Sunday, August 31, 2014

Big Happenings!

She's on her way home!!!!!!

The big girl was loaded aboard a Belgian freighter named Eris J on Friday, August 29th.  We believe she has a wonderful spot belowdecks but await confirmation pictures.

 The freighter left Taiwan the next day - Saturday, August 30th - headed for Ft. Lauderdale!
ETA in Ft. Lauderdale is October 5th!

Stay tuned for loading pictures.   I also owe you pics of the staterooms and pilot house.

I'm in Stuart posting this looking at at the ocean I will soon be traveling on. Yesterday I visited her new home at Sunset Bay Marina - I actually walked over to her slip.   Many things were accomplished during this trip:  picked & ordered gorgeous 1" wooden blinds, picked out tile for the stove back splash, finalized the electronics estimate, met with the folks who will put her name on the transom & Portuguese bridge, met the marine attorney who has been so kind & helpful & visited with the KKY folks who are family.  

Lest you think it was all work and no play, there were morning ( and 1 night) walks on the beach, al fresco lunches and dinners, a pool party and actually a half day spent on the beach.  Many of those activities involved Rum Runners, Bahama Mamas and other libations - so definitely not all work and no play.

It's been a whirlwind of productive and fun activity directed towards this dream fast becoming reality.

Thanks for coming along with me!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Okay...the Engine Room - Access & New Steps!

Guess I was dragging my heels about this post, but some readers are asking questions so....

For those of you still unfamiliar with the new interior of the 55, the steps have been re-located to starboard via the gorgeous staircase featured in the last posting.  Re-locating the steps allowed for the guest head to be enlarged enough to provide a door for walk-in access to the engine room.  Gone is the hatch just outside the guest head that one had to climb down into.

The following pictures depict the engine room from several angles, including a look down the steps from the doorway.  Since the door was not yet hung when the pictures were taken, you'll have to use your imagination for the time being (until October).

Starting from top to bottom, the design geniuses managed to put storage everywhere, including this space at the top of the engine room steps just behind you as you step onto the landing, then start down the steps.  This gorgeous cabinet was a total surprise to me - guess I got so scared of the engine room pictures that I never looked too closely.  You can see the doorway to your right and I think get a peek at the corner of the shower.

Here we are at the bottom of the steps looking aft.  The space is cavernous.  It reminds me of laboratory space at the CDC.  Leave it to me to make a medical comparison to an engine room for Pete's sake!

A good view of the steps with the bottom of the cabinet just above them.  The steps are nice and wide, not too steeply canted and have treads on the edges.

I know we're hanging out by the steps, but I wanted to give you forward and aft views of the immediate area around the steps.  As I said in the previous post, you won't get much commentary from me.  Those of you anxious to see these pictures know what you're looking at.

We're looking down the steps directly from the landing just inside the doorway.  Seems like such a long way down.

Looking back up the steps into the doorway with view of the shower.  Nice to have a light at the top of the steps.

Just inside the doorway leading down to the engine room.  Nice, solid railing.

Heading down to the engine room...  I'm so happy with the landing.  Gives me a chance to collect my wits instead of just heading down the steps directly from the doorway.

Nice picture of the workbench which includes a sink.  A fellow Krogenite tried to explain that since the plumbing is below the waterline, I have to pump something to get the water flowing.  As my eyes glazed over, he offered to just show me when the boat gets here.  Good idea.

Hope the crew did a good job cleaning up....

Well, at least I know this is an engine.  Big and powerful and utterly intimidating - and there are two of them!  This is the newest John Deere engine - more power and torque with less revs.  Very good reviews of this new engine (the little I read).

Head on view of the engine.

Looking aft in between the 2 engines.  Everything is easily visible and accessible.

Looks like the electrical hub.  Sure are lots of wires, plugs and other things I know nothing about.

Pretty impressive.

If you have any questions about anything in these pictures, ask away and I'll get answers.

I'm heading to Stuart to do boat things, so may not be able to post for a few days.  I'll try, but if I can't, you'll know why.

Take care everyone!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

A chef (will be) born

I can tell you without reservation that when I opened the galley pictures, I gasped out loud.  The pictures of this boat have been gasp-provoking, to say the least.  Rare is it that I can say that the finished product has exceeded my expectations.  I'm thrilled just by looking at the pictures.  I cannot possibly seeing her "in the flesh"!

