Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all my wonderful readers!  It's been an incredible year, but I have a feeling that with Olympia in the picture, next year will be even more incredible.  

By the time boating season rolls around, our Tucker will be old enough to join me at the helm.  For now though, he's mastering the art of a red Radio Flyer tricycle!

This is Christmas!

Enjoy a wonderful holiday season everyone!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Trip PIctures and Story!

OMG, and what a story it is!  Enough to say that the guests I brought with me from NY were calling me Captain Bligh by the end of the trip and singing "It's a Hard Knock Life"?  I guess they failed to hear that this would be a working trip with just a few short "sun" breaks.

We took off from Long Island's MacArthur airport on a 7:05 am flight on Thursday, December 11.  The weather was a sleety mix of wet snow and freezing rain.   Lovely weather to be leaving, even though the de-icing of the plane made us a tad nervous.  Frequent checks of The Weather Channel on our iPhones promised glorious Florida weather for the duration of our trip.

We were not disappointed for one second of this trip - Florida served up some of the best weather I've ever seen.  Crystal clear azure blue skies with not a trace of humidity.  The mornings were cool - in the high 60s -, the days warmed up to the mid-70s, and the evenings cooled off to the mid-60s again.  Though it got progressively warmer during our trip, it was delightful.  We were in bathing suits by Sunday!  Well, the girls were; I was in working clothes the whole time.

Upon arrival in Stuart, I headed to KKY's office where closing paperwork awaited me.  The form on top was the one that produced a fountain of tears -  "Acceptance of Vessel".  Though I technically owned the boat, this form was the final step in saying, "she's mine".  Each line that stated my name as "owner of the vessel" was a reminder that this was a sole ownership, something that was never contemplated on  July 1, 2013 when Tom and I signed the Purchase Agreement.  For those of you who have not yet had the good fortune to sign closing documents on a boat, it is a moment of truth as well as a moment of sheer excitement as the possibilities of a new life burst forth.  My tears were tears of joy to be sure, but also a mixture of fear, anticipation, trepidation, pride and a whole host of other colorful nouns.

We were quite a procession leaving KKY's office - in addition to Gregg and his new assistant (won't even attempt to spell his name), my guests - who now included 2 more friends who had just driven over from Sarasota - all piled into cars for the 2 minute trip to Apex Marina.  Gregg followed in a KKY truck that was laden with all the "stuff" I had ordered and had shipped to KKY's office.
This is what the cockpit looked like BEFORE I brought the things from my storage bin aboard!

Once everyone and everything was aboard,  I announced that we were now going to empty the storage bin.  My guests thought they were going to rest after the ordeal of their flight.  When we got to the storage facility and the contents of the unit were revealed, groans could be heard back in NY.  They thought I was kidding when I said the unit would be emptied then and there and stuffed into the 2 cars with us.  Though the cars looked like the doors would pop open, we got everything in and eventually onto the boat.  I say eventually because the one constant that never changes and is inversely proportional is that the more stuff you have, the less likely there will be a dock cart within miles - and the boat will be on the dock farthest from civilization!  We flagged down any and every able body with free hands that made the mistake of coming into our line of sight.  Several hours later, everything was on the boat, including the 2 huge suitcases of summer clothes I brought to put into Olympia's closets.
It was now cocktail time and here we were with no cocktails, no glasses or cups from which to drink the cocktails and no place to sit outside except for the floor.  It was a tense few minutes until a lovely human being with compassion brought over a bottle of wine and some plastic cups for this all important late afternoon ritual.  The ritual started less "late afternoon" as the week progressed.   I thought you should know that.

So lest you think we didn't find time to have fun, we certainly did.  This couple is more near and dear to my heart than words can say.  Ron was Tom's graduate school college roommate when they did their Executive MBA program back in 1981 where a stay "in-residence" was required at the beginning of each semester.

By virtue of their last names ending in "E", a life-long friendship was born.  These people flew up to NY immediately upon hearing of Tom's passing and stayed with me in the house for the days leading up to his memorial service.  Our children grew up together, we attended first holy communions, confirmations, graduations, weddings, births, and every other life event in between.  We traveled together and spent countless weekends in each other's homes.  To maintain the tradition of being there for each other, they drove over from Sarasota to share my first night aboard as Olympia's owner, despite knowing ahead of time that there were few creature comforts aboard.  I cherish these people.

The next morning, we sent Ron out for coffee and something to eat while I acquainted myself with some boat basics.  I think it was a mistake to do this on an empty stomach, but that realization came after the fact....

Yikes, and that's not everything!  Later on, I took more peeks, but this time, fortified by alcohol-based spirits.  Smart move.

Our first night aboard, we decided to dress Olympia in lights.  Between the bow lights, pilot house lights and cockpit lights, our girl was quite a sight....

