Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Time Can Be So Magic

This is the title song from an album of
children's music that our kids loved to
listen to on the boat.  
Over the course of the last month we've experienced many ups and downs.  David is continuing with chemo, he feels great most of the time, has occasional days when he's weak and has little energy, but overall he's been doing fine  He has lost all his hair, so decided to shave it all off, and I'm getting used to his new look.  It's even been an adjustment for him.  He says he used to run his hand through his hair, and occasionally he still goes to do that, and encounters no hair, just a bald head!

The engine and electrical system on Obsession are still presenting problems.  Bluish smoke and fumes from the exhaust sent us to New Bedford for a few days to have it checked out.  We got no definitive answer, and had to return to Newport.  A week later we spent a lovely week in Cuttyhunk. On our trip home the engine just stopped runningoff of Sakonnet Point.  Luckily there was enough wind to sail into Newport, and we called Sea Tow to tow us to a slip at the Alofson Pier at Fort Adams.  We have been there for a few days now, awaiting the mechanic.  The Opti Nationals were going on during our time dockside, and we have had a prime seat watching them leave every morning and return every evening.  Pictures can't do justice to the vision of 400+ kids in Optis, plus all the support boats.  It's quite an undertaking.  We are thrilled to see Newport hosting such a great event.  It brings back fond memories of our days of racing and volunteering as race committee.

Facebook has an app that reminds me every day of things I've posted in years past.  I share some of them on Facebook, but more importantly it has served as a pleasant reminder of all the wonderful travels we've had aboard Obsession over the years.  We have truly enjoyed our summers on the boat. This summer is quite different, and we are trying to make the best of it despite a few setbacks.

We've only been to Cuttyhunk and Block Island. We have enjoyed more time in Newport on our mooring, and found that using the launch service to get around the harbor is THE way to go. We also can spend hours listening to the VHF.  Other boaters coming into Newport to find moorings, dockage, anchorage etc.  It is a different summer for us.

Here's a pictorial overview of our travels/experiences with captions.

The gradual loss of hair.

Sunset from  Pineapples at The Hyatt, Goat Island - 

A trip to Block Island with Perrin and Kenny.
Another one of my famous "butt" shots.

Are you really steering that boat, Kenny? 

The winners!  A game of Corn Hole at The Oar.

Some pictures of Cuttyhunk - you see the most
interesting sights there.

I never saw anyone sitting/lounging on the
"pink flamingoes".

We finally had dinner with these guys - well not
really, we took the pizza back to the boat.

It wouldn't be Cuttyhunk without at least one
boat aground in the pond.

In our spare time (we ARE retired) we practice
taking selfies.  We need MUCH more practicer.

Scallop and Bacon Pizza from Sopranos in Cuttyhunk.
It's like a scallop and bacon appetizer

New Bedford/Fairhaven swingbridge.

Friends CJ and Lori from Borden Light met us for dinner
in New Beige (New Bedford) Fun night.

The fishing boat masts help create an interesting sunset.
This is only a fraction of the fishing boats
docked in New Bedford.

This will always be one of my favorite views from our
favorite anchor spot in Cuttyhunk, our favorite place.

On Chemo days we do laundry back at the Landing at
South Park (our condo).  This is our view.  Not bad, huh?

In contrast to New Bedford, the masts of these maxi-boats
also provide an interesting skyline, day or night.

Jazz Festival Weekend we had visitors, neighbors of
my sister Nancy.  Kim and Sean.  They had a great day
at the festival and joined us for cocktails before heading back up
the bay.

Another selfie.  Happy Birthday, David.  (Notice the bald head?)
Champagne at 41North and dinner at 22 Bowen's.
It's almost becoming a tradition.

A Cuttyhunk Sunset

A Newport Sunset from Fort Adams.

7 little Optis - all in a row.  There were over 400 of them
buzzing around the harbor for three days.  It was a National
Championship Regatta hosted by Sail Newport

Perrin's new (to him) boat - Tinker Toy, alongside of
Obsession.  He was one happy guy the day it was launched.

Taking the guys for a ride.  At least he could go fast
when I wasn't aboard.

A final "butt shot".  I was sitting in the inflated "couch" in the stern.
Fun ride.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016


July 5, 2016

For the past two weeks we have enjoyed beautiful days and gorgeous sunsets.  We have visited parts of Newport we have never been to before, as well as those places we have come to know very well. Our time aboard the boat is relaxing and peaceful and the days go by much more quickly than I thought they would.

 A walk to the Point Section of Newport one day brought us to Newport Shipyard and a stop to watch a sail being lifted aboard a boat with a crane.  Later on the launch we watched as they lifted and placed the mast of that same boat in place.

 We watched the start of the Newport to Bermuda Race - the highlight was seeing Comanche, skippered by Kenny Read (a former crew-mate of David's on Challenger) at the starting line early (he did that once before at the beginning of a J-24 Race that David and I were Race Committee Chairmen) and then hearing the Newport-Bermuda Race Committee tell him to stay away until his start.  He then sailed over in our direction well behind the line, and we were able to get some great pictures of this phenomenal machine.  The result of the race is that she broke the record time for the Newport to Bermuda Race.

