Monday, September 26, 2011

It's the People That We Meet...

The MTOA Rendezvous ended yesterday and as always it was a great time. We gave a talk about cruising the coast of Maine and a 2 hour talk on Medical Emergencies for Cruisers. We exchanged some terrific tips at the Round Table meetings. There is no better source of good, reliable information than talking to others who are actually out there cruising and living onboard.

Fours days of fun, parties, meeting many old friends, and making great new ones, what could be better?

It's a lot of work and the kids get short changed as we run off to meetings, dinners, parties, and friends' boats both day and night. But the wonderful, warm comments we hear from the members make it all worthwhile. We feel especially proud of the medical emergencies series. If just one cruiser in the future is helped we have given back more than we could ever hope. And of course there is the awards dinner where members were forced to listen to our silly songs.

Many folks have asked for copies of our slides and the words to our new song. You can find the Maine slides here:
The slides for Part 1 and for Part 2 of the Medical Emergencies talks are here:
And last but not least, there is a video from Celeste Yost of "I Told You So" here:

We thank everyone who made the MTOA event a success and will look for you along the waterway. Next weekend we will be speaking at the Krogen Rendezvous. We'll see some of the same friends and catch up with others. The people – it's the best part of cruising.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

At Anchor

There is definitely something nice about being at a marina. You don't need to think too much about the water you use or the lights you turn on. Restaurants, groceries, and other amenities are often nearby. And of course, you can always meet a friend, either old or new, on the dock.

But we also love being at anchor.

Being at anchor is quiet and peaceful. We're usually far enough away from lights that the stars are brilliant, the sunset seems to surround us, and the sounds of the night become a lullaby.

Dylan patrols the bow for birds while Dyna sleeps in the evening breeze.

Tomorrow we pull into the Cambridge Municipal Marina for the start of the MTOA Rendezvous. We look forward to seeing many old friends and making new ones. It'll be 4 days of parties and learning and catching up and mostly lots of fun.

But for tonight, we sit in a beautiful cove, listening to the crickets, surrounded by those we love. Life is pretty good.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Marcia, Marcia, Marcia

So Dyna had surgery a week ago. So it involved her breathing, kind of important. So she's old and needs to be cautious in her recovery. Dylan still doesn't understand why it's, “Dyna, Dyna, Dyna.” What about poor Dylan?

Dyna gets people writing nice things and stopping by the boat to see her. She gets puppy chow like Dylan never even knew existed. She and Daddy stay up in the salon at night while Dylan has to go below with Mommy and he just knows they're eating steak and french fries all night long. What does Dylan get?

Two days ago Cassie and Godiva pulled in behind us with their people on September Song. Dylan has been enjoying swimming and running and chasing and just watching them from the cockpit. And the best part, Dyna has to stay on the boat.

So does it make up for everything? Pretty much. But the special puppy chow sure does look good!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Patient Update

Tomorrow will be a week since Dyna had her surgery. She has been overwhelmed by the many kind thoughts sent her way - emails, blog posts, comments on the website - and so have we. We knew she was a special girl but didn't realize how many others did too.

When we left the surgery clinic we had two pages of instructions including limited activity for two weeks. No jumping up on furniture; she did that in less than 12 hours. No climbing stairs; that took a little over 24 hours. The bandage must stay on for 5 days; she rubbed it off in 4.

The one instruction she did like was 2 weeks of soft food. She gets a can of Innova wet food twice a day and this stuff looks and smells better than some diner food I've had. Dyna loves it. Dylan is wondering what operation he can have to get some of this stuff. In a little over a week the Queen will go back to her normal kibble and we're expecting a revolt.

Aside from her bald neck and shoulder she is looking and acting like her old self. We've started walking her down the dock in the mornings. She is doing well.

We all thank you for sending your warm thoughts our way.

Note that the picture below was taken the day after the surgery and looks worse than it is. The red around the bandage is adhesive used during surgery and has mostly worn off already. The fur will grow back and she'll look like regular Dyna in a few weeks.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Long Day

We left at 8 am for our 10 am appointment. Dyna checked out fine so they scheduled her surgery for the first slot with the hope that we could bring her home the same day. We now had to figure out what to do with Dylan in Richmond for the afternoon.

