Friday, September 26, 2014

We've got Sea Fever! (and kayaks)

A few weeks ago, we were contacted by Pixie at  Sea Fever Gear who was interested in partnering with us and designing some custom sail bags for the girls. Last weekend we finally got the chance to meet Pixie in person and she showed the girls how old sails are recycled into fun new gear.

Both Jessica and Emma had picked out their own designs and I had asked for a colorful bag of my own. We absolutely love our bags! My bag is made from old spinnaker and makes the neatest crinkle sound. Pixie made the girls each a custom bag that they absolutely love!  Each bag is locally handmade from sturdy, recycled sails.  And the best part?  These sails won't end up in landfills. Sea Fever Gear  uses these repurposed sails to also make everything from shower curtains, to wallets to apparel.  Check them out on our sponsors page and see what they have to offer!

What does preparing to cruise with two kids mean? Well it means they want everything: Kayaks, SUP's, surf boards, snorkel gear, you name it, they want it. This has left us needing to think outside the box when it comes to approaching potential sponsors.  In our search for two tandem ocean kayaks, we scoured craigslist, ebay, and sporting goods stores, but still couldn't find anything for a reasonable price.  Finally we decided to hit up kayak rental shops, now that it is the off season, and ask shop owners if we could purchase their old inventory.  A few months ago we left our name and number with a few different owners and had high hopes. Finally, we got a call from La Jolla Kayaks.  Say hello to our tandem ocean kayaks! Are they brand spanking new? Nope. Do we care? Not a chance! Did we purchase two ocean kayaks for less than the cost of half of just one?? (you read that correctly)  Better believe it!

Our new kayaks are large enough to hold a family of four so long as both children are small.
We could easily get the three ladies in one and have room left over for gear.  These will be great for exploring!

Who's got 8 thumbs and is super stoked on the new toys? 
Say hello to our new 11 foot tandem ocean kayaks made by Riot.

Think the girls love their new Sea Fever Gear tote bags? They had to take them with on our first paddle out.

Beautiful San Diego in the background

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

We'd like to thank the academy......

Our blog was just nominated for "The Liebster Award"! 

The Liebster what? An award you say? Is this the type of award that comes complete with a strolling mariachi band and a margarita machine (please say yes, fingers crossed)? Well, sorta. Better than receiving a Grammy, The Liebster Award is when another blogger finds your blog and wants to extend recognition of a job well done.  No, it's not that easy, with the award comes 10 questions we have to answer by the blog that nominated us.

Many thanks to Where The Coconuts Grow for nominating our blog and here's the much anticipated answers to your questions.

Why did you start your blog?
As a family of four starting out for an epic adventure we wanted a way to document all the awesomeness.  We were also looking for a way to stay in touch with nervous grandparents and jealous friends. We actually have a blog from 2005 that documented when our family went from 3 to 4 by way of adoption. Some of the links are broken, but you can view it here.

Why do you still blog?
Well, this is a cruising blog and we've yet to set sail. Can't stop now!

Who do you know that SHOULD have a blog, but doesn't?
Our daughters! Actually we are currently putting together their blog now.

Next recipients of the coveted Liebster Award?

What is the first blog you remember reading and how did you find it?
Hmm, pretty sure the first sailing blog we came across was Totem.  Behan definitely inspired us to make the leap and showed us that we could manage sailing with our family.  

What are three things you are grateful for today?

Our health. 
Having the gonads to have sold everything we own to make this happen.
The cruising community. This community has some of the nicest, most helpful people! 

Do you actually read other blog posts, or just look at the pretty pictures?

We actually read all the blog posts. We're greenhorns and need all the help we can get before shoving off. We also still have access to fast internet which makes loading blogs easy and we don't have to just rush through the pretty pictures.

What advice would you give to your past self, 10 years ago?

Don't eat the shrimp tacos for Taco Tuesday!! Major regret.  Other than that, we really have no regrets and feel like our lives have unfolded perfectly to get us to where we are today.

What or who inspires you to follow your dreams?

The hellacious commute that each of us have endured each day to work and the nanny we were paying to raise our daughters was inspiration to follow our sailing dream.   Seriously.

On your boat, who is really, I mean really the captain?

Hands down, it's our 15 year old cat we've dragged on board. Followed by the only person who knows how to sail, Captain Phil.

