Long days of boat work can really take their toll, so we played hookie one afternoon and headed out to the beach. With special reason though, it was our 12 year wedding anniversary! Watching surfers conquer the waves and enjoying the breezes, it was exactly the break we needed.
Our biggest boat project at the moment is building our own hard dogder, a task that has been spanning two months of work. There has been a lot of logistics and tedious work, but the finished product will be a great addition to our outdoor space.
Cheers from the work yard!
Thank you SO MUCH to our Patrons. These charitable souls help keep us in the work yard, our camera equipment up to date, and the videos coming. To join the Patreon ranks, please visit http://www.patreon.com/mjsailing
One of the biggest questions we’ve been asked through the past few years, always without fail, is “How are you two affording to do this at such a young age?”. Considering that yes, we did quit our jobs back in 2012, threw off our bow lines and haven’t really looked back since….I can see how this question may pop up a lot. Especially since we’ve now been sitting in a marina for the past two years remodeling a boat. Not the cheapest of projects, one can imagine.
I’ll answer you straight away that we are not trust fund babies. We never received sums of money from our families; and as much as I would still like for this to happen, we have not won the lottery either. Granted, your chances of winning are better if you actually play, but I can still dream that someone will show up on my doorstep one day with big bags full of money.
Nope, we got here the old fashioned way. Through lots of hard work, sacrifices, and good decisions. The money we saved up before traveling won’t last us forever; in fact we’ll be looking to work again come this summer or fall to fill our cruising kitty. But, we do get asked enough how we were even able to start in the first place that we thought we’d lay it all out for you in this week’s episode.
Thank you SO MUCH to our Patrons. These charitable souls help keep us in the work yard, our camera equipment up to date, and the videos coming. To join the Patreon ranks, please visit http://www.patreon.com/mjsailing
If any marina knows how to throw a party, it’s Indiantown Marina. Especially for Thanksgiving. And that’s because it’s not just one night of partying, but three nights full of fun, entertainment, food and drinks, all leading up to a spectacular feast on Thanksgiving Day. Think plates piled high with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes. green beans, and any kind of pie you want waiting at the dessert table.
Last year we had no idea what to expect when this week of festivities came up, but this year we knew we couldn’t miss it. Hey, if our refit has to stretch so far into 2016, we may as well reap all the benefits. Watch along as we cover all the festivities including Country Night, wine tasting night, all provided to us by the marina.
We’re back on the water! If only it were on Daze Off, but sadly, she still isn’t even water tight. Although we did have the chance to visit our friends Cati and Johannes on their new catamaran in Ft. Lauderdale for a night. If you remember back to this spring, we spent a week hanging out with them in the marina before they sailed their boat Maverick back to Germany. Once getting it there and taking care of some business, they flew back to Florida in October to begin a new start as a charter boat operator.
Preparing for their jump across to the Bahamas, they had just enough free time to squeeze us in for a night for a much needed break from boat work for all of us. Not only did it give Matt and I the opportunity to get Daze Off out of sight and mind for a few days, but it also gave Cati and Johannes an evening off from fixing boat parts to have guests over and perfect their hosting skills. (I think it was Matt and I that won out in this category)
Join us as we spend an evening in the water and under the stars, with entertaining moments including making our friends think we were giving them naked photos as a wedding gift, and have a long delicious German breakfast in the morning.
It’s been another 10 days and we have a new story for you! In our most recent episode I find a few alligators in different areas of the marina, and discuss my new love for jumping spiders. Have you seen how adorable those things are? We also get to take a look at our new cherry staircase, which is not only a big improvement from our original set, but a vast improvement over our temporary set. Spoiler alert, these stairs were built special with Georgie in mind.
I also find employment for the length of 5-6 hours before being let go. It’s ok, it took me being gone from our boat for a day for Matt to realize how much he needs and likes having me there all the time. I do tend to have just a little more free time on my hands these days though as I finally finished the project of making cushions in the forward salon! Wow, what a difference it makes to that area. Now we finally have one section that really feels like home.
Who knew vlogging could take so much time? Oh wait, maybe it’s the sewing project I’ve been working on the past few weeks! Either way, the blog has still been ignored, and I still apologize for that. And probably will when the next video goes up as well.
While you’re waiting for the thrilling story of our trim (which is about the only lapse between the blog and videos), catch up on all the new things happening, including us finally getting cushions in the forward salon! Only about a year after we thought we’d originally get them when we first started work on days off. Although the old cockpit cushions we’d been using in place gave us some kind of padding and fluff under our bums, it was high time to put the real thing in there since all the heavy duty work up there had been completed and there wasn’t the same worry that we’d destroy the fabric right away.