Drive through lunch at McD's. Trip to PetSmart for canned food for Dyna and a special treat for Dylan. Trip to a dog park but without Dyna, Dylan was too timid to play with the couple of dogs that were there and it was terribly hot anyway. Back to the the clinic to hear her surgery went fine but they found a mass in her chest.

The surgeon said it could be several things, the same mass we thought we had cured 3 years ago, scar tissue from that surgery, a different mass, or just a fatty tumor. He advised us we shouldn't worry at her age, that the current surgery would improve her quality of life - maybe do another x-ray in a few months to see if it is growing. "Come back at 4:30 and we'll see if we can send her home with you."

A trip to Petco to get some more soft food for Dyna - we had miscalculated the amount we needed before. Drive around Richmond a bit and then back to the clinic at 4:15. Lots of instructions for her post-op recovery and then about 5:00 our little Queen appeared in the waiting room. Her neck, chest, and shoulder are shaved on her left side and covered with a bandage. She was a bit wobbly on her feet from the anesthesia but had that stubborn "let's go" look that is the Dyna trademark.

Both kids slept all the way home. Dyna due to the after effects of the anesthesia and Dylan from too much excitement. We arrived at the marina about 7:00 and Dyna walked the dock to the boat with nary a wheeze or a huff. She has a two week recovery with restricted activity, no jumping up on furniture (yeah, right), and soft food only. No stairs, so her dad has volunteered to sleep in the salon with her - can we say Daddy's girl?

We thank everyone for your very kind thoughts, words, and prayers. We're all happy to be home and have this day behind us.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Going to Richmond

Dyna has brought so much joy to our lives in the four years since she adopted us. This year she turned 13 making her officially an "elder." We've been fortunate to have her this long as we stumbled upon a life-threatening condition when we first got her.

Thanks to better healthcare than I get and a skilled surgeon, her life was saved. A side effect of that surgery was a condition called laryngeal paralysis. The nerve controlling her airway was damaged making it not open properly when she breathes. It has been a slow progressive condition that has required us to keep an ever more vigilant eye on our stubborn girl who wants to run and swim and be a part of everything.

There is a surgery that can fix the condition but she could never swim again. And those of you that have followed this blog know about Dyna and swimming.

This summer Dyna's breathing became more difficult as age was catching up with her. But we adjusted, going out when the weather was cool and driving her down to the town dock for her daily audience.

But during the past few weeks back on the boat, the southern humidity has taken its toll. So yesterday we called back to Maine to talk to Chris at Lucern Veterinary Clinic for advice. As always she was wonderful.

Tomorrow we drive to Richmond, VA, 1 hour 37 minutes drive according to Tom-Tom, for a consultation and if all goes well, surgery. She may be released the same day or they may want to keep her overnight, so we're bringing an overnight bag for us and for Dylan. There are two Red Roof Inns in Richmond.

As with any surgery there are potential complications during and after, but the benefits appear to outweigh the risks at this point. We hope to give our precious Dyna a few more happy years, both for her and for us. We will keep you posted.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Post Irene

We have heard from many of you wondering how we made out in the storm. We apologize that we haven't responded sooner but the marina and most of the surrounding area was without power for several days making our cell service and internet access spotty to nonexistent. And then we had days of catch-up...

The worst of the storm hit in the middle of the night with winds increasing around midnight. We were well protected from the winds here but still did our share of rocking and rolling. Our greatest concern was the water rising above the fixed piers.

We pre-selected a point on the piling. If the water reached that level we would throw the lines and head for an anchorage. Not something we were wanting to do at 2 am in big winds. The water reached about 18 inches of our mark and quickly receded. It was like watching a tub drain when you pull the plug.

By daybreak all was past and there was no damage to boat or crew. The only thing lost was a good night's sleep. Well, actually the crew slept just fine, even at the worst, we were the ones up.

The past few days we have spent undoing our storm preparations and getting the boat ready for our departure in a couple of weeks. Yesterday we took the dinghy down to ensure all was in working order. And of course that led to a dinghy ride for the crew. They deserve it after handling their first, and hopefully last, hurricane like the experienced salty dogs they are.

We hope everyone faired equally well and look forward to seeing you on the water soon.