12/24/2012, La Cruz
There really is not much news since the last blog, but we are in a new port. We have arrived safely in Banderas Bay and have decided to spend the first few days at Marina Riviera Nayarit in La Cruz. We hope to move to Paradise Village when our friends on Double Diamond arrive from Mazatlan later this week. Our trip was once again dictated by weather as we left one day early based upon a forecast of high winds and seas for the crossing from Cabo to Puerto Vallarta starting this week. Hence, we hurried our departure for Saturday afternoon that not only put us in a better weather window but set us up for an arrival before Christmas Eve. It became a unique crossing when we were asked to "buddy boat" with a family from San Diego whom we had met when we were bashing last year back from Mexico. They had planned to do the "southern crossing" to Mazatlan but had to turn around the night before due to mechanical problems, so they decided to go direct to PV, and we supplied a nice safety blanket since they had been having numerous mechanical problems since leaving San Diego.
We were quickly in brisk winds and lumpy seas for the night, so it was a night of limited sleep, but it was good that we left when we did, as the remainder of the trip was much more comfortable. We arrived to sunny skies, brisk winds and 86 degree temperatures, and are making final plans for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners.
That's all for now. More after Christmas.
12/21/2012, Cabo San Lucas
We are now on the last day of our longest, nonstop journey to date-5 days from Ensenada to Cabo San Lucas. One would think that you would get bored so easily, but there always seems to be something happening that eliminates or reduces boredom. One way is that we are each responsible for monitoring the condition of the boat for four hours with a break of eight hours. The breaks are either accompanied by periods of sleep (usually no more than 4 hours) or otherwise accompanied by time to recuperate from those watches, especially through the nighttime hours when one is all alone amongst the dark skies. Fortunately on this leg of our journey, we have been accompanied by a rising moon- first only a sliver in early evening but now a half moon which will last from sunset until after midnight. For whatever reason, the time just seems to fly by, regardless of what is happening except for that last 30 minutes to one hour of the night time watches when it just simply gets hard to keep one's eyes open.
You might think that the weather conditions remain fairly consistent through a typical watch, but nothing can be further from the truth. A mere shift of wind direction by only 5 degrees can require a change in our course or sail position, and the shift of wind speed of only a few knots can require one to alter the sail size-either reefing (making smaller), furling (closing entirely) or opening either the main or head sail. This journey has been filled with such changes as we have often been sailing "on the edge," either in direction (when traveling downwind, as this entire journey has been, where you must maintain an angle of at least 30 degrees to the wind direction or risk "jibing" (changing the side the sails are set with respect to the boat-either to port or starboard)), or wind speed where the boat starts to get "overpowered" where there is a need to reduce sail size. Although we do have electric winches (cranks), on this journey we we have committed to use manpower as much as possible when changing either the direction or size of a sail. This serves two useful purposes; First, it reduces power consumption, thereby requiring less use of the generator to restore battery power, and it also is a great form of upper body exercise. Now to the events leading up to this day:
We left Ensenada at 7AM on Sunday when we decided to try and get ahead of an incoming cold front with predicted winds of 25-35 knots and seas of more than 12 feet. The forecasters estimated its arrival in Turtle Bay at 1/3 of our journey for Wednesday afternoon, and we would be past that location Tuesday morning if we maintained our planned travel schedule. Winds were not particularly cooperative so it meant motor sailing for much of the first and second days. We reached Turtle Bay on schedule and ducked into the harbor to top off our fuel for the remainder of the journey, even though it was likely that the extra fuel would not be needed. Upon leaving Turtle Bay, we finally got our first dose of ideal sailing conditions and quickly set the gennaker (parachute-like headsail) as we cruised downwind toward our next waypoint-Bahia Santa Maria, two more days ahead. We had put out our fishing line trolling along, and eventually we had our first strike as we were amongst a pod of dolphins (which we assume were probably chasing tuna). Andy fought the fish for about 10 minutes when it finally threw the hook-oh well. However, it was not long before we had our second strike, and this time it was easier to stop the boat by "rounding up" into the wind since we had earlier doused the gennaker due to higher winds. This time it was Rich's turn to land the fish, and he successfully landed a 4' Dorado (the lead picture). Of course, it fell to Andy to filet the fish, and sufficient fish was obtained for at least two meals if not more. Tonight will be the first of those meals, as we broil some Dorado filets in our oven.
