Friday, September 19, 2014

Olympia's Last Reported Location


This was Olympia' noon position on September 18th (we only get a position update every other day).  Torture!  I'm reporting verbatim what we receive, so please don't ask me to explain anything.  The numbers and letters are meaningless.   All I care about is the distance to Balboa and the Panama Canal transit date.

Noon Position
LT - 22:00 hrs GMT
40 *16 N - 149*05 W
Wind (I know this one!) - WSW 5-6 BFT (huh?)
Swell: WSW 2.5  mtrs
Speed (yay, know this one too): 14.52 kn (put the wind goggles on Snoopy!)
Miles steamed last 23 hrs: 334 miles (burning up those engines)
Miles to go next port Balboa: 4341 miles

ETA Panama (transit only) 02/Oktober

So there you have what I have.  It's excruciating to watch the numbers decrease by just a few hundred miles per day.

On the bright side however, is what is going on behind the scenes regarding the commissioning.
What!  You thought I was going to tell you that here??  Gotta wait for the next post.  Look, since there is not much exciting news, we have to keep things fresh by playing games, right?

You can do it - you've waited much longer for even more juicy news.  This is a piece of cake.  Trust me (famous last words).

 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Introducing.....!

I actually waited for this new day to arrive so that I could pay tribute to my husband and introduce the girl of our dreams.

One year ago today, Tom was called home.  His work on this earth was apparently completed, though to my grieving heart, it had only just begun.  Tom and I set forth on our dream of living aboard a beautiful Kadey Krogen yacht on July 1, 2013 when we closed on Serenity and signed the purchase agreement for KKY 55-005.  In order to achieve this dream, we sold our home of 28 years, sold our beloved Serenity and took the first steps toward ownership of this magnificent boat KKY calls the 55 Expedition.

This morning as I was looking through the early emails exchanged between Tom B. and my Tom, I came across one that actually caused me physical pain.  On September 17, 2013 at 7:24 am, there was an email from Tom B. to my Tom and I asking if we would be somewhere that day to have a conference call.  My Tom never got to take that call.  The time of death on his death certificate is 10:45 am.

As I sit here a few minutes past midnight, steeling myself to face this first anniversary of my husband in heaven, I can't help but wrestle with a myriad of emotions that defy description.  The most telling tribute to our love that survived 45 years of togetherness is that I somehow found the strength to overcome some pretty imposing obstacles to get to where I am at this very moment.  Thanks to the help of my family and many friends (remember my allusion to the "village" it took to get me here in a previous post?), I am following the progress of the freighter carrying my dream across the Pacific Ocean and will soon take delivery of this boat.  Even as I write these words, it seems surreal.

Thank you Tom for allowing me to grow up and for giving me the strength and resilience I've needed to get through this difficult first year without your loving guidance.  The times that you urged me to do the things I'd rather not do, the times you made me read a map and take the car to unfamiliar places in an unfamiliar city, the time you sent me to negotiate the purchase of my own car, I could go on for days about all the learning you guided me through.  I left Brooklyn a spoiled brat, subject to ferocious temper tantrums and returned to the Northeast with both a baccalaureate and masters degree and a wonderful sense of self-confidence that today has proven to be an invaluable gift from you to me.

I absolutely know you are beaming right now, telling anyone who will listen, "that's my girl".  So in keeping with our discussions about the perfect name for our dream boat, I am going ahead with your first choice.  Do you remember how we started our name discussion?  We first said we wanted a pretty name, a feminine name, the name of a Greek goddess that had to end in a vowel, like our beloved daughter Christina's name does.  Then we began to research the meanings of the names we liked; we kept coming back to the same name.  We loved the name because its meaning was so close to what we would feel for this boat.  She truly would be "the home of the gods" to us.

With that said dear readers, I introduce OLYMPIA, the home of the gods.



What makes her name even more meaningful, is the following description of this name that we came across so many months ago:
"Those with this name tend to initiate events, to be leaders rather than followers, with powerful personalities.  They tend to be focused on specific goals, experience a wealth of creative new ideas, and have the ability to implement these ideas with efficiency and determination. They tend to be courageous and sometimes aggressive.  As unique, creative individuals, they tend to resent authority and are sometimes stubborn, proud and impatient."

