A boatyard surprise from the Maritime Museum of San Diego

I like boatyards.  Every boat is there for a reason and it means someone cares enough to spend the money to get that boat fixed, repaired or upgraded.  There’s no two ways about it,,,,you never know what you might find in a boatyard.  Friday (Veterans Day) I was fortunate enough to spend a couple of hours in a great boatyard in National City, California.  This one was an actual working boatyard but you could easily look at it and also say it was a shipyard,,,,,cause it also had ships in it.  As I was wondering around,  looking for the free food that the boatyard generously offered us for lunch, I came upon a piece of wooden nautical history, out of the water and showing off her fine lines for everyone to admire.

This is an original wooden pilot-boat from the Maritime Museum of San Diego getting recaulked and renewed inside the giant hangar at the shipyard.  Five minutes after shooting this pic, I was tucked into a fresh subway sandwich that the yard had offered and we took them up on.  See the link below for some of the other ships that you can see at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. https://livefree2sailfast.com/2017/01/16/nautical-weekend-in-san-diego/

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A minute in paradise- “BVI is Back” Video

I couldn’t help but share this as I cracked a huge smile watching it.  I got this from my friends at VISailing.com  These guys run a charter broker business in Florida which essentially finds you the best charters anywhere you want to go and handles all the paperwork and hassles for you.  And,,,,you don’t pay them anything, the charter companies take care of that.  Anyways, in the beginning of this winter, take the time to check out this short video from the BVI, about the BVI,,,,,they’re open for business!

And, if you get motivated or inspired to help out in some way, go to the website below and get your very own ,,,,,very cool shirt-

All work and no play?

Last weekend me and hot wife were invited to a fancy wine dinner.  I’m a humble sailor and basically a country boy at heart,,,,so when we arrived and figured out just how fancy this dinner was, I felt like a “hick from the sticks”.  Needless to say, there wasn’t a beer anywhere and it turned out to be a wine-paired dinner.   By the end, I was channeling Martha Stewart.  Check out the photos:

Champagne with real gold flecks in it,,,,upon arrival

Fancy Finger Food Plate

Uhhhh, what fork do I use?

Is this expensive stained glass?

We were invited to a fancy dinner party over the weekend and at this nice fancy house, I was blown away by their expensive stained glass.

So now I’ll put it to you,,,,is this expensive stained glass?  This photo is unedited, taken with my iPhone-

A simple yes or no will do,,,,or an explanation if you think it isn’t!

Piercing’s and Tattoo’s,,,,Tis the Season

Local Piercing and Tattoo Shop Recommendations-

My daughter recently turned 8, so we took her to get her first earrings and piercing.  Great experience at a pro shop.  Knowing that the 18-year old with the piercing gun at the local mall shop wasn’t my favorite choice, we went to a local shop in San Diego that does lots of piercing and tattooing,,,,and were not disappointed.  Professional, clean and friendly, I’d go back.  SD Tattoo in San Diego,,,,check them out for yourself and if you need to be pierced, see Doctor Kev!


Now like most of you, there’s more to me than meets the eye.  I recently added more ink; but went with a recommendation I received awhile back from a friend and decided to have an artist who specialized in black and white help me with my new ink.  I was glad I did, as it turned out really good.  Nick from Black Filigree Tattoo in San Marcos did excellent work at a good price.  This place has a great website,,but you realize all the hype ends at the door, cause you better come to be tattooed,,,as that’s what they do!  The shop was clean, smelled good and Nick is good at what he does.  The linework on my new ink is crisp and clean (I like that) and it’s simple black.  I don’t have too much ink but I’m a decent judge of it,,,,and this shop rocked.  I would go back for another tattoo here.

We’re working on selling our house and upgrading the living conditions on the boat,,,,more about that coming up. Stick with us-

From WindTraveler- One Family’s Thoughts on Life after Irma

This family had most of their material possessions destroyed by Irma in the BVI’s along with their business, which was four charter catamarans that they ran a growing day charter business on.  My heart goes out to them because they were raising their children on the sailboat they used to live on (she sank during Irma) and have the moxy to start their own business doing what they love.  I wanted to share this story bad enough that I actually cut and pasted it into here and I know it would be ok with them since it needs to be told and needs to be read.  The BVI’s and Puerto Rico are still in a bad way and need all the support they can get.

