The last leg home. Really…

It’s hard to believe that the last time I was at “home” was the day after Christmas.  In some ways, it seems like yesterday and in others…  Well, let’s just say that it’s been a LONG time and a LOT has happened. 

While we were away my mother went to the hospital and then into a nursing home (a really, really nice one, I might add) from assisted living.  I am very much looking forward to seeing her in a few days.  She’s doing well too. Thanks for asking.

We surveyed (twice) and purchased (once) a new boat and moved our “old” one to her, I hope temporary, home in New Bern NC.    Brenda and I transited much of the ICW together twice and three times for me as well as cruised the waters of the FL Keys and ventured into the Gulf of Mexico for the first time.

We learned, first hand, that sometimes you can very clearly see no-see-ums and that you can ALWAYS feel them.  That wasn’t much of a revelation as we’d been boating for, well, let’s just say that it’s been a long time.  And, I won’t even talk about mosquitoes but I will say that the bigger the boat, the more mosquitoes that will find their way down below and go buzz in the night.  Note to self: Put in the screens.

We saw many sea turtles, caught fish in the ocean and saw an amazing number of Portuguese Man of War jelly fish.

We experienced, and not in a a good way, the fury of a tornado, up close and personal and enjoyed countless sunsets over the water, and posted photos of nearly all of them, my friend Rodney would say.

Our younger son Christopher decided to move to San Francisco and did it within a week, I think.   He’s very happy there, much to his Mother’s distress.  Our son Rob continues to work on all of the details of his upcoming wedding to is betrothed Kandice and works every remaining free moment on their new home.

We  cleaned out 8 years of stuff from “old Pandora” and packed into a rental car, several times.   WE drove thousands of miles in those rental cars and I don’t even know how many hotels we searched for online for at the last minute as we moved between home, boat, other boats, friends and family homes…  Well, we moved around a lot and that’s not even including countless miles on the water under sail and power, mostly power.

We found and (thankfully) removed ourselves from what seemed like every sandbar and shoal on the ICW, sometimes twice.  And, I never even used my towing insurance.  “Don’t jinx it Bob”. Ok, I’ll instruct the jury to strike that from the record.

And let’s just say that our wallets have been smoking for months now from the friction of dollars streaming out and into someone else’s pockets.

OK, OK, I won’t bore you with all the details but such is the featureless grey life of the retired.

Oh yeah, and we didn’t see snow the entire time.  So there.

As I finish up this post we are transiting the channel to pass the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel and into the Atlantic for our run to Montauk point and into Long Island Sound and home.   Not the most exciting pix yet, I admit.  I guess you had to be there. After days of waiting for the winds to turn in our favor, it looks like we will be able to get home the nearly 400 miles remaining in our trip with a minimum of fuss and might even have a good sail for perhaps half of the trip.   Overnight the wind fell away and we are leaving for our run on calm seas. 

As we pass from the protection of the CBB&T I expect that we will be seeing some ocean swells but I don’t think that they will amount to much and will certainly be much less than what we were expecting to see as recently as yesterday morning when I checked the weather.

Before I break, a few photos from our run up through Newport News.  It’s plenty clear that your tax dollars are HARD AT WORK here.  Now that’s a smoking wallet.

How about an aircraft carrier?  And I thought that Pandora was beamy.   It’s hard to believe that this girl can cruise at nearly 50mph.Of course, you need tugs to get everyone in and out of port.  And don’t forget, my crew member Michael is a retired tug captain.  To me, tugs have always seemed to be a nearly perfect example of “form follows function” and are particularly easy on the eye. And in the “you can’t see me” category, a stealth battle ship.  Hard to imagine something this big being hard to see.   Shows up fine here.And all is not not grey in Newport News.  Here’s Highlander, the Fedship yacht once owned by publisher Malcomb Forbes.  Now she’s a looker.  Oh yeah.  Almost forgot.  The speedo is working again.  Thanks Pandora, one less item on the “fixit list”.  Who knew…

I guess that’s all for now.  See you in a few days, really…

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