Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Happy Birthday, Dee Dee!

Today is Dee Dee's first birthday. Keeping with her nautical heritage, she met this important milestone off the coast of Georgia and South Carolina as she embarked on her second offshore overnight passage. We are all very proud of our little girl and look forward to many more years of cruising adventures with her.

Now if we can just get her to listen and stop putting her paws on the caprail and ....

We love you Dee Dee! Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

You know Cumberland Island...

If you've been following TakingPaws over the years, you know that Cumberland Island in Georgia has always been a very special place for the aCappella crew. Dyna and Dylan enjoyed numerous stops over the years, sometimes for just a few days, and sometimes for over a week. It's a beautiful, relaxing, and fun stop for the whole crew.

Last week we brought the next generation of the crew to Cumberland Island for a few days of R&R. Dylan acted as mentor to Dee Dee showing her how it's done. Everything about the adventure is exciting.

It starts with a dinghy ride from the boat to the dock. Dinghy rides have always been a favorite with the aCappella crew.

Then there's about a 3/4 mile walk across the island through the maritime forest to the ocean. It's full of many items of interest to the crew such as large piles of..., well, let's just say there are plenty of wild horses on Cumberland Island.

Ending up at the ocean with miles of unspoiled beach.

Let the romping begin!

Unfortunately, Dee Dee has not yet earned untethered swimming privileges, so she remains tied (literally) to her dad. Still she had a great time and both crew members enjoyed several days of play.

But the excitement didn't end when they returned to the boat. One afternoon dolphins began swimming and playing around the boat.

Dee Dee spotted them first and felt something this exciting negated the "no paws on the caprail" rule.

Dylan agreed!

Of course, all this fun and excitement meant we had some pretty exhausted crew members.

Which let us to go back and have our own quiet walk on the beach where we saw the wild horses up close and personal.

You can see why Cumberland Island stays on our must stop list every year.  Dee Dee is all in for the next time too.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Marineland Marina


There are places a boater hears about again and again when chatting with other boaters. Marineland Marina has been one of those places. In the past we have made plans to stop in but each time something conspired to stop us. We were determined that this trip we would visit no matter what. Just look at the reviews and tell me this isn't a special place.

They have the things you need, nice floating docks for transients - very much appreciated by the canine crew - clean showers and heads, a laundry, friendly staff. But what really sets this experience apart is the location. Marineland is located among 40,000 acres of unspoiled nature that includes ocean beaches, maritime forests, and other coastal habitats. But there's even more.

Across the street from the marina is Marineland Dolphin Adventures, a dolphin conservation center, where you can learn everything about these wonderful creatures that share the waterways with us. Dylan really wanted to just move right in. They have tours and swim with the dolphins adventures. Do not miss it.

The marina is also where you will find Ripple Effect Ecotours. If you don't sign up for the sunset kayak tour you are crazy.

But there are other choices including the "Vegetable Oil Powered Eco-Explorer Boat Tours" if you just want to sit back and relax. All of the tours are run by trained naturalists so you'll not only have a good time you'll probably learn something too. We did. And you get a discount if you're docked at the marina.

It might look like we were having all the fun - for once - but Dylan and Dee Dee had their own adventures each day. Sometimes a walk in the maritime forest.

Sometimes a romp on the beach. You may noticed that Dee Dee's romp is tethered. We've discovered that she has channeled so much of Dyna that she refuses to come out of the water. So we've provided a way to reel her in. I keep checking her for gills but so far nothing.

Dee Dee not only had her first real ocean swim, she saw her first manatee. The manatee came right up to the bow and raised up as if to inspect our crew members. Of course, by the time I ran and got my phone he (she? how do you tell?) was swimming away.

It was hard to leave but we did and headed to Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor where Dylan and Dee Dee were lavished with attention by the dog loving staff. It's a hard life but someone has to do it. Next stop Cumberland Island where Dylan can teach Dee Dee all about the wild horses.

We're delayed a day for weather but that's OK. The crew needs to rest up for their next big adventure.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Years ago my young nephew, who is not lucky enough to live with dogs said, "Your dogs sure do sleep a lot." And I guess they do, but then that's true of all dogs not just our canine crew. I like to think it's because they work so hard throughout the day. Who else on board is ready at a moment's notice to save us from the threat of dolphins and squirrels and all manner of humans who may approach the boat.

I know if you follow our blog you probably think that Dylan and Dee Dee's life on board is just work, work, work.

As I was browsing through the almost infinite selection of photos I have of the canine crew, I found myself especially drawn to the ones of them in quiet repose. Here is my favorite collection of the sleeping dogs on aCappella.