12.14.2010

YIN VS YANG






Yin and yang….




As we arrive at the commencement of a new season and begin to observe the trees transforming into their fall apparel it marks a time for reflection.





Our summer respite has been a mix of fulfillment and discontent, bliss and sadness, blessings and violation. One declaration that I must assert is adjusting back into American society has been a bit of a challenge for the Capt and me. Unbeknownst to us, the moment we docked Mary safely in her St Petersburg slip our quiet, peaceful, serene life was about to be slapped back to the reality of the bona fide world. The following is a brief synopsis of our summer of 2010.
Our initial plans were to disembark back to Florida sometime in June, I was to resume my dialysis job in St Petersburg while the Capt would begin a long list of items to upgrade and repair on Mary Rose V. Oblivious to us was that the seed of change was planted one breezy afternoon in the BVI. The Capt, I and visitor Bill Smith sat on the deck of Mary Rose V one sunny afternoon discussing our future aspirations and ambitions. The challenge began as Dr Bill Smith shared his story of his dream house that could not be completely built due to too many adversities. These adversities opened a path for the Capt to earn a little money while helping out a friend. Blessings abounding as always!
We cut our Haitian trip short and pointed Mary’s bow due north for the land of Florida. We arrived in Florida, prepared Mary for a well deserved rest, packed our bags, and headed our F150 north with a revised vision. It was a bittersweet moment as watched the swaying palm trees fading into the rearview mirror as we commenced one journey to begin another. Off we went to drop in on friends and family. Our plans were to go along the east coast and visit all of the Captain’s relatives. Years had passed since his last visit and as we all know, time tends to slide gently into the past and before we realize it years have passed, years that cannot ever be regained. This actuality made it even more important for the Captain to take this opportunity to visit distant but far from forgotten family.
Shortly after the commencement of our new journey the Captain received a phone call that his sister was severely ill and that we should hightail it to Illinois as quickly as we can. We shortened our visits, gave our hugs and well wishes to the Captains loved ones. We attempted to arrive in Illinois before precious time gently slipped away. We arrived a few minutes too late but we are sure that Katherine knew her baby brother was present for transition even if only in spirit. Katherine had already began her own new journey to meet those that have passed before her and were waiting on the other shore with open loving arms to welcome her home.
Next stop…. Kansas City!
My senses were robust upon our arrival to Kansas City; I was thrilled to finally be able to see my treasured family but I also still struggled with the broken memories that still reside on many corners in the Midwest. Not only will we need to deal with the brokenness of my heart but also the happily forgotten selfish aspects of this society. The tears came and went; the healing of my heart began and my feelings were replaced with disgust, disgust as to how so many in this society have grown lazy, who have grown into a group of people who are in constant search of hand outs with feelings of entitlement. These feelings came into focus when our truck was broke into and our possessions that would represent zilch to others but were taken any way out of the back of our truck. They took our boat papers, our passports, our bathroom items, and our clothes both clean and dirty…items that are worthless to others but priceless to us. How can our boat sit in Haiti, where people don’t have a pot to pee in and nobody dare touch our possessions, no attempts to steal anything or even trespass yet we are back in the United States one month and such a tragedy strike? This I have difficulty understanding.
The loss amplified our need to get back to work, back to our current reality; the urgent need to earn some well needed money. That meant for me back into the world of dialysis and the Captain to work with his friend Dr William Smith so he could assist him to accomplish his dream to finally have the opportunity to move into his dream house. The Captain was gung-ho to get this accomplished within budget and target date. This was fulfilling to the Captain not only because Bill was his friend but also because we both know so well the importance of living and fulfilling dreams.
Dr Smith had joined us in the BVI during our first adventure and while sitting on Mary Rose’s deck one lovely afternoon Dr Smith mentioned to the Captain all the woes that he had experienced during his attempts to complete this home. He explained that workers had come and gone, he was being consistently over charged for hours worked and services rendered and really needed someone he could trust to oversee the completion of this project. Dr Smith, knowing the extensive knowledge of craftsmanship that the Captain has demonstrated in the past as he had graciously noted in his previous blog post back in 2009 it was all but right to offer the position to the Captain. It was very thoughtful for Dr Smith to allow us the opportunity to help him out so that we can share the wealth with our Haitian friends. Not only did Dr Smith extend his generosity to the Haitian people but he also gave my daughter and her boyfriend an opportunity to work and make a little extra money to help them make ends meet. We can only hope now that the project is completed that Bill enjoys his dream home and the many special touches that the Captain provided to his home. Our wish for Dr Smith is that he finds many years of peace and serenity next to his beautiful waterfall. The monies made will be used to sponsor the Haitian children with their schooling as well as the purchase of vegetable seeds for the Haitian people’s gardens.
Part of living our dream includes the accountability that is required to achieve our dream. I have developed an understanding over the years that we are right where we are meant to be every moment of every day. I have also developed a belief that the Capt and I have many riches far beyond financial wealth, we have our health, and we have cherished friends and family that love us greatly and we are surrounded by blessing and angels where we are. We are auspicious enough to be living our dream which many financially wealthy people can only envy. I must be reminiscent frequently that rarely do dreams ever come true just by wishing; they involve work, compromise, and most of all patience which I can’t deny I intensely lack.
The Capt and I have to remind ourselves at times that the present situation is nothing more than a stepping stone that is gradually leading us back to the ocean and back to the people that we feel so drawn to.

