September 5 we arrived at Sea Fox to take up permanent residency.
We shipped far too much stuff so now we're again in the
throes of sorting through what we really need to fit onto
the boat and how to dispose of the excess. Our task is to
change it from a floating warehouse into our home - and
with everything stow-able for crossing open water. A marine
carpenter has been here to give us a quote on adding bookshelves.
The rigger did the work to have the line for the 3rd reef
led back to the cockpit (I hope we never need it.). So that's
two more items about to be checked off the list. Now that
we're here I really miss the convenience we had in Texas.
Everything here is a trek. Neal commented the other day
that we could never use this marina without having a car.
If we stop in this area again, it will have to be at Annapolis
where taxis are available for getting to grocery stores,
etc. The cats have adjusted well so far. They seem to remember
having been on the boat before. It'll be interesting to
see what happens when we begin moving. There's still so
much to do before mid October!
Official - we're nomads
finally left Boulder on Sept. 1 and headed for Sea Fox.
Didn't get finished at the house soon enough to have time
to visit Minnesota, but stopped in Chicago to pick up the
cats who'd been staying with my brother, and visit with
Mom and brothers. We've shipped more stuff to Sea Fox than
we'll be able to find space for, but once we're there we'll
have a better basis for deciding what we can actually fit
on the boat.
anxious to get "home" to Sea Fox because we heard from the
marina this morning that one of our lines broke during Ernesto
and there's some gelcoat damage from hitting the dock. We're
assured that it is very minor, but it will be good to finally
get there and see for ourselves that she's really ok. And
I'm certainly ready to get on with it.
arrived at my brother's house on Saturday and will leave
tomorrow (Tuesday) so we've had a chance to rest up from
our hectic clean out project. Feels good.
for being a nomad, it's an interesting feeling to realize
that we no longer have a specific spot on the map that is
home. We've filed papers establishing a domicile in Florida,
but the address is our mail forwarding service, not a place
where we can hunker down. I guess our home is now "the world";
and I'm ready to explore it.
very different move
out that it isn't easy to get rid of stuff - especially
old stuff. Over the years our junk has expanded to fill
the space. It's amazing how much stuff we've carried around
for years simply because we had adequate storage.
So where previous relocations have been a matter of having
tons of boxes moved from one place to another; this has
been an interesting shift of mind set. We acquired all this
stuff because we "needed" it at the time. But why did we
need so many frying pans, for example. A project like this
really makes you aware of how much extraneous stuff we all
tend to accumulate. Without going into the gory details,
I'll just comment that disposing of large items such as
furniture and appliances is a royal pain. And nobody wants
books - of which we had hundreds. The shredder motor has
been pushed to its limits as we got rid of records and documents,
some of which were 30 years old. It costs money to dispose
of obsolete electronics.
deadline looms and, as expected, we've both been stressed.
But we've so far managed to avoid screaming out loud in
our frustrations. Ice cream helps. We'll be on the road
on the 24th but won't be on the boat for a while because
we're attending Neal's 50th high school reunion and then
making a farewell tour to visit family in Minneapolis and
Chicago. What a relief it will be to have this phase behind
has retired. I'm not sure whether the circumstance of Maxtor
being bought out and fading from existence has made it easier
or more difficult. On the one hand, it had ceased to be
"the best job he ever had" and that made it easier. On the
other hand, everything in his life is changing at the same
time and that can be very stressful.
was a very nice retirement party for Neal and Robert Metz
that included the traditional retirement watch. There were
dancing girls and live music by the Rolling Stones and Tina
Turner. President Bush who was in town for a fund raiser
found time to stop by to wish the boys well. Fortunately
the president left before the cops broke up the party at
I had a request to spice up the log entries a little so
I'll leave the reader to decide just how much of the previous
paragraph is factual.
we're still getting rid of stuff. What a huge job! But I
finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. No specific
departure date yet.
from somewhere: "It's not that people resist change; they
resist being changed" I guess that pretty much describes
my initial reaction Sea Fox's new home.
a gorgeous area. The trees and greenery are lush - very
much unlike the dry and sparse western landscape where we've
spent the past 22 years. I love that part. But we were truly
spoiled by the location of Waterford Harbor and its facilities.
