May 20, 2013
Shear Madness is still safely tucked away at Old Port Cove Marina in North Palm Beach, FL. For the past four months we have been busy attending to family issues. Bradley’s father, Ted continues to be an inspiration to all who know him. He is known as “Mr. Magnificent” because for years whenever someone asks how he is, his response is “Truly Magnificent”. He believes that your quality of life is a result mostly of your attitude and has always embodied the most positive attitude towards all things. He continues to do so as he battles cancer, enjoying life to the fullest between chemo treatments, playing a little golf, spending time with family and friends, and even taking a Caribbean cruise with friends. Meanwhile, Bradley’s mother, Eleanor, continues to recover from a broken hip and leg, as well as the heartfelt loss of her long term companion, Norm, in February. She has now moved from a rehab hospital into an assisted living facility and continues to make progress with her physical therapy and regaining her independence. We feel very fortunate to have had the time to spend with them these past few months as they are both adjusting to the next phases of their lives. This time has also reminded us of how important it is to enjoy each and every day we have – whether it is cruising in some exotic location or spending quality time with family and friends.
Just one quick story in that regard, especially in light of Memorial Day in the US this coming weekend. Yesterday, I took Bradley’s mom out for lunch to a diner within walking distance of her assisted living facility (she is getting more mobile daily, but for this outing was in a wheelchair). When we returned, there was a resident couple sitting outside enjoying the fresh air. We said hello and stopped to chat for a minute. Over an hour later, we were still talking. Ken and Marilyn, we learned, have been married for 68 years. Ken was in the Marine Corps, having joined the day after Pearl Harbor in 1941 and served four years. He fought on several islands in the Pacific, most notably on Iwo Jima, where he was wounded and spent seven months in a hospital afterwards. He is an amazing character, loves to talk, and is a wonderful story teller. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who has been married quite so long, nor anyone who was actually at the battle of Iwo Jima. It was quite a day and I am so thankful we stopped to say hello.
During this time we have also had a chance to catch up with many other friends and family, with various photos below. On April Fool’s Day, the 3rd anniversary of our purchase of Shear Madness, we attended our good friends’ Richard and Maggie’s Commitment Ceremony on the beach in Naples. This is like a wedding but without the legal license. We are so happy for both of them! I spent some time in Northern Virginia and saw many friends and in North Carolina where I visited our dog Jordan, now living with his Aunt Meg and still as playful as ever, though a little bit slower at age 14+.
Although we are eager to get back on the water, we have also treasured this time with friends and family. We are planning to resume our cruising in early June. From Palm Beach, we will head north to Connecticut where we will join a rally of Nordhavns in Mystic in mid-June. From there we hope to proceed north up the coast to Nova Scotia with a few stops along the way.
We are also pleased to welcome aboard our new deckhand, Tyler. Tyler comes to us from Alabama and is already proving to be a great addition to the Shear Madness team. He is switching careers from the restaurant business to the marine industry and already has a good start learning about how to maintain a boat like Shear Madness. He’s a pleasure to work with and we look forward to getting him plenty of sea time!
We did take the boat out for a run this past weekend. After spending some time updating our nav software and charts, we were pleased that everything worked well. We exercised the generator, stabilizers, autopilot, Watermakers, and all navigation instruments with no problems. However, we have had some problems with our inverter, which has been shipped back to the factory in Holland for diagnosis and repair. Meanwhile, we will either be connected to shore power or running a generator. But the boat is ready to go and as anxious as we are to get back out on the water! Stay tuned as we resume the cruising adventures.