I have spread my dreams beneath your feet. Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
W.B. Yeats



Make one person happy each day and in 40 years you will have made 14600 human beings happy for a little while at least.




Congradulations to Shannon and William!!!

10.05.2010

We're Baaaaaack!


This summer has been a bit difficult but there have been several highlights. My youngest daughter was married to her prince charming on a lovely beach in Florida. I was able to be with all four of my children and nine grandchildren for several days in a row. We sailed in the Sweet Sixteen National Regatta and had a great time sailing our old racing boat loaned to us by Bill Smith. Lana has been able to spend extended time with her grandmother, children and grandchildren. We look forward to getting back aboard Mary Rose and chasing the horizon in search of adventure and seeking out that special project to help those less fortunate than ourselves. We had a chance to spend a wonderful week with my brother and his wife and do some worthwhile projects while there. We are now in Georgia visiting with Shannon and her family and will soon be back in Florida.
This summer also presented the opportunity for my son Shane to sail in yet another Race to Mackinac. This is a grueling race with difficult challenges. He and his team finished second in this event in the J-105 class. This same team also won their class in the Chicago Verve Cup as well as an overall winner of this regatta. This was a very successful year for the boat Sealark and her highly skilled team. To cap off the season this winning team went on to win the Chicago Yacht Club, BOAT OF THE YEAR! (BOTY) This is a prestigious honor and it takes a concerted effort to win this title.
BOTY is a series of regattas are chosen by a committee of multiple yacht club representatives that select a season long series of particular days of racing to be included in the boat of the year BOTY trophy series. It is difficult to win as the regattas chosen to be included are spread across five months of racing. Crew changes, weather conditions, and team focus are constantly changing across a season. Staying focused and sticking to a formula tends to pay over the long haul.
Shane and the rest of the team as a whole are responsible for reading, learning, and keeping their skills sharp. However, if an opportunity does arise to sail a regatta in another city during the winter, some part of the team usually will make the effort. It takes a large crew to make a complete team and the J105 has a weight limit. Course racing class weight limits, generally windward leeward, makes it difficult to have more than six people on the boat. Sealark races with five. However, we keep a team of nearly twelve to fifteen people active at all times. Work schedules make it tough to have a good team consistently, so we strive for an extremely well trained team with lots of bench strength. Sometimes the crew includes rookies. However, the rookies may be new to course racing but they generally have hundreds of miles under the belt as sailors due to our training program. Team Sealark uses the return trip from Mackinac to train new sailors and improve skill sets on those already in the system.
When asked what it means to win BOTY, Shane replied. “For me as a team member, it means the team set a goal and stayed focused over an entire season. It was never a guarantee to win, but we needed to be in a good position on the last day in order to even qualify. Any one of four boats could have won the top spot on the last day of racing, scheduled for two races. We know our responsibilities and choreography and we are expected to execute them depending on the tacticians call. We are happy to be able to sail with committed people that want to achieve.”
Shane went on to tell me,” One of the primary keys to consistency beyond having a deep pool of qualified people, is to call the plays on the race course before the maneuver is executed. An example is a leeward mark rounding. The tactician is required to make a call regarding the type of rounding or kite douse at least ten to fifteen boat lengths prior to the mark. In heavy air, the call is made even sooner. Generally we have three to five types of tactical maneuver for any situation, one is chosen and then executed by the crew.”
Shane told me, “The fun was evident after every race. The team makes the call to "celebrate". Yes we do take time to drop everything and just focus on whooping it up a bit if there is a success. Generally, top five or better is considered a success.”
We are all very proud of Shane and the team he sails with on Sealark. Hats off to the owner and captain Clark Pellett for strong team building and commitment. Well done team Sealark!

