Thursday, September 12, 2013

A Peek at Fetal KKY 55-005

As excited as I was to see the first sonogram of our baby, I'm just as excited to see (and finally share) the first pictures of our boat-to-be.

When Tom B. was in Taiwan last month checking on his latest crop of boats-to-be, he kindly sent the pictures that follow.  Now I must admit, aside from the obvious pictures, I had no idea what I was looking at.  Who knew that looking at shower stalls and black and gray water tanks could generate such mania!  I pored over these pictures with enthusiasm formerly reserved for the latest J. Crew or Bloomingdales catalog!

These are both the master and guest shower stalls.  They transform into sparkling fiberglass shower stalls that are roomy, have a great built-in seat and are so very easy to clean.  The shower itself has a state-of-the-art shower head that swivels to adjust the stream of water.  The body of the shower also swivels and converts to a hand-held sprayer for hard to reach areas.  The water pressure is strong enough to rinse every soap bubble out of my mop of curls!

This is a picture of the gray and black water tanks.  For those of you who like me, never heard of gray water, it is the waste water (like water from the shower), that is anything other than waste from the heads.

Tom also sent 3 exciting pictures of the hull and house.  You can look forward and actually see the shape of the hull!

Alongside the hull, you can see a set of steps...

More pictures of the boat's innards...

Instead of cutting corners by placing the stringers further apart to conserve materials, KKY places them so as to provide maximum strength and support to the boat's core.

You can see what the house looks like in all her "undressed" glory...

According to Tom, while he was at the yard, this is what was happening to KKY 55-005:

"All three large pieces, your hull, house section and boat deck are all laminated. They were
installing the core material into the hull and getting ready to vacuum bag
it in. Stringers were prepared and ready for installation along with the
bulkheads which will go in next into the hull. On the house section they had
just started installing the core material. Also shown are your shower stalls
and black and gray water tanks. All the pieces are starting to come

The last sentence sent our hearts racing!  Our boat-to-be is taking shape and becoming more real each day.  She is due to be released from the mold around September 20th.  That will be a day to celebrate the completion of phase one.  If phase one is nearly done, can phase two be far behind?????

Stay tuned for more news.  Our second set of joinery drawings and some granite samples are due this weekend.  Up for this week's discussion:
granite, names, color/fabric for the settees

Luckily we have the gift of time (how rare).  So while these items do not yet require a decision, we're having fun with the discussions

Be back soon.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Boat Trip w/ Betty and Kate aboard LiLi, August 22 - 26

So here is the fantastic trip I teased you with - not once, but twice!  LOL

Betty and I discussed the possibility of me cruising with her for a long weekend way back in May.   True to the trawler lifestyle, Betty wasn't quite sure when this long weekend would occur, she was just sure that it would happen.  Not one to pass up a fantastic opportunity, I tried to keep my August weekends open as best I could.

I knew I would be visiting my sister in Wake Forest, NC August 7-12, so I hoped Betty wouldn't pick that weekend.  As luck would have it, Betty called to make the long-awaited announcement that she would be "headed my way" at the end of August, probably around the 22nd or so.  I casually cleared my calendar (leaving some disappointed folks in my wake) and prepared for the big weekend.

The plan was to pick me up in Port Jefferson harbor on Thursday, August 22nd.  For those of you not familiar with Long Island's geography, Port Jefferson is a scenic harbor town on the north shore of Long Island, about 45 minutes east of Huntington.  The plan became a bit snarled when I realized I had a nurses' open house booked that day - in Brooklyn no less!  No problem, I would host the open house and somehow get to Port Jefferson later in the day.

To make this happen, I had to involve several people along the way.  First, my husband had to adjust his workday so he could drive me to my office in Hicksville.  Next, I had to coerce a co-worker to drive us into Brooklyn since I wouldn't have a car.  Next came cozying up to yet another co-worker who lives pretty close to Port Jefferson to ask for a ride to the boat.  All set to go, but just one more call to the launch operator since Betty was on a mooring in Port Jeff harbor.  Luckily, the launch ran until 10 pm - good thing, since I didn't arrive until 8!  We became fast friends over the phone and he promised to be there within 10 minutes of me letting him know I was on the dock.  True to his word, he picked me and my bags up (one bursting with wine and snacks) and off we went to Betty's boat.  A short trip and $5 later, he promised to be there to take us to breakfast the next day.

I jumped on Betty's boat and the party began after much hugging and squealing.  After an introduction to her friend Kate, we were ready for dinner and LOTS of conversation.  In fact, we didn't stop talking until Betty dropped me off in Huntington 4 days later!

The next day we took the launch into town for a quick breakfast, then it was anchor up and on the way to Oyster Bay Harbor (the scene of several raft-ups when we had Serenity).  What I didn't expect was for Betty to relinquish the helm to me for the major part of our days on the boat!  Ecstasy to be sure!!!

 The trip from Pt. Jeff to Oyster Bay took about 4 heavenly hours, 2 hours of which I was at the helm.  In fact when we approached the anchorage, Betty handed over a headset and told me I would handle the boat while she dropped the anchor.  If you read my past blogs, you would know this is something the captain NEVER permitted.  I giggled to myself as I tried to picture his expression when I told him about this major accomplishment on my part.  Brave Betty!

Oyster Bay is an idyllic anchorage in a beautiful protected harbor.  It was a short dinghy ride into a quaint town with a convenient dinghy dock.  We popped in and out of cute shops - I was finding it hard to remember that I actually live about a half hour from this town.  We stopped for ice cream, then discovered a vintage-type shop with a sale in progress.  Show a woman a "Sale" sign and see what happens.  I wandered into the back yard where I found something amazing.  I called to Betty and Kate to come look.  What I found was 2 sequined tops, one in red and one in green - we were going to be the port and starboard girls. Clutching our treasure amid gales of laughter, we continued exploring the town until it was time to return to LiLi. We made great plans for those tops.

Since it was a Friday night, we were surprised to have only 3 other smaller boats for company.  The sunset was breathtaking...

The next morning, we were treated to a water skiing exposition by some sort of club.  Who else would be water skiing before 7 am on a Saturday morning?  Though the boats' engines disturbed our tranquility, the vista was still there for us to enjoy.  After a leisurely breakfast of yogurt and fruit, it was anchor up again and me at the helm navigating us out of the harbor on the way to points west - Port Washington.

