s/v Skylark

It's Always An Adventure

21 September 2016 | Bethel, Maine
11 September 2016 | Scituate, MA
02 September 2016 | Yarmouth ME
02 September 2016 | Bethel, Maine
27 August 2016 | Bethel, Maine
22 August 2016 | Hope Maine
14 August 2016 | Hope, Maine
14 August 2016 | Rockland ME
14 August 2016 | Rockland ME
14 August 2016 | Yarmouth ME
14 August 2016 | Yarmouth ME
10 August 2016 | Maine
04 August 2016 | Howard Pond, Maine
30 July 2016 | Bethel, Maine
30 July 2016 | Yarmouth ME
26 July 2016 | Yarmouth ME
21 July 2016 | Yarmouth ME
18 July 2016 | Yarmouth, ME
14 July 2016 | Yarmouth ME
13 July 2016 | Yarmouth ME

Trying to Keep Up

21 September 2016 | Bethel, Maine
Elizabeth
I can't believe how much I've neglected this poor blog. I don't know how to remedy the situation, other than to limp along and write something when I can. What in the world are we doing with our time since becoming land dwellers? Well, I mentioned previously (or did I?) that Ed is working part time at Yankee Marina helping fill a gap with the seasonal transitions of boats coming out of the water before cold weather settles in. Today it was 79 in Bethel but still, most boaters in Maine seem to haul out in September. It is our favorite month to be sailing these waters, or should I say it used to be? Ed's job is grueling but he'll stop working when we make a journey southbound to NC in November. All this leaves me to my own devices 3-4 days each week and I stay busy constantly. I am working hard to reactivate my professional licenses, a time-consuming but not uninteresting endeavor. I hope to be done with that within a month or two. We've had company visiting (my older sister from CA) and a business meeting in Boston which is always much more than business. We meet annually and it's something we look forward to. We continue to look for houses to purchase or the perfect site to build on. There are a couple of options but nothing happening immediately. And then there's Luna who wants to go everywhere and do everything. She is happiest when Ed and I are both together and she also prefers my mom around at the same time. When her little family has gathered, she relaxes. There is much more, but mostly I've been fending off a strange and painful condition that has effected my joints and muscles from head to tow. It has been challenging but I'm focused on diagnosing it as quickly as I can. I will say that having physical limitations feels incredibly anti-climatic after all we've accomplished as cruisers. I protest loudly but mostly I just hurt. I find it terribly unfair but I've never felt life was either fair or unfair. Shit happens. Good stuff happens. It's all a crap shoot for the most part.

September 11

11 September 2016 | Scituate, MA
Elizabeth (photo of my sister NJ and Luna)
Has it really been 16 years (correction, 15 years) since our world in the US changed with a stunning, surprising, unbelievable attack on home soil by ruthless and dangerous intruders? Like Kennedy's assassination, there isn't an adult in our country who doesn't remember where they were when the first plane struck. I was at work and had just wrapped up with an early morning couple. One of my partners stopped by my office after the clients left to tell me what happened and I thought he was joking. The look on his face and his words, "I wish I was" said it all. My next appointment no-showed. I called him, an attorney in international affairs and he said "I'm not coming, I figured you wouldn't have expected me". Looking back, I don't know why I did. My next appointment also cancelled and I was glad to have some time to myself before the afternoon. I drove to my step-daughter's middle school and checked in with her. Thankfully she was oblivious and unconcerned as the staff had not yet decided how to deal with breaking the news to the students. Her biological mom was across the country and I worried about her flying home. My step son was safe in high school but later wondered why I didn't check in with him as well. I couldn't explain my decision. I went home and urged Ed to come home. There was no reason other than the world felt frightening and I wanted him close. Later in the day I returned to work and saw three clients. The first of the afternoon, who had a relative living in NYC didn't want or need to talk abut the attacks at all. I was surprised but it was his money and his hour and although I think I used this in some sort of therapeutic intervention I decided it was fairly typical of his problems and consistent with his general world view. Grist for the mill. I don't remember much else except the difficulty I had keeping my reactions separate from his. That's not always easy for a psychotherapist when tragedy hits. We are, after all, not so different from one another. My next client wanted to talk about nothing but the attacks. It was a relief in a selfish sort of way. Another client called to see if she should come or cancel the appointment. She decided to come on in but I don't remember whether it was a wise decision. It was hard to concentrate. Although I was primarily a couples therapist, I didn't have any scheduled after my early morning session, only individuals. That was a blessing, actually.