I'd say that pretty much sums up Olympia's new owner and the Expedition model itself.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Ready to go......

The yard was kind enough to take some final pictures before putting my girl into her traveling clothes.  We finally have some pics of the settee in both the salon and pilot house with the cushions in place, the guest stateroom berths in their new outfits and a few other random pics.  We of course have several more pictures of those amazing steps.   Judging from the amount of pictures of the steps, I'd venture to say the yard was quite impressed with its handiwork.   Sort of like stepping back to admire a great work of art - and being surprised to realize it's yours!

These pictures show the settees dressed in their Ultraleather clothes, just begging for company.

There I will be in that sweet corner, snuggled into beautiful, soft pillows, blinds closed against curious eyes, with a luscious glass of a fabulous red wine, probably an Argentine malbec from the Mendoza region.  The gorgeous hi-lo table will be waiting for me to rest a plate of something yummy to eat, while the lamp is perfectly positioned to shed its best light on the feast about to unfold.
Wow!  What an imagination!

              Another view to make you want to jump aboard this very instant!  Can you stand it?!


The master bed finally has its mattress in place.  Though I will probably replace this mattress as I did on Serenity, it will be just fine for the immediate future.  It will be beautifully dressed and ready to be admired shortly after I come aboard.  Check out those fabulous drawers under the mattress!  Trust me when I tell you that these drawers are deep enough to hide in.  Maybe that's a problem..


As if there aren't enough drawers in this lovely master, there are more to tempt the most diehard spendthrift (that wouldn't be me).


Don't know if you noticed, but there are newly designed hatches in place.  They are made by a British company called Oceanair.  They are quite clever in design in that they don't require any sort of "blackout" canvas work.  There is a panel that simply slides across the hatch from the inside to block out the light.  This is the same company that is making the blinds I chose.  They're called Skyvenetians.


The master vanity with the protective covering removed to reveal the beautiful cherry top.  I decided against granite in the staterooms, thinking that the cherry would so much warmer and cozy.  You can get a peek of the larger hanging locker with its generous deep and long shelves.  Probably the last time you'll see the locker empty!


Peek into the master looking to port.  Those port lights let in a lot of light but not enough privacy when in the marina.  Not to worry - this will be rectified with one call to my favorite window dresser.  This hanging locker, while not as large as the one to starboard is nonetheless roomy and thoughtfully outfitted with a deep shelf.



The pilot house settee offers another warm and welcoming space to enjoy a lazy day aboard (are there such things on a boat I wonder?  Don't think so from what I've heard).  Well, in case there is a time when I am aboard and in need of new scenery, this is where I'll head to enjoy a 360 degree view of the "neighborhood."
I love this space!  Aside from the green protective coverings and lack of pillows, this space is ready and waiting for some person(s) to rest their weary bones.  Of course having a fully stocked fridge within arm's distance doesn't require too much of a sacrifice.


The master vanity is perfectly proportioned to get any job done.  I love the over sized mirror and recessed outlet.  It's those small conveniences that make all the difference!  The faucet and handset I chose are called Wave.  Coincidence?

It's those steps again, looking down from the pilot house into the salon.  I may rent out those steps to brides wishing to make a dramatic entrance!  That handrail looks quite substantial, yes?


So my friends, these are the final pictures of my girl as she was made ready for her big trip home.  I get daily emails with the ship's position, but since Eris J is in the middle of the Pacific, there are really no points of reference.  I do notice that she covers about 285 miles each day, steaming at a bit over 12 knots.  The seas have been cooperating with not much more than 3 foot swells.  
Her ETA in the Panama Canal is October 1st.  

For those of you interested in following Eris J's progress across the Pacific, you can try the website
www.marinetraffic.com.  If you'd like to watch her transit the Panama Canal, try www.PanCanal.com. These sites were offered by friends, so I'm not positive they will give you the information you want.  Worth a try in any case.

I don't know about you, but I've grown weary of referring to this boat as "my girl" or "my boat".  I think the next post might be her debut as a real boat, with a real name and personality.  
Please stand by.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Eris J in the Pacific Ocean with her precious cargo aboard...




Eris J is carrying my baby girl home.  Last position this morning just before 8 am (our time) had her southeast of Hakodate, Japan (wherever that is)!  She is due at the Panama Canal on September 14, not yet sure of the actual transit time.  If Tom's friend, Paul can pull it off, I'll get to see Eris J go through the Panama Canal.  How cool is that?

