The long awaited post about our trip to Annapolis

I’m finally getting around to posting on our trip to Annapolis, for the boat show! …I had a bit of a cancer scare and as you can imagine, that pretty much consumed my brain, for the last month or so, hence, my lack of updating the blog. But as of last week or maybe it was the week before, I found out that I am in the clear! It was not a {most-likely} benign tumor, like they originally thought, but rather, a treatable, easily fixable, large mass. I had a procedure done at the end of last month and everything should be back to normal now. Provided each yearly check-up shows the same. I am beyond thankful it wasn’t as bad as they originally thought it might be!!

Now, onto the boat show…

Annapolis Boat Show – View from aboard our friend’s boat in the mooring field.

This was our first time to Annapolis and whoa, what a cool little town!! We will definitely go visit there again, with or without a boat show!!

We took the red-eye, because it was only $50/person  and we’re cheap like that and arrived at BWI Airport at 1am Thursday. Paid way too much for a taxi because I couldn’t get the Uber app to work and arrived at the Charthouse Restaurant around 2am. Our friends, Erin & Kara who are out cruising  aboard Vela, not only invited us to stay with them on their boat, but insisted that we let them come pick us up…even though it was 2am…that’s the difference between friends and great friends!! The taxi dropped us off at the closed restaurant and we walked to the end of the dock and  waited for our friends to bring the dinghy over to get us.

The view of the harbor when we arrived

They had their boat on a mooring ball right in front of the boat show. We all said our hello’s once we got back to their boat, then went straight to bed. Woke up just a few hours later, to start the day…. Thursday, was VIP day at the boat show, and Erin managed to score us all passes, since he knew a guy, on the inside! In case you’re wondering, that is the day to walk on all the boats without having to wait in lines. Any boat we wanted to see on the inside, we just stepped aboard, no lines, no waiting, and best of all, no crowds! So what did we look at? Seeing as there were absolutely no boats, anywhere near the realm of our budget, we went with the theory of, ‘go big or go home’…. Among others, we went aboard an absolutely impeccable, Oyster74′, a gorgeous Amel 53′ and a incredible Gozzard 41’. And, I have to say, out of those three, I would take the Gozzard every day of the week, over the other two. Don’t get me wrong, the Oyster & Amel were exquisite, but when you start thinking practicality,  bigger just leads to more money, work and crew….While that may sound good to some, that’s not the life I want to live. Still, we couldn’t afford that brand new Gozzard anyhow, but she sure was a beauty!! 

74′ Oyster

 

Thursday afternoon, we walked around the town a bit and saw the original Capitol Building. For my history buff readers (who probably already know this), the following excerpt is from the Maryland State House site.

 

The Beautiful Maryland State House is the oldest state capitol still in continuous legislative use and is the only state house ever to have served as the nation’s capitol. The Continental Congress met in the Old Senate Chamber from November 26, 1783, to August 13, 1784. During that time, George Washington came before Congress to resign his commission as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army and the Treaty of Paris was ratified, marking the official end of the Revolutionary War. The State House is where the Maryland General Assembly convenes for three months each year, and the elected leadership of the state — the governor, lieutenant governor, speaker of the House of Delegates and president of the Senate — all have their offices there.”

 

U.S. Naval Academy

This was as close as we ever got to the Naval Academy. We actually walked right past it several times, but between the weather, the boat show and all the rest of the things we had going on, we never had a chance to take the tour. Oh well, looks like we need to make another trip!

We took a hike through Colonial Annapolis Maritime Trail and even encountered a few animals… birds, deer, turtle, and even black squirrels. I only ever see brown squirrels in Texas, so it was cool to see other types.

Black squirrel…

 

 

Picturesque walking bridge in the park.
Fall colors starting to appear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For years now, I have followed several cruisers on social media and seeing some of them at the boat show, was kind of my star-struck moment! But, knowing that most cruisers are down-to-earth, normal peeps, I thought, I’m going to meet these people! Of course, since most of them wouldn’t recognize me, this meant, I would have to initiate the conversation…and so I did! My first sighting, was that of Jennifer & Mark from Sailing Luna Sea  Hubs and I were walking through a vendor tent and there they were! I told him to wait up because I was going to go introduce myself. The look on his face was somewhat of a surprised -shocked look, because  he knows me and knows that I’m not that much of an out-going person, unless it’s with a group of people that I already know real well! But before I could really explain it to him, I found myself walking in their direction and saying, Hello! They were incredibly nice, and even recognized me from my IG!  Their kindness,  gave me the push I needed to be a little more social, which was good, because the next day brought even more introductions! I finally got to meet Behan from Sailing Totem  She was so sweet and welcoming, even giving me a hug! It was such a cool experience meeting someone in real life, after following them for quite sometime. It’s great to put a face to the name and be able to chat with them about common interests and such. I also got to meet Carolyn from The Boat Galley Cookbook & Cat from Monday Never

I was shocked and really proud of myself for having the courage to walk up to complete strangers and introduce myself to them. I NEVER would have done that, in the past….I was way too shy of a person! But, I have definitely come out of my shell and opened up a bit! Actually, I don’t know if it was shyness or if it was that I worried too much about what other people thought of me. In any event, SHY me would have never walked up to a complete stranger and just started talking to them. But, NOW me is so relaxed and laid back, that I don’t worry about what other people think of me.  The only thing I ever got from being shy all the time, was people constantly thinking I was rude. Who wants that? 

