Monday, June 29, 2015


If you are here to dream a little dream of sailing, then I'm here to help! That is, after all, how my dream came to life:

Imagine :: Visualize :: Realize

This blog started with our launch, October 24, 2010, and sails along with us for three years. Since this is a blog, the sailing posts are scattered a bit willy nilly -- and in reverse order, so I've gathered them here in chronological order, starting with that hyper-emotional day we finally untied the lines, a day I had dreamed of a bagillion times.

And if you're interested in how we arranged our lives to go sailing, there's a whole other blog for that, called ploddingTOparadise

SAILING AWAY: Year One, Phase One

Down the ICW, Manteo NC to Miami FL

DAY ONE: Our New World | Manteo NC to Engelhard NC | October 24, 2010
This morning we left Manteo on four hours of sleep, nervous, fidgety and lacking faith in ourselves and the GPS. Chip and the GPS performed flawlessly. I sat on the life jackets and wept.

Engelhard NC to Beaufort SC
After breaking those final land ties, we struggled to find our new footing. The unrelenting demands of life underway were harder and more exhilarating than we had imagined.

Momentum | Engelhard NC to Oriental NC | October 25, 2010
People on the Edge | Oriental NC | October 26, 2010
Weather or Not | to Beaufort NC | October 27, 2010
Changing Rhythm | Beaufort NC | October 28, 2010
Cara Mia: Population 2  | Beaufort NC | October 28, 2010 | More in my column
Pleasant Surprises | to Swansboro NC | October 30, 2010
Get There When I Get There | to Wrightsville Beach NC | October 31, 2010 | More in my column
A Sense of Belonging | to Carolina Beach NC | November 1, 2010
Open Water | to Southport NC | November 2, 2010
A Close Shave | to North Myrtle Beach SC | November 3, 2010
Never Alone | to Georgetown SC | November 4, 2010
Skinny Waters | to Price Creek SC | November 6, 2010
Into the City | to Charleston | November 7, 2010
Ode to Charleston | Charleston | November 7, 2010
Ghostly Stowaway | to Alligator Creek SC | November 10, 2010
Ghosting into Beaufort | Beaufort SC | November 11, 2010
A Day in the Life | Jacksonville road trip | November 13, 2010
Ebb and Flow | Beaufort SC | November 17, 2010

Isle of Hope GA to Vero Beach FL
As we headed south, trying but failing to outrun a super-cold winter, the days grew shorter, the temperatures dropped, the tides turned epic and new friends appeared at every turn.

New State of Mind | to Isle of Hope GA | November 19, 2010
ICW::SURVIVAL | my ICW adventure game
Through the Gate of Hell | to Wahoo River GA | November 20, 2010
The Science of Pink | to Darien River GA | November 21, 2010
Not One Single Time | to Brickhill River GA | November 22, 2010 | More in my column
Beauty Without Words | to Cumberland Island GA | November 23, 2010
Into the Masts | to St. Mary's GA | November 26, 2010
What a Drag | to Fernandina FL | November 27, 2010
Skidding Among Friends | to St. Augustine FL | November 28, 2010
Reconnecting | R&R in St. Augustine FL | November 29, 2010
Recalibrating | St. Augustine | December 2, 2010
Use the Time | St. Augustine | December 3, 2010
Things I Should NOT Do | St. Augustine | December 3, 2010
Return to Sanity | Daytona FL | December 5, 2010
Daytona Speedaway | Titusville FL | December 7, 2010
Popsicle Watch | Melbourne FL | December 8, 2010
Inspiration in Vero | Vero Beach FL | December 10, 2010
Happy Drifting | Vero Beach FL | December 12, 2010
Filling the Bilge | Vero Beach FL | December 18, 2010

Stuart FL to Miami FL
Once we left Vero Beach, the Gulf Stream became our focus, a challenge we had dreaded for years but one that would deliver us -- finally -- to paradise. We concentrated on preparing the boat and ourselves to make the big hop from Miami to Bimini.

