Saturday, December 22, 2012

Shrink It

With Winter breathing down our necks it is time for live aboards to defend ourselves. We chose to wrap our boat in shrink wrap for our first Winter experience. Unlike boats in storage we use clear plastic in stead of the white to allow some natural light to filter in. The process starts with building a frame work as shown below.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Sailor Jerry

When we launched our boat this past summer, nerves in bundles and staring at our vessel with fingers crossed that it wouldn’t sink, a man came strolling down the dock and welcomed us to the live-a-board community. He introduced himself as Jerry Palazzo. He had those smiling eyes that could instantly put you at ease and a way of conversing that made you feel like you had known him for years. He was known on our docks as “the mayor”.

When we were settled into our slip, he extended an invitation to his boat. At the time we didn’t know “boat protocol” for going to another persons boat; do you knock three times on the side to see if they’re there? Give a little “ahoy matey!” perhaps? We screamed amateurs. Luckily though, when we went over, Jerry and a few friends were sitting in the cockpit and he warmly invited us to come aboard. Jerry handed us a cup with some rum in it and we fell instantly into pace of the ongoing conversation. So began our friendship.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Moving pictures

This is the short video from out recent sail in ME. Of course we didn't take nearly enough footage and many days are missing but you can get the idea from the movie of how it went. Hope you enjoy.

Fall trip from Neto Nomads on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Seguin Island - Day 1 Propeller Wrap Up!

In mid-October, when most people were heading south or prepping their boats for winter, s/v Neto Nomad and crew headed out for our last sail of the year. With frost covered docks shimmering in the early morning sun we cast off our lines and slipped out of Portland Harbor unnoticed by all save a few lobstermen. The crisp morning air gave warning that winter loomed just around the corner but the sun's warmth on our cheeks reassured us it wasn't here quite yet. We still had time for one last adventure.
Dreams of Down East danced in our heads like a beautifully choreographed Martha Graham number, but with time constraints and unpredictable weather we set our eyes on exploring Vinalhaven and Isle of Haut instead. Not a bad second choice. With the ocean promising swell we headed first for Popham Beach to check out a recommended surf spot.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Holding on to Summer

ME Summer from Neto Nomads on Vimeo.

With the first snow falling I went through some random clips from the summer and threw them together. Brings you back to the warmer days.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Nor'easter Night 1

Here's a few pictures of our boat from last night. We were asked today by the marina if this was our first boat and first time living aboard (yes), to which they replied that our boat was tied up the best and we're riding nicely. They also commented on how calm we were...we can only hope that when/if the situation gets worse we remain calm, do what needs to be done, and most importantly remain safe.

Ok, enough babble, on to the pics. We'll try to have some videos of the storm picking up posted today too.

they moved the boat today on our port (left) side so we added some additional lines connecting us to that finger dock as well today.

Tied up to the finger off our starboard side and to the main dock. There were no cleats on the main dock so we tied off to the vertical 2x4s underneath.

As Sandy Approaches - Nor'easter Shows her Fury

Up here in Maine we have been tracking Sandy's path pretty closely. We decided to stay in the water and on board through the thick of it since by the time it makes up to us it should just be downgraded to a Tropical Depression. We did some extra preparations doubling up lines and crisscrossed some lines to the adjacent finger in case anything was to happen to ours.

For us, as of yet, Sandy has not reached her long fingers out to grace us our boat. Up here, we are currently getting the brunt end of a nor'easter. With winds out of the NE picking up speeds it was a rocky night as high tide encroached upon us around 11pm. At low tide we have a buffer ground between us and the channel that the sea can't come over so high tide is when it is at it's worst (as I write this it is just past high tide and still extremely rocky).

There are about 15 boats, sail and motor mixed, here in our Marina with people staying on them through the duration of the storm (most of which are liveaboards like us), it's a great community and everyone is looking out for each other.

Here's some tips if your boat is in the water and you're braving through.

* If you're concerned about your finger, tie lines back to the actual main dock from your finger. We tied to the vertical pillars under the main dock.

* If you happen to have an empty finger next to you, cross lines over to it's cleats. If your finger (god forbid) breaks, you are attached to another finger...i.e your boat doesn't float off!). Also this will help minimize the jerking of your boat. The boat next to us was just moved so we'll be adding another line from our stern diagonally to the cleat on the finger to our port side.

* Put soap or lubrication on your creaking lines on your boat. You will be much happier without the noise reverberating  throughout your boat! If you have line shock absorbers, use them.

