1.15.2008

All is well!


We have noticed a slight bit of growth on the belly of Mary Rose. It is the first sign that she has been sitting in her slip too long. The water here is clear enough to monitor the growth and also the condition of the zincs on the bob stay and the propeller shaft. Zincs are very important to the heath of the metal parts of the ship. If there is any electrolysis, which can occur for various reasons, the zincs are sacrificial and will deteriorate before any critical metallic parts on the boat. So it is nice to be able to monitor their condition without diving under her to check them out.




We finally got around to doing the monthly preventative maintenance and full inspection of all, yes all systems on the boat. All is well and the only major problem is that we will need to replace the chart plotter. It failed on the way in to port the last day of our rounding of Florida. We had a backup handheld Garman GPS as well as LORAN C, so we were able to navigate safely into port. Of course we also had our charts and the trusty, reliable compass. So we have a good amount of redundancy in the navigation department. I am so grateful for the hard work the previous owner (Captain Larry Sherwood) did on a regular basis to keep this ship in such great shape. It is much easier to maintain a fine sailing vessel when someone else has her in peek condition when you acquire her.




One item that we needed to get done was to top the fuel tank. We thought the marina had a fuel dock but we were wrong. So when we arrived we did not have an opportunity to top them off. It is important to keep them topped off so that moisture does not collect due to condensation with temperature fluctuations. Monday we decided to slip the dock lines and head to the nearby marina that has diesel fuel. I couldn't resist the urge to head out of the marina to the channel that leads to the bay. It was only a few minutes and we were feeling the gentle rolling waves. It really felt great and I could barely block the desire to take off the sail covers and take a nice long sail on the bay. But the fuel dock would be closed in a couple of hours and there just was not time. The Admiral was the lookout standing on the bow under power for the first time in almost a month. She was enjoying it and felt the same urges as to go to sea as Mary Rose and I. It was a unanimous sensation, but the Captain constrained the ship and crew without any attempt at mutiny. I put the Admiral at the helm and I assumed the watch position for a while before we turned a reciprocal course headed to the fuel dock.




I happened to see a couple of dolphins about 200 yards off the port bow headed straight for Mary Rose. They surfaced a couple of times and then they disappeared. The next thing I knew they were surfing along the starboard side of Mary Rose near the stern. The Admiral made haste to join me near the cockpit and view this spectacular site. One of the dolphins rose out of the water and gave a big toothy grin and shook it's head up and down as if to say ..........All Is Well!!!!!!!!!
We proceeded to the fuel dock down a very narrow channel with only a few extra feet to turn and then made our way back to the dock. It was very refreshing to be on the water again if only for a short time. We both felt renewed and had a lot of good energy after our short trip. Stay tuned for more........All Is Well!




1.07.2008

.....time to get to sea........


In Moby-Dick, Melville wrote:


"Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul...........I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball......................."


Perhaps it is time to read Melville's classic again. time to refresh my heart with whales, the sea, the breadth of inspiration, the obsession of Ahab, the survival story that teaches its own lesson of courage and luck. excerpt from Sanity and Grace by Judy Collins


Two actual events inspired Melville's tale. One was the sinking of the Nantucket whaling ship Essex, which foundered in 1820 after it was attacked and repeatedly rammed by an 80-ton sperm whale 2,000 miles (3,700 km) from the western coast of South America. First mate Owen Chase, one of eight survivors, recorded the events in his 1821 Narrative of the Most Extraordinary and Distressing Shipwreck of the Whale-Ship Essex. You can read about this inspiration in an excellent book tittled; In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whale ship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick If you choose to read this book, you learn of a 14 year old boy that had been taught to "idolize the form of a ship" The young lad named Nickerson was going to sea and the joy he felt was boundless and after he described the whaling ship Essex as being creaky, a living thing of pine that reeked of oil, blood, tobacco juice, food, salt, mildew, tar, and smoke. As ugly as she was, Nickerson wrote, "I would not have exchanged her for a palace."


