Dana Brooks

I am a veterinarian by trade, and a sailor and live aboard by divine will and stubborness. I dragged my unsuspecting 7 year old cat, Logan, into this crazy life, and together, we are figuring things out as we go along. Our home since September 2014 is a 1973 Challenger 32 sailboat.   What I lack in experience and expertise I make up with in enthusiasm and humor. I think if you can turn your OOPS into a funny story it takes the sting out of it and makes it a more memorable learning lesson for you and entertainment for everyone else! It has been said that the difference between an ordeal and an adventure is in the attitude (I can only find this quote attributed to Bob Bitchin), and hopefully these posts will be full of adventure!

As for the name of Tiny, it started with a very tall nurse and her very short doctor and the entire hospital staff eventually came to refer to me as Tiny Doctor. (It actually began as tiny little baby red headed doctor.  Bless you Jamie for keeping me in check.)  Eventually the name migrated to the boat, became Tiny Skipper, and finally just Tiny.


Logan, First Mate

My first mate Logan, a devilishly handsome black cat, has a few of his own stories to tell as well.  He is acclimating to living aboard, but unfortunately the seafaring life is not one that is coming to him naturally. He is rallying nicely with the aid of his sarcastic brand of humor and a hiding place in the back of the quarter berth.




4 comments on “About

  1. dear dana,
    lots of fun reading your blogs- kudos. also i’m thinking of buying a boat– how did your cat used to it– my cat has never set foot on one, cheers william

    • Hi William,
      Logan never went outside, so at 7 years of age this was a big adjustment for him. He wouldn’t look out the window and would panic if I tried to show him the cockpit. Sometime in April (about 8 months into living aboard), he decided to join me in the cockpit. At first for just a minute, looked around and bolted back in. Later, he would come up and lay next to me for a longer period. Finally, within the last month, he took a tour of the topsides, and actually went on a walk about on the dock at night which scared me to death. It seems he’s over that part. Underway he stays either under the covers in the V berth or in the back of the quarter berth in his basket. He has come out occasionally if I gave him meclizine (bonine/non-drowsy dramamine). I hope it works out for you!

  2. Hi Dana,
    We have a Challenger 32 (1973) also, have had her for 30 years!!
    Great boat. Important mod. we made was to add a foot onto the trailing edge of the rudder, that made her steerable!!
    Engine (Palmer P60 is a dog) so also have an outboard on the back..
    Am in process of upgrading her.
    Safe sailing


    • Hi Bill – There don’t seem to be too many Challenger owners around. I’m happy to hear that modifying your rudder helped the steering. For now I’m just prepared to ‘mush’ to the side a bit and warn my crew that when I’m coming in too far from the dock they just need to “wait for it”. Mine came with a 50HP Perkins which has really saved my bacon a few times. This boat was in the same extended family/friends from 1973 until I bought it in 2014. I’d love to hear what you are coming up with for improvements (and where you have found your leaks!). PS, I’ll be in Kingston this weekend!

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