However, before I reveal the galley, I wanted to share an exterior view that Tom B. took that brought tears to my eyes.  We did see the first pictures of her from her starboard side with a bit of transom showing, but this one is really special.  I can actually see myself waving from the Portuguese bridge!

This girl is one beautiful boat, that is beyond a shadow of a doubt!  My Tom would have so ecstatic with the way the Forest Green sheer and accent stripes came out.  He had the most incredible vision for this boat.  The stripe will set her apart from her sisters and leave no doubt who she is when seen from the water.  I thought I wanted dark blue, but Tom felt it would always look black in most light situations.  The man was right on target!

So the cleaning is under way, the wrappings have been removed and machinery is being tested.  She is being readied for her trip home at the end of the week.  These pictures are really the first of the galley as it looks today.  What a knockout!
I can't tell you how long I've dreamed of a cherry kitchen with dark green granite counters!  Since the cabinets in the old house were so ridiculously expensive, we didn't change them when we did the kitchen for the second time.  I'm delighted with the open sweep of counter that allows a clear view of this gorgeous space while allowing for bar stools on the salon side for quick breakfasts or list-making.  The wine fridge is handily located - and large enough to limit trips to the wine store to once a week (LOL).  The faucet mentioned already is a perfect accent.

This galley would inspire even the most hardened non-chef to pick up a whisk and bowl.  I'm going to spring for a set of All Clad pots and pans.  How could I introduce anything else into this hallowed space, I ask you?  I'm happy I got to see this up close picture of the galley, so that when I head to Stuart, I won't have much of an issue selecting the tiles for the back splash behin the stove.  I can even envision my Waterford horse and dolphin twinkling in the glass-fronted cabinets!

Instead of a trash compacter (which nearly everyone I asked about it said NO, don't get one), I opted for the rolling cabinet housing 2 very generous recycling bins.  I had these on Serenity and really liked them.  I asked for an additional pull to be built into this door since I sometimes had trouble opening it and had to actually use 2 hands to open it.  Same with the big bottom drawer in one of the cabinets. When it was full (of plates, etc. in this case), it was very difficult to pull open.  The dishwasher will be a welcome "assistant" for big parties, but probably not used much when it's just me on the boat.

Can you appreciate the way the granite forms the most graceful curve at what could have been an awkward juncture?  This look was accomplished via a Sunday morning call from Tom B. as I was driving to the barn.  The astute granite installer foresaw a less than desirable situation about to occur with the half bullnose edge I had chosen.  It took me all of 5 seconds to agree with what Tom B. was telling me and agree to go with a full bullnose edge.  So glad I did!

One more interesting view from the galley.  Having an unobstructed view is priceless.  Even the walls are gorgeous to look at!

When I first saw this picture, I thought of the line, " a face that launched a thousand ships".  Holy cow is this incredibly gorgeous or what?!  The staircase never fails to elicit an exclamation from me - and anyone else who sees it for the first time.  I'm planning to put something striking on the cabinet we're looking at dead on - between the steps and starboard side - piece of sculpture, spray of flowers, etc.  I'll let it speak to me for awhile, cause whatever goes there will have to be fabulous.

Another picture of those steps that are art!
I'm also delighted with the placement of the electronics cabinet next to the steps.  This cabinet's placement - actually it's very existence - was the first decision I had to make when I decided to go ahead with the boat build.  I was feeling very overwhelmed, scared, shaky and in over my head.  Clearly, the KKY folks talked me off the ledge and guided me through every decision with patience and understanding.  Remember what I said about those plan views?   I needed Tylenol every time we discussed them!  Guess I understood them better than I thought!

The cozy salon just adds to the charm of the galley - and that's it in its unfurnished state - the cushions aren't even in place yet!
Another decision I'm happy with is the hi-lo table I insisted on (not pictured yet), even when Tom B. told me they had to first find another manufacturer, then run that past the yard, then find a way to make everything work.  My comment to that was, "and your point is?"......  The table will look absolutely perfect in this environment.  The stainless pedestal table just wouldn't have looked right.  My Persian rug will be the perfect centerpiece that ties everything in together.

