S/V & M/V Smidge

24 March 2017 | Annapolis, MD
09 October 2016
07 October 2016 | Annapolis Sailboat Show
06 October 2016 | Annappolis, MD
05 October 2016
04 October 2016 | Chesapeake Bay
03 October 2016 | Chesapeake Bay
25 September 2016 | Potomac River by Mount Vernon
25 September 2016 | Mount Vernon, Potomac River, Virginia
24 September 2016 | Arlington, VA
22 September 2016 | Washington Channel, Washington, DC
14 September 2016 | Hudson River to Chesapeake Bay
03 September 2016 | Newport, Rhode Island
29 August 2016 | Sandwich, Massachusetts off the Cape Cod Canal
28 August 2016 | Sandwich, Massachusetts off the Cape Cod Canal
27 August 2016 | The Coast of Maine
22 August 2016 | Bar Harbor, Mount Desert Island, Maine
18 August 2016 | Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia, Canada
27 July 2016 | Baddeck, Bras d’Or Lake, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

S/V Smidge becomes S/V Nara

24 March 2017 | Annapolis, MD
Brian and Kim, the new owners of S/V Smidge

I've head it said that two of the happiest days of your life are the day you buy your boat and the day you sell it. I don't agree. Selling a boat that has brought you so much pleasure is not an easy thing to do, but knowing that the new owners are going to love it as much as you do helps.

Brian tells me that he and Kim had looked at about 50 boats before they made an offer to purchase Smidge. Additionally, Kim and Brian were the first people to look at Smidge shortly after we put her on the market, so no one ever looked at Smidge and rejected her. She's a wonderful boat and her smooth sale to good people confirms that.

A condition of the sale was that the name Smidge will not go with her. All of our boats have been named Smidge and that name recognition has helped us connect with old and new friends. Smidge's new name will be Nara, after a favorite harbor in Australia where Kim and Brian learned to sail. Her new home will be Annapolis Landing Marina. All you Chesapeake folks, please welcome Kim and Brian to the sailing community.

As for Maury and me, keep an eye out for the new Smidge. This time it will be M/V and not S/V Smidge.

Going to the Dark Side

09 October 2016
I never thought we would go to the dark side and get a powerboat. Sailing is in our blood and any other kind of vessel seemed like a weak excuse for a boat, but I think a powerboat is in our future, and OPB's (other people's boats) and charter boats will have to satisfy our appetite for cruising sailboats. Of course, we still have our Lightening and as long as we can get under the boom and hike-out in a strong wind, you may still see us on the racecourse.

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due – 2

07 October 2016 | Annapolis Sailboat Show
Roger Johansson of Free State Yachts at the Annapolis Sailboat Show

To a non-sailor, it seems like we're always doing maintenance work on Smidge, but Maury has a good explanation for this. He says, "If you take your house, turn it on its side, shake it , douse it with saltwater and add a heavy dose of UV rays, something is going to break, corrode or wear out." We have not had any major problems with Smidge, or at least nothing we couldn't handle, but many times we could handle it because we called Roger Johansson of Free State Yachts. We've called and emailed him from remote places and he always took the time to speak with us and give us advice. If he wasn't there, Liz, who runs the office, made sure he received our message and called us back.

Free State also hosts a party after the boat show that gives us a chance to reconnect with other HR owners and speak to HR wannabes. Many thanks to Roger and Liz. With your help we kept Smidge in top cruising condition and enjoyed our time at sea.

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due – 1

06 October 2016 | Annappolis, MD
Bonnie and John Albertine at the Annapolis Sailboat Show

Finally after many years of going to the Annapolis Boat Show and looking at a zillion boats, Maury decided on a Hallberg-Rassy. HR’s are built in Sweden and in 2002 a favorable exchange rate made the boat as affordable as less expensive boats made in the US. We placed an order. Our salesperson and guide through all of this was John Albertine who at that time was with Free State Yachts. We knew a lot about sailing, but we didn’t know very much about engines, generators, electrical systems, radar, chart plotters, water-makers – all the things that make a simple sail boat a cruising boat. John, a very experienced sailor, guided us through all of this and we are pleased with all the choices we made. We couldn’t have done it without him. In March of 2004, we took possession of big Smidge.

