Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas at Pipe Creek

There’s no place like home for the holidays, no matter how far away you roam. The Ipod continually shuffling through Christmas caroles and the occasional Chanukah tune, the rituals of baking Christmas cookies and decorating the tree, and the festive atmosphere on the VHF radio, with everyone wishing everyone else a Merry Christmas, did little to recolor my holiday blues. My spirits were raised when Santa remembered to bring me slippers--as I had fortuitously forgotten that I had picked them out.
After discussing the merits of the Sampson Cay sit down dinner for $20, the folks we are anchored with agreed to our suggestion of a pot luck dinner on First Edition. And while it was not quite the large crowd that used to gather at our Christmas Eve fetes, sometimes for pizza, other times for fancy wine tastings, it was equally fun and well-oiled. The boys talked about whatever guys talk about when they are together around the cockpit table, while the girls, below decks, shared tales of first marriages, children’s successes and love lifes, and Mark, whom we all now hate.

Our menu: grilled cow and ham, pineapple sweet potato salad, Christy’s scalloped potatoes without the cheese or the milk, steamed green beans with almonds, fresh bread, pumpkin dip with gingersnaps, chocolate cake and copious amounts of wine, followed by more wine, after dinner drinks, and a way-too-loud rendition of We Are the Champions, complete with dancing and frolicking.
Followed by hangovers.

Monday, December 27, 2010

In Between the Mice and the Rat

We left with The Group bound for Normans, and made good enough time to get to Shroud with a significant contribution from Mooch. We were anxious to show Savage Son the mangroves, hoping to experience again our first visit with Ketch’n Dreams, Celebrian, and those folks whose name now escapes me who bought a boat on the internet, took a 3 day sailing course, and here they were, living the life and learning as they go. But, tides were not cooperating, and nightfall would shortly overtake us, so it was not to be. At least we go to wiggle our toes in the Exuma sand.

The next morning we peeked out a porthole and determined that Far Niente had taken off, as planned, to head to Georgetown, a rather long day’s motoring. We took an early departure and headed to Black Point so that we could collect our first batch of sea glass, and had a somewhat successful harvest, also scooping up two small (and uninhabited) helmets, one a reticulated cowry. We got back to the boat early enough to speed off to Big Majors, avoiding the planned trip the next day during which we would have been beating our brains out in 20 knots of headwind. Incidentally, we found out crazy-ass fast driving Jay and Di had made it all the way to Long Island. They would be able to share Christmas with their friend who seems to be winning the latest brawl in the proverbial battle with cancer.

With the timing of the tides, an approaching cold front, and a gaggle of boats chattering about heading to Pipe, we got another early start and made like velcro to My Destiny’s stern, reaping the benefits of their accurate software. Anywhere in the Bahamas with the exception of the Abacos, we are stuck with useless Navionics, the only Raymarine E Series compatible software--it’s like looking at a chart of Sandy Hook while trying to navigate Cape Cod. Pipe Creek is a great spot to get protection, but is fraught with shallows and reefs, so we were happy to tag along with the better informed. We joined up with Veranda, who was already neatly tucked in between Rat Cay and the Mice, while about a dozen other boats shared the usual Pipe anchorage and played dodge boat with each other.
While waiting for Christmas and the Cold Front, we joined a Pot Luck at the cruiser-constructed Pipe Cay Yacht Club, consisting of a crudely put together hut with flotsam and jetsam collected over the seasons, waded through the muck to access the sea glass beach, and walked the flats to collect sand dollars, seashells, and two very sharp objects which made camp in the bottom of my feet.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Nassau and Clearing Customs

We arrived at the Nassau Harbor Club in mid afternoon to a nearly empty marina with our "Q" Flag flying and hoping for a good result with immigration. There has been a lot of bruhaha this year over the snotty attitudes of the officials and their erratic enforcement of a new guideline handed down by Nassau which stipulates that visitors may only receive 30 days before they have to report back for additional permitted time to stay in the country. We heard that this was being widely enforced, no matter where you checked in, but heard from a few folks who had received 90 or 180 without any issue. This can be a real problem since check-in locations are limited, are not at every harbor you may be anchored at, and in fact, can be days away from your chosen temporary home. And, you could only check in "a few" days before your permit expired, and God help you if you let your permit lapse.

