Tuesday, November 27, 2012

God of the Waves

We've mentioned before that Dylan was named after the Celtic God of the Waves. When it comes to sea conditions we are certainly not above pandering. Lately it appears to be paying off.

At sunrise this morning we left Hinckley Yacht Services in Savannah and went offshore to Morningstar Golden Isles in Brunswick. The seas were even calmer than they were for our overnight a few weeks back - if that's possible.  I worry about payback and remind Dylan that we've certainly paid our dues in the past. The god not the dog, although I believe they're very nearly the same thing.

The kids enjoyed the ride even though it was overcast. At times it was hard to tell the where the sky ended and the sea began. Dylan (the dog not the god) was greeted all day long by dozens of dolphins, or as we need to say in the pilothouse, d-o-l-p-h-i-n-s.

We were amazed that we had the ocean pretty much to ourselves. All we saw all day were a few shrimpers, lots of birds, and of course the dolphins. Mid-afternoon some threatening clouds appeared but we didn't see so much as a sprinkle as they skirted around us.

We'll be taking the next week and a half to meander down to Melbourne in time for the SSCA Gam. For now we are content to glide along the flat ocean.

Wishing the calmest of seas for everyone.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Another Thanksgiving

Dyna and Dylan have had a great week staying at Grandma's house for Thanksgiving. Dylan especially likes the increased number of people around as it means more opportunities to make a score. There where numerous family gatherings including aunts, uncles, cousins, and even three first cousins once removed. According to Dylan, the younger ones make easier marks.

Dyna liked having her bed in the thick of things so she could keep an eye on the comings and goings. All the little people did tire her out after a while.

Grandma's glass front door made the perfect spot to watch the neighborhood dogs being walked and to generally alert us to the many dangers lurking outside.

Our visit would not have been complete without a trip to the Purple Cow. The best milkshakes you will ever taste in a choice of about 100 flavors. If you ever find yourself in Kingsport, TN - it could happen - you absolutely, positively must make a stop.

Dylan selected his youngest cousin, Marcos, as his mark during Thanksgiving dinner. Overall a pretty good choice. The metal around Marcos' neck is from the Turkey Trot 5K that he, his sister, his mom and dad, and Uncle Jeff did Thanksgiving morning.

Dyna choose a quieter spot away from the hustle and bustle and, by the way, just beneath where the feast was laid out.

The day was long and finally both crashed after the dessert was served. I fear the boat will be rather dull when we return.

The whole crew of aCappella hopes that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We wish you all safe travels and look forward to seeing you on the water.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Man Overboard!!!

It was terrifying! I was shaking out the bedspread to get the, what else, dog hair off when suddenly there was Woobie floating in the water beside the boat. I screamed for Jeffrey and launched into the procedures we had gone over in our drills. In a flash Jeff was over the side balancing on the rub-rail and scooping him up before the swift current took him away. Tragedy averted!!

Woobie is Dylan's nighttime comfort toy. He often sucks on him before falling asleep and in the morning if he awakes before we do. We can't remember why he's called Woobie, he just is. He must have gotten caught up in the spread when I gathered it up. After a quick bath in the washing machine and a turn in the dryer, he is now safe and sound back on the bed waiting for Dylan.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Overnight to Savannah

I can hear some of you are saying, "Geez, another picture of Dyna sleeping. Is that all she does?" First, Dyna is a sweet old girl and thus can sleep as much as she wants. Second, this is totally different. In this picture Dyna is sleeping about 20 miles offshore. Notice the yellow edge of the life raft.

Friday was the perfect day to hop offshore for Savannah. The predictions were for "flat" seas. Yes, it actually said flat, something we do not remember ever seeing before. After spending a night at Southport Marina and having a very nice meal at Fishy Fishy we headed out about 11 am. This time NOAA did not lie...  After weeks of fighting weather it felt great to just go!

The seas were indeed basically flat for our complete 26 hour passage. This made the kids very happy. Dylan spent much of his time watching for dolphins. And Dyna, well, she slept, sometimes on the settee in the saloon and sometimes in her bed in the pilothouse.

We fell into our well established overnight pattern. The standard dinner, Chicken Fried Rice, was prepared and packaged Thursday afternoon. The boat was readied for offshore, bringing out the life raft and ditch bag, securing the cockpit table and dog box, stowing items throughout the boat, and generally hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. But this passage we could have had crystal wine glasses balanced in a pyramid. Well, almost.

The night would have been boring except for a clear sky with brilliant stars and solitaire on my iPhone. I never encountered a single vessel on either of my watches. The sunrise was beautiful and brought Dylan's first dolphin sighting. His dad joined him on the bow.

We arrived safely at Hinckley Yacht Services in Savannah Saturday afternoon. The kids were happy to get off the boat and settle in for a bit. We have a couple weeks before we take to the sea again. For now Dyna and Dylan are wishing calm seas for all their cruising friends.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Making Tracks

Pulling out of Top Rack at 6:45 am

We finally pulled out of Portsmouth Wednesday afternoon. Don't get me wrong we love Portsmouth but unfortunately we had a "schedule" - a very bad word to use on a boat. We were willing to miss the various dates for safety but if we made some tracks over the next two days, it would all work out.

So we headed south 8 miles to Top Rack Marina. OK, not exactly making tracks at least we were underway. We had a part for one of the heads that was waiting for us and we couldn't exactly pass up dinner at the Amber Lantern. We were going to have to miss visiting our other Sponsors, Atlantic Yacht Basin, Coinjock Marina, and Dowry Creek Marina. We'll be back in the spring to visit them.

We wanted to cover some miles on Thursday and try to get through Currituck and Albermarle Sounds so we pulled out of the slip before sunrise to make the 7 am Steel Bridge opening. Otherwise, we would have to wait until 9 am. The crew thought we were crazy.  This is the same bridge that annoyed Dyna a few years back. You can see her blog entry here.

The day was cold but pretty uneventful until we got to the Albermarle Sound. We got spanked by the very choppy waves. Even Dyna was mad. I'm fairly certain the crew was planning a mutiny but then supper time came and all was forgiven.

Sunset at Cyprus Swamp

We dropped the hook in Cyprus Swamp, a 70+ mile day, just as the sun was beginning to set. One more long 70+ mile day day and we pulled into River Dunes about 5 pm on Friday. Good friends Cindy and Don came by to visit us Saturday. Cindy is famous on our blog for her homemade pound cake which she brought along. You see we make Cindy and Don think we won't let them visit the boat unless they bring us some of this pound cake. Actually, they're always welcome but don't tell them that because we really, really like the pound cake.