Picture snuggling up with a good book (and glass of Malbec) during a thunderstorm in this corner...

So folks, I think you will agree that just from these few pictures, the KKY folks have outdone themselves yet again with a new design that incorporates owner suggestions and brilliant vision.
I couldn't be happier.

Next post will be the engine room - and as before, very little commentary.   At least everything is unwrapped, so we can see what's what.  As I looked at the most recent batch of pictures, I found myself cocking my head to 1 side, as if that would make the machinery more understandable (didn't help).  Boy, do I have a list of questions when I see Tom B. in Stuart.  Listen, I have to start at the beginning, so the time is now.

Stay tuned for more pictures.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

THE most incredible pictures!

Tomorrow I'll start posting the pictures Tom B. sent from Taiwan.

 I will tell you this - the galley and staircase are beyond my wildest expectations!  Show stoppers!  Poetry in motion!  Eye candy!  Art!  Beauty!  The galley looks like something out of a fine home design publication - Architectural Digest comes to mind.  These craftsman have accomplished what not many other boat builders could even attempt.

Unfortunately, we had a huge hiring event in our office today, so amid the pandemonium, there was not even one second to gawk over the pictures after the first quick look.  I'll forward them to this laptop tomorrow and get them posted for your viewing delight.

I know you will find the slight wait more than worthwhile.

I am out of my mind delighted, thrilled, ecstatic, over the moon....and every other superlative word indicating extreme happiness that you can think of.

Stay tuned my beloved readers.  As they say, "the best is yet to come".

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

One Step Closer to Home

True to his word, Tom B. no sooner arrived at the yard and took some pretty awesome pictures of the new girl on the block.  I started today with the 3 pictures that will soon follow - can anyone ask for a better way to begin a day????!!!!!!!

Tom B. even apologized for not getting any other pictures.  There were so many people on the boat going through the final stages of finishing touches, testing equipment (don't forget those engines), etc. that Tom B. promised to take the interior pictures once the crew took a lunch break.  Considering the time difference, those pictures should be here tomorrow.  Since we all know Thursday is golf day (and the weather promises to cooperate), I may have to divide the pictures into 2 postings if it gets too late to do a good job for you.

So without further yakking, here are the 3 exterior pictures Tom sent this morning.  You can see that great and incredible progress has been made - she has been moved outside (which translates into 1 step closer to the US-bound freighter) and really is no longer a caterpillar but a gorgeous butterfly in all her glory!

                                                             Here she is!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is our first real look at the new babe sporting her Forest Green sheer and accent stripes.  As mentioned before, the color was my Tom's choice, so there was no decision to be made here.  It looks fantastic, yes?  We decided on green vs. dark blue since the dark blue shade offered can appear black in certain light situations.  This is the same color green that was the interior of our 1950 Jaguar XK 120 when we were first married.  I'm amazed at her proportions - look at the person in the left corner working on her!

Good shot of her starboard side.  You can see the enclosed boat deck, the easy-to-enter boarding gate that is level with the dock and the generous cockpit and transom areas.  The new boats no longer have "arms" connecting the swim platform to the boat, a much cleaner look.  The swim platform staples will be installed stateside.  Even though they were an additional cost, I think crawling onto the swim platform from the dinghy on my belly is in my past.  You can also glimpse the imposing Portuguese bridge from which I can dock and maneuver the boat.  There is also easy access to the bow from the Portuguese bridge, a definite plus in anchoring situations.  There are 2 huge storage lockers on the bow which I will cover with cushions for an additional sun worshiping location.  Tom called them "princess cushions".

Picture taken from a few more steps back.  Again notice the workers - they look so tiny next to her!  The cockpit is so spacious - I'm envisioning the beautiful outdoor furniture I will put there.  On this boat, the ladder to the boat deck (to port) is practically flush with the aft bulkhead, so doesn't take up any room.  Also, the widebody design requires no space left for a clear walkway, so the furniture can go from side to side.
How nicely the windows are all covered up.  This boat is practically bubble-wrapped for the voyage.  Perfectly fine with me!

I promise to send the next batch of pictures - hopefully we'll all get to see the engine room and new engine room access.  This time, I hopefully will be able to identify the engine room components instead of trying to make intelligent guesses.  No promises here, mind you.