* Have a bag with your valuables ready. None of us want to abandon our boats, but your life is more valuable. If the worst was to happen and you need to flee your boat, grab your packed bag with things that are irreplaceable. We also have our foul weather gear, shoes and car keys all in sight.

If you have any other tips you'd like to share (land or water) please add below! We'd love to hear your preparations.

We'll be sleeping in the cabin tonight (one eye open perhaps) until we know the worst of the storm has passed by.

On a sad note, we have been following the sad story of the tall ship Bounty that sunk off the Carolinas and hope the remaining two crew members are found and brought to safety.

That's all for now, we'll keep you all updated on our status as the storm passes through. Stay safe all, mother nature is showing us her strength.

When Nick gets back with the camera we'll put some pictures up :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fall Update

It's been a few so I decided an update was in order! Lots has been going on aboard Neto Nomad. A new addition of a port side mid-ship cleat completes the set; installed a 3 lined clutch for our reefing system and the heater is finally installed and working great! Later next month we will shrink wrap the boat and bunker down for winter.

However today, today we cast off the lines and sail. We'll head north and explore islands first charted by some of the greats hundreds of years ago, and the native americans before them. Today we join them.

Until next time!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Recycle, ReUse, ReArt - Surf Board Fins

About a year ago Nick provided me with 2 of his old surf board fins to play around with in the world of art. Inspired I went with it. I have a few completed pieces thus far, here's the latest:

Surf Big Waves
Nick's friend, Mike Beach, had drawn 'Neto Shapes' in a ton of different fonts on a fin for him a while back in California (check out the yellow fin on Neto Shapes 'Art' Page) and I always thought it looked pretty rad. Drawing from that and a piece of art by Andy Davis that I've always loved, this piece transpired.

Here's some links to Neto Shapes blog if you want to check out the other two fins I painted: Meditation Manifestations and Dancing Ganesh.

I'm almost out of fins so if you're a surfer and you have some old fins hanging around...recycle and send them this way!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

T is for Tables and Tomato Soup

Finally! We have built a small folding table to give us some more options for working at and a place to pile more stuff. It is very simple but works perfect.
Fold-up table and yummy food!
Built from a ash tree cut down and milled last year by our friend RJ, this piece of wood was exactly what we needed. We really enjoy recycling and this particular piece of wood had twisted to much for the initial project it was made for so we rescued it from the scrap pile. After some creative cutting, Nick was able to join the two pieces to give us a nice 18" X 12" piece that became the top of the flip up table.

As projects progress you will see more and more completed with wood that we have harvested and milled here in Maine. To test it out dinner was served; tomato bisque with bacon and potatoes served with a sourdough toast slice, mmmmmm.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Burnt Ends

Family request for burnt ends was just what I needed as an excuse to fire up the smoker on a recent trip to CT. As many of you know I have a masonry smoker that I built last year and have been using it to fill peoples belly's with delicious smoked meats. This time brisket was the meat of choice.
Two 6lb briskets with dry rub of salt, raw sugar, paprika, pepper and a few other fun spices. I started the smoker about an hour early to get a nice even temperature throughout the masonry surface.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Climbing Upper Goose

After a long Summer of limited climbing we decided to take up the quest to follow rummors of a climable boulder on a near by island. After convincing a friend to come along we headed up the bay to Upper Goose. The above is the first sighting of the island cluster.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Teaching Roger Long: A 48 Hour sail aboard s/v Strider

The sea gods must have been looking over us (or had a strange sense of humor) when our path crossed with Roger Long's.
Leaving Portland Harbor aboard Strider
We originally met Roger while he was working on Strider on the hard over the summer. We chatted over our mutual plans of heading south for the winter. As our friendship grew, Roger ended up showing us things such as the ways of reefing and taking us out on a rougher day.

As the "To do" list kept growing for Neto Nomad and September kept creeping nearer, going south was no longer an option for us. Roger, however, threw another option our way: Come cruising on Strider for the first 48 hours leg of his trip south.

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Cooler Winter then Expected

Finding balance
 Nick and I had a tough talk this week. Due to our boat needing more work than expected once she got in the water and the warm summer months fading away, the cool night breeze reminded us that Fall was here and with it, decision time. Our big plan to head South to the Bahamas never seemed further away, how was it September already?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

MMM Pork

It should be apparent by now that we have a fondness for pork products. I would consider myself a rather well traveled person who has made a point of trying as many pulled pork sandwiches as possible. In my quest to make my own perfect sandwich I took another try recently with very good results despite only having one small electric burner to work with.

