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We’re in Tiny House Magazine!

Several weeks ago Tiny House Magazine contacted us to write an article for their April issue. We were delighted to contribute and share with the Tiny House community what it’s like to live in a tiny floating home. While our home may not be as small as some of the others described in their magazine, we can definitely relate to all the simplicities of living in a confined space.

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“Tiny House Magazine features prominent leaders in the tiny house world. The magazine is interactive and will include videos, etc. People living in tiny homes will be featured. Tips for living in small places, questions and answers about downsizing. Tiny homes for sale, workshops, etc.” -THM

Tiny House Magazine is not available in print format. If you are interested in reading the entire April issue or past and future issues, they are available for purchase on your iphone/ipad from the iTunes store or downloadable as a PDF. For viewing on a Kindle, follow this link.

Exumas: Black Point

King Mackerel caught trolling a squid jig near Staniel Cay

Two weeks ago we made our way down the Central Exumas to Black Point Settlement. It can be a little tedious to pack up our entire home and stow away all loose belongings when traveling to a new anchorage but we find it more exciting than anything. Travel days are when the trolling lines come out! Peter can hardly resist throwing in a line, despite how rough the seas may be. We’ve done fairly well in the fishing department which makes me and the dogs happy campers! I think Peter has more interest in catching fish than he does eating them :)

Each new place we travel to is an adventure. You could easily spend several years exploring all of the islands of the Bahamas and still not see everything, which is why many cruisers return season after season to their favorite anchorages in the Bahamas, exploring new areas along the way.

Peter and I are traveling through the Bahamas for the first time and there is much that we’ll miss. Knowing this, we make the best of the areas we do get to see and we enjoy seeing all of the blog posts and pictures from our friends that are exploring the rest. Be sure to check out some of the great blogs we’ve listed on our website.

Black Point was recommended as a “must-see” anchorage. Even though we didn’t need to do laundry, we were told this is THE place to get it done! There are a ton of machines. We attempted taking some bedding to the laundry facility during our stay but our Island Time brains didn’t realize it was Sunday until we got to shore. The machines take tokens only and you can only purchase them Monday through Saturday. Most of the local stores all through the Bahamas are closed on Sunday. We still keep forgetting though.


Black Point also has free garbage at the city dock (although a small donation is recommended) and across the main road is a faucet for RO (reverse osmosis) water. It’s the local water supply for the whole island so they prefer if the cruisers don’t use it to fill their water tanks, but it’s perfectly fine to take some jerry jugs there to fill up your drinking water. If you have a wifi booster it’s pretty easy to pick up an open signal from anywhere in the anchorage as well :)


We spent a few days in Black Point until the weather clocked around and another westerly was going to be upon us. It’s the only direction you do not want wind coming from here. The chop and swells become pretty uncomfortable to say the least.

Before continuing south, our leaking engine exhaust problem had become much more critical than before. The leaking hose and elbow for our main engine exhaust was now seeping at an alarming rate, pouring salt water into our engine room on top of the port fuel tank, over the ledge and down beneath the generator. Swapping out sopping-wet towels had worked for a while but we were afraid we wouldn’t make it all the way to Georgetown the way it was.

Amazingly, we met 4 or 5 other Whitby 42s and a Brewer 12.8 while we were anchored at Black Point. They had all just traveled up from Georgetown. Anne and Brad on S/V Anneteak (Whitby 42) were so helpful! We had been in communication with them via Facebook before they arrived and it was so nice to finally meet them. Brad helped Peter disconnect the generator exhaust hose where it discharges overboard on the port side, and then reconnect the main engine exhaust hose in its place. This is by no means a “good” fix, but it was necessary to get us to Georgetown to find a new exhaust elbow and new exhaust hose to fix the job properly.

Black Point was a nice quiet little town but there were no marine parts available and that means it was time to keep moving south.


Next stop… Georgetown!!

What’s in our Ditch Bag and Med Kit??

Now that the ocean is our home, it’s critical that we have the supplies we need in the event of an emergency. This is similar to carrying emergency supplies in your car and stocking up in your home if you live where “The Big One” could tremble the earth so much it knocks out all roads, power and water at any minute, or if you live where a snow storm could leave you trapped inside a car or home, or if you live where a hurricane or tornado could demolish your town.