Life After Irma

Posted: 02 Oct 2017 09:24 AM PDT

Life goes on. This is the most comforting, and yet hardest aspect to grasp post Irma. I walked through Target the other day, meandering the aisles and taking stock of the obscene amount of stuff filling every shelf (some of which I admittedly put in my cart). I could not stop thinking of my friends  and fellow islanders on St. Maarten, BVI, USVI, Domenica and Puerto Rico who wait for hours and hours to get basic staples, who walk for miles to charge their devices and attempt to connect with loved ones…who’s lives have taken on a completely different purpose and weight, and for whom basic survival is a daily game. What would they think of this Target trip, I wondered? These are people for whom a roof, a shower and a flushing toilet are luxuries. Target? What a joke. But life goes on…

There are two camps of people who have emerged from this storm; those who lived through the horror of it (and by almost all accounts, it was absolutely terrifying) and those of us who are residents and watched from afar as the horror unfolded. The experiences for each – both pre and post storm – are different, but the end result is the same: Every single one of our lives have been changed forever. Many of us lost our homes and most all of our worldly belongings. Many of us lost jobs and businesses. Not a single one of us came out unscathed. An entire geographic area’s inhabitants (not to mention our islands) are permanently scarred from #irmaria and while each of our scars are unique, they are there. The side-effects of the trauma of an entire life completely turned upside down are vast. And we will all feel the after-shocks of Hurricane Irma for a very, very long time.

As most of you know, we are in the Chicagoland area where we plan to stay for the time being. And – despite the unfortunate circumstances – it’s wonderful here. We are surrounded by amazing family (Mom, you are the best! Thank you for everything!) and have many friends – new and old – nearby. Isla is enrolled in kindergarten and I walk her to school hand in hand every day as leaves crunch under our feet while we chit-chat. She has fit in seamlessly and absolutely loves it and all her new friends, who come running up to her to envelop her in hugs as we arrive at the school doors. Haven and Mira attend a little pre-school two mornings a week where they play and paint and they too love it. Not a single morning has been met with tears or protests of not going. They are adaptable and social children and we are very proud and grateful for that. They are all in dance class twice a week and swim class on Mondays…and, honestly, are as happy as ever. They miss our boat, they ask after their island friends daily and are excited to go back and rebuild (“We are gonna bring food and water to Nanny Cay momma!” they say. The lack of food and water immediately after the storm is something they really clung to). As much as we want to go back and try to rebuild our life and business on Tortola, the time is not now. We need to assure it’s safe and that schools are running, and we need to prepare our girls for what will be a very different – albeit interesting – life when we return (we are up for the adventure and challenge). In the meantime, life needs to continue while we make a plan moving forward. To anyone that sees us out and about on the streets here, we are just another suburban family living our life. But there is so much more below the surface. It’s strange to think about and I am now hyper aware that everyone has a story. How many people do I mindlessly walk past in the grocery store are deep in pain; maybe they are going through a divorce, lost a loved one, suffer depression, or battle addiction…we just never know. This experience has really driven this fact home for me: that life goes on as normal for the people around us even though our lives will never be the same.

As someone who studied theater most of her life and errs toward positive-thinking I can very easily put on a happy face out and about, but the pain of uncertainty, the sting of losing our beloved home and the general feeling of being untethered is always there. I have strange dreams every night. One in which our boat was lifted from the depths of the harbor, in perfect condition and ready to sail again. Another I was making my way across post-apocolyptic Tortola on foot trying desperately to get back to Nanny Cay. The storm and it’s effects on us are etched deep within our psyches, obviously. Keeping busy helps, and the kids are great at keeping us busy. Helping where we can is also a boon to the pain. Our fundraising efforts have blown us away and we have all of you to thank for that. At the time of this post we have raised over $160K for relief and rebuilding efforts in the British Virgin Islands. To think that our first “goal” was $10K might illustrate our shock at this large number. Our friends, family and online community is huge and generous and we thank every single one of you. We have spent about $80K so far on tarps, generators and chainsaws and are going to be working closely with other organizations who are on the ground in the BVI to make sure our money goes where it’s most needed. This is easier said than done (File this under: lessons learned in disaster relief), which is why it is taking some time, but every penny will get into hands of people and organizations on the ground working to rebuild our beautiful island. If you have not donated and feel the urge to do so, you can here: >>>BVI IMMEDIATE RELIEF FUND<<<.

IN OTHER NEWS: we have been invited to the Annapolis Boat Show next weekend by a couple of very generous souls (Thank you SO MUCH Jeff and Cam Bach!) We are SO excited about this and while it didn’t seem like we could make it at first, I felt this deep “need” – almost a calling of sorts – to go, and my gut was telling me it was important… So we have made it happen. We will be joining many blog and vlog friends there; some of whom we already know and love, some of whom we have never yet met in person. I might be speaking on a Cruising World Panel about ways sailors can help and what to expect sailing south. Check in with our Facebook Page for updates on where we will be and when. It will be a very busy weekend for sure but we’d love to meet as many of you as we can… Scott and I, along with others, will be at the BVI Tourism booth selling our #BVISTRONG shirts and all proceeds will be going to the >>>VISAR BVI RELIEF FUND<<<. If you won’t be at the show and want to sport some #BVISTRONG gear yourself, you can get tee shirts (men, women, toddler and kids styles available), baby onesies, hoodies and trucker hats >>>HERE<<<. Huge shout out to the awesome folks behind >>> Tight Little Tribe<<< and >>>Remember the Adventure<<< for working with me on this and making it happen so fast. We have raised thousands for VISAR with this initiative while also sporting our pride! Please give them some love. I also want to give a strong shout out to the group >>>Sailors Helping<<<. Aside from housing their newly appointed executive director (and PR evacuee turned pseudo family member and friend) Diana Margarita, we are ambassadors for their great effort as well and if you are a sailor who wants to help – please check them out. This is also great place to donate to if you have no specific affiliation with a particular island and just want to help. They have big plans for long term efforts, and we are excited to be working with them.

