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Great Lakes to The Bahamas
Who: Wayne & Pat
Port: Jackson
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The First Mates Journal - Season 2
A bit nippy out...
11/05/2009, Deltaville, VA

Well we're still in Deltaville having some boat repairs done. Thought we'd be out of here by now but, still here.

This season I'm going to try out a new address for the blog. I was trying to get it set up for my website at www.kolibrie.us but for some reason I can't the the DNS to work right.

The new blogs will now be posted at:

http://kolibrie-thefirstmatesjournal.blogspot.com/

until I can get the proper linkup. Don't know what I'm doing wrong but I'll get it figured out... in the mean time bookmark the new site if you care to follow us once again. I'll leave this blog here but continue with the new entries at http://kolibrie-thefirstmatesjournal.blogspot.com/

Once I get the final site going, you'll automatically be directed there from the other site.

Fair winds
First Mate Patti

Back in Deltaville
mid 40s rainy
10/16/2009, Deltaville, VA

Wow, who ordered all this rain? Just a short note to get my feet wet again (pun intended). We're waiting for the weather to break to put the bottom paint on the boat. In the mean time it's work, work, work loading and unpacking and packing the boat... :)

May the bluebirds of happiness revisit us in the fall
05/27/2009, Deltaville

Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Deltaville

Well we got all the items off the boat that we thought would not make the drop from the boat once she's on land. The boatyard forgot to call us to let us know they were ready for us and just showed up, so we were backed up until after lunch. Pulled out of our slip and went over to the pumpout and petrol dock and tied up there, until they got back from lunch and were ready for us. Water out, check; Petrol full, check; head empty, check; the list slowly got checked off... It was sad watching Brie get harnessed in and then lifted out of the water and brought to shore.

It was amazing to finally see her bottom. The mooring ball scars showed where the ablative bottom paint came off, and her multi-colored bottom showed the previous colors we'd used. The only places where we'd picked up barnacles were in the thru hulls, and the algae growth was minimal - probably thanks to the krill snacking on the algae (we could hear them at night - they sounded like rice krispies popping). Evidence of our running aground was a very clean keel bottom!

Once ashore the boatyard prepared to pressure wash her bottom. While this was happening below, Wayne said "look at that, a bird is checking out our boom already and she's not even on the hard (sitting on the ground)". Sure enough there was a bird flying in and out of the boom. Bizarre with all the noise and water spray around. I grabbed my camera to see who was trying to occupy our boat already when we hadn't yet finished vacating it. It was a little bluebird trying to set up a nest for his lady love who also had to inspect his choice for a new home. I wonder if it met her approval - it seemed to. Oh, ohhh...

After Brie got pressure washed off, and put in her jack stands we borrowed a ladder and proceeded to take down the sails and remove the dodger and bimini. The batteries are off, wind generator lowered to deck, check, check...oh ya... plug the hole in the boom. There's nothing worse than returning to nesting birds in the boom.

We took a last shower and then went to Bellas for Pizza. We asked about their "kick mama lasagna". They didn't know what we were talking about, but said that their lasagna was "good stuff". I think that Taylors was having fun with us. The pizza was pretty good and it looks like they have really good sub sandwiches too from what we saw going out of the door.

Sometime tomorrow we will load up the final packings from the boat and set out, this time - on the road, for home. Standing in the boat, looking down at the ground beneath us, I think about this past year and the difference between my life at home (?) and on the boat. There was quite a bit of adjusting. I missed my family, friends, my large kitchen, hot, unrushed showers, and in the beginning that great life waster - T.V.... I've actually come to love not hearing "the news"... So much of it isn't news - just sensationalism to get you to keep watching or listening to "the noise"... While we are now, getting set to return to land, I find that I'm already looking forward to October when we will once again pick up this continuing journey that we started this last year. But for now Brie needs the well deserved rest, then repairs, refittings...

New tastes this last year: salt water bread, bimini bread, conch in a variety of ways, soft shelled crab, peas & rice and Bahamian mac & cheese, fresh fresh mahi.

New experiences - wow! The whole trip was a new experience from crossing the Gulf Stream, water spouts, storms, a Gale, Dolphins riding in our bow wake, watching eagles soar and watch us, seeing various forms of sea life; learning to cook on a moving kitchen on a two burner alcohol stove; a new sense of freedom and loneliness, new friendships and goodbyes... I learned how to make and blow a conch horn so I can now announce the arrival of the king LOL.

Emily (from school) asked me "...what has been the best part so far?" Wow! A very tough, but excellent question...

Gosh... the best part so far.... the mushy answer? Being with my other half 24/7. We used to be like that before I started teaching (we were in business together) so it was nice to get "reacquainted" if you will. It took some adjusting but it was all for the good. The "other" best part (besides meeting new people in new places): I've always loved to travel and via a slow boat makes me feel so much closer to nature - sometimes to close, like when I'm standing at the helm in the rain, or a storm, or the cold. Driving and flying, you move fast and so tend to miss so much. Living on the boat and walking gives you time to actually look and experience your surroundings that you just can't do with other faster modes of transportation. I like that, and the sense of freedom and self-reliance that comes with this life style. It still amazes me whenever I think about it. I have to wonder how we managed to get so far away from home while traveling so slowly.

I guess my favorite part would have to be the dolphins riding along beside me and under the bowsprit. My adrenaline kicks up a notch just thinking of it and remembering the sensation of the wind and spray as I was trying to snap pictures of them; looking at them eye to eye in our separate environments; me in the air, they in the water - separated by a barrier but each of us curious about the other... there was something really special about that moment when we were watching each other - a moment not to be forgotten. It's so hard to isolate a moment, as the best, or my favorite...
My first sighting of a manatee or an eagle - so majestic...

The best part so far.... Hmmmm...

The best part....

I guess I'd finally have to say the best part - is feeling like I'm living life...

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