Motor Vessel Angelique Takes on Water? … #15

This is a scary thought for boaters to see they are taking on water, unless it is in your water tanks for drinking. Dan tells me… “Keep the sea water out of the people tank!!” Meaning… keeping it out of the bilges of Angelique.

Did I wake you up yet? Good, because safety is #1 priority, and this could easily have happened to us. Dan and I talk a lot about “what if’s” and safety around those items. So much can go wrong and you can die if you are thinking the risks aren’t real.

“People we know; one had a fire and they jumped overboard, the other took on water and was able to stay afloat, but came close to sinking”

So, if we were to take on water that was more than our normal Bilge Pumps could handle. We have portable pumps that can assist with the incoming water. But determining what the cause of the leak as soon as possible and stopping it is critical, otherwise we will be abandoning ship.

If we have to jump in the water an Immersion/exposure suit would be a good thing, which we have.  It is a waterproof dry suit that will increase our odds of surviving hypothermia while exposed to the water and elements.

The other option is to deploy our Life Raft and get in, if we have enough time to do that.  Once we are inside the raft we need supplies. We have to survive (food, water and protection from elements) and attempt to communicate what happened and where we are at. Which is where the  Sea Ditch Bags, EPIRB, (emergency position-indicating radio beacon station) & our Garmin InReach  satellite communicator come in to play.

We work hard to stay safe and not use our safety gear, but if we did, we will be grateful for our planning. I spent one full day early September refreshing, organizing, and putting in new items in our Ditch Bags. When was the last time you reviewed yours? Is it time? Have you done your planning and prep for safety?

One day while we were in Sausalito CA I saw a Chandlery (shop selling nautical items). We love going to these types of shops.

“It is the hunt for what we didn’t know they had, that we need”

As we walked in, we could smell the salty, nautical, items waiting for us to snap them up and have a new home. The owner asked as we browsed the shelf’s “what are you looking for” One of the items was a sea anchor, but the likely hood of them having the right size was extremely rare. Shop owner said “I have one, but it is really big”… that’s what we need, really big. It ended up being the exact right size for us and we purchased it. It had never been used. We felt very lucky as it was an item that we didn’t have before leaving Portland.

Sea Anchor  is parachute shaped and is used in rough weather and/or if we had to stop for some reason in the ocean and couldn’t put down a real anchor. When deployed, it keeps us facing in the direction of the waves and almost completely stopped, about 1 mile a day.





If you are a boater you know how important safety is… and I’m guessing that most non-boaters would say safety is really important part of boat life too. Everyone needs a reminder once in a while. Whether you are a boater or just a home owner, take time to checkout your safety gear, smoke detectors/extinguishers etc. Don’t assume it won’t happen to you.  Make Safety First and make it a habit and it won’t be hard.

Wear your PFD/Life Vest! There are so many varieties today, you don’t have an excuse. Do your safety checks and refresh your safety gear not just for big trips for your weekend and river trips.

I’m glad this was just an article about safety and I wasn’t telling you about something bad that happened. Hope you didn’t mind me starting off the article with a scare. It is sometimes needed to get the attention. Please also don’t assume that these are the only safety items. There are so many safety items. Do your own analysis and update what is right for you and your boat, trip, size and risk.

Thank you all for being safe!

STAY TUNED for our upcoming articles; ** Angela called “Repel Boarders @ 4am and Dan responds” (true story)  and ** The Dinghy Saga Continues

Our Most Favorite Things… #11

I might not be Oprah and give away all my favorite things on a show, but I hope you find our favorite things useful. Dan and I pulled this list together after talking about some of the things that make living aboard our boat easier or more fun! Cause we like FUN! We split it most appropriately… Angela 7/Dan 3 items.

“Things that meet our needs and best value for the item”

#1   I’m going to start with one of my “MOST” Favorite items. My really good friend Molly Bradely gave me these on my last week in Portland. To be honest, I didn’t think they were that cool, they were just shopping bags. BUT these bags are what got me writing this article. They are so simple, but sooooo awesome. I have them folded up and kept in my backpack or purse so I always have them with me. There were so many places where we were out in town and purchased something, we were able to put in one of these bags. Why are they cool, you ask?….. because I don’t have to carry & toss away paper or plastic bags. (reduces the waste on the boat) They are small, compact and once opened are much easier to carry than those icky grocery bags. They are stronger and I can put them on my shoulder too. They come in all colors/patterns and different sizes. I  LOVE THEM. Boaters this is a must have, Buy some! “BAGGU”

Purchase @ or Amazon, I think local stores carry them too.

#2    My next item is a bit more expensive I almost didn’t buy these because of the price, but couldn’t find a better option.

Storage racks for my galley wall. I have a blank wall on the far side of the Galley and about 3.5 inch of depth space. I wanted something that was easily adjustable and could hold some things I would normally put on my counter, cooking oil, salt/pepper, vitamins, cutting board, etc. They needed to stay put while underway so I didn’t have stow & then put back after we arrive, repeating each time we move. Love the extra storage and convenience.

Purchased from: Storables in Bridgeport Village, Elfa utility mesh pantry door/wall rack.