Stand by my loyal readers!  We're all in for a nice treat.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Just saying hi and thanks

While Tom B. is enroute to Taiwan to give my girl a last once-over before she heads for home (don't yet know the freighter's name, but will share when I do), I thought now would be a good time to thank everyone reading this blog.  For what? some of you might be thinking, right?

Well, reading this blog for starters.  I know everyone's time is precious; I'm honored that you would spend some of that precious time with me.  Many of you have left comments.  Those comments simultaneously have brought both tears and smiles.  Your human compassion, generosity of spirit and  expressed friendship have been both a gift and a source of strength for me.  There have been quite a few days when I second guessed this huge step, wondered if I hadn't really lost my mind this time, just plain wondered if I was capable of fulfilling the dream Tom set in motion for us.  When I picture myself at the helm of this incredible boat being built according to our specifications, I really break out into cold sweats.  Luckily, I can stop to read a generous comment and put things in perspective.

As I approach the first anniversary of losing Tom, I can say with pride that Tom was an incredibly wonderful and very generous man.  He was a fabulous dad, husband and granddad.  His vision was limitless; his support of me boundless.  If Tom thought I could do something, then I just set out to do it - and do it well and better than anyone else.  So with that thought ringing in my ears, I embark on my new journey with courage, excitement and the conviction that I will come to handle and know this boat as well as anyone else on the water - and better in some cases.  What makes many of these feelings possible is knowing I have the support and friendship of the Kadey Krogen community - actually the trawler community, judging from your comments.

Thank you all for being there for me.  Hang in there with me - the best is yet to come!

Pictures will come as soon as Tom recovers from jet lag and gets his camera focused.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Pilot house and helm

Sorry, sorry, sorry!  This has been a rather hectic week as I get ready to actually begin to pay for this baby girl soon to be delivered.

Many, many calls with the financial planner, underwriter, KKY and other interested parties.   This week has felt as real as it gets at this point in the build process.  Signing a Certificate of Inspection is an awesome moment, especially since I'm not a seasoned mariner - and certainly not a long-time widow.  Many firsts.  Lest you think I'm crying "woe is me", let me tell you that it really does take a village to do something of this magnitude.  I'm delighted to report that my village is populated by the most loving, caring and supportive "villagers" anyone could ever hope to have in life.  Lucky me.

I did get a chuckle when I asked Tom B. for more exterior pictures and was told that reps from all things that move on the boat were there that day, trying out their respective machinery.  Don't  pout, Tom B. will soon be off to Taiwan to sign off on the boat - holy cow!  There will be many more final pictures of the boat before she is loaded aboard the freighter headed for the US.  I will be like an expectant parent, worrying about my girl as she heads for home, needing to know where she is at every possible moment.

I remember when Serenity was US bound.  I must have checked my computer's SPOT tracker every hour to see where she was.  If an update was late (in my estimation), a call to KKY was next on my agenda, regardless of day of week or time of day (I was reasonable during the wee hours).  Folks, this is a big step for anyone to take, at any point in life.  I feel as if I've climbed mountains during these past 11 months, but my guides have been right there with me, helping me over the boulders and sheer cliff faces.  I'm almost at the top of the mountain - I'm told the view will be nothing less than spectacular!

So here are the last batch of  photos from the yard's last transmission.  If I was there, I would have bugged them mercilessly, but Tom B. has to work with these people, so I did back off a bit.  As mentioned in the previous post, there is only 1 exterior view of the port side, but at least the sheer stripes can be seen.

So here she is in all her glory!  Even though it's only a port side view, the view is still magnificent!  I'm told that by now she has probably been moved outside for the final painting to be done.  In this view, you can see the boat rails I had added to the boat deck.  Just looking at that enclosed space makes me feel more comfortable.  I was recently on a 34' FourWinns.  Though the boat was lovely, the rails all around the boat only reached my knees - made me feel insecure - even while still at the dock!  These railings are the real deal!  You can see the sheer stripes painted in Awlgrip Forest Green - Tom's choice.  This was the one choice I finalized in half a second.  How could that stripe be any other color than the one my Tom chose?  I think the stripe adds tremendous character to my girl.  You will recognize her anywhere now.

