Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Buy The Damn Boat

After 8 years of remodeling, Nai'a is for S A L E !

Our CSY 44 has almost all systems replaced.

New engine, folding prop, new chainplates, new thru hulls, new mainsail, self steering equipment. The owner was getting the boat ready for extensive cruising. There are some cosmetic jobs still to be done. 

More photos and information:

Nai’a is a solid, hand-laid fiberglass hull and deck with no core, which means she won’t absorb water or rot. She is cutter rigged for easy sail handling and provides a variety of sail combinations. All systems are overbuilt, easy to access, and have withstood the test of time. She is heavy because in the 70s, everything was built to last and remain comfortable. CSYs are surprisingly agile and their strength and weight provide a smooth ride with the ability to keep sailing.


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Balloon Fiesta 2018 NM

Two years after my first solo experience, I had to go back... with the addition friends and family. This time I had six in my troupe. The weather may have been nicer than two years ago, but the crowds were bigger than ever. Over 500 balloons lifted off (when the hurricane weather was absent) and the masses gathered to witness their ascent. And yes, hurricane weather managed to find me and bring wind and rain into the southwest desert. This would be a theme throughout the trip...

Luckily for my pack, it didn't matter when the liftoff was canceled. We managed to get the good days, and we stayed a few miles away from the launch site. So we didn't have to chase the balloons... they landed in the neighboring yards. I spent several mornings shouting to the sky– using ridiculous hand gestures– trying to convince balloonists to land on our turf. 

I did not attend the Glowdeo as I did in 2016. This is where the balloons light up at night and drum lines pass through the park. Instead, (as designated co-pilot) we took a trip up a few thousand feet in a rainbow-striped balloon along the Rio Grande. 

Vincent Van Gogh made his first appearance. 

I had to run to the next yard and help tow this fish balloon away from the trees. Which was pretty much impossible until another neighbor arrived and lent me some muscle. Then together, we bounced it towards the road– and I walked away victoriously covered in spiky spurs.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

One Year Later

September was a month of celebration. Since hitting the one year anniversary of Irma– with no serious weather in sight– the island breathed a heavy sigh of relief. (And all the three-month-old babies squealed in delight.)

Although the season is not near over, at least the predicted height of the season has peaked. We remain weary and prepared, but this year has been sweet to us so far. Rain has returned and St. Martin is no longer the burnt pancake that it was months ago. Thank you, Mother Nature.

And we continue to send sweet healing vibes back to earth and sea, hoping to appease any disrupt She has been feeling. Take a look at Hawaii and you'll see a similarity in landscape. We are also in active volcanic waters, staring down hurricane alley.

So in recognition of what the island has gone through, what she continues to go through, and the pressures of what's to come–now and always– here are some photos that show St. Martin in her best light. As if nothing here has ever been askew. No gales, no debris, no tourists, no mosquitoes... paradise.

Clouds in the pool.

Waiting to surprise Kristen and Stefan on their engagement and birthday.

 Duke leaving his own surprise. At least the dog can appreciate a good view (rainbow in the cloud).

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Stateside Summer

Three weeks in North Carolina's thunderstormy August was brutal– in a good way. But the humidity, the sun, the deep fried everyathang took its toll. (Some were more drenched than others, but we all suffered some degree of stickiness.) Regardless of the heat, those three weeks were a lot of fun. From my best childhood friend's wedding, taking my nephews river tubing, watching funny Youtube videos with all my high school friends... Margo and I had a nice adventure.

The best of August:

Friday, July 6, 2018

Croagh Patrick, Ireland's Holy Mountain

Somehow the willpower of going against the "lazy American" stereotype saw through my toughest hike in Ireland. Four hours of straight up and straight down a stone precipice, stumbling all the way. Dehydration, burning thighs, and a twenty pound backpack made my 2,507 ft climb unforgettable. 

So unforgettable in fact, that we found a Snickers bar... and I ate it. Chels E. does not each Snickers or any such junk. (Don't get me wrong, chocolate is a weakness... but a Snickers?!)

You can see the trail is pure rock. So much that every two steps you take up, you slide one back. My legs hurt for an entire week after this climb. Even more unbelievable, people hike to the top barefoot as a pilgrimage to St. Patrick. Why? Because pain, devotion, insanity, religion, the holy spirit, that's why.

James, who deemed himself an unfit hiker, probably set a record for the climb... in his fancy shoes and leather jacket. He made me look slow, which is unheard of.

365 islands of Clew Bay. John Lennon has his island here. It was his dream to build a house and retire on it.

When I finished, it was behind an older guy with a rather large mid-section. I thought he'd share my feelings of "let's never do that again." Because I definitely congratulated him and complained about the hike. Turns out, Patty Jo hiked Crough (croak) Patrick 139 times. He does it twice a week and has for decades.

Wrong person to confess to. Although it was tough, what a view. Definitely worth the experience... very happy I didn't know what I signed up for. You could not convince me to do it again, but who doesn't love a good challenge?