Friday, December 21, 2012

merry merry.

light reading.

As we get closer to our journey I will be doing more and more reading and experimenting around the house and in the kitchen. This particular book by Lin and Larry Pardey, whom I absolutely adore for their tried and true advice and know-how as well as their storytelling (even if you're not a sailor and are looking for a wonderful adventure nonfiction read, I cannot recommend Cruising in Serrafyn enough), is chock full of things I can begin even now to help plan for being underway. From shopping to preparing meals from a can to dealing with seasickness, I have a feeling this will become part of the on ship library.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

people we know.

We are boat people. Not everyone is. Being a sailor and LOVING the water is just one of those things that isn't for everyone. 

My sister, for example, is perfectly happy to come and join us on Interlude at the dock, but gets so motion sick that an afternoon sail makes her green and miserable. My momma is like that too. There are also those people who are happy to come along but don't care if they understand how to sail. They simply love being on the water, enjoying the breeze. They like having "boat friends". That's lovely too. It means there will never be a lack of pals willing to come hang, sail, drink beer, grill and have a fun easy-going time. And then, there are the boat people. People who are intensely curious about how everything works, are comfortable behind the wheel or just asking questions about different maneuvering scenarios. Maybe they've never set foot on a boat, but once they do, they're hooked. That's how both Josh and I started out. First time out and it was love.

Before we put Interlude to bed for the season, we had the distinct pleasure of hosting a couple of newbies, our friends, Conner and Christine. They brought beer and a cheery disposition and were gung-ho about the entire day. Christine pulled in sheets, trimmed sails, steered (entertaining, to say the least!), and asked lots of questions about the boat, how to maneuver, work with the wind, and why the sails were trimmed in a certain way. She and Conner both took turns learning how to tie knots. Naturals, to say the least. They were lovely company and I have to say, I think they "get it". We expect to spend lots of time out on Lake Michigan in the coming season, teaching them even more and ensuring that they make plans to come sail with us in the Caribbean.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Happy Thanksgiving to you  all!

Just a quick post to say how thankful we are to have people in our lives who are curious about and support us in our adventures. Some days it's easy to forget how blessed we really are. We take so much for granted and complain about silly little things, which are clearly small potatoes compared to all the terrible things people have to contend with around the globe. We are grateful. Blessed. Full of thankfulness for all the gifts we've been given.

in for the winter.

This post is oh, about a month overdue. Apologies for that! Life has been hectic, shall we say?

At the end of last month, we took the trek back down to Larsen Marine to have Interlude pulled for the winter. Why did we go alllll the way back down to Waukegan to have the boat pulled when there is a lovely facility for boat storage just across the marina, you ask? Well, Interlude is having some work done over the winter. When we had the survey done, the major issues were major, yes, but nothing to keep us from enjoying her for the remainder of the season, and after all the waiting we'd done to finally own her, we weren't exactly happy at the prospect of having to wait 6-7 months to get a feel for her. As part of our storage agreement, Larsen would pull her out, do all the engine winterizing and then have her repairs done, hopefully by year end, at which point, we'd be able to begin doing our little projects on her. Here's hoping January, February, and March are mild months!

Josh's mom and dad drove up on Thursday night so we could be aboard her bright and early Friday. We left a car at Larsen and one at the marina in Racine and sailed, or rather motored down all day Friday. I was down with some seasickness, which is the second time it's happened on Interlude and I think the trick is to have a full to the brim stomach. I'll do more experimenting in the spring, otherwise it could be an uncomfortable life :( We got to Larsen around 5:30 and docked with the greatest of ease (a skill we are working on. 36' is a whole lotta boat to dock!). Josh's mom and I drove up to Racine to get the second car while Josh and his dad unloaded the boat, took down the sails and got her a little closer to ready for winterizing. According to Paul, Josh's dad, taking down the sails was a pain, so we've got that to look forward to when we launch in the spring.

Saturday, Josh and his dad went back and winterized some of the systems. They drained the water tank and filled it with "pink stuff", basically antifreeze, emptied the sump and filled it with more pink stuff and did more work to get the other systems prepared for the cold. I should have been there, but Josh said it was tight quarters with the two of them, let alone four of us. And hopefully we'll only have to do the winterizing bit one more winter after this!