Our official greeted us warmly alongside First Edition, and welcomed Peter to join her in her office, a lounge chair by the pool. Peter returned shortly with loads of paperwork and a big smile on his face. He was awarded 180 days! How did you do that, I query. "Well, I just asked for 180, and she said OK."
While toasting our good luck, our Bahamian cell phone rang. It was Bev on Savage Son. One of The Group who had chosen to go elsewhere.

We really thought The Group would have an easy time of it going to Morgan's Bluff, as it seemed they were at least two days ahead of the North winds, to be avoided when stiff at their location, and it is not a very popular check-in destination, so the agents were likely to be accommodating. Wrong on both counts. We chatted about their coming here to Nassau, and Peter talked his way into getting them slip reservations, although the Marina was to be full by tomorrow with many heading this way to ride out the cold front.
So, it was not all that long before we saw The Group again.

For years we avoided Nassau but once we were forced to come here to catch a flight home, we recognized we had given it a bad rap. Directly across from the marina is a small shopping center, with a US quality grocery store, a video store selling discounted phone cards ($18 for $20)a Dairy Queen, and a Starbucks with free internet. A short walk will take you to the bus stop where you can catch a $1.25 ride anywhere. Most importantly, it will provide transportation to those $27 bottles of Johnnie Walker. With what we save on scotch we nearly cover the cost of the slip!

Water is free here, but don't put it in your tanks. Electricity is available on an as-used basis. Most boats are here for several days, so there are loads of opportunities to make new friends and socialize.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Group

At around 11:30 on December 15th we picked up anchor to leave the U S of A and its freezing temperatures and well stocked grocery stores behind. We joined four boats who last year travelled together and spent a good part of the winter sharing the cays of the Jumentos, a formerly ignored and isolated part of the Bahamas where you are cautioned to venture only if you are self-sufficient. This year we are determined to make it there, come hell, high water, or lousy blood tests notwithstanding.

The boats with whom we travelled, Far Niente, Savage Son, My Destiny, and Veranda, are all approximately the same size as us, if not the same ages, backgrounds and political inclinations. They are a good Group that has formed a bond. First Edition is like the new kid on the block just joining the homeroom at the local high school.

We met Jay and Di on Far Niente several years ago, and our friendship began over two bottles of wine following more hearty cocktails, at one of our favorite restaurants in Beaufort. Jay is responsible for our higher horsepowered engine, and I suppose is therefore Mooch’s Godfather. Never ask a former race car driver for his opinion on this subject. Diana is stunning and outgoing, and according to one in The Group, never sweats.

We met the Savages, Bob and Bev, while docked next to us in Nassau last year and the morning following happy hour together, we were each surprised by a now outdated email from Di and Jay suggesting that we look each other up. We spent several weeks with Savage Son and hiked for several rocky hours to locate phone service when Bob found out his pregnant daughter was in jeopardy. Sharing times like that creates a closeness generally resulting only after years of friendship.

We met Greg and Judy from My Destiny last year at a Laundromat in Black Point in the Exumas, when Jay and Di told them to look us up. Like ships passing in the night, we exchanged hellos but had little time to get to know each other before My Destiny bounded South for a belated connection with The Group. Six months later Judy and I friended each other on Facebook, and found out we were born on the same day. In the same year. Judy professes to be younger than I, but I demand to examine her birth certificate, conveniently left behind in the mountains of Colorado, before accepting the role of Older Sista.

Two years ago Jay emailed us to tell us Veranda was in Solomons, Maryland, at the same time that we were. We never met, but for years heard stories about Christy and Bill’s unparalleled hunting abilities (in sailor speak, this means fish and lobster harvesting, requiring sharp spears and quick reflexes). This past summer I was turned on to Bill’s blog, which is a spicy collection of sailing tales and ramblings frequently leading to snorts and laugh out loud reactions. Bill is a man’s man, with a sensitive side. He has an incredible respect for his wife, who is one of the coolest people on earth. It’s no wonder; she’s a Jersey Girl.

So, it was difficult to part with this group of old friends and friends in the making. But the independent streak in Peter and me led us to a divergent path, and after losing wind and patience, we sped off in the darkness while The Group sailed on, merrily making their 4-5-6 knots, in no hurry to reach their short-term homestead. Off they go to Andros, while we head to Nassau, the home of discounted phone cards and cheap Johnnie Walker. And protection from the North.

