The Big Apple Again!!

Tuesday, September 15th was our day to go through New York City. Based on the currents through Hell Gate, we did not have to leave until noon so we had a leisurely breakfast and prepared everything for the big day in the Big Apple.

We noticed something new in Manhasset Harbor on this visit – smallish fish, about 8 inches long, fish were swirling EVERYWHERE. Everywhere throughout the harbor. They swim very close to the surface so we could hear splashes as they broke the water, which they did constantly. We were quite intrigued and wondered what type of fish they could be. Fishing guru to the rescue – call Dean! He told us they are “bunker fish”, also known as menhaden, and often used as bait fish for blues and stripers.

Bunker ripples and splashes in the water

Bunker ripples and splashes in the water

Up close and personal look at the bunker fish

Up close and personal look at the bunker fish

Exiting Manhasset Harbor on a beautiful September morning.

Exiting Manhasset Harbor on a beautiful September morning.

This lighthouse seems to have no name, not even on the charts.

This lighthouse seems to have no name, not even on the charts, but it stands watch on the way between Manhasset and the Throgs Neck Bridge. 

I told myself I would not repeat photos that I had already taken and posted on the blog on the previous two trips through the East River, but…….. it is so hard to resist New York. It is no less exciting to see it all again from the water. There is simply something about New York City. I may never want to live there again, but I still get a thrill as we pass the skyscrapers, the noise, the traffic, the boats, planes and helicopters, and especially the famous landmarks.

See the bunker fish swirl in the water as we approach the Throgs Neck Bridge?

See the bunker fish swirl in the water as we approach the Throgs Neck Bridge?

Planes from LaGuardia flew overhead, one right after another.

Planes from LaGuardia flew overhead, one right after another.

Signs up on the Whitestone Bridge

Signs up on the Whitestone Bridge -This is the bridge I have been using fairly often. It takes me over the water to see my son, daughter-in-law and grandson who live in Queens, NY.

 Rikers Island is New York City’s main jail complex, and sits in the East River, in the Bronx, with a Queens zip code. Almost everyone knows the name well after many years of the Law and Order series and all of the other New York tv police dramas.
Rikers Island, a small city in itself. You could see the traffic and the white prison busses. The bottom picture shows the barbed wire circles surrounding the prison.Opposite Rikers, on the other side of the river, there is this enormous white and blue ship. We remembered passing by it before and wondering about its story. Looked like a ship made of big lego blocks. Surprise! According to Wikipedia, the Vernon C. Bain Center is an 800-bed “jail barge” used to hold inmates inmates in a medium- to maximum-security setting. “The Boat” (the staff’s and inmates’ nickname for the barge) was brought to New York in 1992 to reduce overcrowding in the island’s land-bound buildings for a lower price.

A giant ship made form white and blue Legos? Nope. It's a prison ship. That's a basketball game in the bottom picture. We could just about see it up on the top of the ship as we based by.

A giant ship made form white and blue Legos? Nope. It’s a prison ship. That’s a basketball game in the bottom picture. We could just about see it up on the top of the ship as we based by.

How’s that for new trivia for this trip? On to more cheerful sites and sights —

Hell Gate, where timing is everything. We were early for the big push of the current, but definitely had some help from it. Al commented that the trawler behaves differently than the sailboat, and surmised that the smaller rudder might make the trawler harder to control and steer.

Approaching Hell Gate Bridge

Approaching Hell Gate Bridge

Pics of the chartplotter – The Trip Log on the right is proof that we hit 12.3 knots although I only saw the 10.3 as shown on the left. The 12.3 must have been a fleeting moment.

Pics of the chartplotter – The final Trip Log data on the right is proof that we hit 12.3 knots although I only saw the 10.3 as shown on the left. The 12.3 must have been a fleeting moment.

I lived in New York City for a couple of years back in the late 1970’s so I always seek out this one building.

My old apartment on York Avenue, the shorter building in the middle. Back in 1979 it was right on the East River. Now it's view is hidden by the taller building.

