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Lemons Way
The continuing adventures of a cruising sailor/family lawyer, his wife (also a lawyer), and their young children.
Land Lubber Food At Last
Keith, warn, sunny, not so humid
07/12/2008, Chesapeake, VA

Since I was parked a short walk from the Taco Bell, I made a run for it. I also needed ice. I ordered my usual, two hard tacos and a bean burrito without onions. Taco Bell is the only place I know that puts enchilada sauce in the bean burrito without having to ask for it or pay extra. Good on them. The onions I could do without. Who wants a crunchy bean and cheese burrito. I like my Taco Bell with several extra-hot sauces. Urban bliss, I tell you. Slept fitfully at the Walmart parking lot and awoke to full-on sunlight. Took a walk, but its not the same without the dogs. Every time I came back into the Rebounder I half-expected to see them. I called the Pet Parlor this morning and they say Jake and Anne are doing just fine...

Parked At The Walmart In Chesapeake, Va
Keith, perfect

Around noon today I loaded the Rebounder, brought the dogs to the Pet Parlor in Oriental for boarding, and headed off to Norfolk. It was a long drive. Stopped at this burger joint for lunch and had an incredible burger and fries. I'm parked about 30-40 miles from the airport just outside the city. The sun is just about to go down at 8:00 p.m. The weather here is perfect. I will be able to sleep with just the windows open tonight. It's like a completely different weather experience here. I can see now that the outer banks of the Carolinas are holding the bad weather in - maybe its the arctic water and the gulf stream converging off the coast that creates the weather we have been experiencing in Oriental, but whatever, it is much more dry, sunny, and pleasant up north here, at least this time of year. Sometimes you just have to push through the present circumstances - give up the good to go for the great, so to speak. I have to admit I was really depressed today leaving Oriental without the dogs, but I have no choice. Traveling completely alone is not what I had in mind. Leaving the dogs in a kennal was not in the plan. But I have already learned that cruising on a sailboat means giving up set plans and living day by day or week by week and making decisions as needed even if the decisions are hard ones. I bought a few $5 DVDs at the Walmart and will watch one tonight on the surround sound home theater. Tomorow late morning I will head to the airport to park in the long-term oversized vehicle parking. Late tomorrow I will be back in Tucson. As long as I'm in populated areas, I have good internet from the Verizon card (which they finally replaced via Fed Ex to Deatons). So for now I can keep posting, but there won't be much of interest to cruisers or arm-chair cruisers, except the reality that you sometimes get called back home and you've got to deal with that with as good an attitude as possible.

Note The Distance To Omaha At The Bottom
Keith, thick
07/11/2008, Whitaker Creek Dock

Along with the dock space came electricity, water, solid ground just outside the boat, and a key card to the club house. I walked in and had a sensory overload. Super cold air conditioning. Very clean. Cable TV. Hot, clean showers, bathrooms, washers, dryers, books, magazines, a phone, a pool. Just outside were the signs in the picture. I enjoyed a hot shower and shave this morning with as much water as I wanted.

Tropical Dreamer's Temporary Home For The Next Two Weeks
Keith, humid, cloudy, and daily thunderstorms

It's been a few days since I last posted a blog entry. Much has happened. Some of it has already escaped my memory but I'll recap the highlights (so to speak). I drove the boat back to Whitaker Creek (just adjacent to Deaton's) and, with the help of some friendly cruisers, parked the sailboat in a slip for the next two weeks. I was ready to pay $350 but my new found friends Pat and Laurie found me better space for $250. If I need a few more days than two weeks, no extra charge. We hooked up the air conditioning last night and had our first cool, dry, really comfortable night in the boat. I had to batten up all the hatches to keep the ac in but it got down to below 70 and stayed there all night and most of the morning. It was like a little confortable apartment last night and it didn't matter where we were. Woke up in the early hours of the morning and there was dew everywhere outside due to the humidity, but it was cool, dry and comfortable inside.

What I'm Doing Mostly Today
Keith, overcast and windy
07/09/2008, Inside Tropical Dreamer

The litigation draws me back and I find myself working, but on a sailboat in a harbor. Not good, but necessary. When I return, dear readers, I will need to separate from the voicemail and the e-mail and, dare I say, from the internet. It means the multiple daily posts will need to give way to actual cruising. E-mail is a blessing, but also a curse, know what I mean?

