [[any word here]]; Waterlogged

7. No word play: Wake My Day; Keel Joy; Knot So Fast

It's quite possible the NO list is longer than the list of "reel" possibilities. (Sorry.)

Friday, February 19, 2010


We're about to become liveaboards, the bane of society. Just as people who live in houses don't want neighbors who live in cars, people who live near marinas don't want neighbors who live in boats. 

In fact, marinas call the space for people like us, "transient docks."

Our segment of society, "the liveaboards," are infamous for messy housekeeping. We have all kinds of flotsam tied to our decks, like bikes, water cans and surfboards. We're known to do despicable things like hang laundry from the lifelines and steal toilet paper. We are the unkempt, unwashed derelicts, the unshaven vagabonds, the squatters, yes, the undesirables.

Everyone thinks sailors are adventurous. Alas, we're really just trying to find a place to tie up.

The only difference between me and a bag lady is that my bags are expensive -- and waterproof.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Now that we own two sailboats and a dinghy, we're puzzling over where to keep the fleet. (If you count the two life rafts, that would be a fleet of five.) Isabella's at a dock in Colington Harbor where she can stay until May. Good Company is still in Rock Hall, iced in. We'll bring her down as soon as the weather warms up -- in March?

There are only a few places in the Outer Banks where you can dock and liveaboard, the only close ones are on Roanoke Island.

One possibility is Shallowbag Marina, shown in that photo. It has good facilities -- gym, laundromat, bathrooms/showers, pool table (Dylan) -- and the advantage of floating docks. (Floating docks move up and down with the water and the boat, which allows you to set your lines and be done with it. Much less wear and tear on everything.) We've heard the marina's not very well protected in nor'easters. I'm also not sure about living outside the windows of dozens of condos, my own personal stage.

The dockmaster is holding a slip for us at the Manteo Waterfront -- just northwest of Shallowbag Marina. It's a truly quaint spot with lots of shops and restaurants in walking distance. However, we probably couldn't stay there past May. How tempting would it be to just sail away????

Now back to watching the weather in Rock Hall. Come on global warming, work with us!

Friday, February 12, 2010


Chip's Mt. Everest metaphor for our lives seems pretty accurate about now. We're up on Hillary's step, summit in sight. We're freezing and a blizzard's a-coming.

Actually, I mean that in a literal sense. This has been an epic winter with record snow falls north of us -- north where our new boat awaits. As it turns out, we chose the only day in January that we could have managed a sea trial. YAY.

But now that the deal is done, we're Jones-ing to bring the boat here to the Outer Banks, so we can move onboard. What do we get? "Snowmageddon." "February Fury." The boat is covered in about two feet of snow. The water is frozen over again. Sigh.