My old apartment on York Avenue, the shorter building in the middle. Back in 1979 it was right on the East River. Now it’s view is hidden by the taller building.

The United Nations

The United Nations

A little green mixed in with the concrete and steel.

A little green softens  the concrete and steel.

Helicopters are certainly more common now than they were back in 1979.

A helicopter pad with choppers coming and going non-stop. Lots of people coming and going,too.

A helicopter pad with choppers coming and going non-stop. Lots of people coming and going,too.

A little incongruous to see the helicopter and the old sailing vessel together.

It’s  little incongruous to see the helicopter and the old sailing vessel together.

I feel a bit guilty that we rarely notice the east side of the East River.The Manhattan side is so fascinating that Long Island gets ignored. 🙁 I apologize! Here are my token east side of the East River photos —

The Pepsi Cola sign and a tiny sign that reads "Long Island."

The Pepsi Cola sign and a tiny sign  way down near the water that reads “Long Island.”

There’s no lack of variety on the New York waterway —

All kinds of water craft - "The Beast", a yellow taxi-style ferry, the Circle Line tour.

All kinds of water craft – “The Beast”, a yellow taxi-style ferry, the Circle Line tour.

Couldn't resist this - Is that Lady Liberty hitching a ride on the orange Staten island Ferry??

Couldn’t resist this – Is that Lady Liberty hitching a ride on the  Staten island Ferry??

We noticed that the Staten Island ferries had  police escorts ,and also saw a NYFD boat spraying water in a big arc. We later learned that these were practice maneuvers for the Pope’s upcoming visit.

NYFD boat spraying a huge arc of water just past the Statue of Liberty. We were hoping it was a courtesy drive thru boat wash.

NYFD boat spraying a huge arc of water. We were hoping it was a courtesy drive thru boat wash.

The Statue of Liberty. My photos on our previous trips were much better.

The Statue of Liberty. My photos on our previous trips were much better. It is still a  thrill to see this lady from our boat.

Ellis Island

Ellis Island

Looking back at lower Manhattan as we continued on our way south towards the Verranzo Narrows Bridge – New York is a one-of-a-kind city.

lower manhattanWe settled down for the night behind the breakwater at Atlantic Highlands, the northern tip of New Jersey, inside of Sandy Hook. Cutting Class also made the trip through New York so we had a catching up dinner together.

Cutting Class in the sunset

Cutting Class in the sunset

Down the Sound!

Triskaidekaphobia-13thSunday, September 13th was our departure day. After a year of transforming the trawler and weeks of preparing for this day, we were ready to go, even if it was the 13th. I don’t have any issues with the number 13. It happens to be my favorite number because all of the positive associations with 13 in my life. NO triskaidekaphobia here.

 

Our friends, Dan and Marcia on Cutting Class, departed about 30 minutes before we did.

Cutting Class departs in the early morning hours. See you later!

Cutting Class departs in the early morning hours. See you later!

We waited for a little more daylight (6:30 am) so that MJ and Dean could take photos again as we ventured out of SYC and passed Ledge Light. We assured them that our feelings would not be hurt if they didn’t make this event a “hat trick” given the early hour. Good friends don’t always listen  🙂  and there they were at the edge of the UCONN Avery Point campus.

Here we go!

Here we go!

Passing Ledge Light. I love these very special photos. Thank you so much Mary Jo and Dean!! XXOO

Passing Ledge Light. I love these very special photos. Thank you so much Mary Jo and Dean!! XXOO

The day was gray. Not fifty shades of gray, but just gray. We expected that and rain, but decided leaving would put us in a better position for traveling down the Jersey coast later.

Dark skies, maybe 6 shades of gray?

Dark skies, maybe 6 shades of gray?

There were some waves.....

There were some waves….. but things got a little brighter.

We kept in touch by phone, text and VHF with Cutting Class who were having a nice sail down the Sound. Around 9:00 am we passed them. Yes, that is the advantage of a trawler. Even our slow trawler speed ends up being a little faster. The disadvantage? $$ and looks.

Cutting Class sailing along very nicely.