I don’t get anywhere near finishing, and also take a break in the middle to help Matt apply the Kiwi Grip non-skid to our deck, but progress is being made!
Hello everyone! I know, I have been terrible about getting anything up on the blog lately, but trust me when I say the past week has been a fury of boat work where we’re up and at it from basically sunrise to sunset. I have so many wonderful posts to share from the past few weeks (months?), although I just need to find the time to sit down and get them typed out.
We have, however, put another episode up on YouTube that we hope you’ll all enjoy. In this episode we prepare for Hurricane Matthew, spend two days waiting for the worst of it to come and pass, and then get back into our daily routine of boat work. The next project featured in this video? The cabin sole. We add our quarter inch maple to the existing half inch plywood we’d already cut, focusing on the area from the forward salon back to the pilot house. We’re very happy with how it all came out, but take a look for yourself!
That’s right, we’re transitioning ourselves to be vloggers! Waiting until the boat renovation is only a few short months from completion (I know, I know, we should have started earlier), we’ve finally taking the plunge into recording our lives through video as well as writing. We’d had the idea for a long time, although honestly, after watching the countless hours our friends the Sailing Conductors put in to filming for their documentary series on Soundwave2Berlin, we didn’t think we could handle all the extra work at the moment that comes with bringing out a camera every time you go to do something. At least, that is the lesson we took from observing our German friends.
With so many fellow boat workers, bloggers, and blog followers passing through our yard though, we’d always get the question of ‘Why don’t you two do videos?’, and we’d explain it away that it appeared to be just as big of a project as the boat we’re overhauling, and if we did decide to eventually do it, it would be way down the road once we were on the water again. It wasn’t until our new friends Cat & Will of Monday Never came to spend a few days at the marina while selling their boat where we watched them film a few short clips here and there, and talked the logistics of it that it dawned on us that maybe a video series would be possible at the moment.
Another month or two of failed attempts to actually hit the record button on the camera while we were working, I gave myself a ‘publish by’ date for our first episode and finally started filming. Only two weeks behind my self appointed date, I’ve kept that promise. Video-logging is a completely different world from Web-logging, and we’ll definitely be spending a little time learning the ropes as we continue to capture our lives in motion.
What does this mean for the blog? Don’t worry, it’s not disappearing. As we finish work on Daze Off, I’ll make sure to publish the same amount of posts featuring the work with the same (fairly) detailed explanations as I always have. Once we’re on the water and travelling I will try to keep up with two posts a week on the blog, in addition to the 2-3 videos I hope to publish each month on YouTube. Ambitious? Definitely. But at least it will keep us busy and we’ll never be able to complain about being bored again. Partially what got us into this boat remodel in the first place.
We hope you enjoy our very first episode of Welcome to the Boat Graveyard. If you like what you see, please subscribe to our channel so you don’t miss any future videos.
With so much going on with the boat and trying to keep up just with boat work post, I’d been putting this one on the back burner for months now, but I figured it was finally time to get it up.
For those of you who remember, back in February Matt and I went down to Miami for two days to participate in a photo shoot for the clothing company Vineyard Vines, with their summer theme of ‘Ever Sailor Has Their Story’. Even though the shoot was in February, the catalog photos were not released to their site until May, so I had a few months to wait anyway before I had anything to show.
Well, now that I’m only 4 weeks behind on keeping the blog fully up to date, I think it’s time to get this post out for those of you who actually remembered we participated in this but never had the chance to see any of the photos through either their catalog or Facebook promotions.
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After our very relaxing and luxurious afternoon and evening in the Mandarin Oriental Miami, I made sure to slide between the sheets of our very nice king size bed before 11 pm in order to keep myself well rested for the next day. With a 7:30 call time, it didn’t even matter that I would not be in charge of hair and make up before I arrived in the morning, I still didn’t want to show up looking like I just stepped off a three day passage from one of our boats. Getting up just after 6 am we packed up all our belongings, did a quick rinse in the showers, and made sure Georgie hadn’t lost herself in the couch again before heading down to the main floor for breakfast.
Basically breaking down the doors to the restaurant as they opened at 7, we opted to skip the $38/person buffet (even though the tab was being picked up) for omeletts and Belgium waffles. Big mistake. Although we told our server we were in a huge rush, our food didn’t come for 20 minutes, leaving us only five minutes to scarf it down and throw our room number on the tab before running off to the conference room where we were meeting the Vineyard Vines team. A sprint through the lobby and up a set of stairs, we found we were the first ones there. Waiting for a few minutes until one team member walked in, they said everyone was running a little late and so we decided to use those 10-15 minutes to run up to our room to grab our luggage, as well as Georgie, since it sounded like we’d be checking out of the hotel just after hair and makeup.
