Big Frisky

Kurt and Pamela are sold up and are sailing aboard SV Big Frisky, an Outbound 46 with the Kona Boys, Honu, Kona and Chico. Join us while we learn what it is to be Blue Water cruisers and see the world. Follow us on Instagram @big_frisky

15 December 2018 | Abacos Bahamas
10 August 2018 | St Peters, Nova Scotia
17 July 2018 | Hadley Harbor, MA
12 July 2018 | Cuttyhunk
29 November 2017 | Downtown Providence
11 November 2016 | Morehead City North Carolina
15 October 2016 | Annapolis Landing Marina
30 September 2016 | Two-Mile Landing Marina, Cape May NJ
03 August 2016 | Charleston Harbor Marina
01 July 2016 | Charleston Harbor Marina
30 May 2016 | Charleston Harbor, South Carolina
29 May 2016 | Charleston Harbor Marina
28 May 2016 | Charleston Harbor Marina
19 May 2016 | Cape Canaveral
13 May 2016 | Bahia Mar Marina, Fort Lauderdale FL USA
12 May 2016 | Atlantic Ocean 140 miles South of Fort Lauderdale
11 May 2016 | Atlantic Ocean 60 miles from Old Bahama Channel
10 May 2016 | Atlantic Ocean 50 miles north of Haiti
08 May 2016 | Atlantic Ocean 45 miles north of DR
06 May 2016 | Nanny Cay, Tortola BVI

Bras d'Or Where the Ocean Meets the Inland Sea

15 December 2018 | Abacos Bahamas
Captain Kurt
When Kona came up lame on our trip back to Indiana for our doctors visits we wondered if we’d ever get to Nova Scotia. The original “plan” was to work our way north through Maine across
to Nova Scotia then along the Eastern shore to Bras d’Or, the saltwater inland sea of Cape Breton. By the time we had Kona’s 2 week check up it was the 4th of July and he was to have a 12-16 week recovery with limited activity and physical therapy daily.

Plans for us usually develop day to day and we were waiting until we felt comfortable Kona could come and go from shore via dinghy. During our wait we stayed busy with boat projects and on one evening of camaraderie at our good friends the Hodgsons, I was complaining that we had lost the opportunity to spend any significant time in Bras d’Or lake with such a late start. B-Rad, a former pro snowboarder and liveaboard veteran of many years who is always cutting jokes and blowing people shit said, “whatdoya mean you can’t spend the time you want in Bras d’Or??? Why don’t you just sail direct and work your way back South for the winter?”

Yea, why don’t we? Because I’m a dummy and it never crossed my mind. This is what Pamela refers to as “the Christopher Columbus effect” of my leadership style. You know travel from Europe and declare you’ve discovered North America having landed in the Caribbean. Turns out Brad’s advice was one of the best pieces we got all summer. We filled the larder, fixed the majority of things, said our goodbyes and were underway. First stop P-town MA. Next stop? St Peter’s lock on the South end of Bras ‘d Or lake.

One reason we document our travels is to leave a bread crumb trail for those interested in traveling in our footsteps. When we were researching this passage we found little if anything written about it. Our plan was to make our way to Provincetown at the end of Cape Cod and then jump a calm window of SW’lies to our destination at the Eastern end of Nova Scotia. With a start date of late July it wasn’t hard to find a few calm days to make the 500 or so miles to our destination. Mostly motoring with some sailing but fog free and very smooth over what can be a turbulent Bay of Maine. If I wanted more sailing I’d advise to leave in June and be prepared for fog that is generated by the cold body of water with warmer humid southly airflow. Pretty much a rumbline to Brazil Rock, just SE of Cape Sable NS to stay clear of the current ebbing and flooding into the Bay. As it happened we ended up arriving on the ebb and so stayed inside Brazil Rock to catch a little push till we got to past the Cape. We picked up intermittent cell service as we cruised a rumbline to Canso at the eastern end of NS. There we made our turn North to the locked canal at St Peters. About 3 ½ days for us. We arrived in the early morning and comfortably waited at the wall just outside the lock.

With zero resources for cruising past St Peters we figured we could grab a cruising guide after we arrived. The first stop was the southern hub of activity on the lake, Lion’s Marina. We arrived on the 1st of August and had planned on the month at Cape Breton. It was hive of boats coming and going and we met most everyone there at the time and all vowed to see each other on the lake. We met a Hoosier, the past president of Earlham College in Richmond, a couple who just arrived from Washington state via the northwest passage and were heading to Ireland and a “Mainer” James and his wife Pat who gave us a copy of an annotated cruising guide they had just finished with and were heading home. Perfect.

We mapped our intended route, grabbed the cruising guide and headed out….but first, we enjoyed the Canadian Natal day celebration and all that St Peters had to offer. First up the organized canal swim that ended with 200+ swimmers in a closed lock singing ‘Oh Canada’ as it opened to the Atlantic ocean as part of Nicholas Denny Days. One day the community parade ended at our marina with disco night at the Lions hall. One night we thought we were going to a live music show at the bar in the Bras d’Or Inn that turned out to be the Campbells family reunion and a sing along that featured a member who was a big folk star. If we would do it again, we’d arrive to Canso in time for the Stan Rogers music festival, that is the last weekend of July. We always try to involve ourselves in the communities we travel to and this time was no different, waving to new found friends we met at the sing along the night before from the water as we swam in the canal.

Bras d’Or lake is an inland salton sea that is also fed by fresh water streams from the interior of Cape Breton. It has two entries, one at the south, a tidal lock that helps maintain the lake water levels. The other, a north entry, like a river that is tidal driven nightmare. We took a bird watching cruise that left North of Sydney out this tidal river. The flow was a circle with starboard shore as you head out an inbound current and the port shore an outbound flow with the middle nothing but whirlpools and eddies of water spinning as a result of the in/out flow. The flood was max at about 3.5 kts and the ebb around 6.5 to 7 kts. We tried to find a reference for ‘slack’ water and it does not exist. The result of the constricted water flow is the lake only rises and falls a few inches on each cycle. The shores of the lake were described as ‘bold’ with very steep drop offs. The beaches are a mix of slate and marble they used to mine in the 1800s an are able to hold a sheer more steeply than sand or mud. The locals drive their boats ashore bow in and carry a step ladder to deploy off the bow for visits to the land while they swim off the transom in deep water. The lake is divided into North and South pools with arms that reach East/West in both. There is the very famous city of Baddeck in the North that was the part-time home of Alexander Graham Bell, a Scotsman who married a woman from the states. There is a great Parks Canada museum dedicated to his time in the area with primary source documents and relics illustrating experiments in hydrofoils, manned air flight and even animal husbandry. There is another town in the east end, Sydney that is the only place around for car rentals and big box stores like Canadian Tire.

