The Day We Bought Mattina

Now that Mattina is for sale, all kinds of memories are surfacing. Things I haven’t thought of in a while. Sometimes in life you just have to laugh at yourself.

On the day we moved on board Mattina, we drove from Ottawa to a marina in Delaware and met the owners. We’d met the previous fall when  we flew to Baltimore to see Mattina, and since had been corresponding at a furious rate about Mattina. As it turned out, not enough to know the boat.

Mattina Day 1 2009 07 13

After checking out our lovely new boat, we agreed with the previous owners to go out for a drink and celebrate. Well, drinks turned into dinner and darkness had settled  when we arrived back on board.

Did we think about arriving in the pitch black this ahead of time? Not so lucky.

Try getting on an unfamiliar boat in the dark and figuring out the electrical panel. It’s hard to know which switch to flip to give power to the lights when the lights are out. We managed, but the event was good reminder we better take some time and get to know our knew home well.

New boat owner mistake. Gotta laugh.

Thanks for reading.


Farley’s Friday: Dog Toys Can’t Be Replaced?

Farley here,

Did you know when you’re sailing the Exuma Islands there aren’t stores to buy dog toys?

Well, I found out the hard way.

I’m playing with my favourite toy, minding my own business having a good chew – and lots of squeaking by the toy, so I think it’s having fun too.

Farley Chewing Toy

Then, oh oh. The seam rips. All the stuffing comes out. I don’t know how that part happened. I seem to have blacked out. The toy is ruined.

I show Kristina and wag my tail to tell her it was an accident.

She smiles and says, ” Well that’s the last of the toys.”

“What? Last of the toys. Can’t you buy me a new one?” I bark.

She shakes her head sadly. “There are no stores here.”

I had the realization that we’re not in Canada anymore. The question is, should I chew Kristina’s flip flop instead?

Woof Woof

The Moon, The Tide, The Weather: Workout Schedule

Keeping fit is a challenge, and sometimes nature dictates the schedule. While living in the islands, the moon, tide and weather all tell me when and how I can exercise.

On a full moon, with a high tide, the beach will be soft and make running, let’s say, unpleasant. The sand forces ankles and knees into odd angles.

With  no moon and high tide, the beach might be in better condition, so it’s worth a try.

No moon, low tide is the best time to run. The tide is out, the beach is wide and hard. Running barefoot is fantastic.

Beach running

If I can’t run, I like to swim laps.

Sunny days are best. I like to see what’s in the water around me and cloudy days make that difficult. I’ll admit I might be a little afraid of sharks. I figure if they can see me, they won’t be interested in me. If the water is dark or murky, a shark might mistake me for lunch. Wind and current also affect when I can swim. Too much of either, and it’s not longer fun.


If I can’t swim laps, I like to kayak.

Wind and current dictate when and where I can go. The height of the tide doesn’t really matter, and I don’t usually kayak at night (although I have and a full moon makes this fun), so the moon doesn’t often come into play.


If I can’t kayak, then I like to do beach yoga.

High tide makes the beach wet, so not a good time. Too much sun and it’s too hot. Clouds are good for this activity.

Beach Yoga

If I can’t do any of these, I sulk. Just kidding. I can always read, write, blog, walk the dog, or hang with friends. The only activity Farley, my soft-coated wheaten terrier, can’t do with me is swim laps. He does an awesome downward dog.

Happy New Year 🙂

Thanks for reading . . .

Farley’s Friday: A Wheaten Tethered to a Sailboat

Farley here.

You may think I look like I’m trying to hide, but what I’m trying to do is give my humans a message.

Usually if I look my cutest they give me what I want.

We’re underway and it’s windy. Twenty-five knots on the nose windy. Out comes my tether, and I know it’s about to get worse.

So here I am, not hiding, but looking cute.

Farley Tethered

Now, as I lay here with my head tucked under the step, my humans discuss the situation.

