Sunday, August 23, 2015

Getting Ready

Dylan and Dee Dee wanted to apologize for not doing a better job of keeping up their blog. It's not like they've just been lying around sleeping. Well, OK, maybe just a little... But mostly they've been helping Mom and Dad get ready to head out.

Of course, it all looks very glamorous on the blog - romping on the beach, going on dinghy rides, meeting new people. But there's another side of cruising with projects and chores and provisioning. It's hard work.

The big project last week was replacing the anchor chain, all 300 feet. The new chain had to be laid out on the dock and marked. The old chain had to be removed and then the new chain drawn into the chain locker.

It took three days and at the end the crew was so exhausted from watching they had to take a another nap.

As if that wasn't enough there was a huge reprovisioning which meant Mom and Dad had to make repeated trips off the boat only to return with load upon load of bags. When will they learn that it's just so much easier to order from They bring it right to the boat!

There's been cleaning inside and out. Daddy's been spending more time in the engine room. And don't even ask about the new refrigerator we had to install. It's all very exhausting. But in a couple of days we will throw off the lines and officially begin the next stage of our cruising life.

This crew is most definitely all in!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

No Turning Back

It's been a whirlwind week as the crew helps do the final clearing out and cleaning up of the house. There's been no time for nostalgia and barely time to sleep but they wanted to share a some pictures of their recent activities.

It took Dylan and Dee Dee 3 days to travel from Maine to Virgina. At first it looked a little touch and go as Daddy crammed everything we just couldn't live without into the rental car. The crew wasn't sure there was going to be room for them but he left just enough space in the backseat for two little heinies.

Luckily, Dee Dee made the cut - the vote was 2 to 1...

There was a stop at the Defender Industries headquarters in Connecticut where Mom and Dad had a meeting while Dylan and Dee Dee got to hang out in the store. They met tons of people, were even "recognized" by a few, and got to enjoy the stash of treats behind the counter. They've been working on brushing up their resumes so they can apply for a job there as soon as that spot opens up for Chief Treat Tester, Face Licker, and Nap Taker. They're pretty sure they're a shoo-in.

Today we're back onboard and settling back in. The kids were happy to find their favorite spots still in good order.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Where'd It All Go!

Last week was a doozy. People started arriving on Tuesday putting up tents and tables. They were carrying things out of huge trucks and setting them up on the driveway, patio, backyard, garage, wherever there was a bit of space.

Thursday they started hauling stuff out of the house - including Dylan and Dee Dee's prized dog beds (see previous post). There were 8 or 10 folks here for four days. It kept the crew very busy keeping an eye on everything.

Then Friday night there was a "Preview" where tons of folks were wandering around looking and touching.

Maybe Dylan and Dee Dee knew something was up on Saturday when they woke Mom and Dad at 6 am. The auction started at 11 am with another preview starting 9, so of course, people were knocking on the door before 8.

It didn't take long for the place to be overrun so we made our own run for it. Off to Dexter, Maine to visit with our beloved JoDee, owner of Birchwood Kennels, the place that produces the most beautiful and sweet Labradors in the world.

Friends assured us that the auction proceeded just fine without our participation.

This was a special day not only because we got to see JoDee but JoDee lives on a lake and has lots of Dylan and Dee Dee kin. Dee Dee even got to play with her papa, Sarge, the second most handsome Labrador in the world (right, Dylan?).

The crew reminded us that for them, this was technically a work day as they were testing out their Kurgo car harnesses in the water. Such a hard working crew...sigh.

We had a wonderful day and really didn't want it to end. Dee Dee even caught a chicken - sorry no pictures of that - we were all too busy intervening. But finally we had to head back to Castine.

We pulled down Main Street to hordes of cars still parked around the house. The crew decided it was best to visit the town dock until the event was over. No sooner had we parked than the winds began to howl, the sky opened up, and pea-size hail began to pound the roof. We watched boats heeling over in the harbor until it became so thick we couldn't see anymore. We heard later the winds clocked at 60 knots. There were lots of trees and massive limbs down around town with power lines down in places.

We wondered about those tents at our auction but all was well when we finally arrived back at the house.

We have a few more days of "camping out" in our empty house before we head back to the boat. This summer has been quite the adventure for all of us. But we hope our best adventures are still to come.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Now It's Gone Too Far

Mom and Dad have put us through some pretty crazy things. Years ago Dyna was so disgusted she had to speak out (What I Do For Love). And Dyna knew pretty much everything. I miss her...

These past few weeks have been very trying for Dee Dee and me. Boxes stacked everywhere, people coming and going, signs being put up out front. But we haven't complained. As long as they remember breakfast and dinner and keep our routine, we're pretty happy.

But today they finally went too far.

As long as I can remember there have been two very comfy dog beds in Daddy's study. I've spent many hours sleeping in one of them, first with Dyna, now with Dee Dee. Mom is always trying to keep our hair off of them by putting on covers. How silly is that? Trying to keep dog hair off dog beds? We humor her - she does feed us after all.

