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Showing posts from 2015

Where has the time gone?! Wrapper's Delight.

First of all, we are very sorry for taking so long between posts.  We won't bore you with the details, but just know it has been a very busy and difficult couple months in our work and personal lives.  So again, sorry.
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Oh shit it's winter again!  Well, at least it seemed that way this past weekend when we got our first snow of the year.  After learning so much last winter we are doing some things differently this year, not everything, but some things.  We aren't wrapping the boat until January.  That has the most to do with the fact that we want to take Cygnet out for New Year's Eve.  You see, this year, Chicago is premiering a New Year's Eve shindig like NYC.  It just so happens that it is based on both sides of the river near Michigan Ave. which is a short ride from our marina.  Hopefully the weather holds up and we can have a front row seat for the "star ascension" without dealing with any crowds.

Once we wrap we will be snuggled in for the wint…

Just Damn Fun! The Chicago Air & Water Show by Water.

The previous weekend was the Chicago Scene Boat Party but we aren't much into hanging with a bunch of Douchebags with SeaRays rafted 10 wide feeding drunk girls cocaine and ecstasy.  We know it's not all that, but it does have that reputation.  So we avoided it.  The one thing we never miss is the Chicago Air & Water Show however because 'Merica!

On Saturday we fired up Cygnet and left about 11AM for the 45 minute trip from the marina to the lake.  We just missed the lock so we had to wait but once inside you realize how many boaters really have no clue how to drive their boat.  Some people are absolutely clueless, including a hired captain we saw piloting a pontoon from our marina.  The girls aboard definitely looked scared and the guy was messing it up for everyone else.  Eventually we made it out to the lake and found a relatively open area among the sea of boats.  We were anchored in the southeastern most area that the other boats were using so we figured it was a …

Day to Day. What is it Like to Live Aboard Everyday?

We've been living aboard for just over a year now and there are still some questions we get fairly often.  It's starting to get old - answering the same questions over and over, but when you meet someone new and they find out you live on a boat in the middle of Chicago you have to put on the happy face and indulge them.  There are a lot of the same questions you have to answer but every once in a while you get something new.  If you, dear reader, are not a live aboard and are curious about what it's like to live day after day on the water this post might help you.

We lead somewhat different lives than many of the other liveaboards that we know about.  Many of the liveaboards we know of are retired, lots of them in Florida or the Caribbean living out their golden (or at least silver) years in paradise.  We are not those people.  To anyone who meets us you would think that we have a completely "normal" life and live in a "normal" place like an apartment …

The interwebs! They have arrived!!!!!

It's f-ing 2015 and we shouldn't have to write this post, but we don't live a "normal" life so...

The internet has come to River City Marina!  It's such a glorious thing, this connectivity.  The ability to live like everyone else in modern society is splendid.  You see, for the last year we've been living without internet.  Sure the management company told us we could use the wifi that was in the marina but we couldn't really get a good signal, and when we did it was about as fast as a snail on a tortoise's shell.  Sometimes it was too slow to even check email.
When we moved in we knew the internet was an issue so Kevin had Comcast, AT&T, and RCN all come out to run internet to our slip.  None of them would do it, they said it was too far for them to go (about 300 feet total) or they couldn't get access to the building so they just wouldn't do it.  Basically all three services sent their guys out to do a regular install without giving…

On the water, first run of 2015

Memorial Day Weekend is what many of us wait months for.  It's the beginning of the summer season, and in the northern climates, like here in Chicago, it signals the beginning of the boating season.  Sure, many boats are in the water as early as April and Cygnet was in all year, but it's the time when the weather is usually warm enough to get out and wear shorts, or better yet a bikini.  This Memorial Day Saturday we set out in the evening to celebrate a birthday and just get Cygnet out on the water.  Kevin's mother turned 70 this week so we invited her and her boyfriend along with her brother and nephew out on the water for the first Navy Pier fireworks of 2015.

We started the day in the mid afternoon, just hanging out in the marina, and departed about 5PM for the lake.  We had perfect timing through the lock and made it through in record time.  We love going through the lock for many reasons.  First, it's just a cool piece of engineering and we appreciate that it'…

What have you done!? We made it one year!

