Hey there folks! Although only intended to be a short stop for showers and fuel, Delancey is still (again, actually) tucked away at the South Side Marina in Provo, Turks & Caicos. Last week we crossed the Caicos Bank to stage ourselves for the overnight passage to the Dominican Republic when we noticed that our engine wasn’t charging the batteries. Not an immediate problem, as the solar panels did their job admirably, but we weren’t going so far afield without fixing it, so we turned back. We’re currently waiting for the delivery of a new alternator regulator. Once that’s in, we’re off. A couple of stalled frontal systems have created the mother of all weather windows and we want to take advantage of the calm conditions before it slams shut.
This enforced leisure gives me an excellent opportunity to toot our own horn: We won an award! Or, more precisely, we won an “award”! Starting sometime around 2011, the Leibster Award is an honor that bloggers give each other as a way of cross promotion within the community. You are tapped by another blogger, who presents you with five questions to which you provide answers. You then pass the award on to somebody else with five questions for them. If it feels more like a chain letter than an award, you’d be right. Still and all, it does no harm and the folks that passed it on to us are fun and sweet and we’re happy to participate.
S/V Delancey was awarded by newlyweds Allison and Bo of S/V Selah. Alli is the firecracker who led us on morning beach workouts while in Georgetown. Bo, in appropriate contrast, is as chill as a glass of lemonade. We first met Bo and Alli through other new friends (and fellow New Yorkers) Lauren and Brian of S/V Nightingale Tune. It’s pretty amazing how quickly you form friendships while cruising. We’ve since sailed in company, parted ways, and happily rejoined a number of times along the way. Both of these crews’ blogs are good reads. Check ‘em out.
To make this post even more special, Deb provided most of the answers to Alli and Bo’s questions! On with the Q and A!
1. You have lived aboard for over 15 years, now that you've left the dock, what has most surprised you about the cruising life?
Deb: How much we miss being clean and salt-free. Living aboard in a marina, especially one in the north, has its challenges: getting dressed to go shower on the dock or at the gym, filling the water tank in the winter (before the water in the hose freezes), but it's a whole different ball game now that we're cruising. We have a 97-gallon water tank and we find that we average about 5-7 gallons a day if we're very very careful. What I didn't realize was how rarely it rains and therefore how salty the boat gets between sea air, splashing waves, and wet people. I wish I could figure out how to harvest the huge boat salt crystals. I bet it would be yummy!
2. You have hosted us for multiple happy hours and dinners and are amazing hosts. What is a staple in your galley that contributes to your hosting success?
Deb: Yes, that, but more than a staple, I think it’s that we both love entertaining and cooking. Having lived aboard for so many years, we're very comfortable cooking on the boat. We've made holiday meals for extended family in our boat-sized oven. When it came to provisioning for the trip, we repurposed as much space as we could find to house six months of stores and I set up a spreadsheet to keep track of what is stored where. We pretty much have most of the food items we've always liked to eat. We've always been big on appetizers for boat entertaining, so we made sure to bring lots of cans (and dried) chick peas so we can make hummus. We bought a bunch of cheese sealed in wax, which holds up well without refrigeration. I've sparingly used our olives and cured sausages in the hope that we'll make it to the Dominican Republic where we can replenish them without spending our whole sailing kitty.
3. Pete, it has been mentioned that you would make an excellent net controller - who is your radio voice inspiration and how can we make this a reality?
Deb: Before Pete answers, I'd like to note that we do a lot of reading novels out load to each other and Pete is amazing a bringing different characters alive.
Pete: I am completely surprised and flattered that you’d say that. I wasn’t aware that I had a good radio voice. In the real world, I made a lot of presentations. Speaking before a large group of people was one of my favorite parts of my job. (Put another way: I’m a huge ham and a show-off.) Perhaps some of this comes out in my voice?
4. What is the biggest thing you miss about NYC?
Deb: New York City! Being away has made us all the more aware of how much we love our city and it's constant, vibrant, diverse, ever-changing life. We miss just wandering the streets, watching people, and having everything at our fingertips. That said, we've been surprised to find that we also really miss work. Maybe not the obsessive 12-hour work days (Pete always jokes that this trip is just an extreme version of finding work/life balance), but creating architecture and making our vision into a reality is still something that rocks it for both of us.
5. It’s rumored that while you are both licensed captains, Deb does most of the driving aboard Delancey. Is this so?
Deb: Yes. Prior to cruising full-time, we got stuck in our roles where I handle the helm and docking and Pete handles the sails and anchoring. We know we should change things up so we're both equally comfortable in both roles, but so far we haven’t made much effort. Actually now that we are cruising and our sail days tend to be much longer, we are trading off tricks at the helm more often.
Pete: In a crowded marina with a tight fairway and wind blowin’, you want Deb at the helm. Me strong man pull on ropes.
6. How far are you going? What are you most looking forward to in the coming months?
Deb: As far south in the Caribbean as we can get on our savings! We’re looking forward to exploring new cultures, making more new friends, having our parents come and visit, big Dominican Republic and Puerto Rican grocery stores, getting OUR boat to the BVIs (the first place we ever chartered a sailboat), and making our way to the Leeward, Windward and Grenedine Island chains where we can do more day (not overnight) sails. One last thing, I know how blessed we are to be able to have this adventure, but I do want to note that each many of these challenges are terrifying at the time. In retrospect, this experiences don't seem so bad, or we rationalize "it was uncomfortable but not dangerous" or we figure out how to be better prepared next time. I'm looking forward to the day when I'm more comfortable with being uncomfortable.
And there you are! Thanks so much to Bo and Alli. We've got our eyes open for the next award winner. In the meantime, vamos a ir a la Rebública Dominicana!