Category Archives: Posts

Freshen the Nip

To “freshen the nip” means to take up or slacken a line to prevent it from wearing through, and to change the chafe to a different place. Everyday life chafes us in certain areas- getting through our long Nederland winter, the daily grind… and so, we are off on this adventure to freshen the nip!

Yesterday, we sailed out of Nederland on a broad reach in our 1986 VW westfalia van eastbound for Virginia.  For you landlubbers, a broad reach is when the wind comes across the aft quarter. We tried to take a picture of mile marker 420 in  Colorado, but as we came upon it, it looked like 419 again so I missed the shot. It is actually 419.99 as 420 must have kept going missing for some reason…

Spent the night at Wilson State Park in Kansas, thanks to our Kansas experts Jennie and Scott. We got in at 10pm on Saturday night of Labor Day weekend and scored a sweet spot overlooking the lake for $11. Good to be in a safe and comfortable spot for the night while on the road….highly recommended (but a little crowded this weekend).

Got a late start (lost a valuable hour with the time change from Colorado) at 11am with brutal 30 mph south winds on our beam. When sailing, we call this a beam reach and it is the fastest point of sail. But as we are essentially driving a refrigerator (with no sails) down the road, it’s  not really helping our Virginia or Bust cause.

Looking forward to some St Louis BBQ for dinner….20140831_145314


Shiver me Timbers!


We are moving on to a boat for the school year.  When?  Where?  Why?


3 Weeks and Counting:

Dave, Ava and I will be setting a course due east in our VW Westfalia Van to Virginia, where Whisper, our 1977 Shannon 38 awaits.


We don’t know where we are going. We have sailed this beauty 3 times and although she is dreamy and solid and safe and lovely, we are new to her and she is new to us. We are planning to sail the Chesapeake in September to get to know her and then head south. How far south? That is a good question.

Why? (3 part answer)

1) Why not?

2) It’s been talked about, dreamed about, and googled for years. And then Whisper showed up with all the right things: rig, look, and price being at the top of that list. When we dreamed of this, Dave knew I wouldn’t live on an ugly boat. I wanted a boat that looked like a classic wooden boat but fiberglass. We looked for about 5 years. Every boat that looks like a classic wooden boat that is fiberglass is way out of our price range. Except Whisper! We saw Whisper and fell in love. I did not want to fall in love. I wanted to say no. We plunged, our hearts pattered, more from sheer anxiety than excitement.

3) I want to simplify. You know when you spend days moving piles from one room to another- trying to organize, declutter and find stuff? I need a break from that. I want to have fewer things. I started with my clothes. I gave bags and bags away. We cleaned out books- you know, even those BOXES of books that are in your (fill in the blank- attic, basement, garage)? We gave 4 or 5 boxes of books away. We actually filled 5 VW vanloads of crap and hauled it off to the thrift store. GOOD RIDDANCE. I don’t even know what we got rid of.

I have 8 more boxes to go through before we leave if anyone wants to come over for a beer.