Post 52: Double Down

~Jen~

Last year, we spent 29 days out and about in the Bay Area from the San Joaquin River in the Delta to spending our first night outside of the Golden Gate in Half Moon Bay. All said and done, 2016 was pretty great, but we have goals for you 2017. We want to double our sailing days this year… bring on 60 days away from the dock!

Passing by Angel Island

JD is still working his butt off at a tour company in San Francisco, and I’m sweating my days away at Berkeley Marine Center as a boat builder, so we are going to have to take advantage of any free time we have.

Thoughts on how to make 60 days on the water possible:

1 – Keep the boat in near sailing condition, always.

2 – Take advantage of longer days and sail after work. Night sailing!

3 – Weekend trips around the Bay, every chance we get.

4 – Friday Night Beer Can races on S/V Spirit.

5- Plan another week long sailing trip for 2017.

 

Golden Gate Bridge | Last Sunset of 2016

 

JD built a handy spreadsheet for us to keep track of our time out on the water. Eventually we’ll use this information when we get our Captain’s licenses, but for now, it’s a great way to measure our accomplishments. Compared to 2016, we’re not doing too shabby. By this time last year, we’d been out a mere one time compared to 5 times in 2017.

New Year’s Eve Anchorage | Horseshoe Cove

Kicking the year off anchored out underneath the Golden Gate Bridge was a phenomenal start. We could see the fireworks over the Bay Bridge all the way from Horseshoe Cove by Fort Baker. The next morning, we headed for Ayala Cove at Angel Island and hiked to the top of Mt. Livermore. I’m looking forward to many more “mini” adventures this year.

Good Morning 2017!
Healthy Way to Start the Year | Angel Island Hike
Smells Like Team Spirit | Top of Mt. Livermore

Post 51: Solid Foundations – Boats, Business & the Baby Girl

-JD-

We’ve been busy. Jen got a job working on boats at the Berkeley Marine Center and Ruby has just completed her first week of Preschool. Those two things alone have felt like some pretty big pages to turn. Jen’s been taking care of Ruby full time, squeezing in time to build the foundation of our eCommerce business every chance she could for the last two years while I’ve been working on solidifying our teams and processes at the growing travel company that I manage in San Francisco while fitting as much quality daddy and husband time in as possible too. We haven’t posted anything on the blog recently but have been starting to focus on our Instagram, Facebook & YouTube accounts as well as getting out and about when we can to climb, camp and sail. We’ve got some fun footage of our trips over the last year, we just have to make time to get it edited. I need more time! Actually, more discipline is what I really need.

We just spent a full week in New Orleans last month promoting the businesses, eating too damn much amazing Creole food and partying it up at travel industry events with old friends and new. I was there for the company I manage and Jen was there for Remember the Adventure. Jen’s Mom, in Memphis and my parents, in Kentucky, split the time between themselves to help take care of Ruby. She also got to spend some quality time with her cousins on this trip. Huge thanks out to all of them for the support! Since I wasn’t there I don’t have any pics but I know she had a blast. And in case he’s reading, yes Grumpa Bruce, we’re coming to Minnesota to see you this year too!

I didn’t really know what I would title this post when I started. It seems pretty obvious though, that so much of what we’re doing right now is building foundations. It’s really cool that we go through so many stages in life thinking we’re learning so much, yet, around every corner there seems to be more lessons, more to add onto what is already there, more stimulation, more to explore.

In actuality I began writing this post to announce a new promotional video that some friends shot for us while we were out sailing on the Bay a few months back. Krista finished up the final edit recently and we’re really thankful to her for the work she put into it. But alas, I got carried away. It deserves it’s own post.

Coming soon! – Remember the Adventure – Sailing Division – Online Gear Shop Contest

Post 50: Family Liveaboard – Our First Full Year

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-JD-

I slid open the companionway glass tonight at about 11:15, stepped down into the quiet, dimly lit boat and looked for signs of an awake female. There weren’t any. Both of the girls were sleeping. Jen usually stirs and says hi if she’s awake when I get home late. She didn’t. I walked over to Ruby’s quarters and looked inside to see my baby girl sprawled out, holding her favorite friends, ‘Baby G’ and ‘Little John’ in her arms.

