Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Ready To Go

Marathon Harbor, N 24 42 W 81 05

I just got scolded by Pete Lemme for not writing enough blogs. Inspiration has been lacking the past couple of weeks because harbor life is so repetitious. The solution is to raise anchor, sail away and find new adventures to write about.

Things are almost ready and now we're getting excited to go again. Our nearest goal is to set sail next Saturday for the Dry Tortugas, and from there to Belize. The passage to Belize should take about four days. I hope that all the modern electronics and communications gear onboard will allow us to post blogs while at sea and when in Central America. If they don't work, it may be a very long time before I get on the Internet or the cell phone again.

Today I cleaned the bottom. We had picked up quite a few barnacles on the propeller, but not so many on the hull. The new $10 wet suit I bought really helped. I didn't feel cold at all even after a half hour in the water. Libby went to the bank and bought traveler's checks.

Libby and I had some hard core planning sessions. Reluctantly, we decided that we didn't leave enough time to get to Alaska by June. To do that, we'd have to be at sea more than 50 of the next 90 days. That's pushing too hard. We also decided we're not ready for a 4000+ mile crossing without a third person on board. Therefore, our new plan is to head for Belize and spend some weeks there, then go to Rio Dulce in Guatemala, then Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico and the Sea of Cortez and to hit San Diego by June. David and his family may be able to meet us in San Diego in June before he leaves for Iraq. We'll spend the summer on the US, Canadian and Mexican west coasts.

Belize sounds very nice. It has the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere. It has access to the Mayan city ruins in Guatemala. Our daughter Jenny is investigating whether she could fly down there and take her vacation with us. As a bonus, they speak English in Belize.

Rio Dulce also sounds great. The cruisers rave about it. You can sail 60 miles up the river with spectacular mountains, cascades, and jungles on either side. No doubt some insects too, but what the heck. The only downside is a bit of danger. The cruisers recommend taking weapon, but we have none.

Surprise, our Pentax digital camera that stopped working a couple of months ago started working again. Now we have two working cameras. It's good to have a backup.

So, even if it's not an ocean crossing, the next phase of our journey feels like an adventure. We'll be visiting strange and exotic countries and we'll be out of the USA for 3-4 months.

p.s. This is the first blog I posted by SSB radio.

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for information see: http://www.sailmail.com

Track Us

We installed a new feature in our blog. From now on, there is a linkk on the right side of the blog page that says Track Our Position

When you click on it you'll see a map that shows our current position, course and speed, and perhaps a "post card" message. You'll be able to see the trail of up to of our most recent reports.

We hope to send a position report every day, even if we don't have the ambition to write a full blog article.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Hanging Out at The Mills Place

H Posted by Picasa

At The Little White House

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Friendly Fish

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RV Campground

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Key West

Marathon Harbor, N24 42W81 05

Today we took the bus to Key West to spend the day as tourists. I really didn’t want to bring Tarwathie down there but it the bus only cost $3 so why not?

It’s about a 45 mile long trip from Marathon to Key West. We were surprised at how many sunken and/or high-and-dry boats we saw on the way. We even saw a big Casino boat up on the hard about a half mile from shore. In Key West we saw dozens more boats driven up on shore. All this is the remnants of Hurricane Wilma that passed through here in October. The storm surge must have been 2-3 meters high.

We also saw an RV campground that looked terrible. (See The Picture) The RVs were densely packed with only dusty ground between them. Retired people living in RVs are kindred spirits to Libby and I. In this case though it looks like the land cruisers fare much worse than the sea cruisers.

We got there around 10 AM and walked around the harbor. It sure is a crowded place, full of people and boats.

It was charming though to see how fearless the fish are in the harbor. There are lots of medium and large fish swimming near the sidewalk. The tourists throw fish food at them. There were even big Tarpons. See the picture.