Here we get a peek at the portside helm with some of the area that will hold the Garmin screens.  They are at a 30 degree angle to be easily seen without having to lean over the wheel or perform other acrobatics to get a clear view of the gauges and dials.  I'll get a better feel for what will go where while in Stuart.

We're standing in the pilot house looking down the steps to the salon.  I love the way we can see into the salon instead of looking at a wall.  The view eliminates the closed in feeling the previous design provided.  Though it looks like a long flight of steps, in reality it isn't.

Helm waiting for electronics.  You can see the John Deere gauges already in place for the twin engines.  The thought of me standing there piloting my very own boat towards my dream destinations gives me goose bumps the size of golf balls (a very appropriate analogy).  The expanse of windows even in this small glimpse gives the pilot house an open, airy feeling.

All we need are the seats and table and we're ready to enjoy cocktails on a rainy evening.  Looking to port and aft, you can get a feel for the generous sweep of comfy couch that will make this space cozy but spacious.  I asked to add one of those small swing arm lamps that I love in the corner so that anyone sitting there wishing to read will have ample light.  The cabinet to starboard will house a fridge to keep the white wine and snacks chilled to the perfect temperature.  Those aft windows are like having giant rear view mirrors in the pilot house.  One only needs a turn of the head to see what's going on behind.  Besides, they provide natural light.  I eliminated hatches in this space.  On Serenity, we had to wear hats to keep the sun from beating on our heads.  I hated to use the canvas covers we had made to block the light.  They did such a good job blocking the light, that I felt closed in, even on a sunny day.  Besides, the hats wreaked havoc on my hairstyle.

Looking to starboard, you can see the dutch-style door that permits one to open just the top section if the weather and/or conditions preclude opening the entire door.  This feature came in handy when we seatrialed our first boat, For Us.  You can read about this adventure in the earlier 2009 posts.  Conditions were horrific, so the "crew" decided to hunker down with the doors closed.  My stomach decided otherwise; an emergency call for fresh air had everyone springing into action.  There is another door to port providing lovely cross ventilation when both doors are open.   The hand holds in the ceiling (is it called a ceiling on a boat?) extend only far back enough for utility; they stop short of the seating area so that passengers don't bang their heads in "lumpy" weather.  I tell you, these KKY folks thing of pretty much everything!  Because the steps are behind the helm, 2 chart tables can be accommodated, one to port, the other to starboard.  Two helm chairs will be installed stateside.

So that's it for pictures tonight.  Golf was rained out due to the biblical floods of yesterday.  The course first announced carts on paths only, but by this afternoon, conditions were downgraded to walking only.  The course I play on is hard enough to play; walking is virtually impossible.  So, I went to see Tucker and had dinner with the family - excellent sushi and great wine.  Hence, I'm home early enough to get this post in.  Guilt played a big factor I don't mind telling you.

Saturday will be a momentous day for me.  I'm heading to the marina in my old neighborhood where we kept For Us and Serenity.  I was there once before, when I first decided to go ahead with the boat.  It was one of the hardest things I've had to do.  The happy memories of times spent aboard our beloved boats with our adventures waiting in the wings just about paralyzed me - I'm not easily stopped in my tracks.  Due to the desirability of this marina, I  am going to reserve my slip for the summer of 2015 - accomplished with a signed contract and a deposit.  I briefly considered putting my girl in the marina closer to my daughter, but knew I really wanted to be back in the neighborhood I called home for 28 years, with the marina friends made over the 3 years we were there.  So I'm going into D2 East, in the slip next to the one Serenity lived in for 2 seasons.  It's a wide slip with a long broad finger, and great views of the harbor and hills surrounding the harbor.  Great sunsets too.

So think of me on Saturday as I walk alone into the marina office, head held high, with shoulders squared, some tears and a brave smile.  The dream is about to become reality and I'm on board.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Guest and Master Staterooms, Oh My!

Though beautifully crafted and finished, the guest and master staterooms don't give me the same goosebumps that the galley, salon and steps do.  What they do however, is invite me in to curl up with a good book on a rainy day (assuming my "to do" list is under control).  If you've never been aboard a KKY at night, you are in for a treat.  The boat virtually glows in the warmth of the wall sconces and lamps.  The staterooms wrap you in coziness, but with more than enough headroom to seem spacious.

