Read: Bahamas Shakedown or Refit or Caribbean or en Francais
Norska in Martinique - Happy New year

Norska arrived in Martinique on January 1 (less than a week after being loaded in Florida) where she will patiently wait for us to arrive in less than 18 days !!!!. We are making final arrangements and found a delightful housesitter who will take care of Willa our cat back home. I am trying to convince my mom to come visit us while in the French Indies. We seem to have convinced Bill's parents to come visit us when we'll be in St Martin early March. Any more takers? room for 2 additional camping-compatible guests, or anyone wanting to rent a beach villa somewhere!


Two independent events, the Denver blizzard of 2006 and Dockwise logistical failures, made for a nightmarish week as we tried to get to Norska in time for loading, get the kids to Austin for xMas, and find some way to join them. American Airlines and Dockwise are on our shit list. Continental and United Airlines were most helpful. In the final analysis, Dockwise slipped our original Dec. 3rd date, bit-by-bit until the last slip, just days before the departure, landed us on 7 AM Dec. 25th. That's right, before sunrise on Christmas morning. I can't tell you how many flights we booked, canceled, and rebooked trying to meet the transport: all very difficult because of the blizzard and the time of year.

We missed Christmas with the kids as we awoke at 5 AM to get on our way to the ship during a blustery frontal passage. We made allowance for missing a bridge opening or two, but all went well (except for bumping the bottom trying to figure out, with the spotlight, whether that unlit marker was red/triangle or green/square) and we arrived at 6:30 only to wait circling in the ditch until 11:00, four hours late, because the ship was having trouble submerging. At this point, I felt like a torpedo with do nicely to help the submerging. The crew was excellent at the loading operation. We left Norska in their hands (as you see here, tied up in the port bay of Super Servant 3) and scrambled to get out quick so that we wouldn't meet yet another flight - this time to Austin to spend what was left of Christmas with the kids and family.

We're now chilling out and look forward to getting back to Colorado for final preparations before taking a jet to windward and beginning the adventure! (As if it hadn't been adventure enough at this point...)

Rather Pathetic Christmas Dinner

Exhausted from blizzards and sleeping in airports, this is all I could muster for dinner. (Notice the new ultra-leather settees though :) The main feature of this dinner is the wine, which we had no trouble finishing: unusual for us. To bed and wake up earlier to get out of here at 5 AM to make our loading time. (If we had known that the loading was going to run 4 hours late, we could have slept in. Grrr.) Guess we'll have to open presents later...

Blizzard of 2006
12/21/2006, Boulder, Colorado

In theory, we would be in Ft. Lauderdale about now preparing Norska for loading onto Super Servant 3 for her trip South. (We'll be doing the 747 to windward thing.) No go, grace a the Blizzard of 2006. Somehow the logic now is we dig out, while DIA digs out, we finish when the buses to the airport start running again and the airplanes start flying again, Cath goes somewhere, I go to LA, and somehow we meet up in Ft. Lauderdale and load the boat the next morning - Oh boy! Cath, being French, has difficulty in summoning up a respectable American Gothic pose...

New Fishing Gear! Thanks Howard!

Fishing gear, check! Thanks to our fishing expert, Howard, we are complete with a spinning outfit for those afternoons when you're at anchor and those yummy lookin' snapper are just wandering wherever they please under your boat. In addition to Howard's generous donation, we are equipped with a Hawaiian sling, spear, and a Penn Senator trolling rod. Oh yeah, that was another Howard donation - duh! Keep checking the blog and you'll see fish popping up. I can't wait 'till I get another Dorado!

In case you guys don't know Howard, he also helped ferry the boat back from the Bahamas and saw to our fishing success.

The Plan

The Plan is to ship Norska to Martinique and sail her back to the US by June or so with an emphasis on the French Caribbean, Dominican Republic, and the far out islands of the Bahamas. We'll be taking Shelby (Sophomore) and Spencer (7th grade) out of school and, of course, doing without paychecks for the duration. Given Shelby's academic direction, we are seizing this semester as the last chance we have to have an adventure as a family. Its not around the world, but its a big deal for us!


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