Every so often Mom goes on this tear, pushes us off our beds and gets out the vacuum and brush and tries to clean off whatever hair gets onto the beds but it's pretty silly. We put more on within minutes.

Today was different. Not only did she shoo us off the beds but she locked us up in the kitchen. Then she got out the vacuum and brush and this sticky stuff on a roll. She went to town - vacuuming and brushing and pushing that sticky stuff all over our beds. We thought she'd gone crazy.

Next thing we know her and Dad are carrying the beds out of the study and putting them into that other room. You know the one. It has this fancy furniture where they close the doors and then yell at us if we get in there. Then they shut the door - with our beds inside!

Now where are we suppose to have our naps? There's only a few places we can settle in - the window seat in the kitchen, the dog bed on the kitchen floor, the rug in the mud room, the two leather sofas in the entertainment room, Oh, and the two leather chairs, as well. On Dad's exercise mat when he's jump roping, the rug in Mom's dressing room in the morning, under the dining room table. But that's it. Oh, Dee Dee just reminded me that she likes to nap on the big bed upstairs, especially now that it's on the floor. But that is absolutely it. Except for one or two places on the boat and the backseat of the car but I'm not sure those count.

And now they take away our dog beds from the study!

If I only had fingers I'd call the ASPCA! As it is we may have to mutiny!

Wait a minute. Do I hear Mom rustling in the dog food bag? No, she's getting out some treats. Maybe we'll forgive her after all. But just this once...

Gee, we sure did like sleeping on those dog beds.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Box It Up!

We're coming down to the last couple weeks here in Castine. The auction is on Saturday after which we will really be roughing it. By Sunday the Jeep and Subaru will be sold and we'll have to depend on the kindness of friends to pick up our rental car from Bangor.

This past weekend we picked up a U-Haul U-Box to fill with those items we just can't part with. It looked so small! The crew found it all very interesting and wanted to help.

It took 2 days to fill the 5 by 8 by 7 foot space. It was a complex jigsaw puzzle that resulted is dismay one moment as we were sure it could never fit and relief the next as we thought there was room to spare, followed by dismay and so on.

Until finally all was complete. We dropped the box off Monday morning and it goes on a truck headed south on Wednesday.

It looks like we're really doing this!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

So Much Excitement

It has been an exciting week for the aCappella crew. The French sailing ship L'Hermione spent a couple of days in Castine with the largest crowd we have ever seen in town. Even the kids made it down for some of the festivities.

Dylan and Dee Dee continued their trips out to Indian Bar for swims in their test harnesses. All for the sake of science, you know, and the water safety of boating dogs everywhere.

Swimming and fetching and even getting to play with a gaggle of small children - they are a gaggle aren't they???

 It's grueling work but they are up for the sacrifice.

Of course, all that hard work leads to a treat and a well deserved nap. But don't worry a full report is coming at the end of the summer.

Then Mom and Dad did something really crazy. Dylan and Dee Dee have been enjoying their king-size bed here on land. It's nice to stretch out especially given what bed-hogs their mom and dad can be.

So imagine their surprise when Mom and Dad put the bed on the floor! The crew thinks it may have something to do with all those "Auction" signs out front. At first it was weird but then Dylan and Dee Dee found it was kind of exciting.

There have certainly been lots of changes going on around here lately. But don't worry, the crew is keeping a close eye on things.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Everything Must Go!

It's finally becoming real, this crazy thing we're doing. The house is under contract. In a couple of weeks we have tents and chairs and tables arriving to setup for an auction.

August 1st the whole crew will vacate for the day while crowds (we hope) descend on our backyard for "The Auction of the Century."  Other boaters have advised that it is best not to be there when people paw through our valuables/junk. Good advice.

So we are making plans for a road trip. The kids don't know yet. But they certainly know something is up. People coming and going. Boxes strewn throughout the house. Mom and Dad sorting and packing in the evening when they should be cuddling.

Dylan thinks Dee Dee should be in the auction. We're taking it under consideration.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

July 4th

July 4th is a very special day here in Castine. If you ever have a chance to be here do not miss it.  It's one of those slices of Americana that are hard to find anymore. Dylan has done numerous July 4th's in Castine, this was Dee Dee's second. It starts with the parade, followed by hot dogs and watermelon and games. There's a concert on the Common by the town band in the evening. And the grand finale of a very impressive fireworks display at night. It's a good day for the crew.

After 20+ July 4th's here in Castine, it was a bittersweet day. We know we will be back for another - after all we are keeping one of our moorings. But we also know it will be different as a visitor rather than a resident. But there will be more July 4th's in new places as we look to new adventures.

Oh, and as for summer, it did arrive July 4th and has decided to linger awhile. After all, we still have adventures to enjoy right here.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Winter and the 4th of July

Late last week the Whaler went in the water and the kids took a preliminary spin around the harbor. All members past and present of our crew have loved the Whaler. It goes fast, it's close to the water, and it generally means we're going somewhere fun - like swimming!

