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Showing posts from April, 2011

School of Momma

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When I was a pregnant and teaching elementary school, people would ask, "So, since you're a teacher, are you going to homeschool your own kids?" And my response was always a quick eye roll and, "Are you insane?" I'm not sure why, really, but the picture in my head of a day spent homeschooling wasn't bliss. I admit, I had visions of a brood of children in long blue jean jumpers and hair braids reciting the Ten Commandments. Think the Duggars, with their 19 kids. I know, horribly stereotypical, sorry.

But now that we are planning to sail, I am getting excited about the flexibility and individuality that homeschooling offers. Elizabeth will be in first grade and Michael in preschool, so I think I can handle the content :) and I have had a blast daydreaming about what we'll learn. On our blissful days of homeschooling, I see us all hunkered down on the beach watching a crab walk sideways or all of us taking a hike to explore all the varieties of leaves…

South Beach Diet

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Weight matters! Just ask this guy!  Weight especially matters on a catamaran.  Catamarans have less displacement than a monohull.  This results in less 'stuff' on your boat without having a significant impact on performance.

I have become obsessed about weight on our boat.  We are putting our boat on the South Beach Diet!  Limiting the weight of 'stuff' is very important to me.  I want to eek out as much performance without having too many compromises.  This isn't always easy.  There are always trade-offs.

As we have been reviewing options for our boat, we have also been VERY cognizant of the potential weight implications from our decisions.  In some cases the weight savings are small and the compromise to functionality is not deemed 'worth it'.  All weight savings add up.

Here are some decisions we have made regarding weight:
Pound for pound 2 stroke outboard engines are better performers.   We are saving 65lbs and will have better performance and easier ma…

Bubba the Love Sponge

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Our nickname for Buster is 'Bubba'.  Don't ask.  I don't know.  It's just what we call him.  The good news is his nickname has had no noticeable affect on his behavior -- although he has been gaining weight.....

So why another post on Buster??  Because I want to tell 'my side' of the story.  For a dog, buster has been OK.  A sissy.  Not a guard dog.  Not even a 'go fetch' dog.  Just a dog who is great with kids.  In the end that is what we needed.

To give you my perspective on Bubba, I have provided this chart (click to enlarge).


As our family has grown, we frankly have had less time for Buster.  He is still around, and goes for the occasional walk and summer camping trip.  But in reality, we spend a lot of time away, with Buster either in doggy day care or home alone.  It will be bittersweet to see him go.

One of the things that drives Sarah crazy is when I tease Buster with 'people' food.  He especially likes cooked sausage.  When he hears…

Great Podcast!

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This is going to be a very quick post.  I want to pass on a GREAT link with some very good video from a family currently sailing.  One of my hobbies is videography, and when I find a high quality source, I like to share.  The work done by this family is excellent.

We have been watching these with our kids, and they love the videos.  Elizabeth especially liked the 'Preparation' video that showed the kids getting shots.  She knows that day is soon coming...and I was happy their kids did not melt down.  :-)

Thanks David (hope I got your name right) from the Oakland boat show.  He tipped me off to this great site!  He too plans on sailing with his family...looking forward to seeing you on the water David!

You can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes here.  Otherwise, here is the link directly to their website.

Enjoy!

PS

We will be having some video coming out soon...so stay tuned!

Back to School

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I felt like Rodney Dangerfield....going back to school.  Sarah and I have both been working hard to make sure we are prepared for sailing.  Nothing can prepare someone more than hands on experience in all weather conditions.

Back to School included these classes from the American Sailing Association (ASA):

   -  ASA 101 - Basic Keelboat    -  ASA 103 - Basic Coastal Cruising    -  ASA 104 - Bareboat Chartering    -  ASA 105 - Coastal Navigation    -  ASA 106 - Advanced Coastal Cruising    -  ASA 114 - Cruising Catamaran
The classes and instructors were great.  By far, the hardest classes were ASA 105 and 106.  In particular the written test for 105 took over 4 hours, involved a lot of chart work, math, and educated guesses (grin).  The pre-work for 105 was easily 20 hours of self study.  The practical skills for 106 included a 18 hour overnight crossing of the Gulf Stream from Miami to Bahamas in dicey weather.  More on that later....
First Week of Classes - BVIs

They key criteria for our firs…

Feeling Fishy

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I love fishing...and Valentine's Day (seriously).  I had a daddy daughter date for Valentines. There is nothing better than a daddy daughter date. The daddy gets as much attention as the daughter. I heard a lot of ‘Ohhh, look how nice he is taking his daughter out to dinner!’ I smiled. Elizabeth smiled.