The trip to Port Washington is a scenic one since for part of way, the Manhattan skyline and Throgs Neck are in full view.  My geography was a bit rusty.  When asked what bridge it was, I replied that it was the Verrazano.  Upon closer look out the window, we realized that there was no land between us and bridge.  Since the Verrazano Bridge lies between Brooklyn and Staten Island, I realized my error.  Luckily Betty let me stay at the helm, though I suspect she kept a closer eye on me after that faux pas.
Hard to be upset with this view...

... or this one...

This was some sort of race with helicopters overhead.  Those boats were moving - made us look like we were at a standstill.  Their wakes were awesome!

As you can see, the weather was perfect for boating of any type.  Unfortunately for us, there were MANY, MANY sailboats out.  In fact, we got caught in the middle of a regatta of small sailboats that were going in every direction.  More than once, I had to bring LiLi to a stop while we tried to figure out what those small sailboats were doing.  The captain would have passed out if he could see my maneuvers!

We found out that Port Washington offers free mooring balls for 2 nights plus launch service into town.  I learned how to approach a mooring ball and with the help of Betty and Kate, handled the boat to successfully pick up the ball.  After a quick lunch, we hailed the launch...

... and stoically made the 2 mile trek into town.  We were so disappointed.  This once vibrant town had fallen victim to the recession.  Many stores stood vacant.  Those that survived represented either nail shops or convenience stores.  We were delighted to find a market selling fresh seafood.  We tried to find one in Oyster Bay, but no luck.  Betty was looking for oysters we could roast on the grill and bathe in her famous butter, garlic and parmesan cheese sauce.  After hearing about this sauce, we became like hound dogs sniffing out a seafood market.  Once we found our precious oysters, we reversed our tracks and made our way back to the harbor.  The launch brought us back to LiLi and the feast began.  I can tell you that the garlic on those oysters could be smelled by every boat within a mile of us! What could end a perfect day better than a beautiful sunset enjoyed on the back porch of gorgeous LiLi?  All is well with the world.

Even though a second night would have been free, we had seen enough of this town.  We left the mooring ball and headed for Cold Spring Harbor, about 3 hours away.  In what was now becoming a familiar phrase, Betty asked me take us to our next destination.  I realized that my knees knocked less and the cold sweat on my upper lip was now gone.  Progress!!

Cold Spring Harbor, known to locals as CSH, is an old whaling village with adorable (and expensive) shops and restaurants.  It is protected by a beautiful harbor that runs parallel to the main street of the town.  The dinghy ride is less than 10 minutes and the dinghy dock is a 10 minute walk into the heart of town.  DNA was discovered by Drs. Watson and Frick and sequenced in the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, which is perched on a bluff overlooking the harbor.

We had a wonderful early dinner after doing some successful shopping.  We popped into the Whaling Museum (which during the school year is flanked by many school buses) but had to leave as it was closing in a few minutes.  When you're returning to a Krogen at the end of a great day, there is no such thing as being disappointed that plans didn't work out exactly!  We kicked off our shoes

and prepared to enjoy a now-empty harbor and another captivating sunset.  I can't believe I felt compelled to capture every single sunset, but each one was uniquely beautiful in its own right.  This one in CSH was no exception.  It would also be my last for a while.

This trip ended the next day in Huntington at our old marina, West Shore Marina. Though I navigated most of the way back from CSH, I handed the helm back to Betty once we entered Huntington Harbor on the approach to the marina.  The harbor is extremely narrow here and tricky, with crowded mooring fields on either side of a narrow channel.   It was great to see old friends at the marina, but saying goodbye to my new friends wasn't easy.  I took some pictures of us, bur for some reason was unable to find them in my uploads.  The picture of Kate and I in our port and starboard outfits cannot be displayed here.  They are on Mike Warren's camera, so if you see him, you can ask for a peek.

What a great time was had by all.  We saw wonderful sights, helped each other with boat chores, laughed a lot, enjoyed wonderful meals and most importantly, shared the love and passion for boating and simply enjoyed "being in the moment."

Thanks Betty for sharing your beautiful boat and home with us and for being such a gracious and lovely hostess!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.......

So I wasn't kidding when I said we were selling everything to realize our dream of living aboard a Kadey Krogen Yacht.  We hope to close on October 10th (coincidentally our anniversary) and move on October 11th.  So please don't be upset that there hasn't been much boat news.

Today my daughter sent a mover to collect some things we both wanted her to have.  One of those items was a set of bookcases that I swear, held well over 150 books and pictures.  Those books are now on the floor of our office, spines facing out as per the instructions of the pro who is doing our tag sale on October 5th.  It took a herculean effort over 2 nights (after work, after playing with Tucker and taking care of Wiggles) to accomplish this seemingly simple feat.  When it comes to moving, I've discovered that nothing is simple, seemingly or otherwise.

On Monday (9/9), my sister in Wake Forest, NC is sending a mover to pick up some family heirloom pieces and rugs, along with assorted other things.  One of the pieces is a secretary that has been in our family for decades.  In fact, both my sister and I studied to be nurses at that secretary.  Remember how I said nothing is simple?  Well, this secretary holds my Waterford crystal collection of just about every glass Waterford made in the Alana pattern.  So as soon as I finish this post, I will begin to wrap each glass VERY carefully and mark the box so that I know not to open it until we're finally moved onto the boat.  What, you thought we'd be drinking out of plastic glasses?????  The drawers of this piece hold tablecloths, candles, and other assorted items for entertaining.  Some will be packed and others will be relegated to the tag sale pile.

The thought of what getting ready for this tag sale entails makes my knees weak.  It takes a lot to do that, so you can just imagine the work that lies ahead.  We've lived in this house 1 month shy of 28 years and though we're not pack rats by any means, things did accumulate over the years.   How do I part with the artwork Christina did growing up - the macrame key rings and macaroni necklaces?  Slowly but surely I will go through the memories living in this house has created and celebrate those wonderful times.  Luckily for Tom and I, more wonderful times lie ahead of us to balance the bittersweet closing of this chapter of our lives.  Waiting right around the corner are those myriad boat decisions to be made.  In fact, Tom B. has a second set of joinery drawings waiting to be finished and put in the mail to us, probably by this time next week.

As a sneak preview, I can announce that KKY 55-005 is expected to be released from the mold somewhere around September 20th - huge progress forward!  We are looking at a wonderful option for the master stateroom hatches, called Ocean Shades.  Very cool.  Laura and I have exchanged no less than a dozen emails about granite colors.  We've even tiptoed into the realm of settee covering and colors.  So as the dust settles around this major upheaval called moving, I will have more time to focus on all the fun decisions needing to be made during the next few months.