After a very nice lunch of raw oysters (see the picture) we continued our tour. There was a great shop full of sea shells of all kinds, including conch shells ready for honking. We would have bought some but soon we hope to be in exotic places where we can pick up our own. We can even eat the creatures before taking their shells.

We skipped the museum where the show the pirate treasure recovered by the famous Mel Fisher, but we did go to the museum store where they sell pieces of actual treasure.

We also walked around the so-called Little White House and the surrounding area called the Truman Annex. The Little White House was used as a vacation retreat and office by Presidents Truman, Eisenhour, Kennedy, Carter, and Clinton, and before that it was the residence of Thomas Edison. The neighborhood surrounding the Little White House is very charming, and all the houses look like they must be worth millions of dollars, and are all in 19th century styles. Oddly, only three of about 100 houses we looked at showed signs of anyone being home. It seems to be the norm here in Florida that the more people pay for a place to stay, the less time they stay there. Go figure.

Jenny had told us to watch for the homeless, the kooks and the characters, for which Key West is famous. There was little evidence of them today. We just saw endless thousands of tourists. Perhaps if we were out on the streets of Key West late at night, we might encounter different types of people. That’s way past our bedtime though.

We returned to Tarwathie in time for supper. It was a very good day. Libby is feeling very smug about a major purchase she made. I’ll not divulge the secret.

On other fronts. This week I got our email working from the SSB radio on the boat. That means I’ll be able to report positions and to post blogs while at sea and while located in exotic remote countries. That is for the benefit of all you beloved blog readers. I also managed to sell all of our charts and many of the cruising guides that we wont be needing until we come back to the Atlantic. I don’t want to carry them around the world with us. We’ll try to buy charts in small increments, one or two destinations in advance. Financially, we did OK, recovering at least half of the money we paid to buy the charts. I also find that the HP printer/copier that we bought a few weeks back can make copies of other people’s charts. That may help a lot in keeping our chart budget lower than I feared.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Conch Calls In The Sunset

Marathon Harbor, N24 42W81 05

Every night since we came here we heard what sounded like very bad bugle practice at sunset each night. Since we once heard someone do a very bad rendition of Taps at sunset, I assumed that bad bugle practice was what it was. Eventually, we could discern that it was several bugles. On some nights it sounds like a half dozen bugles blasting from different corners of the harbor at sunset. I surmised that it was boaters mocking the bad bugler.

Last night Orville told us that it was a local tradition to sound conch shells at sunset to call the fishermen home. If true, that’s a much more charming explanation than bad buglers.

It may have something to do with this. “The second essential is sunset. The setting of the sun in Key West is a 365-days-of-the-year "event." When the fiery orb dips into the watery horizon, slips from view, and streaks the sky in mauve, pink, persimmon, and gold, it is ostensibly to entertain the enormous crowds that gather at Mallory Square each evening to gape and cheer and applaud madly, even as they snap the prize-winning photo of the definitive moment. “

Hats Off To Orville

Marathon Harbor, N24 42W81 05
Last night we invited Orville over for dinner. Orville is a neighbor. He is a solo sailor who lives on Moonlight (see the picture.) Orville has lots of interesting stories to tell.

During the Korean war, Orville served as a sailor in the navy. His ship served as a minesweeper and a shield for the USS New Jersey. On liberty after graduation from boot camp, Orville was scandalized by the loose women in the streets of New Orleans so he went down to Bay Saint Louis and sat on the docks talking with people.

Orville was a civil engineer who worked for the California Highway Department. He contributed to the state’s economy by exploits such as proposing to dam a fjord in northern California that would have created a 1000 foot deep lake filling California’s central valley. On another occasion Orville and another engineer figured out how to plug Los Angeles’ sanitary sewer system with expanding foam then waiting for everyone to flush their toilets. Orville said that after a number of years, “My boss gave me a reason to resign, so I did.”

He once bought an 18 foot sailboat, but before getting more than 50 feet away from the dock his wife said, “I don’t like this. Take me back.” She never again set foot on a boat.

