Welcome to our
"Living Aboard" section. This section will be where we
share our experiences of living aboard Charbonneau. Information
like storage, cooking in a small galley, hosting guests, sailing
offshore, and adjusting to living in
close proximity will be discussed here. Click on the topics
below for the full text.
Your Pets To The Bahamas
published in Blue Water Sailing)
You know how the
daydream begins. It starts with a vision of your dogs running free along
crescent-shaped beaches as you walk hand-in-hand with that someone
special on a deserted tropical island. Palm trees sway in the breeze,
reaching up to meet the day's last glimmer of sunshine. Your toes dig
into the soft white sand, waves lap against the shore and crystal-clear
waters wash over your feet. Out in the harbor, the sailboat that's
carried you across oceans to be here waits patiently for your return.
When the sun starts its decline into the distant horizon, you're bathed
in the warm glow of red, orange, and yellow light. And then just as it
disappears, you see your first 'green flash.' This is no daydream. This
is the Bahamas.
published in Blue Water Sailing)
Back in May of 2000,
Janet and I invited two hundred friends and family members to our home
for a bon voyage party. The event was a huge affair with tents, a live
band and plenty of food. The party marked our last hurrah on land - our
house would be cleaned out the following day - so we emptied the
refrigerator and freezer, cooking everything to prevent throwing it
away. It was a real feast. Now as we motored through the Dismal Swamp
Canal aboard Charbonneau two years later, I was envisioning another
feast. Only this time we would be serving food to complete strangers as
fast as we could cook it because Charbonneau's refrigeration system had
inexplicably quit working. Unless I worked fast, all our frozen food - a
full six-month's stores - would spoil.
published in Blue Water Sailing)
held my breath as I felt Charbonneau’s bow being pushed to port by
another breaking wave.
Even in the complete darkness, I knew what was to come.
I yelled down to Janet to hold on as I double-checked my harness
and tether for what seemed like the one-thousandth time.
My yelling sounded like a mere whisper in comparison to the
avalanche of water being thrown at us.
But the noise was nothing compared to what came next.
I kept thinking, “My God,
how did we ever get into this situation?”
Down below, Janet
held onto the dogs, braced herself, and was having her own
conversation with God
– “Please God,
give us the strength to survive this storm.”
Cruises Nova Scotia
We didn't see a single iceberg on
our cruise along Nova Scotia's east coast. Nor did we find the
inhabitants of this seemingly distant land living in igloos or staring
back at us through hooded parkas made from animal skins. And though
there was an occasional aroma of fresh fish set out to dry, it was not
the overwhelming scent that we had expected based on rumored fables of
this land. Instead, what we found was a distinctly rugged shoreline
accented by brightly painted houses, steep cliffs or lush rolling hills,
a proud maritime community and one of the best cruising locations we've
explored in our three and a half years aboard Charbonneau.
Prettiest Place I Never Saw
Maine is a beautiful place. Your
senses are overwhelmed with its striking contrast of verdant hills,
shocking blue skies, and a peppering of Hercules-size rocks along the
shores. Then add the color of ancient fishing boats, brightly painted
cottages, and the gazillion lobster traps of every color. A camera can't
truly capture the splendor seen with your eyes. Artists have struggled
for years to imitate her beauty, all in vain. Yes, for the few days when
Janet and I could see past the bow of our boat, Maine was a beautiful
place. Mostly, however, it was the prettiest place I never saw.
Cruising with two large dogs has
been an enchanting experience at times, but is often full of challenges.
I believe that every cruiser who chooses to bring their pets along has
to focus on the positive aspects of that venture. But in the back of
each pet owner's mind is the fear that their furry loved one could be
lost overboard. It was on July 29th, 2003 that Janet and I came face to
face with that gut-wrenching terror. While we were ashore in a borrowed
car looking for more generator parts, Bailey fell overboard into the
cold Maine waters.
with Kids in the Bahamas
Ali Taubner (age 12) was kind
enough to write an article for our website. Her family has cruised
along the US east coast and throughout the Bahamas. Read her
well-written article for an insight into the life of another cruising
kid. Now and again, we try to share a perspective from the younger
crewmembers we meet, so that those of you with your own children can get
a glimpse into their experiences.
For another perspective you can
read an earlier article written by Kurtis Meilink (age 13) aboard MiLady
-- Caribbean Cruising - A
friends, Doug and Valerie (Voss) Crenshaw, departed from Washington, NC
aboard their Pacific Seacraft 37 about a year before we began our own adventures.
So far, their journey has carried them to the Bahamas, through the Caribbean and
across the Pacific
Ocean via the Panama Canal. We've collected the informative, and sometimes
humorous, emails that we've received from them. We thought you might
enjoy hearing stories of their travels.
that Work (and things to throw overboard)
Last Update - July 2003
One of the most
often asked questions by new cruisers, or soon-to-be cruisers, is the
question of "What works out there?" We've tried to
identify those items or services that have really 'worked' for us and those
that we wish we'd never seen. We'll update this page as
often as we come across items or services that fit into this category.
-- Angry Anchoring (and tips to avoid it!)
07/04/03 -- We've Gone Satellite
04/29/03 -- Pet Emergency - SSB Radio Net Saves Pet
03/31/03 -- Pirates of the Bahamas?
01/30/03 -- Water, Water Everywhere (new watermaker installation)
12/11/02 -- A Cruiser's Holiday
12/03/02 -- Conquering Fears of Offshore Sailing
09/27/02 -- Janet's
Favorite Galley Gadgets
09/17/02 -- 'Chickennecking' in the Chesapeake
09/01/02 -- Teak For Two
08/18/02 -- Preparing to Abandon Ship
05/30/02 -- How Much Does It Cost
05/05/02 -- Family
Emergency Hits Home
04/19/03 -- Water Collection Aboard Charbonneau
04/15/02 -- Caribbean Cruising - A Kid's Adventure
03/25/02 -- Radio
- The Cruiser's Telephone
Provisioning In The Bahamas
Something Funny Happened on Our Way to Miami
01/30/02 -- Still
Speaking After 8000 Miles
12/23/01 -- New or Used Cruising Boat -- Our Decision
10/18/01 -- After the Strike - Lightening Repairs
09/14/01 -- Lightening Strike
Norfolk to Block Island
Charbonneau Takes On Crew
06/06/01 -- Annual
04/25/01 -- Dragging Along - The Importance of Ground Tackle
04/25/01 -- Power
04/24/01 -- An Unlikely Mechanic
04/22/01 -- Anonymous Heroes -- Our Close Call
Offshore Sailing at Night
02/28/01 -- 'Charbonneau'
-- What's in the name?
01/20/01 -- Charbonneau's
12/7/00 -- Just another
day in paradise until someone screams SMOKE!!!
12/5/00 -- The 'Reel'
11/22/00 -- The Art of
'Dog-Naps' (offshore sailing)
08/19/00 -- Oh Sweetie,
Do We Have Any .....??
08/2/00 -- Move
Over. That's My Storage Spot!