Pandora’s Mystery

Posted in: Uncategorized on Friday, June 21st, 2013

Pandora’s Box or more accurately Pandora’s Storage Area is real. It existed under our main berth and a few months ago we finally braved the mess and sorted through it.

A jumbled mess

With a can-do, slightly apprehensive attitude we systematically removed everything and stacked it in the cockpit. We found all manner of things in that jumbled mess, at times pleasantly surprised by what we pulled out and at other times left scratching our heads in confusion. Spare parts, assorted tools, random junk and odd bits and pieces were discovered. Fuel filters, a box of leaking sealants and glues, shackles of all sizes, an impressive collection of stainless steel bits and bobs, extra foot holds for the mast, funnels in various sizes. It appeared to be the equivalent of our ‘spare bedroom dumping ground’ that we had at the house. It was a time consuming and dirty process.

Laid out neatly in the cockpit

Thankfully Ben knew the purpose of most of the items we sorted through and it was good to be able to take stock of what spares and other useful items we have on board. We worked with the guiding rule of ‘If we don’t know what it is or what it’s used for we’ll keep it just in case’ because it’s better to be safe than sorry. The items we knew we didn’t need or were in an unusable state we threw in the trash. By the end we had an impressive (read: shocking) junk pile and as with all trash it felt good to get rid of it.

There were some intriguing and mysterious items that we found that defied identification. With no idea what they are or what they’re used for we’re asking you, our internet friends to help us solve the mystery.

Do you know what these parts are?


A close up, a drill attachment maybe?

If you can help please speak up, leave a comment below, we’d greatly appreciate it. I have a sneaking suspicion that they’re important in some way.



Here, take a card!

Posted in: Uncategorized on Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Happy days! Our boat/blog cards have arrived and we think they look awesome. What do you think? A big thanks to Vistaprint for their free card promotion, I ordered 250 of the premium cards and all I had to pay was postage!

It’s going to be great to be able to hand these out to people when I tell them about our website. I hope they’ll prevent the blank stares when I say I write a blog and go on to explain about Blue Water Dreaming.  Besides any little bit of promotion is a good thing.

They’ll also be great to have on hand when we start cruising and meeting fellow sailors. Pocket sized mementos to hand out with useful contact information for keeping in touch with each other. Hopefully one day I’ll have a large collection of other cruising friends cards stuck up around the boat, and ours will be stuck up around theirs.







Train or Ferry?

Posted in: Uncategorized on Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Let me think, a crowded sardine can full of commuters or a peaceful ride on a cute little ferry boat down the river? Ferry of course! And what a beautiful morning for a trip down the Brisbane River, a glorious clear day in the warm sun.

The City Hopper ferry service is a free service run by the council that operates on the half hour, I hopped on at the Sydney St ferry terminal and was lucky enough to have the whole upper section to myself.  Armed with my awesome new phone (Thanks B!) I got some photos of my trip.

 A beautiful clear day with the CBD and Story Bridge in the distance.

Approaching Dockside Marina which hopefully will be our new home base in a few months. I’ll miss Manly but I am looking forward to being closer to friends and family that work in town. Not to mention the New Years fireworks display!

Getting closer to Brisbane’s iconic Story Bridge.

About to pass underneath

 Looking back at the bridge after we’d passed underneath it.

Leaving sparkling water in our wake

Approaching the North Quay ferry terminal, I love my city!

I didn’t head straight into the city but took a wander along the river to check out the boats moored at the Gardens Point Boat Harbour. When I worked in town and we were still dreaming of the day we’d have a boat of our own i’d come down here with my lunch and watch the boats.  Being close to the water and the boats made me feel better, like our dream wasn’t so far away. I guess I wanted to see them again now that we’d made our dream a reality. Besides being near them was helping ease the separation anxiety I was having about being away from Tygress.

There’s no shortage of space to park your tender.

There were all sorts of boats in all sorts of conditions moored here. I’m not sure what facilities this harbour has but you can’t complain about the location and views.

Well there you have it, if you’re ever in Brisbane and even if you’ve lived here your whole life make the time to take a ferry ride along the Brisbane River. There’s not many finer ways to enjoy our city!




Posted in: Photography on Monday, June 17th, 2013

Today was a beautiful winter’s day, clear blue skies and calm waters…perfect weather for sitting by the foreshore with a coffee and reflecting on how absolutely messed up our window replacement is going.

The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection ~ Thomas Paine



Sunday Sampler – Recommended reading for the week ahead

Posted in: Non Boaty Bits on Sunday, June 16th, 2013


Blogs we Follow

The Art of Hookie – Living and Voyaging on a Small Sailboat – This guy takes a minimalist liveaboard lifestyle to the next level. His posts are always well written and feature great pics so take the time to check this one out.