(basically a Houston suburb) we had many stores and good
restaurants within a couple of miles of the marina including
2 West Marine stores and another marine store. Waterford
has an abundance of toilet, shower and laundry facilities
strategically placed along its waterfront. And I loved the
full-length floating docks.
Herrington Harbour marinas (we're at North) are in a semi-rural
area which, by definition, means that it's more of a trek
to find shops and restaurants. But that's the price for
being in the lush countryside. And the facilities here are
more typical of East Coast marinas. One big difference being
that there's a boating "season" here and then there's winter,
unlike the year-round boating climate in Texas. I must finally
realize that I'm comparing an apple to an orange.
best thing is that Annapolis is only 20 miles North. Fawcett's
is better than any West Marine store; there's a Sailrite
store; and plenty of good restaurants - not to mention the
best gelato I've tasted. We haven't yet been to the big
mall but it looks like it has just about everything and
there's even a Whole Foods. Could be worse
from the trip
spent the last week of May on Sea Fox with a long to-do
list that, as usual, is mostly intact for two reasons: We
still always hope to accomplish more than time will allow;
and we can't resist spending time sight-seeing.
to St. Michael's and got to see a bit of the Eastern shore.
St. Michael's is a popular sailing destination, but it's
just another tourist town full of expensive souvenir stores.
together with Lana and Robert Lohe - friends from Carter
Lake in Colorado who've relocated to Maryland - and had
a great time with them at a great restaurant on the water.
we did retrieve a lot of stuff that had been stowed for
the voyage, we didn't get into the lazarette yet. That will
be a major project for next trip.
and I arrived at the boat on April 9 and spent the next
week getting her ready to sail. It was a hectic time acquiring
additional equipment, spares, and groceries and then figuring
out where to stow it all. At least we had good weather.
We made one last visit to most of our favorite local restaurants,
but never managed to get to Rosie's fish market for shrimp.
at about 11:30 on the 15th Sea Fox headed out of Waterford
Harbor Marina. Neighbors waved and tossed flower petals
as we left the slip. I can't express just how sad it was
to leave Neal behind. I immediately went below to clean
up the galley so the guys wouldn't see me crying.
"guys" were Captain Roy Newberry, Sr. plus crew, James and
Charles. We were lucky in having a very compatible crew.
Although we were all very different personalities, there
were no squabbles on board. Roy is an outstanding captain,
having made several Atlantic crossings as well as sailing
the Med, the Baltic, and the Pacific.. James and Charles
are both experienced sailors. I was the weak link but others
picked up the slack. We worked in 2 hour shifts which then
gave everyone 6 hours off. This schedule also allowed Roy
to be with me during my watch shifts.
bay was a little choppy as we made our way to Galveston.
The Houston ship channel very busy so we saw quite a few
large ships. In Galveston we topped off the fuel and water
tanks. We raised the main with 2 reefs in (it's easier to
shake out a reef than to put one in) and finally headed
into the Gulf of Mexico at about 4:00 pm. We were moving
at about 6 kts and at quite an angle of heel. I got bruises
on top of bruises as I adjusted to getting around the boat
at that angle and with constant movement. Took me a couple
of days to get my sea legs.
out the second reef but kept one reef in the main. Roy had
charted a course designed to minimize our time among the
oil rigs, but we sure saw a lot of them. Rigs are huge.
In addition, their work boats anchor out quite a way from
them so it is necessary to give them quite a wide berth.
They're brightly lit and visible at night. I'd heard tales
of boats encountering unlit rigs at night, but those in
our path were bright and obvious.
water is the most perfect blue you can imagine.
investment in satellite phone turned out to be a good one.
I was able to call Neal each evening with a progress report.