I love living here in these tight quarters with these girls. We’ve been at it for just over a year straight now and I don’t really care to imagine a better place to call home. I don’t mean the San Francisco Bay exactly, at least not forever, but for the past year and for right now, this suits me just fine! It’s been a great home, full of visits from friends and family, lessons about life’s ups and downs, the gives and takes in nature and in relationships, how to avoid scurvy, and a lot about boating.

Happy hour at the dock.
Happy hour at the dock.
Our first year included things like removing and applying decals, anchoring, tangling and untangling lines, replacing bilge pumps, replacing portlights, sourcing coolant leaks that turn out to be the cause of a mysterious and alarming engine buzzer, then realizing the $1500 in engine maintenance I paid for in Marina del Rey included the replacement of only the hoses we could see, and NOT the hoses we couldn’t. Sneaky bastards! So, we replaced and ran 25 feet of new hose from the engine, under the floorboard, to the hot water heater under the port side settee. We re-ran all of the mainsail and reefing lines and learned just how amazing and quick reefing the main can be. We navigated a river with a toll bridge, rafted up to buddy boats several times, faked pooping in a bucket to break up a fight and most recently, installed a radar so we can feel comfortable venturing further out of the bay on future journeys.

Petaluma Turning Basin
Petaluma Turning Basin
It was a fantastic first year living aboard and it has us itching for more adventure outside of the bay!

So what does 2016 have in store for the crew of S/V Gone Tomorrow? I hope a lot more sailing, a lot more friends, family and lessons to learn. I think I’ll stop right there because that’s really all we need. No, we need money. Let’s hope our hard work keeps paying off for us in that respect too!

Post 49: Gaining Independence

~Jen~

Per usual, I’ve been a slacker on the blog front.  So, I’m going to combine a couple of boat adventures.

Father’s Day- Sunday, June 21st

Rather than spending money on stuff (aka gifts) this Father’s Day, we decided to spend time on a new experience.

Our trusty crew Brad Johnson joined us once again for a big first– sailing in the Pacific Ocean.  It’s quite fitting as Brad was also around for our first adventure aboard Gone Tomorrow. Although we felt slightly guilty stealing Brad away from his family on Dad’s Day, we couldn’t have been happier to have him along.

Out with the Tide, Motoring Under the Bridge

Don’t get me wrong, I love learning to sail in the San Francisco Bay but seeing the same loop over and over again can get a bit monotonous. We made the decision to get up early to leave with the tide; we motored the heck out of our boat, heading for the Golden Gate Bridge. This way we could spend more time beyond rather than taking hours sailing just to get to this iconic landmark.

Brad Enjoying the Adventure

We motored out all the way to the last channel marker before hoisting our sails.  With 3 foot swells at 15 seconds apart and light winds, we put out our full mainsail removing our double reef.

It. Was. Glorious.

Wing on Wing

Sunshine on our faces, the breeze in our hair, we all fell in love with sailing just a little bit more this past Father’s Day.  We sailed all the way back in under the bridge, before having our asses handed to us in a “welcome home” gesture from the Bay.  Lesson learned, we need to reef prior to heading under the Bridge unless we want to see our toe rail under the water. I mean, what would a day on the Bay be without a teachable moment from Mother Nature? All in all, it was a successful, enjoyable, exciting new adventure; we can’t wait to head back out.  Half Moon Bay is calling our name.

Sailing Back into the Bay
Sailing Back into the Bay

Independence Day- Friday, July 3rd through Sunday, July 5th

Let’s Celebrate


Our buddy Graeme just finished sailing his Cal 25 from Baja to Panama and flew back to the Bay Area on July 3rd.  We figured this was a perfect excuse to gather friends to celebrate his return as well as our country’s independence. We rallied the troops from Pacifica to Reno in order to join our celebratory mission.