We hope to reconnect with The Group somewhere down the line, but are also anxious to see Celebrian and our many other old friends and new ones we haven’t met yet.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Belle Isle in Miami

Troubadour finally showed up in Lake Worth and before we had time to exchange greetings face-to-face, we decided we needed to high-tail it down to the South Anchorage at Lake Worth for a 4 am departure the next day. Although it was forecast to be freezing in the morning, it beat the following day's prediction for rain. First Edition's enclosure works great, but combine wind, rain, and no sunshine with sub-normal temperatures, and it makes for a lousy transit. We had a great passage, sailing a good part of the way and picking up a sometimes two knot gulf stream counter current. Life was good. We entered the Venetian Causeway South approach, hugging the shoreline per Skipper Bob's discussion, and saw no less than 7 feet. Upon reaching Belle Isle we found many boats at anchor, including our friends with whom we had hoped to cross to the Bahamas.

This anchorage has good access to the Collins Canal, where you can tie alongside (using your Miami Vice-grade lock and dinghy cable) and walk to South Beach, Publix, the laundry on Alton and 15th, a CVS and Blockbuster.
If you are as clever as I, you can buy what turns out, upon removing the price tag, to be the second half of the first season of Nurse Jackie, never haven seen the opening episodes.

Nearby is the Holocaust Memorial and as is always the case, you are moved by the vision of the artist and the horrifying recollection of times unimaginable.

And where there are boaters suffering from ennui you will eventually find a gathering involving food and liquor, this time at the Flagler Memorial Island. Not only did we get to stretch our legs, we managed to spoil the plans of one Romantic, who, undoubtedly well before the pot-luck notion popped into some sailor's head, arranged to propose marriage to his Beloved precisely where we set up camp. The story is best told by a friend at his blog, veranda422.blogspot.com.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Lake Worth

We bought First Edition in 1999, and after many dollars and months, sailed her away from Ft. Lauderdale to bring her home to the Keyport Yacht Club in New Jersey. After taking a wrong turn in the canals and then running hard aground, requiring the assistance of Tow Boat US (of course, before remembering to reinstate our towing coverage)we entered the unfamiliar inlet of Lake Worth. All the books said you should anchor by Peanut Island, which looked weird to me, so amid a gentle rain we pecked our way into the South anchorage. For two glorious, rainy days, we sat out a blow and were delighted with our anchorage and First Edition. We still are.

At the North anchorage of Lake Worth you can find great protection from nearly all directions, a Publix, Chez Cherie where Sarah will give you a great haircut, CVS, West Marine, and loads of boats headed in various directions to consult and party with.
In early December, you will be lucky enough to join in the Boat Christmas Parade, where we have made it our tradition to gather a gang and drinks and all tie together with our dinghies and assorted headgear.

Before heading to the South Anchorage with Troubadour, we said goodbye to Sojourner and Civil Twilight, and Linda and Jim on Winsome, who had stopped by earlier with a surplus half gallon of Edy's, thereby acquiring a ticket to the farewell party. As it turns out, Winsome used to be members of the Keyport Yacht Club, yet more folk from one of the clubs we belonged to that we never met.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Vero to Peck Lake

We spent a week at Vero in order to receive my "vacation supply" of medications, which, predictably were shipped in incorrect quantities requiring two hours and thirteen minutes of phone time and and an extra day's stay awaiting the remainder amounts. But if you have to be stuck, Vero is the place to be. We ran into lots of old friends and partied around the mooring field,

had a photo lesson with Jim from Salty Paws, did laundry, rode the bus, overfilled the freezer and wine cellar (the bilge), and said goodbye to friends in a bigger hurry than us.

Five hours away we reached Peck Lake, which isn't even mentioned in some cruising guides. We had a great time here last year with Troubadour (so far unaccounted for), and once again, took a long walk on the Atlantic Beach which you access from a short walk from the dinghy landing. The wind was howling from the North and we got OK protection; the waterway is pretty narrow here so there is not much room for a fetch to build up. And, if you pass the green marker and turn left you will find well in excess of 8 feet of water in which to anchor. I found numerous cool shells but the prize this year goes to Peter who scooped up a cowrie that matched the one I found last year, again, recently deceased (honest) and in good shape.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Giving Thanks

We departed Brunswick in the afternoon, never having the opportunity to pick up our recently harvested seafood from the shrimpers, in a gentle breeze and only a slight ocean swell, bound for Vero Beach. Last year, due to exhaustion, we gave up on trying to get to Jay and Di’s house for their Thanksgiving Feast, so this go-around Peter was hell-bent for election and with no rest day after Disney, off we went. It was one of those glorious passages, lots of sailing, smooth seas, ice cream :), and a full moon.