Next Orville and his wife ran a motel, a fleabag motel according to Orville. Eventually Orville became a widower and he grew tired of the motel. He sold everything an bought his boat. Moonlighter was an Alaskan fishing boat.

Ever since 2000, Orville has been living and cruising on his boat. He cruised up the Sacramento River. He cruised up the Columbia River to Idaho. He cruised up British Columbia toward Alaska, but the weather turned him back. He sailed down to Mexico and spent several years going up and down Mexico’s west coast.

Once he got stuck out a sea off the coast of Nicaragua with a failed engine. After drifting west for several days, with nobody answering his calls for help, a US minesweeper came along. They towed him to the Nicaraguan Navy and the Nicaraguans towed him to a port. His keel cooler had failed, and they didn’t have a way to lift his boat out of the water. With local help he did a temporary repair with Marine Tex (an epoxy putty) and sailed to a nearby port that did have a way. They hauled him out. After several failed attempts, a drunken and incompetent mechanic managed to install a new keel cooler. Orville went to pay the bill and the secretary said it would be 2,400 pesos. While he was counting out the money, the boss of the boatyard came in, took one look at Orville, and said, “No. No pesos. Dollars.” He charged $150/hour for the services of the drunken mechanic. Orville had only $2430 to his name! He also had an ATM card with a daily withdrawal limit of $300. He had to spend the next couple of weeks riding a bus to the nearest city with an airport, withdrawing $300, then riding the bus back. When the bill was paid off he didn’t have any money for fuel. He had to stay there until the next month. Orville lives on a pension of only $1200/month.

Despite his meager income, Orville does quite well. He had his boat trucked across Mexico to Brownsville Texas. He sailed up the east coast to New York City and stayed a week at the 79th street marina. Then cold weather turned him back. Last year he sailed up the Tennessee River and back. This year he plans to sail the Red River that runs along the Texas Oklahoma border. Since 2000 Orville has sailed (motored) 18,000 miles. Not bad at all on $1,200 per month.

Hats off to Orville.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

In Harm's Way

February 11, 2006

Yesterday our youngest son David graduated from US Army basic training and infantry school. After graduation, and before the end of this year, David will be in Iraq, standing in harm’s way in defense of our country. Libby and I and our oldest son John and our grandson Nick all attended the graduation ceremony. The keynote speaker at the ceremony was a black man named White. We did not catch his rank, but let me call him Major White. Major White’s speech was intended to motivate the troops, but it had a strong emotional effect on both Libby and I. I want to write about the impression it made.

All military ceremonies of this kind must share some common elements. There is a lot of marching and displays of disciplined behavior. There is also a lot of patriotic music. These things together remind us of tradition. In this respect there is little difference between today’s warrior and countless millions of warriors from every society since the dawn of civilization. The rituals touch our emotional hot spots and have the effect of motivating us to be willing to make great sacrifices. At this point I thought of David and how he now belonged to the proud ranks of fellow warriors. That is what the words of Major White’s speech said, but the words were hardly necessary. The rituals and the music conveyed that message at a much deeper level.

I also thought of Libby and I, but mostly Libby. We are two of other countless millions of parents who have sent their sons off to war. The impact of this falls heaviest on the mother. A mother’s instinct and her whole being is directed toward protecting her children. To willingly send a child into harm’s way violently clashes with basic emotions. It amazes me how effectively America’s propaganda machine convinces American mothers to allow their sons to be sent away to war. That is one of the major underpinnings of America’s might and effectiveness as a superpower; we are willing.

A father also shares instincts to protect his family, so I shared Libby’s distress over the nature of what David was doing. Notwithstanding that, a father’s feelings are powerfully mitigated by his desire to stand up himself to fight our wars. When the father is unable or unsuitable to fight himself, he is duty bound to offer up his sons as the family’s offering to the nation’s causes. His sons become his proxy warriors. Their pride becomes in part my pride and my chest swells.

