March 17, 2013
After bidding a fond farewell to Sid and Stef, we hung out at Cat Island for a little longer and enjoyed some wonderful spearfishing and exploring. Our friend Matt from Halvorson House accompanied us on a great spearfishing expedition, resulting in a cooler full of nice fish. Taylor and Matt did have an interesting moment when a fish Matt had speared was stolen by a shark – but just a fish-eating one, not a man-eater. While this isn’t the first time we’ve lost fish to a shark, it always makes for a bit of heart pounding excitement.
But alas, out time at Cat Island was cut short as we had to return to the States to attend to some family issues. We got the word that Norm, Bradley’s mother’s long-term companion, who had been ill, had taken a turn for the worse so we decided to head back to Florida as soon as possible. We calculated that it would take about 36 hours non-stop and the weather was OK, though not perfect. The biggest problem was getting the tender back on deck as the winds were blowing about 20 knots and there was a bit of swell in the anchorage. In calm conditions, it’s no problem to get the tender on board, but when we are rocking a bit and the tender is hanging from the crane above the deck, swinging like a 2000 pound pendulum, it can get a little exciting. But we got it onboard safely and soon were picking our way through small reefs at the top end of Cat Island and soon we on course to Palm Beach.
Conditions on the crossing were never quite calm, but neither were they uncomfortable. The crossing was pretty uneventful and we arrived back in Palm Beach where we booked a flight to Baltimore in order to try to make it to see Norm who was with his family in Cumberland, MD. We arrived in time to see him and to say goodbye before he passed away on Super Bowl Sunday. Norm was a wonderful man and will be missed by many – his wonderful children and grandchildren, his many golf buddies, his friends from the many chapters of his life, and the Rosenberg family. “Saint Norm” as we called him, brought laughter and joy to all who knew him. His care and loving kindness to Bradley’s Mom also made it possible for us to cruise and travel with no worries. After his memorial service we returned to Florida to spend some time with Bradley’s parents, both of whom have their own health issues. We’ll be spending most of March and April on land with family and hope to resume our cruising schedule sometime in May.
In the meantime, I visited my stepson, nieces and nephew, great-niece and other friends in Colorado, where I was also able to play a little early spring golf with my stepson Mike. Speaking of golf, Bradley has recently decided to give it a try for the first time so after a couple sessions at the driving range with our friend Richard, Bradley, his father, and I played a very successful nine holes. Bradley seems to have a natural ability for the game, so maybe there is hope for him after all!
We are using this time to catch up with many family and friends and were pleased to meet another “Nordhavn Dreamer” couple, Fred and Shirley, who live part time in Palm Beach and came to the boat for a visit and a nice dinner out where we got to know each other a little. We also had a nice dinner with Nordhavn owners Nina and Josh from Escape at our favorite local Mexican restaurant.
Finally, this month we will say a fond farwell to Taylor, our deckhand, who is returning to Maine to enroll in the Maine Maritime Academy where he will continue his pursuit of a career in the marine industry. It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly six months since Taylor joined us, but it has been a great experience for all of us and we wish him the very best of luck in the next phase of his journey. Shear Madness is looking quite ship-shape thanks to Taylor’s efforts.