So Interlude is by now out of the water, her bottom cleaned, engine flushed, and she's probably in the shop. We haven't had any updates on the progress but once we do, we'll go up and check on the workmanship of the repairs and start planning our projects. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

another state, another lake.

We're just sitting here at the laundromat, washing clothes (our trip has been extended a few days and undergarments are waning in availability of cleanliness), watching snow lazily float down, reflecting on the last week. It's been full of adventures, to be sure. Turns out Minnesota is a beautiful state FULL to the brim with culture, bustling cities and minuscule hamlets, amiable locals always ready with a smile, and miles and miles of pristine wilderness, complete with thousands more than 10,000 lakes.

I tagged along with Josh to northern Minnesota for a site visit in Cohasset. We are staying in Grand Rapids at one of those places with the giant waterslides (!) about an hour and a half drive from both Duluth and Bemidji. It's a smallish town with a Walmart, Target and a few chains but also lots of rich history. For instance, THE Judy Garland was born here (I toured her childhood home for a mere $8), taconite was mined here, and at the turn of the century, logging was a boon industry. Oh, and did I mention the photo "Grace" was taken by a photographer here in town? See here for full story:

The point is that we love adventure. Everywhere we travel, fun is had. Small town, big city, wild wild wilderness of northern Minnesota, you will find us in the throes of discovering excitement and things of interest around every corner. This is what makes me certain we'll thrive in a life as gypsies afloat. We truly believe that life. is. beautiful.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

wish list part 1: the galley

There are PLENTY of things we will need for Interlude before we undertake any adventures in the spring/summer and luckily for us, Christmas will be here before we know it (INSANE! Seriously cannot believe it. Le sigh).

Josh is making a list and checking it twice by marking up a copy of Defender's catalog and I am beginning my list of "wants" as well, based on preference, and lots and lots of blog reading. The list will be divided into a few parts. Since I'm the kitchen expert, let's start there:

Dish rack (this one will require some searching, as the space for EVERYTHING in our galley is extremely precious so probably something foldable and stowable.)
Pressure cooker—As of now, I have no idea how to use one. I'm accepting applications for a tutor on how to get the most out of it.
Pots, pans and skillets—I am looking into various options for this. Some companies sell ones with removable handles that are nesting, which I like. However, the quality and sizes of pots and pans don't really mesh up with what I want. I'm also torn about whether or not I want nonstick (some blogs say it cuts down on water usage for cleanup). 
Baking pans—Since the oven is only 13x13x9, I will be limited. I think they're quarter sheet jelly roll pans (9 or 10x13) and they will all have lips to prevent dripping, also probably nonstick. I'm also going to have at least 2 casserole dishes (a 9x13 and either a square 8x8 or a 8x10?) and in my dreams, a pizza stone. That might be a no go, since I've only seen one.
Colander—I made the mistake of asking for some flat folding cookware including measuring cups and a colander for Christmas last year. While they are fine, they are made of silicone which holds onto greasy stuff (veggie oil, etc.) and are hard to get totally clean AND they don't really save me any space. Sad trumpet.
Microplane—So many uses and I've never had one!
Mixing spoons—Electricity is a hot commodity on a boat, so most likely I will not be taking a blender, mixer, or food processor, so that means I will be getting some kick ass arm muscles from whipping egg yolks and beating batter. It also means I need to: A) get used to beating batter by hand and B) find some spoons and spatulas that will make my baking life as simple as possible.
Cutting board—Something durable with a handle and ridge around the edge to prevent spillage.
Mixing bowls—Nonslip bottom, nesting and possibly a handle. Again, this is part of the "elbow grease" part of baking and I will probably buy a few pretty soon to see which style suits me best.
Knives—Still looking around. Definitely need a filleting knife, maybe a boning knife (and the accompanying knowledge of how to fillet a fish and make sushi!), and probably a cleaver. I have a few that I really like by Victorinox so I will probably start there. This also means we'll need a good non-electric sharpener.
Coffee maker—We already have begun to do some research on this. We'll probably end up with an Aeropress or a Bialetti stovetop espresso maker.
Thermal grocery bags—for all the cold shopping in the Caribbean heat!

I'm sure there are a ton of things I haven't even thought of, but it seems like a good start. 

Monday, October 15, 2012


Over Josh's birthday weekend, we hosted some of our favorite people for the first time on Interlude. We had a birthday celebration luncheon, an afternoon sail, and once we brought her back to the dock, we even christened the boat!