She looked pretty good in the daytime too, from a few different angles...

Though the lighting is not ideal, I wanted a few pictures of Olympia looking like real people are living aboard.  I've put out a few personal effects - just enough to make Olympia look like mine.  There are still some work items around, but she is starting to look like home.  What you didn't get to see is me walking around clutching the pillows, putting them in every spot until the right spot showed itself.

Looks better without the plastic on the settee, right?  I'm sure I'll change things around, add pillows, rugs, etc. but this is definitely a start.  The things are from Serenity, which also makes everything even more special.   Though hard to see, the bigger pillows are from my Huntington house.  They are a cinnamon and ivory plaid with dark green fringe that perfectly picks up the dark green granite.

The all-important bar is getting set up.  Once the radio is installed in the cabinet beneath the bar, there will be more room for more bottles!  I'm hoping to fill the bookshelves with some of our favorite books and an accessory or two to add a touch of class.  Tom loved a carved teal duck someone had given us, so I'm looking for a place for the duck to call home.  The duck is still in NY, so will have to wait until Olympia is here to move aboard.

The galley got well used during this trip.  My newly delivered All Clad pots and pans found a lovely place in a large cabinet.  My guests bought me a Keurig with assorted Kcups, so we could face the mornings.  I'm thinking of putting a model of a J boat above the sink on the back of the cabinet that's facing us.  We did something similar on Serenity; it looked really nice.  I have some plastic tumblers and wine glasses in the glass cabinets, but will replace them with some Waterford pieces (now that I found my Museum Putty while unpacking).  The storage under the steps is awesome!  In addition to several steps lifting up for storage, there is a door in the curve of the steps that holds a 15 roll pack of toilet tissue AND a case of water, with some room to spare!

The master was fun to decorate.  A KKY friend called to ask if I needed anything from Bed, Bath and Beyond - poor girl - I gave her a list!  Luckily, all the pieces I ordered shipped from NY arrived and were ready to be pressed into service.  There are no less than 8 pillows on the bed, 2 teddy bears and a beautiful jewelry box Tom brought back for me from a training cruise trip to Barcelona while he was still in college.  I'm covering the windows with fabric from the bedskirt that came with the comforter.  Someone gave me an excellent idea for how to do this - and it won't cost a fortune!  The closets are pretty full - all my clothes are on matching black velvet hangers, all hanging in the same direction.  I found a shoe rack that fits perfectly into the closet - 9 pairs of shoes are all standing at attention in their respective holder.  The guest stateroom is pretty comfy too - same hangers in the closet, sheets and blankets in the drawers under each bed, box of tissues and soon, books in the bookcase over the starboard bed.  Eventually, there will be a perfect print above the bed.

The girls couldn't resist a picture of me as I took a break and climbed out of the lazarette - once they knew what a lazarette was!

The first 2 ladies are the "girls" from my bereavement group.  Without them, I could never have accomplished what I did on this trip.  Yes, we worked very hard, but we did find time to play too!  We enjoyed a wonderful dinner and a gorgeous sunset that evening (which you can see in the background)!
You can see by our bare arms that it was a beautiful evening.

While we were there (Sailor's Return), I decided to walk over and take a look at the slip Olympia will move to on January 1st or 2nd.  Not much to see, but still exciting.

Two nice pictures of the captain taken right before leaving the boat.  If you look closely, you can see the tears in my eyes.  It was very difficult to leave - that in and of itself is nothing new, but since I know how much Olympia depends on me, I felt actual pain upon leaving.

...and in my soon-to-be perch......

I hope you enjoyed the story and pictures.  Next trip is January.  I'll be meeting Olympia on the last day of Trawler Fest and taking her back to Stuart at the helm with 2 helpers!

I'm going to confess to you that I've been typing and attaching pictures for well over an hour and have Tucker staying over, so too tired to do any good proofreading.  Therefore, I apologize in advance for any typos or poor grammar.

Stay tuned for more as the story continues to unfold.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a happy healthy New Year to everyone!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

I'm Back!

OMG, I dropped off the planet while visiting Olympia this past week!

I'm on my way to work, but just wanted to let you know that I will be posting some tidbits - and pictures - from that fantastic trip.  I wore myself (and my helpers) out, but every second was worth it.

Be back later!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Here we go!

So, since my last post, I celebrated an amazing birthday on Tuesday, December 2nd.

Between Facebook messages, emails, texts, calls and cards, I feel like a very popular celebrity.    The biggest gift of all comes next week when I sign the closing documents for Olympia.  I'll be heading to Stuart for another re-union with my dream come true - this time, I will start making Olympia my home.  There are piles of boxes waiting to be unpacked, beds to be dressed up, a wine fridge to begin filling and the endless details I've been waiting to complete for almost 2 years now.