Reception wasn't always perfect but it was great to be able
to talk to him every day. It eased his mind to know that
things were going well; and he charted our progress. He
also sent a daily email report to my kids and to contacts
for Charles and James. Sailmail also worked well. It usually
took some time and several attempts to find an open channel,
but I'm happy with it. I didn't want to leave the computer
on the nav station in rough conditions so it did take some
effort to safely get it back and forth when I wanted to
lee cloths on the settees worked pretty well for James and
Charles.. On the Gulf we were mostly heeled to port so I
slept snugly in the berth in the forward cabin. The problem
was climbing uphill to get out of bed!
morning of the 17th we saw and passed a ketch headed in
our same direction. That same day we encountered a seismographic
ship. These ships tow several seismographs on lines that
extend as far as five miles. Each one has an escort boat
to clear the path of small boats like ours. The escort contacted
us and requested that we change course but Roy determined
that the ship was traveling slow enough and we were traveling
fast enough that we'd cross well ahead of it without changing
course by more than a few degrees. Once the wind came up
to its daytime strength we had a great sail - but heeled
way over with the rail making the occasional contact with
the sea surface. That
evening Roy had the sails so well trimmed that we were sailing
at over 7 kts in winds of only 10 kts. Even though wind
was almost on our nose, we had a pretty comfortable ride.
time is spectacular in its own way. The sky is filled with
stars and the wake of the boat sparkles with bio-luminescence.
It looks like fireflies in the water. What a wonder!
a little bird with us for a while - a swallow, I think.
Poor thing must have been blown off its course. We also
had dolphins - small ones - playing in our bow wake for
a while. As we got closer to Florida there were flying fish.
They look like huge dragonflies flitting across the surface.
The wind died down so we actually had a sit-down meal at
the cockpit table with real plates and everything!
the first day, I realized that I'd provisioned for the way
Neal and I eat and I didn't understand just how much 3 men
can eat. We didn't run low on food, but meal portions turned
out to be a little smaller than optimal. At this point,
there were still plenty of snacks available to fill the
void. James took over some of the cooking chores which made
a big difference for me. He was great about making sandwiches
for everyone, too. After our daily hot meal, he and Charles
did clean up duty. For the most part, the Gulf crossing
was uneventful. Roy was anxious until we passed the last
of the oil rigs. Days were sunny and hot which made the
cabin very uncomfortable. All hatches and ports were closed
to keep water out and one of the salon fans wasn't working.
We need to replace the broken fan and perhaps even add another
was eager to get to Key West. As we got closer the wind
died. While we'd rather have had wind, the glassy water
gave us better visibility of the many, many crab pots. As
the water got more shallow it changed from deep blue to
a gorgeous turquoise. We expected a late afternoon arrival
so the plan was to get fuel and water then find a slip for
the night. We were dreaming of hot showers and a meal on
shore. There's a store where I would beef up the provisions
and we'd have a good night's rest. WRONG!
to Key West late on the afternoon of Thursday the 20th just
in time to get fuel before the fuel dock closed. Turns out
there was a fishing tournament starting and there wasn't
a slip to be had anywhere. We moved to an anchorage and
got the anchor down just long enough to figure out that
we didn't really want to mess with the hassle of getting
the dinghy into the water and the motor onto the dinghy.
So the anchor came up and we headed out again. We found
our way out through the markers in the dark and headed for
the Gulf Stream. Roy was up all night across all watches
making frequent fixes and making sure we got out ok. Saw
a bunch of cruise ships. They're all lit up like Christmas
trees at night. There were also cargo ships and bunches
of little fishing boats all heading for the spot where they
expected land the big ones.
pm on Friday we were passing Miami. We were still close
enough to shore to see the high rise buildings. The Gulf
Stream had us moving along at about 9.5 kts. We had the
big jib out but still had one reef in the main. As we got
into the apex of the stream we were averaging about 10 kts
in winds that also averaged about 10 kts. We surfed down
the big swells. At one point we had 8.5 kts boat speed (which
is also our hull speed) and hit 14.9 kts SOG (Speed Over
Ground). What a great ride. The 21st was a 227 mile day!
about even with Cape Canaveral when a jet fighter spent
some time looking us over before he continued on his flight.
He came down low and circled us a couple of times. We all
waved. Had another bunch of dolphins with us for a while.
The wind came up a little on the 21st and we spent most
of the day wing-and-wing with the reacher poled out. It
was very very rolly and hard to move around on the boat.
