Well, hello there!
Where to begin….. Maybe with a statement of commitment to write more. The commitment is to myself, mind you. I kid you not, I think about writing *something* everyday. It is a sort of mind exercise, that I value. Sometimes I write in my journal. I write notes during my devotions and Bible study, have taken notes and journaled during my knee replacement recovery (more on that later).
Right. So, maybe a brief 2021 summary? When last I wrote, we were beginning 2021 with hopes and dreams and learning to navigate life at what was still a time of the ongoing pandemic. Last year was a decent one for us. Our sailing and cruising plans took a 180 degree turn, but it was GOOD!
We initially sailed down to St Marys, GA. We like the boat yard there and Mike has everything he needs there to take care of our old girl. We did some bigger projects, toured around and ended up going back to SD for a few months in the spring.
Then in June we decided to head north. We thought at first that we would sail the Chesapeake, then decided to keep going for Maine. Boy, are we happy we did that! That is territory that we will go back to. We had visited before, by land 11 years earlier and always wanted to go back. I think that’s the thing with Maine. Each visit leaves you longing for more time there.
The small fishing villages, islands that feel like they have been lost in time, ruins and national and state parks, hikes and trails, even the more “touristy” areas leave their mark. We found areas run by research partys where we learned about scallops and how they are harvested, another an Audubon camp on a nature preserve. Islands without habitation, beautiful rocky bays and beaches.
And then there’s the food. Lobstah, lobstah, lobstah! I am allergic to shellfish, but Mike and Matthew enjoyed it. Actually, Matthew isn’t the biggest fish of any kind fan, but he tried it. I discovered I can tolerate mollusks, while in Maine. So- scallops! I had my first scallops in Booth Bay, with an epipen in hand. Thank the Good Lord I didn’t need it, because I would have had a hard time not finishing my meal. YUM!
Then, there’s the people and history. We took so many walks and visited with many locals. We bought art and other crafts and just marveled at the trusting and friendly natured people we met. Truly incredible.
We had friends from SD visit towards the end of August. Rick and Dr Rachel Edelin are from Rapid City. We have known Rick for years in his life as a Pfizer rep. He and Mike had talked sailing (and any other outdoor activity) as we were planning our exodus. Mike had mutual patients with Dr Edelin, so knew her in more of a professional manner. None of us really knew how their visit would go, they were the first other than family to stay with us on board. I believe we were all pleasantly surprised with how well it went. We shared meals, hiked, kayaked, paddle boarded and talked til we were blue in the face. It was such an enjoyable time and we were blessed to have them.
We had several mishaps, as is always the case. Our centerboard decided to let itself down….twice. The first time we opted to haul out where we were to make sure we were good to continue. That was a mistake….the haul out was near disastrous as the boat was dropped unevenly in the sling. We got scraped up and lost our grill. The second time was as we were leaving NYC, we knew what it was and opted to keep going despite the horrible banging it was making. We tied it up in Hampton VA and kept going. We also had some “deck love” in NYC at the most rocky dock, ever. But, NYC was amazing, so we aren’t going to dwell on the scuffs. We developed a diesel tank leak in our midship tank. That was a near disaster for a minute. Then a water tank leak presented itself. Then, there was the BIGGIE. Our hull had shown delamination from our first haulout in 2019 and it was time to fix it. This, I think will be an entirely separate post. Mike has documented it well, so I thinking we will talk about it then. I feel like there were a few other more minor issues, but they escape me at present.
We also spent a few days in Montauk, NY, Onset, MA, Province Town, Cape Cod and Newport, RI. All places we would like to visit again. We missed Nantucket and Martha’s Vinyard and several other places. They are on the list, however.
For our last leg, from Myrtle Beach, SC to St Marys, GA our grandson Luc joined us for the first time on board. He had a really good time, and we look forward to having him again this year!
So- What’s in store for this year? Well, Mike has been working on the hull and other projects since we hauled out in November. He has been home for about 6 weeks since then. St Marys is his home away from home, for sure. What he has gotten done, on his own is quite astounding. He has repaired a 12-foot section of the hull. Stripped and prepped the entire boat for painting, among other, smaller projects. I went down for a week in January, then again in February when he was driving home. Once home, he built a new gorgeous wood helm seat (aka Erin’s booster seat) and a swim platform and dog step that will be mounted to the stern. While he was gone, I worked and prepared for my knee replacement surgery. It was put off once when I got covid 2 weeks before surgery was scheduled. So, I worked a little longer. Surgery was March 22 and I have been working hard at recovery since. Physical therapy is going well and I’m going to be given my walking (sailing) papers in a week or so. Mike has also picked up some shifts in the ED in Pierre, where he had worked for 8 years, pre-Voyager. They are, of course, happy to have him back here and there.
We plan to splash the end of May. We will initially go to St Augustine. We really like the town and are hoping Meg, Jon and Luc are able to visit while we are there. Mike will fly to SD to work a few shifts. When he gets back, we will head north. The Chesapeake is our destination for now. We have plans to be in Washington DC in July when Mike has to fly for work again. Other than that, nothing definite is on the dance card. Meg and Jon are expecting their second baby the end of August. So, we will be planning and deciding on whether to be back south before then or for me to fly home to be there when the baby comes. Stay tuned on that decision.
Until next time- Slainte’ Mhath