Excitement and anticipation are mingling with a sense of unreality and tinge of intimidation as I move into this next, long dreamed of, chapter of my tumultuous life.  Two friends are flying down with me and 2 friends are driving over from Sarasota to celebrate this new chapter with me.  I did inform everyone that while they view this trip as a vacation for them, I view it as an opportunity to finally get into the engine room and begin the love affair with my machinery space and twin JD engines.  Different strokes for different folks - I"m happy to offer Olympia as a vacation spot though.

I know it's been a VERY long and dry spell without pictures, but I absolutely promise that you will have pictures next time around.  Many things have been accomplished during the commissioning process - the latest list of updated items astounded me.  The attention paid to the tiniest detail is amazing to me, despite having had 2 other Krogens.  These KKY folks really know their business.  The wonderful thing is that this attention doesn't evaporate when the closing documents are signed - they are there for as long as they need to be and then some!

So please stand by my patient and loyal friends.  The best is yet to come!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

For every season, there's change....

In this time of great changes in my life, I decided to begin a new Thanksgiving tradition - paying it forward.

A friend of mine from my bereavement group and I will be going to a homeless shelter on Long Island tomorrow to serve Thanksgiving dinner to those not fortunate enough to have all we enjoy and sometimes take for granted.  He and I decided to do something different, something that carries no memories of past holiday celebrations with those loved ones we lost.

Thanksgiving was Tom's absolute favorite holiday - he loved the simplicity of  family gathered around a table he had loving loaded with his special recipes.  His cooking skills were recognized and applauded by everyone invited to join us.  Though Tom was of English ancestry, his expertise in cooking many Italian dishes surprised those of us Italians he learned from.   I guess he actually was paying attention when my mother made her legendary meals.  Come to think of it, he probably learned a few things from me too - in the days I cooked.

Speaking of starting new traditions, I'm planning to do two new things next Thanksgiving - cook Thanksgiving dinner and cook it aboard Olympia!  I've been checking Southwest Airlines' site to see when they open their reservations for November, 2015.  The day that happens, I'm booking a ticket for myself and whomever else wants to join me.  I casually mentioned this to my sister in North Carolina, since she is by far the better cook.  I thought enticing her with dinner aboard beautiful Olympia in a warm climate was infinitely better than anything else she would be doing.  We might have ignition there Houston!

Thank you everyone who is making this wonderful journey called Olympia with me.  Every day is an opportunity for thanksgiving, no matter the circumstances.  I appreciate your thoughtful comments, suggestions and kind words of support and encouragement.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Friday, November 21, 2014

A Quick Hello!

Thought I'd sneak a quick post during the workday.  I have a yogurt on my desk so that any nosy passer-by will think I'm eating lunch at my desk (unfortunately that is usually the case).

So, the good news is that the decorator called to say my new salon chairs were delivered.  The bad news is that they were delivered to Huntington, not Stuart as ordered.  Since Thanksgiving is next week (yikes, when did that happen?!), the chairs probably won't be picked up and shipped til the following week.  On the up side (and in my book, there is ALWAYS an up side), the chairs might arrive while I'm still aboard Olympia with my girlfriends.  One can only hope.  Since these chairs were ordered in mid-September, I think I've nearly forgotten what they look like.  Oh goodie, I love surprises!

Philip the woodworking genius so many of us Krogenites know and love, is hard at work building window frames for my blinds on the port and starboard forward pilot house windows.  Apparently, the yard thought that the starboard window frame might bump one's shoulder as they climbed the stairs, so decided against building a window frame for that window.  On the port side, the frame couldn't be built entirely around the window due to the height of the settee cushion, so again no frame.  Enter Philip with a brilliant suggestion and voila, the frames are being built as we speak.  Now I have to get Guy from Saturday's over to measure for blinds.   Then the wait begins for the blinds to be made and shipped over from England.  So, for anyone planning to occupy the pilot house berth, you might need to re-think your choice of pjs until those windows are covered.

Now that I've moved and am somewhat settled (is one ever really settled?), I have an awesome pile of boxes labeled, "FOR BOAT, DO NOT UNPACK"  How big do I think this boat is?  There are no less than 10 such boxes in my daughter's basement (there might even be more, but I'm afraid to look too closely).  Now, the trick will be to get those boxes to the boat when Olympia is in New York and find a place for all these things I think I need.  There is nothing like the limited storage of a boat to help one whittle down possessions.  I once heard a sermon that went like this: "you spend your early years in the acquisitive stage, stockpiling possessions as fast as they can be purchased.  In the middle years, you spend hours taking care of these possessions.  During the golden years, you spend time divesting yourself of all the extra stuff gathering dust and serving no real purpose other than occupying space".  When you stop to really ponder these words, you have to see a thread of truth in them.  As a person who worked in Manhattan for most of my professional career, I had closets full of suits, blazers, heels, coats, designer shoes and purses, etc.  With the exception of the designer purses (one can't let those go, after all - they might be needed for docktails one day), those once essential items are now clothing someone else (I hope).  Now my closets are starting to look more nautical - striped shirts, quick drying shorts, ball caps, cute tops and several pairs of Sperry Topsiders for starters.

