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2013: The Year that was

Posted in: End of Month Recap on Monday, January 13th, 2014

and we’re back!!

2013 was a big year for Tygress and her crew. The year seemed at times to fly by and at others to drag it ‘s feet frustratingly slow.  It was a year featuring contractors, boat improvements, ex tropical cyclones, fun with family and friends, countless metres of yarn and exciting, long awaited milestones!

 

Tygress

Tygress got a major face lift during 2013 which included shiny new windows, stylish blue navy canvas and comfy new cockpit cushions.  Also in a fortuitous twist of fate Tygress was reunited with her tender after a separation of a number of years and two owners. But most excitingly of all was the casting off of her dock lines for the first time in a long time. Tygress got to feel the waters of the bay rush past her hull and the wind fill her sails. No boat is truly happy tied in their berth and we were so pleased to be able to take her out, further deepening our bond with her. Even happier to be able to bring her back in safely.

 

Me at the helm on our first solo sail.

Me at the helm on our first solo sail.

 

Shiny new windows!

Shiny new windows!

 

Stylish new navy canvas

Stylish new navy canvas

 

Our comfy cockpit cushions and super cute kitty

Our comfy cockpit cushions and super cute kitty

 

Personal Lives

The defining moment of the year was in October which saw Ben and I celebrate our 12 year anniversary with an ENGAGEMENT! Ben proposed on board in a display of candle lit romance that was totally unexpected, tender, thoughtful and completely romantic. How could I say no. So now for the fun of planning and paying for a wedding while fixing up a boat…did I just say fun?

 

He put a ring on it!
He put a ring on it!

This Blog

The last year saw Blue Water Dreaming reach new heights proving the old adage persistence does pay off. We participated in the WordCount 2013 Blogathon and were nominated for Australia’s Best Blog 2013. Thanks to that nomination we have since partnered with Boom Video to provide customised add content to the site.

Providing the content is only half the challenge, attracting and more importantly retaining readers is the other half. So a big thank you to all our readers for sticking with us as we’ve been growing and improving. Thank you for reading, for commenting and for sharing in our journey. It’s not over yet so stay tuned.

 

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June – The half way mark

Posted in: End of Month Recap on Sunday, July 14th, 2013

It’s surprising to think that we’re half way through the year. Organised people are already preparing for Christmas. People working in finance are busy with the end of financial year. Shoppers with money to burn are enjoying the EOFY sales. People are rugging up for winter as the cold really starts to bite and the first two State of Origin games have been held. But most importantly of all, our window replacement has been finished!!

1. We flew to Bundaberg to catch up with Ben’s family, particularly his Aunt Barb and Uncle Kev who we don’t get to see very often as they live in Victoria. It was as usual a great trip and we had fun catching up with everyone. The highlights of the trip for me include spending time with Ben’s grandmother learning how to crochet and Matty and Ann’s visit. Matty is practically like a brother to Ben so it was great to see them chatting and laughing together. And Matty’s big bear hugs are the best! But the best bit was Matty and Ann brought with them some of the catch from a recent spearfishing trip and we had some of the nicest crumbed fish I’ve ever had.  There was Parrot, Hoki, Cod and another type I can’t remember.

2. We enjoyed good food and good company on a double date at Kings Indian Restaurant with our friend Richo and his girlfriend Carla. It was a great night with lots of laughs and delicious food. Who knew I loved papadums so much. The restaurant was small and had an intimate feel, the nicest part were these lovely artworks on the walls.

3. I began an unhealthy addiction to the new Choc Orange flavour of Tim Tam. Normally I’m a Tim Tam purist, it’s either original or dark choc mint for me. That was until Arnott’s changed the game. Forever. These Tim Tams are simply divine. No other Tim Tam or any chocolate biscuit for that matter will ever compare to them. My only complaint is that they only come in packs of five. Seriously Arnott’s what’s with the odd number of biscuits in every pack? Don’t you know that they’ll most likely be shared by a couple deeply in love but who nevertheless will be driven to fighting over the last one?

Choc Orange Heaven

4. Rain. Rain. Rain. We seemed to get a lot of it. This was the view out our hatches for most of the month, well at least it felt that way. I shouldn’t be complain though, other parts of the state would love to get this rain. And as far as i’m concerned, they can have it!

