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Okwa Naholo
Cruising with David & Jolie
ETA.. never (Slidell to Biloxi)
12/29/2010, Biloxi

The picture was taken of our computer screen today and I couldn't help but laugh when I looked at it. We're using some fancy new software.. so fancy, in fact, that it knows exactly how we are feeling at any given moment.

I promised my son Jason this blog wouldn't be all sunshine and rainbows..that I would try to keep it real. I'm going to try hard to stick with that.

We left Oak Harbor at 0730 this morning in 36 degrees. The winds were light and it was sunny so not too bad of a start. We passed thru the Rigolets train bridge around 0900 with ease. (We have quite a few stories about trying to get through that bridge in the past.. and it is highly likely some of you reading this may even have been there with us on one of those occasions). It was emotional, exciting and a big reality check that we would not be going back through there for another 6 months. As the day progressed it became cloudy and bitter cold, winds picked up to around 20 knots and by the time we were passing Gulfport waves were increasing and spray was coming into the cockpit. We arrived in Biloxi and were tied up around 5:30. Overall not a bad day.. but not sunshine and rainbows either.

The forecast for the next 3 days are 20-25 knot SE winds. We're staying put. We're at the Biloxi Small Craft Marina right outside of the Hard Rock Casino. Probably gonna be here into the New Year.

A wise man named Swag recently said.. A Journey of a 1000 miles begins with one sail. And so it has...

We're in slip C-16. Come by and have a drink!

12/29/2010 | Linza
so cooooooooooool!
12/30/2010 | Lois Fox
Cool.... sounds more like COLD.
Happy Holidays
12/22/2010, Oak Harbor Marina, Slidell

We've been spending plenty of time with family & friends relaxing and being fed well. Our first night out of the house (Friday) was spent in Picayune with Jolie's mom n 'em. Saturday we had a fantastic meal with our great friends Brian, Lori & Kids, Marceau and Jason came by too. We stayed over till Sunday and were treated to Brian's awesome hot wings, bloodies and mimosas while we watched the Saints game. We celebrated a mini Christmas that Sunday evening after the game with Mom & Dad, Lori & Tommy, Jason, Lindsey and Roman. Monday was dinner with Bob & Sandy after David & Bob spent all day getting the boat back in the water then from the boat yard to the marina. Tuesday Dave had a visit with his dad, we had a toast with Michelle & Eric, and spent some valuable time with a new friend David V who, along with his wife, has made the trip to the Bahamas and Exumas quite a few times.

The last 2 nights we've spent on the boat at Oak Harbor Marina in Slidell organizing and running last minute errands. We have a great view of the St. Tammany Yacht Club where David & I got married 16 years ago and sailed off into the sunset... then into several days of horrific weather on our 26 ft Pearson "Gusto" for our honeymoon.

As seems to be the rule on this kind of trip.. things change and we are now looking at leaving after Christmas.

We're in slip 706. We'll be here a while. Come by and have a drink!

It's official..

David and Bob took the boat over to the yard last Friday, earlier than originally scheduled but good thing. The weather here has been colder than normal and bottom paint can't happen if the temperature is less than 50 degrees. Today the boat got painted with her new name "Okwa Naholo".

The boat's original name was "Ostinato", this was an ode to the previous owners daughter who played the piano. The history of the new name is here under the profile somewhere.

If the bottom gets painted tomorrow, the boat will make it back in the water Friday or Monday and we will head to Mississippi Tuesday or Wednesday.

The house is pretty much packed up...just small last minute maintenance and cleaning to do. We're watching TV on lawn chairs, eating frozen pizza and waiting to be kicked out by the new tenants tomorrow or Friday.

We'll spend the next week with family and friends and saying goodbyes.

12/15/2010 | Donna Pahl
The countdown clock is into the single digits? How did that happen? Glad the prep is nearly done, and departure is coming up so very soon.
3 weeks and counting
11/30/2010, Lacombe, Louisiana

It's a rainy, dreary Tuesday afternoon here in Lacombe. David left this morning for North Carolina to pick up a dinghy and motor and will be traveling home tomorrow. I am completely overwhelmed with packing and prioritizing what will fit into the small spaces that we have assigned on the boat. Only bathing suits and suntan lotion...... I wish. We are leaving in December so jackets, jeans and dreaded socks must be packed. What can we buy along the way? What should we have a 6 month supply of? Do they sell Champagne in the Bahamas? How often will we get to do laundry? Will I care?

We hail from Party and Costume Central.. New Orleans. We must bring Mardi Gras costumes, right? Saints wear and accessories? And surely they'll make it to the Superbowl so we'll need party supplies for that, right?! St. Patrick's Day? How much Alligator Sauce Piquant and Gumbo will fit in that lil bitty freezer? How many bottles of wine, liquor, beer??

I suppose it's as good a time as any to take a break from packing and figure out this blog stuff...

David & I have been planning this trip for 15 years. Only it wasn't supposed to happen till Dave turned 55 (and could take early retirement) and the trip would have been longer. The space program changed everything for us by laying him off in September. Whatcha gonna do?

Go cruising that's what! We have about 6 months to make our trip and get back home before hurricane season. Realistically, we should be able to make it down to and around the Florida Keys and over to the Bahamas (with much focus on the Exumas). The Turks Caicos is now on the maybe list. We really want to take our time and explore everywhere. No hurries. The Caribbean Islands will just have to wait another 2 years.

The boat & systems are pretty much ready to go. We've started to load on some food items, scuba and fishing gear. We continue to pack up the house and haul things to storage. Last minute medical, dental and vision check-ups scheduled, microchip device implantation for Turbodog scheduled, and boat haul-out in Slidell scheduled for December 16th where we'll spend about 5 days painting the bottom and changing out the cutlass bearing. Once back in the water and goodbyes are said, we'll head towards the Mississippi Coast to the Florida Panhandle to South of Tampa, then we'll hop along the south Florida coast to the Keys. This may mean leaving a few days before Christmas, Christmas Eve or even Christmas Day.. but we must go with the small windows of weather opportunities that we have this time of the year.

11/30/2010 | Ann Canavan
You are awesome Jolie! Thank you so much for doing this blog. It will be like we are with you! :)
11/30/2010 | Ann Canavan
You are awesome Jolie! Thank you so much for doing this blog. It will be like we are with you! :)
11/30/2010 | Donna Pahl
So very excited for you -- I can sense the nervous excitement in this post! Will be following you with great interest from my frozen armchair in frigid Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
11/30/2010 | Jacki Moore
What Ann & Donna said! We are living vicariously though you and your adventures, Jolie! Have a blast, be safe and we look very forward to your updates and photos! Just wait until you get home and see Roman... he'll be so big and the best present you ever did get! xoxo
12/01/2010 | Jen Mexi Gomez
This is really getting exciting! So much planning & preparation involved. I am really looking forward to keeping up with this blog & reading your entrys. What an experience this will be for you & Dave!!!..oh & TurboDog! ;)
12/01/2010 | Ozzie
So bloody happy and excited for you... YAY!
12/02/2010 | Dave Maloney
I love the Current Position tracker...this is gonna be a lot of fun!
12/02/2010 | Chris
Jake already has a microchip. Wouldn't you like to take him too? Come to that... I could get a microchip and you could take ME! Looking foward to your adventures.
12/19/2010 | Lois Fox
It looks like you're underway at last. Ken told me about your blog and a good thing, too, as I thought it wouldn't start until you were actually in the Caribbean. Do have a wonderful time and keep us posted.

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