For several days after that when I walked in the neighborhood with whichever dog we had at the time (perhaps we had two), I was struck by the utter silence created by the grounding of all flights. Our house was just 20 miles or so from the international airport so we were used to hearing one plane after another and the quiet blank sky was eery, unsettling and surreal.

Ed, Luna and I left 10 years later for our cruising adventure and mostly the September 11 anniversaries came and went without much fanfare. We lived outside the US much of the time, with cruisers from many nationalities. We didn't listen to the news and read no newspapers. It was a much-needed reprieve but now it occurs to me it is one of the many differences we encounter living on land. So many differences.

Skylark In Stripped Down Mode

02 September 2016 | Yarmouth ME
Elizabeth (photo by Ed)
We continue to offload everything from Skylark in preparation for varnishing inside and out as well as projects needing our attention. Ed has done most of the grunt work while I've tended to issues from the home front. He's been offered part time/seasonal work at Yankee Marina and it would have been foolish to turn down the opportunity, so beginning Tuesday we'll live apart several days a week. We've done it before when we still had jobs and a house in NC but it's hard getting used to it now after 5 years of almost constant interactions. We like hanging out together which is the only way I could imagine living in such close quarters on a boat day in and day out. You have to really like the person you're with.

Recently a comment on the blog about whether cruisers on land argue less than cruisers underway got me thinking and I think for us it was the opposite. While we were underway or living in different cultures or figuring out how to get what we needed and countless other issues to resolve we made an effort to rarely argue. When we failed miserably at that we made a point of resolving our differences quickly. Sometimes that meant they didn't get resolved per se, they just got absorbed into life and disappeared (we hope they're disappeared in any event). On land it's a whole different ballgame. We still don't argue much but there isn't the incentive to get on with things immediately. I'll write more about this another time.

Barn in a Meadow

02 September 2016 | Bethel, Maine
Elizabeth
This weekend we're going to see some of our good friends from cruising life, Eric and Eulalie on s/v Elizabeth Jean. They are moored in the Portland area visiting family and friends up and down the east coast, including us. Luna is beside herself with anticipation! This will be our first visit in Maine from friends we made during our time away but we hope it won't be the last or only. The richness of friendships among cruisers is legendary and should not be minimized. You develop quick bonds and grow to depend on those relationships for a multitude of needs; companionship, ideas, entertainment, celebrations or holidays, trading goods, physical and technical help, conversation, and sometimes travel companions (a good example of this for us was making a night passage with two other vessels from Grenada to Trinidad for added safety). A couple of my women friends traded clothes and jewelry, shoes and kitchenwares with me. We all traded books. And movies. And music. We taught the less experienced cruisers what we knew and learned from the more seasoned ones. We associated with very old folks and very young, rich and poor, black, white and a variety of other shades, an abundance of nationalities, children, animals, single handers, couples (gay and straight) and large families. We count as our good friends those who own very large sailboats, very small ones, catamarans, trimarans, trawlers and power boats. We wish we had befriended an owner of one of those mega yachts, the kind with helicopter pads and swimming pools but we weren't that lucky. And now, we are in Maine where locals wave and say hello and in this way, we feel a little like cruisers with every trip to the post office or the dump. It takes a little imagination sometimes.

Luna's Post

27 August 2016 | Bethel, Maine
Luna (photo by Elizabeth)
Hello Everyone,

This is where I sit throughout the day, unless I'm lucky enough to sit in another chair where I can see the front door and keep track of who is coming and going. That chair is often occupied by humans who seem to think they own the joint. Chair hoggers all of them. But this chair is pretty cool and gives me a good view of our yard and a large field beyond it with mountains in the background. I think this is an old photo that Elizabeth found recently. But nothing has changed. I sit here and watch the wild turkeys, resident fox, stupid chipmunk and herd of deer. I watch for Moose but no such luck as of yet. And bears too. The humans have encouraged me to NOT visualize them visiting our yard but I don't really know what that means. I don't really even know what Moose or Bears look like. I just see signs warning us about them and figure they must be big.

