Thursday, December 31, 2015

Another New Year!

Dylan and Dee Dee have certainly been enjoying holiday time here at Stock Island Marina Village. Santa decided to drop off two toys for Christmas. We're not sure if it was one for Dylan and one for Dee Dee or if both were for Dylan (our good boy). Since Santa didn't leave any coal we gave Dee Dee the benefit of the doubt.

There was a long serpent that squeaks and a stuffed dolphin. Both were hits.

The serpent was perfect for tug-of-war.

While Dylan couldn't believe he was allowed to have his own dolphin onboard.

Of course, in the end Dee Dee ended up with both of them.

It's been a great year for the aCappella crew. Tonight we move into the new year. Dylan and Dee Dee look forward to more beaches, more dog parks, and many new adventures.

Happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas!!

Dylan and Dee Dee are counting down to Christmas - there's less than 24 hours of being good. Dylan is hoping Dee Dee won't scare off Santa with a bark. Dee Dee is hoping Santa will give an allowance for being cute.

As for Mom and Dad, they think they have two of the best presents under their tree!

With Santa so near you'd think that being that good would come easy. You'd be wrong. That kind of good only comes from bribing with treats...

The entire crew of aCappella wishes you a very Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sans Kids

This morning we took the Stock Island Marina Village shuttle to downtown Key West - sans kids - for a day on our own. We walked Duval Street, looked in the shops, had lunch, and stopped at the Cuban coffee shop. There were two large cruise ships in port so the streets were bustling and all was decked out for a Key West Christmas.

The highlight for me was an early Christmas gift from Yours and Mayan, a free trade store that supports the Mayan Indians of Guatemala. I picked out two beautiful handcrafted birds - a chicken and a pelican.

They are smaller versions of a chicken I picked out ten years ago in Key West, the last time aCappella was here. Just to make it clear how much I loved the chicken, it was one of the few items that not only made the cut when we cleared the house, it actually made it onto the boat and rests on a ledge in the pilothouse. I think these two will go below in the stateroom to give cheer each morning and night.

As for the kids, they slept all day except for when they awoke at 4:00 pm starving until we returned just before 5:00. How do we know? Jeff set up a new webcam and we periodically peeked in on them. I'm pretty sure their sense of time is more accurate than an atomic clock.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Chill'n in Key West...

Dylan and Dee Dee have reached another milestone in their cruising adventures. They are now the farthest south they have ever been.

Dylan had previously been in Marathon but Dee Dee had only been as far south as Miami Beach last year where we waited for our Bahamas crossing.

Back in 2010, Dylan was in Marathon with Dyna. They had a great time swimming at Sombrero Beach every day. They romped with lots of other dogs including old friends Godiva and Cassie from September Song. Godiva has now joined Dyna in the huge dog park in the sky but Cassie and her people are currently docked kitty-corner to us here in Key West

We had a good run down with a combination of offshore days when it was nice and slipping along inside when it wasn't. The crew performed exemplary.

Daddy helped them spy dolphins and we had lots of them. Frankly, Daddy looks as excited as the crew...

Dee Dee loved being up on the flybridge offshore. It's something we haven't done too much with her because, well, it's a long jump down.

As the most seasoned crew member, Dylan helped show her the ropes.

For now we're safely tucked into Stock Island Marina Village in Key West. There's a dog park on site, dog friends nearby, and even some special dog treats from the staff. Dylan and Dee Dee think they're gonna like Key West just fine.

We plan to go even further south this winter as we travel to some of the southern Bahamas islands in the Exuma island chain ending up in George Town.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Seeing Triple!

Leaving Brunswick Landing we took advantage of a weather window to go offshore overnight to Jensen Beach and drop the hook. Our hope was to be able to quickly skip along outside until we got to Key West but mother nature had other ideas. So as a front came through with high winds and rain, we ducked into one of our favorite marinas, Old Port Cove Marina in North Palm Beach.

It's a beautiful marina with exceptional amenities. We love to walk the dogs along the docks to gawk at the mega-yachts docked there. It's the part of Florida where aCappella begins to looks rather modest, to put a finer point on it. We always enjoy being here.

This time was extra special though. Today Dylan and Dee Dee got to play with Mellow!

Mellow is Dee Dee's half-sister. They share Sarge as their papa. So that makes Dylan Mellow's great-step-uncle or great-half-uncle or - oh, it gets complicated.

We loaded them into Ken and Trudy's car (Ken and Trudy are Mellow's people) and headed off to a nearby dog park.

So did they have a good time? You can decide for yourself.

As for which dog is which, well, we were there and had a hard time telling.

I'm sure many of you are tiring of seeing pictures of the same yellow Labs. This is where I would usually show a picture of Dylan and Dee Dee exhausted after their afternoon romp.  But I've decide to mix it up a bit and finish with with something completely different.

