Saturday, October 25, 2014
The longer we cruise the shorter our days become. A 30-40 mile day is typical. 60 miles is considered a long day.
We left Morehead City, NC for a 72 mile offshore hop to Masonboro Inlet where we planned to anchor. Unfortunately, for reasons too sensitive to discuss right now, we missed our 7 am departure and didn't get off the dock until after 9 am. It was a long day.
Once out, the seas were calm and we decided to burn some extra fuel to keep on our plan and arrive before sunset. It was a beautiful day. I was piloting as we neared the inlet and I suddenly had that creepy feeling of being watched. I looked at the clock. It was nearly 5 pm. The canine crew's supper time is 4:30 pm. Sharp. Somebody was being ripped off.
I explained that we were almost at the anchorage and I would feed them as soon as we were secure. It did no good.
Finally, we arrived, found our spot, set the anchor, and closed up the boat. The kids were more than ready and reminded me that due to our planned early departure their breakfast had been served an hour early. Dylan and Dee Dee were nearly faint and trying to figure out how to dial the ASPCA on my cell phone.
Just when they were sure the end was near, supper was served.
Sometimes life is so unfair...
Friday, October 17, 2014
Every time we leave Dylan and Dee Dee on the boat and go somewhere we get "the look." If you have a dog you know exactly what I mean. That "this is worse than being beaten and starved and thrown off a train" look. How could you leave me? What could possibly be more fun than being with me?
They're sure we're sneaking off to eat piles of raw steak while chasing Frisbees and scratching other dogs' bellies. Nothing else could tempt us so.
Sadly, they don't understand because they've never been to the Saturday night Krogen Cruisers dance!
(Photo courtesy of Jeff and Ellen Hall, those two crazy people in the middle - stripe shirt/flowered blouse - Jeff is in the shirt...)
These guys know how to party. Sorry, Dylan and Dee Dee. In this one regard you can't compete! Fortunately, it's only once a year. Can't wait until next October!
Friday, October 3, 2014
We often call the little whirlwind that is our Dee Dee, a monster. I know that those who see her beautiful face doubt me but I have irrefutable proof.
When we first picked up our little girl I noticed that she had two unusual swirls of fur on either side of her neck - one on the left side.
And one on the right.
From the start they reminded me of those two bolts that stick out of Frankenstein's neck - you know what I mean. I thought they were just some quirky fur configuration that would go away as she got older. But no, they seem to be here to stay. Dee Dee is now a young adult (nearly 18 months old) and she still has these distinctive marking.
Now you tell me if you don't see a similarity. Yes, she's our little monster but we love her just the same.
Sunday, September 28, 2014
One question that is frequently asked when you are undertaking the US Great Circle Loop is, "Where do you cross your wake?" For us it wasn't a simple answer. We have been traveling the US east coast and the Bahamas for over 10 years, so technically, when we crossed back to eastern Florida we would be crossing our wake. But we decided to pick a starting point for our Great Loop adventure and chose the Potomac River.
We had left our boat at Olverson's Marina for the past couple of summers so we knew it was a good place to get some last minute projects done and do a major provisioning. We spent a couple of weeks getting ready and left on May 13, 2013 to head up the Potomac River to Washington DC and the Capital Yacht Club. I grew up there, we met and married there, but we had never taken our boat there. We decided it was time. We'd anchor one night and be in DC by the 14th.
Little did we know that it would be our beloved Dyna's last night. While slowly failing for some months, she took a sudden downturn. It was not how we envisioned starting our adventure. But with the help of the kind and understanding people at CYC, we were able to begin our journey the way Dyna would have wanted - looking forward to the next great adventure.
Those who have been lucky enough to share the love and companionship of many dogs know that one can never replace another. However, I believe that each one increases your capacity to love, giving you that much more to give to another. So as we began circling the eastern US, life was circling as well.
Just weeks before Dyna passed away, her great grandson and great, great granddaughter had a litter of three puppies. We stopped along the Hudson River to return to Maine and bring home a new crew member, Dee Dee (Dynasty's Delight) from that litter. We knew almost immediately that she indeed had Dyna on both sides due to her headstrong way and dominance of Dylan.
As we continued to do our circling, we watched Dee Dee circle through her first year from a puppy to an adolescent to a young adult. Through it all she had Dylan to guide her, showing her the boating routine while we all experienced new places and people.
Last May we stopped our circling to return to Maine for the summer, returning to the boat last month to close the loop. We finally returned to Olverson's "crossing our wake" and completing the Great Circle Loop. We even decided Dee Dee should have honorary looper status. We hope to make it back up the Hudson River so even she will cross her wake some day. But first a few other adventures.