Anyway, I finished the yogurt and therefore, lost my "prop".  Back to work I go......

Have a great weekend everyone!   Not that you asked, but tonight is dinner with some barn friends. Tomorrow I'm heading into Manhattan for a museum exhibit and lunch with a friend from both grammar and high school.  Later that night, it's dinner and movie night with the girls from my bereavement group.  Sunday is the barn, a ride and a spin class.  If time, I'll try to squeeze in a mani/pedi.  A girl's gotta be well groomed at all times you know!

 If I'm not back before Thanksgiving, a beautiful holiday to you and yours.  For those of you fortunate enough to celebrate this holiday with loved ones, revel in their company (even crusty Uncle Jack) and make lifelong memories of this special day.  You'll be glad you did!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Almost Settled'

So, it's been a week since I moved and I'm just starting to smile again.

You'll notice (well maybe you won't) that I'm back on the laptop.  It took a village - and the help of a 15 year old - to point out that to connect to the internet, I just had to click on the little fan icon at the top of screen, enter the wifi name and password and voila - we have ignition Houston.

I think I would have figured that out in time, but time is what I don't have.  With the layers of "stuff" going on these days, it's hard to figure anything out, let alone look for little fan icons.  At least 45 boxes have found their way to wherever it is that used moving boxes go.  My closets are screaming for the organized eye of my fashionista-attorney daughter and the bare walls are begging to be dressed up.

With everything clamoring for attention, I handled the situation by going shopping.  What else does one do under the circumstances?  Since I'm literally down the road from Wiggles, he has had enough of my "popping ins".  So, off to Bed, Bath and Beyond for "staples":  over the door hooks, under the bed boxes, in the drawer organizers - AND - the set of All Clad pots I've been dreaming of!  I was heading for the check out counter with my boring set of over the door hooks when I passed an All Clad display announcing a SALE!  Be still my heart I whispered, slowing down for a quick peek.  The quick peek turned into a look of pure desire.  The look of desire turned into the need to possess these objects of beauty.  I've been pricing all the promotions from Bloomingdales, William Sonoma and BBB forever, so I was very well acquainted with prices and what came with those prices.  This was indeed a good promotion.  Before I could come to my senses, I marched to the registry and ordered a set of 8 pieces - that came with a bonus lasagna pan, Essentials of Italian Cooking cookbook and 2 red oven mitts.  The red oven mitts sealed the deal.  But wait, there's more - I used my 20% coupon and got FREE shipping!  All in all, I saved close to $200 and got the whole shebang shipped right to the boat.  So now Olympia's galley will boast the best in cookware. All I have to do now is cook!   We'll save that for another day.

The master stateroom also got treated to a beautiful comforter, set of sheets, Euro shams, standard shams and several toss pillows.  "I'll take everything on the display bed", I told the salesperson.  Again, that awesome 20% coupon and free shipping right to the boat.  By now, KKY's office must resemble a furniture warehouse - and my 2 leather club chairs haven't arrived yet!  Not quite finished, I shared the wealth and ordered twin sheet sets for the guest stateroom and another set of queen sheets for the apartment from Macy's.  I did so much shopping in one day that both Macy's and Visa called to check my sanity - specially with all the shipping to different addresses going on.  Well, at least they're paying attention.

So with all this prattling, there is not one picture to show for it, just endless words.  I promise you pictures of everything during my visit next month.  It'll be a very busy visit since I'll be moving everything out of my storage bin onto the boat, provisioning the larder (and wine fridge) and registering the boat.  I'm planning on making time to party with the KKY folks already ensconced in their winter slips (lucky devils) and acquainting myself with that scary engine room.

Several folks have been aboard Olympia since she returned from FLIBS and the words used to describe her are always similar - "stunning" is the most frequently occurring, followed by "gorgeous", "beautiful", "humongous salon and galley area" and "wow".   All these words are music to my ears as I puff with pride like a new mom.

Please feel free to make an appointment to see my beautiful new girl if you happen to find yourself in Stuart.  Better still, if you're in the neighborhood next month, stop by to say hello.  I'll be at Apex Marina until January 1st, right down the road from KKY.

Thanks for your patience during my dry spell this past week.  Moving is overrated and I promise myself to move no more - that is, after my move onto Olympia.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Moved in,

Well, I'm moved in, the mountain of boxes diminished but the amount of "stuff" is still overwhelming.  I really thought I downsized when moving from the house to the first apartment - guess not as much as I thought.