5.30.2010

Back In St Pete, FL


Hello to all and thanks for continuing to follow and support our mission. We have completed the shake down cruise and have arrived back in St Petersburg FL. It is bittersweet moment we missed our friends and loved ones deeply but now we will miss the journey and our new friends that we have met. Currently we are preparing to hunker down for hurricane season while we both re-enter the work force in Kansas City for the next few months at which point we will return to St Pete and prepare ourselves and Mary Rose for the next chapter of our journey. We will continue to post blogs through out the summer and as requested will include a blog to describe how we have changed and grown over the past 5 months both as a team and individually. We hope to be able to spend plenty of time with our friends and loved ones during this intermission. As for Mary Rose...she is tired, she worked hard and we are very proud of her! We have a few repairs to make to Mary Rose before we resume our dream, nothing major. Her sails are slightly torn from the persistent, relentless trade winds, we developed a minor water leak around her muffler and we must install a SSB for weather. If there were any regrets it would be that we did not have a SSB radio on board so we would have sufficient ability to adequately monitor the weather. Mary performed well, max speed recorded was 10.6 knots (not bad for a wetsnail!!!!!!) One gale storm with 40+ knot winds and 12-13 ft confused seas that required us to hunker down below while Mary danced in the wind and waves alone. Never once did we ever feel threatened or unsafe.

Once again thanks to our friends and family for understanding our need to follow this dream!


We wish everyone love, tranquillity, and joy



Capt Don and Admiral Nelson

Ile a Vache/Haiti




Felix left, Jerry right

It is time to remember how to be child like, how to find those feelings of excitement over the simple things in life, I remember as a young child how exciting it was to find empty Coke bottles on the side of the road and to turn them in for a nickel. Do you remember the feeling of eagerness when you heard the sound of an ice cream truck a few blocks away? Can you recall being clueless & carefree on a hot summer day lying in the cool grass staring at the big puffy clouds flo ating by with no concern of the bug bites that would ultimately result? How about those summer days when you were gracious a new kid moved on the block so the neighborhood baseball team would have even number of players with no concern to color or nationality, free of all prejudice. This is my story of remembering how to let go and fly so I could welcome this simple culture into my heart forever.


We have all heard the stories about Haiti, mostly flawed and incorrect perspectives. I myself am guilty of embracing some of these erroneous beliefs. In the beginning of our transit to Haiti I found some of these invalid beliefs emerge to the surface of my thoughts. I had persuaded myself that all would be well but I found my apprehensions mount as we drew near to the isle of Ile a Vache. These suppressed judgments that I carried in the back of my mind were awakening against my will. I hadn’t overcome my prejudices yet.





As we arrived to the entrance to the cove of this beautiful island there were many Bois-Fouyes (the local native sail powered fishing boats) throughout the bay fishing. Fishing buoys made of old plastic bottles were scattered throughout the entrance and we were forced to squirm our way through the maze. As we wiggled our way through the channel I found myself unable to refrain from taking a few pictures of these beautiful Bois-Fouyes sailing vessels even though I was aware that some Haitians do not like their pictures taken due to a belief that when their picture is taken a part of their soul is taken with the picture. I must confess my lack of respect was my first mistake. Being selfish and not respecting a belief system and taking pictures without their permission. My disregard for this culture resulted in unnecessary stress inflicted on myself by myself.