There are increasing numbers of Doomsday Preppers around the world today that fear a disaster of epic proportions could render them completely on their own. TV shows have depicted some of the extremes these preppers have gone to ensuring their safety and survival.

For others, it’s a less of an obsession but rather a desire for a ‘Plan B’ type of scenario that inspires them to always be prepared for anything to happen.

Peter’s uncle Dan and his wife Terry own a compound in the desert primarily for off-roading and weekend fun. They also know in the back of their minds that they have somewhere safe to go and fully stocked up with supplies and survival gear in the event that the economy crashes beyond repair and chaos breaks out in the masses.

Two of our favorite TV shows before leaving our little home in San Diego was SurvivorMan and Dual Survival. Both of these shows are of course based on survival and they really get us thinking about whether or not we would have the know-how to really survive in the wilderness. These guys demonstrate that it’s not as easy as it looks to survive in less than ideal conditions when it comes to extreme cold, heat, wind, shelter, food, hydration, finding help, medical issues, and know-how. We believe it is just as important to actually get out and tests your skills before you need to use them. Could you really make a fire with wet or no kindling? Do you know how to use a magnesium stick? Could you catch fish without a fishing pole? Would you actually know how to use a water purifier if you were dying of thirst? Do you know what to do if you’re bitten by a snake or poisonous insect? Would you know how to signal for help without a radio?

It seems so basic to know how to survive, but when you really think about it, could you?? Living on a boat for us brings a whole new meaning to SIMPLE LIVING. It’s about sustaining life and making due with the skills and tools available to us.

Back in October we built a thorough Ditch Bag and Medical Kit with everything we could think of. It was near the top of our priority list as we began outfitting the boat, knowing it MUST be done before we left the protection of Charlotte Harbor. Wonder what kind of survival tools we have on board?


All these things in mind, we assembled our Ditch Bag with the idea that we can survive and find help if something ever happened to the boat, if we were swept out to sea in the dinghy or stranded on an island somewhere. Our ditch bag is essentially a dry-bag with all of the basic survival gear we might need in the event of an emergency. Although one time the Ditch Bag was accidentally left on board instead of taken out in the dinghy during a diving expedition, we have made it a policy to ALWAYS bring the Ditch Bag when we take the dinghy anywhere. Even if it’s just for a quick potty run to shore with the dogs, ANYTHING could happen. Two items we know are missing are a handheld GPS and a handheld VHF radio. We’ve put those on our wish list :)

Our Ditch Bag lives in the cockpit where it’s readily accessible during a storm. If we ever needed to leave the boat, we would be stepping ‘up’ into the life raft with our Ditch Bag in hand and hydrostatic inflatable Mustang life vests and harnesses already on. We’ve also each got an ACR ResQLink+ GPS-enabled Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) fastened to our life vests.

Ditch Bag Inventory:

  • Line to tie the Ditch Bag to the dinghy – JUST INCASE :)
  • Spot Tracking device with 911 capability
  • Beef jerky – high protein content, light weight and stores well
  • Knife
  • Fishing line
  • Fishing hooks
  • Fully charged 2-way radio (the other one stays on the boat)
  • PUR water purification pump – pickled
  • 1 beach towel
  • Flares
  • Matches
  • Lighter
  • Waterproof flashlight with fully charged batteries
  • Dog leash
  • Bungee cord
  • Paracord
  • 2 space blankets
  • Dinghy patch kit
  • US Army compass
  • 2 rain ponchos
  • Duct tape
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Whistle/mirror/watertight container of matches/compass – combo tool
  • Magnesium stick
  • Tourniquet made from an old Hawaiian sling band
  • Napkins in a ziplock bag
  • Gloves
  • 2 gallon ziplock bags
  • Black plastic trash bag
  • Wound seal powder
  • Medical tape
  • Ace bandages
  • Ear drops
  • Eye wash
  • Potable Aqua drops
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • ChapStick with sunscreen
  • Miscellaneous bandaids
  • Burn gel
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Rubbing alcohol spray
  • Nail clippers
  • Medical scissors
  • Insect bite relief wipes
  • Ibuprofen
  • Benadryl
  • Bar of soap
  • Immodium – antidiarrheal




This boat is our home so all of the medical items we would normally have in a house are also here on the boat. We keep most internal medicines in the lockers in the aft head while the water-tight med kits are stored in the lockers in the forward head. It is critical that these items are organized in a way that we can find what we need quickly.