At this time I can tell I am only a few more attempts away from creating the best sandwich ever. Unfortunately for you all I am not sharing my recipe until it is perfected, so with that in mind I would stay tuned. For now the basics are pork butt, bacon, beer and onions.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Bowsprit again

Catch up time! So the bowsprit needed all new wood and hardware on the deck but the underneath was equally as bad. Above are the new metal plates ordered to replace the rusted out one. If all was perfect we could afford stainless steel but we don't have that sort of money, if anyone would like feel free to donate!, so we opted for a middle of the road steel. Since we know it will rust out eventually I tried to make the new plate as easy as possible to replace. The old one was so wedged in to tight spots and tabbed with fiberglass that it was not not somthing I wish to remove again. Since I had no welder onboard I went with a column as the vertical reinforcement and tapped holes in either end to blot it all together. After breaking three taps it did happen!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

They call it Pea Soup

Aes Dana - Alignments by Blossom331

We ventured off earlier this week after the fog lifted only to be greeted back by it like a warm unwanted hug. They call it pea soup in the world of boaters. It's thick and you can't see through it. We were already past the Portland Head Light so Nick used his navigational skills to map out the buoys and the time it would take us to get to them. Eventually we would near the buoy and hear the bell or the gong as if it were celebrating our arrival. We turned our heading towards Jewell Island and cautiously proceeded along, continuing to monitor the GPS, VHF and signaling our bell every 2 minutes. Suddenly, emerging from the nothingness, we saw cliffs. There she was, Jewell Island was in our sight.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Anchors, Raft-Ups and Overnights!

Hammock time!
We headed out yesterday into Casco Bay in the later part of the afternoon after getting some errands done and prepping the boat. Our friend RJ jumped aboard and we headed out past Fort Gorgeous and continued around Cow Ledge. Neto Nomad responded nicely to the consistent winds as she carried us along on our adventure.

Chief eyeing Nick's sandwhich
Fellow Cape Dory owner and friend (Captain) Tyler and Chief met us out on the water and we eventually headed to a little island in Casco Bay. We laid out the anchor (for the first time mind you - woohoo!!) and Tyler rafted up next to us (2 boats, 1 anchor).

Friday, August 3, 2012

Catching Up

Sunset from our slip
It's been a while since our last post and I feel like so much has happened since then.

The biggest news is our beautiful boat sails and boy does she like it! Neto Nomad made her maiden voyage 2 weeks ago! We took her out into Casco Bay past Fort Gorgeous and about halfway past Great Diamond Island. We did a few tacks and headed back.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

First Outing in Casco Bay!

I have to say, being new to the boating world I am constantly floored by how nice and helpful our neighbors in the Marina are. From endless tips, to cruising spots, to hidden coves to rigging goes on and on. To say we are thankful is an understatement.
RJ takes the tiller!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Four of July

Spending the day getting settled in we managed to still have some time to make burgers and support the beer industry. How ever our plans of fireworks over the ocean were dashed with a late arrival on thunderstorms.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Neto Nomads Gets their Creativity On!

Nick and I are pretty artsy so we finally decided to post up some of our creations on Etsy! We plan to have an array of land and sea creations as we travel about so be sure to favorite our store and keep an eye on what's popping up new just might find your next original gift for someone special!

Goodbye for now friends!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Prepping the Mast

What started out as a easy project of replacing the old VHF antenna and cable took a quick turn for the worst when the string line separated from the cable as I pulled it through the mast. The line was supposed to make pulling the new able up nice a simple. At this point in time I have given up putting my tools away so I just grabbed what I need from the pile and started to remove the masthead, this is the large metal piece on the top of the mast everything connects to.

Saturday, June 30, 2012


With the new engine we needed a new prop to spin the correct way. Also since the boat was out of the water it was prudent to change the cutlass bearing which holds the prop shaft inline and start off everything right with the re-power.

Try as I might I couldn't locate any set screws so I tried plan B which was to put a pipe wrench on it and turn it out. Fail. Plan C was pair of vice grips and pull really hard. Fail. Plan D was to use the puller for the transmission coupling that we had but it wouldn't fit in the area at all. Finally I decided to make my own tool which often has mixed results.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

All Those Colors in One Space

I picked out the colors for the interior of our boat a little while back. "Is this her first time painting?" Whispered the guy behind the Lowes paint counter to Nick as I walked a few feet away..."She's not going to use them all in the same room, is she?" Nick laughed and shrugged, he did after all tell me I could pick whatever colors I wanted...