We continued to sail nicely downwind but not quite along the rhumb line (shortest course) which required us to "jibe" several times. It was Debra's watch at 4-8AM on Wednesday when we were confronted with the fact that our attempt to outrun the cold front had failed. We were soon in winds of 25-30 knots with gusts in excess of 35 knots. Fortunately, Rich was helping Debra with her watch so sails were quickly "reefed" more than 3 reefs (less than 1/3 of sail size) through those early morning hours and well into the next evening. Of course, strong winds bring large waves, and we soon found ourselves in building seas from astern. Although this sounds like no problem, those large waves try to turn the boat as they reach the transom (rear end), so steering becomes difficult, and the boat likes to rock from side-to-side: not such a pleasant way to travel and get some well-needed sleep. At one point the wind and waves were so big that, with the possibility of even larger waves as they continued to build, we prepared our "drogue" (line with parachutes launched off the stern to slow the boat down as it might start "surfing" the waves, thereby increasing the risk of "pitchpoling" (flipping the boat end-over-end at the bottom of a large wave)) for deployment. Although seas had built to over 10 feet, we fortunately never had to launch the drogue, but it did mean a sleepless night for the three of us who were already moderately sleep-deprived as it does take days to get into a sleeping rhythm that works. After several hours of high winds, they began to back down into the high teens-low twenties, but the large waves continued for hours into Wednesday night. Finally, things calmed down enough, and the wind direction changed which, starting this morning, meant for a pleasant sail as we passed Santa Maria on our final leg to Cabo. The winds held up nicely through the morning but died around noon, so it was time for some motoring, as we need to time our passage abound Cabo Falso at the very tip of the Baja where one can experience unpleasant wind and wave conditions, usually in the afternoons. We were again able sail when winds built to the high teens and, with reefed sails, we were "scootin' along," according to Rich, for several hours at 8+ knots. At this rate, we will round Cabo Falso in the middle of the night-the best time to do so.
P.S. the Dorado was delicious. Rich ate the largest piece of probably 10 ounces, and we still have another ½ of the fish to go! We are now safely docked in Cabo. Just like when we came down on the HaHa last year, the wind totally went away about 50 nm outside of Cabo, so it was motoring the rest of the way. Andy struggled through the night fighting off a desire to dose off the last 2 hours of his watch due to sleep deprivation, keeping awake by eating sunflower seeds. Rich had the final watch and had to confront an extremely strong current driving the boat towards shore at the southern tip of the Cape, and he artfully adjusted course accordingly. We entered the harbor at 4:30AM, Cabo time, and found our reserved dock, having become familiar with the marina layout at the start of the "bash" back to California in June. We were immediately greeted by marina security and were required to sign in and pay for the slip at 5AM! All went well in spite of the fact that the security supervisor who handled the paperwork spoke little to no English, and Andy was able to get by with his Spanish. It was off to bed for a well-deserved rest, and we all crashed for several hours before rising just in time to greet the agricultural inspector. She checked the boat for prohibited food items and only took one apple that had a blemish on it before clearing us for the remainder of our journey through Mexico. We look forward to the more strict restrictions about which we have been advised to experience in Costa Rica and the Galapagos.
Happy belated Hannukah and Holiday Greetings from all of us aboard Murar's Dream.
That's all for now. Hope you don't need a well-deserved rest after reading all of this blog.
Well this begins as the last blog from the US of A for a very long time if all goes as planned, as we are now in Ensenada, Mexico. We left MdR on Tuesday, as scheduled, with our crew, Rich Hammer, and our first guest, Andy's son, Travis. We were joined at the dock by several friends who wished us well as they said "Bon Voyage." After picking Travis up at the airport, we launched, as scheduled, at 10:30AM and motored to our first overnight marina in Dana Point, due to the lack of any wind whatsoever, as forecast. We arrived after darkness had set in, secured Murar's Dream to our pre-assigned slip and were off to dinner. We found an outstanding Italian restaurant, Luciana's, which Debra had previously visited many years ago when she lived in SoCal. We thoroughly enjoyed dinner and walked back to the marina where Debra turned in for the night, but the boys decided that a nightcap was in order. They were off to El Torito along the wharf where they enjoyed some nice tequila and margaritas before returning to the boat for a goodnight's sleep.