Then, Major White described the training these men had received and how formidable the American soldier is and how these soldiers could defeat any enemy in the world. I reflected on the reality of that statement and I thought about America‘s enemies. Undoubtedly, in today’s world that is a very true statement. No conceivable modern enemy can challenge the American soldier in battle. These young boys, now men, carry the responsibility of wielding immense power. America may not win every conflict. War is not the solution to every problem. Still, to fight and kill in battle, no enemy can challenge America. All sane enemies must understand that, and must be appropriately deterred in their actions. An enemy may hope to subvert America’s will to resist, but they can never expect to defeat us in battle. If I were a citizen of any other country, I would not be able to say that.

Next, Major White talked about selfless sacrifice. That made me and Libby think about those other young soldiers and their family members who surrounded us in the audience. What a supremely commendable action that is to volunteer to go to war. How unevenly the burdens and sacrifices fall upon American citizens and American families. The vast majority of families have no direct personal involvement of family members in our wars. )If the USA had universal military duty like Sweden and Switzerland had, we would have an army of ten to fifteen million men. That would be a far too big army and it would be dangerous to the country and the world to have such a big force in existence.) Of the minority of families who send one or more members off to war, a much smaller minority will suffer the death of their beloved as a result. In this respect, we are very fortunate to live in the modern era, rather than earlier ages when almost all of those sent off to war would die.

David, I’m certain, volunteered out of a sense of duty. So certain am I that it just occurred to me that I never asked David that question directly. Standing shoulder to shoulder with David though was an assortment of young men. Many of those young men are different than David. Some joined the Army to escape the circumstances of their civilian life. Others were pressured into joining by families or counselors in the hope that the military could make difficult boys into men. Still others merely continue a family tradition. Looking at the families surrounding us at the graduation ceremony it is also clear that the self sacrifice of military service is a strong family trait. I’m sure that it was no accident that John decided to bring my 14 year old grandson Nick to witness these events.

America never tires of telling our veterans and their families how much we appreciate their sacrifice. That’s nice but words of gratitude can never be enough compensation for the vastly uneven sacrifice of the few for the benefit of the many.

Good reasons or bad, exploitive or not, the military takes them all, turns the crank, and produces soldiers fit for war. The unfairness and exploitation of the system weighs on my conscience at the same time my brain tells me how necessary it is to make an effective army. Fighting in combat is an insane act. America is a formidable enemy precisely because we manage the self deception necessary to motivate citizens to volunteer and to train soldiers to charge into the face of death if necessary. I thought then of armies past and present, and of military traditions, and what it really means for David to join the cadre of warriors.

Finally, Major White said something that hit me like a ton of bricks. He said, “I will never, never ever, apologize for being an American.” When he said that I was reminded of the words of General Colin Powell that I read on a plaque the day before. General Powell was confronted by skeptics in Switzerland who wanted to label the war in Iraq as American imperialism. Powell then said, "We have gone forth from our shores repeatedly over the last hundred years and we’ve done this as recently as the last year in Afghanistan and put wonderful young men and women at risk, many of whom have lost their lives, and we have asked for nothing except enough ground to bury them in, and otherwise we have returned home to seek our own, you know, to seek our own lives in peace, to live our own lives in peace. But there comes a time when soft power or talking with evil will not work where, unfortunately, hard power is the only thing that works."

The words of Major White and General Powell hit home because in recent months I’ve been contemplating cruising the world during a time when anti-American passions are exceptionally high. Frankly, I had been considering not flying the American flag as we sailed to other countries. Those words, coupled with the exemplary bravery of my two sons, made me realize in an instant how wrong that would be. I’ll never forget those words and I resolve hereto to follow the example of my own sons. I commit myself to never ever apologize for being an American.

In 1994, our oldest son, John, graduated from basic training. John is also a warrior. He serves with the US Air Force. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to attend John’ s graduation. Also, at that time and up to now, there was no serious chance of John being called to fight in actual combat. That could change overnight, but so far it is not a a reality.

