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Showing posts from 2016

Hello to everyone from around the world!

Rather than write a bunch of crap that nobody cares about we've tried to be selective in what we post. Sometimes it takes us weeks or even months to come up with a good post.  Sorry we don't communicate more often, but after two and a half years living aboard Cygnet things are starting to become pretty routine.  Right now fall is upon us and we are getting prepared for the winter.  We've been fortunate this year in that the weather has been quite amazing with mostly sunny days and very mild temperatures.  Here it is November 7th and the high is 70F (21C) with not a cloud in the sky. Amazing for Chicago in November.  Sure it can get that warm at this time of year, but it has been like this for weeks!

Some of you might notice we've started to put metric measurements for distance and temperature in the posts.  For those of you who think you might be the only ones reading this little blog you should know that we have hundreds of reads per week.  Even when we don't post…

The Long (and short) Way Across.

The summer has been full of wonderful adventures aboard Cygnet.  This past weekend we decided to do what we've talked about for two years and other people have asked us about a lot.  We decided to take Cygnet across the lake to St. Joseph, Michigan.  We aren't the first, this is a pretty common thing for people to do, but we've always stayed close to home and this was our first time being more than a few miles off shore.  Cygnet seems to have made the trip before based on the memories in her GPS unit, but it was a first for us and we are pretty excited about it.

We'd been invited to a wedding that was to take place in St. Joseph on Saturday and thought it was the perfect excuse and time of year (early September) to take a journey across.  There were a lot of unknowns to us, which we'll get into in a bit, but we decided that we'd go for it - weather depending.  First we were confident that Cygnet's engines were up to the task, after some fiddling by our mec…

Being away from home, all while staying home.

We're often asked if we take the boat out.  Since we live on it some people assume that the boat never moves, it's permanently tied to the dock.  Some people wonder if we go to Michigan every weekend.  Some people don't think we can go anywhere since they don't realize the Chicago River (or the Great Lakes for that matter) go anywhere.  Some people, we swear multiple people have asked this, ask if we take it to Europe/ the Caribbean/ California a lot.  Sure, we'd love to take it to the Greek Islands, but the only Greek Islands we visit are located on Halsted St. in Chicago.  We often feel bad when we say we took the boat out only nine times last summer.  So many people use their boats every week or many times per week, like some neighbors we have at River City.  A middle aged couple we've never met takes their boat out almost every night!  The two of them go out for a short river cruise and are often back 45-90 minutes later.  We love that, but their 24 foot ca…

I Love it When a Plan Comes Together!

We are getting there.  We have a lot of projects going on as we mentioned in the last blog and now a couple are finally complete!  Yesterday we had S Squared Cabinetry & Remodeling aboard Cygnet finishing the multiple jobs we had for them.  Our dishwasher install, our lower helm removal, our new bar cabinet, and the shoe cabinet.  Let's take a look at what they did.

We are now living in the 20th century!  Cygnet has two bathrooms with showers, a washer/dryer, a full size fridge, but no dishwasher.  The rationale we suppose was that you often use disposable plates and utensils when out for a day on the boat.  We do use disposables when we have a party (our inner tree huggers cry a little) but on a day to day basis we use real plates, silverware, and glasses.  For the last two years we've been washing by hand, something Kevin hates after slicing his right index finger open washing a glass eight years ago, and it seems like there is always a pile to finish.  We didn't kno…

Two Years and loving it.

Two years ago today we brought Cygnet home to River City and began living aboard.  It was such an exciting time for us, being able to change your lifestyle while maintaining it at the same time, if that makes sense.  In the spring of 2014 we both had good jobs, we had a house, a couple nice cars and we were happy.  But one thing led to another and a few months later we were living on a boat in the Chicago river.  It's the best thing we've done.  We love coming home (like last night) and sitting outside on the aft deck and watching the world go by, talking for hours.  We love taking our home out on the water and entertaining friends and family in a unique way.  Think about the last time you had a party, your guests probably thanked you and left.  When you live on a boat your friends get super excited about parties, they talk about if for months before and after, they will do whatever they can to make it to the party.  Boat parties are the best parties.
We've mentioned befor…

There is just so much going on!

Faithful readers please know that we have not forgotten our duties to keep the lines of communication open.  We have a lot of projects going on right now and we've been waiting for just one of them to finish before writing our newest installment.  But, as many of you have read here before you can understand that things don't always go as planned.  So we want to check in and let you know what we are doing right now and give you some previews on what you can expect to see in the near (we hope) future.

1.  Major generator work.  Cygnet is a 30 year old boat and her engines and generator are just as old. How many of you have a 30 year old car that starts and runs perfectly every time?  Well Cygnet was having some generator issues toward the end of last season and we decided to have a proper mechanic check it out.  Right now the generator looks like this:

The mechanic (Tony's Marine Service) has taken the cylinder head and exhaust manifold off for testing in his shop.  He's…

Water Life is the Best Life. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

This past weekend we did what very few people get to do.  We got to spend the day on the Chicago River while it was dyed green for St. Patrick's Day.  In case you are not aware of how big a party St. Patrick's Day is in Chicago you need to understand that at one time Irish immigrants were the most populous group in the city.  That has changed quite a bit in the last few decades but the city is still full of people of Irish decent and we take this holiday seriously.  It's a day that people who aren't even Irish can pretend to be and have a great time with their fellow Chicagoans.  Since Kevin is 1/8th Irish and Colette is a smidge we go all out and spend most of the day enjoying all the various festivities this city has to offer.  We've been to the official parade made famous in The Fugitive starring Harrison Ford, we went to the last "real" South Side Irish parade before they had to cancel it for a couple years because it was getting out of hand, we'v…

Oh, everyone's a comedian. A visit from Jackson

In mid January we had a special visitor to Cygnet. Colette's brother Jackson came in from San Francisco to stay with us and see Chicago. He's visited before, once for our wedding reception, and another time just for fun, but this is the first time he's been here with us living on Cygnet. Jackson and Colette had the same mother but different fathers and they didn't grow up together beyond the first few years but we've visited him in San Francisco and he's been here so we aren't strangers. This time he came for just under two weeks and while in town he spent a lot of time going to and performing at local comedy clubs. Jackson has been working as a comedian for years in San Francisco and we in Chicago were lucky to experience his entertaining and slightly askew show a few times. Unfortunately his late night stand up comedy and our regular hour jobs don't mix all that well so he ventured out without us a few nights and killed it without us as witnesses.

If …