A “Grands” Visit

This probably counts towards another “dock potatoes” event, but I think it deserves its very own post. My son and his family came to see the new boat and hopefully go out for a ride. Alas, the winds were just a bit too much for my novice docking skills, so we stayed tied to the slip. All in all, I don’t think that bothered our grandchildren, Caleb (6) and Cecily (3 1/2), very much. They found plenty to do and explore.

Up and down, in and out, all over the boat ……..all day long.  😍

All aboard Kindred Spirit!
One of my favorite comments of the day from Caleb – “This is like the Titanic!” Whaaat??? His explanation — the round portholes reminded him of a picture he had seen. Whew, I thought that was a bad omen at first.

If one does it, the other has to…… siblings!

Papa let his crew practice their aim with the wash down on the bow. Goal — hit the piling!
Up the ladder to the flybridge, making funny faces. At least there were no arguments about wearing life jackets.
Pretending to steer the boat. Haha – Caleb instinctively steered with his feet, just like Papa does!
And more steering in the pilot house. These big wheels are just too hard to resist! We started to wonder just where the rudder would be by the end of this day.
The stateroom is always an interesting spot. That big high bed is so much fun to climb up onto.
Ryan, Caleb, Cecily, Kerri, and me.

By far the favorite place on the boat seemed to be that walk-in engine room.

Ooooooh, look at this special little door. What’s in there, Papa?
And there they are, in the engine room with Papa.
Short enough to walk around in the engine room.
Caleb loved Papa’s special headlights. Down the hole in the floor and back into the engine room.
Cutting up hot dogs to feed the striped bass.
Feeding the fish, the enormous striped bass, pets off our yacht club, hang out in the slip next to us. See video here — https://youtu.be/M_kZ41iIp0c
SYC’s playground is just the right size for our little people.

It was a great day, filled with family, love, and fun.

“Dock Potatoes”

Kindred Spirit in her slip on D Dock

That caught your attention, didn’t it? “Dock Potatoes” as in “Couch Potatoes.” Joan, the new admiral of Kindred Spirit #3, used this phrase which is much kinder than the phrase “dock scum,” which we had previously heard. That’s how I felt about the summer so far. The boat didn’t splash into the water until July 16th and our boat time has been overwhelming tied to the dock, which is not our usual style. Although Al spent 2 days each week working on projects here, my boat time has been limited to weekends because of physical therapy appointments, and because my healing spine could only handle short times at first. 

After the launch and christening we began with a short day trip to be sure I could get on and off the boat and feel comfortable underway. My first trip out on the boat (if it could really be called a “trip”) was with a crew aboard for assistance. Anthony and Annette from Magnolia joined us for a day trip to West Harbor on Fishers Island. I watched while Al was at the helm and Anthony and Annette handled the lines.

We passed Magnolia sitting on our mooring. Note the resemblance? She is Kindred Spirit‘s big sister.
Once we were out in Fishers Island Sound, I took the helm to get reacquainted with the feel of it all. Annette is an awesome captain and a fine mentor. Sometimes a girl just needs another female around, you know?
Company arrived as soon as we anchored. Anthony said this was good luck. Yeah, maybe….. but what if he poops?
Al and Annette work on the intricacies of shade curtain construction.
Anthony, engaged in deep thoughts about boating.
A lovely day ended with dinner together on Kindred Spirit. It was so disappointing that our summer cruising plans were canceled, twice, but we were grateful for the time we did get to spend together.

For 4 weeks we spent a lot of time at the dock.

The view of B Dock from the pilot house while at the dock.

During our “dock potatoes” time, I adjusted to moving cautiously around the boat, trying not to bend, lift or twist (BLT). Haha, that is not easy to do on a boat. Al, of course, did boat chores and more of his projects.

Al laying down on the job.
Bottom photo – Al replacing the ignition on the oven/stovetop.
Top photo – Al is investigating the swim ladder and transom with thoughts of a new project for the winter.
Sometimes Al actually relaxes.
Have loom, will weave. I’m so glad I added this small loom to my collection. Perfect size for onboard weaving.
We almost always eat in the cockpit. Al discovered a new beer can holder. Multi-purpose!

It is harder to socialize these days with covid-19, but it can be done.

