Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Hawse Holes

In harmony with her size, Red Head has numerous nice, large hawse holes. If you don't happen to be familiar with boats and don't know what a hawse hole is, the Champman Piloting book defines them as "an opening in the hull, through which mooring lines run." Like most boaters, we use ours for hoses and electrical cords and anything else we need to bring onboard.

Since we've been in New Bern, NC at the Galley Stores and Marina, the kids have discovered another use for hawse holes. Many of them are at just the right spot for some cute faces to look out. Dee Dee can spy on what's happening on the dock.

Dylan thinks he should get a peek as well.

There's some pretty cool things to see out there, so they both want to take a look.

Unfortunately, even Red Head's rather large hawse holes have trouble handling both of those snoots at the same time.

Guess it's time to head back to the side door and see what kind of attention they can rustle up. After all, who could resist those faces?

Monday, October 17, 2016

Uptown Girl at the Downtown Public Piers

Dylan and Dee Dee just finished attending the Hampton, VA Snowbird Rendezvous and have started their official cruise south as snowbirds. There were far too many times they were left alone while Mom and Dad gave their talks and attended events. Let's be honest, even once is too much for this crew.

But they did have the great advantage of being docked directly in front of the Downtown Hampton Public Piers office. And it was homecoming weekend for the local university. There was a steady stream of visitors on the docks all weekend long.

Dylan and Dee Dee quickly took up residence at the side door to watch the world go by. When the tide was right, Dee Dee did once or twice step onto the dock, one time even enticing Dylan to follow. But they both quickly came back when called. What good kids!

With the rendezvous behind us, the mission of the crew is now to find warm climes and clear water. We're heading south now and this crew is definitely up for it.

Monday, October 10, 2016


Red Head moved from Deltaville, VA to Solomons, MD last week to attend the Krogen and the DeFever rendezvous. Hurricane Matthew had everyone on edge as organizers and boaters had to make "go, no go" decisions.  It's one of those things that you never know if you've made the right decision until it is over.

The DeFever rendezvous was canceled while the Krogen one slipped through as Hurricane Matthew turned out to be mainly a non-event here at Solomons.

Rendezvous are generally not fun times for Dylan and Dee Dee. Sure, there are plenty of people coming up to the boat to say "Hello".  But mainly they spend a lot of time alone on the boat while Mom and Dad spend day and night giving talks and attending events. They are such mistreated crew members...

But this year had a little excitement. Mom and Dad agreed to open up Red Head for tours to Krogen rendezvous attendees. Saturday afternoon there were approximately 100 people who came to see Red Head - I mean, to see Dylan and Dee Dee.

The crew pitched right in and helped tidy up for their visitors - which they mainly did by staying out of the way.

Daddy gave tours while Mommy was in charge of "dog handling." Notice the spray bottle at the ready.

Dylan was allowed to be the official greeter and he did a fine job.

Dee Dee remained tethered until she learns to pay attention to "No, jump!" Possibly sometime around 2022...

The kids had a great time and didn't want it to end.

When it was over, they were so tired.

The crew didn't even care when Mom and Dad went off for the closing party Saturday night.

And it was a good thing they rested up. The next day, they were visited by a group of DeFever owners. Oh, and they also took a little tour around Red Head but Dylan and Dee Dee knew who they were really there to see.

Dylan and Dee Dee have safely dodged Hurricane Matthew, they've entertained hordes of guests aboard their new home, and now they are ready for their next big adventure.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Bob, Caleb, and Chad...

It's been 3 months since Dylan and Dee Dee pulled into Zimmerman Marine on their new boat Red Head. That's a long time for this crew to stay in one place, especially when you can't walk to a beach for a swim!

It hasn't been the most exciting time for Dylan and Dee Dee with Mom and Dad busy every day doing boat projects. The good part has been a near constant stream of people coming and going during the week.

They've learned to watch out the back window when they hear someone coming down the ramp.

When it's cool enough to keep the doors open, they wait at the side door for a buddy to come onboard.

Sometimes, they have to wait for an arrival.

But eventually their patience is rewarded.

There have been so many who have visited Dylan and Dee Dee. After all, why else would people be coming to the boat except to greet the kids? While they show great enthusiasm for all visitors, there are three that are their favorites.  They have come to the boat every day (well, every weekday, at least) to see Dylan and Dee Dee.

While Bob spends most of the day down in the engine room, he still has to pass through the security team to get there. Pay the toll!

Chad is fun because sometimes he works up in the pilothouse and lets Dylan and Dee Dee give a hand. We're sure he couldn't have gotten things done without them.

Dee Dee managed to flirt her way into Caleb's heart, pushing Dylan aside to receive her much deserved special attention. She's the heart-breaker with one in every port...

The kids will certainly miss the daily excitement of being here at Zimmerman's. Fortunately, there's lots of projects left to do on Red Head - we'll be back. So listen up Bob, Caleb, and Chad, "We'll be watching for you!"

