Where we at

Sunday, December 3, 2023

What we've been up do thus far...

We arrived at our Orlando rental Nov 15. We have the condo for 6 weeks, departing on New Year's Eve. That will give us time to do a number of fun and unfun tasks.

Fun tasks include Thanksgiving:

(L to R) Gary, Tammy, me, Russ, David, Hannah, Dad, Mom, and Tess.

9 of us gathered around a single table at the Lakehouse buffet at the Lakehouse Resort. My brother (Gary's) youngest, Tess, joined us from Seattle. 

And Disney World... lots and lots of Disney World. They have 4 parks, and between family and friends over the holiday, we saw and did as much as we could, considering of course this was some of the busiest days for Disney.

Hollywood Studios, Batoo. You know, somewhere on Tatooine...

Animal Kingdom. Somewhere in Africa...

It was really cold one of the days. Bundled, we ate some waffles
in the Magic Kingdom

Animal Kingdom: Pandora. Home of the Na'vi. The detail they put into
some of these areas is just jaw-dropping.

Disney always had the parks filled with photographers. Back in the day, once taken,
you had to seek them out at some booth at some later time. No one liked that, so the
photographers were avoided. Nowadays, with Disney magic, you scan in your park
pass and all photos just show up. Now there are lines for photographs.

Epcot: Frozen ever after ride. A bit splashy but fun.

Epcot: Guardians of the Galaxy. Nope, not on this ride. Once I heard
the launch was backwards I hesitated. I'll screw up my courage
one of these days.

Everyone knows this one...

Magic Kingdom, the mining ride. One of my favorite
roller coaster rides. Russ and us and just ahead of 
Hannah and David.

Unfun task include medical stuff, like Russ getting his final dental implant finished and me getting some unwanted spots on my skin removed. Also, we're consolidating our 2 storage units into one. Like moving, and just as much fun.

Oo, wait... more Disney!

Bengal Tiger

A bat... a really, really big bat

Kimono Dragon

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Last day on the boat

Admittedly, I won't miss this. Any project turns
the saloon into a garage. Notice you can't get to 
the bedrooms unless you jump the hole or 
climb the chair.
Last night was the last we'll spend in our own bed. Tonight we're off to a hotel. Once we get pumped out Russ will freeze-protect the commodes and tanks. So no using the heads after that. We'll finish winterizing the rest over the next couple of day. The plan is to be done by Saturday.

In the past we've owned a number of houses at the same time. We spent a LOT of time traveling between them so we could enjoy them and their locations (Las Vegas, San Francisco, New Orleans, all wonderful towns to be a tourist in). Whenever it was time to leave, I always has a hard time. I don't know why but leaving always brings me to tears.

Put away for the season.
So knowing that, imagine me now. We've been in 1 location (albeit a mobile one) for the last 5 years. Our 5 year anniversary of our first boat journey (taking Cat-n-Dogs from its seller's home to a marina) happened November 6. Since that day we've lived on a boat. With the exception of a weekend or holiday, we've slept on a boat. Now we're leaving for 3 or more months.

I cannot recall the last time I saw fall colors.
It will be fine once we're in the car and driving, which won't happen until Tuesday. Until then, Imma be a wreck. 

Friday, October 27, 2023

At least we're clean

Before. To be fair, we have deck covers, so
this was largely hidden. Just sayin'.
One major task we needed to have done was get inQuest detailed. Russ will wash her down on occasion, but trying to get her waxed is a huge chore for one or both of us. It's been years (yes, years) since we got it done. Yesterday it happened.

The dockmaster here, Wayne, recommended a company. Our past experience with detailers is 2 or 3 people show up, and the task will take 2 - 3 days.

Eight people came. 

It took one day. 

It was awesome!

And after.

People were everwhere!

Front, back, top, bottom, and sides.

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Baltimore Update

Dawn in B12. That's our slip number.
Needless to say we haven't boated anywhere. That was planned. 

We bought a slip here at Anchorage Marina, which will be "home base" for the winter. We plan on traveling back to Florida and renting a couple of condos, one in Orlando and one in Key West. We also need to head to California to get one last thing done. Other winter chores include moving the Bradenton storage stuff to the one near my folks, and getting rid of a bunch of boat stuff that's currently within it.