Getting back down with all of our bags, and a few strange looks from hotel patrons that just rode the elevator with a cat on a leash, we walked back into the conference room to find it bustling with stylist and production managers. Making our rounds of introductions (“Hi Cat, meet Georgie the cat”), we were placed in chairs as the team got to work on us. Matt had been instructed a few weeks before to let his hair and beard grow out a little to give him more of a salty sailor look, so uneven ends were trimmed; while I settled in for the whole hair and makeup treatment. One woman went to work on my hair with a curling iron to give me soft windswept curls, while another woman started on my makeup to give me a fresh, dewy, natural look. Less than 30 minutes later we were being shuttled down to the lobby to check out of our room and get ready to leave for our first location.
It wasn’t until the valet was bringing our wreck of a van around that the team quickly mentioned it was time to get into our first outfits of the day. Matt was handed a pair of floral chappies (swim trunks) with a gingham shirt, and I was given a striped string bikini with a pink gingham quick dry dress to slip over it. Running back out from the restrooms into the lobby with our new uber preppy clothing on, we packed all our belongings in the van and followed the team in their Chevy Suburbans out to Key Biscayne where a chartered yacht was waiting to take us on the water for the first part of our shoot.
Getting to the marina (of which we’d actually been to before with our friend Ana Bianca, so we were able to recommend it to the production staff), we walked out to the docks to find a 57 ft yacht waiting for us, our pretend home. I should let it be known they originally contacted us wanting to shoot on our own boat….but there was no way that was possible. So this pretend home of ours for the day? HUGE upgrade. Georgie felt right at ease in the marina and jumped on the yacht without a second thought, settling herself in the cushy cockpit with no regard to the 15 team members moving around alongside her. For a few minutes, a set stylist gathered a few of the personal belongings we had brought with us to photograph, while another stylist pulled me aside to figure out jewelry. While this was going on, other team members loaded up the cabin with clothing, cameras, and other equipment that would be necessary for time out on the water.
Before we knew it the lines were being tossed off, and Matt and I were told to relax while a hired captain brought us out of the marina channel and into Biscayne Bay. The sky was a little overcast, and hopes were that it would not begin pouring rain down on us. Getting to know the very friendly crew as we moved further out into the bay, it was fun chatting with them, and finding out more about what their jobs entailed and how the previous shoots of the week had gone. With us being the very last shoot of this session, we got the scoop on the other sailing subjects, including our friend Johannes, whom we had dragged back from the Bahamas just a little early so he could participate.
When we did begin shooting it was all very casual and laid back. A far cry from the very posed shots I was expecting, we were mostly told to go to a certain area of the boat and just kind of ‘do our thing’. In my first outfit I stood near the aft deck where it went into the cockpit, and just kind of twirled around a backstay as I looked out on the water. Matt was seated on the pushpit and was given a piece of rope to tie knots, and also look out on the water and smile and laugh like he was having the time of his life. Each ‘session’ lasted less than five minutes, and then it was time for an outfit change. I was told to keep my bikini on while I switched out my dress for a beach coverup, and Matt was sent below deck to change out of his chappies and into proper shorts. Poor guy forgot to bring his boxers with him onto the yacht after our initial outfit change, and I think the girl styling him was in for a bit of a surprise when she went to properly tuck in his button down shirt. After that point it was all verbal instructions instead of hands on assistance, at least from the waist down.
The clothes kept changing and locations were moved around the deck and cockpit of the boat. Some of the shots were individual, and others had both of us together. We even managed to get Georgie in a few of the shots, as she was loving this luxe life on the water. After every session with the DSLR, a video camera was also brought out to capture the scene, all to be put together for an interview to be shown on the website with the clothing release. One of the best parts for me is they paid close attention to our travels and tried to integrate as many things from our real life as possible into the shoot. For me they incorporated my World Beer Tour, pulling out some Spanish beers for me to sip on the deck as I let the wind whip through my hair. As far as Matt, they tried to recreate his big mahi catch during our Atlantic crossing, pulling out a 50 lb fish for him to pose with up on the bow. I would have LOVED to capture these behind the scene moments with my own camera, but they were not allowed on set since the shoot was happening 3 months before the release of the clothing line.