Yes it is true, we are stepping away from the conventional interior colors (gasp!!), but, we aren't really the conventional type either so I'm sure it's of no surprise. If we're living aboard and traveling in a small space we need to make it our own, and we need color!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Undertaking of Anti-Fouling Paint

Ahh, finally! The rain cleared out and has left us with a few beautiful Maine days that I've grown to cherish. This weather window also means another thing on Neto's time to get our Anti-fouling game faces on!

To those of you not familiar with this particular boat paint, it is applied on the lower half of the hull (bottom of the boat) that is submerged when in the water. The idea is to keep barnacles and other sea life from growing on the bottom of your boat which would inhibit smooth sailing.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Journey to Patience

I can't believe it has been 10 months since we left California and headed back east to make our dream of sailing and simplifying our lives a reality. There has surely been a lot of ups and downs and obstacles to overcome as would be the case for any undertaking of a life style change. If the journey was not a struggle at times would the reward of obtaining your end goal be so sweet to the tongue?

At times our voyage seemed doomed -- had we made a mistake of leaving the comforts of our California lifestyle? The beach a rock kick away, being around our friends whom we had grown to love and enjoy our time with; the sun, always present, pleading it's case with ease to draw you out to play in its warm rays..... Our boat seemed to resist us at every turn, our plight to save her seemed tedious and at times impossible as our list of repairs grew longer and longer with every loosening of a screw.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Aqua repair

If you looked at the freshwater plumbing lines you may get sick. The lines are black with mold, kinked all over and leaking. It was not an option to flush them out and clean them so we decided to replace. We purchased some new FDA approved anti-bacterial water lines for the replacement, figuring better safe than sorry when it comes to water (I'd say a step up from the the old pool hose which was previously installed....).

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sanding for Gold

Over the past month we have had many different projects going on from the rebuilding the bowsprit to cleaning the bilge to preparing the engine compartment for our soon to be here new engine (yay!). However I have to say, one of the simplest and possibly most rewarding so far is bearing witness to the beautiful dark golden hue of the freshly sanded and oiled teak emerge from the weathered and far too long neglected grey that had resided on her deck for far too long -- Ok ok, perhaps seeing the old 500+ lb engine emerge from the companion way leaving the boat structure completely unscathed takes first place, but I'm talking aesthetics here for the time being :)

Monday, May 28, 2012

More Rants

This is a mix of rants and questions that literally keep me up at night. If it isn't clear by now we are not old salts and somethings just don't make sense to us. If you happen to know the answers to any of the below let us know!

Just a list this time to make it easy:

Everything I read is all about using high-strength adhesive for a bedding compound. Whats the point of high strength adhesive over a peel layer like paint or plywood?

If a bolt is to long either put the right one in or cut to length, bending it is not a good alternative. Is there a reason you wouldn't cut bolts to length in boats, or was this just done on our boat?

Don't encapsulate mild steel in fiberglass when you know it is going to get wet! That isn't a question just a statement. If you are using a steel that will rust someday at least make it easy to replace, making a fiberglass pocket for it is just letting it sit in water and makes replacement a lot harder.

Don't use untreated lumber in a vital spot that will get wet and is impossible to reach! That is a straight rant but I understand money pinching is normally the cause.

Take care of expensive wood that is left in the sun and water everyday! So, is oil or varnish better? It seems varnish tends to lure in people with the promise of less consistent maintenance but at least in our case if someone had been checking the wood parts consistently they would have found problems as they occurred and not neglected them for years to come.
Little tranquil Silver Maple to calm down.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


With mixed feeling we plunged into the re-powering of our boat. Nothing I would like better than to leave well enough alone and have an old trusty engine but we are not that lucky. After a few weeks of one unpleasant surprise after another the removal of the Volvo was not something we were looking forward to.
With five days of rain finally stopping we plunged forward with the task: build something to move the 500lb beast out of the boat. After a day of working, moving heavy steel beams around and fighting off hordes of bugs we had a platform we deemed worthy to lift safely.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Book review: Sailing Alone Around the World

What I came away with from reading this was an odd feeling of, wow how much things have changed but at the same time, wow things haven’t changed all that much. Without giving anything away, this book is about a motivated individual who builds a sailboat and sails around the world alone, which was the first recorded solo trip on record. This was a major feat for a little under a hundred years ago to be the first to do such a trip (especially considering he meets people who still believe the world is flat). I really enjoyed his easy way of telling the story without being too technical or boasting too much about himself which he is rightly entitled to do. The entire book hardly ever mentions how great his accomplishments are and just sticks to small antidotes about how the journey progressed some being funny and others quite interesting. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

DIY: How to spruce up your cabin - recycle your lights!