Cape Breton is historically a steel and coal center that drew Europeans to an already vibrant culture of indigenous people. At one time, France’s largest seaport in North America was Louisburg dedicated to catching and preparing cod for shipment back to the motherland. There is a terrific Parks Canada living museum in Louisburg depicting the lives and times of the French in their heyday with reenactors interacting with tourists. The most famous destination on the Cape is the Cabot Trail, a park located in the North dedicated to John Cabot, the Italian explorer who in 1497 under the British flag is credited with rediscovering the coast of North America since the Vikings of the 11th century. Its coast features sweeping seascapes and rolling terrain best compared to Ireland or Scotland. The culture is a mix of Scottish, French, Acadian and Celtic that is known for is musical heritage of ceilidhs. These informal musical get togethers feature Celtic, Irish and English folk dance music. In most non-indigenous towns, ceilidhs still occur nightly. There are indigenous reservations that keep their traditions alive by education and practice of Mi’kmaq and First Nation People of Nova Scotia that have been in place for 10,000 years. In October Celtic Colours International Festival is 9 days of music, dancing and celebration of history on Cape Breton. We alas could not stay to enjoy but did take a weeks long driving trip around the Cape staying at the amazing shoreside cottages on the North shore, Markland Coastal Beach Cottages in Dingwall. They overlook the Cabot strait and St Paul Island, known as the ‘graveyard of the gulf’ (of st lawrence) for the number of shipwrecks that have accumulated over time.

Our cruising calendar for August was 23 nights at anchor, sharing only 3 nights with other boats. On most days and nights in Bras d’Or it was us, the eagles, seals, sun, moon and stars. We stayed in the anchorage that the Cruising Club of America was co-founded in-part by the Notorious AGB himself! We sailed every day the direction the wind took us arriving midday to our anchorage to swim, explore and walk the dogs on the beach. We stayed near a summer camp for the Mi’Kmaq that taught youth that had traveled from all over NS the ancient ways of their ancestors. We anchored at the base of a marble quarry where giant perfectly squared off chunks of marble were common which I used one inside a monkeys fist for a handheld depth sounder. Our favorite anchorages were johnstown harbor, little harbor, orangedale, macrae cove & maskells harbor. We made new friends at the Ben Eoin Marina & Yacht Club where we laid up for the week we traveled by car. They were just adding a 50T travel lift and had plenty of space for winter storage with lots of deep water and a full service marina with fuel and an awesome clubhouse that served dinner and drinks a few times a week. The rates for dockage/moorings throughout the area were a very pleasant relief after our time in New England, especially with the going exchange rate at $1.25 CAD for each $1 USD. It was easy living that seemed to fly by before it was time to make our way Westward along the coast of Nova scotia towards the USA.

We hopscotched West stopping each night. We were alone at most anchorages until Mahone bay. We discovered what a gem this area is, just East of Lunenburg. We met and learned quite a bit about the makeup of this part of NS with the endless supply of quaint cottages mixed in with sturdier year-round places for hardy locals. The cottages were filled mostly with retirees from all over including a german couple we anchored in front of for the night. The towns were filled with summertime tourist destinations including a tidal cement pool in Chester and a bustling bakery on the LaHave river that had a skateboard park on the third floor. In Sheet Harbor we found a brewery that had a dinghy dock and while anchored in front of the owner’s house who, at night blasted heavy metal playing ping pong with his buddy. In Halifax we stayed at a war of 1812 era prison that was now the Armdale Yacht Club. There was a magical inner harbor near Canso that we lingered at before making our way down the narrow and scenic Andrews Passage. We passed by Oak Island that is still being excavated looking for buried treasure from Captain Kidd’s days. So many, many beautiful anchorages. So little time.

Halifax is about halfway between Canso in the East and Cape Sable at the West end of NS. This oasis of culture and food was greeted warmly by the crew of Big Frisky. We stayed a week and could have stayed all fall but time was marching on and we needed to be across to Maine by the 1st of October as the lows were coming more frequently and the severity was steadily increasing. Once east of Mahone Bay we found white sand beaches becoming more and more frequent with our hands down favorite, Port Mouton and the beautiful crescent beach we anchored right off of. We had an uneventful ‘inside’ rounding of Cape Sable that allowed us to cut through the schooner passage prior to our arrival in Yarmouth. We sat out a gale in Yarmouth and got a chance to enjoy the locals while docked along the downtown wharf. We learned the traditional folk song, Farewell to Nova Scotia. This from a local store owner where I found Pamela crying as she read a children’s book featuring it. We had a sing along of the same with our new friend, dynamite Mike over beers at the local brewpub. Our next call was 0330 the next morning to head across the Bay of Maine…..I woke Pamela up with the playing of Farewell to Nova Scotia and we roared

“Farewell to Nova Scotia
And your sea bound coast
Let your mountains dark and dreary be
When I am far away on the
Briney oceans tossed
Will you ever heave a sigh
Or a wish for me”

as we headed out of harbor with the rising sun at our back lighting our way to the USA.

Crossing the Bay of Maine, Again

10 August 2018 | St Peters, Nova Scotia
Pamela/Sunny and warm
When we came through Canada on the St Lawrence River three years ago, we were moving fast to make a November deadline for a passage to the Caribbean. We loved the Canadian Maritimes and vowed to come back when we had time to enjoy it! We set our sights on Bras D'or (pronounced Brah-DOOR) Cape Breton, Nova Scotia's majestic inland lake.

Our departure from the Narragansett Bay took us through the Elizabeth Islands with stops in Cuttyhunk, Tarpulin Cove and Hadley Harbor. We waited out some weather and enjoyed some shore time with our friends Bobbie and Peter and our godson Mick. Our last US port was Provincetown which served as a fantastic send off!

If I were completely honest I would tell you that I was not looking forward to crossing the Gulf of Maine again. Our last trip was quite miserable and stands to this very day as the worst passage ever! Some passages are rougher than others but we often say, "at least it's not as bad as the Gulf of Maine! And yet here we were, ready to try it again.

Since a lookout must be maintained on the boat 24/7, we have developed a watch system that has us alternating three hours at the helm and three hours off watch. My hours are 1000-1300, 1600-1900, 2200-0100, and finally 0400-0700. Leaving Provincetown I took encouragement from the Pilgrims Monument which you can see miles out to sea, much further than you would expect! Think of how brave those pilgrims were, heading into the unknown, crossing these very waters, which I personally know to be treacherous.