As a result we're winterizing the boat, which we've never done before. Details of this include treating the engines, pickling the water-maker, installing heaters in the hulls, emptying water tanks, emptying the black tank, treating the commodes and the house water system. Even the windshield wiper fluid has got to go! Thankfully we gave ourselves weeks to get it all done. Russ has been busy.

After 4 years we needed new boat cards. This is the front...

...and this is the back.
This is so us.

We sold our slip in Longboat Key a while ago preparing to move to this way of boating. (Warning: Political rant ahead, so skip this paragraph if you don't want to be offended). After the reversal of Roe v. Wade I remain outraged at those states that treat women as second class citizens. Of course, those would be all states south of the Chesapeake Bay. The last couple of times we've boated through them we made a point of anchoring as much as we could to prevent giving money to businesses in these states; my only vote there is with a dollar. We'd have to buy fuel, of course, but we'd take some solace that our money mostly goes to Big Oil. As for Florida, I vote there, so I do have some other "say". All in all, boating is a slow way to get south, and weather can slow that process further, AND we have done that trip a number of times now. So leaving the boat and just getting to FLA seemed like something to try. 

Beside, a slip in Baltimore has another advantage -- it will be vacant during the "high season." So, rentable. The boating season on the Chesapeake is the summer and we'll be out and about somewhere. Compare that to the high season in Florida which is the winter, when we'd be occupying our slip. Occasionally, it got rented in the summer, but now often.

We leave November 14, arriving in Orlando Nov 15. In the meantime, we're enjoying Baltimore. It is one of our favorite cities.

Thursday, October 5, 2023

Sassafras to Baltimore, marina (THE END)

Given the extremely long (albeit wonderful) day yesterday we all slept in a bit then shared a pancake breakfast. After that we brought up the anchor and started the last 5 hours of the 2023 season.

There was a parade of boats heading south, as the Florida migration was in full swing. Since we were headed just across the bay we took a short cut through a not-used-much channel. By 2 pm Highwind was getting into their winter slip and we took up a fancy slip on the new B docks at Anchorage Marina.

Dawn on the Sassafras
We're here until mid-November, but the boat will be here all winter. This will be the first winter we won't be living aboard in the last 5 years. We're going to try out the snowbird life style without a boat and come back in the Spring for the 2024 season. Baltimore seems like a good launching place to do that. Fingers crossed!

Lots to do to winterize inQuest, which we've never done before. Good thing we're gonna be here a while.

David took this pic of us last evening as we finished up the long day

Safely docked in Baltimore

PS. Once we left Great Kills David single handed Highwind all the way the Baltimore. Yes, he piloted alone for the last 3 days, and they were very long days. THAT was an amazing feat! 

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Atlantic City to Sassafras River, anchor

As planned we were all up and out early, early, early. We still had about 3 hours of Atlantic Ocean to cross before we turned up the Delaware Bay, then another 5 hours on it. But the tide was on our side all the way: We got pulled into the Delaware (11 knots around the cape), then followed the tide up to the C&D canal (around 10 knots). When we got to the top things slacked and started heading the other way, which perfectly gave us the outgoing tide on the canal (again, getting us around 11 knots).

Dawn in the Atlantic City inlet
In short, awesome ride -- awesome weather, awesome water, and very helpful tides. However, the day was long and we all arrived ready for a quick bite then some bed.

On the plus side, that long push means a nice and easy day tomorrow into Baltimore. We're sleeping in, and I'm planning on some pancakes.
The Atlantic...

... to Delaware Bay...

...to the Chesapeake Bay.

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Great Kills to Atlantic City, anchor

This will be brief, as I'm whipped.

Everyone was up and out early since a long day was ahead of us, 10 hours of boating, us in the lead and Highwind behind us. Moreover, not the greatest water. Not bad, mind you, we couldn't call any of it "rough", but we had 3-4 foot swells in 8 second periods. That meant a lot of up and down, and side to side... sometimes all at the same time.

As the day went on the water got better, 2-3 foot swells and spaced out.

We weren't alone. Many people, like us, had been waiting for weeks to go, so even if it wasn't optimal this was the go day. The cooperative weather gave us tons of sun, and a cool 68 degrees. 