It was a fun filled weekend including time playing at the beach, dragging anchor, rowing folks from the boat to shore and back on Chloride, watching fireworks mostly covered by fog, drinking a bit of Wild Turkey, eating ribs, eating chicken, eating fresh guacamole, eating, eating, eating…

We’re on a Boat
The Men of the Galley

It was great to learn that S/V Gone Tomorrow can comfortably sleep 7 as long as those 7 folks don’t mind close quarters, don’t care about showers and really enjoy each other’s company.

The Independent Crew

A special thanks to Graeme for inspiring the weekend as well as to Raine, Devon, Steve, Anne, Sam, Ashley and Greg for joining in the fun. Also, I feel the need to confess a failed Scurvy Cure attempt of the Oh Say Can You Sea. Great name, gross drink. Luckily all escaped without the Scurvy.

Post 48: The Merry Maker, A Scurvy Cure for the Common Sailor

~Jen~

Wednesday was the official end of a 21 day cleanse for JD and me, so we decided to celebrate with a Scurvy Cure for the Common Sailor.  And what better way to celebrate than with a champagne cocktail, a spectacular sunset, a full moon, a couple of good friends and plenty of Vitamin C?

The Merry Maker

IMG_0277
Recommended Ingredient List

The Ingredient List (Serves 4 Sailors 2 drinks each):

  • 2 Bottles of Champagne (I went with a Brut as I didn’t want it to be overly sweet)
  • Grapefruit Juice (Contains 90% of recommended Vitamin C daily intake!!)
  • Limeade
  • Organic Strawberries

The Particulars:

  • Pour 1 entire bottle of champagne into 4 glasses
  • 2 second pour of grapefruit juice
  • 1 second pour of limeade
  • Hand squeeze 1 juicy strawberry into drink and then drop the remainder of the berry into the glass
  • Watch sunset
  • Drink and repeat
IMG_0278
The Merry Maker
Fresh Squeezed Strawberry- YUM.

Refreshing and tasty on a warm San Francisco evening with enough Vitamin C to stop Scurvy in its tracks.  A special thanks to Raine and Anne for their willingness to experiment with grapefruit juice.

The Merry Crew

Post 47: 24 Hour Adventure

~Jen~

Since our little tribe has returned to S/V Gone Tomorrow (Ruby and me from Yosemite and JD from Orlando), it has been a bit hectic.  JD is working MUCHO; I can’t remember the last time we had 2 whole days to spend together as a family.  Weekend, what??  It’s amazing how rejuvenating a night away from the dock can be, so we decided to take advantage of a 24 hour adventure window.

On Friday, JD got back from work around 7:30 pm.  As it’s so close to the Summer Solstice, the sun isn’t setting until about 8:30.   I had the boat prepped and ready to go; all we had to do was unplug from the dock, throw off the bowlines and head over to Treasure Island.

S/V Shawnigan was expecting our arrival.  We rafted up on their port side and took in the scene that was unfolding around us.  It just so happened that the Summer Sailstice from the Washed Up Yacht Club was going down.  Talk about a party.  This raft up included two boat weddings, tiki torches, a floating dance floor and trampoline as well as a booming sound system.  As our new friend Heather from A Fine Day for Sailing said, “Who needs TV when you can watch this?”   We hung out in Shawnigan’s cozy, covered center cockpit and watched the shenanigans taking place around us.

The Beginning of The Washed Up Yacht Club’s Raft Up

We hopped back on Gone Tomorrow at around midnight while the music was still going strong.  The bass from the music traveled across the water and could be heard clearly inside our boat.  JD and I threw our own impromptu dance party  before climbing into bed in the aft cabin.  The music went strong for several more hours, and my dreams were permeated with random bass lines throughout the night.

Enjoying our Saturday Morning

The morning brought a relaxing pace of coffee drinking and chatting.  It is so nice to find such a wonderful sailing community here in the Bay Area.  Each person we have met has their own story to tell and interesting tidbits of knowledge to share with our little tribe.  Since we are learning by doing, I appreciate the fine folks that have a deep understanding of sailing and are willing to share their insights without judgement.