Where would you live if you had an unlimited amount of money?

We would do exactly what we are doing now.  Well, not exactly, we would do it for much longer and on a much nicer boat with a personal chef. 

We are continually inspired by the following blogs and hope that they accept our nomination for the illustrious Liebster Award.

S/V Delos

It's Irie
S/V Dos Libras
Katie & Jessie on a boat
Wave to the Wind

Our questions for you:

-What was the defining moment when you knew that you had to set sail?

-What's the one comfort you wish you had while cruising?

-How long to you plan to be out?  Is it until the money runs out or are your plans finite?

-What is the most awesome place you have visited so far?

-What is the least awesome place you have visited so far?

- What advice would you give our family as we're about to set out?

-What is one the one place that you can't wait to visit?

-Wine? Beer? Margaritas? Feel free say all of the above

-Do you ever get sick of your crew?  What do you do for personal space on a boat?

-What is the one non-essential item on you boat that you would not want to live without?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Christening of s/v Terrapin

This past weekend we decided to put off some of our typical knuckle-busting boat projects and finally get to the important task of officially changing the name of our ship.  Those of you that have been following us know that when we acquired her, she had big green hideous dragons on both sides of her bow that we promptly removed.  She was also given the equally hideous name of "Fafner" by her previous owners, a name that she did not like very much.


We had chosen the name "Terrapin" before we had even began boat shopping for two reasons.  First, like terrapins, our boat is an aquatic (duh), self contained home that protects us from the elements, and it is slow.  Very slow.  The second reason is that we are shameless deadheads and Terrapin Station is one of our favorite songs.  So, several weeks ago we had our good friends at Invisible Mask help us design the boat name and logo.

Both the name and logo were given to us as adhesive vinyl cutouts.  We simply had to peel off the backing, stick it on and smooth it out.



Before we get ahead of ourselves here, it is important to point out that you cannot just go changing the name of a boat willy-nilly, lest you may tick off the gods of the sea and wind.  Now, those of you that know us also know that religion and superstition are not really our thing. However, when it comes to pissing off Neptune, why take a chance?

The ceremony to change a boat's name involves several invocations to Neptune, Poseidon and Aeolus, the god of the winds as well as some booze, and plenty of pomp and circumstance.  First we had to appeal to Neptune to strike the old name from his records for eternity, then we pass around the champagne, pour off most of it to the gods, appeal to them to accept her new name and then pour the rest of it over the bow for the official christening.  This is, of course, the much abridged version of the events, if you are interested in seeing the whole script click here.

Yes, even the kids had a taste of the champagne, but they are crew too and thus entitled to the perks.


The finished product:  A properly renamed vessel, some good karma with the sea gods and a happy crew.  Finally having her name on the stern gives us a great feeling of satisfaction, like we are no longer living in limbo with her, and we think the new logo on the bow looks amazing!

Apparently, even the gods were pleased and we were rewarded by this beautiful sunset to end our weekend.  Red sky at night, sailors delight...

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Southern California. Yeah, even our dogs know how to surf!

"Hey mom, think we can go watch the dog surf contest this weekend?"

   "We'll see, maybe" translation; Fat Chance

So many time our kids ask to go places, see things to which our typical response is "we'll see" (thank you Stacey Teague for this one!).  This weekend was different.  Part of our transition to liveaboard status was to rehome our dogs. It's apparent that all four of us are missing our golden retrievers Hula and Harrison. There isn't a golden retriever within a 5 mile radius we don't know about. If ever we're out in public and we see a dog, it's an instant beeline with the four of us competing for who gets to first ask permission then pet the pooch. We're a pathetic bunch around dogs.  A trip to Del Mar to watch dogs surf? We're there!

Our favorite dog of the day. She surfs backwards.

Totally biased we're  certain that the golden retrievers won all awards to be had

Only a So Cal dog would know how to "Hang 10"

Pretty cool to watch each dog and their "team" compete.

For some reason while watching dogs surf, I couldn't help but think of the children's book "Go Dog Go.'

Monday, September 1, 2014

All ducked up on quack (">

We'll spare you the repetitive weekend posts about boat projects and cut straight to the most important item placed on our boat.

       Just in time for college football we hoisted University of Oregon ducks flag. Go Ducks! 

  We managed to catch the last sunset of Summer 2014. Wonder where we'll be next Labor Day?