The other day Elizabeth whispered in my ear while I was in this very position watching the deer prance around the tall grass. She said, "Luna, you are a good girl not to bark at the deer the way you barked at dolphins." I thought to myself, the deer are minding their own business, why would I bark at them? But the dolphins swam WAAAY too close to our boat and looked at me as if I could jump in for a play date. It wasn't that I didn't like them. I was just saying, "Don't come any closer" because I knew I wasn't allowed to jump in the water and that was totally embarrassing. If you want to know the truth, I was entranced by their presence, as much as my humans were every single time they swam around us. I looked that word up. Entranced. Are you impressed? But deer? They're pretty ho-hum, don't you think? Not much to be entranced about even if their little bobbed tails look a little like mine.

Well, I guess that it's from Luna's Chair. Land life is very cool so far and my favorite part, besides watching the yard and field is riding in various cars. If I could dangle my feet in some water while we drove, I would definitely be blissful. I found that word when I was looking up entranced.

Until next time,

Your friend, Luna

Sail Blog? Really?

22 August 2016 | Hope Maine
Elizabeth
This sign doesn't suggest it belongs on a sailing blog. But what's a landlubber to do when the blog is begging for some attention? I have been to see Skylark once since moving to Bethel and it was wonderful being on her, however briefly. I told Ed I loved living on a boat and it continues to feel like home for me. That is a bitter sweet condition, isn't it?

We are living inland. a 90 minute drive from the coast. And we love it here as well so that's all good. Ed doesn't take too many photos when he's in Yarmouth working but lately we've both been in Bethel taking care of business. He continues to work on dental issues, dermatology concerns and eye exams. I am scheduled to see an orthopedic specialist tomorrow and this afternoon will spend a couple of hours getting some dental work done myself. I'm finished with my eye exams and all is well in that department. We bought a car from a family member yesterday in order to have a 2nd set of wheels rather than continuing to rely on borrowing my mom's car. So now, in addition to having our coffeemaker set to brew each morning (love it!), a dishwasher, microwave, toaster oven, hair dryer (rarely used but I like having the option), washing machine and dryer, smartphones and a television set (we've been watching some news but it's a bit too depressing for our taste and nothing else seems very interesting or tolerable), we now have two cars! The one we just bought was inexpensive with high mileage, rusts and a few dents, but we don't care. That's the beauty of living in Maine. People just don't care about having styled hair or nice cars. There just doesn't seem to be a point in all that. And I will say that makes our transition from cruisers to land dwellers far easier.

I suppose that's all I have to contribute for now.

Sea Glass and Mountains

14 August 2016 | Hope, Maine
Elizabeth
This is a photo that I felt captured the endless beauty of sea glass collected by my younger sister over the years alongside the equally remarkable splendor of mountain ranges in Maine. Beauty is everywhere in this state and while I can't say we don't miss the sea, it's refreshing having something new in our lives.

Rockland Breakwater

14 August 2016 | Rockland ME
Elizabeth
The granite breakwater and lighthouse in Rockland Maine made us yearn for Skylark and our cruising lives. We visited my sister and her family and walked out here to watch her swim in the very cold water. She is training for a swimming event for charity. As we gazed out at a sailboat looking regal under full sail Ed asked if I wished we were out there. My response? "Of course! I will never see any ocean or sailboat without wishing we were part of it." But what that means to me is how much I loved what we did. It was spectacular. And now? I am ready for a different kind of adventure, the creation of different memories and digging our feet into firm ground. Was it William Cowper who once said, "Variety's the very spice of life that gives it all its flavor."? A wise man if you ask me.
Vessel Name: Skylark
Vessel Make/Model: Bristol 41.1CC 1985
Hailing Port: Boothbay Harbor, Maine
Crew: Ed Easter, Elizabeth Meadows and Luna the dog
About: Ed, Elizabeth and Luna the dog lived for many years in Charlotte, NC. They started their live aboard experience in Charleston, SC in June 2011, cutting the lines one month later. They have been living the cruiser's life ever since.
Extra:
Skylark is a USA documented vessel and is legally identified by her name "Skylark" and hailing port "Boothbay Harbor". Since our purchase of her in 2008 she had been moored in Tenants Harbor ME '08, Rockland ME '09 and Charleston SC for the 2010 and early 2011 season. After that follow the blog [...]
Skylark's Photos - Delivery South - June 2010
Photos 1 to 94 of 94 | Main
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Moving Out to Jewell Is., Landon rigging the radar detector
Tim rigging the reef lines
Ed rigging something
 
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