We arrived at Fort Pierce inlet at daybreak two days later, the Captain having permitted me to sleep beyond my off-watch. This kindness was negated by his screeching “Lynn, Lynn” (which he NEVER calls me, I am only “Lynn” when there is trouble). With a racing heart beat I ran, au naturel, to the cockpit to be told “we are almost there”. My palpitations continued for several hours, the time it took to reach our mooring at Vero Beach. While fueling up, we were greeted by Kitty and Scott on Tamare, and rafted up with them and Bonnie Lass.

The next day we were shuttled to the Howell’s, where a glorious dinner of ham and turkey complete with bug gravy and all the trimming were served. Great company with good friends and good food. Every one chipped in, appropriate amounts of adult beverages were consumed, and an extremely large flying insect found its peace in a bath of leftover gravy. The host was dismayed to find that his guests were locust-like with the leftovers, and that traditional meal the night following Thanksgiving was not to be.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

You Gotta Believe

Disney World is a magical place where you are encouraged to believe that dreams come true. If you are a five year old girl, it is not hard to accept the fact that if you believe strongly enough, and hound your parents all year long, you will magically be deposited on the Disney bus in Orlando, bound for a land of princesses and chipmunks that give great hugs and sign autograph books, some day to be discovered by a former Princess Belle look-alike in a dusty attic trunk. I hope when that happens Willow remembers that we were there. For sure, Peter and I could never forget this special time.

Having moved Aunt Dar to Lady Lake Specialty Care Center for more therapy, we had a short drive in our now obscenely expensive rental car to Disney. Blessed with concierge level accommodations, we grabbed a soda and the boat headed to Epcot for a day with our kids and our special granddaughter as she begged to stand in yet another line to gather autographs, hugs, and to stare deeply into the eyes of yet another cleverly garbed and made up cast member who each and every five year old among us is certain is the real deal.
Mickey’s Backyard BBQ provided the opportunity to dance with your favorites while various sets of grandparents, up well beyond sailor’s midnight, stifled yawns and clicked away on their Canons, sometimes ignoring the awkwardly placed hugs bestowed by the little ones on their too-tall icons.

Upon return to our rooms in the Wilderness Lodge, we found that Santa had visited, although he had failed to adequately blow up the inflatable Christmas tree that Willow delighted in pouncing upon with more energy that I typically start the day with.
Most exciting gifts: the dollar bill found in the coconut purse and the S’mores nightlight, proving that it doesn’t matter how much you spend. I should give the dolly to my Aunt Bev who almost walked off with it along with the extra furry jacket and matching boots.

The next day we arose at what seemed like daybreak for the Supercalifragalistic Breakfast, and the opportunity to slop eggs around with Mary Poppins,
the Mad Hatter, and other assorted lesser Disney characters with the requisite Princesses thrown in to assure frantic levels of excitement.
More standing in lines with adoration exuding every pore, and a visit to the Bippeditty Boppitty Princess Salon where for a price equivalent to my total college tuition you can get freaky hair extensions or a tiara avec bun, and a bewildering choice of character dresses and glittery footwear.

And the big event that evening: The Disney Christmas Party, commencing at 7:00 and continuing (Lord have mercy) until midnight. But, included in this extravaganza were incredible fireworks with rockets turning into smiley faces, hearts, stars, and presents, snow falling on Main Street, and “free” cookies and hot chocolate served every nine yards at concession stands. Fortunately, the Little Miss lost her steam around 10:30, so we began the trek back from the Magic Kingdom, sparkling with glorious tints favored by Princesses, to our welcoming king sized beds.

The next day we spent the morning with our little one, visiting, oh yes, more Princesses, and experiencing yet one more parade. We departed around lunchtime, and surprised Aunt Dar with a visit on the way back to Redneck Country to crash before the ride back to Brunswick.

