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S/V Mari Hal-O-Jen
Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
A Memory and a Discovery
May 17, 2008, 9:44 am

A beloved comic ripped the other day.

Hal and I had hung it up years ago in the companionway. Marianna was still little enough she could run around and around on the seats in the boat without cracking her head on a thing. She also was in the hop-hop-hop mode of transportation. She'd hop onto the boat clinging to the rail, swing under, run to the cockpit, hop over the combing to the seats, run around the cockpit once or twice, hop down to the floor area and bounce down each step of the companionway.

Any unsuspecting person below decks was guaranteed a minor heart attack as this 50 pound squirrel was cavorting over their heads.

So it was with a saddened heart that I removed the comic that was not so relevant anymore. Marianna no longer resembles that 50 pound squirrel being all legs and braids and stealth. Oh yes, she has taken good notes from Harriet the Spy and can sneak up on lizards and mothers with equal aplomb.

However, waiting forgetten all these years under the comic was this pretty little plaque.

Now, I know you most likely cannot read it but just below the topmost chain it says "Oh Lord, my boat is so small," followed along the bottom with "and Your sea is so great." To the right is an image of St. Christopher and the words "St. Christopher be my guide."

I have zero recollection of ever having seen this before. Isn't that weird? It is now one of my most favorite things on this boat though!

Flat Out Excitement!
March 28, 2008, 8:56 pm

Introducing our latest toy - a Flats Boat!

Wow! Can she move too, we haven't opened her up all the way yet but we must have been going 35-40 mph on our first cruise. We have never seen mangroves whip by that fast, ever!

Big plans for this awesome boat, three scuba tanks will fit nicely in it, Hal is already thinking it needs a platform on the back for the pole pusher, and it just may become his transport to work some mornings. We're betting it'll be quicker than sitting through those awful traffic lights in Key West.

A Mini Reunion
January 8, 2008, 1:57 pm

Our beloved friends traveled from Orlando, Hollywood, and all through the Keys for a Sunday Meal of Cajun Fried Turkey and all the fixin's back at Blue Waters Marina.

Jerry, Sandy, Marianna, Joe, Marie

Marianna holding Ratpunzel, JoAnn and Ray

Croc wearing boatin' babes, Christian Sea and Sophia.

Celtic Conch serenading the setting sun.

We love you all so much! What a wonderful evening, so hard to tear ourselves away and realize we have to drive 100 miles to climb back on our boat rather than 100 steps.

The View from the Beach
December 11, 2007, 7:35 pm

The masts and shrouds are filled with lights
'neath the waning of the moon
There's an air of celebration in the realm of King Neptune.


Please Welcome
August 28, 2007, 6:00 am

Our newest Crew Member!

Today we are off to Fort Lauderdale to pick up my sister Veronica, who will be joining the crew of the S/V Mari Hal-O-Jen temporarily, until she finds a vessel of her own!

You may recall she spent her Senior Trip with us earlier this summer, what we didn't share at that time was that she spent allot of time helping Hal work on boats and showed an innate mechanical ability as well as a definite work ethic that is stellar in the Florida Keys! So inspired was she, that she proposed a business partnership to Hal, who after much consideration, accepted her proposal.

So not only will we be gaining a 4th person into our 35' home, but a business as well!

If you live or are passing through the Florida Keys and are having problems, or simply need some detailing done on your yacht, drop us a line!

Do you ever have one of those nights?
August 24, 2007, 9:25 pm

Everyone has had a bad night...Sometimes you wonder "What did I do to deserve this?"
You know, one of those nights where one of the foil wrapped corn on the cobs rolls right off the grill? Only because the grill has been listing to the bow about 1 degree every night since cooking began on this particular grill.

But our grill is positioned over water.

So then you grab the boat hook since you can't find the boat net and start trying to either balance and lift it or, alternately pretend it is a golf ball and the neighboring stink pot of a power boat is the putting green...

When in one instantaneous moment the boat hook is snatched out of your hands and the foil wrapped ear of corn disappears?

And then your dear husband turns to look at your shocked face and grabs the cherry red lid to the listing grill and drops that lid overboard?

And after that splash you look around for your daughter (it is instinctive) and find 3/4 of her body hanging off of the cement dock as she reaches for the boat hook...

which she just happens to grab...

and hands to you, who calmly hoses the salt water off the joints in the boat hook and sends the girl, who has rinsed her hands in the hose after all, below decks for the big knife to slice one of the remaining cobs in half?

Dinner was delicious and the company was even better.

P.S. We're thinking Barracuda but the totally cool thing is that the foil wrapped ear of corn never surfaced again! It ate it whole!