But on this occasion, the winds were light and the sea was calm making for a nice easy motor sail. But make no mistake, the strong currents coursing through that area can wreak havoc on your navigation. If you are not vigilant, you can easily be swept off course. Every six hours the current changes. We generally expect to make between 7 and 7.5 Kt an hour, and we found ourselves pinging 11 kts surfing down surging swells. Other times we ground down to 5 kts as the current pushed against us. Nonetheless, we made great time.

Once the pilgrim monument disappeared over the horizon there was nothing but ocean in every direction and nothing else. Then the dolphins started showing up at dawn to play in our bow wake! The moon was incredible in the night sky and Mars put on a real show! On the second day Kurt spotted a whale off our port side! He called me up from the galley and sure enough we saw the blow then the surfacing of the pilot whale! While keeping watch you are always looking for lights on the horizon indicating another boat to keep an eye on. But we didn't see one of those until the last night.

Having made good time, I had the last watch coming into Bras D'or. At the watch change, the Captain confirmed two large pleasure craft several miles off on our port side. No change from the previous watch, as well as a single boat, likely a fishing vessel far to our starboard with no AIS signal. Automatic Identification System allows boats to broadcast their heading, speed , length and purpose. We have gotten comfortable passing quite closely to enormous vessels knowing their location, speed and direction relative to Big Frisky.

About ten minutes into my last watch I identified trouble. What previously seemed like a stationary fishing boat far off our starboard was suddenly, RIGHT off our starboard! By the time I got a handle on his speed and trajectory, in the dark, it was clear that we would be passing very closely. Evaluating my options, it seemed too late to turn off as I would be turning right into him. He did not contact me via VHF radio, which made me think he was not worried. He should have been. I know I was. I made my intention clear that I was continuing heading at same rate. Though I'm not always very religious, I did pray to God and Jesus to delivery me. And it worked! I watched in the dark as I saw first his port light, then both port and starboard, and finally just the green starboard, we'd passed each other. Thank you Jesus!

We arrived, appropriately at St. Peters. The lock allows you to come in from the Atlantic Ocean into the inland Lake of Cape Breton. After guiding us into the lock safely, I took my off watch to sleep while the Captain checked in with Canadian immigration and set up our canal transit. The St Peters Marina is fantastic! Great showers, grocery store shuttles, laundry etc. But the best part is meeting fellow cruisers.

The two pleasure craft crossing the Gulf of Maine with us turned out to be Nordhavens. Classic trawlers! They were going same place we were and we ended up having a visit with them at the marina. We talked about many things, then the captain of April K finally spit out"
How close did you actually come to that fishing boat?" They could see both boats on their radar and at one point, both bleeps merged as one. As hair raising as it was it was for me, it was even worse for our observers a few miles away! Yikes!

We have received a warm welcome to Bras D'or where the ocean meets the inland sea and we look forward to exploring more of this magical place!

2 Knee Surgeries

17 July 2018 | Hadley Harbor, MA
Captain Kurt / Breezy
We laid up in Providence RI over the winter for 2 reasons - full knee replacement for the Captain and preservation of the remaining resources left in the Caribbean after the one-two punch of Irma and then Maria.

We had friends that went South and many would say in part to support efforts of rebuilding by bringing revenue to the islands in and around the BVI or St Martin. Our take is that in good times the resources are limited and expensive and sometimes feels like only those of us that "can afford it" do. The things they needed we couldn't provide like lifting a 100 year old law called the "Jones Act" that prevents shipping anything between American ports unless its on a ship American registered, built and sailed by its citizens, which as you may expect is a rare event. While we do have the largest shipyard in the world, it builds US Naval Vessels as a mainstay. Labor is the chief cost of building ships and some of the best are built overseas in Asia. Big Frisky is an Outbound 46 made in China and considered a premium vessel in its class. Made in America equivalents are 2 times the cost. Why am I rambling about our trade practices? Well when Irma devastated Puerto Rico, an American territory, the vessels most able to lend a hand from the US mainland where all the needed supplies were had to have the "Jones Act" temporarily suspended for 7 days to allow relief supplies to reach our citizens in Puerto Rico. John McCain tried to repeal this protectionist policy from the 1920s in 2015 and was soundly rebuked. The more things change the more they stay the same. We have heard from friends that went and/or have their boats in the Caribbean that it's getting better but places like St Martin's harbor may never be the same. We'll be back this winter, more on that later.

Let me tell you about the biggest reason we stayed in PVD - Mass General Hospital and its Arthroplasty Department. We had a rare opportunity to layup in RI, minutes from our boat on the hard (read boat projects) and 40 minutes on the train from the MGH train stop and my Dr. Andrew Freiberg. This guy is a rockstar of his world, chief surgeon at the dept of knee/hip at MGH and associate professor at Harvard Medical School - as it turns out a bearcat from University of Cincinnati with residency at another great Midwest medical school University of Michigan, oh and a boater. Nordhaven I think he said, big Trawler with all the creature comforts of home. How long do you think it may take to see him I asked Pamela? 10 weeks it turns out. Well it was only September we thought.

So I've had a checkered sporting past that includes 4 marathons, a half dozen triathlons/biathlon, some half marathons, a couple of 10ks, some mountain biking races including the famed Birkebeiner in Hawayrd WI, a timed 50 miler, countless Hilly Hundreds and skateboarding giant concrete pools from the 1980's in Greenfield WI. That and about 15 years of refereeing soccer, from Professionals, D-1 College, D-2 college, D3, NAIA, High School, Club down to under 10 year olds. You name it, I reffed them. I think my biggest game as a referee was a NCAA D2 Men postseason game, semi final. NKU vs Lindsey Wilson, who was mostly brazilian at the time - helluva time. It was a year round profession for me including indoor soccer. We wore early GPS wrist watches that told me I was running 6-7 miles in a match 7 nights a week. It tooks its toll in the form of my knee cartilage and ligaments. I made a lifetime of friends and had so many thrilling games with all my referee buddies and even met my wife during that time, which has been my life's blessing.

Well that was at least 50 lbs ago. Weight is an insidious thing. It doesn't happen overnight but if ignored long enough you find yourself 50 lbs heavier than you ever thought possible. Moving aboard a sailboat didn't help my activity level but the damage was done far sooner than 2015 when we started cruising. I'd been seeing orthopedic doctors far more regularly in the last few years seeking relief from the arthritic pain I had in my knees, very specifically my right knee.The one and the same that had ACL reconstruction in the 90's due to my ignorance of how to play basketball (and in Indiana). Oh the indignity! Well as many know there are very few options once your cartilage goes and in my case I began to build a big shelf on the end of my tibia bowing my leg outward made especially heinous by my extra weight I was carrying. No doctor ever suggested it to me, including my GP but they all agreed when I suggested maybe I needed to lose a few pounds. You all know what I'm talking about, you start to walk past mirrors and wonder "who was that fat guy you saw out of the corner of your eye?".