Just like the Ditch Bag, its important that our med kit is sealed in a water-tight container. Because we have so many items in our med it, we opted to use two large locking lid Tupperware containers. We personally like the SnapWare kind that come in different sizes and lid colors. They have gaskets that seal well and the lids stay locked keeping out air, water and bugs.

Each container has the contents labeled on the outside for quick reference and the items inside are organized in groups, separated by ziplock bags and labeled in further detail. We keep a bag nearby in case we need to grab our whole med kit in a hurry and bring our supplies an injured person in need of help off of our boat.

Something we didn’t start out with in our medical supplies is several courses of antibiotics. We didn’t plan far enough ahead to meet with our doctors before we left California to obtain the courses one might need in a marine environment. Now that we are out of the US we hope to pick some basic antibiotics in a pharmacy or clinic where they won’t cost an arm and a leg ;) We did start off with one course of antibiotics, however Peter already needed it back in Florida when a hardhead saltwater catfish barb punctured his knuckle. It was horribly painful and poisonous. Thanks to our friends Lisa and Will at The Trading Post/Calusa Queen Eco Tours in Burnt Store Marina we googled it in a hurry and found that hot water over 103 degrees (or as hot as you can stand) will neutralize the poison and take the pain away instantly. It could have turned into a nasty infection but we were lucky to already have the medicine we needed on hand. We’ve also learned that hot water is also the remedy to neutralize a sting from Lionfish, Stonefish and most other venomous creatures in a marine environment. If you’re ever out in the dinghy and someone happens to be stung by one of these painful encounters, the raw water exhaust on your outboard motor will do the trick until you can get to shore to find hotter water.

Large Medical Kit Inventory (blue lid – external supplies):

  • Medical tape
  • Respirator mask
  • Scissors
  • Space blanket
  • Antiseptic prep pads
  • Sterile gauze compresses
  • Miscellaneous bandaids – latex and latex-free organized by size and material
  • Thermometer
  • Tourniquet made from an old Hawaiian sling band
  • Permanent marker
  • Latex free gloves
  • Sterile IV catheter – incase we come across a medical professional that might be able to use it?
  • Tweezers
  • Surgical lubricant
  • Sterile blood collection kit
  • Sterile disposable lancet
  • Sterile closure strips
  • Several quick reference first-aid guides



Small Medical Kit Inventory (purple lid – external supplies):

Antiseptic Ointment:

  • Antiseptic lotion
  • Bacitracin
  • Polysporin
  • Triple antibiotic ointment

Burn Treatment:

  • Burn gel
  • Black Tea


  • Nasal spray
  • Sinus rinse packets


  • Contact solution
  • Eye drops
  • Vigamox – pinkeye


  • Drawing Salve
  • Poison ivy, oak and sumac cleanser
  • Hydrocortosone cream
  • Antihistamine cream
  • Clobetasol propionate – eczema, rash, skin inflammation
  • Meat tenderizer – jellyfish stings


  • Premixed ear drop solution – rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide and vinegar
  • Prescription drops for ear infections
  • Wax ear plugs
  • Foam ear plugs

Miscellaneous Topical Ointments:

  • A&D
  • Tinactin
  • Clotrimazole
  • Preparation H
  • Icy Hot
  • Retin-A
  • Compound-W
  • Mederma scar gel
  • Muscle rub lotion



Miscellaneous Medical Supplies and Internal Medication Inventory:

