Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Tonight back to see Spencer, then tomorrow back to Reboot. Of course tomorrow Obama has to decided to fly into the Milwaukee airport just when I am trying to leave. So I expect the air travel to be even more ugly than usual. Can't this guy just leave me alone?
Sunday, June 27, 2010
We met Kirsten for sushi and then headed over to City Lounge in Cudahy to see old friends. I was fortunate in that a couple who had met at City Lounge decided to have their wedding reception at the bar so everyone on the staff was working. It was great fun to have everyone do a double take and ask me how life was in paradise.
Tonight I head down to see Trevor. Tomorrow we are going to Six Flags for the day. It should be fun.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
The wind has been in my face for the last day, even when I change course it seems to veer to be on the nose the entire time. I considered spending a night in Atlantic City but at $3.00 per foot per night I decided to et continue on to Staten Island. I wonder why the entire transient section of the marina was empty? Buy a vowel, get a clue!
On to Staten Island.
Last night was the first night since last winter when I have been cold on watch. The water temperature is much colder here in the Atlantic and it chills the night air. My priorities have shifted again, its time to get the cabin heater working!
Coming down the Delaware Bay ship channel at night was quite an event. Ocean going ships were passing me no more than 500 yards from my beam. At one point I had three ships, two inbound and one outbound all cross right next to me. Fortunately I had spoken to them on the radio and they had me duck out of the way so that I was not in the middle of the pass.
On my way to Staten Island, I should get there tomorrow. I will leave Reboot there next week and travel back to Milwaukee, Arlington Heights and Madison to see Trevor and Spencer.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
People are always curious about the cruising life. They are in particular surprised to find that I go offshore all by myself. I thought it might be worthwhile to give a little insight into the emotional experience. In addition to getting me to where I want to be I consider these experiences warm ups. I hope to take Reboot across the Atlantic next spring. That will be a 20 to 30 day offshore trip. These trips are helping me understand both what I need to be (in the emotional sense) and how I need to equip and provision Reboot.
The two terms and come to mind are boring and tiring. Even if you are your own best friend your company pales after a few days. Some things are difficult to do because of the motion of the boat and/or other concerns. For example, I have a PS3 and games and a library of video on board. They use a ton of power and I have to make sure that I have enough to run the autopilot all night. In addition sometimes the motion of Reboot just makes it uncomfortable to be down below. There are no easy chairs as Reboot's chairs are designed for sitting upright around the salon table or sleeping in a bunk. I find myself sitting in the cockpit most of the time with my back toward the direction of travel. In that seat I can't see any of the numerous instruments. Fortunately I have numerous proximity alarms to warn me if another ship is coming close. For example:
Back to boring. I consume books offshore. Thank goodness that many marinas have free book exchanges. You drop off your current crop and pick up another pile for the next trip.
Second is fatigue. I tend to take lots of cat naps offshore. Things can go from boring to very intense in a short period of time. Even so it takes a toll on your energy. Without anyone else on board I have to keep track of my food consumption. Sometimes I just fail to eat and then find myself very tired. Other times I get the muches and want to eat all night and day.
For me the choice of offshore vs. the ICW is a non-starter. The ICW requires full time attention - think about driving down a superhighway all day alone with no rest stops. It is difficult to get to the bathroom or to prepare anything like a decent meal.
Finally, I think I get a little crazy offshore. Having no one to talk to I find myself questioning my progress. Should I go into port for a break? Should I continue on. The saving grace is that I am usually so far offshore that going into port and coming back out would add a day or two to the trip. So I just hunker down and keep going. This is clearly something I have to get my arms around before crossing the Atlantic.
Do I enjoy the life. The answer is yes. But like any lifestyle there are positives and negatives. Visiting new places and making new friends is great. Transits not so much. But the transits are the price you pay for the new experiences.
Off tomorrow morning for NYC to see my brother and visit my childhood home.
Dinner last night with Ron and Teresa from Last Dance. They drove up from Kent Narrows. Tomorrow the C&D canal and up to Staten Island. I am going to borrow Ron's mooring ball for a couple of days then thru the East River and into Long Island Sound. I hope to anchor out from the boat club where I sailed as a teenager. It should be fun.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
I woke up at 4 AM to find no kitten. XO had climbed up on the boom, twisted his leash around the Dutchman a couple of times, and then either jumped or fallen off. The result was that he slipped his collar. A search of the boat yielded no kitty. I went on shore in hopes that he had jumped down on the dock and was near. No luck. I knew that there were places he could hide on Reboot where I would not find him, so I decided that I would just have to wait to see if he came out for food in the morning.
As I went out on deck once more I heard his cry. I thought it was from inside the back cabin, but soon realized that it was too loud and not coming from quite the correct direction. I looked over the side of Reboot and to my dismay there was XO, clinging to one of the mooring posts for dear life and crying. I got out a bucket on a rope and tried to scoop him up. The result was that he let go of the post and swam around the stern to another post. I was of course not fast enough to grab him as he went by. So fully dressed into the water I went, swam over to the other post and grabbed a very wet and scarred kitty. I swam back with him to the boat and plopped him up on the swim platform.
Net, I dried him off as best I could – thank goodness that the water in the Elizabeth River is fresh so I did not have to deal with salt – and then put him in kitty jail to dry off. I rinsed myself off with boat water and put on fresh clothing.
I had planned an early start to buddy boat up the dismal swamp route with a couple of other boats but I admit that I didn’t intend to get up this early!
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