One of my favorite stories of my growth was the first winter we were in the BVI with Big Frisky and our son Cliff came down to see us. It was the first time we had seen him since his open heart surgery the previous September and snorkeling was on the agenda. We had an underwater camera we were trading around and unfortunately Cliff took a WHOPPER of a picture of me in a blue sun shirt underwater. I truly appeared to be a blue whale! Ever since I've used that picture as the screensaver on my phone so I am reminded what I truly had become and not some past memory of my former self. I remember one time I used a picture of myself reffing a D1 Middle with my long hair flowing and running my ass off backwards. You get the picture.

So first things first in PVD - get ourselves a cool ass flat in the middle of it all, someplace close to public transportation since we lack a car. It also had to be close to where we could workout and maybe even include a usable gym. I had to be able to recover from surgery sometime after the first of the year, so one level flat on first floor or elevator. Rehab needs to be easy access as well as culture and shopping. Oh and also the short term lease we needed of 6 months and allow for three small dogs. The last thing it HAD to have was easy access to an area suitable for bobos that Pamela could single hand since I'd be on my back recovering. All this in the WINTER which we had not seen for 3 years. Big ask I thought.

Enter the G Reserve at Dorrance and Westminster in downtown Providence. The newly renovated Union Trust building from 1902, on the National Historic Register. Pretty much in the heart of it all in PVD. One block from the bus hub, 3 blocks from train station, 4 blocks to the mall, a block from a gastropub and two 7/11s within 2 blocks. It had a rooftop bar that was around the corner, a Ivy League school, Brown across the canal from us with the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) on one side of us and the renowned Culinary school, Johnson and Wales on the other. $2 gets you a bus ride ANYWHERE in RI and if you can board on a return trip within 2 hours of your outbound bus you ride free. We've long talked about maybe, someday, living in a 'big city', well this was our opportunity. All the trappings of civilization all at our feet! Live music, live theater, art museums, movie theaters, hell we even had Verizon optical cable for internet access! It was like our old life only better! Not living in the wasteland of culture and conservative "values" like central Indiana BUT in the heart of the vibrant and historical Northeast US corridor with Boston 45 minutes north and New York City 2 hours to the south where everyone in RI is a registered Democrat and your state Senator is Mr. badass himself, Sheldon Whitehouse. The state slogan and seal features a fisherman's anchor and the slogan 'Hope'. 98% of its children in poverty have medical insurance, it supports its local businesses so much there are very few chains restaurants - you have to go to Mass for those, a few miles away. A good example is any clothing item sold in RI up to $250 is tax free in support of local manufacturing and there is no sales tax on any boat purchased in RI, doing the same for the boating industry. All this with just 1 million residents. The tallest building in RI is 26 floors and was right across the street from us. Great location - Check!

Next was the surgery itself, which I will say was the single most brutal and rugged thing I have been through. I never could have done it by myself and can only thank my beloved Pamela for all her support and caring prior to and during my recovery. In my mind the decision to replace my knee was a joint (hah!) one and could have only been as successful as it has been with family supported effort. Once I decided that the ongoing pain was greater than the risk of surgically resurfacing my femur, tibia and patella it was all hands on deck. I talked with everyone I could about the procedure and their personal experience for surgery and recovery. The only point of reference I could think of, that of mid fifties aging athlete was a guy I used to referee, Tommy McNabb in the mens over 40 or open league depending upon his disposition at the time. He was also an aging athlete and in my mind seemed driven by athleticism, the love of the game and his personal fitness goals. He had a hip replacement and maybe 6 month later I was reffing him again and he seemed no worse for the the wear. I thought he was nuts, thinking "hip replacement, he must have to use a walker from here on". Boy was I wrong. I did talk with as many people who told me it was the best thing they ever did as well as it was the worst thing they ever did. It did not engender a ton of confidence in the process

I did what I had seen Cliff our son do when he was researching his heart valve re-replacement. I searched out the highest rated facility and doctor that I could see that was within a friends and family support network location and found Andrew Freiberg. I tell the story that I spent about 30 minutes awake with him. 10 minutes during the initial consult that really assuage my fears about the process, he was so confident and reassuring. Luckily during that visit he had told us of a late 'add' on his schedule on the 2nd of January that we prompted took. I saw him next for about 10 minutes the day of surgery where I tried to chat nervously fearing the worst. I asked him what his music selection for for my surgery as I remember that last operating room I was in was cold and was playing music as I faded off to anesthesia. He seemed surprised at my question and chuckled and told me he leaves that to his anesthesiologist who was next in in the 'day of' visits. I requested Michael Jackson and was reassured as I drifted off to the greatest showman of my time lyrically lulling me to sleep. Next time I saw my Dr was at the 8 week check up for about 10 minutes and he pulled and prodded my knee and pronounced it one of his best. He asked me what questions I had and when I objected the the remaining pain I had on the inside of my knee knee he laughed and said "if I had seen the work he had to do to straighten my leg I would not wonder why my knee hurt so bad!" He went on to say "when I wanted the other leg straightened out, come on back and he'll take care if it'. A gifted surgeon and another one of my many blessings.

The recovery was an adventure as well including a nor'easter the day after I got home that dumped almost 2' of snow and completely shut down all of RI. They closed the interstate hwys to all traffic and after the snow stopped, cleaned up all the streets and got the buses running again. The 36 hours of closure had Pamela shoveling the sidewalks just outside of our apartment building entrance so the sweet bobos had a place to take care of business unaffected by snow taller than they were. We were 6th floor so I was able to watch the entire snowmageddon through the ceiling high windows we had in our south facing sunny flat. After the worst of the snow cleared so began my recovery with in home nursing, then in home therapists, then outpatient therapy both pool based and traditional 3 times a week. Once I was cleared for exercise we were able to join the Brown university recreation center with me in the pool swimming about a mile each visit and Pamela attending various fitness classes and yoga both in class and at home streaming videos. We used our in building's fitness center on the other days. We added a couple of fitbits for tracking and motivation with Pamela darting out of our flat every hour to be sure she's getting her 250 steps an hour in. A lot of little things begin to add up.

We had access to an amazing variety of foods in PVD, Korean, Thai, Cantonese, Portuguese and of course Italian! Pamela who is a wonderfully creative chef in the kitchen was forging into the vegetable and seafood based dishes inspired by the Korean, Portuguese and Italian influences of the area and has now largely moved us to a plant based diet. We also acquired and awesome little bread maker and now try to focus on whole grains in both bread and pasta.

