What’s It Like to Liveaboard?

We’ve been living on Echoes at Herrington Harbour North Marina in Deale, MD since July 2017. Over those four months we’ve become accustomed to the constraints of living on a boat as well as the pleasures. It’s wonderful, it’s a hassle, and it’s worth it.

HHN - D Dock

D-dock – Echoes’s Home Port

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Echoes Winter 2017 Refit

Christine and I bought Buddy & Dariene DeRyder’s Surfryder in December 2016. She is a beautifully well-kept 2003 Beneteau 423, hull #32. She has higher than average engine hours, but that does not show and the engine runs beautifully. We worked with Zimmerman Marine’s Yacht Purchase Support Program and Haywood May was our broker with Steve Zimmerman consulting. We hired the well-known Mike Previti of previtimarineconsulting.com as our surveyor. We began a refit in January and just completed the final work June 23. We move on the renamed Echoes full-time June 30. This process took longer than planned, and unplanned – we expected to be done with the refit by the end of March. Why did it take three months longer than expected?

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Introduction to Echoes

Introduction to Echoes

We bought our liveaboard sailboat in December. We are renaming her Echoes after the famous Pink Floyd song. Why Echoes? Just LISTEN, here is the first phrase:

Overhead the albatross hangs motionless upon the air
And deep beneath the rolling waves in labyrinths of coral caves
The echo of a distant tide
Comes willowing across the sand
And everything is green and submarine

Listen to that at night under the stars on deck with a glass of rum!

We talked about what we were looking for in our ISO LIVEABOARD SAILBOAT post. You can’t have everything, but we got everything we wanted except for the traditional mainsail; Echoes has a roller furling mainsail. Echoes is a 2003 Beneteau 423. Reviews of this model mention the large volume, great livability at anchor, easy sailing and suitability for couples cruising. We love the large shower that is in the forward master’s berth and the large island queen bunk. We also love the big cockpit the allows Rick to lay out full length for cockpit sleeping on warm nights. Continue reading

RickG’s Keeping Wheat Bread Recipe

I’ve gotten a couple of requests for my recipe for my Keeping Bread that I have been working on for a couple of years. My goal with this bread is a slicing bread that keeps for a week. The addition of wheat gluten, dry milk, oil and honey aid in the keeping quality. Starting with a 30 minute rest lets the yeast get started, but also lets the proteolytic (protein reducing) and diastatic (starch reducing) enzymes get started; this results in a more relaxed dough.

This recipe is in bakers % by weight and is sized for a single standard loaf. I provide conversions to volume for convenience, but you will get more consistent results measuring by weight.

At 50% AP flour to 50% whole wheat flour you will get signifiant lift. I have great results going as high as 75% whole wheat (my favorite). At 90% whole wheat the loaf is heavier and at 100% the loaf is heavier and more crumbly. Size the loaves to fit your oven. This also works well as a round loaf, but it will spread a bit as it is a soft dough.

Recipe spreadsheet at: rickgs-keeping-wheat-bread-facebook-bakers-percentage-170211

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Trip Report Jan 6-Jan 22 – It’s better in the VIs

We’re just back from two weeks of sailing the US Virgin Islands and Culebra. No visits to the BVIs this trip. The first week started with decent weather, but the wind and swell picked up per the weather forecast. We saw gusts of 25+ knots and 2-meter swells routinely for over a week. What to do?

For the first week, our crew of six did a circumnavigation of St. John and stuck to mostly sheltered and well sheltered bays. Two nights in Maho Bay before it started blowing, followed by one night in Leinster Bay as the winds and swell were building. Lots of snorkeling and swimming in these beautiful bays. Then around the east end of St. John into Coral Bay and the inner bay of Hansen Bay for more of the same. Our fifth day statted in Hurricane Hole’s inner bay of Princess Bay for a mangrove snorkel with the wind howling in this very sheltered cove.

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Fishing the Virgins January 6-January 22 2017

We are out on De Life for a couple of weeks. Fishing has been fun, when the weather cooperates.

I actually prefer handlines since we tow a dinghy on our monohull. Monday January 16 on the way to Culebra from St. Thomas I ran one rod and a handline with a Williamson surface lure and a Waaycool jethead. Not much action with 2M swells and gusting to 20 kts. We got one 15 lb barracuda on the green/yellow Williams surface lure.

We have had very good luck with rigged ballyhoo. Neptunes in Redhook and Island Marine in Crown Bay have them. $14/3 at Neptunes, $17/3 at Island Marine. We did not get any this trip due to weather and uncertainty of being able to fish.

There is a good Williamson lure kit that has worked well for us on Amazon – Williamson Game Fish Kit (6 Pack) 2 Sailfish Catcher + 2 Dorado Catcher + 2 Tuna Catcher Rigged Assorted)

The Waaycool handlines and lures are at waaycool.com.

The yoyo handlines work fine if you are not going to use them a lot. The Waaycool handlines have held up for a couple of years now, maybe 16 weeks of occasional use altogether. Plenty of good fight when catching a fish on one.

On the way back to St. Thomas from Culebra yesterday January 19 with light winds and low swell we had three lines out as we motored upwind. Caught a big barracuda on a Williamson bullet with a yellow skirt.

barracuda-170119

Cheers, RickG

Reflection on 2016

Looking back at the beginning of 2016 we had what seemed like an impossible amount of work to do. We did it. It seems that the less stuff we have, the happier we are.

Checked off the to do list in 2016:
– Sell our house
– Move Mom to New Hampshire
– Sell Mom’s house
– Downsize to an apartment
– Find our liveaboard sailboat home (more on her later!)

Yea! Now, back to work.

2017 To Dos:
– Downsize to our liveaboard sailboat by end of June

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ISO Liveaboard Sailboat

Sweet Christine and I have downsized with a goal in mind – moving onto a sailboat full-time. Compared to our downsize from a 5-bedroom house to a 2-bedroom apartment, moving onto a sailboat is a much more drastic downsize. But, it is probably less traumatic. The list of things you can take with you is much shorter – cars, tools, clothing, food, kitchen utensils, boat books and a few prize possession. All of the furniture and other possessions will go to my daughter’s, craigslist/ebay or Salvation Army. Continue reading

The Big Downsize

Sweet Christine and I have been working on our plan to become liveaboard cruisers. It’s a dream and we idealize to some extent what that life will be like. Plans are complex once you dig into the details, but ours is basically:

  1. Get rid of stuff
  2. Sell the house and excess vehicles
  3. Downsize to a small apartment
  4. Buy the boat and get ready to move aboard

We are on step 4.
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USVI/STM/Anguilla/BVI Trip – 15 Days – June 11-June 26

We’re back from our two-week trip south with Capt. Jay, Debbie, Sweet Christine and I. It was a fun trip with some new islands for us. Jay, Debbie and Sweet Christine would have more and different things to say. We hit St. Thomas, St. Martin/Sint Maarten, Anguilla, Virgin Gorda and St. John.

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