I came across this similar blog called Luv'n the Regal Life which originally was written about a couple's adventures on their weekender Regal 3760 boat.  The blog is now about their life aboard a Carver a bit larger and quite a bit newer than ours.  They have just crossed the two year mark of life aboard and as we are at the one year mark we thought it was interesting that this couple who we don't know is experiencing many of the same things we are at nearly the same times.  They got a one year jump on us, but many of the experiences, frustrations, projects, and joys are the same as we have.  I find these folks interesting because judging only by a couple photos on the blog they seem to be about the same age as us (Kevin just crested the hill and Colette is a ways behind him).  You can find thousands of live aboards with silver (or no) hair but trying to find ones under the age of 50 isn't as easy.  Sure we are around, but it's not like we always run into each othe…

Is It Summer Yet? Some People Think So!

We've tried to give you all a peek behind the curtain to see what it's like to live aboard a boat in Chicago.  Many of the posts we've written have been about our troubles, and since there is no shortage of work to do on Cygnet there have been many posts like that.  Overall we are still enjoying living aboard, and now that the weather is getting warm we are realizing how great it really is to be on a boat in Chicago all the time. Well, now it's time to brag a bit.

We had the first party of the year on Cygnet and it was great.  We decided that the Kentucky Derby was a great excuse to have some friends over for a some mint juleps and conversation.  Kevin had a procedure done the day before so most of the prep work was done days before since he was pretty well out of commission the days of the surgery and the party.  We didn't realize just how dirty Cygnet had gotten through the winter.  We cleaned, wiped, scrubbed, and polished almost every inch of the aft deck, fly…

Spring Has Sprung, Outside the Loop, and Friends and Family are Coming out.

The weather has certainly improved over the last couple months, it seems nearly impossible to think it was snowy and frigid just 60 days ago.  We've planted a few flowers and plants on our "dashboard" and they are thriving.  We've done a bit of spring cleaning and are excited for summer.  We're in that part of the boating season that can best be described as a first kiss.  For boaters who store their vessel in the winter there is planning and work and dreaming about what the summer will be like.  Now is that time that the barn doors are opening, the trailer tires are being filled, the cranes are lifting boats in the water, and the engines are being fired up.  It's that anticipation of summer, not knowing how great it's going to be, not knowing if the weather is going to be warm and sunny or stormy and unfair.  Just like that first kiss, hoping for the spark, but unsure if it'll actually happen.

For those of you who read our last post we have a LINK to…

People Love This Story

We've been on WGN TV twice (Original and Followup links) and Your Chicago Podcast and now this Saturday we'll be on the Outside the Loop program with Mike Stephen on WGN Radio!  We don't see this attention as any sort of reflection on us, but more the situation.  People seem to be in two camps about us (and the others in the marina) living aboard a boat year round in Chicago.  Either you think we are just crazy and can't understand it, or you love it.  Our one year anniversary of living aboard is fast approaching and as the weather heats up it's becoming clear as to why we are doing this.  It's just awesome!  Yes it sucked for two months in the winter but that's over, at least for the next nine months, and it's been great living on the water in this mild spring we've had in Chicago.

So What's New? We are still in the process of getting the stereo and entertainment system up and running.  We've been talking about it for a while but it's j…

Cygnet Sheds Her Skin

The time finally came to come out of hibernation and let the light in.  Cygnet has be unwrapped and is ready for the warmer months ahead!  This past Saturday was sunny and warm so it seemed like a great day to get the job done.  Kevin devised a plan to cut the wrap in half vertically so that we could pull it off in two more manageable pieces.  Colette cut out the "door" for use next winter and then climbed up on the roof to slice the plastic in two with a box cutter.  Kevin pulled the plastic off from the swim platform and dragged it onto land.  The front piece was much larger and took some wrangling to ball it up and drag it onto the lawn by our dock and then to the dumpster.  Overall it wasn't too difficult a task and we are very happy to see our boat again!

Now the the wrap is off we can run the engines again.  Kevin recently changed the oil and distributor caps but hadn't been able to test his work to see if it made a difference or not.  She started up pretty quic…

What a glorious thing, this porcelain contraption!

It's finally in!  It's amazing, although not on the scale of a double rainbow or manned space flight, but on the scale of the day to day we couldn't be happier.  Many of you know that we've had some plumbing issues on Cygnet since we got her last May and it's been a challenge.  We've even had a couple weeks of "bucket" usage.  Yes it was terrible, but that's not going to be an issue anymore.

At the beginning of our season last year we had one toilet that worked just OK and another that didn't really work at all.  We did some maintenance and got both working temporarily but that lasted only a brief time until one day while we had friends aboard the rear head stopped working normally.  It simply wouldn't flush the waste out of the bowl at a rate faster than the new water coming in.  We decided that the front toilet would have to be our first choice in waste elimination.  Well that worked until we realized that the waste line had a hole in i…