At dinner, I asked Elizabeth what she was looking forward to the most about sailing. She said “Catching and eating fish!” WOW. I was amazed and happy! My daughter - unprompted - said she wanted to go fishing!  That was her special gift to daddy on Valentine's Day!  There is hope after all!  I love Valentine's day! :-)

I finally finished figuring out the fishing gear for Field Trip. YIKES. It took me over 2 hours to find and buy all the stuff online. Fortunately I had a great book – The Cruiser’s Handbook of Fishing - to provide all the details and suggestions. Unlike most other purchases (doing tons of research), I found this author, read his book, and bought most of the it…

Buster Blues

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Buster was our "first born". I convinced Mark that I needed a dog when we first moved to Colorado in 2003, right after we were married. So, he's been with us since our beginning. He kept me company on the many nights when Mark was traveling for work. Although he was supposed to be my guard dog, he's turned out to be quite a sissy. More mouse, than monster. But he's our sissy, and we love him.

Boxers are known to be a wonderful breed of dog. He has spoiled us. When he first came, I worked hard to train him. He was my "project" during that time. And I must say, I can give The Dog Whisperer a run for his money. I actually taught Buster to ring a bell every time he needed to go potty. So, now I have even trained the kids to open the door for "Bubba" when he rings his bell! He obeys commands such as "leave it", "crawl", "back", and "wait" as well as all the usual sit, stays. He doesn't jump up on people, d…

Passion!

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Passion.  Not in a sexual sense.  Passion for 'what'. Passion for 'why'.  I've spent most of my life driven by passion for the what and why. When the passion subsides it becomes a job.  It's not fun.  It's not exciting.  It's boring.  I hate being bored......

Ten years at the helm of Xcelicor with outstanding people, huge challenges, and lots of passion for being the best - was great.  It wasn't a job.  It wasn't a career.  It was fun.  It was rewarding.  It was exciting!

Leaving the current 'job' and changing channels isn't going to be hard.  I have a very strong desire to rekindle that passion.  It's still there.  Whether the passion is channeled towards sailing or back into another company is still unknown.  There are many great people in my network that are waiting to see what I do long term - it is both humbling and challenging.

First Sarah and the kids. Focus on making them a priority.  Taking time to see how we do with me…

Man Overboard!

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There is nothing more chilling than to hear these words on a boat.
Even when doing practice drills, your heart races and mind flashes to the correct rescue procedures.

I hope a man overboard never happens.  Hope is not a strategy.  Training, drills, and proper equipment are a must.  There are a lot of details on how to keep crew safe.  Relying on technology should never be the primary mechanism.  Utilizing technology in addition to rigid structure, procedures, practice and awareness can be a great addition to any boat.

I will spend less time discussing proper man overboard (MOB) techniques, and more time discussing our safety equipment.
The one item we have learned is there is a strong debate between the 'figure eight' rescue technique vs. the 'quick stop' procedure.  The different ASA classes we have taken have been very vocal about which technique should be used - and both instructors had different opinions.  I have included a visual representation of the two primar…

Let's Get Physical

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"Drop your pants." "Put your elbows on the table." "Relax."

I knew I was in trouble when I walked into the examination room and saw the KY and rubber gloves neatly laid out on a stainless steel tray.  As hard as I tried to assure the doctor I was 'OK'...it didn't help.

So what does this have to do with sailing??  A lot.  We are getting rigourous health checks, immunizations, and more health checks to ensure we are healthy and mitigate any potential health issues while we are away.

The doctor proclaimed I was in 'great' health and he would 'See me next year!'.  Since I was going to be sailing in remote areas, he wanted to be thorough...and handed me Dr. Orders for a...colonoscopy!!  NICE.  I will never, ever, ever tell my doctor again I am doing something as exotic as sailing in remote places with limited health care...ever, ever again!!!

Crazy Train

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"We're Crazy!"  "We're Reckless!"  "We've Lost Touch!"

Comments made by people about us, our plans and future.  Admit it.  Some people think that selling your belongings, quitting work, home schooling kids, & setting sail is...crazy.

Well, for once I agree!  In fact, not only do I agree, I embrace these comments - and this is WHY we are going on this adventure.  Let me explain!  (Cue Ozzy Osbourne - Crazy Train)

We're Crazy
We're crazy not to take this opportunity!  What an opportunity for us to grow as a family.  Spending good times and bad times together and creating memories that will last a lifetime.   We are also building family bonds that will be deeper and richer than would normally be possible in our traditional work/life rush of our weekly schedules.

We're Reckless
We're reckless - in our lack of quality time.  It is the fact that I have been so involved with the pursuit of my career - that it would actually be rec…