My laptop refuses to connect to the internet so I'm typing away on my iPad. For the latest pictures of Olympia, please visit Kadey Krogen's website ( & go to their blog.  She looks magnificent!  I've gotten the most incredible & lovely comments from those who have seen those pictures.  There was also a mention of her in KKY's newsletter, Navaid.

I'm still making boat decisions - chose the canvas package yesterday. Going with individual window covers for the pilot house windows in spruce green to compliment the bow stripe.  Had the full wrap on Serenity but awkward to handle & no flexibility - the cover was either all on or all off.  Decided against white cause the wipers discolored the covers & were very obvious when on. The dark green blends against the dark windows.  Also will cover the side pilot house windows & got covers that attach to the Dutch doors with suction cups.  Hopefully those sleeping in the pilot house will have a small modicum of privacy - as long as the lights are off!  The wing stations will be covered as will the BBQ grill.  I detest the look of dirty white fenders so, they too will be covered  with the same fabric (Sunbrella) in forest green. Way easier to wash the fender covers than to scrub those fenders.  That effort will be directed towards keeping the power cable clean!

So, the planning continues for Olympia's christening & party (1/31/15), boxes keep arriving at KKY's office & I am counting down the days until my trip next month.  I actually packed a suitcase of summer clothes that I'll take to the boat next trip - leaves more room in the closets here for those awful winter things!

So please check out Olympia's show pictures until I get back there to send more.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Forgive Me!

So sorry for silence/absence.

Movers coming at 8 am Monday and I haven't finished packing yet.  Making progress, but still lots of stuff to deal with.

Going to the new apartment with the cleaning girl in tow to freshen up the place tomorrow morning, then will make many trips with the stuff I want to move myself, including my outfit for the wedding I'm going to next week.  Imagine trying to find the exact dress and shoes I need after being in a new place for 5 days!?  Yikes!

Though packing is beyond onerous, I did find time to attend a Broadway play with a golf friend last night.  We saw Edward Albee's "A Delicate Balance".  It was excellent, but a little much for a Thursday night.  The play didn't end until 10:45 and we still had an hour's drive ahead of us.  I broke down and enlisted the help of Wiggles favorite rider/caretaker to help me with him tomorrow and Sunday.  Though I'll still stop to see him and fluff his stall, no riding for me this weekend.  There's only so much 1 person can accomplish in a day.  Well, not the whole's Restaurant Week on Long Island, so I'm going to a dinner with paired wines with 2 friends from my bereavement group.  I can't very well pack all day, can I?  I'd go out of my mind - along with everyone in my path.

John at KKY sent me a fantastic picture of Olympia's salon and galley that was featured in Yachting Magazine!   So exciting to see her in a real magazine.  Check out the caption under the picture.  They have good taste, cause that staircase is way cool!

I have a feeling that this will be the first of many pictures.  Wait til she's dressed in her own clothes!

Hopefully, this picture will help you forgive my absence.  I probably won't be back for awhile since my internet and wifi won't be installed until Tuesday.  If anything newsworthy happens between now and then (short of me being committed for insanity), I'll make sure you know about it.

Hang in there folks and wish me well as I embark on this move - again.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Taking a break from packing - a week from tomorrow is the big day.  Though I'm trying not to panic as I look around, I feel the stirrings of panic beginning to make themselves known.  It's hard to just pack, given my crazy schedule.   Last night I went into the city with 8 other members of my bereavement group.  I have to tell you with a touch of chagrin, that we did not look bereaved as we danced into the small hours.  Before I say too much, let's get on with the pictures.  I hear you.

We're going to get technical tonight with pictures of the helm and one (just one for now) of the engine room.  The helm truly was the epitome of "it takes a village".  I said that before about another of my undertakings in getting this boat built.  Helm discussions began when Serenity had recently sold in Stuart in June, 2013.  The vendor came aboard to see our helm and used that as a "jumping off" place.  Good thing, because in the absence of my beloved Tom, those were not easy decisions.  I may be a lot of things, but savvy about navigation, etc. just isn't one of them.  Once the navigation suite was selected (that wasn't too hard since I knew Garmin was the way I was going), then all the other questions began to pop up.  Decisions were made along the way and finalized during a 3 hour marathon meeting when I was in Stuart during late August.  During the Rendezvous, the vendor sent several mock-ups of the helm, using instrument decals as models.  Imagine trying to decide on gauges, monitors,  and other things that weren't very easy to see by looking at a cellphone display!  That wasn't happening, so I bargained for time by arranging to be aboard Olympia to make those important decisions.

