New York to Maine to New York

I have realized that I would make a terrible journalist. On-the-spot reporting and real-time updates are not my strong suits. It takes a while — sometimes a good, long while — to be able to process things in a way that makes sense. I need perspective to avoid crazy rants or meaningless drivel. I say this as a preface to my apology, dear readers, for keeping you in the dark for so long.

We did/learned/saw/experienced so much this summer but I’ve needed perspective to be able to put it together with coherency. I’m not sure how successful I was.


Here is the short version of our story: we left New York in April, got a lot of (expensive) boat work done in Massachusetts, sailed North in July, ran out of money, and limped our way back to New York at the end of September where I am working at a freelance job and Peter is working on the boat.



Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? We did have a fantastic amount of fun along the way. We got to be lazy and relaxed: making sure to sleep in on Monday mornings, not sticking to a schedule, going were we wanted to go, seeing amazing places, living off the land, looking at the stars every night…

“Summer” weather

Porpoises off our bow.

We also had not-fun times: hiking nine miles to buy cat litter because we couldn’t afford a taxi, running out of booze early on in our adventures, running out of food, being down to our last few dollars, spending our last few dollars on cat food instead of people food…

Trying to keep it fun.

One of the many times Peter went up the mast.

But we did it. We sailed and we survived. We experienced both triumph and defeat. We learned a lot and realized we are idiots. We received help without asking and learned to ask for help when we truly needed it. We were bouyed by the value of true friendship and are grateful for the many kindnesses that were shown to us. We tried to find the humor in the challenges and didn’t let each other fall into despair during the dark times. We became better sailors, a better team, and better partners. We now know so much more about ourselves, about our needs, about what’s important to us as individuals and as a couple. We wouldn’t trade the experiences we had for anything but we certainly wouldn’t willingly recreate them.

Sitting on the bow pulpit.
Sunsets are always free.

For the past week we have been living in the lap of luxury (which is to say that we have wifi, electricity, water to fill our tanks just a few feet away, and a dock that we can just step on to directly from the boat). Perspective.

Dinner and the last of our drink.


We will continue to put videos on YouTube. There was a tremendous amount that happened during this trip and it’s just too much to write about all of it. Videos will come more quickly now. (Our luxuries include electricity so I can plug in the computer instead of charging it with the engine/solar panels and only being able to work until the battery is dead. We also have the luxury of wifi so a video can be uploaded in a few minutes instead of trying to find wifi for free and waiting for 6 hours for the file to upload.)

My Captain brave.
Our 20th anniversary dinner while sailing offshore.

Our initial plan was to leave New York around now, heading South to warm climates, sandy beaches, and drinks with little straw hats. However, it’s cold, the sailing is rough, and we still can’t afford to buy drinks — whether hatless or not. We abandoned the Leave In November plan for the It’s Nice To Be Warm And Comfortable plan. We have paid for this slip in our old Marina until mid-April – it was more economical to do that than to pay by the month.


So what’s next? We want to continue our adventures but really like being able to go to the grocery store if we run out of butter. Right now the trauma is too recent to laugh off and our memories of discomfort have not been softened by the passage of time. Who knows what will happen in five months. Perhaps our third New York winter will drive us into the arms of the Caribbean. Perhaps I will become a journalist.

Leaving Great Chebeague Island in foggy Maine.

Episode 3 and Four lessons in four months of Cruising

Episode 3 is finally uploaded! Hooray! Internet is hard to come by…


It has been roughly four months since we untied the dock lines in Jersey City and set out for adventures and parts unknown.

I will say, at the outset, that there have been no boring days. Each day has presented challenges and opportunities to learn; all lessons have been valuable and have contributed to our overall experience.

Continue reading “Episode 3 and Four lessons in four months of Cruising”

From NJ to MA

We took 6 days to go from our marina in Jersey City, NJ to Fairhaven, MA. We could have done it more quickly but we were in a combination of vacation mode and ohcrapwecantbelieveweareactuallydoingthis mode. So, with that in mind, here is a recap of our trip:

Day 1: Jersey City to Oyster Bay, NY.

We didn’t sail at all as the little wind we had was almost completely on the nose the entire day. It was beautiful and sunshiny otherwise. The kitties settled down-ish once we were underway. Lola goes to sleep in whatever small, protected place she can find. Winston comes into the cockpit, yells at us, and usually settles down on my lap.