5:30 pm the wind came up more and it was clear that we were
headed into a storm. At first it looked as though we'd pass
through just a small part of the storm but James watched
it grow bigger on the radar. Very heavy rain and lots of
lightening - some of it pretty close. It was a bit unnerving
to realize that we were the tallest thing on the water during
an electrical storm. James and Charles counted seconds between
thunder and lightening - except for the one strike that
was too close for counting. Strange thing is that I wasn't
frightened. There certainly was some anxiety and I felt
every nerve on alert, but it was more being vigilant and
careful. We eventually got through it. I continued to see
lightening on the horizon until I went off watch at 11:00
pm. Another storm came up in the wee hours of the morning.
Strong swirly winds with gusts up to 30 kts and 8 - 10 ft
seas. They got me up at 3:30 am to be awake, in my PFD,
and ready for whatever might happen. Roy didn't want me
up in the cockpit so I stayed below. It was pretty rough
and I got a good start on a whole new set of bruises. Conditions
finally eased up and the seas flattened out. We ended the
day motoring in 2 kts of wind.
24th was a major decision day. Our original plan to stay
out in open water the whole way was changed because of forecasts
for gale force winds off Cape Hatteras. Crew said they were
willing to forge ahead but that seemed like a bad idea.
We headed for the inlet at Cape Lookout that leads to Morehead
City and Beaufort, NC. There were no ICW (Inter Coastal
Waterway) guides on board so I called Neal for help. It
was the one time I was glad to have him at home where he
could provide support to us. He found room for us at the
Beaufort City dock. I radioed and got "instructions" on
getting there. So we found ourselves heading into a strange
harbor at night straining to find markers. Only one of the
spotlights worked so we handed it back and forth as we spotted
markers on each side. We never did make our way to Beaufort.
We anchored for the night near the Morehead City turning
basin. Finally got to Beaufort in the morning where we fueled
up again and had breakfast on shore. I got directions to
a store because we needed bread - Big Daddy's Grocery, Bail
Bonds and Bait. More like a convenience store than grocery,
but probably handy if you need a bail bond.
the ICW we faced our first fixed bridge. Fixed bridges are
designed to be 65' at the center. Our mast is 63.5' plus
antennas that rise above the top of the mast. We made it
through without touching. There were several of these bridges
along the route and we lightly brushed the antennas on only
one of them. Went up a very pretty section of the ICW. Lots
of well-kept modest houses, each with a dock and a boat
up on a lift. Once we got out into the wide area of the
Neuse River it was a different story. Strong current and
markers that were far apart gave us fits for a few hours.
It was very difficult to stay on course. Anchored again
for the night. I woke the next morning to 25 kt winds and
a rocking, rolling boat. Everyone was glad that we weren't
out on the Atlantic. Very cool overcast day. It was dark
before we went through the day's last bridge and 9:00 pm
before we got anchored for the night.
ICW is where the chart books prove their worth. The chart
scale is right and the book size works pretty well in the
cockpit. Where there are lots of turns or where the channel
is very narrow, navigator and helmsman need to be in close
proximity and in synch on a deep draft boat like ours. Next
day was overcast and cool again. 15 kt winds on the nose
and strong chop sent cold spray through the open front window
of the dodger. Had to keep it open for visibility.
aground in an area of the ICW that has shoaled over not
far south of Coinjock. Saw water depth reading of only 4
ft. We got assistance from a passing trawler who hung around
while we plowed through the soft muck and he zigzagged ahead
of us while radioing the depths. Thanks to trawler 20th
Maine we got safely through the silted up area. The
ICW channels can be VERY narrow even in what looks like
open water. Tied up at Great Bridge for the night with more
than a dozen other boats waiting for the morning bridge
opening. Here we were just 12 miles from Norfolk and having
to stop for the night.
one of three boats to get through the 6:00 am bridge opening.
That was great except that the next bridge didn't open until
8:30 am. While waiting for the second bridge opening a barge
was leaving dock and also preparing to go through. Again
there were 3 boats milling around waiting - with us in the
last position and the barge getting himself into position.
We were watching the barge carefully to stay out of its
way, but apparently the barge captain wasn't sure of us.
Across the radio came "I'm gonna run you down, rich boy".
