Here’s a little modification recap.  Mostly meant to provide additional security and improve independence for this and future adventures it was a big financial output this year but we can now untie the lines and feel we are well prepared.

Solar panels were installed to supplement battery power (story here, here and here)


Solar Monitor

 And should we be fogged in along the Saint-Lawrence which is very likely this time of year, we have Gen the Generator to provide power at anchor for that much needed morning coffee (story here and here) and to fire up our little electric heater to take the chill out of the cabin.



A word about fog…Ray the Radar will let us see what’s coming and going around us (story here)

The Dome

The Dome

Our boat came supplied with a collapsible camping water jug which we have now upgraded…modestly for now (story here)

15 Free Flowing Gallons

15 Free Flowing Gallons

Mostly esthetic, the Weather Station (story here) was added to give us an indication of changes in barometric pressure, temperature and humidity but the added benefits of having a safe place to store charts and navigation tools made it a step up from ‘pretty’.

A Place to Hide All Precious Cargo

A Place to Hide All Precious Cargo

Solar  Luci Lights will be used to supplement our mast light when at anchor.  Solar instead of battery power is always good.



…and little ‘AA’ battery operated LED cabins lights can be used at night instead of using the boat battery.  Only thing missing in this picture is our evening cocktail.


Cabin Lights

This  year we’re trying something new.  We removed all the bilge covers in the rear berth and found bins that fit securely into the depressions.  Lower priority items and less used are stashed at the back and the containers are small enough that they can be lifted out easily to access things stowed in behind.  Thanks to a great suggestion from our friend Beth we used large pool noodles to safely store fishing rods.

A word about balance:  we are very conscious about equilibrating load.  The weight of the extra 15 gallons of water port-side will be balanced with provisions starboard.  An eye’s view from land shows an even distribution and the onboard clinometer shows zero degree healing at rest and because the load sits low, the righting arm and centre of gravity should be at peace with each other.


Improved Storage

This sack made of breathable Phifertex holds 2 sets of full foul weather gear, long underwear, tuques, gloves, wet suits and will be stowed below.  Everyone we have talked to says to be prepared for the cold.  Hoping this will be enough. And regarding cold, who wants to fall in the Saint-Lawrence River with near freezing temperatures?  Life vests with safety harnesses, webbing life lines along both port and starboard with tethers have been added.



Two sets of simple pole clips will keep our docking/locking poles secured and out of the way mounted just behind the companionway stairs.


Clips for Docking Poles

What’s left?  Well I guess the only thing left to do is provision.  That’s a personal preference thing. What works for us won’t necessarily appeal to another. I’ve spent the winter working on easy galley recipes and there will be new ones posted from time to time along the way in Sea Salt Galley Kat. We’re counting on being at anchor more often this trip but as with previous years what’s worked best for us is to count  number of days away from supplying and add a contingency factor of +20% to allow for bad weather and unforeseen delays,  There are lots of places along the way to pick up supplies though.  Oh yeah, speaking of our bellies, we have our fishing permits.



…and some super duper lures thanks to  Tim the Master Fisherman, so hoping to snag a fish or three and Francois knows of places where we can dig for clams.  We may freeze but we won’t starve.


Scary Stuff

A word about internet.  In a perfectly plugged in world we would by now have an internet booster but haven’t we already done enough for one year?  It’s on the list of improvments but the priority had to go first to those things that will make us safer.  We did however augment our data plan which included a super deal from our provider giving us a new iPad mini which hopefully will provide more latitude with blog posting.  Will see just how great that signal is along the Saint-Lawrence.

…and last but not least is what we have been referring to as Little Red, our new-to-us dinghy.  Names have been thrown around, suggestions offered but Francois has come up with what we think is the best of the best.  In France if you order a glass of red wine you ask the waiter for a ‘ballon de rouge’ so don’t you think it very fitting that our little inflatable should be called…


So that’s it.  Next time you hear from us we will probably be on our way.  Feel free to stop by to check in on us.  It will be an adventure for sure.



Now that our summer adventures are over
and we are back at our home base,
it’s time to focus on fixing our battery problems.
(if you wish you can read about this summer’s power woes here)
We realized that it wouldn’t be just a simple task of replacing or
reconditioning our depleted batteries.
No, that would be far too easy.
I sent the following diagram to a trusted friend for her approval
and her comment:
‘François is a true artist!’…
as comment that brought a smile.
So now we begin the process of gradually replacing and repairing,
adding and subtracting.
The proposed wiring plan.
It was an expense we hadn’t planned on
but if our future sailing adventures are to involve more time away
we need to address these issues now.




The last in our Winter/Spring 2015 series of changes

to make life on our lady more accommodating.

This one addresses one of my biggest beefs

…the companionway door.

It’s awkward, cumbersome and a pain to store.

Boat modifications seem to be one big chain reaction…

We had a rubbing problem…

Companionway hatch was wearing away the gelcoat…

Solution, via more great social media group suggestions,

apply tephlon tape.

And since we had to remove the hatch and rails to apply the tape,

why not replace the white rails with wooden ones?

And since we were replacing the wooden rails,

why not re-design the companionway door.

…and so on and so on…

Plexiglass was considered…nice modern touch,

but Captain loves his wood accents

and we were definitely on a wood path.


…our final Winter/Spring project #5…

…Francois first measured out the bristol board template.
…a glass of wine (lower right corner) always helps the creative process.
…confirming the correct dimensions
on a sheet of 3/8″ baltic birch.
Condo life has its advantages as we can lock our door and leave for indefinite periods.
..but although François would kill to have the space for a proper workshop,
he has made good use of our kitchen,
living room,
dining table
and little guest room
for our winter projects.
Using a skill saw and improvised wooden guide
he made the intial straight cut.
…then back to the boat,
making sure the overall shape and dimensions were correct.
…the porthole…
oh, how I do love this idea!!!

16″ x 8-5/8″

…to be installed in the upper half of the door.

with a 3/4″ backing plate to strengthen the structure.

Then back to the boat to make sure all the pieces fit…

…the main door components now in two sections.
…with 2 additional screened sections.
…a little mix of this…
…with a little match of that…
…then back home to the guest room ‘workroom’
for stain and Cetol.
After 4 coats of Cetol,
the project is moved to the kitchen ‘workroom’
for cocktails…
…and installation of the porthole…
…countersunk holes…

…Butyl caulked screws…
…for a good water tight seal…
For the screened sections…
Francois chose aluminum mesh for more strength…
…secured with stainless steel staples…

…mitre-cut oak trim, stained to match…

…covering the staples to make a cleaner finish…

1-3/8″ oak overhang on top section…
…with weather stripping for a little added seal…

…all ready to go back to the boat.

All that hard work needs protecting when not in use,
so I found a travel bag for $15
and a yoga mat for $10
that I cut up to fit between each piece.

We couldn’t find a lock that suited the Mac,

so instead of re-inventing something that would fit,

we used the one from the original door.

Porthole, the perfect size….
….for all those important small things!
Galley Kat
Major Pig (ret’d)