Wednesday, October 28, 2009

On The Road (Sea, or more precisely the Bay) Again!!!

Well believe it or not both of us are now certified Professional First Responders and CPR/AED Professionals - which means we passed our test last night - YIPPEE!!! The Red Cross actually thinks we now know how to save people with sucking chest wounds, in cardiac or respiratory arrest, with angulated fractures (bones sticking out at weird angles), shock, diabetic coma or just plain and simple arterial bleeding!! What is even cooler is that we feel pretty comfortable that we could actually do that too!! The past three weeks have gone by in a fleeting haze - we have been learning tons of new stuff and reactivating our brains which despite the long hours of studying has been pretty cool. It now frightens me quite a bit to think we traveled as far as we have on Gypsies knowing so little about real first aid - we had the big trauma kit, AED and supplemental oxygen on board but I hesitate to think what we would have done if we had really needed to use any of that stuff before. Now we know exactly what is in each of our first aid kits and better yet, how to use everything in them!!! While we seriously hope we never have to use anything but the antibiotic cream and some bandaids (because good luck living on a boat and not getting cuts and scrapes you don't even know how you got!), we at least now feel comfortable that if something more serious went wrong, we'd know how to handle it!! Piece of mind is a great thing (especially when you're not sure where the rest of your mind went!)

More importantly though is that despite the rainy, cold, damp, overcast, miserable (you get the point I'm sure) morning, we flung off the docklines this morning in Baltimore and Gypsies is heading south!!!
A Rainy, Miserable Baltimore Off Gypsies' Stern
Francis Scott Key Bridge Off Gypsies' Bow
We're passing through a sailing regatta outside of Annapolis
Regatta Outside of Annapolis
while I sit here munching on grits - now that's sure not something this northern girl ever thought she'd be doing let alone admitting to it!!! Grits to me always tasted like wallpaper paste until we stopped into this great little bar called Key West Crazy in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on our way south last Fall where the owner/chef Mike served us what even Doug admitted were the best grits he'd ever had (and for a southern boy born and raised that's saying something!!!) Even I had to admit his grits were pretty good - they had actual flavor unlike all the grits I had eaten before. We conned him out of his recipe and I have been trying to perfect it with my own little twists ever since!!! A hot breakfast just seemed to hit the spot this morning as it really hasn't warmed up that much from the time we woke up at 0'dark-hundred!!

Before we left Baltimore we had several wonderful evenings with our friends Denise and Ray Maskell who live just outside of Baltimore - the first night they came over to Gypsies (it was pouring rain of course since our boat couldn't be any farther down the dock and away from the gate unless we were in Fort McHenry!!!) What is it about Baltimore anyway? I think it has rained more in the past three weeks than in the entire rest of our 15 month trip to date (or maybe it just seems that way as we have had many a trudge to class in the rain!) Anyways, we had a great dinner on Gypsies - our last mahi and skipjack that we had caught in the Bahamas and key lime pie!
Dinner on Gypsies - Ray, Denise and Doug
Because there were only four of us and we were inside around the helm table because of the rain, I actually served our pie on plates rather than Bahamian style - what a concept. It wasn't nearly as much fun so that's the last time I try that!!
Denise and Ray Out on the Bow of Gypsies

We had plans to head to Shuckers on our last Sunday in port to watch the Pats play the Bucs from Wembley Stadium in London when our first aid instructor had to move class from Saturday to Sunday....bummer! But Denise and Ray to the rescue - how cool is this - they invited us out to their house for dinner and they would TIVO the Pats game for us so we could watch it Sunday evening after class!!! This was seriously above and beyond the call of friendship - especially given the fact that they are Ravens fans and the Pats haven't been too kind to the Ravens the past several years! But what an amazing treat for us - not only were we able to have another evening with some seriously cool people (and their little dog Molly who is just too cute) but we got to watch a Patriots game on a wide screen TV, with no commercials AND with sound (when we're in a bar there are always at least 5 or 6 other games on so there's no sound!!!) On top of that we had wine from a bottle (OK several) and Ray was the amazing chef for the evening spoiling us with kick butt appetizers followed by Emeril's spicy scallops, steak, squash risotto and all the trimmings served on real china!!! Not to be left out was Denise's drop dead cake for dessert served with Port - AND did I mention the Pats opened up a can of whoop ass on the Bucs so it was an unforgettable evening all around. Thanks so much guys - can't wait to see you both down in Marathon where hopefully it won't be raining and we can show you the underside of Key West!!!

So far our steam today is relatively uneventful - the rain has let up and the wind hasn't kicked the waves up too badly yet although Bootsie was not particularly happy this morning (in three weeks at dockside she lost her sea legs!)
Bootsie is Not Happy With Us Today!
The wind is supposed to increase this afternoon into a small craft advisory but we'll just have to wait and see - for now we are driving downstairs in the pilothouse since it is too cold and damp up on the flybridge and its not too bad. As I look ahead of us out into the Bay though I am reminded of one of our friend Scott Kirby's lines from one of his songs about how everything is grey - the sea is grey, the sky is grey, the clouds are grey.... everything is grey (other than the Fall colors of the turning leaves along the Western shore of the Bay which frankly I could do without!)
The Foliage is Turning - Time to Go South!
Oh well - we are pointed in the right direction at least and are headed to Solomons Island this afternoon - hopefully we beat the nasty weather in!! We have a gift certificate to Catamarans Restaurant which we won in a raffle at one of Scott's Chesapeake gigs so we plan on having a nice prime rib dinner tonight - life is good! After all, we're on the water again....and this time we are headed south!! Look out September Song, here we come!!!
Chesapeake Bay Bridge in the Distance

By the way, Ray sent this quote to Doug this morning and it just seemed so appropriate to our life that we wanted to share it with all of you:

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the tradewinds. Explore. Dream. Discover."
Mark Twain


  1. Would that be "peace" of mind Tammy! Just pulling your chain a little!! You are such a good wirter and speller, I couldn't resist!! Big news - we finally have a good contract on our house - expect to close December 2nd so we won't be here to see you guys this winter. I am flying to Cleveland - yes, Cleveland, Ohio - tomorrwow to look for our new home. The flats boat is already sold - we are keeping Freyja for a winter home! We are tired of the Keys after 26 years and we are ready for seasons, theater, symphony, museums, shopping and best of all a HUGE Continental base so we can flit anywhere we want on a whim - free!! I did look for dockage for you and I do think Marathon is your best bet. Do remember the 60th birthday party in Staniel the last week in April. See you then! Safe passages, stay in touch and Congratulations on your recent achievements!!

  2. YIPPEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. I guess this answers my last e-mail.
    Congrats, safe travel, and get the hell down here, it's in the low eighties today, winds 5 to 10, partly sunny, and were in shorts and