By the time they kicked me out of PT the weather had warmed up enough to get back to work on the boat and the inherent more active lifestyle that is taking the bus as primary transportation walk/bus/walk, repeat. Turns out we both feel a whole lot better with 25 lbs plus gone from the midsection and had a much more pleasant annual trip to see our GP. I was being able to drop a few medications that I had been taking that was a result of diet and activity regimine. Don't get me wrong, losing weight is all about the calories and it doesn't happen without taking in less than you put out, one way or another. I had never tried to lose weight before and now I understand the mental and physical struggle.

So much more to our winter in PVD that I'll regale you with later including the friendships we made and deepened with those around us and how it has made our future brighter than ever.....oh and the second knee surgery? My beloved 11 year old canine Kona came up lame on our trip back to see friends and doctors in June. He is now just 4 weeks post-op from his surgical repair of his CCL, the equivalent to the ACL for a human like the one I had repaired on my right knee in the 90's. Dogs and the humans that own them beginning to look and act alike? You make the call!

Underway Again

12 July 2018 | Cuttyhunk
Kurt/warm and sunny
Well, after much doctoring, boat fixin and city living we're back aboard Big Frisky and underway again. As I write we sit in Cuttyhunk pond MA at the end of the Elizabeth islands, all privately owned and few inhabited. We have just been struck with motivation to find our voice again on the blog.....you see it's a funny story that just happened to us.

We had just pulled into the inside pond at Cuttyhunk for the night or two. We picked a spot at mid-tide rising in the area for anchoring and sat out a brisk northern wind compliments of Hurricane Chris. We had motored out of the Narragasett bay into the SE breeze that had been building in the three three hours it took us to clear the bay. By the time we rounded to the corner outside Newport it was a steady 18-20 kts gusting to 25. In good form we lucked into the current heading our way so we blasted down Buzzards Bay with full canvas and HUGE smiles on our faces. Sailors know what this feels like. A mix of magical flow of the waves and boat in motion - you get to know your girl and it feels right. Sailing a broad reach in 15-25 is what our baby likes the best.

We arrived to unfamiliar Cuttyhunk and turned up, dropped the sails and headed inside to see about our accommodations. As is the norm in the summer in popular anchorages the quarters are tight. You are usually squeezing into a small area just outside the moorings that are for rent. In this case it was no different so you have to estimate the depths of the anchorage on all sides of you as your boat will swing 360 degrees in tides, winds etc. You have to do this while motoring around, looking at the depths and then figuring your required scope (length of chain to put out) for anchoring safely. 5-7 times depth is what is recommended, lighter wind, less scope. Today it was 10 feet mid-tide so 50' of chain is minimum recommended. You then estimate the position that is in the middle of the 'safe swing' room. Did I mention that while you are doing this you are ducking and bobbing between that moorings, moored boats, anchored boats all the while being exactly 46' (in our case) away from your best friend and confidant in the world who knows equally as much as you about the process that you have to agree on in order to drop the hook. All the while you are being watched by the ENTIRE anchorage who is listening to every word you say/yell (note to self - no cursing or criticism of your mate). This manifests itself in a strangely close to the stern of your neighbor ahead as you are dropping the anchor with the length of chain that is in the safe scope area not too close side by side and best if you can stagger with your next door neighbors AND with similar length to everyone at anchorage already.

This last part can make or break the experience as when you inevitably turn direction with tide or wind the goal is to maintain your distance from everyone else. Too long of scope and you now swing into the boat that was formerly ahead of you that now you are on top of. It's always self arbitrating, with last in responsible for any moves needed. It's the least intuitive thing in the world and there is no classes for it (that give you the knowledge you need) only the harsh teacher of experience will do. We are newish on the anchoring scene as our skill sets have progressed, so has our confidence in anchoring and so now know just enough to be dangerous, including this location. It's rare for the N wind direction in this area and we did our best at the placement game. Well sure as the sun comes up, the wind changed directions today so now we are in the shallow end of the pond. There is grass so the depth sounders aren't accurate but even so we check by hand when on the dinghy while at anchor with a hand held sounder. Well as luck would have it Hurricane Chis's passing has affect the tides and so super high and LOW tides are coming through today. We had just returned from a walk on the beach in the outer harbor via dinghy and arrived back at DEAD LOW tide. We were relieved that even though the grass was tickling our hull Pamela remarked "at least she's facing the same direction as the other boats" and when pushed at stern from the side our girl floated free.

When we boarded a passing dinghy stopped and said he had enjoyed reading our blog as we came out of the Great Lakes 3 years ago. We were flabbergasted that someone had actually read and enjoyed our commentary of our little floating home. We all reminisced about the last time we crossed the Bay of Maine it was not such a good experience aboard Big Frisky - hah how the time has flown by.

Well, we're back and have some tales to tell of winter in Providence in our city flat, dead center in the middle of the littlest big city I know of. Hellava time. We're heading for Nova Scotia. Our larder is full. Who knows what could happen? Good to be back. We'll keep you posted.

Special thanks to the Captain of SV Grayling a 42' Catalina out of Massachusetts for giving us back our voice on our blog and the local knowledge shared for anchoring and passes around Buzzards Bay.

Where is Big Frisky Now?

29 November 2017 | Downtown Providence
Pamela/Sunny and 51 degrees
After spending the summer on the Narragansett Bay and cruising the Long Island sound, Big Frisky found her way back to Cove Haven Marina in Barrington Rhode Island. We watched anxiously as one hurricane after another pummeled our beloved Caribbean cruising grounds. As photos began to come in we were saddened to see the devastation the storms wreaked, changing the landscape of our familiar haunts. Several of our friends lost their boats (homes) in the storms.

As we weighed our decision on whether to travel south or not, it became increasingly clear that Kurt's "referee knees" might not be up for the rigorous trip. Climbing, crouching and kneeling resulted in severe pain and downtime. Fortunately, we were able to see an orthopedic surgeon who diagnosed a knee replacement for Kurt.

So just like that, we decided to put Big Frisky on the hard and moved everything we owned into a 6th floor, 1 bedroom apartment in the historic Union Trust Bank Building in downtown Providence. We bought a couch, table and bed from Ikea, got a Zip Car membership and a daily subscription to the Providence Journal. With help from some friends we were able to assemble the furniture.

