Friday, November 27, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

LAND HO!!!

11:15 est November 24th, 2009 Just off the coast of Captiva Island and about 3 1/2 hours away from our winter home at Matanzas Marina. Tessa under power and is having some charging issues as she is not recharging her power cells. Will have more soon. Love to All! P.S. We're almost HOME!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ft. Myers, here we come...

Tessa, Capt. Gary and Lori are now in the Gulf heading to Ft. Myers. Expected to arrive Tuesday afternoon.
How appropriate that we would pass right by Captain Sid on our way out of Mobile Bay. I waved and waved farewell, and out into the Gulf of Mexico we went. OK, so we did happen to go aground on an unmarked sand bar, but Captain Gary maneuvered us safely back to deep water. We successfully accomplished our first overnight (27 hour) passage with just the two of us on board. I took the 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. shift, Gary took the 8:00 p.m. - 6:00 a.m. shift, then I came back on for the 6:00 a.m. - 7:00 a.m. shift. OK, so I only did two hours and Gary did ten. I'm trying to ease into this night watch thing. Dolphins greeted us as we entered the Gulf. The sunset was awesome. Winds picked up and rolled us around during the night and coming into Panama City Inlet, but as soon as we docked and walked to the beach it was absolutley flat and sparkling innocently at us. Go figure. Now we wait for the next front to move through Saturday/Sunday and hope for a good 48 hour weather window to cross to Fort Myers. Love, Lori and Sleepy Captain

Thursday, November 19, 2009

"Shrimp, the other red meat"

Since I met Captain Sid, we have had shrimp cocktail, old bay shrimp, shrimp omelets, shrimp cakes, , BBQ shrimp, ginger garlic shrimp, sesame shrimp, steamed shrimp, and grilled shrimp. And that's all we have to say about that!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

“A picture’s worth a thousand words”

As soon as the word spread that I was an official published author (Living Aboard Magazine Nov/Dec Issue) I began to feel a twinge of writers block. Then, after the “It’ll Work Out” update came a threatening phone call from our video producer . “WE NEED MORE DRAMA!” Nick James demanded. That totally locked me up. I longed for the feeling of writer’s anonymity. The river days turned into weeks, and the pressure built. Sure, we were having a fantastic time, enjoying every minute of the adventure. Each new day I anticipated that something significant would happen to inspire a good story. The rain finally ended, a bright sun came out, temperatures warmed up, and the scenery was absolutely gorgeous. But you can only write so many flowery, colorful descriptions before readers get bored. Our daily routine was simple and thankfully drama-free. Awake at dawn, get underway, have warming oatmeal for breakfast, be prepared for the next lock, and look forward to snuggling in our bunk shortly after sunset. We cherished each moment of peaceful solitude. But everyone’s already heard this story before. So Gary and Lori really, really love being together. Blah blah blah blah blah. After days and nights of locking, docking, and anchoring together, fellow cruisers (and even their dogs) evolved into special friends. As each long day on the water came to an end, we shared a sense of accomplishment and intimacy, docked close by or rafted off together in secluded anchorages. We enjoyed interesting stories, lots of laughs, delicious food, and abundant libations. But a writer risks losing the audience with stories that you really “had to be there” to enjoy. While every other cruiser on the Tenn-Tom Waterway anguished over Hurricane Ida’s landfall in Mobile Alabama, I secretly rejoiced. Nothing like a hurricane to create drama with a capital D! Finally, an exciting story would come together. Let ‘er rip, Ida! We sought safety in a hurricane hole for three days, and all we got was some rain with maybe twenty knot gusts. What happened to the 60 knot winds? Is that all you got, Ida? What was the point of putting out two anchors, other than to have them foul around each other into a tangled mess? Getting that darn slimy catfish off my hook was the most dramatic thing that happened. Ida let me down. As the Dog River Marina dock master put it, “That li’l thang wan’t nothin. I don’t even board up my house till it’s a category three!” Debbie from here at Turner Marina told me “We’ve had worse summer thunderstorms than that li’l old thing!” So, I guess ya’ll er gonna hafta let the pictures tell the stories. Ya’ll enjoy! video

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sticks are Up!

Well, after five consecutive nights at anchor, the cupboards are bare, the bar is depleted, the freezer is empty, the holding tank is full, the laundry is overflowing, we're down to our last kleenex, papertowel, and roll of toilet paper, and we survived our first hurricane. But OH WHAT AN ADVENTURE we have had!!! This morning the masts were stepped here in Mobile, and we have begun reorganizing for the leg south to Fort Myers. As soon as the Captain gives me some time off, I will update the blog with stories and pictures. Love to all, Lori

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Mobile, Alabama

In Mobile, Alabama and getting the masts stepped at 9a.m. on Friday. Capt. and I are exhausted and going to bed. Will have a big update for you all soon. L, CG & T

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ida who?

Ida made landfall and we did not really notice. Except for a lot of rain she did not deliver any harsher winds than we have experienced at Put-in-Bay. The two anchors held fine in the 20 knot winds here in 3 rivers lake. They are expecting a 10 ft rise in the river which may delay us for heading down to Mobile. The higher water means more "dead heads" (logs) to bump along your hull. There are a flock of boats upriver ready to get to Mobile after Nov. 15th (because of their hurricane insurance policies) to step their masts. So we do not want any more delays. After 3 days without shore power and showering, Lori heated some water and Gary and Her took hot water sponge baths. (separately) It was heaven... Will keep you posted as long as we can keep in contact with "real" civilization. Love Lori, Captain Gary and Tessa

Monday, November 9, 2009

Waiting out Ida

Have two anchors set in 3 River Lake just outside of McIntosh, AL. Have storm anchor on standby. 5 other boats are sharing the experience. Currently no wind just lots of rain. Lori caught a 1 pound catfish today. (Finally she caught something...) Ida making landfall at about Midnight and moving off to the East. Cell phone coverage still crappy. Love to All.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Currently going through the Coffeeville lock. What are the odds that a Frickin' hurricane is going to hit Mobile, Alabama the same Frickin' day we were going to have our Masts restepped?!? We will be at anchor about 60 miles north of Mobile when Ida makes landfall. Cell phone coverage is basically non existant down here. Love to All!