I cannot say it enough: the community and solidarity that has emerged from these storms is AMAZING. The other day I wrote that “as my heart breaks, it fills” because the kindness of both strangers and friends and the many people who are stepping up to the plate are astounding. The coming together of people from all different walks of life is humbling and shows me that there is hope in this crazy world. We are shining with silver linings these days, and seeing the positive that has come out of this disaster is a lesson in humanity that I am honored to experience. We cannot thank you all enough…Those of you who have reached out to us – your kindness will not be forgotten.

So life is going on. We are grateful, we are lucky and we are okay. The challenge of moving forward from this storm is a big one, but we are up for it. We are not waving the white flag and – while there are definitely days we feel very defeated and completely lost, and there are moments when I completely break down – we have every intention to emerge from this stronger than before.

I want to go to the BVI in the spring,,,and would love it if the WindTraveler Crew was back there and working on their business again.  If YOU had planned to go to the Caribbean after Christmas,,,,GO.  The best thing you could do to the Caribbean is to get your tourist money back into the economy and allow them to continue to rebuild.  Most of the islands survive on some form of tourist money,,so help them out and continue to plan your trips.

Captain Jill speaks: The Jones Act vs Puerto Rico

Captain Jills Journey’s is one of my favorite blogs because it’s obvious she’s a professional mariner and I’m working on my Captain’s License (still) and she’s a no-nonsense writer who’s funny and honest and hardworking.  Like her, I don’t often stray too far into politics but am very aware of the all the hoopla surrounding the Jones Act on the news.  The facts are easy,,,,,,shipping is getting from the US to Puerto Rico.  Once on the ground,,,,,most of the stuff gets hung up because they need some professional logisticians and a team of very large teamsters to get things to move right (my opinion only,,,,,not Captain Jills).  So if you want a good read that’s not fake news and is probably the whole truth,,,,,check out her story about the Jones Act below:

Source: Jones Act vs Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico by a daughter of the island

Good luck reading this without a tear and some empathy.  It’s worth the read just for the poetry and prose, as well as the hard truths.  This is Pressed but I think it’s important enough that I wanted to share it-  please continue to share as you see fit.

Source: Puerto Rico

Top Gun Heritage at Miramar O-Club

Me and Hot Wife attended a function at the Miramar O-Club, where they guard the Top Gun heritage and traditions of Miramar Air Station.

When the US Navy owned the Miramar Air Station, they ran the Naval Fighter Weapons School out of the base, called Top Gun to the rest of us.  Then that little movie came out in the 80’s that made most of us want to become fighter pilots.  Sometime in the early 90’s, the Navy transferred the base to the USMC and moved the Naval Fighter Weapons School to Fallon, Nevada.  But the Miramar O-Club has continued to guard the heritage and some of the history of the era, in one of the more exclusive smaller bars within.  + I believe the actual O-Club pool was featured in the movie, during the ending graduation scene around the pool deck outside the back of the club.  Although the Navy is long gone from the base, it’s still a USMC Air Station, where the Marine Corps keeps planes and helicopters of all sorts and maintains a very comprehensive museum of historical Marine Corps aircraft.  One of the highlights is Saddam Hussein’s actual real personal helicopter.   If you get a chance anyone can visit the museum and it’s a worthy thing to see.

Here’s some pics of the inner sanctum of the Miramar O-Club and some of the tradition within:

It was a fun night at a civilian retirement function at the club and great to see all this tradition from Miramar of the past.  What a great date night with grandparents babysitting and the kids safely on the boat.  Our boat is safe and perfect for kids and the family and all fixed up.

 

The Large Man and the Tiny Pussy

I had the occasion to meet the large man with the tiny pussy last night, at Little Miss Brewing in San Diego.

After a function in the area, we decided to sample some of the new flavors coming out from Little Miss Brewing in Miramar, Ca.   What a great surprise to walk in and immediately find the LF2SF Sticker, right on the entry wall.

Then while we quaffed some tasty suds, we took a look around, loving the atmosphere, take a look at these photos:

The best part of the night,,,,was the big man and the tiny pussy.  The brewery has two tiny kittens they’re raising to be brewery cats, and every half and hour or so the bartender would check on them and give them a cuddle.  Here he is with his tiny pussy:

If you’re ever in Miramar, Ca and like a great beer, come check out Little Miss Brewing Company.  It’s a cool location that you have to want to find, a bit like a speakeasy in the back of an industrial area.  The folks are friendly and welcoming and they have no problems with kids as long as they’re semi-controlled.

I have no financial interest in this company and in fact have given my finances to them in the form of payment for pints.  But I am totally thrilled the LF2SF Sticker was on the wall and I’ll continue to check them out.