My biggest concern about city living was where we could safely take the dogs for a walk. They are used to long walks on the beach or hiking on trails. But they are also used to ocean passages and making do in a gravel parking lots. Our location in Providence provides a little of everything. But first, it starts with an elevator ride. After a few fits and starts including Chico sniffing out a tasty morsel and getting off the elevator as the door was closing, the Friskettes have it down (and up). Favorite walks include the campus of Johnson and Wales and strolling along the river in Memorial Park. A little yorkie lives on the fourth floor and we've made friends, or in Honu's case, a frenemy.

While we hadn't planned to spend the winter in southern New England, here we are! Already we've enjoyed being closer to family and friends: a surprise visit from my son Nick. lunch with my girlfriend Barb and Thanksgiving at Fishers Island with our friends Dave & Denise Cugini video and their family. We look forward to a great winter exploring Providence, concerts, visits with family and friends and a successful knee surgery for the captain. We plan to launch Big Frisky and move back aboard in March.

Surprised? Hell, Nothing Surprises Me Anymore.....

11 November 2016 | Morehead City North Carolina
Cappy
So here we are 1 year after heading offshore for the Caribbean for the winter. We find ourselves just South of Hatteras in Morehead City NC just after the election. We made the jump from Washington DC over the course of the last 2 weeks and found ourselves white-lashed from the experience. On election night we were motor-sailing down the coast of Virginia racing to the famous cape hoping for calm seas and winds. We followed the returns as they came in as the broadband cell service was great all the way to the Cape. Our new homeland Florida let us down. Our old homeland, Indiana who we cheered when the then governor was drug into the cage so they didn't have to suffer him anymore, only to be saddled with him again. We can leave Indiana but Indiana apparently won't leave us.


As expected the end of hurricane season brings you one last blow, Matthew and then the winter gales begin to set in and the juncture of South and North collide and make it hard to predict the outcomes. Sometimes it's rough and stormy, sometimes placid seas of Hope. One thing is for sure, you must travel the waters with your fellow travelers and are all in the same boat when things go unexpectedly. As we rounded the Cape the election had been called and we now faced headwinds as we fought our way off it heading southwest, motoring into growing seas of despair as the seas grew angry and built into blocky gray walls of water preventing our calm passage. As the night wore on our progress slowed as our girl pounds into steep seas making the entire world shutter around you. Kona was so upset he was shaking and nervous as a cat. If you were down below and crashed through the next 5-8' wave he would appear at your side and borough in hiding his head from the angry seas above.


My 0100-0400 watch mercifully ended and I passed it over to Pamela, I was able to relax and trust her to take us safely to the morning and I drifted off to sleep wishing it was just all a bad dream. As it always does the sun came up on her watch and me with it as well to relive her at 0700. The mood was somber as the break of day exposed all of the chaos that enveloped us with miles to go to safe harbour. 4 years and 100 miles seemed like the same eternity at the time. Cape Lookout is where Morehead City is, the first major Cape south of Hatteras and in between there and Cape Fear. It seems fitting to stop before we got to Cape Fear as really maybe all we have to fear is Fear itself.


And so life goes on. Today, Veterans Day is a great day for Pamela and I. Not only because we are so proud to be Americans and honor the memory of our Veterans who sacrificed to defend our liberties but because it's the birthday of our dear friend Michael Todd Harmon or Chef as he is known to all his friends. A veteran himself and a man who is a millionaire many time over with the wealth of friends he has accumulated over his 47 years on this earth. This includes his awesome daughter, Penelope our god-daughter and her fabulous mother Pam.


Today is sunny and warm here in North Carolina reminding us of the many walks through the woods with Chef and all our dogs talking, laughing and wishing for the happy times ahead. These times are always there we all just have to go out and find each other and enjoy them together.

Should I Go or should I Stay

15 October 2016 | Annapolis Landing Marina
Pamela, beautiful 70 degrees and sunny
I had just taken some Parmesan Monkey Bread from the oven, assembled a salad and packed a basket to take to a pitch in at a friends' boat. A fellow cruiser had stopped by to talk to the captain about our Lithium Ion batteries. I was heading to the bathhouse for a quick shower before our dinner outing. Our last get-together before our departure at first light in the morning.

The tide was high which means it's a pretty big step down and off the boat to reach the dock and I put my hand on top of a piling to steady myself. When I stepped down to the dock I felt blinding pain as my ring caught on an exposed nail on top of the piling behind me. At one point my entire body weight was suspended from the ring finger on my right hand. I was able to step up on a stool to free my hand and despite the pain I knew I had to get that ring off before it began to swell. My first thought was of the hundreds of times I asked soccer players to remove their rings before a match warning them of the dire consequences if they did not. And here I was, one big dire consequence.

Our battery curious guest beat a hasty retreat and the captain emerged to see what all the commotion was about. I immediately asked for ice. We keep several small bags of ice in the freezer and remarkably had just added an ice pack to Big Frisky the previous day. I climbed back on board for some triage and field dressing. Next we had to make a decision on whether to seek professional emergency care or not. The ring had gauged deeply into one side of the finger and peeled back an inch of skin on the other. The knuckle was swollen and bruised but nothing felt broken.

The go or stay debate didn't last long before we borrowed a car and figured out the closest urgent care in our network. I'm glad we did. Medical professionals cleaned and x-rayed the injury. While the doctor stitched up my finger, we chatted about cricket, reliving the last six balls at the Twenty20 Cricket World Cup 2016 and the Windies win. They sent me home with a finger splint and a stern admonition not to do anything for the next 48 hours and to return for a dressing change and assessment then.

The drive back home was a bummer. My finger didn't hurt that much, but now we couldn't leave for two days. Worse, we missed our dinner party. About that time, I heard from our hosts asking about my well-being and letting us know they were warming up the soup if we felt up to it.

Kurt dropped me off at their boat and retrieved the bread and salad from Big Frisky I packed hours earlier. Undiminished by the delay, the dinner party was a huge success, filled with sailing stories, weather speculation and a number of gruesome tales about everyone else's injuries.

A word about our hosts, Shannon and Mike. We first met them in Virgin Gorda BVI where they where they were hauled, painting the bottom of their boat Silver Heels a beautiful 1965 Pearson Alberg 35. We instantly became friends with many common interests like reading, cooking and sailing. They have a lot of experience as professional boat captain and first mate. Mike offers Kurt both encouragement and sound advice. And while Shannon and I share recipes and book titles, she also taught me how to use the winch to hoist Kurt up the mast. The last time we saw them in Tortola BVI, when they were leaving for Tahiti to double hand a catamaran delivery.

With the doc's permission we will leave tomorrow for a three day hop down the Chesapeake and up the Potomac to Washington DC. We leave Annapolis with fond memories and maybe a few scabs and bruises, but we realize how lucky we are to have a cruising life where we can meet new friends and take up with old ones right where we left off.