Morning View From The Stern Of Tropical Dreamer In Oriental Harbor Looking Towards Town Dock


The Titusville Neighbors The Night Before Their Departure
Keith, steady wind from the south west, nice weather to hang out at night
07/09/2008, Oriental Harbor

I had my neighbors over for a beer. They eventually stayed for dinner (well, they went to their boat and brought their dinner over and shared it with me - I threw together a salad). We chatted for hours and enjoyed some mutual interests. Their boat is an older 37 foot sailboat named Roxy, which is the name of their 13 year old dog. They've been cruising for years, I'm just starting. They are cruising on a shoe string. I am better off. Their boat is a fixer upper. Mine is in great shape. It really helped me to put things into perspective in terms of how lucky I am. They are sailing away towards the outer banks as I write this. There is a place there that several people have advised me to visit. It is about 5-7 hours away and only accessable by boat - where Blackbeard hung out apparently. White sand beaches. Near, but just this side of, the Atlantic. In the picture you can see Jake licking the can opener just used to open the bottles of Corona. He later crawled onto their dingy and peed. We think he had to go and found a way to do it without peeing on the boat, which the dogs don't want to do. It was quite unlike Jake. I found dock space here for 30% off of the retail price from a friend I made at the self storage rv park. I can move the boat there today and stay for several days after I return from the west. That doesn't really appeal to me as I prefer to anchor out, but I've got to dock the boat while I travel so I might as well do it today The National Public Radio weather forcast predicts thunderstorms today similar to yesterday. I'm starting to get used to the cruising life again, only to have to leave it again. I'll be back soon this time.

Afternoon Thunderstorms
07/08/2008, Oriental Harbor

We've been having nearly daily (or nightly) thunderstorms. They build up over a long time, hit slowly, then build up to huge downpours. The one this afternoon hit shortly after I returned from a shore excursion. The dogs must have been frightened because they jumped down into the cabin by themselves (now they can do that and don't need my help, for better or for worse). It was blowing so hard the boat was swinging around the anchor and I came pretty close to the nice couple from Titusville. Again, the boat remained remarkably dry in spite of the dounpour. The storm is over now, but the winds are still pretty high and the dogs are hanging out below with me. Looking back, it probably was a very good idea to stay here. I might very well have made it to Norfolk, but if I got caught in one of these storms on the open water, it wouldn't be fun. Plus, I'm getting things done with the extra time I have ( in a relative cruisor sort of way).

A Boat From Marblehead
Keith, nice wind
07/07/2008, Past the bridge into the Oriental creeks

I took the dogs on a dingy adventure past the bridge and into the creeks where the kayacks go. Very peaceful. We came across this old boat which purported to come from Marblehead. If they mean the place near Boston, that's where my Father grew up. Perhaps we will sail there one day.

Jake Loves To Roll Around In The Grass
Keith, morning cool and humid
07/07/2008, Oriental, NC

With a little time on my hands I was able to take the dogs for a long walk this morning. We were on this grass road next to this field of green sod and Jake just went dog happy. We were actually on our way to look at the local dog kennel but it was just too far to walk there. I went back later and checked it out on the scooter. It's nice. A dog grooming outfit that has outfitted itself with little rooms inside (doggie condos, they call them) with outside areas to go potty and a fenced area for socializing all the dogs. I will need to board them for 10 days, which is a really long time in my mind, but I have no choice. At least it is a local Oriental place that comes well recommended. They will give the dogs adjoining rooms with an open door between the rooms or they will put them together in a larger room. They will get a social hour every day to play with other dogs, which Jake loves. And I think they will be safe and taken care of while I am gone. I can drop them off when I depart for Norfolk on the afternoon of the 11th and pick them up on the Sunday after I return to Oriental (since the place closes at 3 on Saturdays). It is a relief finding what appears to be good dog boarding in Oriental. I've also arranged to store the boat and I've verified that I can park the motorhome in the Norfolk airport's oversized vehicle lot for $7 per day. Now its just a matter of enjoying the time until then, trying to be somewhat productive, and remembering to close the hatches when the nightly rainstorm hits.


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