I’m proud of John and his sacrifices. I’m very proud of David and his selfless sacrifice and for the service he is about to perform. I’m also proud of America for it’s willingness to fight for right. I’m also grateful to America’s military for being so effective at it’s business and I’m grateful to General Colin Powell and to Major White for their eloquent words that bring it all home. Posted by Picasa

Mission Accomplished

Marathon Harbor, N24 42W81 05

February 12, 2006
Well we accomplished a major family-oriented milestone. We just came back from a 6 day trip to Georgia to attend David’s graduation from infantry school. This event has been driving our planning for months. Libby especially has been missing David because she hasn’t seen him in a year. I at least got to see David in Fairbanks last October.

We rented a car at the Marathon Airport last Tuesday, left Tarwathie tied to a mooring and headed north. It is more than 600 miles (1000 km) from here to Fort Benning Georgia. It took us two (easy) days to drive it. We found a back road on the map (Route 27) that took us through central Florida away from all the population centers. We avoided Miami and Tampa and Orlando and Jacksonville.

The most interesting part of the trip was the stretch between Florida City up to Lake Okeechobee. That stretch is part of the Florida everglades. It is flat and mostly featureless, but close inspection shows most of the land to be marshes, open water, fields and forests. Along the road there is also a host of very impressive farms. We saw hundred acre tomato fields, also corn, potato, strawberry, pineapple, palm tree, sugar beet and sugar cane, and tropical plant fields. The fields are enormous and appear to be very productive. It is easy to understand how much of America’s food is grown here.

We stopped to look out at Lake Okeechobee. It is a peculiar lake, very shallow but very big. It must be 50 miles across and only 3-4 feet deep in most places. There are huge levees between the lake and the road, so there are no lakeside houses or camps. We stopped and climbed one of the levees to see the lake. From the top of the levee to the lake surface it must be 40 feet. The lake level is reported to be very high, nearly to flood level. That makes it puzzling why they need an additional 40 feet high levee to hold it in. Maybe the lake sloshes a lot from one side to the other. I have no idea. There are gates in the levee that open to let boats in and out. All the boats and marinas are on the land side of the levee. Very strange.

North of Okeechobee, one comes to orange country. For the next 100 miles, the road is lined with orange groves on both sides of the road. The groves continue as far as the eye can see. Each tree is heavy with fruit. I saw a parking lot with perhaps 3 dozen tanker trucks for carrying orange juice. Each truck could carry 8,000 gallons. If I were on the fire department here, I would enlist those tankers to help fight fires. Imagine putting out a structure fire with orange juice.

Up in Georgia, the foliage changes from tropical to temperate species. We saw huge groves of pecan trees. Pecan trees are much larger than I imagined. We traveled through Plains Georgia and saw President Jimmy Carter’s house by the side of the road. He didn’t invite us in for lunch though.

Mid afternoon on Wednesday, we arrived at Fort Benning and holed up in a motel for the night. We also went shopping for a printer to keep onboard Tarwathie. Reading the cruising guides about the customs requirements of Latin countries convinced me that we should have an inexpensive copier/printer. It also scans, so I can convert a lot of Tarwathie’s paper manuals to a digital CD.
On Thursday, we were joined by my son John and his son Nick. They drove down from New York. Their trip took 18 hours of driving. We left immediately for Fort Benning and happily watched David and his company go through their “bluing” ceremony. This is where the trainees are awarded the blue cord to wear on their shoulder to identify them as infantrymen. (See the following blog article. I have a lot to say about Dave in the military). The only thing marring the ceremony is that the weather turned cold and we had no jackets. Poor Libby shivered so violently that a woman in the crowd took off her coat and offered it to Libby.

