Monte and I crewed on Camelot for Kurt & Kevin this weekend during one of the Austin Yacht Club Summer Series races. It was a hot and steamy day on the water but we had a great time.
We got hitched.
Again. We just got the trailer hitch installed on our new Outback. We’re back in business to haul things!
Wishing everyone a most happy Easter with family & friends.
We took our friends Tim & Fiona and their three kids sailing on Nirvana today. We’ve done it many times over the years during their Spring Break holidays.
The kids are now 13 or 14, and 19 years old. It’s amazing to watch them grow up. They all have an intuitive feel for the helm. Monte and I didn’t need to steer much at all. It was a beautiful day for a nice long sail. I’m glad we got to spend it with them.
Old dogs learning new tricks.
Monte and I both hang on to the cars we buy a long, looong time – one is 26 years old, the new one is 13 years old. It’s time for some new blood in the garage.
We’ve been thinking about getting an electric vehicle, as much of our driving trips are less than 70-miles roundtrip (to the lake and back) and much shorter errand-trips around town. We have been shopping for a month or two. Last week we found one we were looking for in San Antonio. So on a wild hair, we hopped into the fossil-fuel vehicle (ironic, right?) and drove 75 miles to see it, sit in it, test drive it. We liked it, so we brought it home!
We picked a Chevy Bolt EV. Pretty roomy. It’ll hold our boat loads to and from the marina (ice chest and our bags) and lots of room for groceries and other things.
NY to MD.
Three weeks ago, Lori and I flew to New York City to move S/V Trident south to Cambridge, MD.
It was raining when we arrived. We joined 50+ other boats waiting in Manhasset Bay for the weather to improve. But after one day of hunkering on the boat on a mooring ball, and one day of provisioning, a good weather window opened for a few days. On day 3 we were blessed with a sunny, clear day as we went down the East River, highlighted in my last post.
We ended that day at anchor at Atlantic Highlands, NJ with the rest of the transient fleet moving south. We left at sunset on day 4, for a sporting overnight run down the coast of NJ to Cape May. We enjoyed strong Northwest winds and a bright full-moon to light the way.
We spent one night at anchor in Cape May Harbor, then moved to South Jersey Marina for one night, for a walkabout, a bike ride, a geocache (my first in NJ!), a shower, and dinner ashore.
On day 7, we departed Cape May at the morning’s slack tide and headed up Delaware bay, with both the wind and a several-knot current on our nose, making for a slow, long day of motoring. We made it about halfway up, anchoring in the mouth of the Cohansey River on the NJ-side of the bay.
Day 8 took us from Delaware Bay to Chesapeake Bay, via the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal, in which sailing is not allowed, so another day of motoring. We went as far south as we could, anchoring at sunset in Worton Creek on the NE shore of Chesapeake Bay.
With anchor up on day 9, we had a chance to sail down Chesapeake Bay, and up the Choptank River, arriving at Cambridge, MD near sunset.
We anchored outside the town, in the river, on the first night and then moved into the town’s harbor to anchor on day 9.
For the next 5 days, we busted our butts to get Trident ready for haulout for the winter. We lowered and stowed 3 sails, removed the bimini, secured the bimini frame, consolidated and removed all the foodstuffs, linens, and appliances, removed the outboard motor, cleaned the boat topsides and below, changed the oil & filters, topped off diesel, prepped the freshwater system for winterization, and worked on completing the long todo lists.
We worked hard, but dinghied to shore with the bikes and explored the town a bit, too. Renting a U-haul truck for a few days worked out great, which we used to move all the offloaded items to a temperature-controlled storage unit.
We enjoyed dinner ashore with Teri & Jim, who graciously drove 2+ hours from Washington, DC to meet up with us. It was so great to catch up.
We also got in a few visits with Edwin, who will be leaving Cambridge to join the Salty Dog Rally to Antigua on Nov 1st, on his boat S/V Frog’s Leap.
A stubbed toe, several bruises and sore muscles later, Lori backed the boat up to the dock at Yacht Maintenance Company in Cambridge for haulout, some maintenance, winterizing, and shrinkwrapping for the winter.
Lori and Mike will return in May to put Trident back in cruising shape and take her back north to cruise through Maine for the summer.
Another fun adventure in the books.
NYC from the water.
Today Lori and I left Port Washington and took Trident down the East River to an anchorage near Sandy Hook, NJ. I have been to Manhattan many times but today got a really unique view of many of its sites from the water.
The most meaningful, to me, was going close by Ellis Island and the Status of Liberty. In 1951 my father sailed into New York Harbor from Ireland and saw them for the first time. He was just 21 years old.
The surrounding views have changed over the years, but the promise remains the same.
We ventured out tonight to see a friend return to the stage. Mike is a sailor, former B-Docker, and drummer in the band FatDog. They played at Infamous Brewery tonight. Kurt and Barbara joined us. It was nice to see him and Connie again.
The beer menu at Infamous is much improved since I was there last; more variety. I enjoyed a nice pilsner and a lager.
I have to give Infamous points for their very eclectic restroom art, best I’ve ever seen. 🙂
Monte and I decided to anchor out on a Sunday night instead of a Friday or Saturday, and it was well worth it. We went for a long sail and dropped anchor about 6pm. We had the cove to ourselves. The temps at night dipped below 70 and it was very comfortable below.
I went for an hour-long paddle in Arky south. I found and picked up the usual trash along the receding shoreline of the lake. I also found one treasure – a nice 20 lb vinyl coated mushroom-style anchor with stainless shackle. There was no line, chain, or any kind of rode attached, so I think it was lost simply due to a poorly tied knot. Their loss, my gain. C’mon people, learn how to splice 3-strand line, or at least how to tie a bowline knot!