One of the ancient sailing vessels intersected a few feet in front of us. One of the men on board began shouting at us in Creole French; we were clueless as to what he was trying to tell us, another mistake, not learning the language of the country. This is where my concern began to escalate as this person continued to frantically wave his arms in the air and scream at us while another male on board had his head in his hands shaking his head as if nothing would ever be the same again. We didn’t understand what was wrong at the time but the last thing I wanted to do was make anyone mad at us in Haiti. As our transit continued so did my concern. I literally became sick with worry at the thought of what these people were going to do to us; they do practice Voodoo you know!! I began imagining pieces of my hair on a stick doll with pins stuck through it! I punished myself with my vivid imagination for the hour long journey to anchor. As we found out later all my worry was in vain because these men were just concerned that we had ran over their fishing line and we were going to drag it on our rudder. My silliness and ignorance resulted in my own minor freak out and who knows how many grey hairs. When we entered the bay we were greeted by people both young and old in dugout canoes. They were all smiling and appeared very peaceful some spoke broken English some not. Some had services to offer such as laundry, boat cleaning, guides for translation, homemade gifts to sell and some brought us gifts of fresh, fire roasted cashews, shells, fruit, drawings they had made and some just wanted to say hello. When we went to shore the children surrounded us with beautiful smiles, harmonious laughter and warm hugs, all competing to hold our hands. The children are blissful as they play in the bay to keep cool, they laugh, and they use their imagination to find ways to entertain themselves and each other. There is no running water or electricity on the island therefore there are no sprinklers to play in, no slip and slides, no TVs, Gameboys, X-Boxes and all the other items that consume most children’s time. The kids are in need of various items such as balls, Frisbees, books, school and art supplies and most important money for school. The Capt and I observed these children at play and we began our journey to learning how to remember to play. It is such a simple concept yet so easily forgotten. One way we found to play with the kids was when we would see a canoe of youngsters paddling around the bay we came up next to them in our dinghy, the Capt would capture the canoe and we would pull them around the bay, they loved it. One incident while at play the Captain let go of the canoe too quickly and it filled with water. We had 3 young boys paddling around in the water trying to reach their canoe. Of course we returned and assisted in empting the canoe so it could be turned up right. We are giving and receiving great times and tons of laughter, that is priceless!
The children of Haiti do not have the privilege of attending school there is a cost attached to this indulgence and if the parents cannot pay there are no options or handouts. This I find very disconcerting because these children are all hungry for education and eager to learn. When word got out that we were going to sponsor a couple of children for a year of schooling it wasn’t long before we had a line of children in dugout canoes alongside Mary Rose’s beam each requesting the opportunity to put their name on a piece of paper so we wouldn’t forget them. Each having a story to tell, a dream to share regarding what they would do if they had the opportunity to learn a trade, learn to read and write.. Simple things but so out of reach for many. We have started a list with names of those children wanting to attend school next year. The cost to send one child to school is $50 for 6 months this may not sound unattainable to most of us but when you take into consideration that the average monthly salary is $20-30 per month this is substantial. We met one boy that has captured a section of my heart. His name is Jerry and he is an inspiring and talented artist. I gifted him a sketch pad and a how to sketch book that I have held on to for several years and for whatever reason I could never part with it. Isn’t it funny how that works?! I never understood why I couldn’t let this book go until I met Jerry…now I understand. He carries the book and the sketch pad around with him and has done many wonderful sketches since I gifted him with it. Now he is going to sketch boats and sell them. Now we have given him a method to be some what self sufficient. Self sufficiency is the key to decreasing the issue of survival on this island. We meant a young man by the name of Jonathon McDonald who is heading an organization by the name of Friends of Ile a Vache. http://www.friendsofileavachehaiti.com/ .

The Friends of Ile a Vache is doing just that, giving these people a way to be self sufficient. Please review the website and see for yourself all the good deeds that are coming out of this organization. A sample of the bigheartedness and entertaining fun they also provide is they sponsored a canoe race during our visit to Ile a Vache and the first place prize was $25 US dollars = to 100 goudes (Haiti exchange), the humorous part of the event was that the last place canoe also won $25 which was not announced until after the race, what a nice surprise it was to the gentleman who came in last. We are in the process of joining Soles For Little Souls with Friends of Ile a Vache so that tax deductable donations can be made to Soles For Little Souls and the money will be routed to us for purchase of supplies and sponsorship of education of the children in return we will be helping to transport supplies to the island. This organization is highly commendable and doing a lot of good for these people. This island is in desperate need of many things I will place a list at the end of this blog post.
We visited a market place in a near by town which is held every Monday and Thursday. This was an amazing experience. It was as if we stepped back in time a few hundred years or on to the pages of National Geographic.
Please enjoy the pics in the photo section they are broke down by categories.