First, they decide to put a reef in the main. That helps a bit, and the boat settles down.

Then my ears perk up. I hear something good.

“We could turn around,” Kristina suggests.

“Hmmm,” Mathew responds.

Not the answer I’m looking for.

“You could spend the afternoon windsurfing,” Kristina says.

Now the grin on Mathew’s face tells me he likes the idea.

Kristina sweetens the deal. “I’ll make you lunch while you get your gear ready.”

And just like that, my humans tack, turn the sailboat north, and head to a lovely, lovely calm anchorage.

See, being cute does get a dog what he wants.

I hope all you dogs and cats out there had a good Christmas.

Woof Woof

Farley’s Friday: A Wheaten and his BFFs

Farley here,

Does BFF mean a dog can only have one? I need many BFFs. I guess “best” implies one, but I’m a dog, so I’m going to extend the meaning.

This is me boating with Smudge, the lab, Cali, the Jack Russell, oh and Kristina too. She’s not a dog, but we let her hang with us anyway.

Dogs on Boats

My point – any size dog can go boating. Large dog, small dog and medium-sized dog (me) all have a place aboard. And any size dog can join the BFF club.

Woof Woof

Mattina Hiding From Weather

Do the skies look menacing?

Pipe Cay

Thinking we should stay put for a while. Sailing is all about freedom and doing what you want to do when you want to do it.

Well, as it turns out, the weather has something to say about that.

We anchored behind Pipe Cay and can see the weather coming. This would be the time to put out a second anchor and sit snuggly in the lee.

We have a Rochna on Mattina, which holds in any weather, but sometimes, it’s nice to add the security of a second anchor. We rarely do this. I think last year, we didn’t use two anchors at all. This is our first occasion for the 2013-2014 season, but a good night’s sleep is worth it.

Thanks for reading . . .

Lagoon 380: A freezer Gets Filled

Part of getting ready to set sail every year includes filling the freezer with meats – unless you’re a vegetarian, of course – and then you can fill the freezer with other yummy foods.

Our freezer sits underneath the cockpit bench and is easily accessible from just outside the galley. It’s an Engel and runs off both 12 volt and AC current. We run off the battery when we are underway and run off shore power at the dock. There is a small freezer inside our galley refrigerator, but it’s not big enough for the quantity we like to bring with us.

DSC 1664

I’ve learned a thing or two about getting the maximum use out of the space that I’d like to share.

By not freezing the meat prior to storage, the meat uses up less space.  If the meat is frozen first, then you can’t manipulate the shape to pack more in. We store the meat raw while Mattina is plugged in at the dock. This little machine hums away until the meats are frozen solid.

DSC 1665

Warning: layer your  meats so that each row has a choice. Don’t put all the steak at the bottom, for instance.  The freezer has now become a jig saw puzzle and it’s amazing how hard it is to fit a frozen package back in once the pieces have been disturbed. After a while this doesn’t matter, but at first, if you can pick off the top layer without disturbing lower layers, life is much easier.

We also vacuum seal the meat so freezer burn doesn’t ruin the meat.

Now to get to the Bahamas so we can light up the barbecue.

Thanks for reading  . . .

Lagoon 380 Helm Station

Mattina is a lovely boat that needs protection from the sun. Even though we have a bimini shading the cockpit, we feel more is needed.

As we sail we have direct access to our depth sounder, wind speed and direction indicator, knot metre and a chart plotter with radar screen. Our helm station uncovered, looks like this:

MAttina Helm Instruments

The first part in protecting the instruments from the sun is the instrument covers. These get put on as soon as we are settled in an anchorage or at a dock.

Mattina Helm Instruments cover

The second part of protecting the instruments is our custom-made helm cover. The cover is made of sunbrella that matches the rest of the canvas on Mattina.

Mattina Helm Cover

You can see from the second photo, there are more items than just the instruments that need covering, including the steering wheel.

Thanks for reading . .