Now that I've given ample excuses for why I've not been posting, I want to tell you about my trip 2 weeks ago on Betty Robinson's gorgeous 48 North Sea, LiLi.  But......first I have to start packing those Waterford glasses, remember?

Next  post (hopefully tomorrow or Monday) will be about this fantastic experience - with pictures!! Yay!

Monday, August 26, 2013

OMG, What a Time!!!!!

Just got back from spending 4 nights aboard LiLi, a 48 North Sea owned by Betty Robinson.  When I accepted Betty's more than gracious invitation to join her on the last leg of her New England/Long Island trip, I had no idea what was in store for me.  Not only is LiLi Betty's boat, LiLi is also Betty's home.  Need I say more?

It's late and I have to go to work tomorrow, but just wanted to give you a heads up that there is a fun blog waiting for you hopefully by this weekend.  Pictures this time too!

Also, Tom Button is back from the yard in Taiwan and I have some PICTURES of the NEW BOAT in its fetal stages.

Stand by my loyal readers.  Fun reading is in store for you.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Wow, what a time it's been!

Somehow, it's been 3 weeks since my last post - 3 incredibly hectic weeks!  If things keep going at this pace, I'm going to combust before the boat is delivered!

Where to begin?  OK, I was crazy enough to pry 5 days out of my schedule to visit my sister in Wake Forest, North Carolina 8/7 through 8/12.  Good thing I did, cause I got to do the "r" word, relax.  Not part of my vocabulary, but I managed to learn that word quickly and happily.  Had a great visit!

Getting back was like being shot out of a cannon!  The would-be buyers of our home signed the contract the day I left and were anxiously awaiting my return so I could sign.  So there you have it!  A signed contract with a close date on or about October 30th.  Not knowing where to jump first, my daughter and I went to see the apartment complex we had selected and to our relief, they will have a one bedroom with loft/deck townhouse apartment available on October 11th.  We signed a 10 month lease and are ready to go.  Not so fast, there are no less than a billion things to do to get ready for that move.  Since we've been in our house nearly 28 years, I'm shaking at the thought of parting with so many things.  But, we need to downsize for the apartment, then yet again for the boat, so the sooner the better.  I have a list of things 10 miles long to accomplish in less than 60 days while working full-time, visiting Tucker, taking care of my horse, playing golf on my league and building a boat.  Just your average "to do" list, I guess.  LOL

Okay, great, on to the boat, you must be saying.  Sooooo, the big news is that the boat is in the mold and lamination has begun.  Please don't ask for details, cause there are none at the moment.  One of KKY's principals is going to the yard in Taiwan next week so there WILL BE PICTURES! Yes, I will share.

Remember how I was so happy with my faucet choices last post?  Well, it was back to the drawing board for the 2 head faucets.  The one I selected was prohibitively expensive, so without involving the captain, I did go back to the websites I had prowled for so long.  I actually used my time with my sister to devote my undivided attention for the 100th time to faucets.  After only 30 minutes, I selected a lovely centerset from Delta.  The handles were described as being "evocative of a wave".  Good enough for me.  High arc faucet, chrome finish - perfect.  Price was right too!

On Thursday, we had a conference call with KKY.  The week before, our first set of joinery drawings arrived, the basis of the call.  Since I was away, I had to devote a precious after work session to poring over the drawings and formulating questions for the conference call.  After 90 minutes of non-stop discussions about everything, room by room, I literally had to get off the call.  I was lightheaded from all the things we discussed, decided and approved.   We started in the master SR and moved forward, hinge by hinge, drawer by drawer.  I'll tell you one thing, the KKY folks are really sincere when they say they want their customers to be deleriously happy with their boat.  We discussed placement of shelves in cabinets, depths of cabinets, places for shoes, places for golf clubs, location for a litter box, width of doorways,  and a dizzying array of things I never knew needed to be thought about.  Though it's great fun, building a boat from scratch is an awesome undertaking.  I can't imagine taking this on without the daily guidance and hand holding of the KKY staff.  Not one question goes unanswered - and on the same day.  If I didn't know better,  I would swear 55005 was the only boat KKY was building.

The conference call was very productive.  Another set of joinery drawings will be arriving in about 2 weeks, incorporating our suggestions made during the conference call.  Close on the heels of the joinery drawings will be the electrical drawings.  I don't know how much input I'll have here, but I've been told that there is no such thing as too many light switches.  I'll think about that when the time comes.  Right now, I'm up to my ears in too many other details.

Next things to consider will be the granite, where to put it, how to finish the edges; where to put wall sconces to replace the standard chrome reading lights I hate, what shades to select (size and style), window coverings - I've already tip-toed into this pit of vipers.  Holy cow, do you have ANY idea how MANY choices there are for window treatments?

  The captain and I are leaning towards wooden blinds, with 2" slats in a cherry wood.  KKY is working with us on building the blinds into the window frame for a more custom look.  Even the blind conversation with a manufacturer was mind-blowing.  Holes or no holes?  Decorative or plain tapes?  Real wood or faux wood?  1" or 2"?  Can't anything be simple????  The person I spoke to is sending me several samples in several different finishes with and without holes, along with a few different decorative tapes.  I went so far as to call the folks in Stuart who did the salon window treatments on For Us and the privacy inserts for both boats.  If you think I'm pretty determined to get these blinds, you're right.  I went on the websites of every trawler manufacturer and looked at the salons of all their boats.  Hands down, I was drawn to the wooden blinds.  Nice to be confident with at least one major decision!

Again, lots of words to read without a break with pictures.  Forgive me, but I couldn't let another week go by without an update.  The one name Tom and I thought we liked is out of the running.  After living with it for a bit, we decided against it, so we're back to the drawing board.

Names my friends, NAMES!  Any and all suggestions will be very much welcomed!  You have a couple of weeks to think.  There probably won't be anything to report until the KKY folks return from Taiwan.  Hopefully, our patience will be rewarded with pictures of the infant boat.

Thanks for hanging in there with me during the dry spells.  More fun to follow!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Productive Week is in the Rearview Mirror

This past week culminated in the receipt of the drawings promised by KKY (they always deliver what they promise).  A hectic week at work prevented me from trying to scan a legible copy but I promise to try this week.  Though the pics I took just now are not that clear, you can at least get an idea.

The drawings are very exciting since they pretty clearly depict what the sink and galley faucet will look like in place.  I'm pleased that they work and that I don't have to go back to the websites and start over.

Hard to really see any detail, but you can see the faucet in the center.  This is the faucet up close...