I think things turned out pretty well.  Comforting to know that if I decide to re-locate certain things, it won't be the end of the world.  A new piece of cherry can be installed and the new cutouts made.
Since I'm in no way in need of every bell and whistle offered, I went with the best my budget would allow and am starting with what I need to navigate safely and intelligently.

So, here goes...

I kept the 15" screens Tom wanted.  They got the job done very nicely on Serenity.  I added dedicated wind direction/speed and depth gauges so they would be in my line of sight at all times.  Below those gauges and closest to my right hand is the auto pilot, essential on long voyages  I got a remote for it as well, a creature comfort to be sure.  There is one VHF radio with remote mike (to the right and a bit below the wheel) and another radio mounted in the aft salon cabinet.  This radio has a wireless mike that can be taken with me when not in the pilot house. This way I can listen to the radio when I'm anywhere on the boat and respond without having to dash up the stairs.  There is a Fusion stereo radio beneath the VHF and the stabilizer monitor below that.

These are the John Deere gauges - one set for each engine.  I'm very comfortable looking at those gauges, it is the one area I don't need to learn from the bottom up.  The rudder angle indicator is to the left of the gauges, the wiper controls beneath that and the horn pad to the left of everything.  I never imagined there could be so many functions for a mere horn.

A closer look at some instruments...

This is a closer look at the horn pad I mentioned.  How many buttons does it take to blow a horn???  Even the wipers have to get in on the party and get complicated!

Stabilizer controls - those little green buttons have a life of their own.  This control I will learn to use in record time.  It doesn't take much to bring on that cold sweat on my upper lip (remember the story of For Us's sea trial in NC)?

The electrical panels are so easy to read on this boat!  On Serenity, I had to go up the steps to the pilot house, sit on the top step and peer into the cabinet - with the help of a flashlight.

They're even nice to look at!


All of these panels are located in the companionway, to port just before the door to the guest head.  They're at eye level for the most part, but at 5'6", I have no trouble seeing the top switches.  They're behind smoked glass doors, so completely unobtrusive, yet easily seen when necessary.

This is the one engine room (for this post at least) I promised you...

Here I am surrounded by my sweet engines - and other things still foreign to me!   I did hear those engines run during my visit.  Gave me goosebumps!

One more picture of the cable in the cockpit...

I love the fact that everything is located in one area of the cockpit to starboard.  The rest of the cockpit is sleek and clean.  Great thinking and design!

Well, that's it folks.  I rolled in early this morning at 2 am, so need to try to make up a little bit of sleep.  It's 11:40, so not likely.  More packing tomorrow, but will try to get some engine room pictures up this week.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

More interior pictures

So, here I am frantically packing up the apartment for yet another move on November 10th - 2nd move in only 1 year, 12 days, when I'm seized by the urge to write.  Writing is my "happy place", where I can calm down and be in the moment.  Thank you for being the audience!

So although these pictures don't follow any logical order (a mirror of me these days), I think you'll enjoy them anyway.  The lucky folks who will attend FLIBS tomorrow will get to see Olympia all tricked out with her staged decor, KKY pennant and over-sized US flag proudly flying from her extended boat deck rails.  I wish I could be there to observe the attendees' reactions when they see her.

Forgive me if I've already posted some of these pictures.  With this being the 200th post and literally 100s of pictures, I'm amazed I can post anything at all.  So here goes...

This is the back splash all sealed and ready to be cooked in front of.  You can bet I won't be making anything messy for a very long time.  I am absolutely thrilled with the final product.  The colors blend and enhance the warmth of the cherry rather than shout "lookie at me"!  The darker glass tiles perfectly pick up the stainless appliances.  Exactly the look I was trying to achieve!

At the suggestion of Tom B., I had the yard make Sunbrella covers for the guest beds.  This way, the beds will always look neat and stylish.  I just ordered waterproof, pillow top mattress pads as the first line of defense against anyone (god forbid) sweating in bed.  Next will be pillows and bedding - gotta get a move on this since I'm having 4 people stay aboard with me on my next trip in December!

Another pulled together, coordinated look for the guest stateroom.  The lamp shades are a lovely fabric that perfectly ties the fabric together.  Of course the pillows will be whisked off and replaced with standard bed pillows at the sound of the guests' first footfalls.

What self-respecting boat wouldn't have a nice, generous sized wine fridge?  The challenge will be to keep it filled to the brim!

Since the top of the fridge is the same height as the granite counter and since the unit is snuggled into a corner, it actually provides another surface on which to place something and keep it within comfortable reach.  This fridge was across the room where the steps are now in the earlier 55s.

The view looking aft is very pleasing to the eye, just like all of Olympia's other views...

