November 7, 2013
After arriving in Solomons it was time for some land travel so Bradley headed off to Florida while I headed west to attend my niece Robin’s wedding in Sidney, Nebraska.
Our family festivities kicked off with a 70th birthday celebration for my oldest brother John, who made the trip from Oklahoma with his friend Jane. My brother Bob, father of the bride, and his wife Sarah came from Texas and my sister Joan and husband George came from Florida. The only missing sibling was brother Bill and wife Rose who had spent several months visiting the US from their home in Guam but did not know about the wedding in time to alter their plans to return home. After a fun birthday lunch, we relaxed for a bit before heading to the rehearsal dinner and my first chance to meet my soon-to-be nephew Eric. He and I have been playing Words With Friends but it was great to finally meet him in person! I also got to spend some time with niece Vicky (Robin’s sister), her husband Mark, and my adorable great-niece Sophia, who was soon to celebrate her first birthday. The wedding was a wonderful affair – beautiful, emotional, touching – everything a wedding should be! The reception was great fun and offered more time to catch up with family and meet new friends.
Joan and George like to visit the highest point in every state they visit, so the next day we set off for Panorama Point, the highest spot in Nebraska and the site of a geocache – both my sister and I like to find geocaches. It involved driving 30 miles on dirt roads, with vast farmlands and occasional elk and antelope sightings. There were even some dark spots that we thought might be bison. Oh, and lots of tumbleweeds! We reached the highest point, marked by a small monument, took some photos, and somehow took a wrong turn on the way back, leading to a bit of concern as there were many dirt roads that all looked alike! But soon we found our way out and continued on to Cheyenne, WY where we stopped for lunch and a bit more geocaching.
Then I headed off to Highlands Ranch, CO to visit my stepson Mike while Joan and George headed to the airport. Mike and I watched the Redskins-Cowboys game – not the outcome we wanted but we had a nice time catching up. I headed out for some hiking/geocaching the next day and found a great new spot – reached via a tunnel under a major road and some railroad tracks. This is the main reason I like geocaching – it takes me to places I otherwise would never find! I also picked up a travel bug – no, not a virus, but a trackable geocache item. In this case, it’s a little toy puppy that wants to travel the world.
After a very enjoyable trip I returned to Solomons, MD. Our friends Stacy and Vicky from Virginia came out for a visit to the boat and a wonderful lunch in Solomons. They are long time Chesapeake Bay boaters who are thinking of longer term cruising somewhere down the road. We hope they’ll join us to get a taste of the cruising life sometime soon!
Next, it was another road trip – this time by car. Our first stop was Northern Virginia where we visited good friends Lloyd and Arlene, then back to our old neighborhood where we visited Bud and Rita and took their dog Kaluha for a long walk. Bud is a car collector and had a beautiful new addition, a 1931 Ford to go with his 1929 and 1930. We also visited former neighbor Rosemarie, then headed back to our old house on Sweetwood Lane and visited with new owner Dan who showed us all the things they’ve done to the house. Most recently they have installed a geothermal HVAC system.
Next it was on to New York for a gathering of Rosenberg cousins. We stayed with Bradley’s first cousin Carlyn and enjoyed meeting her beautiful toy poodles. We enjoyed a night out at the movies where we saw Captain Philips – we highly recommend it! Second cousin Allan joined us for a night of magic at the wonderfully entertaining show Nothing to Hide at the Signature Theater. We also went with Carlyn to the Intrepid aircraft carrier and museum where we spent a wonderful afternoon. We met Robin, another second cousin, for lunch in Nyack, and attended a luncheon with yet more second cousins and aunts in the city, hosted by second cousin Mark who we had last seen in Nova Scotia when he visited the boat!
After our land adventures, we were ready to return to the water. We readied the boat and departed from Solomons on October 28, bound for Deltaville, VA about 60 miles away. There we met with Steve D’Antonio, a friend and renowned marine consultant who has helped us with some of our electrical issues on the boat. Steve came aboard to inspect and discuss our battery charging and power management systems and provided a lot of good advice and answered all our questions. We also met up with our friend Gary who was excited to join us for the passage down to Beaufort, NC. (Tyler, who had crewed with us for six months, returned to his home in Alabama once we reached Solomons). As soon as Steve departed, we pulled anchor and set off for the nonstop trip around Cape Hatteras.
Once again, Captain Bradley had timed the weather perfectly. Our passage was extremely pleasant, with light winds of less than 10 knots most of the time and very calm seas. We spent time in the flybridge with delightfully pleasant temperatures and enjoyed fabulous stars at night. Gary had spent several years traveling in a land-yacht (motor coach), so had a great understanding of the boat systems and enjoyed the experience of an offshore passage. It seemed like we reached Cape Lookout in no time and soon were safely anchored. The weather was predicted to get a bit nastier, so we headed in to Beaufort the next morning, Oct 31 and soon were secure at a dock waiting for the high winds and rain to pass.
We had a chance to catch up with some old friends for dinner. Billy and Linda, owners of the Nordhavn Southern Comfort in Beaufort, joined us for dinner along with our good friend George from Sweet Hope. We had a wonderful evening at The Cedars Inn in Beaufort – highly recommended if you are in the area. We also met a new friend, Jacob, a Nordhavn fan who has been following our blog. He lives in Beaufort and stopped by for a visit.
On Monday, Nov 4, Shear Madness was lifted out of the water and moved to Moores Marine where she was secured on blocks and will stay for the next couple months. During that time, she will have her engines serviced (5000 hour service), bottom painted, and various other small maintenance tasks. We are happy that we will be back in “our” house at Sea Gate, just down the street from the yard. This is the same house we rented back in 2011 while we were undergoing repairs from the lightning strike. It will be our base of operation for the next month or two while we work on the boat and do a few more land trips. For now, we are back in Virginia for a few days, picking up our car which we will drive back to NC. We have visited our friends Karen and Mark in Solomons and are now spending time with Bradley’s daughter Margy, son-in-law Bryant, grandson Tyler, and dog Rocco. Click any photo to enlarge. Book reviews will be coming with the next update!