Since she will no longer be near any land mass til the Canal, we will only get coordinates from the tracking folks.  Though those numbers are meaningless to me (and most folks I know), they will be all I have for a few more days.

Pray that Eris J has nothing but fair winds and following seas for this trip and may the trip be boring and uneventful for her crew.  Oh weather gods, please don't rock this boat (ship, sorry Tom)!



Don't worry, the last group of pictures I promised (when will I learn not to make those promises?) will soon follow.  I'm pacing us so we don't have a total information blackout.  Oh, I can share that Dave, KKY's illustrious naval architect, drew in the dimensions of the chairs I had on Serenity.  I tried to show you the drawing, but since it's a PDF file, I can't attach it.  Maybe a 12 year old could, but there are none around at the moment.  Sorry.


 Looks like the chairs might work on the new girl. They're also available in a slightly slimmer (by 3") and a bit higher profile.   I'm meeting with the interior decorator who helped me with Serenity this Saturday at 10.  I absolutely loved those chairs - they were not only gorgeous, but oh so comfy as well.  Here's what they looked like on Serenity - (how I loved that boat)!


Anyone coming on the boat made a beeline for one of those chairs - and proceeded to stay there until the visit was over or someone with more nerve claimed the chair as their own.

The tiles for the stove's back splash will be ordered tomorrow (if they aren't already ordered).  They will be available when the boat arrives, so the commissioning crew can get right to work making her even more gorgeous.

We're moving along in the right direction with all things "boat".  I think decorating a boat is even more challenging - and fun - than decorating a home.  While there are certain limitations, it's fun to use conventional decorating ideas in a different way.  I'm all for being creative and thinking out of the box.

That's it for tonight folks.  I'm going to experiment with getting into bed before midnight and see how it feels tomorrow.  It will be nice to begin my morning walk fully alert and raring to go.

Have a good one everyone!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Staterooms!

Though beautifully finished, staterooms on KKYs are pretty much the same.  While that is true, the guest stateroom and head on this boat are a bit different owing to the steps to the pilot house and the steps creating walk-in access to the engine room.

Since I will always have company while traveling, the guest stateroom is ready for you.  Two twin berths with a shared table in between and lots of drawer space underneath make having guests aboard effortless.   The wall lamps should make reading a comfy experience.



Should be able to fit quite a bit of gear in this room...  The desk is a real desk, with a drawer for hanging files.  It also doubles nicely as a spot for folding laundry.  The hanging locker is pretty roomy and has a shelf for storing extra bedding.

While visiting, you can throw in a quick wash without even leaving your room...
If these Bosch washers and dryers are as quiet as their dishwashers, you won't even know you're doing laundry!  I had a Bosch dishwasher in the house; for the first few days, I had to go over to be sure I had started it!  It was absolutely silent when operating.

The guest head was moved forward since there is no longer an access hatch to the engine room.  It was also "stretched" to accommodate the new door leading to the engine room.  KKY was considerate enough to find another area for the linen closet that vanished when the door arrived.
 The port lights above the vanity provide plenty of light and the vanity has enough room on it to really spread out those "must have" items.  Obviously, the new door is opposite the vanity.


The electrical panel is pretty much where it has always been.  As a former owner of a 48', I'm delighted with the location of this panel.  On Serenity, I had to go up the steps and sit on the floor to get a good view of the switches.  This panel is conveniently located at eye level.
Judging from the size of this panel. there are a ton of switches in there (gulp).


Looking down the hall, the master stateroom is forward as far as it can go.

In this picture, the bed is up revealing a glimpse of the cavernous storage space under the bed.  If there isn't too much rattling, I may store my golf clubs under there along with winter clothes once I'm living aboard.  I love the fact that the glass-fronted cabinet will light up the companionway very nicely at night.  The  electrical panel is beyond the guest head.


The forward location is what gives the master its unique shape.  I always feel as if I'm being hugged by the boat when in there.  It's the coziest, most welcoming spot in the boat, especially at night when the lights are on and the wood glows.  I have the perfect print to hang above the berth, between the 2 wall lamps.  I so loved certain things on Serenity, that it was a no-brainer to put those things on this boat as well.