Cutting Class sailing along very nicely.

Here we are moving along nicely as well.

Here we are moving along nicely as well.

As you well know if you have been reading this blog for any length of time, Al can’t sit still, not even when we are underway. It’s a good thing I can take the helm so he can work on a “project.”  The WIRIE wifi booster (that cute little blue box mounted on the flybridge) needs to have it’s wire permanently run through the flybridge structure where it will not be seen. Al got out two of his “snaking devices” to run the wire.

Snaking wires - let the pictures do the talking.

Snaking wires – let the pictures do the talking.

There were some m moments of brighter skies and puffy clouds.

There were some  moments of brighter skies and puffy clouds.

Leaving early in the morning gave us the advantage of the current which really pushed us along for the morning (see how we still think like sailors??) with a speed of 8 – 9 knots. We had several optional routes ready, depending upon how the day progressed. Go as far as New Haven? Charles Island off Milford? Or Port Jefferson? As we approached Port Jefferson at. 1:15 pm, we made the decision to commit and continue to Port Washington, estimating that we could get there just before the sun set. At 2 pm, we cranked up our “iron sails” from 1500 rpm, then to 1600 and finally to 1750 rpm, figuring that we needed the extra umph to make it before dark. We maintained a 6-7 knot speed against the current, and with the rain.

We picked up a mooring at 6:30 pm. Ahhhh. After a 12-hour day we knew we would just spend the next day hanging out and taking a rest. It was a long first day, but all went well. The only thing missing was Cutting Class, they ended their day at Oyster Bay.

Port Washington, Manhasset Bay, NY    Sunny skies and wind greeted us on Day 2, just as we expected. Not only did we want a rest after the 12-hour day, but the winds made it a good day to stay put. Port Washington is a great harbor for cruisers – nice dinghy dock, easy access to a major grocery store (across the street from the dock) and restaurants. AND, they provide free moorings (the yellow ones) for 2 nights. There isn’t much more that a cruiser could want. It’s close to our homeport so we don’t usually need provisions (How much could we have eaten in only one day?) On our first trip south we never got off the boat when we stopped here. Our second visit here was during the trip north from the Chesapeake to Connecticut with the Mariner. We only went as far as the Stop and Shop and the HomeGoods store. This time we took a walk around the town.

Heading out in the dinghy for a walk around Port Washington. Really need to stretch our legs!

Heading out in the dinghy for a walk around Port Washington. Really need to stretch our legs!

PW park walkway 1

This very nice walkway goes right by the dinghy dock. We had a pleasant walk on a beautiful September day.

The walkway takes you around the rim of the harbor.

The walkway takes you around the rim of the harbor.

Along the path Port Washington has the “Bay Walk Nautical Art Museum” which showcases outdoor art work.

Mosaic deisgns

Mosaic designs

My most favorite “nautical art” along this path was the bench created in collaboration with a landscape artist by local 5th grade students. Every year the Sousa Elementary School’s 5th grade class with their art teacher Stephen Moore and a guest artist, create a sculpture as part of their legacy. They created these medallions that were incorporated into decorative benches – individual artistic pieces from each of the 77 students.

Sousa 5th grade

Top photo shows the description of the 5th graders’ art project and a close-up of a few sculpture medallions. The bottom photo is one of the finished benches.

The Manhasset Bay Marina is home to boats and house boats. These house boats bring a different meaning to “living aboard.” We dinghied in and around the docks for a closer look. Obviously they never move. Most of them are two stories and quite large. I think I like smaller quarters and the ability to move my boat to different places. But, to each his own. These houseboats are an interesting option for a home. Wish HGTV would do a series on boats. 🙂

Houseboat alley

Houseboat alley

And more houseboats

And more houseboats

We really enjoyed and needed this day of rest after the days of preparations and the long first day of travel. Tomorrow is NEW YORK CITY!

Here We Go Again!

I began this blog two years ago to record and journal about our cruising adventure on our Morgan 43 sailboat during the winter of 2013-2014. And here we are again, ready to repeat the adventure. I should feel experienced since this is our second time, but I don’t. With a different boat, much of the preparing part feels new, or almost new.

New boat = new card. We had to order new boat cards, again. I surely hope that this set of boat cards outlives the first two sets. Each of the previous boat cards became out-dated because something changed and we needed new ones. What can one do with leftover outdated boat cards?? Not enough for wallpaper, if I even wanted wall paper!

On the left is a pile of our first boat cards, but then we moved and changed emails, etc. On the right is the boat card from 2013 for our first trip.

Same boat, different cards:                                                                                                                               On the left is a pile of our original boat cards. When we moved and changed email addresses, etc. we needed a new card. 
On the right is a pile of the 2013 boat cards  for our first cruising adventure.

Al’s daughter is very patient. 🙂 As our in-house (or would that be “in-family” graphic artist) we send her the photos and the information and she designs and prints the card. Below is the new card’s front and back.  Technology has changed so many things, but business cards and “boat cards” still seem to play a role. We enjoy trading them with other boaters as we travel.

of new boat card

Back of new boat card

 

 

 

 

Technology Update  For the last trip I described the technology we would be using while we cruised – Tech Talk 1 & Tech Talk 2. We are still using many of the same websites for advice, weather, and  other boating/cruising info and tips. I still have an iPhone (a 6 has replaced my old 4s) and Al still has a flip phone ( a new one, but still an old “flip.” What can I say? He had a chance to join the rest of us and chose not to do that yet.) However, he does have a “new” refurbished Nano for his music because his ancient one disappeared. I still have a Nook for my reading, although it is a newer model thanks to a Christmas gift. I have it LOADED with a variety of novels to read over the next 8 months. Yeah!!  I have the same camera, but not the same camera, and that’s a long story. The first died twice on that trip, but it was replaced and continues to work …… for now. I still don’t really trust it, but if it ain’t broke, it ain’t getting replaced.

Last time we used a MiFi device and got our data package through Millenicom.com for  internet access. This time we plan to use my iphone as a hot spot and increase our data plan with Verizon. Hopefully, this will work, because how many of us can live without our internet these days??

In my first “transformation” blog post I wrote about the systems and described our IslandTime wifi connection device, called the Ubiquit Bullet, a booster, coupled to a marine antenna and a Netgear router. This helps us pick up wifi signals that would not ordinarily reach us on the boat. We need it out on the mooring to get a stronger signal from our yacht club, and it was really helpful Hope Town to catch those OII wifi signals. BUT……. it stopped working. Al tried a new router and spend countless (literally countless) hours over a week’s time, emailing back and forth with the IslandTime guy to figure out the problem. Nothing worked. Eventually, we simply ran out of time. Al decided to try a new system called The WIRIE, a plug and play, totally waterproof marine system. It arrived the day before we planned to move onboard the boat.  Talk about down to the WIRE…..

The WIRIE is mounted up on the flybridge. It has been tested and it works!!! Yeah!!! We can connect.

The WIRIE is mounted up on the flybridge (the little blue box with the antennae sticking up). It has been tested and it works!!! Yeah!!! We can connect.

We have the same GPS chart plotter, Garmin 5212, but will also use Al’s  iPad more as another navigating tool.  We have our AIS and hope that our current position will load onto the blog’s page titled “Where is Kindred Spirit?”

Coffee   I’ve made another major change for this trip. After much consideration, I have ditched the Chemex coffee pot (please refer to my detailed blog post on the last adventure about coffee making on a boat -Coffee Onboard Your Boat). The reason? I got tired of waiting for the water to boil and for it to drip though the grounds and filter. It took so long that the coffee cooled, in spite of the cute little quilted jacket I made for the glass pot. I discussed my concerns with the Captain, and he assured me that a small electric drip pot was totally do-able. 🙂

YES - I have gone back to an electric drip coffee maker!!

Here is my cute little 4-5 cup Mr. Coffee. Quick and hot. I use either thermal mugs if we have a traveling day ahead of us, or a small thermos to hold the coffee when we use our china mugs. The entire coffee making “system” fits along side of the chart table, aka, dish holder.

A necessary task that Al really delayed for too long. Who can blame him? It’s not as though he wasn’t busy with other boat projects, right?

Our dinghy is finally legal with new Connecticut numbers. It only took Al one year to get to the DMV and then 6 hour wait in line. And that was AFTER the they shut down to upgrade their computer system. Haha.

Our dinghy is finally legal with new Connecticut numbers. It only took Al one year to get TO the DMV followed by  a 6 hour wait in line once he was there. And that was after the they shut down to upgrade their computer system. HaHa.

One evening this week, I found him painting in our living room. Yes, the living room.

What a nice "reserved" mooring buoy we will have.

What a nice “reserved” mooring buoy we will have.

Provisioning   I have come to the conclusion that we do not cruise simply and we do not cruise lightly. We brought car load after car load froth house to the boat – so much stuff! The “stuff”, such as clothing, toiletries, medical supplies,safety supplies, personal things and entertainment, boat equipment are just one aspect of the preparations; but the provisions, oh my the provisions! Provisioning takes time, thought, planning, and space. I become OCD about what we will, or might, need. I re-read my 2013 blog about the provisioning — “Organizing, moving, and stowing supplies and provisions aboard has been quite an experience. Where will it all go? Will it all fit? And do we really need it all?? Al reminded 3 times each day that there are grocery stores up and down the east coast.”  Ditto for 2015.

Car load #317

Car load #217 (or so it seemed.)

This was the first load of provisions, spread out in the salon. Aye Yai Yai!!

This was the first load of provisions, spread out in the salon. Aye Yai Yai!!

The size of the freezer was a concern to me – less than the Morgan’s custom freezer and refrigerator. I knew I would overbuy, especially if there was a sale, only to discover that it won’t all fit into my little freezer. I asked Al to make me a cardboard box the exact dimensions of the Engel freezer so that I could buy and package meals over a few days and know that they will fit.

My "cardboard" freezer

My “cardboard” freezer box inside of my home chest freezer and the real thing on the boat. It all fit, just barely.

Not only do you have to eat, but you do drink as well. We drink a lot of water so Al added the water filter at the galley sink for drinking water. We stowed 2-3 cases of beer in the lower depths of the boat. And bought boxed wine which then became “bag wine” after we removed the boxes. We also indulged ourselves with a Soda Stream. Al likes a gin and tonic and I enjoy seltzer. This way we won’t have to carry and stow the bottles and cans and there won’t be piles of empties to discard.

wine and soda

Our bags of wine are stowed in a plastic bin and stored under a bunk. The soda stream neatly fit in the cabinet on the bottom shelf. It’s a little crowded at the moment because we haven’t really figured out the organization in there yet. More on that in a future blog.

We are bringing our bikes so that we can travel a little farther on land.

This time we are bringing our bikes so that we can travel a little farther on land.

The bikes fit very well up on the flybridge, near the kayaks. As I said – we are not traveling simply or lightly. And I am not apologizing for that!

Al was so proud of how neatly he packed his shirts in the drawer that I thought it deserved a mention in the blog. Shall I take another photo in a couple of weeks??

Al was so proud of how neatly he packed his shirts in the drawer that I thought it deserved a mention in the blog. Shall I take another photo in a couple of weeks??

I searched for photo frames that would fit on the boat so that we could have our family with us.

This window int he salon is behind the ladder to the flybridge so I thought it might function well as a place to hang the photos. We also added a new photo - both photos of our boats taken by MJ and Dean now hang side by side. The Morgan when we left in 2013 and the Mariner when we brought her home in 2014.

This window in the salon is behind the ladder to the flybridge so I thought it might function well as a place to hang the photos of all of our children and grandchildren. I can see them every day.
We also added a new photo – MJ and Dean have taken those wonderful photos at the top of our blog. The Morgan 43 passing Ledge Light in 2013 as we headed south and this Mariner when we brought her home in 2014. They are side by side.

There was a nice little space on either side of our cabin for more photos. One side is grandchildren and parents, plus my sister and sister-in-law. The other side holds pictures of each child's wedding. They were beautiful and loving days when we were all together..

There was a nice little space on each side of our cabin for more photos. One side is grandchildren and our parents, plus my sister and sister-in-law. The other side holds a photo of each of our children’s wedding days. They were beautiful and loving days when we were all together.

We said good-bye to Adam and Steph. Thanks for the ride to the yacht club.

We said good-bye to Adam and Steph. Thanks for the ride to the yacht club.

In 2013, we left on my birthday, September 12th.  It would have been an interesting coincidence to leave on the same date, but we just weren’t quite ready.

Dean and Mary Jo brought a chocolate cake and Prosecco out to the boat to celebrate my birthday and wish us bon voyage.

Dean and Mary Jo brought a chocolate cake, ice cream, and Prosecco to celebrate my birthday and wish us bon voyage.  Thank you!

I think we are ready now. We will leave early tomorrow morning on our new adventure.  I plan to continue the blog and will try to look for new things along the way to share and to remember.

Summer Snippets, 2015

It’s been a  busy, but fragmented summer, but I don’t mean that in a negative way, just descriptive. We never took any “long” (a week or longer) trips with the boat. We mostly spent 2-5 days on the boat, then were home for a few days again, or visiting family here and elsewhere. And that was just fine for this summer – we will have plenty of “boat time” very, very soon.

So, in tune with a fragmented theme, here are snippets from our summer on the water and on land, in no particular order:

Boat rescues and mishaps (not ours, thank goodness!!)

Al tows the SYC launch back to the dock.

Early in the season, the SYC launch broke down out in the mooring field. Al happened to be out there and towed it  back to the dock.

While anchored off of Napatree, Al heard a woman yelling for help. Her sailboat was tangled with a power boat. She was alone and no one was onboard the powerboat. The police came by, but it was Al who rescued her.

While anchored off of Napatree, Al heard a woman yelling for help. Her sailboat was tangled with a power boat. She was alone and no one was on board the powerboat. The police came by, but it was Al who rescued her.

While sitting on the beach at Napatree, Al spied a boat on the sand (he has a built in radar for these things.) Naturally, he took a walk down the beach and found "Paradise". Over the weeks that followed, we heard a variety of stories about what happened. Wonder if it is still there?

While sitting on the beach at Napatree, Al spied a boat on the sand (he has a built in radar for these things.)

4 Paradise on the beach

Naturally, he took a walk down the beach and found “Paradise”. Over the weeks that followed, we heard a variety of stories about what happened. Wonder if it is still there?

House Guests – We had house guests for 5 weeks – Adam, Steph and Charlie lived with us while they were between houses.  It was a lot of fun to be together and be able to help our kids out like that. I really enjoyed and appreciated that time together.

Steph, Adam and Charlie - living with the 55 and older crowd. :-)

Steph, Adam and Charlie – living with the 55 and older crowd. 🙂

Huckleberry

A lovely farmhouse, circa 1860, is now theirs. In just a few weeks they have already made it home.

A Summer Clambake – What would a summer be without a New England clambake?

9 Lobsters cooking

Rob uses the pit method for cooking his lobsters with clams, potatoes and corn – burning wood, seafood, water, and a tarp to cover the steaming pit.

10 eating lobsters

Yum – folks are digging into and pulling apart their lobsters.

“Once in a Blue Moon”
We made more trips to Watch Hill/Napatree this summer than anywhere else. It may be “local” and not necessarily exciting, but with good friends, it can be near perfect!

We never tire of watching the sailboat races.

We never tire of watching the sailboat races.

A rainbow over Watch Hill

A rainbow over Watch Hill brightens the sky after a little rain.

Not a sunset but a stunning evening sky, nevertheless.

Not a sunset, but a stunning evening sky, nevertheless.