Our lovely friends, Erin & Kara on Vela Boat hosted us for a week and gave us just the vacation we needed! We hope to one day, pay back the favor & have them come stay with us, or at least be able to buddy boat with them, sometime soon!! Thanks again, y’all, we had a blast!!

 

Our friend’s boat and our “hotel” for the week. 😉
Pano of Vela on a mooring ball.

 

 

Sun setting over the boat show. 

 

 

 

All in all, it was a fantastic experience getting to be at the show, even while we were on their boat. Some of the best parts of this lifestyle is all the interesting people you meet along the way, the ones that becomes lifetime friends, and the adventures you take together!

Great friends + good times = lifetime memories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas, y’all!! 🙂

So this happened, again…

Yes! We have done it, again….Irie, is on the market! Well, the boat anyways, we’re keeping the name. Three boats in three years, just isn’t enough for us, so we are going to try our luck on another boat! 😉

Our 1983 Endeavour 40′ is For Sale

You may have noticed, I stopped referring to  her as our forever boat a few months after we bought her. So, will the next boat be our forever boat? If I knew the answer to that question, I’d tell you, but as of now, your guess is as good as mine!  As far as what the next boat will be, I’m not sure we’ve fully decided just yet! We’ve looked at everything from, buying another Catalina to a Tayana and just about everything in between, including going to the ‘dark side’ and buying a power boat. Ha! Hubs really likes the looks of the older style boats (Tayana, Valiant, Hans Christian, etc). I don’t really have a preference as long as it’s not too terribly tiny and it will keep us safe.

This is good timing, though! As we are headed to the Annapolis Boat Show this weekend!! Y’all know I love me some boat shows!! Maybe we will find a boat to buy, there!! You know, at the well used, dock. I’m sure we will see some true beauties, but if my bank account could talk, it would say, “you can’t afford a true beauty, so don’t even look at those yachts…just walk away!” 😉 Still, I am so excited to go to the mac daddy of boat shows!! This will be our first time in Annapolis and our first ever ginormous boat show….Yippee!!!

And bonus, we are super stoked that we get to see our friends, Erin & Kara, on s/v Vela. We met them last year, and became friends right away! They had their boat at Waterford as well, and left the beginning of this year to start their cruising journey!! They have graciously offered to let us stay with them aboard their boat…should be fun to be moored upfront and center of such a big boat show!

Interested in purchasing our boat? You can see the full listing detail, here. And please share with anyone who may be looking for a great, liveaboard sailboat!!

Our 1st flood & a quick summer recap….

It’s been awhile since my last post, I know! It seems that’s my normal modus operandi for summertime.

We survived our first flood, thanks to the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. The short story is, the boat went up, the boat came down. It’s definitely the best place to be, during a flood, just ask Noah! Ha 🙂 The long story was, well, a bit more stressful. On August 25th, Hurricane Harvey made landfall as a category 4 hurricane at Rockport, Texas, some 250 miles southwest of us.

Hurricane Harvey

“Hurricane Harvey was a catastrophic and extremely destructive Atlantic hurricane, which became the first major hurricane  to make landfall in the U.S. since 2005, ending a record 12-year drought in which no hurricanes made landfall at such an intensity in the country.”

By that following Sunday, it had been raining almost nonstop, for 2 days. Joe had called his boss, and yes, all workers were still to report to their shifts. (the railroad never closes)… I was up early that morning, what with the rain and wind and stress, I just couldn’t sleep. I’m normally awake at 5am when he has to work, but that morning I was up at 2:30am. I turned on the TV and every channel was Harvey coverage, as he slowly made his way up the coast. I couldn’t make sense of why, but I knew it couldn’t be a good thing, that the Harris County Judge’s phone number was scrolling across the bottom of the screen. (honestly, I’m still a bit confused by that.) I’ll admit, sometimes I over worry about Joe’s safety, but for good reason. I have lost a few people in my family (including my oldest brother) to accidents. So I know stuff like this happens and how it feels, when one minute you have two brothers and the next, you have only one.  That morning it was something different. This was more of a gut feeling that he shouldn’t go in. I certainly didn’t want him to go, because I knew the flooding was going to get even worse, as the hours passed by. I told him, I didn’t think it was safe to go, but hubs, being the loyal employee that he is, said he had to go in to work. And so he left. I waited on pins needles until he called to say he arrived safely. I hung up the phone and thought, what a relief, but in the back of my mind, I was thinking, “what about after his shift, when it has continued to rain for another eight hours. How is he supposed to get home then?” I tried not to think about it and tried to stay busy.