We also received color drawings of what the accent and boot stripe colors look like.  The captain had a big smile on his face when he looked at the drawings.  The sheer stripe color in green looks awesome above the blue boot stripe.  Though I know the boot stripe is pretty much below the water line, it still looks fantastic!  Hey, we have to be excited about what we have so far - and the drawings are it!

This is not in color.  I don't understand why the background is so dark, but too late to figure out why.  I'll try to upload the color drawings to this computer since they're on the computer at work.  But again, you can get the idea...

Our Laura was kind enough to chat with me about granite colors during our many, many, many emails back and forth during the course of a week.  Not only did she chat with me, but after carefully listening about the granite colors we like, sent us a nice-sized chunk of the color (it's still available, yay)!  To go even further, she also sent a big piece of the cherry that will be used on the boat - and not just any cherry, but aged cherry so we could get the most precise idea of the combo over time.  Not sure if you can tell, but the granite is a gray-green, very cool against the cherry.  I'm not a fan of light colored granite with a lot of inclusions, too busy.  Tom and I both like a bit more contrast.  Not sure if the heads will have the same color, but for now, this color is coming out on top.  Nothing final yet, but we're on our way!

Though the photos are not great, it's better than having to wade through my rambling descriptions and deal with all those words on a page.  There will be more photos and better ones, as things start to take shape.

The captain and I have been talking names these past 2 weekends.  We both seem to tend towards a single name with 4-5 syllables.  Some of our suggestions have been in ending in "y".  Probably because we loved our signature blue star nestled in the "y" of Serenity so much.  I guess you guys are waiting for a prize to be announced since I have not received a single suggestion.  Come on, please help us out!

By the way, we still have not gotten a signed contract on the house.  We're hoping that happens this week.   Not too much going on....

Even though there wasn't too much to report in this post, I feel badly if I let a week go by with no updates.  So, I'll be back as soon as there are some interesting tidbits to share.

Have a great week everyone!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Not too much going on now... boat land that is.

We accepted an offer on our home Friday and had the inspection today.  These folks appear to be serious.  Have 3 small things to fix, then hopefully, a signed contract.  Can't rush these things.  You can say Tom and I have been a bit busy with even more business on the horizon.

Came to several boat decisions last week:

Accent stripe and boot color.  As I mentioned, the bow on this boat is quite imposing.  We decided to create a nice visual by adding an accent stripe just below the capstrip.  The accent stripe will be Awlgrip Forest Green and the boot stripe will be Seahawk Blue.  That's it, blue.  No special words to describe this color, just blue (Seahawk is the paint manufacturer).  Thank goodness for this manufacturer's simplicity of only offering 5 basic colors.  If you're really curious about what these colors look like, you can go to the websites.  Awlgrip has a nice color chip chart while Seahawk just lists its colors down the side of the page.  The captain and I have always been partial to shades of blue and green on our boats.  Brings the outside in without getting wet.

Central vac system.  Luckily a new 52 owner took time to answer my very long list of questions, central vac vs. canister among them.  She is like us, 3 boats in under 5 years.  She has had central vac in all 3 of her boats and wouldn't consider doing without.  So, we're putting in a system by Intervac, specially designed for boats and RVs.  This system will be flush mounted in the machinery space so we don't have to look at it.  Though I'll have to go into the engine room to empty the bag, I don't plan to vacuum enough to make that an issue.  Besides, it's good to visit one's engine room with regularity, so I've been told.  The inlet will be centrally placed in the companionway leading to the staterooms to easily access the main floor and pilothouse.  I've been researching a retractable hose that coils up neatly into a mesh bag when not in use.  It's pricey, so more reading is needed.

Sink and faucets.  Things got so crazy in this department that the captain told me in no uncertain terms that he would delete without reading any emails making ANY reference to a sink or a faucet.  Tom Button is the most amazing man.  I've said this before and know I will be saying it again.  The man didn't flinch while I went on about corners, mountings, drain location, finish, etc.  To make things worse, I decided on different faucets than the ones KKY uses.  Same manufacturer because it's one of the best, but different styles.  I don't exaggerate when I say that I looked at websites and faucets for 3 days!  Drove myself nuts, that's how bad it got.  Though there are only 3 main faucet manufacturers that I had an interest in, they each make dozens of faucet styles.  Despite the fact that I had pretty much decided on Grohe (we have this one at home and have been very happy with it), I of course had to be sure I wasn't missing something.  So, I spent the next 2 lunch breaks poring over the Delta and Moen websites.  Nice faucets, but I was hung up on Grohe.  So another lunch break later, I narrowed my choice for the galley faucet down to a style called Ladylux Cafe (model # 33755 SDO).  This faucet features a high, arched neck with a pull-down sprayer and a single lever.  Very neat and clean and only 1 hole in the granite.  The high neck is essential for those huge pots of water for pasta I mentioned earlier.  The finish is some sort of stainless that will match the appliances.  The head faucets will be similar, of course scaled down since I won't be filling pasta pots in the head.  My selection for the head faucets is Allure Single Lever Basin Mixer, again very simple and elegant.
The sink was a maddening choice, I have no idea why.  We finally selected Elkay model number ELUH2317EK (KKY uses this one on their boats).  It's an undermount, has rounded corners, is 10" deep and has the drain off center to the left.  It's a sink, says the captain when I told him my great accomplishment.  The patient Tom Button will have my selections placed on a drawing.  If I can find a way to scan the drawing so it's legible, I'll be happy to share.  If not, you'll have to wait for pictures of the real thing.

While I'm prattling on about sinks and faucets, Tom, Tom Button and the electronics people are having really meaningful discussions.  Since I can't lend too much in this department, I'll focus on my strengths and keep my lack of knowledge about all things Garmin to myself.  Yes, we are going with Garmin again.  We absolutely loved the system we had on Serenity.  It worked beautifully, did the job without confusion and never failed us.  With the exception of a few more bells and whistles and bigger display screens tilt mounted, we're pretty much duplicating Serenity.  The electronics folks had the chance to come aboard Serenity during our last visit in June and were able to see exactly what we had so we're not starting from a blank slate.

Please forgive the lack of pictures.  I just looked over what I've written and don't know if I'd be inclined to wade through all these words without some comic relief from a picture.  If I had a different lifestyle and was home for more than 2 hours between the end of my day and bedtime, I could probably have uploaded some pictures from the website.  Alas and alack, that is not to be!

When we finally get to the pictures, just think of how sweet it will be.  Right now, I'd be thrilled with any pictures at all!  Tom Button promises some early pictures of KK55-005 in its fetal stages, in the mold.  I understand that's not too far off.