According to Roy, the barge captains can get pretty frustrated
with recreational boats that don't understand the potential
the bridge opened, we left the barge far behind. Going through
Norfolk is tedious. When we got to the Navy docks we acquired
a security boat escort. The markers are very close to the
Navy ships so I guess that every boat gets an escort. Lots
of traffic here - both commercial and navy. The lower end
of Chesapeake Bay was awful. Very, very choppy with winds
of 20 - 25 kts right on the nose again. We pounded up the
bay in a strong opposing current. We never got speed over
3.5 kts in this part of the bay. It's also frustrating because
the markers are far apart and hard to spot. Overall, this
was probably the worst day we had. Winds eventually eased
and the ride got a little more comfortable. We ran all night
and got to our marina at about 8:30 am on the 29th. Found
our slip and the guys got us docked.
was glad to reach our destination. Neal got to the boat
by mid-afternoon. The guys flew home Saturday night after
a job well done. Neal and I flew home on May 2.
good time overall. Our daily average in the Gulf was 160
nm/day and in the open Atlantic was 180 nm/day. If we'd
been able to stay outside for the whole trip, we'd have
arrived earlier than Roy had predicted.
cockpit enclosure was great. In the warmth of the Gulf we
had the side curtains rolled up, but once we got headed
north in the Atlantic and especially after we left the Gulf
Stream, having protection on all sides made a big difference.
On the ICW, as we passed sailboats without enclosures or
even bimini tops, their occupants sure looked cold and miserable.
have gotten weather fax working before we left. I wasted
so much time trying to get one program working that it didn't
leave enough time to get going with an alternative. I also
should have investigated radio nets along the route and
been prepared to dial in on the SSB. We should have thought
to have had at least one ICW guide book on board.
planned two meals that turned out not to be appropriate
for passage because they required knives and forks. One
was adapted for eating in a bowl and we didn't need the
other one. Passages need one-dish meals. I learned a lot
wait to get going again.
planned to get a lot of things accomplished during the week
of March 19th but Murphy had other plans for us. Replacing
the leaky port turned into a much bigger project than expected
and took up most of the week. Neal says he'll add details
in a separate entry. We had our new ShadeTree awnings up
for most of the week. They're high enough to walk under
so we can still get around on deck easily. The new dodger
STILL wasn't on the boat. Late Friday afternoon Dave was
finally doing the promised polishing of the dodger frame.
Neal has much more patience with the canvas delays than
I do. But he'll have to keep on Dave's back so that we get
the connector and remaining side panels before we leave
Kemah. Got most of the "stuff" stowed but there's still
work to do on the storage plan. We'll be back on April 9th
to do the final prep and provisioning. Maybe Murphy will
have mercy on us next time
just realized that I never explained Plan B. In keeping
with our original thought of leaving Texas in mid-April,
our delivery captain was available then so we set a date
with him for April 15. Then Neal put in for the time off.
OOPS! Turns out that his boss will be vacationing in Europe
at that time and Neal cannot be gone at the same time. What
a let down. The sailing plan stays the same, though. I'll
go as planned but the Captain will have to rustle up another
crew member if he wants to have three crew in addition to
himself. I'm looking forward to the trip but very disappointed
that Neal can't be part of it. We've got a Texas trip planned
to get Sea Fox ready for her voyage. Lots to do to be ready
to sail next month.
& Key West
March 6th, 2006
finished our boat show agenda early on the second day (Friday)
so we did some sight seeing. Drove to Key Biscayne for a
look at No Name Harbor in the Bill Baggs State Recreation
Area. It is pretty much as described in the guide books.
There were 15 boats at anchor filling the small harbor.
There's a restaurant and a very nice picnic area. We drove
around the park stopping at the lighthouse and taking a
look at the beach.