Monday, September 26, 2016

A Last Shakedown

Last weekend was the crew's last shakedown cruise on Red Head. The next time we throw the lines off it will be for real. Things went well as we all are getting more comfortable with her. She's a pretty girl.

Of course, the kids favorite part was the dinghy ride. We took a nice long one up the Corrotoman River. Had to break in the new dinghy, after all.


They especially liked the fast parts.

It just doesn't get any better than that.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Hoover Dog

Labs have the reputation of loving their food. Having owned five, we can say it is a well deserved reputation. But among our babies, past and present, Dylan has always stood out in this regard. We nicknamed him Hoover Dog because, well, he eats like a Hoover vacuum cleaner. A meal never takes more than 30 seconds.

Earlier this summer I noticed that Dee Dee was finishing her meal ahead of Dylan. I put it off to maturing and not feeling the need to rush. He is quite the distinguished gentleman now at age nine.

Then he regurgitated some breakfast one morning. A few days later he did it again. I began to keep an eye on him and noticed he sometimes would cough food up and chew it (I can't say "re-chew it" because Hoover Dog always just swallows it).

Mom began to worry. We discovered thyroid cancer in Dyna, Dylan's grandmother, when she was nine and knew it can invade the esophagus. Off we went to Dr. Skinner. I explained about our Hoover Dog and what was happening, he took Dylan off for an x-ray. All came back fine. Dr. Skinner suggested feeding Dylan some food and taking another x-ray to see what was happening as he swallowed, "What food would he like?" I told him Dylan would eat rocks if you put them in a bowl. He smiled and said, "I think we can find something better than that."

Shortly, he came back into the room with eyes as big as saucers, "Wow, he really does like his food." I told you so! Why do we always feel so good whenever we have been vindicated? Dr. Skinner thought it was simply Dylan's aging throat muscles not keeping up with his robust eating.

He suggested one of those slow-feeding bowls. I chose a highly rated one on Amazon Prime which arrived on Thursday.

I filled the bowl, shaking the bits around the grooves and set it down for Dylan. He took one look, stepped back and gave me a "Are you kidding me?" look. Over the past few days he has been getting used to it but he makes sure to let me know he doesn't like it.

It now takes him a few minutes to finish eating with no issues. Well, other than the occasional look of disgust.

The packaging calls it a "Fun Feeder." Dylan says, "I don't think so..."

Monday, September 12, 2016

Now We're Talkin'

What's the point of having a new dinghy if you don't use it to go swimming?

This past weekend the crew helped throw off the lines on Red Head so we could spend a few days on the hook. Mom and Dad were looking forward to some much needed downtime. All Dylan and Dee Dee cared about was taking a dinghy ride to the beach for a swim.

In fact, we made several trips. Dylan and Dee Dee loved the ride and the swimming.

 Mom and Dad loved the peace and quiet afterwards...

Friday, September 9, 2016

Can't Get Enough...

Yesterday we secured Dylan and Dee Dee's dinghy onto the well deck. However, they decided they weren't done yet and hopped in to wait for another ride.

The plan is to throw the lines off this afternoon and anchor out for the weekend. Then we'll use the dinghy for it's intended purpose - to take the kids to a beach for a swim!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Kids Have a New Ride!

A couple of weeks ago we acquired a new dinghy for Red Head. She's been on the hard for a variety of reasons but today we had her launched and took Dylan and Dee Dee out for a spin.

The dinghy is quite a bit smaller than what the crew was used to on aCappella but we wanted her to safely fit on the well deck. It means the kids will have to learn about sharing space - which basically means, they take all the space they want and Mom has to find a spot to squeeze in...

They had a great time. We've always said that their favorite boat is the dinghy! Dylan and Dee Dee are looking forward to many, many, many more dinghy rides.

That's a great lookin' crew no matter what boat they're on!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

TS Hermine

Dee Dee has just about put her first real storm under her belt as Tropical Storm Hermine moves north. For Dylan it was no big whoop. He's been through numerous, including Hurricane Sandy.

The winds started in earnest about the time we went to bed Friday night. We were up several times during the night as the wind howled and the rain came and went. It was mainly winds with only intermittent down pours. The crew kept their watch in the master stateroom, lying down on the bed, asleep... But we're pretty sure they were ready to spring into action if we needed them.

Saturday was more of the same with the greatest injustice being that Dylan and Dee Dee had to miss their morning romp.

We watched as the fixed docks across the way went under water.

And the marina next door did the same. A few sails came loose at one point but were tended to by others.

We were snug on our floating dock as we watched the gangway rise above the level on land. It actually got much worse after dark but survived fine. Red Head proved her worth as we stayed safe and dry, listening to the wind and rain with only an occasional rock from an especially strong gust.

So how did the crew fare?

Pretty well, I'd say. They ain't afraid of no Hermine!