Friday, September 11, 2009

Fast Forward to Today

We’re extremely blog-delinquent. Here’s a quick catch-up. When last we wrote, we’d arrived to Dock B in Delaware in late June. Dock B continues to be a hoot – everyone is still there and it feels like home to us. There were many treasured evenings of camaraderie on the dock until the mosquitoes carried us away.

Two weeks of July were enjoyed in Wisconsin and Pittsburgh. It was fun catching up with the cool relatives at Vicki’s Mom’s family reunion in Richland Center. Our kids and grandkids in Milwaukee took us picnicking, swimming, and to Summerfest . We also had a great time seeing several long-lost friends in Milwaukee. Norm’s brother Mike and wife Pat were fabulous hosts in Youngstown where we also were able to connect with cousins Frank and Claudia and family up in Conneaut Lake. Finally, we attended Norm’s high school mini-reunion in Pittsburgh. It was great for Norm to reconnect with his ole buddies from his "pubescent years". All in all, loads of laughs, good stories, good food and even a beverage now and then.

The rest of July and into August was "Medical Month" but as you can tell, it turned into "Medical Six Weeks" due to schedules and follow-up visits. Norm says, "I arrived healthy and left with two holes in my body" (One tooth extraction and one sun-damaged skin excision.) Other than that, we, fortunately, are fit as a fiddle. That’s especially good now that Vicki will be purchasing her own health insurance in December –don’t want any of those pesky ‘pre-existing conditions’. Norm, having turned 65 in June, is on Medicare – making him officially a Geezer.

In mid-August, Tide Hiker bid fond farewell to Delaware. The first stop was Annapolis to have more work done on (you guessed it) the crap-o-matic. It’s working reliably now – keep your fingers crossed. Dined at Charthouse with friends Roger and Lisa and Dale and Eleanor. As Rog and Lisa were cruising out of the harbor the next day, they called to us to check the cooler -- there they were - the shoes that Roger influenced Norm to buy - the ones the Navy Seals use


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with the holes in the bottom that Norm hated and which had gone back and forth from our boat to Roger's during the stop at dock B. The shoes were soon returned to Roger's boat courtesy of Ron who, unbeknownst to Rog was also in Annapolis and agreed to hide the shoes on Rog's boat upon returning to dock B. Much to our dismay, Rog called the other night to say 'the package is in the nest' which we take to mean that the shoes are back aboard Tide Hiker, although we're skeptical because there is no way they could have been returned to our boat. Norm figures that Rog is saying that just to make us crazy searching the boat!! I'm sure you'll here more about this in future blogs.
Then on to Washburn's Boat Yard in Solomons Is. Maryland to reinstall the repaired Windlass (the anchor mechanism to you land lubbers!) and replace the dinghy steering mechanism which had frozen courtesy of the corrosive Caribbean salt air. While getting all this done, we made new friends with Bob and Cheryl aboard Kasekuchen (means ‘cheesecake’). They were in the bakery business manufacturing 38 million calories an hour! Cheryl’s chocolate chip cookies are incredible, and a private recipe, which we think includes oatmeal and flax. Also spent some time with Jamie and Rick who sold us Tide Hiker and are tackling many projects aboard their new Symbol trawler.

We were joined for a weekend in Solomon’s by niece Aimee and boyfriend Brian. Brian plays the sax and bought Aimee an accordion (she’ll be a polka queen soon) – Norm joined their jam session on the conch horn while Vicki ran for the ear plugs. Hence, the birth of the Tide Hiker Treo .

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Big Boat Bob’s 60th surprise birthday party was in Norfolk in mid-August. Couldn’t miss that, so we rented a car and drove down to Williamsburg. Great to see Lynnie and Rick who had driven up from North Carolina, Tammie and Doug aboard Gypsies, and Bob and Stephanie on September Song.
Tide Hiker headed up the Potomac in late August. Great anchorages at Smith Creek, Port Tobacco River, and Mattawoman Creek and Canoe Neck Creek behind St Clements Island. Stayed 12 days in Washington D.C. at Capitol Yacht Club and loved it. Walked our tootsies off and saw almost everything we wanted. From our dock we could see the top of the Washington Monument. Friends Dale and Eleanor who live nearby went on three excursions with us and we spent time with Aimee and Brian who live in D.C.
Other highlights included the International Spy Museum (including their Operation Spy experience) , Bureau of Engraving and Printing tour, Embassy walking tour, Alexandria apothecary museum, Kennedy Center tour, Washington Momument, the Capital tour, World War II Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Old Post Office tour and bell ringing, Hirschhorn Sculpture Garden, National Cathedral tour, Friday night Jazz in the Garden at the Smithsonian Sculpture Garden, National Symphony Orchestra concert on the lawn of the Capitol. We also saw the Capital Steps on stage at the Ronald Regan Building, the funeral procession of Sen. Ted Kennedy and "The Musical of Musicals-the Musical" in Alexandria, VA. And, almost all of it was free!! Whew!....we need a couple days of anchoring. But, most exceptional, was Norm's pal-ing around with Barack and Joe. Norm gave Barack a few suggestions and he was very open to them. Joe on the other had, was quite skeptical.
But after a few beers in the Rose Garden, Joe softened up a bit.

In short, it’s been a grand summer so far. We’re now on the way down the Potomac headed for the MTOA rendezvous in Crisfield, Maryland next week. Should be another good time with more old and new friends. Mom Cooper joins us a week from Saturday to cruise the southern Chesapeake- it’ll be good to have her aboard.