For the past 12 years we have split our time between our house in Maine and the boat. Typically we spend 9 months on the boat and 3 months in Maine. And of course the 3 months in Maine are in the summer.

We love Maine summers. They are pleasant warm days and cool nights. Well, usually they are. It seems like this summer we are being punished for not having endured this past winter - even the natives are saying it was one of the worst winters they could remember.

So far it has been one long tease. We get one beautiful day followed by cold, wind, and rain. While we were able to get the Whaler in, it has been just too cold to take the kids across to Indian Bar for a swim. The problem isn't Dylan and Dee Dee swimming in cold water - Labs don't care about that. It's that we have to wade ashore and then come back with soaking wet dogs, usually draped across my lap. That just seemed too cold for us to endure. We keep watching the forecast and it looks promising later in the week.

In the meantime, Dylan and Dee Dee are trying out a variety of harnesses that we will be testing in a live swim to determine what will be their next safety harness. If you are new to Dylan and Dee Dee's blog you may not be aware of Dee Dee's "adventure" this past winter. You can read about it here.

There's a saying up here that Maine has two seasons, winter and the 4th of July. We're hoping the 4th will come through...

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Rainy Day

The crew has been in Maine for two weeks now and still the Whaler sits in the driveway. Their dad has it all ready to go in but the weather just refuses to cooperate. It's been cold and windy most days. Not a good start to the summer...

Today is pouring rain. Dylan and Dee Dee were considering a mutiny as they continue to wait for their promised swim at Indian Bar. But they decided to use the day for a good rainy day snooze instead. Lest you think the crew is loafing, Dee Dee did get up and spin around.

Mid-week is looking promising. We have all our fingers and paws crossed!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Settling In

It will be a week tomorrow that we returned to our land-based house in Maine. Any time we make the transition back to land it takes some time to get settled in. There is so much that is different here. Having a car at the ready, not really caring about the weather... But the biggest change is the space. There's so much space.

Dylan and Dee Dee have to rediscover all of the special spots. Possibly their favorite is the windows in the sunroom. It's a great place to wait for Mom or Dad to return from a walk to the post office or out to the trash can. But even more importantly it is the perfect location to stage their stakeouts for their most infamous of enemies - squirrels! So far the sightings have been meager but the crew is not deterred.

Dee Dee's biggest obstacle was the dreaded spiral staircase. Crew members all the way back to Tucker have had to learn to navigate this fearsome monstrosity. We've always considered it a rite of passage.

While she mastered them last summer, this is only the third time she has been at the house - and that's counting the 2 night stay when we picked her up as a puppy. So while we didn't exactly start from scratch, she still had to work up her nerve.

That meant 2 days of running up the front steps, through the house to the back, down the spiral stairs - for whatever reason down isn't so scary - where she would stand at the bottom and bark. Then... repeat, about 50 times a day. Eventually she saw Dylan ascend enough times to decide that maybe they where safe after all.

After nearly 7 days the kids are settling in to a new routine: walk around the block at 7 am, trip down to the town dock after lunch, romp in the back yard before supper, and cuddling with Mom and Dad in the evening. All that's left is to get the Whaler in the water this weekend so we can add trips to Indian Bar for a swim.

Now that's one hard working crew whether on land or at sea.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Birthday Boy!


Today our sweet boy turned 8. Where does the time go? It seems like just yesterday Dylan was a puppy winning first place in an online photo contest.

Unfortunately, he spent his special day in the backseat as we zoom back to Maine. He still got a special birthday treat to enjoy - but then so did Dee Dee, so unfair...  Fortunately, our crew has always been terrific in the car.

His day ended with a stay in a La Quinta. Even if he did have to share a bed with Dee Dee. And tomorrow morning? Waffles from La Quinta's Bright Side Breakfast. Nothing is too good for our boy!

Happy Birthday you handsome guy! We love you!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

From the Sea

Even the most casual follower of Dylan and Dee Dee's blog knows how the crew feels about playing in the ocean. During their time in the Bahamas, they quickly discovered the many "treasures" that can be found along the beach. A huge favorite was the dead coral that washed ashore. I think it was a combination of the sea smell and the texture. Coral is amazingly strong yet has a slight give to it making for hours of chewing fun.

During one of our (few) excursions without the kids, their dad picked up a piece of dead coral and brought it back the to boat for onboard playtime. It was a very big hit!

So before we left the Bahamas we found 3 or 4 large pieces of dead coral to bring along as a future treat. We squirreled them away in the lazarette. A few have already been brought out when a reward was due.

The first order is to break it into pieces but then the one only wants the piece that the other has. There is much tussling for position and "stealing" back and forth.

First, Dylan has it.

Then Dee Dee...

We're now down to a single intact dead coral which will be brought back to Maine.

One day this summer we'll bring it out, maybe when it's a rainy  or dreary day. We can all enjoy our treasure from the sea, remember the fun we had, and look forward to our next adventure there.

Everyone loves the smell of the sea!