Happy hour and dinner with the crew of Cutting Class, Marcia and Dan. Outdoors and 8 feet apart.
Happy hour with Sweet Liberty‘s crew, Joan and Whit. Sweet Liberty is the former Kindred Spirit #3.
We weren’t there, but Lisa sent a text and photo to say hello. 😁
Al (a different Al) on Lady D, across the dock from us, took this photo one early morning at sunrise. We are the third boat from the right. Thank you!

Finally, finally, we took Kindred Spirit out for an overnight away from the dock. This was my first time at the helm to take her out of the dock. I’ve handled the Morgan and the Mariner in and out of the dock, but the Krogen has a much different feel to the controls. Our headsets refused to work (whaaat?) With knocking knees (literally, not figuratively), it was still a successful first departure. Once we were at anchor, Al googled and found the fix for the headsets. Whew, they work again.

Our track – We took a side trip up to Noank and then across to West Harbor.
Sunset at West Harbor. Away from the dock, although only a few miles. Very, very nice to sleep away from the dock.

We returned to the dock the next morning which meant I had to bring the boat into the slip, and back her in. I played around with stopping the boat near buoys out in the Sound. That might sound silly to some boaters, but I know myself and I needed to do that. Al, as always was very patient. Back at SYC, slow and steady worked. Thanks to headsets and Al’s guidance in my ears, I did it. Oh boy, this was a whole new routine, but Al said his magic words, “Fine job, my dear.”

That afternoon, for a delayed 26th wedding anniversary, we drove to Ford’s in Noank for lunch. Our first restaurant meal since….. February?? It was nice and felt safe. Outdoors, of course.

A view of Ford’s from the water when we toured up to Noank the day before.
Nice views of the Mystic River and the lobster shack.
Delicious lobster BLT! We thoroughly enjoyed our first restaurant experience in over 5 months.

So, my conclusion? When the boat is this comfortable, even time spent as “dock potatoes” can be enjoyable.

“Watsonizing” – My Turn 😁

While Al worked on the important systems of the boat all winter and spring, I spent my time thinking about how I wanted the interior of the boat to look to make it feel like “ours.”  

Time for a tour…………. starboard side first.

Stepping into the salon from the aft cockpit.

Decorating decisions began with the rugs for the salon and galley. Too many choices! There was very little color in the salon because the cushions and curtains were light beige/ivory tones with brown accents. After searching online for rugs that come in the right size (not always easy for a boat), I chose a more colorful option than usual. That decision drove my other choices. It was winter so I decided to weave some coordinating items for Kindred Spirit. 

The new small galley rug sat under my loom for inspiration.. I wove two table runners (right photo.). Although the same yarns were used in both, the longer version had lighter tones, the shorter one has bolder colors. The small item is a coordinating dish towel, also seen on the loom.
Using leftover cotton yarns from other weaving projects, I made new tiebacks, a subdued but more colorful blue accent for the off-white curtains.
The dining area. The table is awesome. It goes up and down to adjust the height and folds out to make it larger. It is extremely heavy and although not secured to the floor, it never moves by itself. But since it is not attached to the floor we can move it if we need to do so.

About the pillows….. While poking around in my fabric stash, I rediscovered Bahama Androsia batik fabric from our last trip south. Hmmm, most of it was smaller sized yardage remnants. I played around with all the colors and designs until I could create patchwork pillows.

Batik fabric from Androsia Island, Bahamas. My friend, Annette on Magnolia, had the opportunity to tour the Androsia Batik Factory in 2019 and even made her own batik fabric while there.
It took a little time to figure out how to use these odds and ends, but I pieced together three patchwork pillows that satisfied us both, shell theme and turtle theme.

We have always loved beachcombing and collecting interesting finds, sea glass, sea shells, sea beans, pottery, stones and rocks….. We have tubs and tubs of containers filled with finds that I just cannot part with. Ninety percent of our collecting comes from our travels by boat, so it just seems natural to display some of the special finds on our boat.

Hanging on the starboard side above the dining area is another weaving that incorporates some of our beach treasures.
I wove this piece with a special slub yarn for texture, leaving open areas to hold assorted beach treasures; shells, sea glass, pottery, sea beans.