Remember, if you believe hard enough, all your dreams can come true.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Good News, but not Great News

Auntie is out of the ICU but is still in the hospital. It seems she suffered some kidney failure from low blood pressure from dehydration, and now they are struggling to determine the right mix of the medications to balance her kidneys while keeping her lungs clear. Difficult juggling act and one we lived through before with Peter's Dad. She is all worked up about our being delayed on our Mission South, but nevertheless whines when we decide to leave for the night after 8 hours of hospital duty. If you have a loved one in a hospital, it sure helps to be there with them, especially when they are almost 85 years young. So, while I wish we were cruising with all of our friends, with many now gathered in Vero Beach for the Thanksgiving celebration, some how I feel like The Man has arranged my schedule to be here.

Thursday, though, my other Princess beckons, a visit to Disney with Willow our granddaughter. Hopefully Auntie will have resolved by then.

Good thoughts and prayers are gratefully accepted.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Medical Tour of Ocala

From NJ we returned to Florida to spend some time with my Aunt in Redneck Country and did my long list of visit chores: get carpet cleaned, visit as many docs as I could talk into appointments, do a thorough roach check (heh, it's Florida), search for the practically non-existent cotton V neck striped shortsleeved polo shirts that my aunt favors--size 2X but it has to be short at the hips and preferably just like the ones I bought her about 20 years ago, and venture forth to a spinal surgeon to find a solution to the chronic pain. Cook a year's worth of food for the freezer, buy as much diet Snapple as the rental car can carry, review her medications, change the furnace filter, visit with nearby friends and family. Try to sleep with several "rooster clocks" chiming out the time, each of course, at least a minute apart, but at least my legally blind Auntie knows what time it is.

Finally, time to move on, with regrets on leaving her but with expectations for a new cruising year. Pack the car and ready to say our farewell, when she looses her balance and down she goes. Is it a manipulation? We take her BP and eventually call 911.

I have a wonderful husband who has spent this week "vacation" cleaning everything he could find to pass the time, and now sits beside me at the Intensive Care Unit, dreaming of 15 knots of wind and flat seas. We await a doctor to tell us what the heck is going on.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Home in NJ

I know I have said this a million times, but it bears repeating: we are blessed with so many friends willing to share their homes and families with us while we are "home" in New Jersey visiting our docs. This visit, we mooched off of Betty, who greeted us with a good, hot meal and friends Donna and Alan on our arrival. It was great handing out candy like a real land person, watching TV, and taking long, hot showers without anyone complaining about the water use.

Doctor visits were good. Peter's kidney functions are all back to normal, and his stones have not grown. My aches and pains appear unrelated to my RA, since my bloodwork looks as good as yours, and maybe even better, with no signs of inflammation. So, I have been given good news: it's fibromyalgia. See, everything in life is relative.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


We spent two full days of cleaning and fixing, mixed in with visits from old and new friends. This left us no time to check the shrimp boats for our $5/pound supply, or any visit to the brick oven Italian restaurant before taking off for our land visits today.  But we did get in our now traditional dinner out with Claire and Paul on Our Turn whom we always seem to run into during our visit here.

We had a fantastic meal at Coastal Kitchen, located at the Golden Isles Marina and shared loads of laughs and advice.

We are now headed South, but on land, to visit my Aunt and retrieve six months of mail before flying home for doctor visits.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Beaufort to Charleston, no---make that Brunswick

We left Beaufort about 32 hours ago, leaving our sailing friends scattered in various locations and not quite in as much a hurry to get out of the ICW and its shallows. Intending to leave around three, by noon we both had ants in our pants and decided we could always slow down if need be, in order to arrive at Charleston in the daylight. We had made this port one time in the pitch black and it was quite well marked, but seeing what you are doing is always the preferred approach.

We sailed for several hours on a glorious point of sail, and since we were not in a hurry, we didn’t care when the speedo dropped below five knots. But unfortunately, as the case may be this time, the good wind didn’t last, and Mooch, now unburdened of a dirty filthy prop, has decided to outperform his expectations. So, with a full moon the size of Kansas lighting our way, we have now decided to keep on going. If we were going to hit Charleston in the dark we might as well make St. Simons under similar conditions.