Here are a few videos and photos from those festivities :) Enjoy!

big meals, tiny kitchen.

This is what I imagine cooking in a studio apartment in Manhattan halved is like. Cooking on a 36 foot sailboat is no joke. If you like canned tuna and cold pop tarts for every meal, maybe this is a non-issue but for big eaters--fans of food, if you will--it's a Macguyver sized pickle to be in. Last weekend was a trial run for next summer, when we plan to live on the boat for the season and it was interesting.

I did a fair bit of prep work in my home kitchen for the occasion--cooked a ham, precooked the ground beef for lasagna, made a mashed potato casserole, tossed together chicken salad, cooked and seasoned chicken for tacos, and bought a few pre-made things to snack on. 

I also hadn't thought about the steps involved with firing up the whole shebang. First you go on deck to open the propane tank valve, then you flip a switch on the electrical panel, then you flip a switch near the stove, then you turn a knob, push it in, and turn another knob to spark the pilot light. Boom. Your burner should be going. You have to hold the knob pushed in for 15 seconds so the flame is sustained before you can switch it to your cooking temp. If you want to fire up the oven, you have to keep the stove burner on for a few minutes then physically light the pilot light on the oven. I was a little worried I was going to have a fireball on my hands, but once we figured out exactly what we were doing, it fired up in no time. 

The first oven adventure was to cook a lasagna and garlic bread. The oven is only 13"x13"x9". It'll fit a 9"x13" flat pan or casserole dish. That's about it. It looks as if there was another rack in there at one time, so I may do some searching to see if I can get another one and double my cooking capacity. It also has a broiler but is very, very, small. I had to shift the bread every few minutes to keep the tops from getting burned. I do have to say that the lasagna was delicious. 

Saturday morning was the first foray into breakfast cooking, and unfortunately, I forgot a skillet. The eggs and the sausage both got cooked in a little saucepan. They weren't pretty, but tasted just fine. The hash browns were perfect!

The rest of the weekend was more cooking on the surface and in the oven. I didn't take too many photos, and what I did take, were terrible, as you can see :( The moral though, is that everything tasted fine. I might not ever cook a souffle in the oven, or make hollandaise sauce on the stove top, but I think that we'll get along just fine once I am able to have the kitchen fully stocked and figure out how to best utilize the limited prep spaces and awkwardly shaped fridge. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

elbow room.

Living on a boat is like living in a doll house. Every single space is small and even if you're only 5'5 like me, you feel like Andre the Giant—knocking your head when you climb out of bed is commonplace, the shower causes more tingling from hitting your funny bone than a comedian, the library is teeny tiny, and you'll miss the kitchen if you blink. It will provide a challenge.

Two people, on a boat our size can probably handle it. Interlude has a decent beam (which means her width from port to starboard) but after maneuvering around each other last weekend and the promise of plenty of visitors in the future makes me a little nervous. Maybe I should learn to be a contortionist and lose a few pounds or invest in a helmet to avoid concussions (seriously, last weekend, I knocked my head no less than 6 times)? 

Monday, October 1, 2012


Typically, after sailors, buy a boat they do an excursion in the new vessel called a shakedown cruise. It's a way to get a real feel for the boat under sail for an extended period of time—testing out systems, putting her through the paces of maneuverability, steering, motoring, etc. It's typically more than a lazy weekend afternoon out but less than an ocean crossing. Our shakedown shaped up pretty well. Since we are registering Interlude in Wisconsin, we needed to deliver her to her new home port in Racine. And that's exactly what we did.

We set out on Saturday around 12:30 with an overnight bag, snacks, and pup in tow. Yep, we brought our petrified-of-bathwater mutt, Bella along. I knew this would be interesting. Since we've begun to plan for this trip of ours, we've discounted taking Bella with us for various reasons. Mostly because she HATES water but also because with a dog of her size it simply isn't fair to confine her for days at a time while we are underway then force her to stay aboard once we reach our destinations (many countries have quarantines that last upwards of two weeks!). However, since we plan on living aboard this boat at the dock for as much time next season as humanly possible, that means that she'll have to get used to it. This was a great way to see what exactly we can expect (behavior-wise).

There was light wind, mostly steady and for the majority of the time out we were on a port tack (this means that the wind was coming over the left side of the boat to fill the sails). Josh tested the auto pilot, I got plenty of quizzing on names of maneuvers and anatomy of the boat, we tried out the chart plotter (which is pretty cool actually since we didn't have paper charts), and I worked on my tacking and steering. 