Having Fun with Bjork the Canoe

Eventually the time came to pull up the anchor and head out for a few hours of sailing.

S/V Shawnigan heads to Sausalito

Once we left Clipper Cove, we realized how hard the wind was blowing.  There were little white caps across the bay, and when I checked the weather forecast I figured out that there was a small craft advisory.  I have to admit that I felt a little “bleh” as we beat into the wind.  It was a great lesson to truly learn the difference in how it feels to sail into the wind versus to sail downwind.  As soon we turned the boat around to head back towards the marina, everything felt a wee bit calmer and a whole lot more manageable.  My “bleh” feeling turned into a pretty darn big grin as I steered us home with gusts up to 35 knots.

Hang on!  Dressed for Success in my PJ’s.

JD and I have decided it’s time to step it up on the learning front.  We feel like we are managing just fine, but it’s time to gain some more knowledge.  We chatted about how to do this while sailing back to the harbor as we don’t quite have the cash flow to throw down on sailing lessons at the moment.  Instead we are going to start by reading nightly the plethora of sailing books we have on board, bit by bit, one chapter at a time. We’ll either learn something or help ourselves fall asleep easier.

Time will tell.  Man overboard drills, here we come.

Post 46: Enjoying This Moment

~Jen~

Sometimes it’s easy to get wrapped up in the mundane yet challenging aspects of daily life.  For example, my mind might start wandering down a path like this:

I live on a small boat with a toddler where it’s cold, windy and foggy.  I cannot believe the amount of dishes that a two and a half year old uses throughout the day.  I’m tired of hand washing them, and dang it I need sunshine.  JD is super busy with work, the holding tank is full and I still don’t feel comfortable going to pump out on my own.

When this happens, I find the best thing to do is shake things up and to go out on an adventure.  We are living an incredible life that is outside of the box, and I love it.  I just have to gently remind myself of that fact on occasion.  I’m happy with our path and where we live.  Since JD was going to be gone on business for about 2 weeks and as I’m nowhere near comfortable (yet) taking the boat out by myself, I figured I needed to plan an off water excursion.

To quote the great John Muir, “The mountains are calling and I must go.”

Off to Yosemite National Park

So go we did… to Yosemite National Park.  Another mama and toddler joined in the camping fun.  It was great to have an all female trip up into the Sierras.  Sleeping in a tent with Ruby is one of my favorite things; I love waking up next to my smiling little munchkin.

Sleeping in a Tent is the Best

We explored the valley with the goal of finding waterfalls and rainbows.  Due to the crazy drought here in California, I was a bit worried.  Luckily, the falls still looked amazing, and the Mist Trail did not disappoint with plenty of rainbows to be spotted on our way up the trail.

Hiking the Mist Trail with Two Toddlers

God I love that park, and it was incredible to share that with my daughter.  Hiking up the stairs of the Mist Trail, Ruby couldn’t wait to get to the top, and upon our arrival as we were looking out over Yosemite Valley with Vernal Falls flowing beside us, Ruby said, “I miss daddy.”  What a great moment.  I sure do love my little sentimental adventurer.

Top of Vernal Falls

I wouldn’t describe the Mist Trail as a gentle hike, but it definitely served as a reminder to enjoy the moment.  This time in our lives won’t last forever.  While it is fun to focus on our goals, to dream about sailing to far off lands, I sure as heck want to enjoy the journey as we are getting there.

Escaping for a few days to the Sierras was just what I needed.  I can’t wait until the entirety of our little tribe can head off to the wilderness for a little backpacking and hiking.

Post 45: Monday Night

-JD-

I’m sitting in the cockpit tonight, listening. It’s a pretty calm night and there’s no halyards thwaping any nearby masts, no high winds whistling through the marina, just a lot of calm, very pleasant, ‘boat noises’. There’s something so aesthetically pleasing, to me, about a marina and about the beautiful boats that are here, that I just can’t imagine not wanting to be a part of. I love it.