As in every aCappella adventure, there were lots and lots of dog pictures. We've let Dylan and Dee Dee select their favorites from their Great Circle Loop adventure and have included them below.
Dylan started with his mentor Dyna at his side.
Too soon he was the lone crew member
Dylan took on the task of becoming Dee Dee's mentor as she learned the ropes.
The first lesson was how to handle a long car ride to the boat.
Dee Dee proved to be a terrific crew member as she learned the most important task.
Whatever Dylan did, Dee Dee did too!
Soon we were ready to throw off the lines and head to the Erie Canal.
Dylan watched over the little one as she got her sea-legs.
Dee Dee liked to stay close.
The towns along the Erie Canal were always interesting, especially with a band concert right at the dock.
Dylan showed Dee Dee how to help Daddy at the helm.
And how to wait for him to complete his engine room check.
So they could do their circle around the block to check all was well.
There were dinghy rides.
Dee Dee's first offshore overnight trip.
She was growing up!
Dylan now had help spying dolphins.
Dylan introduced Dee Dee to the beach at Cumberland Island where he and Dyna spent many happy hours.
Back in Maine the crew had to trade their DeFever for a 13 foot Whaler.
Dee Dee discovered the joy of sleeping in the sunroom window.
...just like Dyna loved to do.
And finally back to the fields of Virginia where we crossed our wake. And then set out for the next adventure.
Friday, September 19, 2014
We've had several days on the Chesapeake to do a shakedown of the boat and crew. Both are functioning well.
There was a beautiful day cruise to Salt Pond Marina where the crew performed a perfect docking going in and behind the fuel dock. It was even captured on the ActiveCaptain Facebook page.
On leaving Salt Pond we had a typical snotty Chesapeake run up to the Piankatank River. In short order Dylan and Dee Dee had found their comfort spots. Dylan at the foot of the helm.
And sometimes cuddled with Dee Dee on the pilothouse settee. We anchored for two nights in perfect calm and just enjoyed being together.
With all the doors open Dylan and Dee Dee could check on any approaching danger from wildlife, just sit in the breeze and sniff, or head back to the salon for a snooze. The perfect crew life.
The next day's run to Sandy Point for a 3rd night at anchor afforded Dylan's first dolphin sighting of the season with about a dozen surrounding the boat. He was ecstatic.
Tomorrow we pull in for a few days at shore. It's time to drag out the anchor chain for an inspection, untwisting, and remarking. It's a nasty job but one that makes taking the anchor in and out much easier.
The whole aCappella crew is happy to be underway once again. What adventures we have ahead of us!
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
As always, I'm rewarded with Dylan's display of beautiful curls every time his gets wet. It's one of the many things I love about my Dylan!
Once I was done with Dylan, I brought Dee Dee to the bow. She suspected something was up but was mainly happy to just be a part of things even if it did involve soap.
Finally, both were clean and fresh. They've had their ears rinsed - actually the worst part of the whole process - and were ready for their much deserved treats. Who could resist those pretty (and clean) faces?
Bully sticks on the bow makes it all worth it! The only thing left to do after all that excitement... a nap.
Saturday, September 6, 2014
It's always an issue about what to do with the 4-footed crew. During the day they settled into the small lounge area in the back of the ships store. Fortunately, the guys working there loved dogs and didn't seem to mind as Dylan and Dee Dee took the place over
They loved the big wrap-around window right in the middle of things. This let them keep track of just about everyone's comings and goings. Atlantic Yacht Basin is a busy yard so there was pretty much always someone coming through the door. There was hardly any time to nap.
But the place did close down at the end of the day so that meant two fun-filled nights at the local La Quinta where there was plenty of time for napping. Of course, this time a preliminary room sweep occurred to ensure there were no repeats of the last time with the soap.
There were two mornings of Daddy's famous Brightside waffles and we even had a pizza delivered one night. Those things never happen on the boat.
By the second morning we were all getting a little restless to be back home. Dee Dee showed her displeasure by barking loudly - checked the water dish (full), made a potty run (nothing), wiggled a toy (no good). So finally I put on the TV and found Paw Patrol, a Nickelodeon cartoon, "where no job is too big and no pup is too small! When there is trouble in Adventure Bay, the pups of Paw Patrol are ready to save the day."
So then she was torn between a Paw Patrol Plush Pup Pal.
Or a Paw Patrol Racer.
Hard choice. She wondered if she could be good enough so Santa would bring her one of each. I told her when that happens pigs would fly out of....well, you know.
As for Dylan, he was the usual angel, happy to just be cuddling.
We were back onboard right on schedule and happy. We don't even miss the king-sized bed. Well, not too much...