Thursday, April 30, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Just for a little excitement, we couldn't get the anchor windlass to power up as we were coming in. Seems you need to have the main engine keys in to make it work... After I sliced my finger wide open on a piece of wire, we anchored with ease. I patched myself up and got to cooking dinner in the expansive kitchen. Burgers (grilled on deck by the Captain), asparagus, chips, grapes, and beer!
So surely that's the end of the day, right? I wish! After some discipline issues with Katreina we all headed below and started up one of our favorite family activities--tickle time! We had fun, but it came to an abrupt halt when Trent (a.k.a. Vampire) took a serious hold of my leg with his teeth! Little monster left some pretty deep marks through my thickest jeans! Now the kids are in bed and the boat is silent. So let's see, that's injuries to Trent, Frank, and Jody (though Trent had 2 so that could transfer over to Katreina so that we would all have a war wound from today...), 2 technical difficulties, 2 geocaches, 2 whales, and 2 tired parents. Lonnnnnnnng day, but I loved it!
Monday, April 20, 2009
The only not-so-great part of the day was the return to port. Honestly I was already nervous since I'd never docked this boat and it was wicked windy out. First we hit the fuel dock. Pretty easy there as the wind was blowing us right on to the dock. Next we used the lines to walk the boat around to the pump out station. I don't know if it was the wind or what, but this girl is a beast! We made it though and went through our first pump out. Think the tank gauges may need some calibration... Then with a screaming infant below decks we got underway to head to our slip. We're in the first dock at the marina which means there is NO protection from the wind during the afternoon sea breeze. It was sooooo clear that we were rookies. Frank made a few passes to get a feel for it and tweek his technique, then we went for it. I hopped off with just the stern line--that proved to be our most fatal error. The wind grabbed the bow and swung it away from me and towards the boat next to us. Frank fended off of it while I tried to walk the stern back. Finally got ahold of another line (midships) and a passer-by to help before getting the bow line and really getting the control we needed. Tense, tense, TENSE! And to top it off, as we were thanking the gent that came to our aid, Trent fell from the ladder in the cabin and scraped his head. Bottom line--we made it back, though a little battered and bruised.
1. Get the right length of lines on the cleats for docking.
2. Jump off with BOTH bow and stern lines in hand.
3. Raise our boat-to-boat fenders in case we have to bump a neighbor again!
4. Buy more fenders (this is a Jody being overly cautious one, but I'd like a few more!).
5. Don't try to dock around the kids' dinner time. Shoot for when they are napping or occupied by a snack.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
First issue--GPS/depth/all inputs weren't getting into our nav display. Frank pushed enough buttons to resolve that. Then we wondered about how to empty the holding tanks (just checking the mechanics, too close to land pretty much all around here) and honestly are not sure if there is a way to actually pump the tanks overboard (though surely there is, hubby is reading up on it right now!). I made my first pot of coffee after Frank reminded me to hold down the knob on the stove while hitting the pilot light (very rookie move). The kids amazingly went down for naps very well. Made calls to all the grandparents so they'd know for sure that we were putting their grandchildren in grave danger, then hauled out the genoa and cut the engines. We were sailing! Not much wind today. Only topped out at about 3.8 kts once we had the main up, but the silence was blissful.
After tooling around a bit we decided to head in to Honeymoon Bay to anchor for the night. In the process of pulling in the genoa I whacked Trent on the temple with the winch crank (does it matter if I told him to stay back???). Then I couldn't get the electric anchor windlass to run, but after cleaning the contacts it came to life and we anchored with ease. We settled in for our first real, full, hot dinner on the boat--the classic Italian delicacy, spaghetti with salad and bread. I used the pressure cooker for the first time and boy was all that steam entertaining! But the pasta was good, the kids were pretty good, and the box sangria was especially yummy. After dinner we all hung out in the cockpit and got to see 2 beautiful bald eagles take up their roost atop a tree on the shore. After a little snack of mini-cupcakes outside, the kids were ready to head to bed.
And now, it's silent! The final issue of the day? Anchor light is burned out! Making due with the deck light...
Friday, April 17, 2009
Today was a full day of moving, getting stuff into storage, getting kids set for daycare, getting this nifty air card for the computer, and doing laundry. Just a few more "details" and we'll be able to get underway!
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Friday, April 3, 2009
Now a year later I love it! On the 24th was my farewell from the wardroom and I was lucky enough to have most of the chief's mess present as well. I only made it through about 3 gag gifts before I was in tears. The movers came the next day to get all the stuff we're putting in storage. After a busy week at work we spent the weekend busting our butts to empty the house, cram all we plan to take to the cabin and boat into a Prius and a Silverado, and move the family into a hotel. Emotion kept building as I started turnover with my relief, wrestled with the joys of Navy medical BS and a recurrence of the hernia I JUST had surgery on, tried hard to get time in with our neighbors and friends, and got ready to leave a job I was happy to go to every day. The command got together yesterday and had cake and a card for me. That may not seem like much to some folks out there, but I hated a few of my XO's so this was awesome in my book! The Sailors at NOAC are awesome. And yes, I cried.
Today was bound to be full of emotion. I woke up knowing that I needed to rush to get to Gulfport and wrap up my check-out and then bust back to Stennis to get to a Chief's retirement. Laying low at quarters didn't work--the Skipper called me out again and I managed to bawl in front of my command plus about 3 others. I finally had success at medical and got all checked out but it took longer than I was planning. I got back onto Stennis 35 minutes after the retirement began. By the time I got to the site, it would probably be 45 minutes...I would miss it. That made me sad. Back at the office there was more sadness as I packed up the last few items. I told the Skipper I was out of tears.
Or was I? A Chief came in and asked if he could see me for a minute. Strange...after a retirement usually everyone heads home. But there was one more farewell, one amazing honor. Thanks, Chiefs. The details of this one are for me for now...but yes, I cried again. Cried a ton.
Finally I was ready to go and had to say bye to the boss. I learned so much from this man and this command. He never held my lack of experience against me. He gave me enough room to make mistakes and learn. He understood the importance of family. He cared about his people. And I am going to miss working with him come Monday. Another hug, more tears. XO is one of the best names I've ever had right behind Mom and Wife, and walking out of that building stung.
Just when I thought it would be over I headed to daycare to grab the kids. More tears! This was their first daycare, the place that helped me cope with being a working mom, the ladies that had raised my kids for the past 2 years, their friends. We will miss them all terribly.
The long day is over. We're in Batesville, MS and will be at my sister's house tomorrow. We're on the way to our new life on our new boat. I am thrilled! I am sad! And I have very puffy eyes!