Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Week away recap

We left Annapolis this morning after a week of boat chores and time spent with family and friends. We got a cheery wave from the bridge tender as we passed through the Spa Creek drawbridge at the 9 AM opening and we headed back out into the Chesapeake and set a course for Solomons. We passed Thomas Point Lighthouse early on and we had the bay to ourselves with the exception of a few crab boats and barges. The wind was at our back so we rolled out the jib and settled in for the trip. 

Here’s a quick look back at the week:

Last Sunday Ruth and Carly drove down to get me and bring me back to Wilmington… but not before we took off the old main sail and packed it up to leave in my dad’s basement until we get back. This is why we’re still mostly a motor boat. (Perhaps it had something to do with Skip's bad case of shingles?) Hopefully our new sail will meet up with us in Norfolk later this week.

Ruth improved her method of getting on and off the dinghy and the boat and I think she finally believed me that sometimes it just makes more sense to scooch off the dock or the boat on your butt rather than trying to step off onto a small bobbing rubber boat. Carly has youth on her side and hops on and off like an old salt. She also excels at driving the dinghy and we’re hoping she’ll have a chance to zip around in the Bahamas in it too.

Sunday was Halloween and Carly and some friends went out as cats (they’re not quite too cool for trick or treating yet); I stayed and handed out candy with Ruth and ate just enough candy to get that nasty sugar crash headache about an hour later.

Sue was invaluable helping me make fitted sheets, a mattress cover and a mast cover. We tapped our inner Martha Stewarts and made the mast cover from pillowcases. It sounds weird but it worked. I left a little room at the top of the cover to stuff in some absorbent material to catch the water that drips down the mast. Skip keeps telling me it’s normal to have some water leaking in at the mast. Hmmmm. It is NOT normal, however, to have water leaking out of the brand new hot water tank – which we also have. A call to the company that makes the tank confirmed that they have indeed been having problems with a leaky valve on the tank – but apparently they don’t have a fix for it yet. Well, at least we know what the problem is now.

I got in a visit with Graham and Eva and the kids down in Milford this past week. I hadn’t seen them in over a year and the visit was long overdue. Everyone looks great and the kids are SO BIG. Sasha turned 2 last month (another October baby!) and is walking and talking and making her opinions known. She doesn’t seem to have that indecisive nature that’s often associated with Libras (who me?) but she didn’t try to wriggle off my lap so I guess she’s decided that I’m OK. 

Aidan and Gavin are great with her and are learning more each day about how to push each other’s buttons. (Good luck Graham and Eva!) I think I got one photo with Gavin not making a silly face – I’m guessing he got the goofy gene from Graham.

The only other visit I was able to squeeze in was with my old friend Shannon. We’ve been friends for ages but hadn’t seen each other for ages either. Ron and youngest daughter Sydney couldn’t be there but Maddie, Anna and Sara came along with Shannon. They are beautiful, smart engaging girls and I can hardly get past the fact that they’re so grown up. 

Maddie, Anna, Sara and Shannon
Some of you remember “baby Madeline”? This is baby Madeline who’s now 19 and a sophomore in college. Crikey. I wish I had some of her baby pictures in my computer – I’d post them along with these photos. (Maddie, I promise I wouldn’t have posted the potty photo… for your sake and mine!) It was great to see these guys and we promised to visit again when we’re headed north next year. We’ll need at least a few nights and a few bottles of wine to relive some of our misspent youth.

Two Maddies
On Sunday I headed back to Annapolis with two sisters (Leslie and Rebecca) and two nieces (Carly and Maya) along for the ride. This was Maya’s first look at Saralane and I’d say she had a pretty good time. 

She liked all the funny little spaces, tried out the wheel (as did Leslie in Chesapeake City – photo courtesy of Sue) and wondered where the television was (we don’t have one). Miles and Lex were on their way back from visiting family and made a stop in Annapolis to join the six of us for lunch.  

After goodbyes were said all around we took Saralane back to the anchorage for the night and started stowing the provisions I’d picked up in Delaware.

