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Why I Love My Boat—Her Point of View

The first moment I laid eyes on our boat’s red-cushioned salon, full galley, and full-size stateroom , I fell in love. No other boat that we looked at looked so roomy. Inside, Afterglow is a stunner. Beautiful mahogany wood surrounds every aspect of the boat, and even after 10 years, its beauty and sheen when I polish the wood, make other newer boats pale in comparison.

The salon: A mahogany wooden rail encircles the salon, and the lovely matching wooden table (which I mostly keep covered to protect it) can seat up to eight people for dinner. That the table’s center holds five bottles of wine or champagne is an added benefit when space is so dear on a floating home. Two red velvet fabric couches opposite each other beckon guests to sit on our roomy sofas. Thanks to former owner Jeanne Spofford, short white curtains with added red lines match the décor. The captain’s navigation chair and table are usually littered with books, charts, pens, phones, etc. but allow Allen space to hide his tools, chart plotters, and other small gear as well to use the radio.

The Stateroom: The center cockpit allows for a full-size stateroom and double bed with cushioned seating and storage on both sides. We each have several closets and areas in which to store tools and sundries. The warm red bedspread complements the red velvety couches in the salon which encouraged me to buy custom-made pillows to match. (Crushed velvety fabric feels really good to the skin.) It really feels like home when we are sleeping. The gentle rocking of the boat does woo me to sleep more easily.

The V Berth: For very special guests, Allen and I will offer our stateroom and then use the V-berth to sleep. It’s cozy, roomy, with two large closets, one of which holds storm gear. I was really lucky when I was able to purchase a V-berth sized comforter one day several years ago. It washes very easily too. When it’s just the two of us aboard, it becomes a great place for storing Allen’s fishing gear. (I think we are the only sailboat I know of that has an electric fish monitor system built into it.) Allen has his hobbies…

The Galley: My usual and really most comfortable place on the boat is the galley. Maybe because cooking and cleaning are my biggest contributions to our cruising life, other than loving companionship and the ability to find things that have gotten lost by the “time” people, the galley is where I can often do my best work. Having grown up cooking for the family since I was 8 or 9, I can usually make something out of leftovers and spare parts. I really enjoy serving meals here, and my international dinner club event with 3 other couples went over really well a few years back. Allen is truly the better cook, but I am a fast cook and can make casseroles and breakfasts out of almost nothing special (as long as we have eggs or/and onions on board). I’ve only used the oven once or twice in the past ten years, but at least I have a great microwave when we are plugged in ashore. A full set of flatware and dishes and pots and pans make my day on a daily basis. My favorite little kitchen aid is my spice rack. (I need another one.) Thanks to the boat shows we’ve attended, my cocktail glasses stack as do my ceramic coffee cups. It doesn’t matter when company arrives, Norma is ready to serve.

Outside the Boat: The external aspect of the boat is secondary to the niceness of the inside. The outside of Afterglow looks okay, but it does show its age. Now that we use the surround a lot, I don’t worry so much about too much sun, although I still use 70 to 100 level sunscreen. With my pale complexion, I need it always. The white fiberglass does need some mending here and there, but I do carefully use Cetol on the wooden rail each year.

Now the outside is cluttered with our kayaks, but we do know that cruising is really a lot of fun when we get to use them to explore natural places among the sea grass stalks and small winding inlets along a shore. Allen and I simply enjoy being out there in Nature’s majesty, the big salty water as well as the reedy shores. One of our favorite joys is the osprey nest close to our slip at AMCYC, but more about Oscar and Oleanna Osprey in a later blog. They have been together hatching and parenting many offspring in our ten years here. When we leave here in a few days, I will miss Annapolis and especially this osprey pair. Our boat will be up for other adventures.

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