Saturday we headed for Key West. I'd never been there and
wanted to see what all the shouting is about. Heavy traffic
made it a very long ride down Hwy 1. It was fun to see the
pelicans sitting among the fishermen/women on the fishing
bridges along the way. I wonder how many fish get stolen
right off the hook. After 2 days of walking around the boat
show, we continued the trend by taking a long walk through
the old town to a Cuban restaurant for lunch. Picked up
a flyer as we went past a house for sale. 1,300 sq. ft.
condo (refurbished cottage) for only $1.9 million.
walk back to Duval Street took us past the marker for the
southernmost point in the U.S. Walked to Mallory Square
for sunset. The street performers in the square remind me
of Boulder's Pearl Street Mall. The sky was clear and the
sunset was right on time. Very much like the cloudless sunsets
we had when we lived on the beach. Key West today is nothing
like Neal's memories of it many years ago before it became
a major tourist destination. The famous Duval street is
much like the main drag in any tourist town. There are more
upscale shops than in some places but otherwise it isn't
much different than Bourbon Street, Estes Park, the Wisconsin
Dells, or Gatlinburg, TN. Same tourists, same bawdy t-shirts.
But the ocean was sparkling turquoise and the breeze was
warm and soft - nothing like that in Gatlinburg.
the idea was to save money by getting "show pricing" on
our purchases, we economized on our Miami hotel. As a result
we've definitely determined that it's not really a good
idea to stay at a place that's priced too far below the
mainstream. It recently had an obviously much needed refurbishment,
and it was clean and it was pretty full. But the furniture
was right out of the Salvation Army store and you wouldn't
walk in the neighborhood after dark. The bed was so noisy
that it was funny, but turned out to be surprisingly comfortable.
was spent at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Just as
we entered we found the Winslow booth and spent quite a
bit of time there. The product is obviously top quality
and the sales rep was extremely knowledgeable about his
product. We were impressed. As we walked the show we stopped
and examined every other life raft on the floor. No other
raft vendor had much of a clue about their product - it
was very disappointing.
other major disappointment was the Furuno radar booth. Neal
was prepared to purchase a specific system because he'd
understood that it would be compatible with his existing
Max Sea charts. Not only did he find that was not the case,
but the guys in the booth came on with so much Attitude
(with a capital A) that they never had a chance at recovering
the sale. So we expanded our agenda to look at every radar
vendor on the floor. We'll wait 'til we move the boat before
following up on radar. The Furuno guys were bested by the
ICOM group. We approached the booth where there were no
other customers just the booth reps commenting on some woman's
amplitude. Having just come from another radio booth Neal
asked about wireless mikes and got major ATTITUDE. Seems
like a little remedial training should be mandatory - Customers
& Prospects 101.
convention center seemed to have many more vendors oriented
toward power boats. There were lots of huge inboard engines
and many, many huge outboards. It was interesting to see
but there was too much stuff that we weren't interested
in. Friday we went to the Strictly Sail show. First thing
we did was visit with Scott, our broker. He was working
the Hunter display. We walked the docks but the only boat
we went on was the Saga 48. Neal got to meet the Saga folks
he's been talking with. The 48 is great looking boat but
I'm happy with our 43. Here's where we purchased the Winslow
life raft and my sewing machine. We also took a look at
the KISS wind generator which is on the acquisition list.
As usual, we picked up lots of product literature, but didn't
find many things to add to our wish list. I guess that means
that we're just about ready to take off.
to Plan B
I was pretty disappointed about the delay, it does make
some things easier. I was prepared to come home after New
Years and dive into rapid disposal mode for our remaining
furniture and stuff. Final disposal now becomes a more orderly.
The added income will make the final big-ticket purchases
a little more comfortable.
will, however be an added expense: moving Sea Fox. Neal
is determined to avoid spending another season in the hurricane
box so we're going to move her to the Chesapeake. We've
reserved a slip at Herrington Harbour North near Deale,
MD. To accomplish the move as easily and quickly as possible,
we'll hire a delivery captain to get us there. We'll crew.
