Tuesday, October 27, 2015


Most of our family and friends are aware that we've been looking at boats.  It was our goal when we left Austin to find a safe, capable, cruising sailboat on a budget.  We decided early on not to be too chatty about it since we don't have a clue what we're doing.  We've done extensive research, looked at dozens over the last few months, from Florida to the Chesapeake Bay, and it's been challenging.

All the while travelling around, camping occasionally, but mostly inflicting ourselves on unsuspecting family and friends who have graciously opened their homes, fridges, and liquor cabinets to us.

We started off wanting a catamaran for the living space and stability but quickly discovered that everything in our price range was low quality, a project (or both), and we were even discouraged from buying a couple by their sellers, stating that they just didn't sail that well.

So we looked at monohulls.  Many more options in our budget and we even saw a couple that would have been fine but nothing inspired us.

Then we stumbled on a third option...
a sort of hybrid of mono-hull and catamaran... 


This is our boat:

The deal is done!
Couldn't have purchased her from nicer people.
Thanks Dave and Dottie!

Of course, you're all wondering how Kipper is adjusting.  No worries, he's adapting just fine.

More to come...

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Camping and kayaking in western Virginia

August 23, 2105

We broke away from the Chesapeake area for some quality time with other family members, further inland to the west. 

First up, camping with my brother Vince and sister-in-law Ramsey at Hungry Mother State Park in western Virginia. They were in the area for a wedding and took the opportunity to go on a 2-week camping/B&B tour of the area. 

The campground was very nice and was our first chance to actually camp! The Mystery Machine did very well, even providing some shelter during the frequent rains.  Fortunately, Vince is a wizard at making camp fires, managing to keep it lit for dinner and warmth. 

 We hiked up to Molly's Knob. It was quite a hike, not too long, but very steep. Here we are, resting before our descent. The view was worth it!

After saying goodbye to V & R (thanks for a great visit, y'all!), we headed just a short ways south to Greg's cousin's house near Independence, VA, on the North Carolina border. Steve has quite a spread on some land overlooking the New River. He's grows all he can eat plus some, has some chickens, and leads a very satisfying life in a very beautiful place. 

He showed us around the area and took us on 5-hour kayak ride on the New River. It's truly one of the prettiest and friendliest rivers I've ever seen. It's one of the oldest rivers in the world and is clear, cool, and shallow.  We had a great time!

We left Steve's laden down with tomatoes, herbs, homemade goodies, and our promise to return.  Thanks Steve!

Friday, August 14, 2015

On the Road Again!

August 14, 2015

On July 31, we left Austin for another trip. We sold (or gave away) most of our stuff, including our cars, and said good-bye to our jobs, friends, and family. Don't worry, Kipper is with us!

Completing the new dream team is a 1991 Dodge Ram "Roadtrek" Van, affectionately called the Mystery Machine due to all the mysterious bells, buzzers, and occasionally odors that emit from it. Not to mention the mysteriously varied MPG (sometimes it's 10mpg, sometimes 20!). It's super comfy and an improvement over LeTigre (R.I.P.).  No more leaky pop-top or loft bed...

Our first stop was Herb and Gayle's place in the Chesapeake area. It's one of our favorite places in the world!

The master plan this time is that there is no master plan.  Our timeline is flexible, so we have as many options as we can dream up (within our usual tight budget). One thing is for sure though, we will not be updating this blog as much. It's clunky, requires strong wifi for photos, and can be hard to use. But we'll be frequently posting on Tumblr at:


We'll see you there!