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Published: December 19th 2011
Baltimore Inner Harbor
Laila enjoying the view as we enter Baltimore.
I have been a bit lazy about keeping up my blog this year. Sorry about that. As planned we spent hurricane season on the east coast of the US this year. The highlight of the summer for both of us was the month we spent in Washington D.C. We motorsailed up the Potomac River from the Chesapeake Bay and checked into Gangplank Marina which is located about a 20 minute walking distance from the Smithsonian Institutes, the National Mall, the Capital and so on. We both loved D.C. We just hopped off the boat anytime we felt like it and went sightseeing. If it was too far to walk we took the train or bus. The highlight of the sightseeing for me was the National Gallery of Art and in particular the Chester Dale Collection of Impressionist Art. The most memorable experience though was probably visiting the Vietnam Memorial. That was the war I grew up with and heard about on TV every night until I was in my teens. It is a simple memorial but the stark reality of the black granite wall with 58,000 plus names on it hit a chord with me. I didn't know a single name
Located at Gangplank Marina but now owned by a private individual.
on that wall but the tears flowed anyway.
I could easily have stayed another month in D.C. I love history and I have an interest in government (but not politics!) so D.C. to me is one of the most exciting cities in the world. I would have liked to have stayed longer but the captain said it was time to go.
We were able to spend some time with our families this summer. The 4th of July week we traveled to Indiana to see Jimmy's Mom and his sister and her family. Unfortunately we traveled to Indiana again three weeks later when his Mom passed away. She was frail when we saw her last but she knew we were there and we were thankful to have that time with her. She was a loving, gracious, and an unfailingly kind lady. Jimmy was lucky to have her for a mother and I was lucky to have her for a mother-in-law.
Brandon, Brooke,and Lily visited us on the boat in Annapolis. We saw them at the funeral in Indiana, but it was nice to be able to spend time with them again. Lily was 4 and a half months
World War II Memorial
Jimmy standing in front of the memorial.
old at that time. She was a little trooper. We had an earthquake while she was on the boat (the same one that hit Washington D.C. this summer). It woke Lily up from her nap but she didn't cry. It was no big deal to her but it was to us grown-ups. Then later in the week Lily, Brooke, and Brandon barely made it back to Dallas before Hurricane Irene paid us a call. Fortunately Irene did not hit Annapolis directly but we got winds in the tropical storm range with damage to some boats but no damage to s/v Bluewater Cat.
We kept my sister's dog Laila this summer while my sister worked for KBR in Iraq. Having Laila aboard was a very different experience for us but one we enjoyed immensely. It was fun watching Laila grow from being a land based dog to being a "boat dog." She absolutely loved riding in the dinghy so now we call our dinghy "Laila's Ride." We flew Laila back to Houston on November 1 in preparation for our quick exit out of North Carolina before it got too cold.
We started heading south down the Chesapeake Bay the second week of October but stayed in North Carolina until the first of November waiting for hurricane season to slow down. We went offshore at Cape Fear in N.C. and sailed 2 days and nights until we made landfall at St. Augustine, Florida. We had been cold for about a month before we made it to Florida so it was nice to finally thaw out. Now the boat is back in the Bahamas in clear blue water. We are in the Exumas now and hope to make it to Georgetown in the Exumas for Christmas if the winds let up. After the first of the year sometime we will make our way down the southern Bahamas, through the Turks and Caicos and on to the Dominican Republic. After the D.R. we plan to head west toward Jamaica and after some time there, meet up with Jimmy's family in the Cayman Islands in April for a family reunion. Following the Caymans it is on to the Bay Islands of Honduras then the Rio Dulce of Guatemala for next hurricane season.
Love you all. Feliz Navidad!
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