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Published: December 30th 2013
As we look back we agree that this year has been wonderful. Not sure where all the days went but it was a reaffirmation that while plans are made to be changed there will also be a new adventure that you didn’t think to plan for! At the end of 2012 we were planning to sail to the Bahamas. Those plans were scrapped when we found small blisters on the hull requiring attention to restore the barrier coat, which also entails drying out the hull. I Wandawas on the hard in St Marys, GA until spring when we launched and headed swiftly to New England.
Before sailing off though we had the pleasure of attending a few award ceremonies for daughter Lauren as she completed a Master’s degree in clinical psychology. In the attached photos you will see her at both the honors convocation (she and her roommate shared the “outstanding graduate student” award for their program) and the hooding ceremony at Graduation. We enjoyed the festivities and family get-togethers.
On our way north we enjoy sailing through New York City and are always thrilled to see the Statue of Liberty at close
range and to sail under the Brooklyn bridge. During this year’s passage there was a delay – ferries were stopped in the harbor – and we were shocked to see and hear a huge explosion near the Battery. It turned out to be a demolition on Governor’s Island but you realize how quickly your thoughts turn to the 9/11 attacks when you hear explosions in the City.
In June Mary flew to South Dakota to see the family and to attend a cousin’s wedding at the Wild Horse Sanctuary in the Black Hills. Sister-in-law Roni and Mary drove the southern route across the state and were surprised at how green things were and how much of the West River land is now tilled. We stayed at the historic Flatiron Inn in Hot Springs and made some side trips in the Hills to Custer State Park where buffalo and antelope were on and near the road. Prairie dogs were also easy to see. The Crazy Horse Monument is making slow but evident progress and it is now easier to see what the sculpture will look like when completed.
Sailing always brings some amazing views of
3 Lauren's Honors
Honors convocation at Augusta State
nature on the water and we have included some photos of beautiful cloud formations and sea conditions that we have never seen before.
August was all about Maine—hiking in the woods, gathering blueberries and raspberries and buying lobsters fresh from the lobstermen at ridiculously low prices. While it is fun to get a whole lobster for the price of a hamburger we want to see the price sustainable for the locals. We met up with many cruising friends in Maine and shared anchorages with folks we had only known on the radio. If you want a quiet anchorage to yourself you can find it even in August, but don’t count on good cell phone coverage or an Internet connection! They are available, of course, just not in some of the more remote areas that we love to explore. We made it as far east as Roque Island before turning for the long return south.
Christian left me in Rockland to catch the bus to Logan in mid-August so I could fly to Georgia to help Andrea during and after surgery to remove a tumor from her foot. Both girls are living in Augusta, GA
and it was an unexpected treat to have so much “girl time.” Andrea recovered much swifter than expected which made leaving a little easier after two weeks. I had just 24 hours in Mass before heading out AGAIN, this time to Holland for another wonderful family wedding and then on to Oslo to spend time with Alexa and Rami and their children who call us Gramma and Grandpa. There is nothing quite as sweet as “baby sugar”!
While I was in GA Christian moved I Wanda from Rockland to Beverly, MA alone so when I flew back to Logan he was there to meet the plane each time. Good friends in the Beverly area kept Christian entertained and he was able to do a few boat jobs so I Wanda was ready to head South as soon as I was ready. As it happened there was an IMMEDIATE window to head off shore on my return from Europe. Jet lag lends itself to the odd hours we keep on off shore passages so it wasn’t hard to leave just four hours after my arrival. With one stop in Hadley Harbor in the
Helping with an upholstery project for the boat.
Elizabeth Islands of Cape Cod to sleep we saw we had a good window and headed non stop to the Chesapeake Bay. Glad to report that we had several really nice sails over the summer and the trip to the Chesapeake went very well with good sailing wind and tides timed to favor our smooth progress.
One of our favorite things is to attend gams (informal gatherings) organized by the Seven Seas Cruising Association. We always see lots of friends there and of course make new ones and the sessions are interesting and informative. Chatting with Dave Feiges from Sioux City, who has cruised with his wife Bev for years longer than we have, agreed that we always learn something useful at the gams. We attended both the Isleboro, Maine and Annapolis, Maryland gams this summer and fall.
We enjoyed the Chesapeake and were able to stop and see a FEW of our old friends who are no longer cruising but live near the water. To see everyone is impossible of course and we wanted to be back in Georgia before the big Thanksgiving gathering in St Marys. The Inlet is large and easy
in all weather but on our arrival we were stopped by security guards to allow the exit of a large submarine from the base at Kings Bay near the inlet. We relaxed and hiked on Cumberland Island to decompress for a couple of days and then started the whirlwind of parties and dinners associated with both Thanksgiving and the fall migration for boats heading through our area.
We both traveled to France to visit Christian’s family for the first two weeks of December. Any season is lovely in Provence and we had the added beauty of holiday decorations AND a new baby to admire. We got back just in time to celebrate Christmas and were thrilled to have both girls at the house even though it is often a short visit. Time now to finish up projects and get the boat stocked to head to the Bahamas in early January.
Mary & Christian Verlaque / I Wanda
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