We arose as planned early morning and set sail for San Diego at 6:45AM. The wind began very cooperatively, and we had a nice sail for the first half of the 9 hour journey until the winds decided to go on our nose, so it was motoring the rest of the way to SD until we docked at the Marriott marina just in time to check in at the marina office. However, we quickly found out that you needed a key to get off the dock, and, after calling the marina office, we learned that we were stuck onboard until security could bring us a key since the woman in the office was alone and could not leave to let us out-oh well. Finally, we did get our key, and we all quickly headed for the showers to clean up before heading out to dinner. Rich was soon off to spend the night with friends in San Diego. There is an Oceanaire Restaurant here in SD which was highly recommended, so the rest of us made reservations and walked the ½ mile to the restaurant. After a delicious meal of assorted appetizers at the bar, we returned to Murar's Dream for a good night's sleep.
Thursday was our day for any last minute provisioning, so it began with Andy picking up a rental car for the day which was a good thing since it began to rain at 5AM and continued throughout the morning. It was a successful day as we hit REI for some additional, warm clothing and West Marine for some boat supplies, as well as Costco and the grocery store for final food provisioning. Travis was not scheduled to leave until 8PM, so when the weather cleared in the afternoon, Rich and he toured the aircraft carrier Midway before we all enjoyed dinner on Harbor Island, right near the airport. After dropping Travis off, we returned to the boat where we took the final steps to depart for Mexico that evening.
After numerous weather checks, we decided to do an overnight sail to Ensenada where we would check into Mexico. The winds were quite favorable, coming from the back of the boat, and there were only brief periods of high winds as we encountered several squalls along the way. However, it was the waves which made the journey less that pleasureable. With trailing seas of 5-8 feet, each time one of the larger waves would hit our stern, it resulted in the boat attempting to turn back upwind and rock from side-to-side. This, unfortunately meant for a virtually sleeples night by all. Fortunately, the auto pilot did its job, so it was just a matter of night watches by Rich and Andy-Debra was given a reprieve due to the cold and wet conditions, but she did stay up for several hours assisting with reefing the sails (making them smaller or bigger to adjust for the strength of the wind). We finally arrived at our destination at about 8AM and topped off our fuel tank and jerry cans (Mexican diesel is only about $3/gallon compared to $5 in California marinas).
The first task when entering any foreign country is to check in. The marina at Hotel Coral provides outstanding assistance in the process. You fill out the paperwork, and an agent takes you to the building for checking in the boat and obtaining the 6 month visas. He took care of everything there while Andy sat in the background, if needed, nodding off on occasion as he tried to recover from the long night. Debra and Rich remained behind at the boat and went to the hotel for breakfast before turning in for a long, afternoon siesta. Andy was ready to join them when he was once again confronted with that favorite expression: "Cruising is defined as fixing your boat in exotic places." First, he discovered that one of the jerry cans was leaking diesel fuel, so after dealing with that, he hoped to join the already sleeping crew when he discovered that the toilet solenoid, which has been a chronic problem, once again needed to be removed and repaired. After a successful repair, he, too, joined the others for a well-deserved rest.
Tonight, Rich and Andy may go into town while Debra remains aboard to continue the process of recovery from an overnight sail. Weather forecasts look like the best weather window to travel further south will be Sunday, so, for now, we plan on spending an extra night in Ensenda before departing for the 4-5 day, non-stop sail to Cabo where we will be able to blog again.
Debra, Rich and Andy
12/04/2012, Marina del Rey
It is now T minus one week until our EDD (estimated date of departure), as we grow closer everyday to make final preparations of our next adventure-the South Pacific. Looking back, it is amazing to realize everything that we have had to do and will do before we depart. Considering that we plan on being at sea for the next year with most stops in remote places, one can only begin to imagine what it takes to prepare, so we thought that you might enjoy learning what we have done to Murar's Dream since returning from Mexico last July. The following is a list of most (we are not sure that we can remember everything at this point) of the things that we have and will carry out before casting off on December 11th, weather permitting:
Adding two solar panels to increase our battery charging capacity
Installing a trilight (navigation lights at the top of our mast to make us more visible to other vessels in the open ocean)
Installing a lightning dissipater at the top of the mast to deter lightning strikes which are quite common in the Tropics
Installing a mounting system on the bow for our stand up paddleboards
Adding a modem to our SSB radio to allow us to receive emergency emails and weather faxes when we are out of internet access
Getting a HAM license so that we can transmit on our SSB (you can only listen on most frequencies with a basic radio license)
Purchasing a satellite phone and testing it before departing
Purchasing and loading software onto our new, water-shock resistant laptop computer to protect against possible water in the cabin and the pounding of large seas
Adding routing and weather forecasting software to assist us in crossing the Pacific
Purchasing electronic charts which cover the areas where we intend to visit (the islands of the South Pacific, New Zealand and Australia)
Purchasing all the flags for the countries that we will visit
Downloading numerous articles and reading a lot of blogs about the numerous places that we hope to visit and what we should expect to encounter on the open seas
Adding a large number of additional spare parts for our engine and generator. Although we did stock up on spare parts before going to Mexico, we were always only a few days from a place which could probably help with broken/failed parts. The South Pacific crossing involves weeks of open seas and mostly remote locations with little or no part availability.