Now that the plastic covering is off the settees, the look is much warmer and certainly more inviting.  The saying comes to mind - "this isn't your grandmother's couch"!  I anticipate the view aft will also be enhanced by beautiful cockpit furniture.  That probably won't happen for a few more months.  There are some other "high priority" purchases to make before that.

Though this posting was a quickie, I needed to get some pictures of Olympia to you.  I'll close out with two of my favorite pictures to date.  They say it all....

I still can't believe I'm actually seeing her in all her glory after so many long months!

I'm in love!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

More Interior Pictures

Whew, I finally got Tucker to bed!

We had the best day - son-in-law Tom dropped him off at the barn.  I had a great ride on Wiggles today - no antics or spooks, that's ALWAYS a good thing.  I was offering my picky horse his lunch al fresco in the paddock when Tucker arrived on the scene.  After dragging myself away from the barn, Tuck and I did some errands, then it was off to Bertucci's for pizza and ice cream.  Now that he's been bathed, read to, played trains with, Nana is taking some time to catch up.  Seems that's all I ever do - catch up.   But since I actually do, no complaints from me.

So I didn't get to tell you about my visit to Olympia.  I was practically speechless for a good part of the time - which in and of itself is legendary - but it's not often that I'm wowed out of my mind!  I accomplished a great deal and actually got to spend many blissful hours aboard.  Too bad it was with an army of workers, but I already knew that would be the case.

The sheer size of her, the rakish sweep of her mighty bow, the huge, tapering cockpit with rounded transom, her height, I could go on for days.  I will say one thing though, deciding to add the green sheer stripe to the bow was one of my more brilliant flashes of brilliance!  Well worth the extra cost.
Oh, and her name on the Portuguese bridge is not too shabby either...  There is some thought being given to adding the flourish to the Portuguese bridge - that flourish was on the other two boats - they will always be recognized as our girls.  It's a gold curlique with a star in the forward curl - the same star that dots the "i" in Olympia's name.  The design was Tom's and I love it.  I have plenty of time to decide.  Unlike the other decisions needed during the build process, these decisions can be made more leisurely - without any sense of urgency - nice.

Unfortunately, since Olympia was being readied for her first show next week - the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS), there were all sorts of people crawling all over her.  On Wednesday, it was almost comical - several people were removing the protective wraps and doing all sorts of polishing and cleaning inside, while a crew was waxing the outside.  Interspersed throughout the entire boat, including the roof and engine room was the electronics team, installing equipment, stringing miles of wiring, fiddling with dials and crawling around on the roof to select the best place for all the antennae (I took 4 years of Latin and got a 98 on the Latin Regents).

On Monday, my first glimpse of Olympia in the daylight, I climbed into one of the helm chairs and proceeded to work with several electronics folks to locate the best and most comfortable place to affix the screens and gauges.  Let me tell you, this is one very patient group of folks.  The initial tutorial was a bit rough - and extended....  We were only trying to identify the best location for things; we didn't even get into what those "things" actually do! least we're all still smiling!

Since you've been just getting peeks at the helm chairs, here they are!

Not only are they pretty and match the settee, but they are comfortable too.  What a bonus!!  They are outfitted in stainless to match all the other trim.  Another additional cost, but this is not the place to start economizing.  The pilot house is such a bright and airy spot.  It will be difficult to leave when one is not on watch.

The view out the helm windows is what inspires poetry about life at sea (what do I know, but it sounds good)!  Cripes, there sure is a lot of bow out front!  BTW, the Snow White Awlgrip paint on the capstrip extending to the beginning of the cockpit was another stroke of genius.  There is absolutely no way to get to the trim under the windows!  On the other hand, the teak capstrip on the cockpit was the way to go there.  It's very wide and adds the right amount of elan to this girl.  The windlass is awe-inspiring, at least to me.  It's quite big and certainly heavy-duty, that's for sure.

I mentioned insisting on having build outs done on the windows for blinds.  It was something I've seen in my mind's eye and I was not to be diverted from that idea.  Poor Tom, he finally threw up his hands and said, "just get the damn blinds and stop talking about them"!  That's the way things usually went when I dug in my heels about wanting something.  Tee hee.  Anyway, I'm so glad I hung in there - the blinds are fantastic!!! They add the perfect touch to the elegance of this boat.  I put them in all the right places - salon, galley, guest stateroom and pilot house.  There is not one wretched curtain on the entire boat.  I don't mean to insult anyone that has curtains, but I truly hate them.  Never even had them in any of our homes.  The one house that had them - well, I was taking them down as the movers were bringing in the furniture!

Sorry the picture is lop-sided - it would take me hours to figure out how to turn it around, so just tilt your head a bit....  That's looking to port.  I have another one looking to starboard that's right-side up....

