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The First Mate's Journal
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Great Lakes to The Bahamas
Who: Wayne & Pat
Port: Jackson
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Where were you on this historic day?
01/20/2009, Vero Beach, FL

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Wayne worked on the wiring during the morning, and then we watched the inauguration on T.V. It didn't really strike me as to how historic this was until I was watching it on T.V.

So many people were chanting Obama's name and seeing tears running down the faces of the older Americans brought it home for me. The scenes on the television were incredible - I couldn't believe how many people they could pack in for the inauguration at the mall! It was wall to wall people - all standing, and cheering, and waiting for Obama to be sworn in as our 44th president. The raw emotions of happiness and tears on the screen were testaments to how many Americans have felt so disenfranchised from their country and the "American" dream. You could see "hope" in so many faces that this new president, by virtue of his color, could change all the woes of this country. The expectations that he's being held to, by so many, are so unrealistically high. He looks like he can shoulder the burden for now, but when reality comes knocking - that he's just a man, that change comes - individual by individual, I hope that people won't judge him by their own expectations of him - but by what he can actually do with the powers of the office that were given to him. It's taken many years in racial equality to break the glass ceiling in our government. I wonder how many more years until it's felt in everyone's hearts? This next decade will be interesting to watch unfold in America's history. We're living in accelerating times of change.

After the inauguration, Wayne and I dingied over to the marina bus stop. There was a ton of people still watching the inaugural events on the TV - all the outside chairs had been dragged inside, around the TV. When the bus showed up, it was packed (like us, everyone must have waited to watch the inauguration before running into town). I got off at the Publix to pick up some odds and ends for dinner for the next couple nights and Wayne went on to Lowes for his nuts, bolts and ring terminals. I made it back to the marina an hour ahead of him and waited for his return while watching the parade on T.V. We had sandwiches for dinner tonight and watched the news, read a little and I stayed up to watch some of the Inaugural Ball festivities.

It's getting cold so I'm ready to jump into bed and under the covers (fully clothed again - its been a while). The Arctic front that's been blasting most of the nation is supposed to dip down into southern Florida tonight and with the way the wind is howling topside - I think it's here.

Martin Luther King Day & Working on our boat
01/19/2009, Vero Beach, FL

Monday, January 19, 2009

Martin Luther King Day - today, and inauguration day - tomorrow, are integrated all through the news today. I hope we get to see the inauguration tomorrow - our TV doesn't always work - so it depends on how much electricity we have in the boat. If there's not enough power, I may have to dingy over to the marina TV.

Worked in the boat during the morning & early afternoon feeding wire under the floor for the macerator, then we caught the bus into town to West Marine. We were going to go to Lows too, but, while on the #1 bus we heard the #2 bus come on the radio saying he'd been in an accident. At the transfer station they said it would be a while so we caught the bus back to the marina and took the dingy over to the Riverside Café for burgers and beers and back to the boat. Read some and that's about it...

By the way the Riverside has interesting stuff hanging from the ceiling - note the flag...

Haw, hawww, haughwwwww… Kicking Back today
01/18/2009, Velcro Beach, FL

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Haw, hawww, haughwwwww... Haw, hawww, haughwwwww... there's a bird that's been around the marina every morning since we've been here with a laugh like a villain out of an old "B" movie. Haw, awww, aughwwwww... Haw, hawww, haughwwwww... He makes me smile and chuckle every morning and I've been meaning to mention him every day - only by the time I'm writing my journal at night - I never remember to mention him. I'm not sure what type of bird he is - a black bird? Laughing gull? Only that each morning (except for 2) I've heard his sardonic laugh and I have to mimic his laugh in return, which in turn, makes me genuinely laugh and makes Wayne look at me, then grin. Good morning world! The sun is out and the boat is drenched in morning dew. I went up top this morning to see if I could put a face to my laughing friend but couldn't pin point where he'd been. The dodger windows are thick with water droplets (inside and outside) so I can't tell if the bird is perched in the trees beyond the mooring or sitting on someone else's boat. I did note that it's actually warmer in the cockpit than below deck though so I'm taking my morning coffee up top to enjoy the early morning sun (and to see if my friend will laugh with me again - only it's usually only once in the morning).

After coffee and English muffins & fruit, we took the dingy over to the marina dock for showers and to see if the buses run on Sundays so we could run into town (they don't). We have way more sanitary hose than we needed and when we run into town for the bolts, etc... West Marine said they'd take back the hose we didn't use (yay!). We did have two packages waiting for us in the Marina office - the heat dispersing unit and the chip for the chart plotter (Central America and Bahamas).

The rest of the day we spent reading and relaxing in the cockpit. It was neat looking at the charts on the chart plotter - of course I had to find St. John's and Cinnamon Bay, and of course my mind wandered to hmmmm - what if we set a course for there... But, my favorite morning coffee stump (of driftwood on the beach) will have to wait for another time. It's not in the cards for this leg of our journey.

Made steak, twice baked potatoes (this time not "well done") and a salad that was a rendition of tomato, avocado, onion, & left over broccoli shreds with a balsamic vinegar/olive oil dressing for dinner and thought we could polish off the left over French bread from yesterday's dinner sandwiches but we were to stuffed so I'll use the bread tomorrow.

Today would have been a perfect day for taking pictures around the marina but it was just too delicious to sit topside and read in the sun.

Somebody had told me that they thought we went cruising to escape life. We really didn't. The comment reminded me of something I'd heard before, but don't remember who said it: "...we went cruising not to escape life, but to keep life from escaping us". It was so nice to just kick back, relax, and enjoy the day. I thoroughly enjoyed the day.

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