Life is Good in New England

30 September 2016 | Two-Mile Landing Marina, Cape May NJ
Captain Kurt, Blowing like snot
Our summer plans had included an earlier arrival in New England than August but we finally arrived.

We had a trip to Colorado planned to see Nick, Cliff and Curtis before our youngest had to return to graduate school in Indiana at Purdue. I think the phrase man plans, God laughs is appropriate here. Curtis had a summer internship in Colorado with Digital Globe that ran till just before fall classes and we had hoped to see the brothers all together before he had to return but our schedule slipped and we missed him. That didn't stop us from having an absolute blast with Nick and Cliff and his new girlfriend, Kat for a week last month. The picture on the post is a selfie in front of Cliff's 7 foot sailfish that he caught last spring when he and some buddies went deep sea fishing in Florida. Those who have been to the mountains in the summer know what I'm talking about but it was absolutely beautiful. We split our time between Littleton and Steamboat Springs enjoying both the city slicker lifestyle as well as the more granola mountain scene in the Boat. Let me say we couldn't be more proud of Nick, Cliff and Curtis. All pursuing life's path with vigor and enjoyment. So fun to pop into their busy schedules and just hang out. We hope they join us south again this winter......when.....we....are....in.....KEY WEST for the holidays - November through January followed by a trip up the gulf coast, Cuba if the stars align and the Bahamas working our way North for next summer.

Our landing point in New England was Cove Haven Marina in Barrington RI, home of friends of ours and three other Outbound 46's, sister-ships of Big Frisky. We arrived from Charleston SC via Cape May New Jersey with a weather diversion. When we arrived in Jersey I began playing Bruce Springsteen as we tied up. It was absolutely the most welcoming beach community we have been too, a pleasant change from SC where we felt and were total outsiders. I've never been to the Jersey shore but I can well recommend it. Beautiful beach shoreline with intact giant sand dunes separating the boardwalk from the ocean. Low rise beach hotels and condos not more than 4 stories, many small hotels built in the 50s and 60s with retro styling from the day called do-oop. We met a local boater at the marina we were staying at, 2 Mile Marina who gave us a ride to the store and told us he installed many of the elevators. A community of summer that rolls up the carpet once the winter sets in earnest only to roll it back out next summer. It's a place of songs about summer love. The marina was described by the harbormaster as 4 bars and two restaurants with a marina for the customers to look at. Small and convenient with deep water that seems to be scarce around Cape May.

On the way to RI we saw huge pods of dolphins hunting, using our boat as a foil. We got beautiful weather, albeit not too windy and even saw a surfaced submarine! Our schedule was an awkward 38 hours and found us rounding Block Island around 2200 and then Newport around 0200 where we needed gas. God as my witness I have no idea how at that time of the morning on a moonless night we didn't hit any of the moored boats in Newport Harbor. We arrived at Goat Island gas dock with about a $20 million super yacht at the stern and a $2.5 million classic sailboat at the bow with about 50 feet to squeeze our 46 foot Outbound into. Pamela hit the cleat on the first toss and then disembarked, tied off the stern, grabbed the bow line at the gate where she had it staged and tied us off perfectly. Money in the bank she is and I couldn't be luckier to have a mate as her.

Our trip continued to Barrington RI where we stayed at the end of a bay off the providence river at a Brewer marina, Cove Haven. We discovered the Brewer group when we were in Long Island Sound last fall in Stratford. High standards for a marina and a yard with the most friendly and helpful staff. As a bonus the residents of the marina were all cool and interesting people including a Swan SV Chaucer who we met in the Caribbean last winter and three other Outbound 46 sister-ships, Pratique, Pneumatic and Hippocampus. Our main draw to Barrington however is our friends from a 52' carbon fiber racing catamaran Occam's Razor who spent the winter in the Caribbean and hosted us for Christmas and our birthdays. The captain is a professional sailor and is president of Anchor Yachts who represents Outbound as well as a wide array of high performance sail and powerboats. He and his wife and intrepid sailing mutt, Jacques have been so supportive of us as we begin to learn what it is to be blue water cruisers we can't thank them enough. If you or anyone you know is looking for a blue water sail or powerboat, I can say that visiting their site is a great way to Find your Boat of dreams and make it a reality like they did for us.

We were able to fly in and out of Providence to CO easily and also found a great kennel for our pups to stay and play at while we were away. We did some work on the boat, canned local fruits, attended and hosted fellow boaters get togethers, saw the world record longest back-flip on a BMX bicycle held by K-Rob, Kevin Robinson of X Games fame and native of Providence RI, ate at great restaurants and also saw a great deal of the Olympics in the evenings.

We laid plans for our trip to the islands in Nantucket Sound, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. Just before we left we were able to attend the Newport Boat show. The newest delivery in the Northeast for Outbound was at the show with all the latest improvements along with the President who has been nothing but spectacularly supportive of our ownership of Big Frisky. He even got a chance to come on-board and see what his handiwork looks like 8 years after manufacture. We love our girl and he was very complementary.

Martha's vineyard brought us our first visit with Pamela's life long friend from Hanover College and her BF. We saw them last October and vowed to see them again this fall. This time they met us on his powerboat, Get the Order in Oaks Bluff Harbor on the Vineyard. What a blast we had. The harbor is tiny and so they have to ask people to raft up, 4 boats max to a mooring and run a tender to transport folks back and forth to the town dock.We met them on the way and rafted up for the night, taking a tender to shore to have dinner and drinks. The night ended around 0200 with all of us with sore stomachs from laughing so hard but fat heads in the morning. Thankfully we were going to hang out for a few days exploring and maybe we'd see them at Nantucket our next stop. We took the bus around the island on the next rainy day visting Bad Martha's brewery and saw the colts play the next night before setting off for Nantucket.

I would describe the waters of Nantucket Sound as hair raising when it comes to navigation. The entire eastern shore of the island has shoals so dangerous there is a shipwreck museum on the island. Pair that with 4 foot tides and the currents can run 3-4 knots through narrow openings and you have to be paying close attention as the bottom is mostly rock. When we cut through Woods Hole on the way to Martha's vineyard the jagged rocks jutted up nearer to the boat that is comfortable but outside the channel as the current rushed through this crooked dogleg of a passage.