After the ceremony Dave was free for 6 hours, so the five us out set out to enjoy each other’s company. We went to 2/12/06a military equipment store, Ranger Joe’s. Then we went to a pizza restaurant and ate pizza and talked for a few hours. It was great. We returned Dave to his barracks at 1930.

Friday morning was the actual graduation ceremony. (See the following blog article, “In Harm’s Way”) The weather was nicer and the ceremony was very moving. We were all glad that we took the trouble to go there. After graduation, Dave rejoined his unit for transportation to the airport. We drove to the airport independently, and met Dave there. We were able to spend another hour or so just enjoying each other’s company. Finally we had to leave to go our separate directions, Alaska, New York and Florida. It was a melancholy moment for us because Libby and I won’t see any of them again for months or perhaps years.

We left the airport and drove to Milledgeville, GA to spend the night. Early Saturday morning I went to the Milledgeville library to take my written exams to get a HAM license. I took (and passed) the exams for technician level and for the general level licenses. However I still haven’t finished learning Morse Code so I wasn’t ready to take the code test. Morse Code is required for the general level HAM license and that is required to use the HAM frequencies in Asia, Africa, and Europe. I’ll try to take the code test in Hawaii or Alaska. Anyhow, I’ll have my technician level HAM license now and I’ll be able to buy and use the equpiment to do email using the SSB radio onboard Tarwathie. That’s critical to be able to keep in touch with family and friends, not to mention posting blogs, while at sea.

So we spent the rest of Saturday and all day Sunday driving back to Marathon. Along the way we did several chores on our to-do list. With the graduation complete, our focus must now turn toward getting ready to depart for Belize, then Panama, Hawaii, and Alaska. This is the big one coming up. Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 03, 2006

Harbor Life

Boot Key Harbor, Marathon Florida
February 3, 2006

Harbor life doesn't inspire me to write blogs as much as the sailing life does. But I do have a responsibility to readers to write sometimes. DonÂ’t look for so many blog articles while weÂ’re here.

Life in this harbor is easy. First, Boot Key Harbor is the ideal anchorage. It is about 1 mile long by ¼ mile wide and well sheltered from winds or waves from any direction. About 80% of the harbor has a depth of about 9 feet (3m) which is perfect for anchoring. The bottom is a very fine sand so holding is excellent. The water, flushed by tides, appears to be clean. Such a fine harbor attracts many boats, and there must be 300 boats anchored here. Most are sailboats. Many belong to cruisers such as ourselves. Many others belong to people who have been here for years at anchor. I'’ll take some pictures and post them.

The harbor is very crowded. The city is gradually converting most of the harbor from open anchorages to moorings and collecting money to use the moorings. By the end of 2006 or 2007 there will be few or no anchorages left here. On the other hand, the moorings allow higher packing density, and they are more secure for shifting winds if there is nobody onboard. Next week we plan to leave for a week for David'’s graduation, so we rented a mooring starting today. They price is affordable, $150/month. No other place weÂ’ve been to charges so little. Libby and I will feel more secure knowing that Tarwathie is moored when we'’re gone. Remember that Tarwathie is our home and paranoia is justified when contemplating leaving oneÂ’s home floating on the end of a hook and some line.

Every day we find some reason to go ashore. I'’ve been rowing about 1 mile per day and biking about 5 miles per day, and I can feel my physical shape improving. Libby walks about 3 miles per day also. Marathon provides stores and facilities within reasonable distance of the marina. Actually, the keys are small islands, and everything is necessarily near by. Also there is only one road that goes anywhere, US 1, and it has a lot of traffic. I have no desire to go to key west because of the traffic I see going and coming from there. It reminds me of Lake George in New York, were one sees heavy traffic from NYC up to Lake George on I87, then very little traffic thereafter. Lake George and Key West are places for mobs, not for us.

