Saint Christopher

Stephane is currently training Alan, a new pilot for CareFlight’s Durango base. Alan gave us this for luck on our new adventure. I’m not Catholic but I love the gesture and sentiment.


IMG_8269 IMG_8270

I think we might make some room for Saint C on the boat.

Sutures, Shots & IVs

One evening, our good friend Patrick (an amazingly talented surgeon) taught us how to suture. He brought over the different-sized sutures and we practiced stitching up gashes in lemons.


Patrick teaching us the proper technique.


Sara stitching up the lemon.


That evening, Karen taught us how to give a proper shot (we practiced on a lemon as well). Just this past Wednesday, I gave Karen several of her weekly shots – good practice!

Last month when we were home visiting family in Michigan, Ryan taught us how to set up an IV. Can you believe we actually practiced on HER?! I got my needle in but then forgot to apply pressure up top and pulled out immediately after I saw the blood (oops!). Stephane gave Ryan an IV through a vein in her hand and did it perfectly!

Thank you to all of our super smart medical friends who are sharing their knowledge with us and making sure we have the skills we need to take care of each other in the boat!



I also learned that getting the cover off of the needle is an art in and of itself.

– use suture size >=5 on the face
– inject latocaine on the inside/cut of the skin, then on the top of the skin along the edge of the cut
– after latocaine is injected, wait ~20 minutes before suturing
– do not use epinepherine on a digit
– use latocaine without epinephrine
– suture types:
– continuous
– non-continuous – these are better (and the kind we learned). Tie knot (6-8 knots) then first stitch – wrap 2x, then 1x each
– vertical sutures – for large gashes (far-far-near-near)





I just booked Stephane’s flights to St. Thomas! He will head down there next month to meet the owner of Nereia (latin for sea snail – LOVE it!), a Baba 35. This could be our boat.

Stay tuned…



We got married!

It was a breezy Saturday evening around Tom and Melisa’s fire circle on their back patio. We were having dinner and drinks and decided it was the perfect time to tell our friends of our plans to get married this summer! Upon sharing the good news and everyone checking the calendar app on their iPhones, it was quickly determined that June 7th (the following Saturday) would be the only day this summer that everyone could be available. So we set the date for our wedding one week out, invited our closest friends via text that same night, and called our families the next day to share the good  news.

The following Saturday, I married my best friend, my faithful partner and my one true love at the Chamberlain Cabin up in the Cimarron Mountains. Brother Alan showed up around 9:30pm (after driving from Denver that afternoon) and married us by tiki torch-light. It was short, sweet, and perfect. We ate hobo meals, drank wine, and celebrated with our closest friends. We would have loved our families to be there but we are hoping that they will save their money and join us for a more extended vacation on the boat instead 🙂



Brother Alan


Eating hobos and waiting on Brother Alan – we can’t wait!!


The ceremony


LOVE these – such an awesome idea of Dan’s!


Group shot




We have been reading about and looking at photos of the Westsail 32 since the start. But words and photos are one thing and getting ON an actual WS 32 is something entirely different – we want to see what one is like for REAL!

While visiting family in Michigan this month, I posted a message on the Westail Owners Association page asking if there was anyone in the Detroit area that might have a WS 32 and be willing to show us. Later that evening, Tyler from Racine, WI extended an intivitation to us to come out and see his WS 32. While we were super grateful for the invite, Racine is a bit far for a day trip so we had to decline.

The next day, Bud Taplin emailed us with contact information for Charlie, a WS 32 owner in Michigan. And wouldn’t you believe it – his WS 32 was on the hard at Jefferson Beach Marina – a mile down the road from parents house! We got in touch with Charlie who garciously invited us to check out his WS 32, Antares. That morning we got the full tour and also got to watch Antares get put into the water for the season. Charlie invited us to join him as he motored Antares over to the marina next door.

Charlie is a super salty sailor! He has sailed all over the world and is so knowledgeable. Stephane asked him question after question and really took advantage of being able to pick his brain. This was almost as good, if not better, than being able to see a Westsail: being able to talk to someone who has been out there and done it and who can give us advice and tell us their thoughts. Charlie was so generous with his time and we are SO appreciative.

Impressions after seeing Antares:
1. We are still in love with the Westsail 32.

2. Our previous thoughts on how sturdy, solid, and safe of a boat she is have been further reinforced.

3. The galley was REALLY small but do-able.

4. I don’t think we’d go any smaller but I think the size would be just perfect for the two of us.

5. We have NO IDEA how to sail a cutter…well, add it to the list of things we’ll be learning as we go!

6. The cockpit was really small (which is what you want in a bluewater boat, but we like the idea of being able to stretch out and sleep in it and not sure we’d be able to do that in a Westsail).


Charlie showing us the manual windlass.


View of the cockpit – notice how the cockpit sole flips up allowing great access to the engine.