Servicing our diesel engine and transmission to make sure that it was in the best condition possible
Tuning all of our rigging (mast, spreaders, shrouds, stays, and lines)
Stocking and storing enough supplies, many of which are a full year's worth (medicines, vitamins, non-perishable foodstuffs, paper goods, detergent, cleaning supplies, etc.)
Inventorying all enclosed storage areas so that we will be able to find what we need when we need it
Purchasing a Sodastream machine to make carbonated water (for limonadas) and sodas.
Replacing our dishes and flatware to make more room in our limited storage areas
Purchasing a pressure cooker to assist with meal preparation
Adding a second, portable freezer to store perishable foods
Replacing linens to have a fresh start
Modifying shelving to create bookshelves
Paring down on clothing to adapt to our anticipated weather conditions in the Tropics while adding more storage bags to hold what we have kept and added and to accommodate our third crew member (Rich Hammer, a 27 year-old, 50 ton licensed captain with transatlantic crossing experience)
Adding spice racks in the galley to open up more room in our cabinets
Replacing our anchor with a better holding one and adding more anchor chain
Adding a second, high capacity bilge pump to help keep us afloat in the event of a breach in our hull
Upgrading the filter system for our watermaker
Adding fans to help circulate air in the forward and aft cabins
Upgrading our mattress for a more comfortable sleep
Adding a leecloth to our salon couch (this is a device which holds you in when one is sleeping on the couch and the boat is heeling over) when in large seas
Upgrading our "ditch bag" (what you take in your life raft) to deal with the possibility that, if we abandon ship, we could be at sea in our life raft for more than just a few days)
Obtaining our 2013 US Coast Guard boat documentation before we depart (all countries and marinas require that you produce this upon arrival)
Acquiring new fishing licenses to allow us to catch fish in Mexican waters
Modifying our boat insurance to cover us in the additional geographic areas where we will sail (Boat insurance and premiums are based upon geographic areas)
Now, to give you an idea of why all of these preparations have taken place, the following is our planned itinerary over the next 12 months (times are for travel only):
Travel to San Diego with Travis, Andy's son:2 days with an overnight stay in Dana Point Harbor
Travel to Ensenada to check into Mexico:1 day
Travel to Cabo San Lucas:5 days
Travel to Banderas Bay (Puerto Vallarta):2 days
Travel to Z-Town:3 days
Travel to Hualtulco:3 days
Travel to Honduras/Nicaragua:5-6 days
Travel from Nicaragua to Costa Rica: 2 days
Travel from Costa Rica to the Galapagos:5 days
Travel from the Galapagos to (Marquesas) French Polynesia:21 days
Once in the Marquesas, we will island hop across the South Pacific with visits to the Tuomous and Society Islands (Tahiti), the Cook Islands, Samoa, and Tonga before heading south to New Zealand to avoid cyclone (Southern Hemisphere hurricane) season
Once we arrive in New Zealand (in October or November of 2013) and take care of matters, our hope is to fly back to Colorado to a break before returning to NZ to explore that country by land and then finally working our way over to Australia via Fiji and New Caledonia.
This trip is an adventure of a lifetime, and we hope to regularly blog along the way so that you will be able to enjoy reading about what we will be living in the coming year. We also enjoy hearing from each of you, either by email or by posting a comment on our blogs, since we are also interested in what is happening in your lives, as well.
Debra and Andy
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11/27/2012, Boulder, Colorado
We leave on our transPacific adventure in mid-December, and we will start regular blogs once we leave LA (access to the internet permitting). We are being joined in the crossing by Rich Hammer, a 50 ton captain whom we met two years ago when he joined us for our first two regattas (Border Run to San Diego and MdR to Catalina Island). He will be a great addition to our adventure due to his experience (having crewed on a transAtlantic trip) and knowledge (navigation and mechanical). In the meantime, we should not let Andy's Grand Canyon rafting trip go unreported.