Bella wasn't petrified. True, she did NOT like being picked up off the dock and set aboard Interlude but it could have been worse. The cockpit has nice high walls all around it, so I think that definitely helped her feel secure once we were moving but she paced incessantly—almost the entire 6 hour trip. She didn't seem terribly curious about exploring the boat itself but would look out over the port and starboard side and sniff at the lake breeze. Luckily, Interlude has these really durable cushions that fit exactly in the cockpit that she was able to walk on so she wasn't slip sliding around on the wood under them once we needed to tack more to get more use of the wind. Eventually, we brought some cushions from below that were a bit more plush and she lay next to me at the helm for a few minutes at a time. She must have been exhausted with all the newness. Normally she snoozes on her bed most of the day when we're at home.

We sailed all but the last 2 miles. At that point, we were losing the sun and our ride, Tae, was waiting for us at the marina to take us back to our car in Waukegan. We kicked the motor on, I learned a bit more about right of way for sailing and motoring vessels and we made it to the dock just as the sun dipped behind the horizon.

After another traumatic transfer, this time from boat to dock, and a bit of leg stretching and of course, potty break, Bella got back on the boat and stayed below deck while we ate dinner and then retrieved our car. She ended up sleeping on the bench in the dinette for the entire night. I was worried she'd bark at any sound outside the boat, or get antsy or nervous sleeping in a new place but apparently the pacing all day wore her out. She jumped into the v-berth with us around 7:30 in the morning.

Speaking of the v-berth, if you want an adventure, try sleeping with 2 people in a triangular space with your feet squished together, 24 inches of headroom and only one way in and out of bed. I suspect it will take more than a few nights to get acclimated to it, especially for someone like me who gets up for a bathroom break at least once a night. We discovered, rather uncomfortably that there is some sort of bowing of the boards underneath the cushions and we pretty much slept side by side, our entire sides touching from shoulder to feet. I slept pretty well, but Josh was terrified he was going to roll over on me and slept poorly. 

Next up is staying on Interlude for a few days at the dock. We'll head up either Wednesday or Thursday and hopefully stay on her all weekend. Josh's parents will be joining us to celebrate his birthday so they will be testing out the dinette bed (the table drops and has a cushion, voila! double bed!). I grocery shopped yesterday in preparation and will be trying out the stove and oven. Squee! Nervous and excited. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

the coast.

"The cure for anything is salt water-sweat, tears or the sea." —Isak Dinesen

Josh and I are off to Clearwater, Florida for the week for a conference. We are both giddy at being back on the coast, sea breeze wafting across the hotel room deck and of course, the Gulf of Mexico steps away. Over the years, we've come to view the ocean as our own private medicine chest. It's healing and restorative properties seem to always cure what ails us. When we lived in San Diego, I can't count how often a dip in the Pacific Ocean set right even the smallest ailment. From a blemish to a cold, from flakey skin to digestive problems, we think salt water is pretty much the bees knees.

In addition to that, we pretty much adore water. I love swimming an abnormal amount, I think. Sea World mesmerizes me and even a bath seems exotic and exciting. Any chance we get to be in water, submerging even just our toes, we take it.

I think in another life we were both sea creatures. I might have been an octopus or a manatee and Josh was probably a dolphin or a whale.

Monday, September 24, 2012

ours at last.

Meet Interlude, the newest member of our family. She's a 1983 Union Cutter (more on cutters in an upcoming post) with gorgeous lines, a full keel and almost all the upgrades necessary for a long-term cruising lifestyle. You guys, finding a boat as well outfitted, well cared for and well loved as this boat in our price range on Lake Michigan is a one-in-a-million kind of scenario. We feel like we've hit the jackpot.

We handed over a check on Friday morning and spent the rest of the day AND the entire weekend cleaning, organizing, exploring and enjoying her. Several trips were made to Menards for all sorts of supplies and by the end of each day we were exhausted but exhilarated by the progress made in getting her in tip top shape.

Sunday afternoon we rewarded ourselves with spin around the lake on her for the first time, just the two of us. She has a wheel instead of a tiller, which will take some getting used to and some kinks need to be worked out with the sail plan and ground and tackle on her deck, but overall, she's a dream. We can NOT wait to take her on a longer journey (hopefully up to Racine, WI on Friday). 