#3    Another item for underway, but is only used for that short period of time while we are underway. Boater know that any cupboard, cabinet, fridge door can fly open with enough banging that happens while underway. I found these and bought a couple length and didn’t know exactly what I would use them for, but so happy I did.

They are amazing adaptable, movable and able to hold in place… I use them on our fridge doors to hold them from popping open underway. We have also used on the dingy when we were caring multiple fishing polls. We had a spot to lay them down behind the seat but couldn’t secure them. With these gear ties we could secure them and undo them easily. I’m sure there will be other uses too.

Purchased from: Home Depot – Nite Lze Gear tie – multiple colors and lengths.

#4   After I purchased the wall racks (#2 fav thing) I was looking for something to put my butter in that was plastic w/lid and I could put in the baskets and the lid wouldn’t come off when I picked it up.

I’m really happy with this purchase. The lid stays on good, it can come off if held too long or shaken while only holding lid. So as long as you are just moving it and aware… it works great; covered, clean and off the counter.

Purchased from: Amazon – prepworks butter keeper by progressive.

#5   The next items wasn’t a exactly a purchase in the most recent times. It is a string backpack. I have used them for years when we travel places. I can fold them flat and put in suitcase and bring for hauling stuff while on vacation. I guess you could use a regular backpack but this one is tiny. I have a couple of them. They are so handy to carry my wallet and those BAGGU’s in (#1 fav item) and anything we buy along the way. Cheryl Williams had borrowed one of mine when we were walking around town, she liked it so much she bought one of her own. Hence, made my fav items list.

Purchased:  you can find at many place you travel, travel stores and on-line.

#6   A Folding legged card table. This one happens to be made of wood and antique.  We have used it for all kinds of things. In the pic you can see I’m using it in the salon to write my blog. We have played card on it on the back desk and in the salon, we have even eaten dinner on it. We can put it on the dock if we want to use it for potluck with other boaters… and so many other uses. I plan to put a couple coats of varnish on it to keep it beautiful. I can’t go without say something about my Mothers custom made diary cover, which you can see in the pic. I love it and treasure it always! I keep notes in it so I can write these blogs.

Purchased from: table is from Craigslist (I think) one of the on-line for sale apps. Notebook cover is custom & I’m sure very expensive…. ♥♥♥

#7  We have 4 heads on Angelique, all came with these rusty/pitted gold/silver stubs that stuck out of the wall with nothing on them. I’m sure years ago they were some type of soap dish holder. I wanted liquid soap containers to hook on the the wall and a cup to put your toothbrush/paste in. I hunted on-line for months. Some of them were so expensive $80,$90,$100+ dollars a piece. Not spending that kind of money X 4. I found these that are more reasonably priced. They were approx $24 each. They stay put underway and are very useful and handy for everyone.

Purchased from: Amazon, Brand CRW.

Excited for next weeks Blog….Discussing our trip from Ilwaco, WA to San Francisco Bay. We have a couple cool videos to share. We will talk about the weather, our planning, how we all did on the trip and a special surprise… “A Stowaway

NOW for the last 3 items, Dan’s Favorite Things. Do I say “the guy things??”

#8   Blink Cameras, Dan purchased these first for our house a couple years ago. They are a web based camera that has a phone app. You can use the app to turn on/off and watch the video clips that it takes of any surveillance.  As we were getting prepared to leave on our boat, Dan purchased some for Angelique. The app will also let you adjust the length of video, wait time before recording, sensitivity etc. You can also move the location of the cameras, if needed. He loves them and finds it a bit more comforting that if someone were to board our boat we would see who they were and have a it recorded.

Purchased from

#9   After buying our boat we quickly found out that we had issues communicating with each other while docking, anchoring, etc. We decided we needed headsets like we have seen others use. BUT, I didn’t want ones that I had to push a button to talk, I have my hands full when trying to step off with lines. I also didn’t want one that I had to attach to my belt…didn’t want it coming off while I was moving around.  So, cordless, hands-free with no other unit to worry about. The hunt took a while to find and we certainly didn’t want ones that didn’t work. (reading the reviews helped) if we were going to spend money on them they had to work well. These were a bit expensive, but they work great! You turn each one on and then one person pushes a button to sync them together. You can adjust the volume and no hands required.

Purchased from: “My Team Talks Headset” from Seadog Boating Solutions LLC.

“We call them our Marriage saver headsets”

#10   The last and final item is USB outlets at the helm. These are regular outlets that have USB slots in them. We put two at the helm. We use them not only for phone charging but to charge our “marriage saver headsets” too. Along with other items that change up with USB cord. We get good use of these! Thanks Ken Williams for suggesting them.

Purchased from Home Depot or any other hardware/on-line store

As we wrap up our list of most favorite items Dan wanted to squeeze in one more simple one.  # 10.1  ZIP TIES.. all sizes, colors, lengths, etc. we use them for tons of stuff. So many that we can’t list them. Have a good supply on board. You can buy a big assorted jar of them or various sizes at Home Depot or Harbor Freight.

Thanks so much, I hope you find them as useful as we have.

Cheers from San Francisco Bay