I will leave this island with much more compassion and a lot less tolerance for people feeling entitled. These people live day after day, year after year with a heat index that is less than tolerable, no air conditioning not even a fan, the bugs are relentless and have developed a liking to bug repellant, they cook meals on open fires, no corner stores to pick up dinner, no fast food drive through, they live a very simple life and do without many things we consider the basics yet they continue day after day with positive outlooks and a multitude of smiles. The people of Ile a Vache were gracious, warm and very welcoming.

It is time that we close our eyes and remember how to spread our arms to our side and run through the grass pretending to fly. It is time that we drag our children away from the video games, cell phones, TVs and show them how simple life can be and should be.

Elizabeth Cunningham stated it best when she wrote: “We leave people and places and times behind. We encounter new ones. Sometimes we can’t see the patterns or connections. But they are there, between one breath and the next, in the ebb and flow of tides, in the rhythm of the dance.

Special thanks to Felix (Pix @ top of page) for being our guide and translator and friend, to Fritznel (1st pic)and Nixon for doing such a great job cleaning Mary Rose and for your companionship and friendship and a very special thanks to the people of Ile a Vache for sharing a piece of your island and culture with us.

Needs:


Batteries all sizes



Dive Masks



Snorkels



Flashlights



School supplies



Art Supplies



Medical and first aid supplies



Games



Balls



Anti itch creams

Fishing items nets and lines



This is a short list, the list goes on

5.23.2010

Safe Landing 5/22/2010: Marathon, FL | Burdines Marina

Sailing vessel Mary Rose has landed safely in Marathon, FL at Burdines Marina. Landed at 2:00 PM on Saturday, 5/22/2010. Resting and recovering from inclement weather passages.

Marina Services: fuel, water, electricity, cable, showers, laundry, coffee, restaurants within walking distance, no wifi.


View Larger Map

5.22.2010

Ile a Vache, Haiti to Marathon, FL|Windward Passage|Old Bahama Channel|Gulf Stream Crossing













































This blog entry will document the sailing experience of our passage from Ile a Vache, Haiti to Marathon, FL through the Windward Passage, The Old Bahama Channel and across the Gulf Stream. The passage required seven days of continuous sailing on the open sea. We encountered winds over 40 knots and seas in excess of 12 feet. We caught fish almost every day and were well fed. We maintained alternating watches so we were rested as well. This is only a recount of our sailing experience and we do not suggest that this is the best method to make this passage; it is only our experience that we share, not advice.