By “stay busy” I mean, I started gathering all important documents, just in case. This is where my selling Tupperware came in handy, since I had several air-tight, liquid-tight, containers. I loaded them up with all the important documents and some electronics, that I  had charged up & that I didn’t want getting ruined. Like any boat, we found a few leaks that we didn’t know we had. Of course, with the amount of rain and the intensity of it all, I would be surprised if anyone didn’t find at least one leak.

“In a four-day period, many areas received more than 40 inches (1,000 mm) of rain as the system meandered over eastern Texas and adjacent waters, causing catastrophic flooding. With peak accumulations of 51.88 inches (1,318 mm). Harvey is the wettest tropical hurricane on record in the contiguous United States. The resulting floods inundated hundreds of thousands of homes, displaced more than 30,000 people, and prompted more than 17,000 rescues.”

Harvey flooding in our community

A couple hours into Joe’s shift, his boss told him that the flooding was progressively getting worse and that he could go ahead and go home. as no one else was able to make it in to work and they were having to close the shop, due to the flooding. Joe attempted to drive home, but by that time, all southbound roads were either already flooded, or they were barricaded off, due to their tendency to flood. By this time, he had been attempting to get back home for well over two hours, with no luck. He returned to work and they transported him and a few others to another shop, until they could get them home. The good thing about this work location was, FEMA had already been set up there, as an evacuation point. So at least, there was food & shelter there and I  was slightly less worried about him.

In the meantime, the water kept getting higher and higher at the marina. We were told we had to evacuate all vehicles out of the parking lot. I drove our golf cart over to Star Fleet’s parking lot, next to our marina and hitched a ride (with boat neighbors/friends) back to my boat.  My friend had offered to let us stay with them at their house, if we didn’t want to stay on the boat. We had declined up to this point because our home floats and it didn’t make sense to leave a floating home, in a flood, to go to a home on land. However, by this time, now Sunday afternoon, I was starting to consider it. Joe still wasn’t able to make it back home and I really didn’t want to stay on the boat by myself. Plus, I thought it might do me good to be around friends, who really, are more like family. So I called and asked if the offer still stood (which of course it did) and I started planning my escape. I packed a bag with some clothes for both me and Joe, grabbed my important documents & electronics containers and I was ready. Our marina is located at the back of my friend’s  neighborhood, so we thought with her lifted Jeep, she would be able to come pick me up. That was a no go, the water was too high for her to get through it. Plan B came when she put the word out for anyone with a higher vehicle, who was willing to help out. Within minutes, a super nice gentleman volunteered to help her out and to come pick me up, in his truck. Strangers helping strangers (me), really helped restore my faith in humanity. What normally takes about three minutes  to get to her house, took us about 15 minutes, because the roads were so flooded between our marina and their house. We made it though, and luckily her house sits on the highest point of the neighborhood. It’s elevated 14′ with the garage being on the ground floor. The water was ankle deep when I got there, but luckily for them, that was the highest it ever got.

Harvey flooding near our marina

 

We may not have been together, but Joe was safe, I was safe and family was a little less worried about us. Late afternoon, we caught a good break in between bands of rain and hubs said he was going to try one more time, to get back home, before it got dark. It took a little over two hours, but he was able to make it back to our marina. Unfortunately, now the neighborhood was even more flooded and and we were not comfortable asking anyone to put themselves or their vehicles in danger, just so that we could be together.  We were less than a mile apart and both relieved that he was able to get back, unharmed. All total, it took him roughly 14 hours to get home….and just to get some sense of the situation, his work, is only about 30 miles away.

Monday around 10am, the waters had receded enough for him to drive his truck over to where I was. After I laid eyes on him and could see that he truly was okay, he may or may not have been hit for not listening to me, when I told him, it was not safe to leave that day.  😉 ….We stayed there until Tuesday afternnon, the worst of the storm was starting to let up and we felt it was time to return to the boat. Words cannot express how grateful I am, that they so willingly took me (and then both of us), in, the next night as well. To clarify, I know I would’ve been perfectly safe on the boat. And had hubs been home for all of it, we would have just stayed put. But, for my sanity alone, I did not want to stay there by myself. Not to mention, when I made the decision, I had no clue how much higher the water might get and whether or not I would be able to leave later, if need be. I made sure all was good with the boat and I left…. Joe returned to work on Thursday and that weekend we (okay, he) resealed all ports, hatches, and anything that could potentially be a source where water could get in. I had a Tupperware Fundraiser and was able to donate kitchen items to those that lost everything. In addition, we donated clothes, linens and food to our community.