Al and I discussed what we might hang on the large space in the salon on the back of the galley cupboards. Back in February while we were visiting Magnolia in Stuart, FL we stopped in the Marker 23 Gallery, a place we have toured before. I saw an ocean wave painting that I couldn’t forget. The original was too large and much too expensive so we had a giclée print in a smaller version made.

Original painting by Liza Karsai at the Marker 23 Gallery in Stuart, FL
The giclée print hanging in our salon.

Over to the port side………….

The port side of the salon. The settee pulls out and makes a bed.
The boat came with a very nice (and large) tv in the salon, but its position covered the window partially. I asked Al to figure out how to tuck it out of the way.
Al’s solution was quite clever. He remounted the tv with a rotating mount that allowed the unit to swivel vertically and horizontally. When turned vertically it would be held close against the wall, secured with a strap hooked on a mermaid. When turned horizontally for watching it does not obscure the window.
My first intention was to weave a tapestry to cover the tv when not in use. It took a lot of hours and sadly, I was not satisfied with the finished piece. For now the tv will remain naked.
Just past the port side settee is a nice “hutch” as I call it.

We decided that the space next to the hutch would be good for a mirror.   It is easier to put on sunscreen and freshen up before leaving the boat while in the salon instead of going up and then down to the master cabin. To display more of our beach combing collection, Al made a frame that I filled with shells and sea glass.

This mirror was actually made in 2015 for the Mariner’s guest cabin. I like having the continuity with some of our special things moving from boat to boat.
On the other wall by the hutch we hung this little picture. This was an anniversary card that Al gave me many, many years ago. He wrote, “I would marry you again and again” inside the card. ❤️

And the galley…..

Across from the “hutch” on the starboard side is the galley. I love this galley. Al installed additional LED lights under the cabinets and a fan to keep me cool.

Over the refrigerator is a framed cross stitch made by a cruising friend that we met on our first trip to the Bahamas.
Ann, on Traveling Soul, made this personalized cross stitch and gave it to us on our second trip to the Bahamas when our paths crossed again in 2015. The signal flags spell “Kindred Spirit.” The generosity and thoughtfulness of fellow cruisers is amazing. Thank you, Ann!

Three steps up to the pilot house……

We have never had a pilot house before and are finding it quite nice. It is a very comfortable place for both of us to be while piloting and gets a great breeze from the doors on each side. It can also serve as another space to just hang out, especially when we might need a little space from each other. 😉 The blue and white pillows and sea horse pillows came with the boat. I really liked them and chose a rug to coordinate with them.

On the last two Kindred Spirits, we displayed a photo of each boat passing by Ledge Light in New London, coming home, or leaving. Mary Jo and Dean are our photographers for these big events. One only needs to look at the blog’s header to see how special these photographers and photographs are to us.

Three of our four Kindred Spirits.
A closer look at three of our four Kindred Spirits. I searched through old boxes of photos (the pre-digital age) for quite some time to find a good photograph of our original Kindred Spirit, the Catalina 34. Alas, nothing was suitable.

Down the spiral stairs to the lower level ….

I had some concerns about the spiral stairs especially after my fall and spinal surgery, but there are plenty of handholds to make it safe. And those blue lights are great at night! The little plaque just before the entrance to the stateroom has been on the two previous Kindred SpiritsLive Simply~Laugh Often~Love Deeply

The head……. There aren’t really any decorating opportunities in the head. It is mostly a functional place.

Blues, of course. Towels on the swing-out rack that also serve as curtains, maybe? A little rug and a handwoven hand towel by the sink.

And finally, the master (and only) stateroom …..

The master stateroom is very nice. Lots of head room and storage space.

One of the wow factors on the boat is a mirror and dresser in the stateroom. That’s even more storage than the 6 huge drawers under the bed. And we each have our own hanging locker!
An unexpected purchase. My tender back was no longer comfortable on the boat’s existing mattress, even with an extra topper. After researching many foam mattresses, we took a gamble on one. It arrived in a small box and quickly expanded to its full queen size. Yikes! It expanded while upside down! Al had to muscle it over.

I was determined to keep the blue and white sea shell pillow shams from our last boat, the Mariner. Those shams were made from fabric leftover from the curtains on the Morgan.

Feels like home now. 💖