  • Vinegar
  • Sunscreen
  • Aloe Vera
  • ChapStick with Sunscreen
  • Bug Spray
  • NyQuil
  • Pepto Bismol liquid and tablets
  • Tums
  • Fiber chewables
  • Throat lozenges
  • Throat Coat tea
  • Nasal spray
  • Sore throat spray
  • Omeprezole – acid reflux/heartburn
  • Rantidine – acid reflux/heartburn
  • Benadryl
  • Caffeine pills
  • Dimenhydrinate – motion sickness
  • MotionEase – topical motion sickness
  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen
  • Excedrine Migraine
  • Immodium tablets – anti-diarrheal
  • Ondansetron ODT – nausea/vomiting
  • Arsenicum album – food poisoning
  • Xopenex inhaler
  • Stool softener
  • Vaseline
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Witch Hazel
  • Tea Tree oil
  • Epsom salt
  • Vinyl gloves
  • Betadine/Iodine
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Tinactin fungal spray
  • Gauze
  • Ace bandages


Medical Books and Reference Guides:

  • The Merck Manual of Medical Info
  • Your Offshore Doctor
  • American Red Cross 1st Aid/CPR/AED manual
  • The US Armed Forces Survival Manual

There are many great medical reference books out there but these are what we had on hand before we left. In hindsight there are a few others we would have liked to order, but hopefully this will be sufficient should we ever need them. What medical books do you recommend for full-time cruisers like ourselves?

Please share any survival stories you have as well as tips and tricks we might not find in any books :)

We feel we have done a pretty thorough job at assembling our medical supplies and Ditch Bag. We also know you can never be too prepared. Leave us a comment and let us know what other MUST-HAVE items we may have forgotten!! We’d love to hear from you!


**UPDATE** We have recently added several courses of antibiotics to our supply that we picked up at a pharmacy in the Dominican Republic. We have also added lidocaine, sutures and a suture removal kit.

Paddleboarding and The Blue Hole anchored off White Cay



It was a 19nm sail down to White Cay where we ducked in to set anchor. Peter almost missed the turn as we surfed the boat through the cut. It was pretty clear that it was too shallow to go forward through the next part so we followed the breadcrumbs on the chartplotter from the previous owner in to a sharp turn to starboard and settled in next to another sailboat.

Peter and I took the dogs to shore with the dinghy. There were many small islands and little tiny beaches but not much sand around the islands. Mostly lava rock and no shells. We watched the sunset from our private beach then went to say hello to another ketch anchored nearby.



We got back and had the rests of the snapper caught the day before. It was a rough and rolly anchorage because there was so much current being pushed through from two different locations. That night we swung all the way around over and over. We kept the mizzen up to hopefully point into the wind but the current kept swinging us in circles.

Tuesday 2.18.14 first thing in the morning Gunner told us he needed to go potty and as soon as we got him to the Astroturf on the aft deck, he went pee right away!! Old dogs can learn new tricks!

Leah wanted to go for an adventure on the paddleboards so Peter helped finish getting them ready. We are missing the screw and nut that holds the fin on so he secured it with a zip-tie instead. I was extremely leery of drifting away from the boat with just the paddles. The current was wicked and the night before the guys had trouble swimming back to the boat while carrying their dive gear. As long as the guys followed us in the dinghy for the first part of the paddling I decided to give it a shot.

I had no idea how calm and beautiful it was about to be once we got around the point where the waves were breaking! Finally we were able to move from our knees to standing up and then we paddled through the crystal blue green waters. This really is the stuff dreams are made of.




There were sting rays and bright blue fish swimming under us in the sandy shallows. We saw a few turtles too.



Peter and Josh went back to get the dogs in the dinghy. When they got back to us, I got Betsy out for her first time on a paddleboard! She is such a good water dog :) We weren’t ready to try it with Gunner yet. He was feeling much better but we figured he just might not have the strength yet for something as crazy as that.





After a bit of doggy paddling we got towed over on the paddleboards to the trail that leads to the Blue Hole of Hoffmans Cay.


The four of us and the dogs hiked up the trail until we could see the big hole in the middle of the island. Its something like 600 feet deep and connects to the ocean so its all salt water. We heard Jacques Cousteau discovered it many moons ago.

Peter jumped off the cliff into the deep blue hole and the rest of us climbed down a little further. It was amazing! The edge just dropped off into a deep abyss.