We are blessed and grateful that it wasn’t anything worse, for us!

In other news, we had a lot of visitors come see us over the summer months, we always enjoy seeing friends and family! And, if you haven’t already figured out (by our FB page),  we also moved our boat to another marina! It was super hard leaving our friends that we’ve made at Waterford over the past three years, but we needed to make the jump so we could save a good chunk of money each month. The perks of the new place are well, $300/month cheaper, super close to getting out to the bay, and an incredible pool view!! Luckily, we are still really close to our old marina/friends, so we generally go over there once a week, either by car, or dinghy, if the weather is right!

Location of our new marina.

 

The day I awoke to no land….

Leaving Kemah…

We left Kemah at 3pm on Thursday afternoon, to help one of our boat neighbors, deliver his boat to Rockport. The weather was good and we were headed offshore for what should’ve been a 24-30 hour sail. Oh, but you know how those “3 Hour Tours” go. Luckily we didn’t get stuck on a deserted island for three TV seasons, but, the sail there, took a bit longer than I think the crew was initially thinking, er hoping,  eh, thinking….

Passing by the ship anchorage….

  

Getting through the Galveston jetties was a much better experience for me, than last year, when hubs and I took our Catalina 36′ to Port Arthur. This time,  I rode up on the bow seat, through most of it, though probably should have made it back to the cockpit a little sooner than waiting until we were in open water, but I made it back with no injuries, so all is good! 

At the helm…

Joe up on the bow seat…

Once we got out a little further though, the seas picked up and the water was a little rough. You don’t know balance, until you are  heeled over with the toe rail almost always in the water. I was already using every single muscle in my body,  just to stay upright and then, I needed to go pee! Actually that part is easy, it’s the pulling your shorts and underwear back up using only one hand, while leaning on the wall for stability and grasping a hold of a grab handle with your other hand…all while desperately trying to not fall into the toilet headfirst, or worse, fly out of the bathroom and into the salon with your shorts only half way up. I just had to laugh at myself in the mirror, I mean, what else can you do at that point?

I finally got to do some deep sea fishing! The first bite I had, I reeled and reeled until my arm was practically numb, only for the line to snap and he got away, but I swear it must’ve been a blue marlin or even a great white shark!! That’s how fisherman’s stories go, right?! HA!!! Shortly thereafter I had another bite, but he just ate part of my hook & then got away. On my third attempt, I caught a fairly good sized, king fish. Unfortunately, after reeling him in, for what seemed like forever & the rod bruising my forearm, my line got caught in the gaff and he got away, but I have two witnesses on that catch, just wish there had been someone there to catch it on camera….he was a beaut!!

The stars at night over sea is an incredible sight!! I could’ve stared at them all night! Though, the feeling I had when I stepped into the cockpit Friday morning and saw all water, without a single glimpse of land, ( or anything else for that matter) was something I’m not sure I can explain. It was certainly overwhelming, but in a good way! I had always thought that it would be worrisome, but it was actually quite a peaceful and enjoyable experience!!

Poor hubs experienced seasickness again. Ugh, that’s got to be rough! We both forgot to take the Meclazine 1-2 days prior to leaving and so we used the Sclopamine Patch instead. Though, I’m not entirely certain that works for either of us. While I never got sick, I did feel a bit queasy at times, when the water was rough. But for Joe, it definitely didn’t work as he was sick the first day & most of the second day….so naturally, he threw his patch overboard! 

Joe at the helm….
Robert (boat owner) sitting back & relaxing…

Joe and I slept down below, while Robert & Mark took watch. Robert had the generator running so the a/c cooled the aft cabin off quite nicely and hubs was able to get some much need rest! I wasn’t able to lay horizontally, while the boat movement was more vertical, so I slept in the salon. Every thirteenth wave {yes, I counted} that we crashed into, I swear it felt & sounded  like the bottom of the boat was going to fall out. And this is a heavy boat! I don’t know how people in lighter, production boats cross oceans. I don’t know what it felt like for hubs, sleeping in the aft berth, but for me, sleeping in the salon, it felt like riding a mechanical bull, that was mounted on a trampoline. Suffice it to say, I was awake more than I was asleep.

Sunrise in the ICW….

And finally, forty-seven and a half hours later, we arrived in Rockport, Texas. Our first boat delivery had taken place. Robert rented a car, took us out for a delicious meal and Mark drove us all back to Kemah. All in all, I’m glad we participated, it was a good experience!

And, we are back to blogging…

Our new logo design….

Welcome to our blog, now powered through WordPress. What you see here, will be exactly the same as when we were using Blogger. Only now, I will be able to post more frequently and hopefully experience less problems with my blog, all while having Forever Living Irie, be a bit more professional looking!