I think you get the idea.  The blinds mute the light but in no way diminish the airiness.  Notice how the valance covers the headrail so that the look is smooth.  There will be 2 leather club chairs in this spot in a brandy-colored leather.  Those sliding doors under the windows are actually nice-sized cabinets.  On Serenity, the electronics equipment was in one of those cabinets, necessitating moving a chair when we needed to load a movie or dock our iPod.  This boat has a dedicated electronics cabinet just forward of the steps, in the wall that forms part of the guest stateroom.  I tried to get a picture of it, but there were so many wires in the way, I dared not even walk by them.

K, I've got lots more pictures, but I'm going to save them for future posts.  I want to show you the engine room without all the clutter from previous pictures.  I actually took pictures of each section of the engine room.  The plan is to read the owner's manual that Laura is painstakingly crafting and look at a corresponding picture - that's for when I'm actually not in the engine room, driving myself crazy.
I also have pictures of the guest stateroom with the Sunbrella fabric I put on the beds, the wine fridge, the stern, etc.

The bottom line here is that I am truly delighted with the way this boat turned out - so are many other people.  After all, this gorgeous design first appeared on paper - it had never before been seen "in the flesh", so there was a bit of a leap of faith here.  The end result has exceeded everyone's expectations.

I'm happy to tell you that from the first moment I stepped aboard, I felt a bond with Olympia.  I knew I would - eventually - not immediately.  It was as if all those months of uncertainty and all the care Tom put into selecting her central systems, came together at that moment.  I feel at home, that this was the right thing for me to do (many others I know would argue that point), and that a bright and exciting future awaits Olympia and I.  We are already a team and we won't let each other down.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

OMG! That's About All I Can Say!

On Sunday evening October 19th at about 7:20 pm, I came face to face with the subject of my dreams for nearly 2 years - Olympia and I met for the first time!

My dear friend Laura, met me at the airport and survived a 45 minute ride from West Palm Beach airport to Allied Marina in Stuart.  Can I tell you those 45 minutes were among the most incredible 45 minutes I have lived through in quite a few months?!  The sense of anticipation and excitement was palpable in the car.  I couldn't bear the long walk from the car, down the dock (she was at the farthest point she could be) to Olympia's slip so..... I closed my eyes and trusted Laura to guide me to her.

Once she was in view, Laura prepared me to open my eyes..........OMG, OMG, OMG!  I cannot even begin to tell you the emotions flooding through me at that point.  I really could not believe I was actually seeing this precious boat for the first time!!!  So much preceded this first viewing, such a major life change following the tragedy of Tom's sudden loss, so many wrenching decisions, the digging in to do anything to make this work, the support of so many incredibly wonderful people - new and old in my life - the worry and uncertainty of taking this life-altering step - all of that and more collided at that moment.

I can only tell you that all of the above made my meeting with this boat something I will remember to my last day on this earth.  It was some time before I could stop the tears, the shaking, the laughing, and feelings I can't even describe  - to summon the strength to step aboard for the first time.

As I reverently stepped aboard, Laura raced ahead to turn on the lights so that I could see Olympia in all her glory.  If you thought the pictures were beautiful, I have to tell you that the reality will blow you out of the water.  This girl of mine is stunningly gorgeous, magnificent, outrageous, elegant, warm, inviting, spectacular and so many words I can't summon at this moment.

Even with her protective wrappings and signs of much work in progress, she is a vision to behold!  The blinds in their build outs exceeded my expectations, the curve of the staircase, the rounded edges of the granite, the way everything flows, the back splash, the storage, the cherry, the EVERYTHING!  I am blown away by the workmanship.  Remember this is my 3rd Krogen and I am speechless with wonder!

Since we were on board nearly 2 hours looking around, we managed to get this one picture to sum up the evening's events:

 Since I stepped off the plane after a white-knuckle flight home a mere 2 hours ago, I am going to get ready for a very busy work event tomorrow.  I do promise some really nice pictures of the helm (electronics were being installed the entire time I was there), salon, staircase, galley, NAME, and engine room.  She is leaving for her show season debut tomorrow as she heads for the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show to be the belle of the ball.  Closing is scheduled for early December.

I AM IN LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Mast is up!

Before I head out for a momentous meeting with our dream come true, I wanted to leave you with two of the latest pictures of the commissioning process - the mast and galley backsplash.

The mast is a work of art - even at this stage...
(Looks like an ad for Garmin)

The galley backsplash exceeded my expectations. The material is a combination of Travertine and glass.  Trying to choose material and a pattern (or not) from a small sample for a space I've only seen in pictures required some intuition, a leap of faith and plain grit.  I think the end result speaks for itself....

I was rushing to find a picture of the helm chairs that were installed this week, but can't find them.  Heck, I'll send you a picture of me IN those helm chairs, much better than just the empty chairs I think.

Here goes folks.  It'll be show time in about 8 hours!  Please think of me.