Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Eat, Sleep, Swim

The kids favorite thing about Olverson's Marina is that they get to go swimming every morning. Even Dyna is awake by 7 am pacing the floor. Dyna loves to swim. Dyna would rather swim than do anything else, literally. (Dylan feels the same way about eating.) The minute we let her off the leash she is leaping and prancing like a puppy. She retrieves her bumper until we force her to stop and catch her breath - afterall she is in her 80's now.

So what's in it for us? A half hour swimming means a day of sleeping. We only need to provide the air conditioned salon, the sofa, and a sheet to soak up the water. It's a dog's life!

Monday, August 23, 2010

One well-behaved dog is permitted...

Dogs, gear, and things-we-can't-possibly-live-without were all loaded up on Sunday for the 2 day drive back to the boat. Everyone was excited about heading back - the dogs knew something was up and were searching for all clues. We had a nice last week saying goodbye to friends. If we get to the west coast of Florida we'll see many of them over the Winter. Other friends need to come meet us somewhere along the path!

Driving over 2 days means staying somewhere overnight. Thankfully, all Red Roof Inn's allow "one well-behaved dog" in the rooms. So we made reservations at the Wilkes-Barre, PA inn, arrived after dark, and snuck both dogs in.

Inside the room, Dylan was most certainly showing that he had been cooped up in a car for 11 hours. He was jumping from bed to bed as if he were trying out for a canine Cirque du Soleil. A car door slammed and he started barking. We wondered if we were going to get thrown out.

The 7 hour drive today was long. We arrived to find the boat in beautiful condition (it had been washed twice). The A/C was put on, all items brought onboard, and we settled back to our floating home after meeting a bunch of other trawler people we know who are also here now.

So looking back on our Red Roof Inn experience, we realized that we, in fact, met their pet requirements. We have one well-behaved dog. And then we have Dylan.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Dynasty

Dyna's name is a nickname. Her real name is Dynasty because she was the first dog bred by Birchwood Labradors Retrievers creating a dynasty of many puppies. And there are a lot of puppies that resulted from our wonderful Dyna.

Since we adopted her three years ago, we've gotten together every Summer with JoDee, Dyna's other mom who runs Birchwood. Last week we brought our team to Dexter, Maine so Dyna could have some quality swim time with 6 of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Dylan didn't mind playing with his half-sisters, nephews, and associated other kin.

None of those pesky grandkids got the best of Dyna during the afternoon at the lake. Of course, when we returned home, Dyna slept for two continuous days.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Dog's Life: The House vs The Boat...

Right off the bat I have to say that I only wish our lives were as good as our dog's. So any comparison between what it's like at our house and our boat is really silly. They have a great life no matter where they are.

Things are different in the two places. We have a beautiful, historic house. Built in the 1830's by ship builders, it is a fortress. There are many rooms and many dog beds. Except for one parlor, Dyna & Dylan have free run and know all the ways to get around.

Here are some of the major things in a dog's life and how they compare at our house and on our boat:

In both places, the dogs have comfortable sleeping areas. At night they sleep in bed with us and have all the space they want. At our house, we have more room because the bed is a lot bigger. Bottom line - sleeping is the same for them, better for us at the house.

This is a favorite activity of our dogs, especially Dyna. On the boat there is plenty of opportunity for swimming for obvious reasons. At the house we have to take them to an island or at the Maine Maritime Academy and they end up swimming about 2-3 times per week. Bottom line - swimming is better on the boat.

Although we are often visited by other cruisers on our boat, multiple people come to our house every day. Our dog team likes that a lot. Bottom line - there are more visitors at the house.

Dog Parks
Truth be told, we travel from port to port on the boat in search of dog parks. This gives the team a lot of opportunity to play with other dogs. At the house, they've only had a couple of play times with other dogs. Bottom line - there are more dog parks and more dog contact on the boat.

Mom & Dad Contact
On the boat we're all together for most of every day. Other than grocery shopping, the dogs are almost always with us. They even got invited to a dinner party on a friend's boat last Fall! At the house there is much more going on for us. So we're out more and the dogs are by themselves. They're never left for long but there are a few evenings a week when we're not all together. Bottom line - there is more family contact on the boat.

Dylan is especially a nut for Frisbee's. He's an incredible catcher and we've practiced with him since he was a tiny puppy. On the boat, there's almost no opportunity for Frisbee catching. At the house, Dylan is a leaping star. Bottom line - the backyard is Dylan's Frisbee kingdom.

Dinghy Rides
Dyna loves dinghies. She especially loves to go fast. She'll stand up in the bow, facing the wind, with the biggest smile you've ever seen a dog wear. For most of our cruising time, we're out on the dinghy almost every day. But in the anchorages, the dinghy has to go slow. In Castine we have a 13' Boston Whaler. Once we're 100 yards from the town dock, she goes 25 kts. Dyna loves it. Bottom line - the boat provides more quantity of dinghy time; the house has a better quality of dinghy time.

So we're down to the last 10 days. Piles of gear are stacking up. House projects are coming to an end and final lists of things to finish up have been made. Bottom line - the dogs are pretty happy no matter where they are.  So are we.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Only 20 Days!

We have only 20 more days until we return to aCappella!

It is hard to believe that our time onshore is coming to an end. We started the summer with our usual pages of lists. Lists for the house, lists for the ActiveCaptain website, and lists for the boat. Yes, even though she's 800 miles away there are still things we wanted to do.

We've certainly whittled the lists down but somehow there still seems to be more things than we can accomplish in just 20 days. I confess, we have been having fun too. The kids will fill you in on what their summer has been like later.

For now, we are attacking our lists and making our plans. The beginning of our cruise is already taking shape. We will be spending a couple of weeks on the boat at Olverson's, where aCappella spent the summer, getting the boat ready. Then we're off for Baltimore, with some leisurely side trips on the way, to speak at the MTOA Northern Rendezvous in September, followed by another talk at TrawlerFest also in Baltimore. Another talk at the Krogen Rendezvous in Solomons and then the Boat Show in Annapolis. We plan on spending November in Charleston with a side trip to Karen's folks for Thanksgiving. After that, who knows...

Cuba is still on the radar and the west coast of Florida is calling. But there are also many ports we've yet to visit and ones we'd love to see again. So follow us on Spot and give a holler when you're nearby.