Sunday, August 31, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
We just got back from a 3 day mini cruise. We wanted to give Chandra a taste of life on the water.
We sailed out of New Port Richey on Wednesday and anchored off Anclote Key. It was a great day of easy sailing in light breezes. We had to tack several times to make way south, but we had all day to go only a few miles, so we didn't care.
When we got to Anclote and set the anchor, there was a swell coming in off the Gulf. Not enough to be a big problem, except for Chandra who got a mild case of the old "mal de mare." A little dramamine and some sleep and she was fine by the next morning.
On Thursday morning we sailed off anchor and made our way down to Three Rooker Bar. We had been advised to avoid this spot, but the advice was dead wrong. It was beautiful. We anchored in about 8 feet of water in the crescent behind the Bar, had a little lunch and then took the dinghy to the beach. We spent most of the afternoon shelling, swimming and kite flying. It was a great afternoon.
Getting back to the boat, we had a great dinner of pork chops, couscous and "apple stuff." A game of Scrabble (which the bird watched intently) polished off a really great day.
This morning, Bev made pancakes for all, including the bird. We motored back to Tim and Julies because they have to work tonight and that meant we had a timetable for getting back. On they way home, Chandra took the tiller for a while and even managed to steer us accurately through a planned course change by following the rhumb line plotted on the GPS.
"A splendid time was had by all."
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
The Anemone, a Bolger AS-39, was badly damaged in a storm in Canada. A 3 day nor'easter caught the crew by surprise with its intensity and duration. Anchored 100 yards off a lee shore, they were caught in 7 foot waves and their anchor line chafed through. The boat was pounded on the rocks for several hours until a crane could be brought to the site to lift her off.
This particular AS-39 (one of only 2 that I know of) was built with a steel ballast plate bolted to her bottom. The 1" thick steel was severely dented and twisted, causing who-knows-what damage to the plywood structures behind it. In addition the bilgeboard trunks were heavily damaged.
The crew, Jean and Gabby, are OK, but are now scrambling to find a home ashore while they repair Anemone, which had been their home prior to the storm.
I wish we could be more help, but our circumstances and location don't lend themselves to offering any more than a heartfelt "Best wishes!"
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Yep, there is yet another AS-29. It's "Zephyr," built in Minnesota by Marc Lindgren and now owned by Sandee and Matt DeLapp of Wyoming. They are planning of starting the loop soon, so maybe, just maybe, we will run into them somewhere along the way. Here are a couple of pictures of Zephyr.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
So far the suggestion for naming the new bird are:
"Mist" - Mist was the name of one of the Valkyrie (Walkure).
"Signy" - Also, one of the Walkure.
"Phoenix" - as in rinsing from the ashes.
And finally "Hemmingway" as in a former Key West resident.
I'm leaning in the direction of Hemmingway, but I'm still open to suggestions. So come one folks, send in your suggestions.
Friday, August 22, 2008
We're starting to get to know the new bird. (He/She is still nameless, so come on folks, start sending some suggestions.)
We also spent some time today cleaning the barnacles off the dinghy. We will also have to do a lot of scraping on the boat to get rid of what has grown since the last cleaning in Marathon. Here are a few pictures.
Well, we're back in the "Florida sun," such as it is today. We flew back to Tampa yesterday, picked up Chandra at the airport and took the Supershuttle to Tim & Julie's house. As we were getting settled in I noticed the birdcage had a lot of new toys in it. As I looked closer, I saw this little bird. Julie had gone to the pet store the day after Barney died and bought this little Quaker Parrot. I guess this settles the decision about getting a new bird.
We don't know the gender (a DNA test is the only way to tell) so we are searching to gender-free name. So...once again I am asking our readers to suggest a name for our new pet.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Here we are in Blackstone MA and watching the reports on TS Fay. The current forecast is for Fay to hit Tampa as a Cat 1 hurricane about noon on Tuesday - exactly when we are scheduled to fly in to Tampa. Yikes! And of course the airlines wants an arm and a leg to change the reservations, and they haven't yet heard about the hurricane. So here we sit, waiting for the airline to realize that there won't be any flights into Tampa on Tuesday. Yuck.
While we wait, here are a few pics of our trip north. I've included a couple of pics of the Grand Opening of the Middletown Vet Center, of which my sister is the new team leader. (You old rockers might recognize the tall guy at the podium as John Hall from the band Orleans. He's now a Congressman.)
Sunday, August 10, 2008
We have some very sad news to report. Bev and I are in MA visiting her family. (Last week we were in NY visiting my family.)
We left our bird, Barney, in the care of our friends Tim and Julie. It was Tim who rescued Barney after he was hit by an SUV last year. They continued our habit of allowing Barney some time out of his cage each day. A couple of days ago, they let him out and he seemed content to sit on top of his cage, as he usually does. Julie turned away for a moment and Barney decided to fly off his cage onto the floor. Their dog, Angel, pounced on Barney, perhaps thinking he was her squeaky toy. Unfortunately, Barney was far too delicate for Angel's rough play and his neck was broken.
Barney has been a much loved part of our crew and he will be missed.
Of course, Bev and I are second-guessing ourselves about having his wings clipped and about not taking him with us on our trip north, but it's too late for that now.
The boat will not seem like home when we get back and there's no Barney.
We don't plan on getting another bird before we get back to Marathon. We want to give ourselves time to get over losing Barney.
As a last tribute to our little pet, here's a last picture of Barney.