Thursday, November 25, 2010


Today was our first holiday on the boat. In the past we've either been at our land-based home in Maine or at my folks. We had to settle on a turkey breast rather than the whole bird as that's all that would fit in the stove. Still the meal was as good as any we've had on land - turkey and stuffing, homemade cranberry sauce, steamed broccoli, noodle kugel, gravy, of course, and pecan pie. Add a nice bottle of wine and a meal at a 4 star restaurant couldn't beat it.

It was a low key day, warm but overcast. We watched the Macy's parade, took the dogs for a walk, and did nothing in particular. It's quiet and beautiful here on Bald Head Island.

Still sometimes it's hard to be thankful. We've had a few hard weeks. My brother's wife is better but still fragile. My father just entered hospice and I wonder if I will see him again. My mother struggles with losing her mate of over 60 years while also struggling with care-taking.

But I am thankful. Thankful for a father who has loved and cherished me. Thankful for a mother who is loving and an example of strength and devotion. Thankful Chris is there for my brother and their two children. And immensely thankful for my husband, my two four-legged "kids", and that I am able to live this unusual and rewarding life.

As for Dyna and Dylan, they're thankful their dad gave them some turkey.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Family Emergencies & Cruising...

While cruising, all issues are amplified. Run out of milk? At our land home - no problem. On the boat, it requires planning and coordination. So what happens when a family emergency strikes?

We were needed for an extended family emergency. The call occurred while underway to Beaufort, NC. Through some extraordinary help from Jim and Robin along with exceptional service from the Morehead City Yacht Basin marina, we were 400 miles inland in Tennessee just 9 hours later. I've had to wait more than 9 hours for fresh coffee at times!

For 10 days we've been helping out with our niece and nephew. The emergency is subsiding and recovery is beginning. We should be back on the boat and heading to Bald Head Island by the weekend.

For Dyna & Dylan it has all been an unexpected adventure. Dylan has renewed his interest in sending squirrels up trees and Dyna has gotten to know her cousin Dixie. I think they're both a little homesick for returning back to where they have a normal schedule.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Hunkering Down

One of the lessons that can take awhile for us humans to learn is that we can't have it all - despite what that perfume commercial from the 70's tried to tell us. Oh come on, you remember "I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in the pan..." Hated that commercial.

Well, we've been trying to do it all. Things have been cranking up with the website - new third party apps, increased interest from marinas and other marine companies, new promotional programs being put in place, and a user population that is growing at an increasing rate. We're receiving more requests to speak, write articles, and answer questions. On the personal side, we've been having great fun meeting up with cruising buddies, and unfortunately, have had some family crises. Of course, we have to give the crew the time they deserve including playtime and cuddles. All this while planning and executing our cruise south.

Don't get me wrong, there are no complaints here. Everything on that list involves something we love. But we realized there just are not enough hours in the day to do it all. At least not do it all well. Something had to give.

After four years of hard work the ActiveCaptain website is poised to become everything we had envisioned. To ensure that happens we need to keep at it. So we made the hard decision to shorten our cruise. We decided the best thing to do was to find a place where we could settle in for a few months, focusing on getting some work done, and spend some time with family.

Being the obsessive types we are we wrote a requirements list.

1. A place that's good for the dogs.
2. A place where the dogs can run and play everyday.
3. A place the dogs will like.
4. Oh, and a place that has enough draft, has space available, groceries, blah, blah, blah.

We made another list of potential spots and yet another list of questions to ask, "Is there a place where our dogs can run?" And finally settled on Bald Head Island, a small community on an island off North Carolina that jets out into the ocean. We have a reservation for a month starting on Tuesday.

After that we may stay another month or go someplace else. We eventually hope to make it to Charleston, maybe Cumberland Island (did I mention the dogs love Cumberland Island?) but it's not likely we'll make it much beyond that.

Will we miss the beautiful destinations south? Sure. Mainly we'll miss the people, but in this strange community of cruisers we know we'll see them again - most likely sooner than we think. For now we're on our boat heading to a beautiful island and the kids are with us. What more do I need?

Monday, November 1, 2010

FOAC's are Everywhere!

One of the best parts of starting down the Intracoastal Waterway is that we're in close proximity to a lot of boats. We're now tied up between the lock and bridge at Great Bridge, Virgina watching all the snow birds making their way south. The picture above was taken from the other side of the ICW looking back at our tie up on the wall. As you can see, Dyna & Dylan love sitting in the perfect sunny weather watching all the boats go past.

In this close proximity mode, we're always running into FOAC's - Friends of ActiveCaptain. We are often hailed on the radio, given a thumbs up when being passed on the wall (that is a thumb, isn't it?), and waved to. Meeting, listening to, and sometimes just a tip of the hat are the best parts of our involvement with ActiveCaptain.