If you're interested in the more technical aspects of Interlude, I'll be posting all the specifics under the "our boat" tab at the top of the blog.

Friday, September 21, 2012

new shoes.

We are FINALLY closing on the boat today. In honor of the occasion I am breaking out some new shoes.

Over the years I developed "a thing" for Converse All-Stars and have amassed quite a collection. I have a few pairs of hi-tops but the majority are the low top in a rainbow array of colors. One single pair has remained unworn though. You see, when we had our first boat in San Diego, I bought a pair of orange with blue trim All-Stars as my "boat" shoes. They have non-marking soles, have plenty of traction and are unbelievably comfortable. They were worn only when we'd take the Catalina 22' out on lazy weekends on the silver strand or during the week when I was conducting sight-seeing tours of the harbor for visiting family and friends aboard her. Since we sold the boat and moved back to the midwest, they've not seen quite the wear they previously did.

Fast forward 6 years and here we are again with a new boat within our reach. I bought a pair of navy All-Stars after moving to Chicago and have kept them unworn specifically for this occasion. Now that Interlude (Yes! I can finally announce her name to the world!) is ours, my pristine Chuck Taylors and I have many years of scuffs and stains and salt water and sun bleaching days ahead of us aboard our beautiful new vessel.

Monday, September 17, 2012

a series of unfortunate events. well, really just the one.

I will start off with this: I am not a superstitious person. There, I said it. Now that I have, I am certain that ALL manner of bad juju will rain down over us. I do feel that at times we/I have suffered/benefitted from our fair share of bad/good luck. Oftentimes, it's good luck. Maybe we're just the type of people who make our own destiny and that's how it all falls into place, or maybe we are just exceptionally blessed.

This is how it all applies to this boat purchase: we had yet to have incident. It seemed that nothing was going to stand in our way. While I feel there has been a certain amount of foot dragging on the part of the brokerage, I never equated it to bad luck. We made an offer, it was accepted, no major snafus on the survey, etc. Imagine my surprise when we took her out for the sea trial on Tuesday and a major hiccup popped up. I may or may not have mentioned that this boat has a brand spanking new engine in it. To my knowledge, it has never been used for any length of time in the water. When they launched her on Monday they may have used it, but beyond that, it hasn't seen any major play.

Fast forward to returning to the marina from the lake: Josh and I were exceptionally pleased with the way she handled. She's cutter rigged and because of our time constraint we only put up the main and the staysail, not the jib. It was crazy windy so we reefed the main. Again, all was well. I was giddy with the gorgeous weather, indicative of the early fall here in our fair city, which is perfection when it comes to sailing.

We returned to the dock and all was well. The mechanic who was tasked with showing us how all the systems aboard her worked took the helm to dock her. To do this, you go forward slowly then throw it into reverse so your line handlers can jump over to the dock and use spring lines to pull her backward. It's all about iertia. What happened next was certainly inertia. When he tried to throw the engine into reverse, it wouldn't catch. Every time he tried, it went forward instead of reverse which increased our speed as we careened toward the dock. He was yelling, "It won't reverse!" over and over while this is all happening. By now I'm sure you've guessed it. Yup, we crashed. Right into a pylon. The bowsprit crunched and groaned as it twisted against the concrete column. Several boards splintered while doing so. I guess the bow hit too but it has nary a mark, thankfully. Beyond that, everyone was okay. All in all, it could have been worse. We both laughed and consoled the unfortunate pilot on this adventure. Sometimes you crash. It's life. And in this case it was certainly not his fault. I felt especially bad for him, as it was his birthday. Poor guy. After that he needed a cigarette.

We'll be closing on Friday once the issue with the engine has been resolved and the bowsprit has been looked over.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

today is the day.

Apologies for my absence! It's been a whirlwind few weeks chock full of visitors, visits home, new jobs, and even a bachelorette party hosting. We are FINALLY getting out for our sea trial this morning. The boat brokerage has been hard at work getting the issues addressed so we could get her out on the water and we are anxious to see how she handles. If all goes well, she'll be ours by the end of the day! Eep!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

survey says....