There was a cave like area that had been worn away and tucked up underneath, completely undisturbed in the sand, was written “Journey.” I knew it must have been left by our friends aboard S/V Journey who arrived there just a couple weeks before us. Sailing Journey, we’re right behind you!!


Betsy and Gunner went swimming with the boys and then we hiked back out.






We headed back to the boat then checked out the beach closest to us. Peter and Josh took their Hawaiian slings over to the outside of the island and tried again for some dinner. Peter got one lobster and one unknown species of fish. When we finally filleted it up later that night we discovered the fish had some sort of parasite inside so we tossed the whole thing overboard :( We BBQ’d chicken instead with a tasty little lobster appetizer. Still a pretty good meal for living on the hook!

** Like many other cruisers, we are part of the Tower Paddleboard Affiliate Program. If you decide you want one of these awesome iSUPs too then please help us out and order one by first clicking on the ad banner on the right side our website. Just like the amazon link, if you click through from our site first, we get a percentage of the sale and that helps us stay afloat to enjoy all these amazing adventures!



IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING… We are PROUD to share these awesome products and services with our readers. There are so many different solutions out there for everything we could possibly need, but these are the solutions that work for us.

This post may contain information about a product sponsorship. We gladly accept discounts or samples when a company feels generous enough to support our cause. In return we support the manufacturer or local service by sharing their links and writing about our experience with them. We only seek out sponsorship and affiliate programs from products and services we actually WANT to use and likewise only accept offers for products or services that we WILL use. We are not paid for any reviews we write or feedback we provide. We simply like to spread the word and share great experiences we have had that could also bring joy to others.


**If you’re in the market for any of our favorite products, please consider using one of our Amazon Affiliate product links. Just access Amazon by clicking through from the right-hand sidebar on our website first and any subsequent products you search for during that same internet session will help us out when you complete your purchase. It’s no additional cost to you and puts a small percentage in our cruising kitty. We appreciate your support!

How to hang pictures on a boat


When we packed up our little house to drive across the country, I made sure to bring a few decorations to make the boat feel a little more like home.  On a boat, you can’t just set something down and expect it to stay there. Everything must be either secured or stowed so that when the boat is under way we don’t end up with surprise missiles flying through the cabin. In July the previous owner showed me how they used hang pictures along with a few other tips and tricks for stowage they used to use while living on this boat. She had several watercolor paintings she had done throughout their travels and hung the frames with velcro instead of hammering nails into the beautiful teak.

I had to remove the adhesive from where their pictures were hung and tried using velcro to put our decorations up in their place. It worked for about a week but the so-called heavy-duty indoor/outdoor velcro I bought was no match for the heat and humidity. Pretty soon I had frames and wood decorations crashing down off the walls. The inside of the velcro strips held up no problem but the adhesive side just peeled off.

I was already making a mess of our doors and walls by taking off varnish with each attempt to hang something up so there was no turning back. Those pictures were getting installed no matter what! We tried some 3M double-sided adhesive foam tape next but that warmed up too and peeled right off just like the velcro.

The next idea was to use DUCK brand adhesive foam tape. I tried it first on the slippery finish over the fiberglass to hang a wood sign. Unfortunately it took me a few times to realize how uneven the surface was, but eventually I found the areas that needed an extra layer of foam to make the contacts flush. It may not look pretty underneath but this stuff really did the trick. My sign isn’t going anywhere now!


My mom had given me this sign a few years back for my birthday and I always found a special place for it wherever I lived. When we first saw the boat I knew right where I was going to put it.  The space above the fridge was perfect and it looked like it was just waiting to be decorated :) We’ve got special decorations and sentimental items all throughout the boat and its these things from our loved ones that remind us “Home Is Where The Heart Is.”


The sign reads:

“Sunshine On My Shoulders Makes Me Happy”

It’s a song recorded and co-written by John Denver. This little sign represents exactly what I was talking about in our last post. Our priorities are changing and its the little things in life that we appreciate the most. Sunshine On My Shoulders really DOES make me happy!!


About to set sail on an adventure of a lifetime, we are forever in search of surf, sun, sand and serenity :)