Today at the marina laundry I joined the laundry klatch with Libby as we waited for the dryer. There were several women talking. They were all cruisers and most of them were cruising with children onboard. They, and we, were taking turns boasting about the places in the world they planed to go to. Granted there's a lot of B.S. in such talk; that'’s what bull sessions are all about. Nevertheless, one thing really struck me. The women were saying, “Imagine that some people live in the same place all the time.” Wow, how narrow and unbalanced that statement was. I guess that says something about human nature. We tend to project our environment and that of the nearest circle as "typical"” or "normal" even when that'’s plainly untrue.

Also every day we get to meet more of the cruisers in the harbor. I hope to pick the brains on some of them about Central America.

Most of my time here I've spent studying for my HAM license. I'm going to take the Technician level test, and the Morse code test, and the General level test all on the same day. Therefore I've been studying all three. Recently I found that I can go to the library to sit and study in peace for about 6 hours at a time. The material is boring. I have to memorize FCC rules and regulations and lots of frequencies and frequency band numbers. Yuck. The only thing I plan to do with the HAM license is to send and receive email.

And then there are chores to do. Below is my to-do list plus my shopping list for things to do before sailing for Belize. I add about 5 new items per day. It will take quite a few days of work to get to the end of the list.

  • 1/2 & 9/16 6 inch open end wrench
  • 12 V computer adapter
  • 5 gallon pail
  • Activated charcoal tablets
  • antibacterial soap
  • ATF fluid
  • baby sitter
  • Benadryl
  • Burglar Alarm
  • Canned Meats
  • Check/replace all zincs
  • Chisel
  • Courtesy Flags Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Panama, Costa Rica
  • Eckard gentle skin cleaner
  • Faulty Alternator? Do undercharging checklist
  • Fialgaecide
  • fuel algicide
  • HAM License
  • HOL-TITE handle
  • Laxitive, antacid, sunblock, sunburn
  • Lube Oil
  • Lysol
  • Metal Wax
  • Metal wax all deck stainless
  • Mineral Oil or Baby Oil
  • mothballs
  • Muratic Aci
  • Oar lock chafe gear
  • Pactor Modem buy, install, configure
  • Paint the deck
  • Pencils
  • Phosphoric acid
  • pressure cooker
  • Printer/Copier
  • Renew insurance or buy new policy
  • salt water faucet & plumbing
  • Selsun Blue
  • Silicone Grease
  • soldering iron & heat shrink tubes
  • spare hose clamps
  • The Offshore Doctor (book)
  • toliet tank stuff
  • Visa for Mexico
  • Wash & Wax the hull
  • Water Filter & plumbing
  • Water Purification Tablets

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

101 Great Places In Our First Year

Marathon Harbor, N24 42W81 05
February 1, 2006

Today is the anniversary of our retirement. It has been one heck of a year. We thought it fitting for today to try to remember the places we’ve been to in the past year.

Part 1 - The trip by car to look at Westsail 32 boats.

  1. Emporia, Virginia
  2. Oriental, North Carolina
    Where we looked at 2 Westsails
  3. Fayetteville, North Carolina
  4. Daytona Beach, Florida
    Where we looked at one Westsail, and met up with Ed and Sally
  5. Disney World
    Where we stayed a week with our kids and grandkids
  6. Apollo Beach, Florida
    Where I drove with John and Dave to look at one Westsail
  7. Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    Where we first saw Tarwathie
  8. Indian Town, Florida
    Where we saw another Westsail
  9. Lake Como, Florida
    Where we stayed on the banks of a nice fishing lake
  10. Stevensville, Maryland
    Where we stayed on the banks of the Chesapeake.
  11. Deal, Maryland
    Where we took a second look at Morning Mist, and decided to buy Tarwathie

Part 2 - The trip to survey, purchase and take delivery of Tarwathie
  1. Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  2. Isle of Venice, Fort Lauderdale.
    Our first night on Tarwathie
  3. Lake Worth, Palm Beach Florida
    Our first port of call
  4. Fort Pierce, Florida
  5. Melbourne, Florida
    Where we visited with Ed and Sally and had dinner with the Hacketts
  6. Mosquito Lagoon, Florida
  7. Cape Canaveral, Florida
  8. Blount Island, Florida
    Where we left Tarwathie in a marina for 2 months