Southbound Again | to Stuart FL | December 20, 2010
A Bridge Half Open | to Lake Worth FL | December 21, 2010
Clear Blue Water, our first ocean passage | to Miami FL | December 23, 2010
The Missing Link, losing a dear friend | Coconut Grove FL | December 24, 2010
Happy, Happy Sorrow | Coconut Grove FL | December 25, 2010 | More in a tribute
CARA MIA Christmas | Coconut Grove FL | December 26, 2010
Listing, chore list before going offshore | Coconut Grove FL | December 31, 2010
2011 + 51 | Coconut Grove FL | January 1, 2011
A YES Day! | Coconut Grove FL | January 6, 2011
Open the Window! | Coconut Grove FL | January 13, 2011
Lost and Lost | Coconut Grove Fl | January 14, 2011
Are We Leaving? | Coconut Grove FL | January 18, 2011

And the answer was, YES, WE DID! We set sail from Miami on January 19, 2011, for our first ocean passage, across the Gulf Stream to Bimini.

Read about it here: YEAR ONE, PHASE TWO

Saturday, December 6, 2014


St. Helena, CA

Christmas is a great opportunity to put some serious jolly into our little cottage, but with our commitment to staying small and living clutter-free, we wanted to get just enough to be merry and bright without accumulating a bunch of stuff that had to be stored for 11/12 of the time.

The solution: Get small. Here's how the whole show -- on a placemat:

Three boxes of miniature ornaments, two boxes of lights, two boxes of candy canes, two pairs of Christmas socks and one Santa hat. Now add one tree.

Clothespins and gift bags for Chip's advent calendar.
And then a serious wrapping party. Santa has to get to work early when his kids live in foreign countries. Christmas socks for everyone!

TODAY, I'm grateful for holiday cheer and wrapping love in boxes.

Thursday, November 27, 2014


St. Helena, CA

Every holiday calls for its own festive decor, but that decor doesn't have to come from a store. In the interest of living small and shrinking our footprint, we made tracks -- and collected our own centerpiece.

I threw the turkey in the oven and off we went to meander the streets of St. Helena, enjoying the crisp fall day and foraging for flowers, leaves and berries.

Put it all together...

... and just add wine!

Picture perfect.

TODAY I'm grateful for Napa bounty.

Friday, October 10, 2014


St. Helena, CA

After living for four years onboard our beautiful Cara Mia, with all her warm teak and built-in furniture, setting up camp on land has been more challenging than I anticipated. Our tiny, 512-square-foot house seems so cavernous, echo-y and stark white.

We don't want to own a lot of stuff, but we want to be comfortable. When we moved in, we made a commitment to living small, an exploration of the foggy space between stark and too much.

What is the minimum requirement for living comfortably? Is clutter a human condition? Is it possible to live small, to avoid the escalation game?

In this Living Small experiment, I've listed the contents of the bedroom, kitchen and bathroom, but the living room hadn't reached that heady space of just enough. We were lacking a table.

Our tiny space called for a flexible table, small enough to be inconspicuous, but big enough to seat four in anticipation of all the new friends who will grace it. That flexible table also had to serve as my desk by day and our dinner table by night. A contracted search for a vintage drop-leaf table tried my patience, so after five months of going table-less, IKEA came to the rescue. I thought I'd outgrown IKEA, but that's just one more of life's happy surprises.

This beaut has the perfect dimensions and blends right in with our gold/black/red motif.

Here's how we ended up:

Trunk/coffee table
2 barstools
1 table
2 chairs
2 posters
1 lamp

Voila! A tiny room with two spaces to eat and work, room to entertain and lounge in comfort.

We might be one comfy chair short, but stay tuned. For now, I'm calling it just enough.

And now the real challenge: NO MORE STUFF!

Today, I'm grateful for: a table and pumpkins.