LittleCunningPlan – How i’m Going to Spend my Summer Vacation! I mean it! – Mike and Melissa are trying to break free from land and sadly not having much luck, but this summer they’re going sailing come hell or high water!

Forge Over – Life Like a Story – Live the story you want to keep reading.

Zero to Cruising –  A Tragic Coincidence – Warning! Heartbreaking pictures ahead, fire on board is one of my biggest fears and a sad reality for the owners of this boat.

Content from my Triberr Tribemates

We said go travel – Australia the Climb – Taking tree climbing to whole new heights.

02809 Photography by Ed King – Peace, Passion and Serenity with Nautical Photography  – A stunning image entitled ‘Harbour Lights’

Destination Unknown – 10 More Signs i’m Back in Australia – As the title suggests, 10 signs that you know you’re back home in Australia. Hello beetroot and chicken salt!.

Fellow Blogathon Blogger Blog Posts 

What’s to Eat – The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook Recipes for Wizards and Muggles – Stop by and read the blog post but make sure to take a peek inside the book itself at Amazon, this muggle wouldn’t mind trying a few of these recipes herself!

Herb in Kitchen – Everything is Better with Butter -I couldn’t agree more and this post contains ideas for getting creative with butter flavours. Add herbs, or make it sweet, butter can be so much more than just plain old butter.

Rossandra White – There’s a Goat in Them Hills – Goats, weird and cute at the same time. We once had a stray goat rock up at home in suburban Brisbane, it was a neighbours pet from a few streets away. True Story.

The Simple Life – The Many Uses and Benefits of Epsom Salts – Wow, after reading this I’ve got to get me some epsom salts.

Well there you go folks, some interesting reading to get stuck into. Let us know what you think. And if you write a blog you think we should read or follow a good one and want us to check it out then speak up and leave a comment below.  Have a great week all!


Boat bonding

Posted in: Uncategorized on Saturday, June 15th, 2013

It’s finally happening, the boat and I are bonding, we’re becoming friends.

While my best ‘people’ friends and I would bond over drinks and meaningful conversation, laughter and hugs, for my boat and I bonding has been a different and somewhat slower process. To my surprise it has taken place through acts of physical labour. Through physical expressions of devotion.

I’ve been living aboard her now for close to a year and have been dutifully cleaning and looking after our living space each day. But it’s not been until I’ve actually picked up some tools and done some real maintenance that I’ve started to feel a bond developing with our boat. I feel more protective of her, and I feel more pride. I sweep her decks with love, and accept the chips in her paint and feel sorrow for her that she cannot yet feel the wind in her sails. I know that she’s not the newest or grandest boat around. She has her foibles like the rest of us, but through these small acts of improvement and repair I’ve come to feel pride in the fact that she’s our boat. Besides some of the newest and grandest boats around here sit lonely in their berths for months at a time. At least Tygress has people, and a ships cat to be with her each day and give her life.

Those who own boats, live on boats or sail on them will know that it is completely possible to form a deep and affectionate bond with them.  They are almost living things in my opinion.  The respond to the wind and water and are constantly in some form of motion. While a house stands fast against the elements, unmoved by wind or rain, boats roll with the punches, sometimes literally. Unless it is totally calm, a boat is always making some form of sound. Whether it be her mooring lines creaking, water gently lapping at the hull, fenders rubbing, wind through the rigging, she is always talking to you, communicating with you. After a while you learn to recognise the sounds she makes to let you know something is not right, when she is in distress.  Most of the time though, the sounds are simply happy, contended ‘I’m a boat that still floats’ sounds.

Regular readers, dear friends and followers will know that we’re in the process of having all of our windows replaced and the hatches serviced. As I’m home during the day I’ve been helping the contractor get the work done. Mostly that entails cleaning off the old silicone after the windows have been removed. It’s a messy and at times, hard job to do. But it’s one of the few times I’ve been able to contribute something more substantial to improving Tygress, other than my usual ‘housework’. And despite the dirty hands and constant worry i’m going to break the boat, i’m really enjoying it. I do at times feel like a fish out of water using power tools but i’m proud that I’ve had a go and done my best. As for the contractor, well dear readers, that is another story.