The v-berth.




Lots of storage and the port lights are solid – brass not plastic like we’ve seen on some boats.



The galley. We could work with this.



Charlie & Stephane



It’s a tank.



Trip to Michigan


We took advantage of our trip visiting family in Michigan to complete our first sailing classes: Basic Keelboat Sailing and Coastal cruising on a Catalina 25. Before the actual class, the sailing school sent us a couple of textbooks to study. To get the most out of our classes we reviewed the 2 books and quizzed each other the whole week prior to the classes. We’ve learned a lot from the books and the classes helped apply all of that book knowledge.

The weather was still a bit crisp in Michigan. We got lucky though, we got a glimpse of the real deal with winds blowing at 20-25 knots that day. It was perfect for practice and a little bit of exposure.


Sara at the helm. Our fellow classmate Margaret and instructor Brett.


First round completed. We just went to the Montrose Health services to get all the shots needed for the first part of our trip. So far so good, other than feeling tired and walking around looking like we have T-Rex arms we didn’t have any other symptoms.
Sara got 6 shots (the max that they will give at once), I got 4…
Round 2 is scheduled in 1 month and the last round in 6 months from now! Hopefully the insurance will cover this or we’ll have to pay roughly $600…

[May 16th UPDATE]

Second round went fine, minimal arm pain, yay 🙂

Also, Sara’s insurance picked up most of the bill with only $68 deductible. I’m still waiting to see if mine will pick up the bill.


photo 1

photo 3

Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 15.02.09 PM

Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 15.02.40 PM

The Little House

The Little House has been my home for a while now – it’s been perfect for me and Myra: plenty of room for this girl and her dog. The Little House is actually Dan and Karen’s guesthouse and is located in what we lovingly call The Village: a community of friends and homes up on Spring Creek Mesa outside of town. With Dan and Karen next door and Tom and Melisa across the street, I am only ever a few steps away from movie night, wine on the veranda, or a jam session.

So this place has been my little haven, just mine. But now I am ready to open my home up to Stephane!

With Stephane’s house closing in less than a week, we are taking another big step toward our dream! The ideal buyer fell into our laps and the selling process has gone smoothly so far. Over the course of one weekend – with advertising on Craigslist and lots of signs posted all over town – we were able to sell a majority of the items from The Medium House (a.k.a Stephane’s); the rest we sold on Craigslist. Another big step taken towards the dream – getting RID of stuff. It is amazing to me the amount of things that one amasses over the years. I thought I didn’t have much in the way of stuff but as I cleaned out my closet to make room for Stephane, I was astonished at the number of bags I was able to fill with unnecessary clothing.



With both Stephane and I living here we will be able to save even more and keep moving in the right direction (faster!) towards our goal.



Our Sailing Library

Since we still live in beautiful but landlocked Colorado, books are our main way of fueling our dream.

Here is the list of the books we’ve read so far:

Boatowner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual – Nigel Calder
The Cruiser’s Handbook of Fishing – Scott and Wendy Bannerot
The Voyoger’s Handbook – Beth A. Leonard
The Cruising Life – Jim Trefenthen
The Cost Conscious Cruiser – Lin and Larry Pardey
Offshore Sailing – Bill Seifert with Daniel Spurr
Sailing the Basics, the book that launched thousands – Dave Franzel
The Seaworthy Offshore Sailboat – John Vigor
Coastal and Offshore Navigation – Tom Cunliffe
Twenty Affordable Sailboats to take you Anywhere – Gregg Nestor
Your First Sailboat – Daniel Spurr
Emergency Navigation – David Burch
Why didn’t I think of that – John and Susan Roberts
The Essentials of Living aboard a Boat – Mark Nicholas
Coming About, a Family Passage at Sea – Susan Tyler Hitchcock
The Race – Tim Zimmermann
Galley Book – by Good Old Boat Magazine

We also subscribed to Good Old Boat magazine and we are members of Seven Seas Cruising Association.

We’ve subscribed to the newsletter since there is a good chance we’ll navigate the Intracoastal waterway.

We have also downloaded videos from

And of course searching for sailing videos on youtube has provided us with many hours of entertainment.



Sailboats We Love

We have been looking at and reading about sailboats for over a year now. From all of our research, we have narrowed it down to several blue water boats: Fantasia 35, WestSail 32, Tayana 37, and Hans Christian 33T.

Fantasia 35: Lost our Hearts to Viking

We love love love the Fantasia 35. Like all the boats we are considering, it is a beefy, full-keel, solid bluewater sailboat. It has a center cockpit- this means you stay drier on the water; having the cockpit more forward on the boat leaves room in the back for a roomy aft cabin. It also boasts a feature we’ve not seen on any other boats we have looked at – a small utility/storage/work room.

We gave our hearts to Viking earlier this year – a beautiful, CHEAP (as far as Fantasias go) F35 for sale in Oxnard, California. We talked like she was our boat and we just needed to go scoop her up come September. But, alas, she was sold last month. She is on the Left Coast and we are planning on starting our adventure on the Right- so we tell ourselves it was just not meant to be, us and Viking.



Westsail 32: The Wet Snail

The Westail 32 is the smallest of all the boats we are considering at the moment. AKA “The Wet Snail”, Westsails are slow (because they are a super heavy displacement boat at 20,000 pounds) and wet- aft cockpit. So, we will get wherever we want to go safely but it may take a while (no big deal for us) and we might get wet along the way (well, we are surrounded by water, aren’t we?). There seem to be more W32s out there at a more affordable range than the Fantasias so we may have better luck with these boats in our search come September.

We were looking forward to checking out Gitana Del Mar (Sea Gypsy – love the name) when we go home to Detroit this April/May but she was sold earlier this year. Sigh.


The Tayana 37

Is the biggest of the boats we love right now. Tayanas have an aft cockpit, roomy v-berth, a quarterberth, u-shaped kitchen; lots of storage. A downside (in many peoples’ opinions) is that many of them are made with a lot of teak (teak = maintenance). I don’t think that’s necessarily a negative for us – we will have all the time in the world to take care of our boat, so teak TLC sessions are not a dealbreaker.



The Hans Christian 33T: layout, layout layout

I think if Stephane were to have his way and price were not an issue, we’d be sailing one of these babies. A unique feature of the HC-33T is the Pullman Berth- a bed situated on the side of your sleeping quarters and gives you standing room on the other side (see pic). In some HC-33Ts, there is also a cut-out at the foot of the bed (think if we are both sleeping in the berth and I have to get up at night- I go through the hole not over Stephane). These boats also have a double berth starboard-aft where most boats have either nothing or a single berth. The very roomy head is forward towards the bow of the boat.

unknown-4 unknown


We know our boat is out there just waiting for us! What’s her name? What kind is she? Where is she? Will she keep us safe? What kind of amazing adventures are in store for us with her?

Created the domain name


Well, it’s a good story.

Our friend Tom introduced us to a funny video. It’s the video of a Desert Rain Frog that puffs up and makes this funny noise when threatened.

Next thing, as we were climbing, Sara got in a spot where she was pretty uncomfortable (scared to death), and reproduced the sound of that tiny frog, which you guessed it, on paper translates into eeeeeep…

It’s been our little noise ever since.

So we spent a whole evening brainstorming for a website name but couldn’t come up with anything that we both really liked. We decided to call it a night and get ready for bed. I reminded Sara that there was nothing holding us back anymore now that we sold the house, to which she replied: Eeeeeep, and there it was!

The House has SOLD!

The house was the number one thing that kept us fom sailing but at the same time, after it sold, it turned out to be the number one thing that will allow us to go sailing.

Sara and I worked hard at improving it. Some of he major things that we did was painting the whole inside together, I replaced the old carpet and put in a nice wood floor (laminate) and I also replaced the main windows. We didn’t use any contractors so we saved a lot of money but these few things changed the entire feel of the house and we gained a lot of equity. It wasn’t all easy but really worth it in the end.

Once we found out that we had a serious buyer, it was time to get rid of almost everything. Anything that we won’t need on the boat or for work (we’re still working until september) has to go because I’m moving into the little house (there is another blog about The Little House).

Cruisers call their savings “the cruising kitty”, and selling the house was a necessary step for us to build ours.



Annapolis Boat Show

My journal entry…

Boat show was amazing…Mrs. Westcott…private quarters…crazy cat with dialated pupils…breakfast is ready when you hear the music…butter croissants…cornbread muffins…strawberry waffles…R-A-I-N…Painkillers(2-4?)…Beneateau, Jenneau, Bavaria, Hunter, Oyster (yeah, right)…Dufour – so many!

Beers @ Irish pub with Erica & Greg…seafood dinner…Mr. + Mrs. Smith…downpour!…


Annapolis Day 2

Marine diesel seminar…rigging seminar…back on boats…30 feet feels big enough – maybe? cockpit rocks…we need a bluewater boat not an “entertainer” boat…Dinner @ Cantlers – CRAB! Bottle of wine @ the store + paper cups = late night wine party @ Mrs. Westscotts (shhh!)…pouring over sailing magazines and dreaming about our time…and the rain keeps pouring down…


Day 3 in Annapolis

Liberty Marina open house and we get to walk around and look at “real” boats (i.e., ones we can afford)…Halburg-Rassey, Pearson = beautiful! Guy who just bought a Pearson 30- good luck! Four o’clock flight gets us home by eight that night. Ah…Oh! And it was our one year anniversary! 10-11-12 x1!





Load more