 Only in Newport do you see ships to carry ships and twelve meters sailing by.  We went to the Chowder Cook-Off - David's school Bristol Plymouth Vocational Technical School won top honors in the seafood division.

 The Strawberry Moon provided many photographers a wonderful opportunity to photograph this unusual event - my iPhone did not do it justice, but it provides me with an image to remember this unusual sight.

Nevertheless, we have had to live spartan-like.  The new and better alternator was installed along with the new batteries, but for some reason the batteries are not being charged properly.  Even the solar panel doesn't seem to be able to help.  Previously we were able to sit on the hook in Cuttyhunk for days, watch an hour or 2 of TV, wash dishes, take showers, and run fans in addition to the refrigeration.  We have put a second call into the electrician, hopefully he can get this situation remedied soon.  This is the boat that he arrived in - an electric boat that he and his partner designed.

We had our first real trip of the season to Cuttyhunk.  A visit to the Cuttyhunk Mall, a lobster salad roll from the Cuttyhunk Cafe and a visit with Lexi and crew, Raw Bar and anchor antics too.  Kenny and Amanda joined us for an overnight and although the fog crept in, thick as pea soup, they managed to laugh the night away, take a swim and enjoy oysters, littlenecks, fresh swordfish and stuffed scallops.

Back in Newport the weather continued to be just perfect.  The sunsets have been beyond spectacular just about every night.  The harbor is full.  We spend hours in the cockpit reading and listening to the radio and watching the boats come and go.  It never gets boring. I truly think I would be an excellent launch driver.  Maybe in my second life.  Perrin and Kenny and all the crew at Oldport do a great job.

Obsession Constellation lights up the skies every night, but July 3 and 4 we were treated to Fireworks from not just Jamestown and Newport, but other points south and west of us.  We had ringside seats and managed to stay up late both nights to enjoy them.

 And today we experienced another reason why cancer is so often described as an insidious disease. Just yesterday David said to me, "Today I feel normal again."  Although this is good news, and even better that he shared it with me without me prompting him, I couldn't help but think "Isn't that like cancer, you start feeling good, and the very next day you have to go and have chemicals pumped into you that will make you feel yucky again very soon." Today was to be round 3 of chemo, but his white blood count was too low and it was put off for a week.  So, all the preparations you make, all the plans you make, all the routines you make have to be changed.  That's an insidious disease.  It affects you on all levels.  Physically, emotionally, socially.  We make the best of it though.  Today we are sitting at the Landing at South Park, doing laundry, and other housekeeping chores in an air-conditioned room, on soft couches and chairs and will head back to Newport just in time for a concert and lobster rolls at the beach.

Saturday, June 11, 2016


Saturday, June 11, 2016
This has been a busy 3 weeks.  Between moving out of the condo, getting the boat ready, sailing (well, really motoring) to Newport and David's and my introduction to the life of a cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy, we've experienced a mixed bag of emotions and adjustments.  In between of course we have been enjoying the beautiful sunsets, the busy Newport Harbor, the help of friends and relatives and the relative quiet and calm (but sometimes noisy and rough) life of living aboard a boat on a mooring in the middle of Newport Harbor.
These sunsets from Borden Light Marina will be greatly missed.
We will miss the friends we have made there too.    

How many power boaters does it take to raise the jib?
Thanks guys - you were a great help. 

Waving Good Bye to our good friend Mike Mason.
Hopefully we will see you, Someplace Else.
I know it's JUNE, but the weather could be a LITTLE warmer!!!

One fine day
we take a little tour
across the bay
and what do we see?

But the sunsets in Newport are unforgettable too. 

The storm is coming - but in fact, it missed us.  I took this
from the Alofson Pier at Fort Adams. We commute there via
Oldport Launch  on "Chemo Days" since we have a car parked there.

A Christmas Present - and a delicious sampling (yes, only a sampling)
of White Wines and seafood pairings at 41North.

We are enjoying the convenience of using Oldport
Launch this summer. (Thanks Perrin Tysor).  

Cosmo is anxious to get moving, but between appointments
and the weather not giving us window of more than 2 days we
haven't gone far.  SOON!

Winds of over 40mph will make short work of an old
and weather worn sailcover.  Really, the zippers are
what let go. A new one is already on order.
It's that 10 year bomb again!

Another Newport Harbor skyline shot.  Enjoy.
So, for now, as we sit out yet another rain and thunderstorm on board (mind you, I'm not complaining - it comes with the path we've chosen) we take every day one day at a time.  David is so far (after one treatment) handling the chemo pretty well.  No horrific side effects and he is gaining back his strength.  He is determined to beat this.  With the fresh salt air, blue skies, gorgeous sunsets, the faith, hope and prayers from family and friends I know he will.  Soon the sails will be raised on Obsession, for "The Canvas Can Do Miracles," SAIL AWAY.