It has been a long time since I checked on the geocache that I hid in the cove, so I did that as I paddled by. All good.
All in all, a very overdue and enjoyable one boat raft-up.
We just got home from a productive and fun weekend on the lake. Monte refurbished some of the cabinetry in the head over the last few weeks and re-installed it today.
Friends were seen. Noodles were floated upon. Laughs were had. And a really nice 4-hour afternoon sail with Kurt & Kevin aboard Nirvana.
A fine Fourth.
We enjoyed a long, fun Fourth of July weekend at the lake. We floated, paddled, fished, grilled, sailed, watched a couple movies, played some games, admired fireworks, and caught up with friends. Various sponsors on Lake Travis had fireworks on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday nights. And there were many small, but impressive, volleys all weekend long.
We watched fireworks on Saturday sitting at the end of our dock, on Sunday spitting in our cockpit in the slip, and on Monday we motored out to watch a big show. We enjoyed them all.
I hope you had a fun weekend as well.
Last weekend Monte and I sailed up river about 30 miles from our marina. We left on Saturday morning, minutes after a thunderstorm rolled through. The calm after the storm made for breezes on our nose, so we motor sailed most of the way.
Kurt and Kevin joined us on their boat. We anchored up together in a cove below John and Wendy’s lake house. We fished, paddled, floated, and enjoyed catching up with some friends we haven’t seen in a very long time. The sail back home on Sunday was sporting, to say the least. The winds had clocked around and were 5-10 gusting to 20. Good sailing, but lots of grinding on some legs. I was sound asleep about 15 minutes after we got home that night.
Best burger evah.
Every burger and hot dog on the water is the best one EVAH. Tonight is our first overnight on the boat this year. We enjoyed burgers, vino, and the company of old friends.
A look back at my 2021.
A year ago, it was anyone’s guess how 2021 would roll out after the cluster that was the year 2020. Today I paused to reflect on a few of the memories I captured from the last twelve months.
January – I started to direct my energy towards making things and sewing. I asked Monte to make me a rack for my growing collection of spools of thread. It turned out perfect, as usual, and has been well used by me over the last 12 months.
February – The deep freeze descended upon Texas. We were incredibly lucky to not have lost power during the prolonged freeze. So many people were really hurting during the weeklong outages. I can’t deny that I loved the temporary snowscape around the house. But I was happy to see it go.
March – The power across the state eventually came back on. The weather warmed up. Things started to bloom. The leaves fell and were raked up. I think we set a record for leaf bags set out on the curb. The City of Austin yard waste collection crew even took a picture of our curbside menagerie.
April – Incredibly, a year after this shit-storm started, COVID vaccines were available to the masses, and we got in line. For both of us, the reactions were pretty mild. The worst thing I can report is a temperature of 100 degrees F.
May – I flew to Charleston to help Lori take Trident north to Annapolis. We had some great days and nights on the water, including several legs on the outside. Sadly, my precious little Keeto died while I was away. Nearly 10 years old, it was still too soon. I’m sorry I wasn’t there for my sweet baby bird. And I’m sorry Monte had to go through it alone. It still brings a tear to my eye. He was just the best bird ever.
June – Nirvana received lots of TLC. A prolonged bottom job. New batteries. Scheduled maintenance undertaken by me and Monte. Inverter replacement. Cushion repairs. Some new running rigging. And many hours with friends and family spent on her this year.
July – We had fun family visits this month; the first since the pandemic descended. And, as we do every year, we took a boatload out on Lake Travis to watch the July 4th fireworks.
August – Monte and I continued enjoying Nirvana and the lake throughout the summer. One week, we spent several days sailing 30 miles upstream, anchoring up around mile marker 44. Our goal was to watch the Perseids meteor shower. We did see some meteors. It was just nice to be out and about on the boat so much this summer.
September – We crewed for Kurt & Kevin for the Austin Yacht Club Fall Series Regatta on Camelot. We helped them nab 2nd place for their class in the end. Huzzah!!
October – I flew up to Baltimore to join Lori on Trident for the Annapolis Sailboat Show, my first. This was more of a for-fun trip than a move-the-boat trip, and I really enjoyed the two day trip we took sailing to St. Michaels and back across Chesapeake Bay. After the boat show, we drove back together to Austin, stopping at 4 US National Parks along the way. Amazing!
November – We enjoyed more time out and about this fall. Monte took me curling for my birthday. We both had loads of fun. And I think we’ll do it again!
December – Wow, the year flew by. Again. We took another boatload out for the Christmas boat parade. Unfortunately, COVID fears are starting to seep back into our lives. But I really hope that by this time next year there are many more fun outings and visits under my belt. I just can’t take another lockdown.
Time flies. We are immensely blessed. It’s easy to complain about the events swirling around us, but I’m focused on celebrating the small day-to-day good times that we spend together and with friends and family.
I wish you all an amazing, healthy, and happy 2022.
This year was my fifth year participating in the Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count. Doray and I joined a bunch of other birders to count birdies in the Westcave area. Over 8 hours we logged 7+ miles and ~40 species over 3 different properties. I haven’t birded much this year. Other things have crammed their way in to fill my free hours. But I do enjoy walking around with my eyes on the treetops.
The temperatures started out in the mid-60s this year, instead of the 30s, for a change. No rain. Just a perfect day to tramp around the hill country trying to tell one Sparrow species from another.
Nice. Very nice.