We departed Ile a Vache at noon on 5-15-10 with a return trip odometer reading of 625 nautical miles under sunny skies and with a fresh and favorable breeze. We arrived at the southwest tip of Haiti as the sun was setting. We turned north into the Windward Passage and noticed several bands of thunder storms that were sparking off of the Haiti mainland into the Windward Passage. We were fortunate in that our arrival in the passage was such that the thunder storms would pass from east to west well ahead of us. We noted this for future passages so that we could avoid the frequent thunder storms that form almost daily in this passage in the evening due to the cooling of the air over Hispaniola. Our rumb line for the Windward Passage was from the southwest tip of Haiti to the Northwest tip of Cuba maintaining at least ten miles of margin from any land masses. The winds were too close to our rumb line to allow us to make it on one tack so we were forced to tack back and forth to make progress to the north. A starboard tack was the favored tack and it put us on track to sail close to Guantomano Bay. This seemed like a good idea from a security standpoint so we proceeded in a Northwesterly direction. We sailed through the night and into the next day before the favored tack changed to a port tack so we tacked off and headed in the direction of the Northwest tip of Haiti. The day went well with strong winds and medium seas. We always reef our main before nightfall and we did just that and were getting settled in for our night watch schedule when the winds began to strengthen. The winds were howling so loud it was almost impossible to speak above them on the topsides. Along with winds in excess of 40 knots the seas also began to build. The waves grew steeper than we had seen on any previous passage. We were smack in the middle of a full blown gale according to the Beaufort Scale. We decided to put in a second reef, bring in the head sail and hoist the staysail. Conditions continued to build to the point that we felt we would be better off putting our boat into a “hove to” position, lashing the tiller over and going below for the night. So below we went and turned the radar screen so we could watch it from the dinette. We turned on the sentry alarm on the radar so that we would be alerted when another vessel came within eight nautical miles of our boat. When the alarm went off we would hail the oncoming vessel on the VHF radio and make them aware of our position and that we were unable to maneuver due to being “hove to”. Essentially we were adrift at the mercy of the wind and waves. We were safe and dry and Mary Rose handled the heavy weather very well. Our drift was about 2 knots to the NNW back toward Cuba. We were able to begin sailing again at about 6:30 AM in moderate conditions. I made the assumption that the same conditions could or would occur again later this evening and took action to make this evening safer and more comfortable. We sailed on a port tack away from Cuba toward the northwestern tip of Haiti. My rationale was that the gale force winds were coming from the northeast and we would be able to get behind the high mountains on the northern peninsula of Haiti. We could avoid the high winds and heavy seas there and then sail directly out of the north end of the Windward Passage early the next morning. As the evening approached the winds began to build and the waves grew just as they had the night before. Except this time we were only a few miles from the leeward protection of the northern peninsula of Haiti. We fell off the wind a bit to make the sailing in the high winds a bit more tolerable and within an hour we were in water as smooth as a mill pond tucked in for the night, safe and sound. We still “hove to” to stop our progress away from our intended destination and established alternate watches for the night. This time we were not in the shipping channel and we only had one vessel come within eight miles the entire night. We resumed sailing at 6:00 AM on Tuesday morning (5-18-10) in 10-15 knots of wind and 2-3 ft seas. We were within striking distance of making our way out of the Windward Passage before this day was over. Even with the extraordinary conditions, the Admiral prepared 5 Star high quality meals with the fresh fish that gave us good energy and endurance throughout the experience. I am still not sure how she manages to do this. I am in awe and admire her capabilities. Just as we were nearing the north end of the Windward Passage the main fishing pole began to sing as the line was being stripped off the reel. I grabbed it and set the hook and then tried to slow the run by tightening the drag very slowly. Then to our amazement a White Marlin broke the surface and began to dance along sideways behind the boat, first one way and then the next. It was a sight to behold. The fish was at least 6-8 feet long and was still stripping line. After a few minutes this wonderful creature threw the hook and was on his way. I was relieved as there was no way we could land a fish this size on Mary Rose. After the initial thrill wore off I reflected on the story, The Old Man and The Sea. It was about in this area off the coast of Cuba the Old Man and his boat was pulled for days by a huge fish. Thank you Hemmingway!


Note to self: The next time I make the Windward Passage I will stay closer to Haiti so that I am in the leeward protection from the Northeasterly Gales that pipe up in this passage in the evening.



At 3:15 PM on Tuesday, 5-18-10 we officially exited the North end of the Windward Passage and we were now headed northwest along the North coast of Cuba through the Old Bahama Channel. The passage through the old Bahama Channel was uneventful and we were on a beam reach, starboard tack the entire passage. There were a few times that the winds fell off a bit and we flew the spinnaker for additional speed. We averaged over 130 nautical miles per day through the old Bahama Channel.


As we approached the end of the Old Bahama Channel and the west end of the Cay Sal Bank we began to make plans for the crossing of the Gulf Stream. The winds were forecast to strengthen and turn to the east. This would be perfect for a beam reach across the Gulf Stream. The problem with this scenario is that the current of the Gulf Stream runs from west to east. So with the winds blowing from east to west there would be an effect of piling the water up as the wind blows against the current. It did exactly that as the waves were in the 10 – 12 foot range and very steep as well as close together. To our good fortune we were able to make this crossing on a beam reach and fly across the wave tops with little resistance. The automatic tiller pilot held a perfect course. We set up our initial course several degrees to the west of our destination and we were over four mile west of the rumb line when we entered the drift of the Gulf Stream. By the time the Gulf Stream let go of us we were right back on the rumb line and within 10 miles of the Sombrero Key Light just off the coast of Marathon, FL. I came up to the cockpit after my rest period and the Admiral had Mary Rose making over 7 Knots and was having a ball racing over the tops of the huge steep waves. We made 151 nautical miles in 24 hours on the Gulf Stream crossing. WooHoo! The total passage took seven days and two hours and we traveled 829 nautical miles. That is an amazing average of 4.9 nautical miles per hour even though we were in a “hove to” position for two nights with zero forward progress. The time flew by as we were always doing something during the entire passage. We were navigating, reading, fishing, cooking, eating, sleeping or on watch. Did I mention the food was off the charts! Thank you, Admiral Nelson for sharing your amazing culinary skills when you were not driving the boat at breakneck speeds across the open ocean. I am proud to have you as my Admiral!