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Lemons Way
The continuing adventures of a cruising sailor/family lawyer, his wife (also a lawyer), and their young children.
Remember That Ticket I Got Right Before I Left In May
Keith, believe it or not, hot and humid
07/14/2008, Tucon, Arizona

My childhood friend Jen graciously picked me up from the airport and took me straight to our favorite sushi place. There we met Todd, who went to high school with me (though we didn't know each other at the time) and childhood friend and former roomate Zev, in from Israel. Zev was a big influence in Jake's life when he was a very young golden. It was really nice to go from being alone to being with good old friends. Jen took me to my parent's house, where I picked up my truck from their garage. I went back to my house on boulder canyon and spent the night there. It was a freaky night and I didn't sleep well. In a big empty house, no dogs or anything. The silence as I went to sleep was unnerving. I always felt comfortable and at home in that house. Not now. It was like I wasn't supposed to be there. By the next morning I couldn't wait to get outside. I went to defensive driving school from 7:30 a.m. until 12:30 a.m. It wasn't as bad as I expected, but it certainly wasn't fun. I could tell it was going to be a little different when the instructor had Grateful Dead playing on a boom box in the corner. Hours of rambling with a few jokes thrown in later and we were out of there. I went back to my house after running a few errands and again, I didn't want to be there anymore. My mother kindly offered for me to stay at their place and I took her up on the offer. It's still wierd to be here all alone, but better than my house. Cousin Jodi came over around sunset and we went over to my parents' clubhouse for a light dinner. I actually have a rather full schedule today so that should keep me busy, which is important.

Norfolk Airport
Keith, hot and sunny
07/12/2008

I'm sitting on the ground near an electrical outlet in the terminal leading to security at the Norfolk/Hampton Roads airport. It is quite a nice little complex. Whatever problems I had with internet, electricity, and phone in Oriental, we've got all bars showing at this spot. The drive to the airport was uneventful and only about 20 miles. I found the long-term oversized vehicle parking without too much trouble and hung out in the motorhome for several hours before my flight. I was worried about finding a place to park the 34 foot motorhome near the airport but it wasn't a problem at all. No more expensive than using the regular long-term lot. I walked over earlier this morning and had crab soup and crackers for breakfast. Tasty. There are people from all over the world walking through this airport. Must be a popular tourist destination. Dare I say the trip out west has gone ok so far. Only 8 more days 'till we're back cruising.

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
07/11/2008

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
07/11/2008

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
Keith
07/09/2008

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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
Keith
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).

 

 
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