The first part of the trip was east, into the 
sunrise. It was very ow-y!
Russ and I always anchor here, but many folks have told us the casino marina was awesome. We all made requests with Dockwa. We all got denied. Can't say we're surprised. While this isn't looper season, there are hundreds of boats all headed south, and all waiting for this very window.

We dropped the hook, made some dinner, and now I'm eyeing my pillow.

Because we're going to to that all over again tomorrow, starting earlier... and going later. 

The lights o Atlantic City at sunset.

Monday, October 2, 2023

Croton-On-Hudson to Great Kills, ball

Finally, after almost 2 weeks of waiting, there's a window on the horizon. A big one, too, which spans about 3 days. Perfect.

Highwind was on anchor near us and the night before we left we planned an early out, 7 am. Due to the number of boats they jammed into the marina (we weren't the only ones waiting) we were a little tight on our pier. As a result we ended up backing out of the marina entirely which was easier than trying to find an open spot to spin around.

In the start we had a nice current pulling out along but that quickly ended. At times we were going under 6 knots. Add to that the hectic boating adventure that is New York Harbor. Between dodging 25 knot ferries, and weaving around pesky sailboats that tack right at you, and all the churn on the water those vessels cause, it's never a calm and serene experience. Despite that, it's still jaw dropping to do that with towering sky scrapers around you.

Before you get to the city you pass the Palisades.
By the time we turned the corner to make the last hour run to Great Kills everything calmed.

We hung out Monday on Staten Island, watching the weather and texting with boaters we knew who braved the Atlantic. We will go tomorrow. If all goes well we'll be in Atlantic City by dinner. And have no harrowing tales to tell.


The Hudson River is quite lovely.

You see some bizarre things in NYC

Can you see the "hush" face? You may have to make this bigger.

Obligatory yet ever awe-inspiring pic of the statue

Mostly through it, look at the city behind us.

Dawn in Great Kills Harbor

September, from Brewerton to Great Kills

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Waiting on weather on Croton-on-Hudson

Very rainy at Half Moon Bay Marina
By Monday it was apparent we weren't going to be able to get to traverse the Atlantic along the Jersey shore any time soon, so we extended our stay here for a week. Throughout most of that time it was dreary and rainy. We had a sunny day Wednesday, but overcast skies came back Thursday, and torrential rain is predicted for Friday.

On the plus side of waiting, our buddy boat -- who was nearly 2 weeks behind us -- got underway with more efficient engines and will be anchoring nearby tomorrow. Then they'll pass us by as they go to Great Kills, where we hope to join them Sunday or Monday.

I occupied some time by baking bread.
Hopefully we'll be able to start the long day down to the Delaware mid week, next week.

Our one day of glorious weather thus far.

Moonrise over the marina
While on a walk we go by these. I'm calling them Easter Berries
sine they are all in pastel colors. So pretty!

Friday, September 22, 2023

Kingston to Croton, marina

Tropical Cyclone 16 (yet to be named) is going to wreak some havoc for us over the weekend. As a result, we asked if we could stay on the dock at the museum during that time. But, no... we could stay tonight, but there's a cruise ship coming Saturday. Rather than leave Saturday -- in wind and rain and whatnot -- we decided to toss our lines and head out today.

The two options below are Poughkeepsie (which I love to say) and Croton-on-the-Hudson (seriously, it sounds like we're in England, but that's the name). Both are on the east side so should be sheltered from the east winds we're expecting. But Croton has a really nice anchorage nearby. When we've gotten through the bluster, and we're still waiting for a decent weather window to make the crossing, staying there will be handy.

Also, Croton is a bit closer to New York. We plan on taking the train into the city a day or two, so that trip will be shorter.

Dawn at the boat museum
But the travel day was longer than we'd hoped, largely since we left later thinking we would stay another night. I'm a fan of getting in around 2 or earlier so we can get settled (that's code for "take a nap"). These next travel days aren't going to be those at all; lots of long stretches of open water ahead from here to Baltimore.

Ophelia. They named the storm Ophelia.

We were past by this ship twice, once just near where we joined
the Hudson, but then he had a pilot board, and we passed him. 
Now he's passed us again. They're big, but they are not slow.

This section of the Hudson is gorgeous.

Too bad it wasn't sunny, you could see the trees which are starting to turn.