From the Galley: Mexican Chicken Stew

Posted in: From the Galley on Friday, June 14th, 2013


Mexican Chicken Stew from Woman's Day Cheap Eats


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 8 chicken drumsticks (1.2kg)
  • 1 Large red onion (300g), sliced thickly
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 fresh long red chillies, chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 medium tomatoes (600g), chopped coarsely
  • 1 cup (250ml) chicken stocik
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed fresh oregano leaves
  • 420g can kidney beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 medium yellow capsicum (200g), sliced thickly
  • 1 medium green capsicum (200g), sliced thickly
  1. Heat half the oil in a large saucepan; cook chicken, in batches, until browned all over. Heat remaining oil in pan; cook onion, garlic, chilli and cumin, stirring, until the onion softens.
  2. Return chicken to pan with tomato, stock and 1/4 cup oregano; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 30 minutes.
  3. Add beans and capsicums; simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes. Divide stew among bowls; sprinkle with remaining oregano. Serve with sour cream, if desired.
  • Our local IGA didn’t have any yellow capsicums so I used a red one instead. They also didn’t have any fresh oregano and we haven’t got any growing in the boat garden so the dish went without. I would have substituted basil because we have a lot of that, but I just didn’t think it would work with the recipe.
  • I’m not a big fan of very spicy/hot dishes so I only used one chilli but I think two would’ve been okay.
  • I browned the chicken in a large saucepan as per the recipe but if I did it again I would use a non stick fry pan to brown the chicken and add the chicken to the saucepan after. Sometimes trying to cut down on the washing up just leads to chicken getting stuck to the bottom of the pan and oil spitting up at you.
  • I served this stew with rice because in my opinion stew without rice is like drinking coffee without sugar.


Greedy Gulls

Posted in: Marina Wildlife on Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Here in Australia the most common species of gull is the Silver Gull but we just call them seagulls. They are predominantly white with red legs and beak, grey wings with spotted black tips. The adult birds have the brighter beak, the brighter the red the older the bird. The juveniles are much more subdued in colour and have dull yellowish legs, dark beaks and brown patterns on their wings.

Seagulls like to eat worms, fish, insects and crustaceans but I think mostly they enjoy hot chips (hold the chicken salt) and not-so-fresh bread.

It’s become a habit of mine to feed the fish over the side of the boat with our left over bread. I love watching them dart to the surface and flash silver in the sunlight. One day a couple of weeks ago a seagull was flying overhead so I chucked a bit of bread onto the dock, he circled warily a few times then came down to grab it. Before long I had a group of seagulls milling around for a feed.  They eventually got so greedy they jumped into the water to get the bread I was feeding the fish.

Off to find another free feed


Native Beauty

Posted in: Photography on Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

 Australia has a wide variety of flowering native trees, two that can be found along the foreshore are the Golden Penda and Flowering Gum. Below are pictures of their gorgeous flowers in full bloom.

Pink gumnut and golden penda flowers


Beautiful on the tree and in the vase.


Brightening up the salon in my hand painted vase.


These native trees flower prolifically and are popular with birds.




Superstitious Plants

Posted in: Uncategorized on Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

Superstition – A widely held but unjustified belief in supernatural causation leading to certain consequences of an action or event, or a practice…

Sailors are a superstitious bunch. There’s so many superstitions my head is spinning! Here’s just a few…

  • No whistling onboard,
  • No bananas onboard,
  • Women are bad luck,
  • Naked women are good luck,
  • Changing a boat’s name is bad luck,
  • Sighting an albatross or dolphins is good luck. Unless you kill one, then it’s bad luck
  • Plants on board are bad luck.

Wait, what? Plants on board are bad luck?

Apparently plants on board or in the wheelhouse is bad luck because plants seek out the earth and that is bad on a boat. So the superstition says. And i’m going to ignore it, as my Uncle would say “Bunkum!”

Our herb garden and oh look a cat! He likes the chives.

I happen to like the greenery on our boat. I like having fresh herbs for cooking. And I wasn’t leaving George behind when we moved. Yes I name some of my plants and my butterfly orchid happens to be named George. It’s not weird.


He's not thriving, but he's also not dead, I count that as a win!


George is not the only plant we have inside. Water bottle plant used to live (read: barely survive) in my laundry. It came from a clipping taken at work many years ago and in light of it’s endurance, low maintenance requirements and the fact it lives in a bottle I hand painted it got a one-way ticket to life on the boat.


Water bottle plant


Numerous studies have shown that the presence of plants can help reduce stress, improve your sense of well being and can improve your air quality.  This is what I choose to believe, that plants are good for you and nice to look at and that can’t be bad, even on a boat.  Plus since George and Water Bottle Plant technically don’t require ‘land/earth’ to survive they shouldn’t breach the plants on boats superstition.

Do you buy into sailing superstitions? Do you have any plants on board?

For further reading on sailing superstitions:

Interested in the benefits of plants: