A Sea of Friendships

friends and distance

Our cruising trips to the Bahamas  have enriched our lives in so many ways. The experience of living aboard a boat together and traveling to new places is an adventure that I will never forget and will always treasure. We may not be world travelers, and we haven’t abandoned land life altogether, but our own adventures have been truly meaningful to us. Visiting new places via boat is fun and exciting, but it is the people we have met along the way that adds a special dimension to our adventures. Some of these folks will just pass through our lives once, but others will remain in our hearts forever. The blog is peppered (seasoned? 😉 ) with the faces of people who have become very dear to us, if not always near to us.

Since we returned home to land in May, we have had the good fortune to visit with members of our “water family” – at our home, at others’ homes, on our mooring in Pine Island Bay, and on the water.

In early June, Jim and Bentley on their catamaran, Salty Paws, were sailing through New England on their way to the Sea Music Festival in Mystic and then continuing north to Provincetown. We offered our mooring as a stopover as they passed by. Back in 2013, on our trip south, Salty Paws was the first boat we had contact with, on our very first evening, in Port Jefferson. Little did we know then that our paths would cross now and again in assorted places. Al visited with them one afternoon out on our mooring, and then we all had dinner together at Marcia and Dan’s (Cutting Class) in Mystic. Scott and Kitty (Tamure) joined us. They also live in Connecticut and have circumnavigated the world twice, even with children (awesome, simply awesome.) We met them in Vero on our first trip and again in Hope Town on this last trip.

SingALong with SaltyPaws

Sing-a-long with Jim and Bentley – Kitty & Scott and Marcia & Dan

In June, Mary Marie of Eleanor Q, and Frank, arrived in Connecticut. We first met in September of 2013 at the SSCA Annapolis GAM (We Be Gammin’) and have stayed in touch over the years. We stop and visit with them in Annapolis when we pass through the Chesapeake Bay. (Chesapeake’ and Up the Chesapeake Bay). Ems stayed with us at our house while she co-organized and presented at the SSCA GAM in Essex.

Connecticut River Museum - a nice location for a gathering of boaters.

Connecticut River Museum – a nice location for a gathering of boaters.

We aren’t SSCA members any longer and had no intention of attending the GAM, but we were just thrilled to have Ems with us for a few days. On second thought, hey, why not go? And so we did. We enjoyed spending a few hours at the GAM over the weekend. Essex is a charming little town on the Connecticut River and a good location for a southern New England gathering.

Mary Marie doing her thing at the GAM, and with us.

Mary Marie is an amazing presenter who captivated her audience with a presentation tuned to cruising couples.

We saw a life raft deployed and a solar oven demonstration. AND, we heard a weather talk by the famous cruising weather guru, Chris Parker.

We saw a life raft deployed and a solar oven demonstration. Al sat in a wooden submersible in the museum, and, we heard a weather talk by the famous cruising weather guru, Chris Parker.

A cruising family of five were also there in Essex at the SSCA GAM on their boat, Totem. Behan, her husband, Jamie and their three children, Niall, Mairen, and Siobhan have been sailing around the world for 8 years. The children were 4, 6, and 9 in 2008 when they began. It was a treat to meet them. Their website Sailing Totem is fascinating.

A cruising family of five were also there in Essex at the SSCA GAM on their boat, Totem. Behan, her husband, Jamie and their three children, Niall, Mairen, and Siobhan have been sailing around the world for 8 years. The children were 4, 6, and 9 in 2008 when they began. It was a treat to meet them. Their website Sailing Totem is fascinating. Check it out – http://www.sailingtotem.com

Spending the summer at home in our New England waters, means that we can  spend time with Dean and Mary Jo on our boats at Shennecossett Yacht Club, Fishers Island, Watch Hill, and Block Island. Their son, David has a FAST boat with BIG engines and took us all to the DogWatch Café in Stonington. Not only was it fast, but it was at night –”night” meaning we didn’t get home until 10 pm. Very late for us!

Celebrating Dean’s birthday on the dock bar at the Dog Watch.

Celebrating Dean’s birthday on the dock bar at the Dog Watch.

Bruce and Gail (Orient Express), both Connecticut and Hope Town people, hosted a “Hope Town Summer Reunion” at their home in early July. We had met them during our first winter in Hope Town. They make beautiful sea glass jewelry; check out their website –Handmade Sea Glass Jewelry. I have several pieces of jewelry made by Bruce from sea glass that Al and I found ourselves in the Bahamas. Treasured pieces!

A gathering of Hope Town winter people, from near and far - Connecticut, New York, Canada......

A gathering of Hope Town winter people, from near and far – Connecticut, New York, Canada……

A few days later in July, Magnolia was heading north for the summer, leaving the Chesapeake Bay behind. Anthony and Annette were joined by Cheryl (Belle Bateau) for their offshore leg from Lewes, Delaware to Block Island. Cheryl has spent her summer fine-tuning her sailing skills and mechanical skills – she took a diesel engine course. From Block, Cheryl took the fast ferry to New London where we picked her up. We had a short, but sweet, evening together catching up since our last visit together at Cumberland Island in Georgia. The next morning we drove Cheryl to the New Haven train station for her last leg home to Baltimore. Trains, cars, boats, but no planes.

Cheryl arrives on the New London-Block Island fast ferry.

Cheryl arrives on the New London-Block Island fast ferry.

Enjoying our visit with Cheryl!

Enjoying our visit with Cheryl! We compared notes about blogging. Cheryl has a terrific blog about their first cruising adventure aboard Belle Bateau  – http://sailingbelle.com

In mid-July, we met Magnolia in Montauk, NY. We anchored in Lake Montauk and enjoyed showing the harbor to Anthony and Annette. It was four days of relaxing and peaceful times (except for one day of strong wind) with very good friends.

A view of Kindred Spirit and Magnolia up ahead while I enjoy early morning kayak trips around Lake Montauk.

A view of Kindred Spirit and Magnolia up ahead while I enjoy early morning kayak trips around Lake Montauk.

A beautiful moon over Montauk, known as "the end of the world."

A beautiful moon over Montauk, known as “the end of the world.”

We always have a delicious dinner at The Inlet.

We always have a delicious dinner at The Inlet.

From Montauk, both Magnolia and Kindred Spirit headed to Stonington, CT. Cutting Class joined us and we had another mini-reunion right there.

A group selfie - Kindred Spirit, Cutting Class, and Magnolia. Another happy hour(s) on the flybridge.

A group selfie – Kindred Spirit, Cutting Class, and Magnolia. Another happy hour(s) on the flybridge.

Once again, the guys have to end the evening with a trip to shore for ice cream.

Once again, the guys have to end the evening with a trip to shore for ice cream.

Magnolia was left behind on our mooring while her crew took a road trip to a family reunion in the mid-west. That UCONN harbor cam eased her Captain’s mind while away.

Al and ball wrap – Our mooring comes with amenities. Al takes care of “ball wrap” when it occurs. While we out kayaking, he noticed that Magnolia’s lines were tangled on the mooring, a condition we refer to as “ball wrap.” That chain and tackle is very heavy. He struggled with it and finally won, with only a single mishap. Yes, when he let go of the freed chain, the force tipped the kayak and into the water he went!

Our mooring comes with amenities. Al takes care of “ball wrap” when it occurs. While we were out kayaking, he noticed that Magnolia’s mooring pendant lines were tangled around the ball and the mooring chain, a condition we refer to as “ball wrap.” That chain and tackle is very heavy. Al struggled with it and finally won, with only a single mishap. Yes, when he let go of the freed chain, the force tipped the kayak and Al was dumped into he water backwards!

Early August and the camaraderie continues on! Four boats (Kindred Spirit, Cutting Class, Jallao, and Magnolia) met together in Watch Hill to show Magnolia more of our southern New England harbor gems.

Hanging out on the beach at Nanptree.

Hanging out on the beach at Napatree.

Dean & Mary Jo, Dan & Marcia, Annette & Anthony, Michele & Al - a beautiful beach day!

Dean & Mary Jo, Dan & Marcia, Annette & Anthony, Michele & Al – a beautiful beach day!

Kindred Spirit with the sun setting behind her.

Kindred Spirit with the sun setting behind her.

 We certainly have enjoyed seeing some of our cruising friends here at home in New England, and we haven’t forgotten he ones we haven’t seen.  We love it when folks stop by on their way north or south, especially since we won’t be going south this winter. It is the right year to stay home, but I know there will be many pangs over the coming months as we watch our friends enjoying the cruising life.

But we have reasons to stay home this winter, spread from Connecticut to New York to  Delaware—

My sons and their wives. Caleb, now 2 years old on Daddy's (Ryan) shoulders, with a sibling on the way in November! And Addison Rae, held by her Daddy (Adam), only one week old then.

My sons and their wives, Adam & Stephanie and Kerri & Ryan. Caleb, now 2 years old on Daddy’s (Ryan) shoulders, with a sibling on the way in November. 🙂 And Addison Rae, held by her Daddy (Adam), only one week old then.

Shawn and Alicia with Aaron, now 6 1/2 and Ella, 3 years old.

Shawn and Alicia with Aaron, now 6 1/2 and Ella, 3 years old.

Papa, Nana, Caleb, and Addison.

Papa, Nana, Caleb, and Addison.

The winter may get cold, but our hearts will be warmed.

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