I had removed the light fixtures back in November before we winterized the boat. The aluminum had become less than desirable from not being up kept so we had to figure out a new plan for them. Since the lights were not broken there was no need to replace them, but just because you aren't buying new, doesn't mean they can't look new!

What you need:

  • 1 can of High Heat metal adhesive spray paint - I used Rust-Oleum High Heat in white. ($8)
  • Your light fixtures  
  • a ventilation mask
  • a clean space out of the wind

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Monday, April 30, 2012

The Bowsprit

As mentioned in the past our bowsprit, the wooden part the juts out of the front and holds the wire rigging which, in turn holds the mast, is in need of repair. Repair is a generous word in this case not even rebuilding or replacing are strong enough words. At first look the wooden piece, 4 feet by 9" by 1.5", is rotted so much only about half is still present, no good at all. It is held down with nine bolts going through the deck and through a large piece of steel underneath the deck to support it all. This piece of steel is completely rusted and has an additional 12 bolts holding it down, pictured below.
Warning this post may be a rant but it is good therapy to write down your feelings, I have been told.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dinghy Rebuild 3 of 3

The dinghy is about 95% done. Few more little things to add here and there as we go but for now it is usable. Over all we are happy with the result. We stayed within our budget, recycled everything with the exception of resin and built our first dinghy which tested well!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

DIY Spear for Fishing

Started building a pair of pole spears so we can catch some fish. Keeping it simple I used some industrial fiberglass rods, surgical tubing, rope, metal rod, metal tubing and epoxy.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Red Wines of California

Pinot Noir, red Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and one famed sommelier Kevin Zraly comprised our night the other week at Kevin Zraly's Windows On the World Wine School, and what a night it was. Mr. Zraly's charismatic delivery of wine, the vine and everything in between was instantly entrancing. I did my best to discern between the aromas - oak definitely oak...oh wait, spiced chocolate? err I mean black cherry...yeah that's cherry!; as well as the the acidity, fruit and tannin levels - the tannins faded...oh it didn't? hmm, what's tannins again? bahh...this is why I came tonight! We laughed and savored our way through this class and Mr. Zraly treated us all at the end with a 1996 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve (Nappa Valley), simply superb.

I definitely have some learning to do but I did catch the wine bug. My only complaint is that we aren't signed up for the rest of the classes! On the plus side, now I might have a chance of beating Nick at Wine Wars! Game on babe!

Nick and I with sommelier and fellow New Paltzian, Kevin Zraly!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Dinghy Rebuild 2 of 3

Now that the dinghy was to the shape we wanted I went to work on making it a sturdy little boat. I didn't understand the original way the person had built the gunwales with spacing tabs between the pieces and small screws holding it together. Perhaps some boat builder will explain it to me but since it was all broken I decided to fix it my way. Here I am clamping the white oak into position so I can meassure and make cuts.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Breakfast Potato Bowl

Breakfast, ah beautiful nourishing breakfast. One of my three favorite meals. Crispy potatoes sweetly sauteed with onion completed with melted cheese.... Sigh, I'm getting hungry even thinking about it. If you love breakfast, get out the skillet and break an egg, here is a tasty treat of a recipe for you.

Ingredients: (Serves 2)

6 small red potatoes - cubed (skins on)
1/2 an onion - chopped
olive oil
flat parsley, or herb of choice
cheddar cheese grated or cheese of choice (I had Gorgonzola on hand so I added it as well)
2 eggs
1 avocado 
bacon optional

Friday, April 6, 2012

Up Close and Personal

On the drafting table

  I sat down tonight to sketch out the interior of our boat thanks to a Multi Product brochure I found on the site. Now we can start figuring out what changes we want to make to the galley and cabin! With spring right around the corner things are starting to get more exciting and should start evolving rather quickly now with set plans to move up to Maine in May!

Up close and personal with our 30' Cape Dory Ketch interior