If you are the good followers I know you are, Tom and I would appreciate some name suggestions.  I've been asked to write a little piece for a KKY newsletter about the genesis of the name once we've selected one.  I want to make it a fun to read and interesting story, so please send me your suggestions.  I'd like to offer a prize but am too consumed with house and boat thoughts to think that one through.

I'll be back hopefully with the drawings of what I've selected so far.  You do notice I've been saying "I" all along right?  When we get to the electronics, the references will be "he" and "him".  Until then, happy reading and thanks for taking this amazing trip with us.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

More details!

We're a bit closer to the central vacuum issue, but now mired down in sink choices!  Just pick one urges the captain.  How hard can this be?

Doesn't he know the difference between an under mount and top mount?   Composite, e-granite, Corian, stainless?  Single bowl?  Double bowl?  Rounded corners? Square corners?  Drain centered or off center?

As if these choices aren't enough to cause a few lost eyebrow hairs, we need to select faucets!  Again the bewildered look from the captain when I show him my inch-thick printout of faucets.  Mind you, these are marine-grade faucets, so the choices should be a bit less awesome, no?  No!  I can't even begin to describe the different faucets out there.  So that you don't think I can't make up my mind (I do an nice job, thank you very much when pressed against the wall), but I am having a bit of fun here if you don't mind.  We've narrowed the field down to a faucet with a single lever that has an arched neck.  Those of you who are Italian know this sort of faucet is essential for getting a pot of water filled to boil enough pasta for the army that might arrive on the dock when Sunday dinner is being prepared.  The faucet will be stainless and swivel so that the entire sink can be rinsed without going through contortions.  So what's so bad about that choice so far?  Brushed stainless or shiny? the captain asks.  Can't you see I've already moved on to that mile high stack of sink information I ask with just a touch of impatience.

Sorry I don't have any pictures yet.  I'd crash my Mac and surely run out of gigabytes if I showed you what I'm wrestling with.  It will be worth the wait when the sink/faucet saga comes to an end.  But wait, there are the faucets for the master and guest heads!  Oh oh, I think I just heard the captain hit the deck.  I may need to make these choices on my own...

We've now tiptoed into color selection for the bow stripe and bottom.  Thankfully, the paint manufacturer is wise and offers less than 25 color choices.  Nevertheless, there are MANY shades of blue and green (which is where we're leaning) to consider.  Who would have guessed?  At 8 am yesterday, the captain and I were tossing around names of colors like we've done this before. If I were a fly on the wall, I would fall down laughing at the absurdity of it.  But, since we're not flies, we continue to ponder, fret, sweat and best of all, laugh.

The electronics package we're considering would make NASA smile.  From what I can see, if 55-005 were a rocket, we could get it to the moon and back just on what will go in the pilothouse.  If you think the sink and faucet decision is a tough one, the electronics decision will put goosebumps on your entire body.  Fortunately there is a limiting factor in this decision - THE PRICE!!!  This is one area where sanity MUST prevail or we will be on the dock with a cup begging for alms.  The captain has volunteered (stated strongly) that this is his baby and he will "suggest" what we will have.  I may step to the side here since I just want the helm to look nice and have the instrument panel give us the information we need to get places.  I did ask for a remote control for the Sirius radio though.  On Serenity, we had to go to the helm to change stations. Not a big deal by any stretch, but when we're 100, it might prove to be an inconvenience to keep getting up and down to change those dance tunes.

So to sum this week's decisions up:  central vac or not, sinks, faucets, paint color, and whatever else we are blissfully unaware of at this point.  The electronics package is a work in progress, as is a host of a 100 other things.

Since we're trying to get our house sold while these decisions are pending, we're a bit busy these days.  It's all good, so please hang in there with us.

The best is yet to come!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Details Galore!

Nothing too exciting happening yet.  Our assignment is to research central vacuum systems, including canister size, possible locations, retractable hoses and where to store them, etc.  I had no idea there was so much information out there.  I've gone through a ream of printer paper gathering the stuff!

The wonderful thing about building a Kadey Krogen is that there is a "family" of cruisers out there ready and willing to help.  There is actually a group to which we proudly belong - the Krogen Cruisers.  We have a website and are connected by group talks if we choose.  Our annual Rendezvous in Solomons, MD is coming up in October.

I recently reached out to a favorite cruiser who not too long ago had the first 52 built.  Heck, I'm being modest in saying I "reached out".  I'm torturing and bombarding the man with incessant questions about things I didn't even think I knew about last week!

My emails go something like: " Hey Mike, what do you think of your 3M filters on the pilot house windows"?  Before he can answer, I'm asking about the pad eyes on the bow (whaaaat are those? I asked myself last week).   Next I wildly skip over to where to put a spice rack and what about the extra AC outlets.  These are a very small example of the questions Mike finds in his email "in" box nearly every day.  Seeing that we're barely into the 1st week of the build,  I think I feel sorry for him.

In addition to researching central vacuums, the captain and I had a serious discussion over cocktails today.  Topic?  Generators!  Two vs. one, 16 kw, 12kw, 8kw - it was a conversation any engineer would have been glad to be a part of.  We discussed using the generator at anchor, while docking, operating the windlass while dropping the hook and while operating the stabilizers and bow thrusters.  Wow, we've had some wild conversations at cocktail time, but this one was a doozy!

Onto a more fun topic - the dinghy.  We were so pleased with our little 11' Whaler sport, that we're deciding very heavily in favor of her bigger sister, the 13' Whaler Supersport.  Same basic concept, but a bit bigger.  The davit on the 55 will support 1200 lbs, so even with the bigger Whaler and a bigger engine, we're nowhere near maximum capacity.  This Whaler comes with some interesting options like a color wrap for the hull, different colored lettering, etc.  We're a bit ahead of ourselves here, but had to add some levity to the generator discussion if you know what I mean.  I already set up the salesperson I used last year to come up with competitive pricing for a "returning customer".  In our neck of the woods, it's considered insane to pay sticker price on anything.  Haggling for a maximum discount is expected and part of the fun of buying a big ticket item.  I love it!

Obviously absent is the discussion of names.  We keep going back to one, but welcome any input from you.  This is a huge decision, especially since this will probably be our last boat for a while.  The 55 will be our 3rd Krogen since November, 2009.  I keep saying good thing I held off on buying those 1000 boat cards and the 5000 personalized cocktail napkins I had my heart set on!  The new boat will have mementos from her sisters: towels, pillows, canvas totes, cozy blankets, etc.  After all, these were gifts from cherished friends and family, they were not about to be left behind!