Mellow dreaming of Dylan and Dee Dee...

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Turkey Trot

Dylan and Dee Dee had a fine time visiting family Thanksgiving week. The highlight was the annual Johnson City Turkey Trot, a 5K walk/run that takes place at 8:30 am Thanksgiving morning. They were predicting about 5,000 participants. And the best part... dogs can participate.

It was a beautiful morning with just a slight chill in the air. We lined up with the other dogs and stroller participants for the walk while my brother and his family went off for the run. The kids had a ball.

We crossed the finish line and the kids received a Turkey Trot medal! Well, actually, everyone who crossed the finish line got the medal but don't tell them that.

But the real prize - bananas! Dee Dee LOVES bananas. Dylan thinks their pretty good too.

Back to Grandma's to show off their awards.

The crew is back onboard helping get ready to head further south. It's interesting being in new places but for Dylan and Dee Dee there's no place like home.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Over The River...

Dylan and Dee Dee crossed several rivers and even climbed over the mountains through the woods in yet another rental car. They're spending Thanksgiving week at Grandma's house. It's been people and parks and walks. Both kids have been terrific. Yes, really, both kids.

But Dee Dee's favorite thing has been having her crate back! It's been 8 months since that fateful day at Great Harbour Cay when we took her crate down and reclaimed the salon. Since then the crate has been in the lazarette taking up some pretty valuable real estate.

However, Grandma's house has an abundance of "Dee Dee, No!" places. So we brought the crate to use when she can't be supervised.

Dylan on the other hand is a good boy and not in need of confinement. How could anyone not trust that handsome face?

We wondered what Dee Dee would do after all those months. Would we need to bribe her into the crate with a treat like we used to with Dylan?

Hardly. I was barely able to put the cushion in before she climbed in with a toy and settled down.

Now when we look around and say, "Where's Dee Dee?" We just look in the crate. She even settles in at bedtime.

Dylan thought the extra space in the double bed in Grandma's guest bedroom was great.

Of course, morning found the same two wet noses staring into my face. Am I lucky or what?

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Dee Dee loves Sherrie...Sherrie loves Dee Dee

There are times when two beings form an instant bond. Sometimes it's between two people. Sometimes it's between two animals. And sometimes it's between a person and a dog.

Sherrie says she loves animals, all animals. And it's easy to believe if you watch her greeting pets of boaters that come into Brunswick Landing Marina where she's the dockmaster. But something special happened when the crew pulled into the marina a little over a week ago. Sherrie met Dee Dee and Dee Dee met Sherrie, and well, the rest is history.

aCappella is docked two slips down from the marina office and Dee Dee spends hours staring into the office window watching for Sherrie. On Tuesdays, Sherrie's day off, Dee Dee hardly leaves her post.

And whenever Sherrie comes down the dock to help bring a boat in, Dee Dee starts to do a full body wiggle.

When Sherrie comes to the boat Dee Dee tries to climb up the side of the cockpit to get closer to her.

I know some will say it's because she brings the crew treats. That certainly plays a part. But watching the two of them you know it is so much more. Our friend Kristin on Kemo Sabe may have nailed it when she said, "It's because they're both sassy!"

We'll be leaving for a bit to visit family and we'll need to head south soon after. So the day is coming when Dee Dee will have to say goodbye. I'd be lying if I didn't say I'm more than a bit worried. Remember, Dee Dee has gone overboard before for something she really wanted.

So if in a couple of weeks you see a cute little yellow Lab swimming up the Brunswick River, please give aCappella a hail on VHF16. Or just scoop her up and take her back to Sherrie.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Another Dog Park...

We spent longer than we originally anticipated at Hinckley Yacht Services in Savannah but left with the engine room in better condition than when we arrived. Boat yards are not typically good places to spend time but this stop was made great by the other liveaboards there, the great staff, and... the courtesy car!

Not only could we hit the grocery store and visit restaurants but the kids got to go for rides! Just look at those smiles!

After taking the courteous precaution of using our "rental car covers" to keep the car clean, we were off most every day to some great spot for the crew. While they certainly enjoyed their long walk on the trails at Fort Pulaski (and the great smells that follow a hard rain), the favorite trip was to the dog park located in Daffin Park just a couple of miles away.

It's a large dog park with both small and large dog sections (Dylan and Dee Dee used the large...). It is covered in what looked like tall cedar trees that offered great shade from the sun. But the best part was the many friendly dogs and owners that were there every time we went.

Dylan and Dee Dee loved the smells.

Dylan made friends.

And so did Dee Dee.

Daddy brought treats which make everyone very popular.

Fun was had by every crew member. But finally the repairs where complete and it was time to leave. Meanwhile, Dylan and Dee Dee have been trying to figure out what boat system they can sabotage to force us to return. We will be back but for now there are many more adventures to be had and more dog parks to visit.