However, the ocean is calling us. We decided to head out to Clipper Cove last night to sleep on the chain. We sailed in around 6pm, set anchor and made our way forward with a couple of mimosas. It was so nice to get out with Jen and Ruby to shake off two weeks worth of work travel and really be with them again. The sun was shining, the temperature was warm and Ruby was crawling all over me like a dern monkey, when we noticed someone paddling out in a dinghy toward one of the other sailboats that was anchored nearby. He got pretty close to his boat, then looked toward us and turned our way.

 

Geoff’s dinghy Diva and the Bay Bridge
 
A few mimosas later and we had figured out our next adventure, got invited to floating wedding, learned a few things about how remote Alaskan’s get supplies in the summer and felt even more intertwined into this amazing boat culture that exists here in the bay area, and all over the world, I surmise. 

We slept great, woke to various, rotating views as the boat swund around on the hook, made some coffee and sailed toward Pier 1.5 to pick up some friends. So glad to be here, doing what I’m doing.

Putting the Sail Cover back on the Main

Post 44: The Jen Gimlet, a Scurvy Cure for the Common Sailor

~Jen~

I’m kicking off the new portion of our blog: Scurvy Cures for the Common Sailor.

JD is in Toronto on business, so I invited a few females over to S/V Gone Tomorrow for a girl’s night.  I figured there was no better time to start the Scurvy Cures project than with a bunch of women that live on boats.  Lara, Ashley, Krista and Kelsey were all on board and brought over plenty of fixings for the evening.

For the first Cure, I decided to (loosely) stick to the original Gin Gimlet recipe.

The Recommended Necessities for the Jen Gimlet

The Ingredient List:

  • Trader Joe’s Limeade (the label even says that it’s an excellent source of Vitamin C)
  • Bag of fresh limes
  • Gin (as we’re on a budget, I went with Rear Admiral Joseph’s Original London Dry Gin from TJ’s for $7.99)
  • Cherries for garnish

The Particulars:

  • 2 ounces of gin
  • 3 ounces of Limeade
  • 1/2 a fresh squeezed lime
  • Shake well (I find that a mason jar works wonders, and then you can drink straight from it.  Less dishes!)
  • Add a lime wedge and cherry as a garnish
The Jen Gimlet

This concoction gets my full stamp of approval for scurvy prevention.  In fact, we finished off the bottle of gin and proceeded to use bourbon in it’s place… which, dare I say, may have been even tastier.

The Happy Crew

It was definitely a successful girl’s night with plenty of Vitamin C for all.  The Jen Gimlet is going down as a winner in my book.

A special thanks to Krista for playing photographer for the evening.

Salud!

Post 43: Ditto

~Jen~

I love the way JD writes; he depicted our Petaluma adventure so well.  All I need to say for my two cents is “ditto.”

Rather than writing more words, I am adding a quick video recap and some pictures to our Petaluma story.  You know what they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.  I used Magisto on my iPhone to do all of my video editing.  It’s pretty rad; you just pick ten pics, ten videos, choose a theme, add some music, and voila…

Enjoy.

And now for the photos…

Heading Out of the Emeryville Channel in the Early Morning
Heading Towards the Berkeley Pier– Our Meeting Place
S/V Shawnigan & S/V Sierra– Right on Time!
Enjoying the View of the Petaluma River
The 101 Bridge in South Petaluma
Draw Bridge in the Distance
Our friend’s office overlooks the drawbridge. Thanks for the amazing welcome and the picture, Ashley!
Entering the Petaluma Turning Basin
Sweet Success and a Nice Sunset to Boot.
Exploring Petaluma by Bike.
JD & Ruby Get Down at the Car Show
And We’re Off! Petaluma, Thanks for a Great Time!
Sailing in San Pablo Bay with S/V Shawnigan & S/V Sierra.
Heading Our Separate Ways– Ruby “Watches” as Our Buddies Head in a Different Direction.