Again, the explanation captions will appear under each photo.

I added this picture so you can really see the window build out for the blinds.  It will be such a sleek and elegant look.  My guests will have absolute privacy and comfort.  You can barely see the top shelf of the desk in the foreground.  Even though I doubt I will use the desk as a traditional desk, it will be the ideal place to fold clothes from the nearby dryer.  A mundane task made more fun just because it's on a boat!

This treatment of the steps to the pilot house is so very clever!  The steps are balanced by the bookshelf over the starboard berth.  The wall sconces will provide ample light for reading in bed.  I'm not sure how deep the 3 cabinets are, but whatever depth they are will be used for something useful.

The master vanity will have a mirror above it and enough drawers to accommodate the captain's togs (more downsizing is in the works for this next move).  The double doors hide a nicely sized hanging locker that really has plenty of room.  The shelf running the length of the locker is deep and holds a ton of stuff.  I love the drawers above the cabinet adjacent to the hanging locker with a top to hold the essentials of a woman captain's life.

The bottom of the bed rises on gas struts to reveal a cavernous space for things such as a full set of golf clubs and clothes for those trips back to New York and other points north in the winter.  Believe me when I tell you those drawers are like nothing you've seen in any bedroom dresser.  One could almost hide a body in there if one was so inclined!  The storage in those drawers is not to be believed!  One great thing about living aboard from what I can fathom is that it eliminates the accumulation of "stuff" that bogs us down while giving us extra work to do to simply maintain the "stuff".  I appreciate the yard's thoughtful gesture of protecting those precious curved corners - I'm not sure other builders would go the extra mile there.

Sorry for jumping around (it's the way the pics saved) but we're back in the guest stateroom looking at the starboard desk.  The bottom drawer actually is designed to hold Pendaflex folders should one need to use them.  Umm, I think the desk might make a nice vanity for applying warpaint and other such necessities.   I love the way everything fits and actually snuggles.

Oh oh, jumped around again, back to the master stateroom - looking at the starboard storage space.  I'm going to treat the windows like I did on Serenity - I put the privacy screens in while in marinas at night and leave them as is while at anchor.  Treating them any other way adds clutter to an otherwise warm, beautiful space.  There is storage galore in here!

Whew, still in the master stateroom!  This is the most forward wall against which the bed rests.  Those cute little lamp arms will wear parchment shades that make the room look like something from Enchanted Nights - is there such a book/movie?, cause I just made that up!   LOL  The space in between the wall lamps will be occupied by the print currently hanging over my bed, which before that, hung over the berth on Serenity.    It was shipped over to me along with Serenity's bedding so that my apartment bedroom would look like Serenity's master.  I did this because I missed Serenity so desperately and wasn't sure whether or not I could handle the building of the new boat.  I needed to be tied into my old life that I loved and was so suddenly separated from - the bedding and print did the trick.  I'll probably have to wait til the boat gets to NY in April to get that print hung.  We'll see though. Patience is definitely not one of my virtues!

Yikes, hold your hat, we're back in the guest stateroom!  The two berths will be dressed in a lovely Sunbrella fabric so they will always look "dressed up" and ready for the inevitable parties aboard.  You'll note that the pilot house access steps don't encroach on the berth to your right.  More storage in deep drawers under those berths folks.  There's enough separation between the beds to allow for a modicum of privacy when guests not attached to each other are aboard.

Yes, we're still in the guest stateroom looking forward at the hanging locker with upper cabinets to your right and the washer/dryer behind the closed louvered doors to your left.  Ample storage with good looks.  Who could ask for more?

More to come folks but I'm calling it a day since the clock just rolled to 1 am and it's been a long day.
I hope you're enjoying the pictures and dialog.  I try to be entertaining and not boring.  Have a great weekend everyone.  I'm hoping for engine room and exterior pictures next week.

Tom couldn't get pics this week since everyone who made something on the boat was aboard testing out their "thing".  John Deere, Northern Lights, ABT Trac stabilizers, the bow thruster folks and several others.  I certainly was not going to disturb them with picture requests.