When troubled seas are all about and we feel as though we are being tossed around helplessly and out of control it is important to remember what that 14 year old boy felt when he stepped aboard the Essex. As ugly as it gets sometimes in this life, I would not exchange it for a palace either.


The sea is alive and everyday it gives you cause to stop and truly believe in the awe of the creator. The sea has a remarkable way of reminding you that you are NOT in control but rather a visitor.......a visitor that has no say as to when the rules are about to change. She really is the beauty and the beast.


For now we will remain close to shore and accept the safe harbor that is needed as we prepare for the next portion of our journey. There is much to do and much to prepare. We have it broken down in to three major groups with many sub groups.


1. We need to prepare our ship for the journey.


2. We need to prepare ourselves for the journey.


3. We need to prepare our finances for the journey.


As I said there are many subtopics beneath each of this three main categories. We will take time in the future to define each of these in some greater detail. I doubt we will give all the grisly details as it may be a bit much for the casual reader.


But certainly it is......time to get to sea.......................................

1.06.2008

A Tribute To Jerry And Thank You To All My Friends & Loved Ones


Well it has been 16 days since Jerry's death and it has been the hardest 16 days of my life. I also know I will have many more bad days ahead. I cannot begin to express in words how much the support and prayers that we received from so many of you meant to us. I sincerely thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Jerry is resting in peace now. I have spent hours going over in my head what could have been done to have changed this final outcome...I finally came to the understanding that it really does not matter now... there is no rewind button.. no do overs. There is nothing that I can do or say that will change my world back to the way it was. I will continue to miss my sweet baby for the rest of my life... but I also know that time does heal all wounds... so that is what I am focusing on.. time healing my wound. Jerry will be deeply missed forever by everyone who knew him. For those of you who did not have the privilege of knowing Jerry... let me take a few minutes and give you an idea of who this young man is. To begin with he had a heart of gold, a smile that would melt your heart and he would give you his shirt off his back if you needed it. I remember right after my ex-husband and I separated the kids and I moved into our first place .. money was tight so it took us awhile to furnish the house. I had a couple of friends that gave us three mattresses that they were not using... I took the oldest one and gave the kids the newest ones... the mattress I had was horrible .. it had springs sticking out .. but we were thankful to have a soft place to lay our heads.. Jerry came into my room one day and laid down on the bed with me to chat and he said to me.. "mom how can you sleep on this bed?" A few days later Jerry took his paycheck, bummed a ride from a friend and bought me a nice mattress pad, he put it on the bed and re-made the bed. I came home from work that evening and went in my room... as I sat on the bed, I will never forget him looking at me from around the corner with this huge smile on his face asking me if I noticed anything different. His older sister who is putting herself through college was short on her rent .. he found out about it and he sent her his entire paycheck... never thought twice about it nor asked to be paid back... Jerry loved all animals and all animals loved Jerry... when we lived in Colorado we would go hiking in the mountains a lot ..that was his favorite place... he was the only one of us who could get the chipmunks to eat out of his hand. He loved the water.. he could swim like a fish! He loved going with me on Thanksgiving day and passing out meals and coats to the homeless. The best way to describe Jerry...a gentle, selfless soul... a giving person. This is why we are looking into starting a foundation or memorial fund in his memory. We want to use the funds to provide shoes, school supplies, medical supplies and I am going to donate my time in the medical clinics to children who are not as fortunate as most. I read in one of my books a quote by Goethe that reads, "It is the nature of grace to fill spaces that have been emptied." The book went on to say .."Not that we can't tell the difference. Not that we are being disloyal. But if life gives us something else to do with all those impulses towards the one no longer with us, how can we not be grateful? It's like an extra inheritance--a blessing, even from the one we have lost, going to someone else who needs what we have to give. So we are refreshed by the memory of the loved one, and at the same time offering a gift, creating new relationships." So I will not only heal myself but at the same time not let Jerry's death be in vain.. I want.. no I need Jerry's gentle soul to be his legacy... The Jer-Bear Foundation. We will send out e-mails and a quick mention on the blog spot when everything is set up.
Rest in peace my sweet son.. we will dance together again someday.