The scroll work that characterized the 55's sisters will also be different.  Tom has come up with some sketches that are a class act and befitting of the 55's imposing bow.  Don't worry, you'll get to see the final artwork at some point in 2014.  The folks in Stuart that do this sort of artwork are incredibly talented at taking an idea to the finished product.  They also have the patience of Job.  While For Us was being created for the transom, we actually apologized for being such nit picking PITAs.  These folks thought nothing of the MANY emails and drawings that went back and forth, they just wanted us to be happy.  Since many other Krogens use these wonderful people, we already know they are made of special "stuff".

Since we left those gorgeous red leather chairs and Persian rugs behind (how could we leave Serenity undressed?), that is another area we need to delve into.  The truth is that the chairs might need to be a tad bigger and the rugs probably would have been the wrong size.  Since they were so perfect on Serenity and the new owners loved everything, it was a no brainer to leave them with the boat.  Lucky new owners in so many ways!

As promised, I'm posting updates, unexciting or otherwise.  There's a bit of selfishness here, believe me.  These ramblings of a Krogen-crazed boater will serve as a very nice history of the creation and birth of our new boat.  Who knows, some magazine might be crazy enough to want to buy these notes! Crazier things have happened.

Hang in there til I'm back with who knows what's next!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

It's Just Beginning

The ink was no sooner dry on the closing statement when the process of building a brand new boat began.

I mentioned spending about 4 hours with the very talented (and patient) naval architect who is the  "artist" within the bones of every Kadey Krogen yacht.  These 4 hours barely scratched the surface of the decisions to be made, additional questions to be asked and answered, etc.  Since our deal closed Monday, my emails have been very un-work related to say the least.  One astounding thing about buying a KK boat, is that one of the owners is the project manager.  He is the one who just built an awesome spread sheet for us with just about every detail that goes into building a boat of this caliber.  There's are columns for the item in question, whether or not that item is a change order, the cost, and when a decision is required.  Items are in bold that have been discussed, but not firmly decided upon at this point.  It is a fantastic way to keep track of every idea that pops into our heads and the status of those ideas.

For all of us in this country, July 4th is an important holiday.  Many offices closed early today but I know 2 who did not - mine and Kadey Krogen.  Tom B. was still answering my questions at 5:48 this evening (and mind you, he just returned from one of his many trips to Taiwan).  For those of us who have never built a boat, let alone their dream boat that would also serve as a permanent home, having this kind of expert attention by a KKY owner is the next best thing to Utopia.

To bring you up to date, one of the items up for discussion (and needing a decision soon) is whether or not we want stern thrusters.  Since this is a very costly piece of equipment, we had to carefully consider the pros and cons.  Tom B. was able to give us a detailed explanation of how the stern thrusters are fit on the 55, how deep they will sit in the water depending on things like fuel load, etc.  Instead of trying to sell every conceivable option, Tom objectively presented the information we needed to make an informed decision.

To answer the question you're dying to know the answer to, we opted to not have the stern thrusters.  With twin John Deere engines and very effective bow thrusters they  move from the "must have" column to the "not necessary" column.  Just to show off a bit, another reason we decided against stern thrusters is the unique "wineglass" design of every KKY stern.  This shape actually lifts the stern a bit thereby giving the stern thrusters less water to bite into.  A simple explanation which I understood the first time around.  The captain of course knew this before it was discussed, but then he's supposed to know these things, right?

Since we plan to cruise the Caribbean, other seasoned KKY owners have suggested we put a water maker aboard.  At first we thought this was a waste of money since we always have cases of bottled water aboard.  What we didn't realize is that we drink cases of bottled water during the short trips we've made to date.  That is considerably different from being in the Caribbean at anchor for perhaps weeks at a time.  We are told that the most successful (and comfortable) way to cruise islands anywhere is to provision the boat to be its own power and sustenance plant.  The Caribbean is not like living in Huntington where every imaginable creature comfort is either a short drive or a phone call away.  So at this point, we are considering having the fixture for this apparatus installed as a through hull during the build and put the water maker in when we are ready to take on the Caribbean.  Doing it this way will avoid a stateside haul out, drilling a hole in the boat and other issues that are sure to arise.

On the table for discussion right now is a central vacuum system vs. a traditional vacuum.  It's hard to believe that this discussion is taking longer than the water maker.  Issues to consider are 1 central station which is less expensive, but entails dragging many feet of hose around and through the boat vs. several stations which would be more expensive, but worth it.  Who would have thought the location of the collection canister would create such lively discussion?  My plan is to chat with the person who we trusted to clean the interior of both For Us and Serenity and ask her about the back pack she uses.  Hopefully we can put this discussion to bed by this time next week.

What we're trying to do is conduct our research and make a decision as things come up, rather than trying to tackle several things at once.  It's daunting enough to build a new boat, but to build a boat that will also be home is even more so.

So you don't think this project is all work and no play, Tom and I are having fun thinking of names.  We're thinking of doing something different on the bow that will be a departure from the artwork on the bows of our other two boats.  Tom has sketched out some designs that look very interesting.  Once we come up with the final design, I'll be happy to share a picture with everyone.

We exchanged congratulatory emails with Serenity's new owners.  They so love her name - and fear Neptune's wrath if they change it - that they decided to keep the name.  We're happy to know that - the name so suits her.

Even as I type these words, there is still an air of unreality about selling her.  At the time we bought and furnished her with the best of everything we could afford, we thought she would be our forever boat.  She certainly had the capability, safety, range and comfort of a home, so what changed our minds?  Now that we've decided to actually move aboard, the idea of the one level living design and the walk-in engine room was a major motivating force.  That coupled with the re-designed approach to the pilot house sealed the deal in our minds.

I know we'll see her again, just as we saw For Us in Stuart this past January.  We Krogen folks certainly have wanderlust.  I'm trusting that will enable us to say hello to Serenity at some point in the future.  In fact, I'm counting on that.

More to follow as we move down the build list.  Feel free to ask questions as we go along.  Reading comments is what makes writing a blog so much fun.  I'll be waiting to hear from you.

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Deal is Done!

For all my loyal followers who have been making do with my old posts, I have some very exciting news to share!  We've been keeping our news a secret until now, but now that the deal is done, I'm thrilled to share!!!

Tom and I put Serenity on the market through Kadey Krogen Yachts in December.  She was viewed by many until the perfect couple came to see her.  They fell in love with her last month (it was love at first sight), made an offer and the deal closed today at around 3:00 NY time.