Tom B. thinks she is outside now for final painting.  If she's not out today, then it's just a matter of hours.  He'll be there next week, so expect some heart-stopping pictures of the outside.

Night night!!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Galley, Salon and Steps!

Now don't tell me you were beginning to lose hope!

  I rushed Wiggles through his grass (I stood with him while he sampled every blade of grass on the property for 40 minutes).  After all my barn rituals which went on for an additional hour and 10 minutes, THEN I did grocery shopping.  By the time I arrived home, it was 9:30.  More work putting groceries away, feeding the cat, pouring a glass of a lovely New Zealand savignon blanc and here I am.
Grueling day at work to boot.

But, there is a silver lining behind every cloud - during a call where I asked many questions about the galley and salon pics, Tom B. again casually mentioned that the boat is scheduled to ship on August 26th.  OMG! OMG! was about all I could manage to squeak out.  There are SO many things to do before that date, my head is spinning.  My new mantra is one day at a time.  If I look at the whole scenario head on, I'm likely to implode.

During some very frustrating work-related phone conversations today, I silently willed the person at the other end of the phone to please "shut up and get on with it" so I can get off the phone and deal with my much more important boat business.  If you happen to need to call me, please be brief, get to the point and know that while we're chatting, I'm looking a pictures of the boat and adding to my already very long "to do" list.

Enough prattling, and who cares anyway, so on to the pictures.  The yard sent about 15 pics of each section of the boat.   Oddly enough, there are no engine room access or even engine room pictures in Tom B.'s most recent batch.  Also disappointing, there is only one port side view of the exterior.  Tom B. already called the yard to rectify this and calm me down.  He assures me I'll have these pictures soon.

Tonight's pictures will center on the galley and salon.  The workmanship is absolutely amazing!  There is complete symmetry, flowing spaces and no sharp angles or edges.  Though I'm not so easy to please, I am totally purring here.

So, here we go.  I'll put the explanation caption under the pictures.  Sometimes saving the pics sent takes a ton of time - I haven't yet figured out why, but some swearing is involved during the process.

We are looking forward into the galley from the salon.  Note the household-size Jenn-Aire double door fridge with freezer drawer below.  The amount of space in this appliance is cavernous, enabling one to see everything at once.  Though Viking no longer makes a 24" stove, KKY selected a comparable, actually more expensive model from Blue Star.  I think it's Blue Star - if not, it's Blue something or other.  Lest you think I'm uncaring about food prep items, I actually did quite a bit of research on this item when Tom B. first mentioned it to me last year.  I had a spice rack built into the cabinet closest to the fridge - it rolls out when the cabinet door is opened.  The microwave-convection oven above the stove is what we had on Serenity - it is huge inside and doubles as a second oven for large crowds.  The lower cabinet between the stove and fridge cleverly opens out against the stove for full access.
You'll notice a rough area behind the stove - that's where I'm installing tumbled stone in a diamond-shaped pattern (I think) in a natural color, perhaps with a decorative tile or three in the center or creating a pattern. The thought of trying to maintain the standard stainless back splash kept me awake at night.
As mentioned in an earlier blog, I elected to forgo the standard white formica in the galley and continue with the cherry I so adore.  It's a lovely, warm look - no sudden breaks in color or texture for this girl!

Isn't this the most lovely picture of the salon???? We're looking aft to starboard as if standing in the galley.  The staircase creates the most beautiful focal point.  Instead of just having a cabinet on the aft bulkhead, I asked for a bookcase to be added.  This bookcase on the older 55s, was located adjacent to where the steps now are.  I have lots of books, even after downsizing - and I love the way books add warmth and personalization to a room.  Books plus a few interesting pieces secured with Museum Putty, and I'm happy.  The space in between the steps and aft bookcase/cabinet will be occupied by comfy leather club chairs, maybe even the same as I had on Serenity.  I'll get a feel for the space first.
I'm not sure if you noticed, but there are cherry frames built out of the windows.  I'm planning on taped wooden blinds, at least 1" wide, or however wide I have room for.  I've always admired this custom look on the mega yachts whose sites I visited.  The blinds actually sit behind and within the built out frame, so the look is smooth and elegant, with nothing flapping or banging around the windows.  This same treatment has been applied throughout the boat.  I must admit this decision was arrived out with a lot of back of forth between my Tom and I.  It wasn't cheap, so he kept asking if I really needed to have this.  My reply?  Simple - "yes, I really, really MUST have it".  The rest is history.

