Monday, November 15, 2010

First Overnight Stay!


After running to the store to stock up on groceries, Ken and I set out on s/vNirvana for our very first overnight stay on her, if you don't count the backyard.  So, the above is our first sunset while anchored out.



We headed down the canals of our neighborhood and into Lake Pontchartrain, which is the second largest saltwater lake in the U.S. and only minutes from our house.  The weather and the lake were perfect!
  

We headed through the drawbridge that you can see on the horizon.  There really aren't any anchorages in the lake, so we wanted to drop anchor at least an hour before sunset in case we needed to relocate or had problems with our anchor.  We picked an area that wasn't in the way of  traffic, and with the bottom of the lake being muddy we had no problems with setting the anchor or it holding our boat. 


We anchored around 4:00pm, lit our new grill, and poured some Margaritas.  By the way, if you haven't yet tried Jose Cuervo's pre-mixed "Golden" margarita, we highly recommend it!  Make sure you get the "Golden", as it has Grand Marnier in it and it's much better than Jose's regular margarita.  Unlike some pre-mixed margaritas, it actually has a decent amount of alcohol in it, and it's really smooth.
  
View of our salon, which is converted into the dining area by pulling down the table.

After dinner, we lounged in the cockpit to enjoy the view while sipping margaritas and listening to our favorite tunes.  The above is our state bird, the brown pelican. 

If you look close you can see the city of New Orleans on the horizon.


The sunset  gave us great views for the evening.


We turned on the outside lights of our sailboat in order to be seen anchored in the lake, then we lowered the dining table and converted the area into a place to lounge and play Scrabble.  I wish we had pictures of the night.  Ken and I kept going into the cockpit to look at the lights from New Orleans, the stars and the moon.  It was such an amazing sight! 


We slept in the v-berth, and it wasn't the best sleep. We definitely need a foam mattress topper! But, the night was uneventful and we woke just in time to watch the sun rise.


We haven't messed with our alcohol stove yet, and not too sure about it.  We'd feel more comfortable with a propane stove.  Does anybody know if we can convert our alcohol stove to a propane stove?  Our stove is in great condition, and we'd love to just convert it.  In the meantime, we used a propane burner and made coffee with our new perculator. We brought some biscuits and grilled sausage for breakfast in the cockpit while enjoying the views.


Rain was coming our way, so we headed back home before noon.  We were glad we did, as it started raining shortly after getting home.  We hung around the Hwy. 11 bridge a while waiting for the train to pass.

So, we finally anchored overnight and survived!  Now that we have that behind us, we can't wait to go again and venture out a little further.  We know it won't always be this easy, and we haven't had to use our GPS yet, but we had a great time and are really excited about next Spring. 

Hasta luego ... until then.  Mid-Life Cruising!

14 comments:

GalleySwap said...

How exciting! Nothing beats the night sky as seen from a sailboat. Your boat looks great, too!

Philippe said...

Very nice pictures! Glad to see you are enjoying the boat and the season.

Neophyte Cruiser said...

Your photos captured some of the magic of your first overnight out on the water. I'm sure you can't wait to do it again. I look forward to reading of your ongoing discoveries and adventures.

Melissa said...

We have an alcohol stove on our boat (a '79 ericson) and we love it - we make coffee and eggs on it every morning when we're on a cruise! I say give it a try!

Sandee said...

Nothing better than spending the night on your own boat. We do have a great mattress so we don't have a problem one. Looks like you made the best of your adventure.

Don't know a thing about converting alcohol stoves. We bought a butane stove at West Marine for when we are without power. We have a two burner eclectic stove the rest of the time.

Have a terrific day and thanks for sharing your adventure with the rest of us. :)

Steve and Lulu said...

Ah... the first night at anchor. What can beat that?

Barco Sin Vela II said...

Glad to read of your overnight, but this is the first??? You both have to start making up for lost time!

Most of our favorite sailing memories are of weekend overnighters on our boats. Close to home yet far enough away to keep the dream alive.

Laura and Hans said...

Sunsets at anchor are the best! Your salon area looks a lot like ours and we drop our table down in order to expand the seating for playing Scrabble too! I've tried using my perculator to make coffee but it was awful! So now I use it to boil water for my french press. I have no idea what I'm doing wrong.

Ken n Cheryl said...

Thanks all! Melissa, we're definitely going to have to give the alcohol stove a try. We just need to read up on how to use it a little bit. It makes us a little nervous. Barco Sin VelaII, we agree that we need to anchor out more often. Between 2 1/2 months in the boatyard, work on weekends, etc. time got away. We're trying to get in a few overnighters before it gets too cold, then can't wait till Spring!

Ken n Cheryl said...

Laura, sounds like a future Scrabble match between us! It's not a complicated game, but I love it! This was our first experience with our perculator, and the coffee did taste a little different but pretty good. The french press would also be my next option if needed.

Pineapple Girl said...

Oh man that sounds SO awesome, I am so happy for you! If you belong to costco, the kirkland golden margarita is actually REALLY good!! you two sure sound like my kind of people! :)

Emily said...

Reading this brought back so many memories and made us miss our C30 "Logos" that we sold this fall. She's now up in Virginia with her new owner, but I digress. Looks like you had an amazing sunset and a wonderful time! That C30 v-berth isn't the most comfy, though, is it? I added a foam mattress topper cut to size, and that helped immeasurably. Otherwise, my hips got sore!

Emily said...

One more thing -- I used a French press for coffee on our boat when at anchor (heated the water on the stove - we had a nice propane one). It worked out nicely, though I still preferred the drip coffee and used a small coffee maker when plugged into A/C power in the marina.

The Cynical Sailor said...

Those margaritas sound like they would make any anchorage great! Love the pictures. Congrats on the big milestone - the first overnighter is a great memory! Cheers- Ellen

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