---We have since arrived at Brunswick, Georgia, having reached the inlet in the day light in time to reach the Brunswick Landing Marina. 333 miles in 53 hours.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tuckahoe Point to Bear Creek

We decided to have a lazy day once departing Coinjock, and woke to found ourselves one of only three boats left (and at 7:30, mind you). Few lazy heads among the boating community! We got to experience the ugliness of the Albermarle Sound, notorious for its short chop when the winds are piping, which they were on this day. But once we got into the Alligator River, we were able to sail for a couple of hours, a rare ICW treat. We also heard our friends Scott and Kitty, and arranged to hookup with them at Tuckahoe Point. Here, we met their friends Bill and Sue on Rondo and had a happy hour aboard Tamure.
The Tuckahoe anchorage is huge, you can always count on space for good NW coverage. If the winds are howling out of the SW you can chose a nearby anchorage (around G43, I think) as well.

We all left the next day at 7:30 and had a typical boring day on the ICW. Peter and I kept extending our intended goal for the day, anxious to get South for our many commitments. We skipped over Belhaven (oh please, don't go here), and left Tamure to anchor off of Campbells Creek by Goose Creek. Tamure draws 6'6" so there must be good water there, but they may not have gone in far. We heard Elan who also anchored at Campbells Creek. We opted to extend the day by another hour and anchored in between the shallows at Bear Creek. 

Tomorrow we should be able to make Beaufort for an offshore run to Charleston, leaving the ICW behind.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day One on the ICW

We had a good trip from Mill Creek to Hospital Point, where we found friends Mike and Kathy on Sapphire and the Carnival ship Glory, pulling out as we pulled in. Unfortunately, I could not raise my stepmom on her cell phone, so I assume she did not see us waving to her as she, Jimmy, and friends pulled out to head for their cruise to the Bahamas, in luxury. We had hoped to connect with Sapphire to transit the Dismal Swamp with them, but they planned a more leisurely pace than us. We intend to speed South in order to get to Aunt Dar's to provide support after today's release from rehabilitation following a hospitalization, and to visit docs with her.

So, we opted to take the Virginia Cut instead. On Day One one must open at least four bridges (more if trains are crossing over the RR bridges), and you need to tie to a lock. Every single bridge and lock operator has failed the Miss Manners training school, and they are out to get you. Well, most of them anyway. It was a long day, but uneventful, and we settled into dockage at Coinjock Marina in the late afternoon.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Visiting our Future Home on Mill Creek

On October 7th we departed Solomons for Mill Creek where we were occupied with home planning and socializing as well as a lousy internet signal, explaining the delay in bringing you all up to date with our comings and goings. Thanks to those of you who registered concern but we are back in business aboard First Edition.

Upon arrival we walked our property which since our last time here as been cleared of all trees on the building footprint, so we are able to get a good feel for our setting. We chose well all those years ago. Our friends, the Tillmans, are well along on their construction and we are lucky to have their experience as we begin our process for real.

My stepmom Kathie and her mate Jimmy picked us up so that we could borrow their car to run our errands. As they had a house guest, Jimmy’s sister Georgia, we stayed aboard First Edition but managed to share dinner with their Friday night dinner group who have become like family to us. I am absolutely certain that my Dad chose Jimmy for Kathie from his spot in heaven, but I do miss him, especially when I see his old pecan tree.

We met with Bill Prillaman, our architect , to finalize details for the construction drawings, saw more homes with prospective builders, spent five hours choosing toilets, sinks and fixtures, and agonized over siding colors and deckings while driving around to find homes with similar choices. Our plans will soon be ready to distribute to the potential builders, and the job will go to bidding, which we hope to have completed before we leave the US.

We had a lovely dinner with the Tillmans at Bill and Carol Throckmorton’s, neighbors to the Tillmans, and boaters whom we ran into in Nassau last year proving the smallness of our universe.
We docked one night at the Schuman’s on Lew and Cindy’s invitation to take on water and amp up the batteries before leaving the Creek. We also had visitors at our dock, Barb and Mike on Elan who shared a birthday dinner for Vickie, and Barb and Lee and their friends Laurie and Laurie (as in Lawrence) from Wind Dancer, who joined us for our anniversary dinner at Crabs and Cues, the local pool hall/emporium for fried foods and devilled eggs. Peter and I had our own fancy dinner to celebrate at Tommy’s in Reedville.

It is time to move on, and so we have.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Welcoming Wind Dancer at Solomons

Lee and Barb from Wind Dancer wound up taking a mooring at Zahnisers, directly across from us here at Washburns, so we shared happy hour with them and Elan. Wind Dancer will cruise the Chesapeake this fall and haulout at Norfolk for the winter. We so enjoy their company and know that they will be life-long friends.