Continue reading “From NJ to MA”

Boats and Mermaids!

When I was a little boy, my days after school were spent out on my grandparents farm.  It was a magical place, complete with an old dirty barn and acres of pasture.  As most boys would, I spent a great deal of my time in the old barn rifling through all of the farm implements, scrap wood and wire, tools… My grandfather was a tool guy.  He had a tool for most things and another tool for everything else.

Grandma and Grandpa Reed!

Much of this stuff had been collected for many years and really showed its age.  Imagine hand drills and old rusty saws, mixed in with brand new gig saws, electric saws, and an old table saw…(The only tool I wasn’t allowed to touch…Think severed appendages…)  Now the reason I was always messing around in the barn was in order to build things with all of the wonderful scrap wood I could find there.  And what did I build, you might ask?  Boats. I always built boats. 

The farm had three pastures of cattle grazing land and meandering through all three was an irrigation ditch.  I spent hours of my youth on that ditch… Wading, basking, and floating boats.  I built various types of boats: Long and fast, round and maneuverable, and ornately styled ones (that usually sank like rocks.) 

My parents helped a lot.  They sent me on a  fantastic sailing adventure in the San Juan Islands not once, but twice!  ( I absolutely loved it.


We vacationed on Orcas Island where I got my first taste of the helm!

Notice the steely eye’d concentration and proper use of a PFD!

 This boat building continued for most of my youth… stopping sometime before I discovered cars and girls… but I never really got them out of my head.

Fast forward to 2014.  I’m a relatively successful airline pilot enjoying living in Manhattan.  I spend my days flying airplanes and enjoying all of the delights The City has to offer. 

Day job…

I’m in my 18th year of marriage now and suddenly out of the blue my beautiful bride says something to the effect of: We should buy and boat and live on it.

BANG!  Full stop.

Suddenly all of the love of boats comes flooding back.  I was dumbstruck.  I think I mumbled something lame like: That sounds like fun.  I’m not sure If I fully believed her.  Moving out of our awesome NYC pad had literally not been in the cards 30 seconds prior to this statement.  But she was serious. 

That brings me to why I think I’m married to the best girl in the world:

Debby is fond of telling me that I’ve always had the sea in my blood.  She, of course, is right. (lesson one for all newly wedded men.)  I just never realized how much it was in her blood. We’ve been married long enough to be at that finish the other’s thought point.  I feel like we are one person some days.  She knows everything about me, good and bad, and she still likes me!  I for my part can’t believe how lucky I am to have her! I have found that illusive mythical sea creature… That mermaid of lore… I have found a wife that genuinely and passionately enjoys sailing and living aboard a boat!

When d and I moved aboard, (selling most of 20 years worth of possessions) and took on this totally new lifestyle, she didn’t even blink.  Give up our amazing NYC apartment…  No problem she said,  “It was my idea!”  When we had huge issues with the initial purchase and pre-launch refit, she hammered through it like a trooper.  All of the cleaning, scraping, chipping.  The lack of hot water. No toilet while I fixed ours… Everything was accomplished without a complaint, and with complete solidarity with me.  Not only is she mentally on board, but I literally couldn’t have accomplished most of my repair work without her.  From the beginning we have attacked this move with the belief that she should be able to do anything I can do.  She is fully committed to this process.  She is learning to drive and land the boat.  She is learning all of the sails, lines and rigging.  She will be a fully qualified Captain…err, Commodore!  Her touch is everywhere aboard Devilfish.  Her focus on this life is complete.   

Debby has been asking me to write a blog post for some time… sorry for taking so long darling.  May this be the first of many… assuming you all want to hear my thoughts in the future.

Happy Valentines Day love!  May our adventures never end!

There’s something about a boat…

In the two months since we moved aboard time has both sped up and slowed down.

We no longer are counting back to our move-in date worrying about what an imposition we are being to whomever we are living with.  Instead we are counting back to our move-in date and wondering where the days have gone.  Summer is over and Fall is here.  We have spent nearly every evening in our cockpit: watching the sunset, looking out over the lights of lower Manhattan and enjoying our zillion dollar view.  Really and truly living our dream.

Continue reading “There’s something about a boat…”