Andy left MdR on October 25th by driving the Audi to Flagstaff, Arizona, since it needed to come back to our home in Colorado while we cross the Pacific. (Debra remained aboard Murars Dream until Halloween, doing final organization of the stores and equipment that has been loaded onboard for the next year before returning to Colorado). After hooking up with the rafting outfitter which drove him to the "put in" location of Lee's Ferry, just downstream from the Glen Canyon Dam, he joined the 10 other rafters who were about to experience this unique experience (To raft the Colorado through the Grand Canyon, one must seek a permit, one year in advance, which is part of a lottery system conducted by the National Park Service-Access has to be limited (27,000 rafters/year).). After spending the afternoon setting up the 4 rafts and getting all the gear and food (3 weeks' worth) packed in waterproof containers (ammo cans, dry bags and coolers filled with ice), the first dinner was prepared, and everyone spent the night onshore, ready for the launch the following day. All went well, and the adventure begun. Looking back, much of it is a blur, but the trip can be broken down basically into three periods:
Week One: Everyone took time learning the river and the canyon as the first week involves mostly minor rapids (of the total 116 rapids for the entire trip). However, one of the last rapids before Phantom Ranch imposed its first toll. One of the rafts (not Andy's where he joined Fred Owen, the organizer and a good friend of Andy's, as the oarsman) took a bad line and contacted a rock wall, tearing a large hole in one of the pontoon compartments. Fortunately, one part of the gear which had been packed was a "major repair kit," and after two hours of work, the tear was repaired so that the trip could continue to Phantom Ranch where 2 of the initial members would be hiking out and were replaced by Fred's daughter and son-in-law who had hiked in from the rim. Andy was able to learn the proper technique of oaring and running rapids and was given the chance to oar, without incident, some of the easier rapids and "riffles" (mini-rapids)-a truly unique and rewarding experience. At the end of each day, the first task was to set up the "kitchen," which was composed of three tables, a cook stove, and assorted kitchen utensils. A team of 3 persons was assigned kitchen duty for that dinner and the breakfast and lunch the following day (everyone ended up doing 4 assignments for the trip). A campfire was set up (Andy took on this function for the entire trip) for the evening as everyone would gather around for dinner (darkness set in by 6PM) and evening activities (mostly conversation) before turning in for the night. One of the highlights was a dessert of Smores (For those of you without scouting experience, you cook a marshmallow over the fire on the end of stick and then squeeze it, along with a hunk of chocolate, between two Graham Crackers-very tasty.).
Week Two- After leaving Phantom Ranch, there were a number of more difficult rapids. One of them, Bedrock, brought about the next adventure. Bedrock involves a large rock sitting in the middle of the rapid, and one must go through either on the left or right. The right is the much more favored run, and the left can be quite tricky, so that is not recommended. Of the four rafts, only one (Andy's-He changed rafts to join another oarsman as the new participants obviously would be riding on Fred'a raft) was able to position itself for the right run (the current definitely tries to push the raft down the left side). One of the three (Fred's son and two of his friends) first got caught in an "eddy" (swirling water where the river runs backward in a whirlpool). After finally getting out of the eddy, the raft was driven against the rock, tilting sideways at 90 degrees before uprighting itself (Had it continued to tilt, it would have "flipped," which would require getting the 1 ton raft, loaded with equipment, etc., to shore and righted through the use of ropes and a lot of manpower.). Of the three rafters, two ended up as "swimmers" (thrown into the 50 degree water), but they were quickly pulled back into the raft (You have about 5 minutes of submersion before hypothermia starts to set in.). Because all of the equipment (except for one bucket which had to be retrieved from the river) was securely strapped down, there was no adverse ramification to this event, and the trip continued as planned. One of the highlights of the trip during this week was the opportunity to take hikes along some of the magnificent, side canyons. The geology of the Grand Canyon is, to say the least, spectacular. While most people get to enjoy it from the rim, seeing the geology up close, some 5,000 feet below the rim, is amazing.