Port view of master with a peek into the ensuite master head.  That hanging locker is quite spacious with a nice shelf to keep things organized.


Starboard and aft picture of master stateroom.  The vanity, berth and cabinet next to the hanging locker have wonderful drawers.  The ones under the berth are big enough to crawl into.  The hanging locker has 2 sets of shelves that run the length of the locker; there's even a port light in the locker for greater visibility.  The unique positioning of port lights and windows make this a very bright and airy boat.  My favorite type of living space!


Though the master head is not as large as the guest head, it is spacious and comfortable enough to get the job done.  I've never felt cramped in any of our other boats heads.  This head is bigger than the bathroom in our first apartment in Brooklyn!  I had the outlet recessed into the wall.  On Serenity, the outlet was mounted on the face of the cabinet - a nuisance when using an electric toothbrush or hairdryer.  Amazing how such small conveniences can make a difference.

These are the last pictures taken by Tom B. during his August trip to the yard.

The pictures in the next posts are the ones taken by the yard just prior to getting my girl ready to come home to me.  The cushions are on the settees and several other finishing details can be seen.  

The pictures will have to hold us until the big girl arrives in Stuart a month from now.  Personally, I think I will be losing my mind with excitement, but following her on her voyage will have to keep me sane.  I have quite a few folks helping me track her.  Now that she made a stop in South Korea and is on her way, we should be getting updates shortly.

Hang in there with me everyone!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Helm, Pilot House and Exterior Views

Now that my girl is on her way home, we will have to content ourselves with some pictures that were taken while Tom was in Taiwan.  I also have some pictures taken by the yard just before she was bundled onto Eris J.  So there will be a trickle of pictures before she is actually here.

I find the helm less scary than the engine room and actually do see myself standing there (with a "helper" glued to my side).  The 55's pilot house is quite nice and roomy, even with 2 helm chairs in residence.  The 360 degree view makes for a spacious roost in all weather conditions and the wing stations will be an enormous help when docking (gulp).

Tom had opted for the destroyer style wheel and actually ordered the largest size available.  Though the traditional wheel was beautiful, it wasn't practical.  It was difficult not to nick and scratch the finish and the wheel spokes sometimes got in the way.  I'm not sure if you notice, but the angle of the wedge where the chartplotters and other instruments will go is angled higher than it was on past boats.  Tom always had to stand on his tiptoes to get a good view of everything.  This helm is more like Serenity's than earlier 55s.
I chuckle every time I see the panel to the right of the wheel.  That panel wasn't covered on 55-001.  On a trip to the Rendezvous in 2012, I was swinging my leg in the starboard helm seat when all of a sudden it grew silent in the pilot house.  My swinging foot had accidentally turned off an engine!  After a second or two of stunned silence, we burst out laughing as the engine roared back to life.   Glad the panel is now covered.   There is more than ample space for paper charts, binoculars and other "stuff" on the 2 chart tables.


Now that there are steps to starboard inside of on the port side, the new access necessitated moving the settee further to port but still left plenty of room for that all-important cabinet hiding a fridge and ice maker.


A peek down the staircase eliminates the closed in, constantly curving steps of earlier models.  I love the open view of the salon from the top of the steps.  It really is like being in a traditional, land-based home.  They did a beautiful job of rounding the top and sides of the wall, no sharp edges to bang into when the seas decide to make a fuss.


The aft boat deck houses a davit capable of lifting 1200 lbs., more than enough to lift an 11' Boston Whaler Supersport, motor and full tank of gas.  The hatch access is safe and easy, thanks to the sturdy handrail in exactly the right place as one starts down the ladder to the aft cockpit.  I'm told that even with a Whaler on board, there will be room in the davit area for a kayak or stand-up paddleboard - maybe even both.


Ahead of this area is a lovely space to place a table and chairs where one can wait for dinner to cook on the grill while sipping a glass of something wonderful.  When finished, a huge cabinet stores the table, chairs and even a misbehaving guest if necessary.  If one so desires, an awning can be added so that it rolls out over this space.  There is even a small sink with running water to the right of the grill for quick clean-ups without having to go inside or haul out a hose.  That might not be true when BBQ ribs are served, but I'll deal with that when the time comes.