Part 3 - Return to Jacksonville and Preparation
  1. The Amelia River, Florida
    Where I anchored for a week waiting for Libby
  2. Tiger Point, Fernandina Beach, Florida
    Where we hauled out for two weeks of painting and projects

Part 4 - The voyage back to New York
  1. Charleston, South Carolina
  2. Virginia Beach, Virginia
  3. Little Creek, Virginia
  4. Onancook, Virginia
  5. Fishing Bay, Virginia
  6. Chisman Creek, Virginia
  7. Point Lookout, Maryland
  8. Annapolis, Maryland
  9. Smith Creek, Maryland
  10. Greenwich, New Jersey
  11. Cape May, New Jersey
  12. Liberty Island, New York/New Jersey
  13. Near West Point, New York
  14. Kingston, New York
  15. Albany, New York
  16. New Baltimore, New York
  17. Catskill, New York
  18. Schodack Creek, New York

Part 5 - The Summer in Champlain
  1. Stillwater, New York
  2. Comstock, New York
  3. Chipman Point, Orwell, Vermont
  4. Ticonderoga, New York
  5. Westport, New York
  6. Shelburne, Vermont
  7. Burlington, Vermont
    Where we visited Jennifer
  8. Willsboro, New York
    Where we had great times with Bob and Carol deMello
  9. Valcour Island, New York
  10. Plattsburg, New York
  11. Valcour mainland, New York
  12. Burton Island, Vermont
  13. Vergennes, Vermont
  14. Port Henry, New York
  15. Paradise Bay, New York
    Yes, we had our day in paradise:
  16. Fairbanks, Alaska
    A side trip, Dick only

Part 6 - The Return Trip Southward
  1. Chipman Point, Orwell, Vermont
  2. Whitehall, New York
  3. Stillwater, New York
  4. Mechanicville, New York
  5. Waterford, New York
  6. Catskill, New York
    Where I dropped my laptop computer into the river.
  7. Poughkeepsie, New York
  8. Nyack, New York
  9. Liberty Island, New Jersey/New York
  10. Little Creek, Virginia
  11. Norfolk, Virginia
  12. The Great Dismal Swamp, North Carolina
  13. Elizabeth City, North Carolina
  14. Little Alligator River, North Carolina
  15. Pungo River, North Carolina
  16. Eastham Creek, North Carolina
  17. Oriental, North Carolina
  18. New Bern, North Carolina
  19. Roanoke, North Carolina
  20. Nags Head, North Carolina
  21. Hatteras, North Carolina
  22. Beaufort, North Carolina
  23. Cape Fear, North Carolina
  24. Wilmington, North Carolina
  25. Southport, North Carolina
  26. Fernandina Beach, Florida
  27. Blount Island, Florida
  28. Jacksonville, Florida
  29. Saint Augustine, Florida
  30. New Smyrna Beach, Florida
  31. Titusville, Florida
  32. Melbourne, Florida
  33. Vero Beach, Florida
  34. Fort Pierce, Florida
  35. Hollywood, Florida
  36. Miami Beach, Florida
  37. Boca Chica, Florida
  38. Marathon, Florida

Part 7 - The aborted passage to Pass Christian
  1. Little Shark River, Florida
  2. Everglade City, Florida
  3. Fort Meyers Beach, Florida
  4. Shell Point, Florida (Where we visited with Norman and Martha)
  5. Sanibel Island, Florida
  6. Caya Costa, Florida
  7. Marathon, Florida

So there you have it. These are the places we visited. We didn’t list every anchorage and we didn’t list repeat visits to the same place in the same part. Nevertheless, by my count it is 101 memorable places that we visited in this past year, we have (mostly) fond memories of all of them. It sure beats sitting at home watching TV.