Our survey, which took 10 hours over 2 days ("thorough" is the word of the day if you plan to make such a huge purchase and want to know without a doubt that your future home will, in fact, float while you are living aboard it) turned up various issues on the boat we are under contract to buy. Some of them we knew about and some were a surprise (not the good kind, mind you!). We used a gentleman out of Green Bay, WI named Ben Miller (who I highly recommend. I am happy to pass along his contact info for those in the market for a survey.) and after lots of discussing with him and between us, we approached the seller/brokerage with our list of "issues". We fully expected they would fix at least the very minimum problems in order to move forward with the sea trial. Those issues were more safety and structural in nature and ABSOLUTELY HAD to be addressed before putting the boat in the water, mast up, sails on, etc. Surprise of surprises, they have agreed to fix almost all of the items on the list! We should hear back today or tomorrow about the schedule of the maintenance and when we can get her into the water to complete the sea trial. We are beyond excited with the response and are already making our own little "to do" list of things we want to upgrade once she is ours :-)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Windtraveler: Cruising Swag: A Giveaway!

Our friends over at Windtraveler, Brittany, Scott, & Isla are giving away some swag! Talk about perfect gifts for the boat owner in your life! Even if I don't win the swag, I think I'll perhaps invest in some polos for Josh and myself emblazoned with the name of the new boat! Check this place out!

Windtraveler: Cruising Swag: A Giveaway!: When Scott and I raced in Chicago, it was always cool to race on a boat that provided their crew with gear.  You know - shirts, hats, jac...

Saturday, August 11, 2012

sale pending.

As this process has been progressing, it seems slow to an unbelievably impatient person such as myself. I've been trying to tell myself that good things come to those who wait and in that I've been contenting myself with the little things--one of which is the photo below. We've been waiting and checking every day for the listing for the boat to change to "sale pending". It's small but I'll take it :-)

Next up is a marine survey including the rigging, scheduled for Monday and the sea trial scheduled for Friday. Unfortunately, I will be in Vegas for the sea trial but if all goes well we'll be closing on her the following week and be enjoying the last of summer on her by the weekend!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

offer: accepted.

News, you guys! We are thrilled, though cautiously optimistic, to announce that our offer was accepted. Many steps are still between us and our dream boat but this is the first step in the right direction. Surveys and a sea trial will be scheduled beginning next week. More to come...

Saturday, July 28, 2012

and we're off.

We JUST sent off our offer to the brokerage. We feel confident and excited about this huge decision. We'll keep you posted!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

make 'em an offer....hopefully one they won't refuse.

You guys, this is stressful. We looked at the Union 36 again on Friday, toting along our laundry list of things to consider (the list Mr. Nigel Calder has in his book Cruising Handbook). On the way home we threw out concerns and ideas for upgrades, and of course next steps. This boat is slightly different than previous boats we've seen in that it's owned by a brokerage, not an individual. What does this mean, exactly? That's what we are trying to figure out. Actually, we feel it puts us in a good position. This particular brokerage is associated with a marina and has its own shop for repairs, upgrades, and just all around knowledgeable people. So we have the distinct comfort of knowing that any repairs necessary will be performed by professionals. The next steps: we'll make an offer, make sure the surveyor inspects the issues we feel the boat already needs fixed and hopefully they'll agree to fix them. We actually feel as if the boat is very well outfitted for our purposes. And in excellent condition. Fingers crossed!

Monday, July 9, 2012

back in the cockpit again.

After the disappointment that was Serena, I had been feeling sour. In my excited impatience, I thought this might actually go smoothly. How immature of me! I mean, it is after all, a floating house. Making a huge purchase of something with so many moving pieces, is fraught with complications. Look at our friends over at Windtraveler who are further along in the buying process. Analysis paralysis and blips, indeed. 

There are still many variables at play in our situation so again, hiccups and all, I feel pretty great about saying that we are back in the cockpit again. On the prowl and ready to pounce on a gem. I believe there are two that are very real, if slightly unattainable options on our horizon. Both are from the Robert Perry design catalog. One is 35' and one is 36' and both are priced within $5,000 of each other. They have full keels, and a classic look full of teak (oh my, when I saw both of them I swooned). Both are sturdy and sea-kindly to those of us with weaker constitutions. One is slightly better outfitted with a few features we want (brand spanking new engine and single-sideband radio, hello!). Actually, as I write this, I realize that the one with the new engine has even better berthing options as well and has already seen the Caribbean and been majorly upgraded in the last year ($40,000 worth). We are planning to see the more local one later this week and see if we still have that feeling about her. Fingers crossed.