For those of you who know how much Tom and I loved that sweet girl and the material comforts we showered on her, I know you are scratching your collective heads, thinking we really did lose our minds this time.  We did, sort of.  The absolute ONLY reason to sell Serenity was to BUY A BIGGER VERSION TO LIVE ON!!!  Sooo, we ordered what is now known as 5505, the Expedition model which has a beam of 18 feet, overall length of 60 feet, 11 3/4 inches, weighs nearly 89,000 lbs. and has captured our dreams to live aboard and see the world.  Oh, did I mention we put our home on the market at the end of March too??  We're still waiting for the perfect person(s) to come along, but have faith that the day will soon come.  Since our new boat won't be ready for a year, we're ok to wait a bit.

5505 (which we didn't feel free to discuss names for until Saturday - that will be another surprise) will be newly configured for easier access to the spacious, 360 degree view pilot house, have a walk in, full height engine room and since it is all on one level, will be easier for us to get around on when we're 100.  The idea to buy this boat was born last October after I was a guest on 5501 during the Krogen Rendezvous in Solomons, MD.  I loved the boat, though struggled a bit with the pilot house access.  During the event, a KKY partner presented plans for the newly configured Expedition series.  That was it.  I was barely in the door upon returning home when I hit poor, unsuspecting Tom with my idea.  To his credit, he didn't wave me off.  His mistake was to take me seriously.  By November, we were talking to the KKY folks and in December, Serenity was put on the market.  That's how we do things.  I not only believe in carpe diem, I live it!

Since you've all been so patient, this is a sneak peak of the 55 Expedition model as it sits in the KKY office conference room.  The outside will remain the same; only the interior will be different.

Since we plan to really travel in this boat, we are thrilled that it has twin John Deere engines.  The fuel-sipping qualities of a trawler will take us thousands of miles before we need to top off the tanks.  Pretty neat when you're in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on the way to Bermuda!

We flew down to Stuart this past Wednesday to begin the bittersweet process of taking our belongings off Serenity.  It took 3 full days and the help of 2 people, but I put the last load into storage 4 hours before leaving for the airport on Saturday afternoon.  As I approached this favorite landmark on the way to see Serenity, I began to feel butterflies in my stomach.

Though I wasn't second guessing our decision, I was feeling guilty for leaving Serenity after only 2 years of ownership.  But if you remember, we only owned For Us for a year before deciding to move up to Serenity, so I guess we were acting pretty much according to our norm.  Even though this was our last visit to Serenity, the sight of her warmed our hearts.
The blue sign you can see on the boat deck railing is the For Sale sign I had so much trouble looking at during our visit in March.  I (somewhat) happily took the sign down before leaving for home on Saturday.
She looks better now.

This photo is actually the last photo I took as I walked toward the car for the last time.  I had a lump in my throat the size of Rhode Island, my eyes were streaming and my heart was pounding, but I managed to walk away with only a few backward looks.  She is living up to her name - the picture of serenity sitting in slip B21.

Since Tom went to the car ahead of me, I whispered a few last words of gratitude to the boat who had been the scene of many wonderful times with good friends.  She often resonated with the laughter of friends enjoying each other's company.  Our grandson was aboard when he was just months old - Serenity sported a portable crib, swing, and a supply of diapers in addition to her always full wine cooler and pantry.  She took us safely to fun-filled adventures and always made us proud of her.  As I patted her goodbye, I asked her to do the same for her new owners, to show them what owning a boat like her would mean to them and to enable them to realize their dreams the way we had.

Fair winds and following seas sweet girl.  We will never forget you and will always carry you in our hearts with love.

As 5505 takes shape (she is due to go into the mold shortly), I promise to share her early (sonogram-like) pictures.  For those of you who choose to, I will take you with me on 5505's saga, from pictures in the mold, to the beginning of the interior design, to the selection of fixtures, finishes, etc.  It was fun to do that with Serenity; I'll do it again with 5505.  As the months unfold, she will soon have a name and we can all get familiar with the boat of our dreams.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


The saying that all good things must end is all too true.

Our flight left late, thanks to mass confusion (and crowding) in the security area.  Only 2 scanners were in operation until some bright light noticed that the crowd was spilling into the airport entrance and opened another scanner.  The delay was further compounded by no less than 22 wheelchair folks  needing pre-boarding.  I'll swear I saw some of these folks sprinting down to the gate just before plopping themselves into their wheelchairs.  Believe me when I say it took about 20 minutes to get these folks on board.  We were lined up in the jetway like cattle.

The flight was full, so more delays as the rest of us boarded and stowed our overflowing belongings.  When we finally left the gate, I emphatically told the captain there would be no more early afternoon flights home.  We would leave on the early evening flight and that was how it would be.  Smart man made no comment.

Thanks to tailwinds (opposite of the headwinds that tried to hold us up on the way down), we arrived just a few minutes late.  The great thing about MacArthur Airport is that within 10 minutes of deplaning, we were throwing our bags into the back of the Explorer and heading home.

After a dinner of pizza and wine, it was back to the grind.  Work tomorrow.........

Post Script:  for those of you who actually enjoy reading this blog, you know that not much gets posted between trips.  This time, I promise you some surprises, so stay tuned.  If you are dying to know what's coming, well, you'll just have to wait.  LOL

The Ride is Over for Now

Yesterday was no less hectic than the others before it.

While the captain sat out the dance, I traipsed off to the Krogen Tuesday breakfast at Key West Diner, and was the first to arrive at 8:20.  Soon after, the others trailed in until there were about 20 of us.  Attendance was a far cry from the breakfast we attended in January when 39 Krogenites gathered.  These hardy and lucky people are on their way to places we read about in guidebooks: the Keys, Bahamas, Exumas, Turks and Caicos, Cheaspeake, Maine, etc.  The migration north begins about now and reverses itself in late October - early November.

After breakfast, the captain and I took a drive, then headed back to Serenity where Debbie awaited me. We were heading to lunch with Laura, and shopping afterward.  I barely had time to change my clothes before Debbie was texting me that she was waiting at the top of the dock for me.  Off we sped to meet Laura for a fun BBQ lunch.  Yes I know, BBQ is not even on my radar, let alone lunch plate.  However, when in Stuart............

Lunch was followed by some errands not unique to Stuart: Pet Smart, Ulta, Starbucks.  After completing our errands, the sun was getting hotter, so we decided to head back to Serenity for an afternoon "refreshment".  Laura and Gary were joining us for cocktails aboard, then dinner, so we had to move quickly to get our initial cocktail hour in.  We managed to sit still for about 90 minutes (which was a record for this week).  Never mind that while we were sitting "still", I completed 4 loads of laundry that had been started in the late morning that day.

