Sunday, December 29, 2013


This was Dee Dee's first Christmas. In past years we have enjoyed decorating the boat with small items for the holiday season. But with an 8 month old puppy that still thinks, "if I can reach it, it should go in my mouth," well, we decided it was better to just enjoy the beautiful Christmas tree in the Panama City square.

The real excitement began when we started getting ready for the big trip to grandma's house. This was Dee Dee's first road trip since we picked her up in Maine in June and drove to the boat on the Hudson River. It was a 9 plus hour drive and both crew members were in top form.

They shared the backseat without a fuss and just a little bit of playing.

But mostly they slept.

Dylan was the perfect big brother. Sweet Dylan.

We spent Christmas week at Grandma's house. It's the longest Dee Dee has lived on land since she arrived on the boat at 8 weeks old.

Dylan showed Dee Dee the spot to watch for squirrels and neighbors and other dangerous things.

Dee Dee found lots of "Dee Dee No" items at Grandma's definitely not puppy-proof house. Heck, it was pretty much one big puppy toy box.

It's a good thing she's so darn cute and knows how to work Grandma when needed.

Each day was full of walks and visitors and new experiences. By the end of the day the crew was ready for a good night's sleep. It was an exciting week.

But as much fun as they had, we all were happy to be back home where all is familiar and most "Dee Dee No" items have been tucked away.

The entire crew on aCappella hopes you had a wonderful holiday season and wishes you a very Happy New Year!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Garmin Revisited!

We received some terrific pictures and a video from our Garmin guests that the crew insisted we had to put on their blog. I think they were just wanting to relive the good times they had. Mom and Dad seem pretty boring in comparison.

Dylan helped setup their equipment.

 Dee Dee kept an eye on everyone.

Joe setup the scene.

While Conor actually did some work.

But the best part was the dolphins!!

Joe captured a video that showed the action!

In the end it was an exciting and tiring time. But the crew can't wait for Conor and Joe to visit again!

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Perfect Host and, well, Dee Dee

When it comes to having guests onboard, Dylan is an old pro. He has become the perfect host offering just the right amount of doggie love without going overboard. As for Dee Dee, well...

We just finished having 2 Garmin design engineers onboard for 4 days. These are the guys that get to design the future Garmin products. Can we tell you what they revealed? Possibly, but we're pretty sure that then we'd have to shoot you.

Fortunately, they were both big dog lovers and surprisingly, they remained so after 4 days onboard with Dee Dee. It was one exciting moment after another with events like, "Someone came onboard!" and, "Someone walked up the stairs!" and, "Oh my gosh, they're still there in the morning!" Needless to say there was an abundance of extra attention lavished on both canine crew members.  Dylan certainly managed to get his share.

We spent several nights at anchor, traveled the ICW, and even had another offshore adventure for Dee Dee. The goal was for Garmin to gain real life boating experience to help them design better products. I think that was accomplished even though there were a few distractions, like, DOLPHINS!

If you've even casually followed the crew, you know how Dylan feels about d-o-l-p-h-i-n-s. It seems that Joe and Conor were pretty enamored by them as well. And as for Dee Dee, she actually noticed them for the first time.

It would have been pretty hard not to notice them as these were some of the most active dolphins we have ever encountered. They were literally leaping several feet into the air over and over. Truth be told, we all were having a good time watching.

But there were other modes of entertainment as well, like water bottles and hats and oh, both Joe and Conor wore watches. Dee Dee thought the fun would never end. She liked them both but developed a special attachment to Joe. Maybe his smell? I mean, Joe owns a pug...

She fell head over heels and quite frankly was crushed when they finally left. She stood on the bow with Dylan watching them walk down the dock to the taxi. She kept looking out the window and was sure every noise on the dock was Joe coming back. She ran down to the guest stateroom to look in. She will never forget him and will likely mourn until... what's that?

Wow, a big box full of dog food and treats was delivered right here to the boat! Life is good! Life is beautiful!

Sorry, Joe...

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Another First

This cruise has certainly had a lot of first's for all of us. The Hudson River, the Erie Canal, the Great Lakes, all the way down to the Gulf have all been places new for this crew. It's one of the reasons we wanted to take this journey, to experience new things.

But for our littlest crew member everything has been a first. From her first time underway to her first dinghy ride to the first time she cruised into saltwater, she has been facing new experiences. Today Dee Dee had another very important first.

We had spent a week at The Wharf Marina in Orange Beach, AL where Dylan and Dee Dee enjoyed daily walks to the large field for a run. While we enjoyed the restaurants and movie theater and a lovely Thanksgiving day at Marie and Bob Austin's.  We then made the 11 nm trip to Orange Beach Marina where the crew met other boat dogs while out on the docks. One of the many appeals of Orange Beach Marina is that it is only minutes from the Perdido Pass Inlet.

So mid-afternoon today we threw off the lines and headed out the inlet into the Gulf of Mexico. Right away Dee Dee knew something was different. We had some heavy swells coming out of the inlet and things got only slightly better as we turned east. It wasn't a day we would have normally gone but we have a bit of a schedule, eww.

We bumped along for a couple of hours until we pulled into the Pensacola Inlet and onto our anchorage. Dee Dee was a champ. At first she clung to me, then curled into a ball on the settee. She drooled just a bit but finally settled down and fell asleep.

An offshore passage has now been added to Dee Dee's list of first's. She's becoming quite the boat dog. Of course, she has the best teacher in our first mate Dylan, who by the way also had a first today. It was his first time in the Gulf of Mexico. But to a seasoned salt like him, it was no big whoop.