Yes, hurricanes do get to the Chesapeake, but the area doesn't
see the kinds of high-intensity direct hits that curse the
Gulf Coast. No date has been set yet for the cruise.
week we're off to the Miami boat show hoping to get good
"boat show pricing" on some major purchases. We're shopping
for a life raft, new radar, and a wind generator and probably
a SailRite sewing machine. It's been a mild winter here
in Boulder, but I'm looking forward to a few days of truly
first trip up the mast.
on Sea Fox
second Christmas on Sea Fox was much more comfortable than
the first because the weather was great. Very cool when
we arrived but it got warmer each day. We had a great couple
of weeks on board.
cats were much better on the long drive to Kemah than we
expected. When we got them on the boat and opened the carrier
they immediately began exploring. They adapted very quickly
and very well. It didn't take long for them to find a good
hidey-hole in the aft cabin where they felt safe. That was
their refuge whenever there was a stranger on board or they
heard a strange noise. While Lefty is generally the more
assertive, Patty was the one who was the most curious about
her new surroundings. She seemed very interested in what
was outside so I attached a tether and took her into the
cockpit. That lasted about 1 nanosecond - as long as it
took her to turn around and jump back into the cabin.
and Philip from s/v Samba joined us for drinks before dinner
on Christmas Eve. Neal made his traditional dinner of clam
chowder. Christmas day was beautiful and warm and bright.
Santa brought nifty new toys for us and for Sea Fox. We
learned about tuning the rigging and practiced going up
the mast - see the "Getting High" post. As you see from
the photo, there are still some slip covers to be made.
And we came up with a couple of more projects to get done
back in Boulder.
only thing lacking was water. Winds had been from the North
so we never had enough water under us to be able to get
out of the slip. We'd planned a trip down to Freeport but
that never happened. On the other hand, we got some boat
chores done and it is great just being there. I always hate
most interesting thing that happened during those two weeks
was not at all boat related: Neal's company is being bought
by its biggest competitor. Our plans for the near future
are changing. Stay tuned.
it snow again in Kemah?
leave on Saturday to spend Christmas and New Years on Sea
Fox. Gifts have been wrapped and sent to kids and grandkids.
I finally remembered to get my car smogged so I could get
new tags. Would have been expensive to return in January
with tags that expired in November. Much of the Christmas
stuff has been sold or given away - there are a few things
that still need decisions. The latest batch of setee cushion
slipcovers is ready to go. And I'm anxious to get going.
trip we're taking the cats with us. Two cats in the car
for 16 hours straight. Then in two weeks we get to do that
again. With any luck they'll settle down after the first
hour or two. They've adjusted to being in harnesses and
even tolerate having a lead attached and dragging. The only
way we'll let them on deck while we're in a slip will be
to have them attached to jack lines so they can't go over
the side so the harness training has been crucial. I wonder
how they'll adapt.
be great to have two full weeks on board. There's always
so much to do and we'd like to get out of the bay and into
the Gulf to do some sailing - especially if we have all
of our sails. Unless Neal has called him often, I suspect
the sailmaker may not yet have our main ready. Neal's been
pretty patient with him but he sure frustrates me. I'd be
willing to bet that he hasn't even begun to make the pattern
for the new dodger. There's a new section of furnace ducting
to replace what got crushed in the bilge so we should be
nice and toasty this trip. Temps get into the 40's overnight.
At least we won't have mosquitoes.
surprised at how attached I've become to some things - pieces
of furniture to be exact. There's an understandable sentimental
attachment to family things - photos; hand made cards from
my kids when they were little; the genealogy research that
that connects me to history. But furniture??
it's because we're not "decorators" who've simply selected
pieces that fit into some theme. Each piece was selected
after careful searching. Each piece selected because it
fit with us. We've admired each one as it complemented our
idea of "home". After years of collecting foxes, Neal finally
had a beautiful lighted cabinet to showcase them all. The
chairs are all inviting and comfortable. And now they're
gone - all the good stuff, that is. Off to a consignment
shop. It has been great to have and enjoy all of this stuff.
We've been lucky.
it's time to move on to the next chapter. Sea Fox sits patiently
in her slip waiting for her next voyage. It will be quite
an adventure; but who'd have thought that the transition
would be such an adventure in itself.
funny - they fit like a glove at home….
favorite boat guy, Lane, came to replace the aft port chock
and part of the toe rail that had been storm damaged. Not
from Rita, but from a land-based storm a couple of weeks
later. He also spent time diagnosing a problem we have with
the fresh water pump. Found one problem but it's still acting
up. Lane is about as limber and agile as a contortionist.