Laura and Gary arrived at 6:30 and the fun began.   We took in another glorious sunset (I won't bore you with anymore sunsets) with the girls really getting into the view on the flybridge.  Deb and Laura getting into the moment...

Laura and I getting into the moment.  Notice the summer clothes and the sunshine, even close to 7 pm!

Soon afterwards, we headed up the dock to the restaurant that has become either our "first or last day on the boat" stop, Sailors Return.  So convenient, especially when the cupboards are bare (not really, but who wants to root through cabinets at these times)?  I'm sure many of you recognized the place.  Nevertheless, it always looks magical to those of us from less warm climates.  Something about palm trees uplit with soft lighting and boats resting on water as still as glass while the sun meets the horizon.  I don't think I'll ever tire of that view.

It was back to the boat for dessert, then we called it a night.  We have an early day tomorrow with much to accomplish before our flight heads back to MacArthur Airport.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Marvelous Monday!

Though we were awakened by a huge clap of thunder and pouring rain around 7 am, the sun was shining by 8.  What are the plans for today? my active mind immediately thought.  Debbie and I were meeting to go walking.  We delayed our walk by an hour to let the docks dry.  We began our walk at 9 and ended a couple of hours later.  The walk, ostensibly for Debbie's dog Athena, morphed into coffee and a scone downtown, followed by some quick shopping.

We parted at our respective dock ramps at 11:30 with plans to meet at 1.   Another day of adventure was in the planning and executing stages.  Today's plans were to visit the Florida Oceanographic Society and if time permitted, the House of Refuge.  Well, you don't know how Debbie and I operate.  Once a plan is hatched, it happens!  We were in the car and enroute to our first stop by 1:30.  By this time, we were navigating the traffic circles like pros.   I didn't make one U-turn today!  Score!

First stop was the Florida Oceanographic Society.

We parked and just about jumped into the building!

We were in luck!  The turtle care and feeding presentation was just about to begin.  Our timing was spot on!  The presenter was quite informative and since there weren't too many other people around, we were able to ask all our questions.  The metal turtle casts below represent 3 of the 5 native turtle species found in Florida waters.

The largest turtle on the right is a leatherback.  They are endangered and rarely seen.  The size depicted here is an average size - some leatherbacks are even larger.  The middle turtle is a green turtle and also endangered.  The picture below shows one of the green turtles that the Oceanographic Society rescued. Note the 3 silver rings on the turtles back.  These rings are meant to help keep the turtle's back end submerged.  This turtle was hit by a boat, severing its spinal column.  The accident made it impossible for the turtle to move efficiently due to its back end rising up out of the water.

The smallest turtle on the left is a loggerhead, named for its thick, log-like neck.  This turtle is not yet endangered, but getting close.  Construction, run-off and increased boating activity in its native habitat is bringing the loggerhead close to the endangered list.  The plaque below lists the turtle types and their habitats.  The group we visited today rehabilitates small sea animals - they are maintained in carefully controlled water temperature, fed regularly and given the medication they need to live long, healthy lives.

Our next stop was to watch the lagoon fish feeding.  The water was so clear, we could easily see all the lagoon residents, helped even more by the feeding narrator.  She easily identified over 15 different species of fish.  We were fascinated by the feeding activity of all these fish, including several large nurse sharks who made a very loud sucking sound while feeding.  Over 50 lbs. of fish are fed to the lagoon residents in 2 daily feedings.

Fascinated by all the fish we saw, we took the time to read about them as we made our way to the next activity.

Next stop was to visit (and pet) the sting rays.  The stinger part had been removed from the tails, so they were harmless, lovely creatures.  You many remember this past summer I pushed kids out of the way at the Mystic Aquarium to pet these animals.  Luckily, kids were few and far between this time, so we could pet the rays for as long as we chose!

We stopped along the way to be silly...

Next stop were the sea creatures who lived in shells exhibit.  We saw all sorts of creatures - conch, sea urchins, anemones, hermit crabs, and a beautiful star fish - almost doesn't look real!

Though there were no manatees in this location, we were reminded of the many signs throughout Florida that help preserve the viability of these huge, slow moving sea creatures.

Took a pic of me in case I decide to change professions.   Sort of a drive through...

I had to stop in the gift shop to ransack it for appropriate toys for Tucker.  I left with a bulging shopping bag.   Did you actually think I would have passed the gift shop by????

By this time we were thirsty and decided to take the short drive to the beach for a soda.  We were amazed at close the Atlantic Ocean actually was to our current location.  We congratulated ourselves for making this "interim" stop.   We had no sooner parked the car, than we were treated to the sight of some sand cranes searching for a tasty morsel...

 Lured by sound of crashing waves, we made our way through beach scrub to the ocean and were greeted with a sight I will never tire of...

Since the NY forecast was predicting freezing rain and snow, I just had to bury my feet in the sand!  No one appreciates good weather in March more than us New Yorkers!

My partner and I in crime (now dubbing ourselves Thelma and Louise) realized there was still time to wring out of this precious day, so we decided to head for the House of Refuge.  By now, it was around 3:40, so we hedged our bets that this attraction would still be open.  We screeched to a halt (holding up traffic while we squeezed into a parking space), but got ourselves a spot right in front of a location sign...

We burst through the door of the museum (House of Refuge) just as the docent was reaching up to lock the door.  We talked ourselves into a private tour that turned out to be not only very enjoyable, but fun too (we provided the fun)!

We were told that 10 of these houses of refuge eventually sprouted up on the east coast of Florida to care for survivors of ship wrecks.  Aside from these homes, there was nothing for hundreds of miles to help these survivors.  So though they survived a ship wreck, they succumbed to the wilderness.  The caretakers of these houses of refuges often stayed on to raise their own families, who in turn stayed to raise future generations of house of refuge caretakers.  With today's real estate values, this piece of land straddling the ocean and bay would cost a king's ransom.

As we exited an hour later, I had to take this pic of a screen shot of the day's meterological statistics...

All I cared about is that there is no snow and the air temperature is 77 degrees!

What a fantastic day!  The fun still isn't over.  In an hour, we're meeting friends for a night on the town.  Tomorrow is our last day in Stuart, so you can be sure we will be on the move, starting with the Kadey Krogen Breakfast at Key West DIner at 8:30 am.  From there, it's off to the races!