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How Did the Boat Become KUMA TOO?

Updated: Jan 23, 2021

We regularly get asked how we came up with the name Kuma Too. Another frequent question is what happened to Kuma 1. That question sometimes gets asked sarcastically behind our back implying that we ‘lost’ a boat.


Kuma was our little boy kitty. I was there the day a friend’s cat had kittens in February 2006. As soon as he was old enough, I brought this precious kitten home to introduce him to my new boyfriend, Joe. I searched the internet for pet names and stumbled upon Kuma; it means 'bear' in Japanese. He made himself at home right away and always weaseled his way in when Joe and I watched a movie. A few weeks after I brought him home, while Joe was sitting on my couch, Kuma pranced out of the bedroom with a bra around his head!

Kuma was very talkative and always wanted attention, so I figured he needed a friend. A Friends of Stray rescue, Lillie wasted no time getting comfortable when she met Kuma, and the two became instant family. If you’ve visited our website, you’ve been introduced to Lillie, our boat kitty.

Kuma was still the dominate male of the house, yet he was a mama’s boy. I used to hold him and dance around our townhouse – those memories alone brought tears to my eyes when selling our house. Kuma slept with me every single night; his back, with belly out, snuggled against my side. When the alarm went off, he made sure everyone in the house knew it was time to get up!

Just a few weeks prior, Kuma got a clean bill of health from the vet. It was April 2015; Joe and I were headed to Ireland to celebrate our 2-year wedding anniversary. Kuma was sleeping on the daybed in the spare bedroom. I gave him kisses before heading downstairs; I told Joe where Kuma was, so he went up to say good-bye. My mom was watching him and Lillie while we were away.


On April 9, 2015, our anniversary, we received a phone call at 6am Ireland time. I immediately knew something was wrong because we only text our family when traveling. I couldn’t answer the phone in time and received a text that just said “911 call me” from my mom. When I called, my mom was in tears trying to explain that the vet was asking permission to put Kuma down.

The evening prior, Kuma was sitting on the bathroom sink drinking out of the facet, his usual treat, and his hind legs suddenly went limp. My mom rushed him the Animal Hospital. They said it was blood clot, and they’d keep him overnight to remove it. The vet did not sound alarmed at all, so my mom didn’t bother to call us. In the middle of the night, she received the call from the vet stating the clot had moved to his lungs. They said he was in pain and were asking permission to put him down. I can’t image what my mom went through that night. She wasn’t comfortable making that decision, so she called us. In the short time trying to explain the situation, all of us between tears, Joe asked if she could go to the vet to be with him, so he wasn’t alone.

Unfortunately, by the time Mom called the vet back, he had passed. Kuma was 9 years old.

As our dream unfolded the following year, we knew we wanted to incorporate Kuma. An old salt once told us that a boat name with 7 letters, 4 of those vowels, was good luck. Nothing can be found online about that, so I have no idea where the old salt got it from. Two great boats we race on follow that rule, Variete and Hale Koa, so why question it? That’s how Kuma 2 became Kuma Too.

To learn about charters on board Kuma Too, visit

Until next week, Happy Sailing!


It is with broken hearts that we share, on July 23, 2019 we said goodbye to our loving furbaby and boat kitty, Lillie. After a long battle with asthma and upper respiratory issues, the final outcome was late stage cancer. She has lived an exciting life sailing around Florida, the Bahamas, the Atlantic Ocean and Virgin Islands. She now joins her brother Kuma over the rainbow bridge. Our third crew member already is and will be dearly missed.

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Oct 24, 2018

info.tinyliving, Aw! I'm sorry I made you cry at the library! We're happy that Kuma can travel with us too :-)


Another great blog. However I'm sitting here at the library crying reading this story even thought I heard it before. It is so hard to lose a part of your family and for me I think it might even be harder when you lose a fur baby. I remember seeing your boat for the first time and remember eric saying hmmm I wonder what happen to KUMA 1. Knowing the story now when people say that to me I say it is their first boat but it is names after their fur baby KUMA. Anyway I'm glad KUMA can live on with the boat and get to travel all over.

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