A Little Background Info:

05 October 2016
Maury and I have been sailing together since we started dating in the early 1970's. In fact, I doubt that he would have married me unless I sailed. Maury had not sailed until he moved to Toledo, Ohio with Owen-Corning Fiberglass, where he met some boat owners who needed crew for PERF races in Lake Erie. He loved the sport and saw that the really good big boat racers had learned to race in small one-design boats where you test your skills against boats just like yours and get immediate feedback each time you move. I came into the picture at about that time. He bought an Interlake, a one-design boat that was popular in the Mid-West, and we began to sail together, but I was left on shore when he could find better crew. That didn't sit well, so I flew out to Martha's Vineyard and took an intensive week-long sailing course at a Steve Colgate Sailing School. That's when things started to get serious in our relationship and in our sailing.

Maury intended to go back to big boats once he acquired some good racing skills in small boats, but we loved the small boat racing world and the camaraderie of the people in it. We were soon racing every Wednesday and Thursday evenings and going to a regatta every weekend. Boat handling and racing tactics became our pillow talk and as the years went on, the racing became a family sport and our children became part of the racing community.

In 1985, we moved to the East Coast and switched from Interlakes to Thistles that we sailed at Lake Hopatcong in New Jersey. We finally settled on racing Lightnings, mostly in Wednesday night club races on the Delaware River in Riverton, NJ, but the thought of getting a cruising boat that we could also race was never far from our minds.

Annapolis Boat Show - Power & Sail

04 October 2016 | Chesapeake Bay
Racing in Elizabeth Harbor, Bahamas - 2008

This year, we're going to the sailboat show and the powerboat show in Annapolis. It will be our first powerboat show as we start to think about the next step. We bought Smidge, our Hallberg-Rassy 43, in 2004 so we could go ocean sailing and we've done that. We didn't do a world circumnavigation, but we've travelled almost an equal number of miles. There are still places we would like to see by boat, but perhaps it will be by charter boat and not on our own boat.

We got a late start in this cruising game. We were older when we got married and older when we had children and now we are older. Long passages with just the two of us are not appealing and it seems foolish to maintain an ocean going boat that won't be going in the ocean. So we are looking for a boat for the Chesapeake and this time it may be a powerboat that will take us to shallower water and under bridges where Smidge could not go.

Smidge has been a perfect boat for us. She is comfortable to live in and I've always felt safe in her even under challenging conditions. Additionally, HR's have a great reputation and are respected around the world. Everywhere we went, people often told us that an HR was their dream boat. We are grateful that we have had a chance to own a dream boat and to actually live the dream.