Coming around to the front of the boat, the huge and imposing bow creates another outdoor space.  In the immediate foreground are 2 bow lockers that are quite large and deep.  No problem stowing an extra set of lines, hoses and even an extra 50 amp power cord.  I'm in the process of selecting a Sunbrella fabric for 2 big cushions.  I'm all for being able to enjoy every square inch of this beautiful girl - and able to host a crowd of folks to share the enjoyment.


I had such a productive visit to Stuart last week, that I left much work for the commissioning crew to take on.  The 1" wooden blinds by Ocean Air (the model is called Skyvenetians) have been ordered in Honey Oak, an almost perfect match for the cherry finish throughout the boat.  They will have something called a continuous cord which eliminates the need for a wand.  One less thing to swing around and one less thing to break off.  The same folks who did the window treatments on both For Us and Serenity are doing the blinds.  They know their stuff.  I haven't yet figured out how to do the master ports and huge guest shower window, but that's no so urgent.  That can be taken care of in the next few months.

After Dave drew in the tiles I selected, I changed my mind - again.  I removed a border that consisted of tiles cut into small diamond shapes and decided to just do the tiles.  The mix of travertine and glass is enough of a design in their own right without adding more to the mixture.  In this case, less is best.
While I drive the name folks out of their minds (they sent 18 font styles to consider; on Friday afternoon, we were up to the 20th iteration), my attention is now turned to chairs for the salon.
Gotta sit somewhere and not just on any ordinary chairs.  I absolutely loved the chairs on Serenity and am giving serious consideration to those beauties for this boat.  Now that the hugest decisions are part of my past, I can start thinking of the fun things I need to focus on to create a beautiful and inviting living space.

More photos of the staterooms and heads will follow.  These spaces are not very different from the other KKYs, but are of interest due to the different configuration of the guest stateroom and enlarged head.  
In the meantime, I'll upload the pictures taken by the yard just prior to her departure so you can see the beautiful cushions on the settees and some other nice tidbits.

Hopefully I can get this done either later tonight or tomorrow after my afternoon pool party.  I just went through a mountain of KKY 55-005 folders and discarded a ton of notes that have been re-created into a beautiful finished product.  I still have the mountain of folders, but these contain stuff I'm working on now.  Building a boat is awesome - in every aspect of that word.  Lack of organization is the death knell for the newbie boat builder/owner, so if you are fortunate enough to build yourself a KKY, get out the color-coded tabs, highlighters, folders, paperclips and your wits!

Good night readers!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Loading Pictures Hot Off the Press!

Thanks for waiting.

This is Eris J, the freighter charged with the very important job of getting my girl home to her mama - safely and in one piece.


The following pictures show the big girl being eased aboard Eris J - very carefully.  "Don't drop her!" I prayed as I looked at each picture.  So pretty!  Notice that her pulpit is already affixed to the bow.



Typical of a woman, she's showing off both her port and starboard sides.


Soon this view will be displaying her beautiful name.  The gold leafing and shadow have already been selected.  Just waiting to look at some fonts and lettering styles.  What a posterior!! LOL!  Note her swim platform in place.  I can just picture myself poised there before going for a swim or snorkel.


I think she likes making sure both her views are photographed.  Unlike her mama, both her sides are gorgeous.  Looks like she caused some serious overtime hours!


Oh oh, she's on her way aboard!  Be careful folks!


I can't help but think of the movie, "A Star is Born" when I look at this picture.  She is the center of attention - and rightly so!  Don't know why, but this picture puts a lump in my throat.  I wish Tom was looking at this picture over my shoulder at this very moment.


Crazy, but I have a picture of Serenity in this exact position - taken in December, 2010.  In this picture, she makes my heart leap.  She's getting closer to her "bed" for her trip.


Well, she arrived on deck safely and is in the company of other boats.  At least she won't be lonely.


 She's secured and ready to come home.  Fair winds and following seas Eris J.  Please bring my girl home safely to me.  I've been waiting a long time for her and am counting the days til I see her.


So since there won't be any more pictures of my girl until she arrives in early October, I'll send pictures of the pilot house, helm, staterooms and heads.  If you're good, I'll send pictures of the tiles I selected and the way I hope to have them set into the back splash.  If you can't wait and want to know anything else (besides the name), just ask.