Before everyone decided who was riding down with me on Sunday, I found a web cam of the City Dock in Annapolis where Saralane would be. Leslie, my techie sister gets a kick out of web cams in different places (like uh… watching snow fall on a web cam in Alaska? Zzzzzzz…..) so I sent it to her.  Once we figured out where the camera was, I trekked over to it on Monday and called her. Here’s a screen shot of me sitting on the wall in view of the web cam saying “Can you see me?! I have on a green hat and I’m holding a newspaper.”.  It’s not quite the Bourne Identity, but I felt like I was in a spy movie! I know… I’m easily amused.

Skip spent the week powering through the to-do list and did just about all of it. The “call Oliver re: autopilot” will have to be put back on top of the next to-do list as our auto pilot is still not piloting automatically.

Since we moved onto the boat literally days before we sailed off for the year, we’re still sorting out where to put things and how to organize our small space. Our friends George and Christina who live aboard their boat Sophie, and know a little something about living on a boat, told us we’d be discarding things along the way as we realized we’d brought things we didn’t need. They were right and we’ll tell them so in person when we see them in Charleston where they’ll spend the winter on Sophie. Our little gecko companion is a gift from them and it reminds us of the warmer places we’re heading. Maybe we’ll have a tofurkey dinner with them around Thanksgiving?

Two pix from the day.... one is our first pelican sighting. A sure sign we're not in Kansas (or Rhode Island) anymore. 

He was headed over to this fish trap which was out in the middle of the water with no markers on it. The chart says "Numerous fish traps" No kidding. Good thing we passed by in daylight...


Eliza said...

What a great post! I can't believe the picture of the sail... it has seen better days. I stumbled upon some pictures I took when Cam and I first visited the boat. Cam looks like a baby in the pictures and I can't believe how long ago you started working on it. All of the hard work finally paid off! I can't wait to come visit you both. I'm saving my vacation days :) I'll call soon.

Love, Lize

Leslie said...

Hey! Webcams are cool. I still think you should install one at the pointy end of your boat (would that be the bow?). And while I don't mind being referred to as a techie sister, I suspect you're poking fun.

Love the photos of Maya at the wheel and in one of the berths. She sure had fun playing in the cabin. (I'm practicing all my boaty terms but I'm not sure I'm using them all correctly.) Doesn't pretty much everyone take that same pose at the wheel? It just seems natural.

Post some coordinates next time and let me know when you find another webcam to stand in front of. I'll have my screen capture program ready.


Cindy Barnard said...

Well I am just plain all out jealous of so many family members that have had a chance to hook up with you two. Sail well (as well as you can with a jib), be safe...and Maddie....be adorable.

Penelope said...

I enjoyed the photo of Cap'n Leslie at the helm. Its a whole new side of her that we don't see at work ! Next time I'd like to see her sporting a sailor's cap. And let's work on her sailor lingo.

I had been hoping to see a picture of the marmalade cat you met earlier. However, Carly as a cat does quite nicely !

Happy sailing.

Madeline said...

Hi Lize - We can't wait for you to come visit either... save up those vacation days! If you send me the photo of you and Cam at the boat I'll post it.... (and embarrass both of you?)

Leslie - NO web cams - on the pointy end or anywhere else. Sheesh - don't you get enough of me just from reading the blog? I will, however, keep an eye out for other web cams Skip and I can walk in front of and wave to you. : )

Hi Cin - Since you haven't met up with us yet, you'll have to meet up with us somewhere warm and palm tree-y. Sound like a plan?

Hi Penelope - I think the marmalade cat's gotten another home by now - but I'm still thinking about him. Funny you should mention Leslie in a sailor's cap.... remember those 1468 Polss family photos I have on DVD? Stay tuned!

Leslie said...

Oh no! I feel a blackmail moment coming on. By the way, Madeline. Google Maps has a feature that will show where lots of webcams are located in any given area. I'll keep an eye out for webcams near your daily coordinates.