We’ve added a new boat to our fleet! Having more than one floating conveyance comprises A Fleet, doesn’t it?  Here’s  the “Our Fleet” cast list currently docked at Alameda Grand Marina, Alameda, California, USA:

  • Cetacean underwayFirst and foremost, there’s our omnipresent mother ship Cetacean, 37 feet of teak and fiberglas, cutter-rigged sailing configuration, comfortable below decks when we’re not fixing or improving Cetacean’s assets, sea kindly to a fault even when she’s heeling. Cetacean is a flighty lady though, subject to mood swings, tearful dripping in unexpected places, and sudden moments of high drama. She also blesses us with peaceful celebration, serendipitous experiences we’d never have under any other mode of travel, along with the delightful (to our neighbors) tantrums she inflicts when we exit and return to our slip. Ah Cetacean, how do we love thee … let us count the ways.


  • Then there’s T/T (T/T means “tender to:”) Cetacean, our loyal Mercury dinghy. I’m thinking we need to rename our loyal Mercury dinghy with something less stodgy then “T/T Cetacean,” especially because the third member of our fleet (you will have to read on about her) has a really classy name. I’m thinking, “BabyBaluga” – DinghyChapskeeping to the ocean-going, bull-nosed mammal (i.e., “cetacean”) theme – might be considered, although I’ll have to run this one by the captain. Anyway, our loyal Mercury dinghy is getting a set of canvas pontoon chaps sewn by yours’ truly. Dinghy chaps are highly recommended in cruising circles for protecting a dinghy’s PVC and/or Hypalon materials from sun damage. The canvas fabric used for the chaps (Sunbrella™) is UV protected and lasts many years. There are several boat sewing enthusiasts out there who’ve published how-to-make dingy chaps articles. At first, these articles made the project seem so easy to me – “use clear shower curtains to simply trace a pattern,” “this project can be done anywhere,” “the entire cover took one week to do!” (I’m paraphrasing here).  I am more of a build-it-as-you-go and an omygod-this-is-so-screwed-up kind of seamstress, so my cover has not been simple or fast. I can report that I see a pinhole of light on the horizon and this thing may actually do what it’s supposed to, um … once I figure out a couple of problems. We’ll see.
  • CIMG2030And now … drumroll … we introduce our newest fleet member, an AdvancedFrame by Advanced Elements™ inflatable kayak. We are both very pleased with this new addition to our water-bound entourage. This new Fleet member is very comfortable and has provided a soothing respite from the day-to-day activities aboard the mother ship. We’ve both circumnavigated the across-the-way Coast Guard island several times, taking advantage of some lovely, sunny weather and calm conditions. We have named the new boat “Kayak To (Cetacean),” but shortened the name to “KT,” after our daughter Lisa’s good friend Katie. KT is a very cheerful red-orange accented with black and has a grey PVC bottom. She tracks fairly well when her paddling passenger is paying attention, is cozy inside and moves fairly well through small wakes and gently opposing current.

Okay … back to the dinghy chaps and all that jazz.