It’s hard to believe it’s been an entire year since we put an offer on Untangled, but here we are, 365 days later, finally launching our blog. We’ve talked about having a blog since the beginning, but getting it up and running has taken a bit longer than expected. I’m really excited to share all of our liveaboard photos, travel plans, and sailing adventures. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do, since the last year of boat ownership has already been packed with new friends, marina fun, and the occasional mishap. Here’s our highlight reel from the last year:
Our first liveaboard lesson
We officially moved onto Untangled on October 21, 2014. We prepped Yuki by hiding all of his toys and some special treats in various places around the boat. How could he not love his new home? It was full of surprises!
Moving had been a long process, and I was looking forward to unpacking what little we still owned and starting to settle into our home. As we carried a couple of the remaining boxes down the docks, we could smell BBQ and hear cheering coming from one of the nearby boats. Mike, the owner of the boat, saw us walking by, asked if we were new, and invited us aboard for a drink to celebrate the first World Series game and our new boat. We agreed, and as Philippe and I boarded their boat I whispered to him, “just one drink”. Several beers, a few shots, and an entire dinner of BBQ chicken, potatoes, and corn later, we stumbled back to Untangled. We may not have finished our unpacking, but we learned a valuable lesson about marina life and the Gate 11 community. While not all of our neighbors are as outgoing and social as Mike and Penny, most of them are. We always keep a couple bottles of champagne on-hand, so that we can celebrate new arrivals and keep the traditional alive.
Warm food and a long walk
Our first few months on the boat were filled with projects: organizing lockers, sealing hatches, repairing light fixtures, swapping artwork, etc. The list was (and still is) endless. It’s hard not to define those first few months by two of the larger projects, however. We went our first few months without refrigeration or a holding tank, which meant no working bathroom. We compensated for the lack of refrigeration by keeping a large cooler filled with ice in the cockpit. It didn’t fit much, but it allowed us to at least keep a few leftovers on the boat. We ate out a lot.
Even worse was the holding tank. We had to have a custom holding tank fabricated in Florida, which meant it was a months-long process. Luckily, the marina has a bathroom, but it did mean that there was a 5-minute walk each time you had to go. I sometimes agreed with people when they said we were crazy, but overall things on the boat were still positive. We were making it more like home every day, and the marina community was still wonderful. I also have to hand it to Philippe, who was always calm and understanding when I complained, and did successfully install a new refrigeration system and holding tank once all of the parts arrived.
Welcome aboard, baby!
On March 21, we were finally ready to show our new home to the world. It will come as no surprise that I spent several weeks prior to the party pinning the most adorable boat-themed desserts on pinterest. Unfortunately, that meant we were icing crab cookies, rolling rice crispy treat sushi, and crushing vanilla oreo “sand” until 3am the night before. In the end, it was all worth it. About 35 people, including coworkers, girl scouts, friends, and marina neighbors, filtered through the boat for our all-day event. We had a great time giving tours and showing off the boat.
Smooth Sailing (sort of)
With Untangled fully liveable and feeling like home, Philippe got to work on some of the final projects that needed to be completed before we could sail. By April, we were ready to go and took Untangled out for her first daysail in the Bay. Since then, we’ve hosted a series of great sailing brunches with friends and family. We typically try to circle Alcatraz Island, but sometimes the current, wind, and timing constraints mean we do a shorter sail.
We’ve also become really integrated into our amazing marina community. We’ve participated in the two annual progressive dinners (December and June), which are a blast. There are three docks in Gate 11, so one dock serves appetizers, one serves entrees, and one serves desserts. Each participating boat also serves alcohol. During the dinner, you make your way from boat to boat. By the end, you’ve made new friends, seen lots of beautiful boats, and gotten pretty tipsy. Philippe also participates in Gate 11 Yacht Club Dinghy Racing. Each Sunday, the club sets up marks and races 10-14 foot boats in the estuary. Afterward, there’s often a potluck meal. It’s really wonderful to have such a fun group of neighbors, and it’s especially nice to have the community when something goes wrong.
Two weeks ago we went out for a normal sail. It was one of those sails where a series of little things went wrong: it was too windy for the single reef we had put in, a glass broke in the cockpit, Yuki was panicking, the jib sheets got tangled. At some point we decided the best course of action was just to drop the sails and head home. We turned into the wind to drop the main, and turned the motor on. A few minutes after getting the main down, the warning bell went off. Philippe had installed the warning bell during a previous engine repair, so on the one hand it was great to discover that it worked correctly. On the other hand, it was less than ideal to discover that our engine had overheated. We immediately shut the engine off and called vessel assist. Wade and Peter made it to us in about 45 minutes, at which point we had made it around the eastern side of Treasure Island and were actually having a very leisurely sail with just our jib. They picked us up and got us home, where were greeted by a group of 7 or 8 marina friends. They took turns giving us shit, congratulating us on our first chaotic sail, and helping us tie up Untangled.
All in all, it’s been an amazing and adventurous year. We love our new home, new friends, and new hobby, and are looking forward to everything that another year on Untangled has to bring.