Tuesday, July 5, 2016

"DON'T LET THE SUN CATCH YOU CRYING"

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

"THE CANVAS CAN DO MIRACLES, JUST YOU WAIT AND SEE"


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?
A NORTH PACIFIC 43!

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.




Saturday, May 21, 2016

WE CANNOT CHANGE THE WIND, BUT WE CAN ADJUST THE SAILS

Saturday, May 20, 2016.  Obsession has been launched.  George and his crew at BLM worked magic, driving the travel lift down the parking lot of the marina, weaving around boats and cars, put the slings around Obsession and reversed the trek through the maze of boats and cars to the launch site.



In the water she went, but this time she had to be towed to a slip because the engine isn't connected to the fuel line.  Now Fairhaven Marine will work their magic and get her running. 


Meanwhile, Neil Thurston from Thurston Sails/Canvas in Bristol delivered the new Dodger and Bimini.  The isinglass is so clear it looks like there is nothing there!  More Magic!  And he added a few little things, like a D-ring above in the top of the bimini so we can hang a solar lantern, and a special little piece of leather so the radar pole won't ruin the canvas as well as nice gray leather covering along the edge of the dodger for dirty hands.


We will start to move more "stuff" aboard this week. Our hope is that she'll be ready to go by Memorial Day, but I think June 1 is a more realistic date.


On the home front we've had a set back.  Shortly after  David's routine colonoscopy in March, he was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer.  This was shocking news, and has forced us to re-think our plans for heading south down the ICW in the fall.  He will undergo chemo treatments at the Cancer Center here in Fall River every 2 weeks for 6 months.  So...it means no trip down the ICW until the fall of 2017. His prognosis is good - he's strong, healthy and we are confident he will beat this.  Just a bend in the road.  What is the old saying?  We can not change the wind, but we can adjust the sails.  Well, we have done just that.  We will summer on the boat, as we always have done, sail around our favorite haunts here in Narragansett Bay and Buzzards Bay, and Long Island Sound in between treatments. Another old sailor's saying, A bad day on the water is better than a good day on land.

I will continue the blog this summer.  It's also an opportunity for me to try new things with design and editing. So, follow along, if you will.  Our adventure is just beginning.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

April Showers bring May Flowers-and a Boat in the Water

Peggie and Tom Perrotto help us prepare
for the upcoming trip.  
It's May 1, 2016 and for the first time ever, Obsession IS NOT in the water.  The engine delivery brought about even more issues, possibly contaminated fuel (40 gallons of it) in the fuel tank, corrosion of some wires (well, after 10 years it's not uncommon).  We can only hope that as the month progresses things will start to come together and Obsession will be launched soon. Meanwhile, the weather also needs to cooperate.  We've not had temperatures over 60 degrees other than a day here and there.
We continue to enjoy sunsets from the condo, and other land-based activities that we won't be able to enjoy when we move aboard the boat.
Peggie and Tom Perrotto had us for dinner one night last week.  They offered advice and encouragement while we pored over their ICW Cruising Guides and Peggie's past logs.  As much fun and informative it was for us, I think Peggie and Tom enjoyed sharing and remembering their trips. They will be traveling down the ICW this fall and winter too, but on their new to them 36' Monk Trawler, Tom Foolery. 
My Uncle Norman and his wife Margie arrived for a quick visit, and we had the family to the condo for an early season cook-out.  That makes 3 family dinners here at the condo this year.  I do think this is the last one.
So... not much "Boat News" this entry,  just an update on our progress to date.

I will miss these sunsets, but I know we will have many
new sunset views to enjoy and share in the coming year.

Now, that's a CAR!

We went to Hillary Clinton Rally in Central Falls, RI. We have
ordered our absentee ballots so we can vote in the
election in November no matter where we are.  

With only one decent warm and non-humid day I've only
managed to put one coat of varnish on one door.  
Norman and Margie visit.



Tuesday, April 19, 2016

"NASA (aka Janice and David) We have an engine!"


The engine resembles a swan.  

The past 9 months have been filled with anxiety and anticipation since we first found out about the failure of the Raw Water Exchanger and ultimate engine failure in September.  Dealing with the insurance and marinas has been a true learning curve for us.  For those of you reading this who have a diesel engine, we learned something new.  This part should be examined every 5-10 years for possible failure.   However, I digress from today's happily ever after story.



Monday, April 11, 2016

"Hurry up and Wait" Game or "Enjoy it While You Can"






First decent sunset in a couple of weeks, April 8, 2016
The weather has not cooperated with us at all over the past 2 weeks.  Rain, wind and SNOW (yes SNOW) have delayed delivery of the engine and even beginning work polishing sides and painting the bottom of Obsession.
Snowstorm - supposed to be a dusting to 3 inches
ended up being 6-8 inches! April 4, 2016
I would like to varnish the doors to the main cabin, but it's too cold. Meanwhile we have spent time enjoying the sights from our deck at the condo, watching movies on Netflix and On-Demand, (The People vs OJ, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black for examples).  These are things we won't be able to do once we move aboard the boat.  We hosted Easter Dinner for 10, probably the last time in awhile that most of my family will be together.

High winds and abnormal high and low tides sent these
styrofoam blocks and the gangway adrift.  It was
better entertainment than morning TV!


High winds April 3, 2016
It never gets old watching the coal ships and barges come and go.

We try to get out on the deck as much as we can to enjoy
evening sunsets like this one from April 10, 2016.


Easter Dinner for 10 - NO KIDS TABLE!

We have continued to downsize and clean up our act here at the condo.  Boxes of (Snow Village and Lighthouses, Christmas Tree and Decorations, Seasonal Decorations etc.) have been moved up to the attic, past bills and other paperwork have been collected to be burned or shredded.  By the end of the month we should be 99% paperless consumers.We hosted Easter Dinner for 10, probably the last time in awhile that most of my family will be together.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Getting Closer


Today we spent considerable time at the condo downsizing in preparation for our trip south.  I actually threw away my winter coat -I've had it since 1988.  It was hard to do, but even if we come back to New England for a visit this winter, I think I can get away with my leather coat. Or...maybe it's about time I bought a new one?  David, on the other hand, was able to say "good-bye" to many long sleeve shirts and sweaters that he won't need.  Along the way we found some pictures of us sailing and enjoying Obsession 42 the first summer we owned her (We have owned 3 boats called Obsession - a C&C 29, a Catalina 36 and now a Catalina 42).

Engine update - the rebuild should be finished soon and re-installation within the next week or so. (fingers crossed).  Other work on the stuffing box and propellor shaft will be completed too.  David is also designing a helm seat that will become a project for his students at BP Tech.  Electrical upgrade is in process and new canvas, dodger, bimini and enclosure have been ordered. 

He's happy cuz we're sailing -
he has a winch handle i his hand -
and we are healing and there is wave action off our stern.

We still love our wine and rum, and each other!

One of the Danbury Mint Lighthouses from my collection.
SANDY HOOK Lighthouse
We will certainly be seeing this on our trip south.