Vessel Name: Smidge S/V & M/V
Vessel Make/Model: Hallberg-Rassy 43 & Campbell Duffy Downeast 35
Hailing Port: Havre de Grace, MD, USA
Crew: Bonnie & Maury
Bonnie & Maury started racing one-design Interlakes when they were dating in the early 70's in northwest Ohio. In 1985 they moved to the East Coast. After racing Thistles for a few years they switched to racing Lightnings out of Riverton Yacht Club in New Jersey. [...]
Smidge S/V & M/V's Photos - Main
The Rio Dulce in Guatemala is famous among cruisers as a safe hurricane hole and as a great jumping off place for inland travel, but first you have to wait for a high tide in order to cross the bar at Livingston to get into the river. After anchoring at Livingston and checking into Guatemala we motored up the river through the breath-takingly beautiful gorge and into El Golfete, a wide part of the river that is like an inland lake. We spent a few weeks in the Cayo Quemado area and then moved on to Fronteras where we left the boat to do some inland travel.
30 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 10 June 2015
On February 16-18, 2015 we sailed NNE for 45 hours from Shelter Bay in Panama to Providencia, a small island belonging to Columbia. It took us 31 hours (2/24-25) to sail from there to the Hobbies, but we were delayed a few hours by a jib shackle that decided to give way. It was an easy repair job in the Hobbies and we went east to Guanaja on 2/27-28. That was a 26 hour sail. On 3/4/2015 we did a 7 hour hop to Roatan, but we started having engine and generator problems due to bad diesel and had to sail into unfamiliar anchorages without an engine to back us up before we finally got to French Cay Harbor where the problem was diagnosed and remedied. From French Cay Harbor, we made two trips south to Cayos Cochinos and back.
31 Photos
Created 8 March 2015
After being away from the boat for 1 1/2 years, we returned to Panama to revisit the Kuna friends we had made and then to continue our journey.
37 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 15 February 2015
The San Blas Islands and a strip of land along the northeast coast of Panama's mainland is known as the Kuna Yala. It is home to the Kuna Indians. It is here that we felt we were honored to experience a culture and lifestyle that is accessible to a limited number of people. They are a society in transition as they pick and choose what to take from the modern world and what to maintain from their traditional society. It is a daunting task and each Congreso is making choices for its people, but it is hard to keep the rest of the world away and life may be quickly changing for this indigenous population.
64 Photos
Created 31 October 2013
While in Columbia, we spent most of our time at the marina in Santa Marta. From there we took a van to Minca for a day of hiking and bird watching. We traveled to Cartegena by bus and spent a few days in the old walled city. Pictures from these trips are in the sub albums. We then sailed from Santa Marta to a few Columbian islands. Our final Columbian stop was Sapzurro.
24 Photos | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 21 May 2013
18 Photos | 2 Sub-Albums
Created 26 January 2013
5 Photos
Created 24 January 2013
8 Photos
Created 24 January 2013
14 Photos
Created 24 January 2013
18 Photos
Created 8 January 2013
15 Photos
Created 8 January 2013
31 Photos
Created 27 January 2012
22 Photos
Created 14 December 2011
2 Photos
Created 10 December 2011
20 Photos
Created 17 November 2011
June 2011
37 Photos
Created 11 June 2011
Martinique to Grenada
11 Photos
Created 22 May 2011
Anguilla through Dominica
33 Photos
Created 29 March 2011
S/V Charlotte is a 50' wooden schooner designed and built by Nat Benjamin at the Gannon & Benjamin Boatyard in Martha's Vineyard. Nat is a premier wooden boat builder and we felt honored to be invited for a sail aboard S/V Charlotte. The invitation came through our friends Jim & Heather on Starbound. Jim, a lover of wooden boats, had taken classes from Nat and knew him as a guest teacher at the Wooden Boat School in Maine. Also aboard were Zoli, Nat's visiting crew member; Jim & Heather's children, Scarlett & River; and the crew of Indulgence, another 1500 boat, Lorri, John, Jasper & Georgia.
7 Photos
Created 21 March 2011
On March 17 as we were motoring from North Sound to Spanishtown on Virgin Gorda we found ourselves adjacent to the superyacht race course. Here are some pictures that we took of the event.
6 Photos
Created 20 March 2011
"Spreader Envy" is a term coined by Mike B. who crewed for us in the 1500. He and his wife Karen have an HR43 just like ours, but for some strange reason, their HR has 2 spreaders, while ours has 3. To qualify for this album, a sailboat must have 4 or more spreaders and a powerboat must be over 100'. Dimensions given in a picture's caption are approximate since they will mostly be gleaned from AIS data.
5 Photos
Created 15 March 2011
12 Photos
Created 24 January 2011
32 Photos
Created 3 December 2010
Maryland to Tortola November 2010
16 Photos
Created 24 October 2010