We're now standing a bit to starboard looking into the galley - the staircase is to our right.  You can see where I had the counter sweep into the salon to accommodate 2 bar stools for casual dining or drinks when outside isn't an option.  Adjacent to the port side counter is the big wine fridge.  Believe me when I tell you friends - there will not be one open slot in this wine fridge.  I've already made a list of the must-have wines that will "live" here.  If you continue looking to port and now towards aft, you'll see the open spot in the port cabinet for the TV lift and TV when not in the up position (which will be the majority of the time unless crew is aboard).  I love the idea of the one level counter top.  I am painfully neat, so there is no need to have to hide "clutter" with a raised portion of the counter.  The arched faucet (with sprayer built into the faucet itself) will make filling huge pots of water for pasta and/or lobster feasts a breeze.  There will be only 1 deep stainless sink.  I found that the 2nd sink was always too small to be of real use and justify losing even a foot of counter space.

We're looking at the counter to port which accommodates a 2 door cabinet,  3 huge drawers and 2 smaller drawers.  I had these drawers on Serenity and stored my dishes in the middle drawer, pots and pans in the lower drawer and I don't remember what in the top drawer.  Way better than trying to hoist dishes into a top cabinet on tiptoe or on a wobbly stool.  The bottom drawers have 2 inset pulls installed in addition to the pull lock to make them easier to pull out when filled.  I always had trouble on Serenity and actually had to use 2 hands to pull out that bottom drawer.  You can appreciate the window build out here.  The odd-shaped window will appear perfectly square, just like all the other windows in this area.  See how warm the cherry looks in the galley?

This pic is self-explanatory - salon to port, looking aft.  You can see the wire hanging in the aft bulkhead wall for the swing arm lamp I want there.  This lamp will eliminate the need for at least one lamp - one less item to "lay down" before getting underway.  By the way, the lamp will actually be resting on the back of the steps leading up to the boat deck.  You can see the TV space from a different angle.  Enough room for the 46" Samsung Smart TV.  The settee dressed in a soft, neutral leather with colorful but tasteful pillows, will dress this space very nicely.  The hi-lo movable table will go in the space created by the settee's L shape.

This picture takes my breath away!   The symmetry and graceful sweep of steps and handrail is a work of art!  The cabinet you can see adjacent to the steps is where the electronics will go.  Very clever.  Now there will be no need to move furniture away from a cabinet to gain access.  It's all at eye level and couldn't be more convenient.  Note the way the floor of the pilot house forms a smooth sort of circle at the top of the steps!  The ability to "see through" the steps creates a spacious and airy feeling.  I am so thrilled!

Another fantastic photo shows the cleverly designed use of space for access to storage in several steps.  That curved door in the sweep of the base of the steps is actually storage.  Granted I can't store a Christmas tree in there, but I'm sure I will come up with the perfect item to "hide" there.  The cabinet to starboard houses an air handler in the bottom cabinet but there is storage on an upper shelf.  That little alcove will be the perfect place to display a beautiful spray of fresh or silk flowers or something equally elegant.  What an incredibly clever and lovely use of space!

This is a great shot of the sink area, dishwasher and cabinet housing the 2 roll out garbage/recycling bins.  Those bins are the best thing since sliced bread.  They eliminate the need for a garbage pail in its usual place under the sink, allows one to separate garbage from what the marina wants recycled and does it in a big way.  No need to always carry a gift of garbage to the trash every time one steps off the boat!  We had them on Serenity - I can't believe how I can wax poetic about garbage bins for Pete's sake.  Suffice it to say, they are a great invention!

Well folks that's it for the galley and salon photos.  It's heading towards 1 am and I still have a few things to do before calling it a day - wait, we're in a new day already, so my list just got longer!  There will be separate posts of the master and guest staterooms, heads and pilot house and one exterior view pic.  I don't think I can handle more than one of these marathon sessions anyway, at least not getting started until after 11 pm.  Golf and a graduation party tomorrow night, so not sure if I'll get to the blog.  Please understand if I don't make it.

Hope you enjoyed the picture show!