We were having so much fun during the shoot and it did not feel like work at all. Not one of those ‘You think modeling is glamorous, but it’s so hard’ things. Mostly it was just us on a boat, with the added bonus of having someone steer and handle the sails while we enjoyed the ride and looked pretty. Apparently we did run into an issue though where the camera man told me I smile too much, but I honestly couldn’t find the right mix of facial expressions to look happy or content without a wide toothy grin showing. Any time I *think* I’m pulling this look off, I’m told by Matt that I just look pissed off. I guess I have to work on that more in the future.
There were certain times we did take control of the boat for specific photos or parts of the video. I even steered us back for a few minutes, while being told by the videographer that ‘there’s no such thing as a bad point’. So there we both stood, pointing at the chart plotter, pointing at buoys, and pointing at the Miami skyline. If there’s no such thing as a bad point, I’m going to ride that pony until it’s dead. I really had no idea what else to do in front of the camera other than, well, smile. If anyone else has this mid-range look down, seriously, email me with instructions. Taru?…..Elay?…
We ended the shoot that day with a location change to Monty’s Raw Bar next to Miami Marina. This was to be our fancy shoot where we were gussied up in a few of the fanciest looks the line has to offer. Hair and makeup went to work on us once more, combing out the knots in my hair and slathering Matt in sunscreen to give him that nice dewy look. Customers of the bar sat and looked on as we were pampered, and multiple outfits were pulled off the rack and held up to us to figure out the best look for the shot. I was handed a GORGEOUS linen dress with a beaded detail, along with a pair of Tory Birch heels (the first pair I’d worn in nearly 3 years), and Matt was given a sport coat and bow tie.
Escorting us to a section of the bar which overlooked the water, we were posed for this section of the photo shoot; elbow on the bar, sip your painkiller, give each other loving looks, ect. I think part of the reason for the posing here though was the unbelievable amount of clips keeping us tight inside our clothing. My dress was only slightly loose, so there were about two binder clips pinning the mid section tighter in the back, but Matt had clips running all the way up and down the back and arms of his sport jacket. I’m surprised there were actually angles possible where you didn’t see them.
When this part of the shoot ended, before I could even slam the rest of my Painkiller (and Matt’s too for that matter), we were ushered once again to the restrooms to change back into a more relaxed outfit, and brought out on the boardwalk for the question and answer part of our interview. Something I kind of knew was a possibility after paying attention to the release of their Spring line, but something Matt had no idea was coming. I made sure to keep it this way so he wouldn’t think about it too much beforehand and get flustered. At the end of the interview I think we were both happy with how it turned out. I think we did a good job of answering questions, and hopefully didn’t do too much mumbling or unprepared answers of “I personally believe that US Americans….”.
All in all, we had SO much fun participating in this shoot for Vineyard Vines. The entire staff and crew were incredibly friendly and we had a wonderful time talking and joking with them between photos while just hanging out. The clothes were fantastic, and except for the large yacht we could only wish was ours, they captured us perfectly as we spend our time on the boat and with each other. Only in much better clothes than we normally wear. Although don’t be surprised if you catch us in a lot more of their gear from here on out.
Make sure to check out any of their multiple stores nationwide, and tell them we sent you! We don’t get anything from this, but after working with such an amazing company, we can only hope that you’ll give them a little of your support while staying stylish on the water.
Also, check out the 90 second interview they put together on us from shots taken from the day!
*Just because I know you’re all wondering this, no, we did not get to keep the clothing when we were finished. Not only did they probably put us in a few thousand dollars worth of outfits, but there is again the conundrum of releasing clothing to a person before the line is released through the company. We were however paid in a hefty gift card, of which has now gone toward a lot of great clothing that you’ll be seeing me in once we start travelling again.
Today is one of those rare occasions that the boat is as spotless as we can get it. This is because Matt’s family is here to come sweep us away for a week of fun in Stuart, and we wanted to make sure Daze Off was impeccable for their tour. Or, as much as a boat under construction can be.
And since our boat is finally in show off condition I thought it was as good of a time as any to do a walk through to show you the progress we’ve made since starting and also explain what we have left to do. The other month I put up a quick video of when we first purchased the boat and she was still sitting in storage, and wow, the difference between the two is amazing.
From when we first moved on to her to begin our complete restoration, inside and out, this video is always a good reminder that progress is happening and it actually is possible that one day we will be out cruising again instead of sitting in a hot and dusty work yard. The thought of those days are what keeps me going, but visual reminders of our progress always help too. I love flipping back and forth between the two videos to see what we’ve been able to tear down and build back up so far.
At that time I also promised that I would begin working on more videos to show you and I do like to keep my word (most of the time). So here we are, a full walk though and explanation of our work on Daze Off, four months into our progress. Enjoy!