5. I finally finished the hooded baby blanket for my friend Liz and as always it was very satisfying to finish a project and especially one that was a gift for such a special occasion and a special person. You can check out more pictures and read about my experience knitting it over at Stitches and Sails.

6. The blanket was finished just in time for Liz’s baby shower. The theme for the day was baby jungle animals with these awesome cupcakes featuring animals made entirely out of sugar. As well as fantastic cake pops made by the father to be, oh my Lord they were fantastic. I think from now on I’ll only eat cake in pop form.  There was a scrap booking station, a bib painting station, guess-the-weight-of-the-jelly-babies-in-the-bottle table, baby photo guessing and a game where you had to name as many nursery rhymes featuring animals as you could.  Can you believe I spaced on Baa Baa Black Sheep, and Mary Had a Little Lamb?

Chocolate surgary goodness

7. Okay lucky number seven, our window replacement has been finished!!! (yes is really does deserve three exclamation marks)  The new windows and hatches are a big improvement on the old ones and the best thing is they don’t leak! Tygress is once again watertight above deck, take your best shot rain! I’m still not in a good head space to write the blog post about It but I promise to do it soon.

Shiny new windows!

 8. Mother Nature reminded us she still has a nice side by giving us a beautiful rainbow on one of our few days of sun.

9. Ben attended a LAN party hosted in style by Liz and Nathan and I tagged along to hang with Liz. It was fun to catch up for girly talk and watch the boys kill each other in Halo Reach.

10. We got the car  back with it’s new-to-it engine and it works great. While we’re lucky where we are at Manly that most of our essential needs are within walking distance I’d forgotten the luxury of being able to just jump in the car and drive further afield. Best of all we can now go visit friends and family without relying on long tedious trips on public transport.

 Now for the not so good parts of June

a) The weather obviously. July more sun please.

b) There has been marking to our nice red paint work on our port side hull which isn’t washing off and which we will be addressing with our window contractor. At this stage we think there has been some sort of spill that we weren’t advised of or maybe it was the deck wash he used at the end of the job.

 If (1) is considered a complete cluster-whoopsie of a month and (10) is considered a month full of happiness, sunshine and success then I’d rate June a 9.

How was yours?

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Blogathon Review

Posted in: Uncategorized on Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

As most of our readers know during the month of June I participated in the WordCount 2013 Blogathon event which challenged bloggers to post a blog a day for the entire month.

And it was a challenge.

But on reflection it was a beneficial one both for myself and for this blog. Early on in the month I blogged about why I was participating and what I hoped to achieve, you can read here. Although I didn’t quite state that my goal was to post everyday, it was a personal goal that I really wanted to achieve.

Obviously I didn’t quite make it to the magic 30 mark. I burnt out. Life got in the way. Someday’s I couldn’t be bothered sitting at the computer let alone trying to write something entertaining and coherent.

But you know what? That’s okay. Because although I didn’t post every day, I did learn that I don’t want to be an everyday blogger. As a result I now have a more realistic goal to get new content up every 2-3 days.

Not only did I discover a blogging schedule that suits me but I also achieved some of my other goals.

When I set out I wanted to increase readership and web hits…which I did! During the month of June average daily site visits as well as visits by new readers doubled and on some days tripled which is fantastic.

I also wanted to boost interaction with readers in our comment sections…which I did. Interacting with readers is one of the best things about blogging, I love it. Getting the email to moderate a new comment on the site still makes me do a little happy dance. So getting comments from new readers and my regulars was one of the highlights of the month.

As for my writing, well who can say, maybe it’s improved, maybe it hasn’t. But I’ve certainly done more of it which can only be a good thing.

Here are some of my favourite posts from June:

The first installment in our series showing what daily life is like aboard Tygress – ‘Through the Porthole’

The amusing things that people have typed into Google search and found our site – ‘They Typed What?’

A post about my love of books and whether or not I have too many on board (I don’t!) – ‘Books on Board’

And how could I leave out pictures of our cute cat being cute – ‘The Ship’s Cute Kitty’  

 

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