“Once in a Blue Moon??”  What does that mean? One definition of a “blue moon”, the more modern one, is when there are 2 full moons in one month. A full moon occurs roughly every 29.5 days and on the rare occasions when the full moon falls at the very beginning of a month there is a good chance that a Blue Moon will occur at the end of the month as well. Although called a “blue” moon, it isn’t blue. The Summer of 2015 had two full moons in July- the 2nd and the 31st. We were at Napatree with Mary Jo and Dean, on Jallao, for the blue moon on July 31st.

Enjoying the beach in the early evening hours.

Enjoying Napatree Beach in the early evening hours while we wait for that moon to rise.

We had the best evening waiting for that blue moon, drinking our Blue Moon beer.

One of my favorite summer memories, waiting for that blue moon, drinking our Blue Moon beer.

Photographing was half of the fun! Look how strong Dean and Al are - they gave that moon an extra push up into the sky. :-)

Look how strong Dean and Al are – they gave that moon an extra push up into the sky. 🙂

A special moon with special friends.

A special evening, a special moon, with special friends.

The next Blue Moon is not until 2018 when there will be two Blue Moons (using the definition of two full moons in one calendar month.) One in January and one in March. But the next summertime Blue Moon won’t occur until August 2023. “Once in a blue moon” is a common way of saying not very often or rare. I will leave it up to you to decide if the frequency of blue moons qualifies as rare. Personally, I like the phrase “once in a blue moon,” especially now that I have watched a Blue Moon rise over the ocean while sitting on the beach with my husband and friends.

Come On Board!
A benefit of staying close to home this summer was that we found time to have guests join us on the boat. Two family visits were extra special – Tim and Amanda were the first overnight guests, while Caleb, with his Mommy and Daddy, had his first boat ride. (blue words are links to those previous blog pictures.)

We have “dirt dweller” friends who also enjoyed time on the water with us.

Former neighbors and good friends, Pat and Steve, love the water. We enjoyed a nautical night with good grub and great conversation.

Former neighbors and good friends, Pat and Steve, love the water. We enjoyed a nautical night with good grub, great conversation, and  sunset conch horns.

More neighbors joined us for an afternoon boat ride. Owning boat is even better when you can share it with others.

More neighbors joined us for an afternoon boat ride. Owning a boat is even better when you can share it with others. Thanks for coming, Jack, Linda, Mory and Dave!

Family Time

My sister, Lisa and her wife, Jeanne, visited us here in Connecticut and had a tour of the boat.

My sister, Lisa and her wife, Jeanne, visited us here in Connecticut and had a tour of the boat.

We made two trips to Pennsylvania to visit with my parents. Wish we didn't live so apart.

We made two trips to Pennsylvania to visit with my parents. Wish we didn’t live so far apart. Love you, Mom and Dad!

Because we were home more often this summer, we spent time with our children and grandchildren, here and there.

Aaron and Ella in Delaware and in Connecticut, doing the things that 5 year olds and 2 year olds do.

Aaron and Ella in Delaware and in Connecticut, doing the things that 5 year olds and 2 year olds do – eating ice cream and brownies, dressing up like “Frozen”, building with Papa, and face painting.

A rare occasion - Al with both his son Tim and wife Amanda and his daughter, Alicia with Aaron and Ella.

A rare occasion – Al with both his son Tim, and wife Amanda, and his daughter, Alicia, with Aaron and Ella. We don’t often get to see them at the same time.

My sons - Adam and Steph with Charlie, their Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier, and Ryan and Kerri with 15 month old Caleb.

My sons – Adam and his wife, Steph with Charlie, their Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier. Ryan and his wife, Kerri with 15 month old Caleb. My country son and my city son! Love them both so much.

Caleb does his version of downward dog and is learning to feed himself. Toddlerhood is here!

Caleb does his version of downward dog and is learning to feed himself. Toddlerhood is here! We FaceTime at least once each week – helps to keep me sane.

Without a doubt, it is hard to leave our family to cruise for 8 months. To me, It feels even more difficult this time than two years ago. With phone calls, FaceTime, email, texts, and two flights home for in-person visits, I hope I can overcome the homesickness and heartache. These little people grow up so fast.  But……. this is an adventure that can’t be postponed for too long. Life is short – so off we will go!