To get to the bolts for the toe rail he had to bend himself
around and squeeze in between steering, autopilot, diesel
furnace and miscellaneous bilge partitions. I don't know
how he does it. Then, once in place, he discovered that
he'd forgotten to take one wrench he needed. Neal got the
wrench and got it down to him. I'd say he handed Lane the
wrench but that's not quite right. Lane grabbed it with
his toes and then got it to his hand. I'm the family bilge
rat, but I'll never be able to get to the places Lane can
get to. The rigger came and gave us an estimate for rig
tuning, replacing some of the hardware and adding a boom
brake. On Friday, the sailmaker came and brought back two
of the sails. These three guys account for the boat bucks
disbursed. I finally had a chance to install the three slipcovers
I'd made for setee cushions. It took me a while to figure
out why they seemed too big. They'd fit very snugly when
I made them here at home. The foam in the cushions expanded
in the thinner air at altitude in Boulder where I'd made
the covers. Now back at sea level the foam went back to
its normal size. The difference was probably just about
and inch in every dimension. We brought home three more
cushions to be covered but I'll have to figure a way to
make them adjust. On the home front, more music has been
transferred to the MP3 player and more stuff has been sold
or donated. On Saturday most of the furniture will go to
a consignment shop. It will be very strange to have it gone.
Made my "farewell tour" a few weeks ago. My timing coincided
with a trip to Chicago by my daughter, former daughter-in-law,
and granddaughter so I didn't have to travel to Minnesota.
It was really great to see everyone. I stayed with my mother
and we had a good visit. It was very odd to think that I
may never again be in the house where I grew up. I did a
lot of reminiscing. So now it's back to the disposal project.
Time to dig out the Christmas stuff and see if anyone wants
any of it.
because I'm paranoid……
October 5th, 2005
mean they're NOT out to get me! This hurricane stuff is
getting personal. We had Emily, my mother; Katrina, a deriviative
of my middle name (ok so maybe that's a stretch); Maria
(=Mary); Nate (=Nathan); Rita - I have two cousins named
Rita; Stan - one grandfather and two uncles named Stan;
and now Tammy - my former daughter-in-law and the mother
of one of my grandchildren. Enough. Pick on someone else's
to Now - October '05
Household: We're getting rid of everything. Almost. We have
no idea where we'll end up when we're too feeble to sail
anymore. It won't be Colorado. We have no ties here and
we'd rather be coastal. The costs of moving everything into
storage, paying storage fees, then moving everything to
wherever we'll end up would likely be more than replacement
costs. We're both accumulators and have always had plenty
of storage space so it's been quite a challenge to get things
cleaned out. Some gets sold; some donated; some just trashed.
But there's so much of it!
Sea Fox now has a bimini and a cockpit enclosure is in progress.
We installed davits for the dinghy. She's got new bottom
paint. Research has been done on radar and life rafts. We
hope to get "show special" pricing on these things at the
Miami boat show.
off into the sunset has been a long-time dream for Neal.
Mary loves the ocean but didn't take Neal's dream very seriously
for a long time and was at least a little intimidated by
the seeming complexities of sailing. As retirement got closer
we talked about it more and more often. We bought a boat
and Mary learned the ropes, the jargon and the wonderful
feeling of breeze in the sails. Puddin' was a Catalina 250
- big enough to feel like a "real" boat but small enough
for a Colorado mountain lake. We spent weekends aboard getting
the feel of concepts such as conserving water and limited
cooking facilities. We also got the feel of morning coffee
in the cockpit and watching the docks come to life as the
other weekenders on our dock greeted the day - not to mention
sundowners watching the sun drop below the mountains.
friends, the Poyers, who lived aboard their sailboat for
several years invited us to spend a week with them on the
Chesapeake one September and that was the point of no return.
instructional charter in the San Juan islands got us our
bareboat certs. Soon after our western Florida charter we
began looking seriously for the "big" boat that would become
our retirement home. After much research including a couple
of Annapolis boat shows, we had a shortlist topped by the
Saga 43. It is a capable blue water boat easily handled
by a couple and large enough to be our home. And it was
do-able - used Sagas were within our price range.
research paid off. Sea Fox is a great boat. Move aboard
is scheduled for March, 2006.