The trip to Nantucket was no different with close attention paid to our route and the time of day with respect to the winds, tides and currents. We arrived to Nantucket on an overcast day with light winds and passed the Brant Point lighthouse as the inner harbor that has welcomed seafarers for hundreds of years came into view. Fixed docks with narrow fairways and tiny little cottages in and among them leading up to a picturesque harbor front. The streets are paved with the pavers from the ships ballasts brought in from all over the world. The movie Heart of the Sea was based on the whaling economy of the late 19th century of Nantucket. The names of the families still adorn the storefronts and buildings. To say it was expensive real estate was an understatement. We splurged for a slip for 4 days as they were running off season rates and it was still twice as much as we normally expect. We rented a scooter for a day and raced all over the island sightseeing and stopping at the local brewery, Cisco Brewers and whiled an afternoon away. It was lovely and warm. Pamela's roommate was able to take a ferry over to join us for a dinner and an overnight on Big Frisky. We were so excited for her arrival but sad to see her go the next day. I with substantially more sleep than Pamela and she. When I hugged her goodbye I asked her is someone and snuck into her cabin overnight and roughed her up a bit. Still all in good fun where you have good friends.

We bid her and New England farewell on the next outgoing tide after a front passed through that gave us a sleigh ride down the eastern coast to our current location, Cape May New Jersey. We'll stage here for the run up Delaware Bay and hang a left before Philadelphia through the C&D canal to enter the famed Chesapeake Bay.

The Best of Charleston

03 August 2016 | Charleston Harbor Marina
Pamela, overcast, hot, humid
We have now been in Charleston for over two months, completing repairs after Big Frisky was stuck by another boat in the Charleston Harbor Marina. Our misfortune did not prevent us from taking full advantage of living in the Best City in the World (according to Travel & Leisure Magazine). We are leaving in the morning and as a farewell to the Holy City, we offer our Best of Charleston review.

Best place to visit: Mt Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park and Pier. We walked the dogs every day at this park and enjoyed our coffee while watching the tides come in and river traffic go by. You can buy a fishing pass for the day for $7 and you are almost guaranteed to catch something if not bring home dinner.

Best Dining Experience: 167 Raw. This tiny hole in the wall not only is the freshest raw bar in town, it also has the best servers. But you have to be patient. The raw bar only seats about 40 people and while the wait can be long, when you sit down it's as if you were the only one there; your every desire, anticipated and fulfilled. The atmosphere is festive and the all-male crew works hard to maintain traffic flow by ensuring there is a drink in the hand of every waiting patron.

Best Landmark: The Angel Tree on Johns Island. The oldest living thing in the US is this Live Oak tree, estimated to be over 500 years old. Visitors milling about the ancient tree speak in hushed tones as if in the presence of something sacred.

Best Mexican Restaurant: Agave Cantina on Daniel Island. Great Mexican food and excellent service made this place worth a second visit. The lunch crowd was equal parts office workers and construction workers, no doubt attracted like we were to delicious food at good prices.

Best Show: Improv Riot: Perfect for Friday night date night, especially when paired with dinner at 167 Raw, the improv team at Theater 99, had us laughing our ass off. The theater sports a concession with beer, wine, sodas and snacks.

Best Local Tip: Edmunds Oast: Hip and Loftlike according to google, this amazing place has an unadvertised happy hour with a $4 menu. Order craft beers and small batch cocktails with creative small plate appetizers until you are full and leave having spent less than $50.

Best Place to Hang out Getting Local Tips: House of Brews in Mt Pleasant. Knowledgeable bartender at House of Brews told us about great food and beer deals throughout the county.

Best Handcrafted Cocktails: The Americano. Fresh mixers are prepared on site with indigenous ingredients. I had the Mexican Mule and Kurt had the Pisco Sour. Cuban cuisine served in a cool art deco setting was fresh, light and well portioned.

Best Charcuterie Program: Ok, so first, what is a charcuterie program? Charcuterie is cured meats and having a program indicates that the restaurant does their own curing, often employing a "nose to tail" philosophy in preparing meat. Artisan Meat Share is a small shop sharing delicious charcuterie from Cypress as well as sandwiches, cheeses, and condiments. And of course several taps of local craft beer.

Best of All: The People! While every community has a few jerks, the many gracious, friendly and hospitable people we have met in Charleston have more than offset one bad experience. Like our neighbors Timm and Martie on Goat's Boat who warmly welcomed us for evening cocktails and introduced us to their many friends. It is easy to see why our nieces and their families have made Charleston their home. We look forward to coming back to see them all again and find out what Charleston has on tap next time.

Next stop, Barrington Rhode Island!

Gone Fishin'

01 July 2016 | Charleston Harbor Marina
Pamela, overcast, hot, humid
I am all smiles here after catching a sea trout off of the Mt Pleasant Pier, but just a few days ago we were left shaking our heads and surveying damage when a large trawler being towed by Tow Boat US plowed into our dingy and nearly tore the davits off Big Frisky's stern.

The drama started at 0730 when our neighbor left his slip and lost control of his boat. The current carried him down the fairway where he lodged amid the bows and sterns of a number of boats. Pinned against the boats by the current, he was advised to wait until the slack tide and just motor out. Unfortunately, he called Tow Boat US instead. About 1000 we watched as the small tow boat arrived and attached to the aft port quarter of the substantially larger trawler.

We were below decks when we heard commotion outside. The trawler had snagged on the bowsprit and anchor of the boat two slips away and her bow now aimed directly at our dinghy and davits. Then the boat accelerated to push away, but could not avoid snagging our dinghy and bending the davits until the boat pulled free, an agonizingly long time. If I knew how strong those davits really are I would have worried a lot less during big following seas from passages past.

Read about how we got these davits in the first place.

I am not gonna lie; we took it hard. Big Frisky is not just our boat. She is our home, our transportation, our life, our dream. We know every part of her and it is almost impossible to describe our attachment. We spent few days nursing our wounds, making insurance calls, entertaining adjustors, filing DNR reports, etc. We questioned whether this cruising life was for us after all.

As days go by its clear that we will be in Charleston another week or two. We've decided we are going to enjoy all of the things we normally don't have time for. Yesterday we spent the whole day pier fishing at the Mt Pleasant Pier. This morning we made ice cream with the ice cream maker we brought all the way from Indiana. Next week I'm going blueberry picking. And that's just the beginning!

Never underestimate what a day of fishing can do for your outlook.

Vessel Name: Big Frisky
Vessel Make/Model: Outbound 46
Hailing Port: Carmel Indiana
Crew: Kurt and Pamela
About: Kurt and Pamela have been together for sixteen years and recently married. Kona, Honu and Chico are avid sailing companions and are committed to keeping all ducks off docks wherever they may go. Kurt is a retired editor for a publishing company and Pamela is a retired college librarian.
Extra: After travelling through the Great Lakes and out the St. Lawrence Seaway, Big Frisky and her crew are ready to start the next leg of their adventure, a passage to Tortola, British Virgin Islands.
Home Page: tinyurl.com/big-frisky
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