P.P.S. This has been co-written by all three members of the crew of the S/V Mari Hal-O-Jen and is not a gripe session but rather a commentary on how we prefer to live our lives. We could have gotten extremely upset over so many of the happenings of tonight, the lost corn, the hook, the freaky barracuda, but rather decided to look on the positive side and share what we had and rejoice in the fact that all three were gathered around the table enjoying fabulous food.

Peace and Fair Winds,

The Crew of the S/V Mari Hal-O-Jen

Happy Anniversary!
Hal + Jennifer
July 29, 2007, 8:05 am

Where I love to be:
- sailing into the sunset at your side.
- actually, just make that, at your side.
- the sunset and I suppose, even the sailing, are superfluous but very nice additions.

Your Wife

To view a photo of our gorgeous rainy wedding in an herb garden, click here!

So We Were Out Sailing the Other Day...
July 10, 2007, 2:25 pm

In someone else's boat, an Erickson, actually. Can I just say how much I love being hired for a job like this?

Okay. On with the "job" then.

First image, a cat in the distance steaming in as we are departing our channel, when low and behold! We recognized them! It was a family with 3 kids Marianna's age from C dock, just in from the local sandbar, I suppose.

Continuing on our way, Marianna was on the bow, her favorite place to be when out and about. When what to her wondering eyes should appear?

(And yes, that is my cell phone being dangled so dangerously over the very wet sea.)

But a dolphin, of course! This one was super cool and very identifiable as his dorsal fin was rather jagged on the backside.

So why was he so super cool?

Because Marianna and I know that dolphins adore music. As we were not on our boat we didn't have the harmonica or recorders handy and so had to rely on the oldest music producing instrument - our puckered lips! We whistled arias until we were scarlet in the face but while we were whistling the dolphin would roll onto it's side watching us. If we stopped it would roll back onto it's stomach.

Too cool, don't you think?

Finally, just as the sun started getting gorgeous, the dolphin dove straight down and disappeared. A minute or two later it reappeared with 4 others! They didn't stick around long at all (good thing actually, our whistlers were about puckered out!) but swam tail slappingly off into the distance where they joined up with a secondary pod.

We finally looked up from the water and immediately spotted a very unique rainbow.

Kinda pretty, huh?

So in the eastern sky we had this pretty little rainbow going on and to the west...

this golden sunset was kicking things up. The clouds were phenomenal! Check out those individual patches of virga. Have you ever seen anything like it?

By this time we were sailing past Mallory Square, where we got to see all our favorite knife jugglers and flame eaters from the other side!

There was even a bagpiper.

Which was the perfect accompaniment to the setting sun. Jaw droppingly beautiful, in my opinion!

By this time we'd pulled into the anchorage between Christmas Island and Fleming Key, just off the Coast Guard Base and dropped anchor. A pesto tuna sandwich and we three were ready for bed.

Sleep comes easily with a sarong under your head and Scorpio in the skies above.

(And yes, that is a military poncho liner. She was chilled and the boat is owned by a military dude after all. All sorts of interesting camo things sprinkled about everywhere.)

Sunrise found us beating out of the anchorage eager to get to open seas...

and toss sails! This Erickson sailboat is a zippy one!

And the Viking Helmet? Love it!

Finally, just to prove I was there, a shot of me in my latest and biggest floppy hat. What a fashion statement!

Check out our sister ship's new galley!
April 11, 2007, 6:59 pm

Eddie and Micha on the S/V Miss Emily have been tearing up their galley and is it ever amazing! Hal and I have just been chatting, this is one of the nice things about a boat, you can gut it if need be and rebuild it as you want it. Living in that fiberglass is not the nice part at all though, eh Micha?

Have you ever seen a sink placed amidships? Of course you have but only on wider beamed boats. What a revolutionary thought! That broad expanse of countertop to starboard is rarely seen aboard a narrow beamed boat like ours. (10'2") We have a better solution...upgrade to a bigger boat to get your bigger countertop!!! I know, I know, that's cheating. But we still look!

PS - Nice stove! But now for the important question, does it have a Charlie Noble?

The Farewell Brunch Bunch and Other Photos
March 7, 2007, 1:29 pm, Bluewaters Marina to Boca Chica

Oh, Sophia! We'll miss you too!

Our littlest cruising friend came to say goodbye at Sunday Brunch. Those eyes! That lower lip! The quizzical left eyebrow! You're as sweet as sugar candy, Soph!

More pictures of the voyage, most not nearly as cute as this one, can be found in our photo gallery tonight. Link in the side bar, also here.


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S/V Mari Hal-O-Jen
Who: Capt. Hal, Jennifer, and our daughter Marianna, a great photographer!
Port: Boca Chica
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