We dinghied to the Holiday Inn/Solomons Landing Marina on Back Creek yesterday and paid the $2 dinghy landing fee in order to walk up to the CVS and Food Lion. These are located about a mile North up the road (hang a right on the access road in front of the Holiday Inn). You will also find a Burger King, McDonalds, and KFC/Taco Bell. Closer and to the left is Woodburn's high priced gourmet food store, a great Chinese restaurant, and further still, West Marine and a liquor store.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Catching up with Elan

While hanging around waiting for weather and for Monday to come to undertake yet ANOTHER Frigoboat repair, we heard M/V Elan hailing M/V Tardis over the VHF. Whoopee! We met Elan last year at Block Island and it was one of those immediate connections, similar to our introduction to Tardis the year before that on the Dismal Swamp.  We were successful in raising Michael and Barb on Elan, and enticed them to anchor  the next day in Back Creek by Zahnisers, where we were swinging on a mooring.
That night, we received a phone call from Barb and Lee on Wind Dancer, whom we met in Beaufort two years ago and who had monitored our call with Elan, but could not reach us by radio. They, too, will eventually be in Solomons, and after that, at Mill Creek. So, we have a lot of catching up to do with old boating friends.

Monday we will head to Washburn's, directly across from Zahnisers, again at Frigoboat's direction. Unless we get satisfaction, I can predict the commencement of WWIII. It won't be pretty.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Socializing at Solomons

While First Edition gets its annual primping at Zahnisers, we have had the opportunity to catch up with friends and make new ones. Pictured is our latest acquaintance, Freebie, whom we met along with Sassy and Gypsy at the Franklins' while enjoying Peter's favorite meal, fried chicken. I now understand why my fried chicken does not make the grade; I have no patience for the frying process.

We caught up with Sue and Ian on Kokopeli, whom we met a few years ago in Charleston and, as it turned out, crossed over to the Abacos with us a few years ago. We had a very good meal at DiGiovanni's, where on Tuesday, you can get a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna, or ravioli for $10.95. This is not Vincenzo's quality, but heh, they sold out and their delicious veal dishes are a thing of the past. We had another Italian meal aboard Cloverleaf while dodging rain drops to and fro.

While at Zahnisers we have been busy messing about with the boat, repainting the chain to mark various lengths, checking hose clamps, taking inventory on our food stuffs and medications, touching up the Cetol, the list goes on and on. We now are awaiting this tropical low or whatever it is to blow through so that our new spinnaker pole can be installed and we can provision before heading off to Mill Creek. Or, perhaps, back to Annapolis.

No, not for the boat show. Why? Frigoboat. It isn't working again and my heretofore declaration of continued love and admiration for the system is quickly fading. I am becoming a cheerleader for Peter to pull out his law degree and get it fixed for once, and for good. Any body interested in the Frigoboat refrigeration system should talk with us first. We have all of our woes documented. When it works, it's great.

Monday, September 27, 2010

"I Never Get to See You Grammie"

OK. The kid is conniver. She knows exactly what to say to pull your heart strings."Will you cuddle with me Grammie?" asked while putting her to bed. Sure thing. We cuddle for about eleven hours, she falls asleep, I sneak out. Five minutes later she is crying in her daddy's arms because Grammie left her.  "Will you read to me Grammie? Just ten pages?". Asked before cuddling. We read the entire Encyclopedia Brittanica, then am asked, "Again".
The next morning, Grammie arrives to commence some serious morning cuddling, to find the adorable princess on the floor. Dead asleep. She awakes and informs me her bed was rattling. I immediately transfer all of my assets to her account.

Sorry everyone. We have the very best-est granddaughter, princess, ballerina in the whole world. With finely tuned conniving skills.

We managed a trip to The Big Red Ball (Targets) and wrote down the SKU numbers for everything she touched. We need to buy a bigger boat to store all of the holiday presents.

She calls Peter "Aye-Aye" but this time, let us know that he is her grandpa. He was thrilled to be so recognized. Here, he is showing Willow how one opens a coconut. She is enthralled, but refused to participate in the bounty.

"Will you take me to Disney Grammie?". Hmmm. Perhaps just one more visit.