Week Three: The last week of the trip is a true test of will. After spending two weeks sleeping on a pad in a sleeping bag, limited shower opportunities (There were a couple of solar heated bags that could be hung to create a makeshift shower, or it involved a "spitbath," using the 50 degree river water-brrrrrr!), being totally out of contact with the real world (No one knew the outcome of the presidential election for 2 weeks after its completion!), and having experienced virtually everything the Canyon has to offer, one begins to think about just bringing the adventure to a close. However, the trip was not complete until you "ran" Lava, the hardest rapid on the Colorado in the Canyon. It is notorious for the large "hole" (a large wave caused by an underwater rock as the current goes over the top) at the bottom of the run. Just like Bedrock, the current draws you into the hole. At this point, Andy had re-joined Fred on his raft, and the two of them ran Lava. The lead photo of this blog is the raft going through the hole. You can see Fred at the oars, and Andy is somewhere under that large, breaking wave! But for the temperature of the water, this was a great lesson in experiencing the possibility of large waves which could break over Murar's Dream, flooding the cockpit and wetting whoever might be on watch at the time. Finally, the group reached its takeout location. The rafts were disassembled, all the equipment was packed onto the truck and trailer supplied by the outfitter, and the group was returned by van to Flagstaff and their vehicles. After unpacking the truck/trailer and separating the personal gear from that supplied by the outfitter, the group spent the night in Flagstaff, but not before taking the first, hot showers in three weeks. The following morning, Andy completed the 11+ hour drive back to Boulder, ending this adventure.
It has been a nice but short visit back in Colorado. Both of us had bouts of a stomach virus which lasted a few days. Debra had to put off her trip to Arizona for Thanksgiving for a day, not arriving there until Friday. On Sunday, she rode back to LA with her brother, David, and is on Murar's Dream, awaiting Andy's arrival by plane later today. We have two weeks to make final preparations for the trip, which we hope will go smoothly. We look forward to our next, great adventure, and sharing that adventure with all of you.
Debra and Andy
09/21/2012, Marina del Rey
It's been a long time since we blogged, so we decided that it was time to bring everyone up to date. Since arriving back at MdR from Mexico, we have begun the massive task of preparing for our trip across the Big Pond. We are now scheduled to leave on December 11th, weather permitting. We will be joined on the first leg by Andy's son, Travis, who will be aboard for our trip down to San Diego before crossing the border south. We have also secured the services of Rich Hammer who will join us at least through Tahiti, which will significantly help with night watches and problems which we expect to encounter (remember that "boat" is a four letter word) across the Pacific.
Debra has spent much of the summer in Colorado taking a break from the boat and enjoying tennis with her friends and summer league teams. She also spent a long weekend at a cabin outside of Taos, NM, with her friend, Kyle, from Houston. However, when we were both in MdR, we were visited by Travis' family (with a trip to Disneyland for the two grandaughters), Don and Marlene from Chandler, AZ (with a concert at the Hollywood Bowl), and Debra's friend, Marsha, from Merida, MX. Andy finally rejoined her in Colorado for a few weeks of catching up on law responsibilities (Andy still has one case which he cannot pass off to another attorney) before the two of us headed (by plane) to the Pacific Northwest for an extended weekend with Debra's dad in Vancouver and then some cruiser friends in Seattle. Debra then returned to Colorado while Andy returned to MdR to begin major jobs of boat upgrades and repairs, which have put the boat in a semi-liveable state until they are completed. Today was a special event in Los Angeles as Endeavour, the last of the Space Shuttles, flew piggyback on a 747 (see the lead photo) before landing at LAX where it will be unloaded and then moved over roads to the California Science Center about 6 miles away. It will be a two day job since the shuttle will be pulled along at 1-2 MPH as traffic lights, trees and power lines are removed and replaced.
Andy's daughter, Casey, along with her boyfriend, Chad, will be out for a weekend visit at the end of September. Andy will then rendezvous with Debra in Colorado for a trip to the Annapolis Boat Show during the first weekend of October. After a brief layover back in Colorado, we will return to the boat for final preparations to the boat. Andy will then drive the Audi to Flagstaff, AZ, where he will be doing a three week, rafting trip through the Grand Canyon before putting it to bed in the Louisville garage for what we anticipate will be about a year. Our plans are to be aboard Murar's Dream until we reach New Zealand sometime in December of 2013, when we hope to fly to Colorado for some much needed R&R. We will then return to the boat and, after exploring NZ by boat and car, proceed on to Australia for an extended visit there, as well. After that, who knows?
That's all for now, and we should resume our blogging once we return to MdR after Thanksgiving.
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