Laundry is not fun in a house, boat or anywhere else for that matter. The 5 loads were hauled from boat, to dinghy, to shore, down streets and finally to laundrymat. I jockeyed my way into position amongst other cruising folk and got it all done in under 90 minutes. That. s not bad considering I had to wait for dryers. Everything seems to get boiled down to the basics. After some cooperation, the Uliad team worked well together.
We ate lunch aboard and stowed all our clean wares. Around us, the waters were churned up with all the new boats coming into their berths for the annual boat show. It was pure entertainment to hear the chatter on the VHF and watch the boats maneuver the crowded harbor. We had front row seats.
I finally go to talk to my parents today. Although we had a couple of quick conversations over the past few days, it was the first relaxed chat. It feels like it has been much more than a week since I left them. We haven. t really ironed out the ins and outs of communication, but that will certainly come. I was too busy to get homesick by just hearing their voices, but I know that will come too! The kids got to talk to Nonna and Papajee which always makes me happy. It will be wonderful to see them in Saint Martin, 10 days just won. t be enough, I am sure.
We allowed for some r&r and went ashore again to try and get online. That was harder than expected. The library, miles out of town, was the only game around. We bailed and borrowed a computer at a mortgage company. The office workers felt badly for us and told us to just use their hook up. I hope that email is more readily available as we travel further south. I hear it is.
The kids and Carla found a playground and made new friends while Tom and I perused a chandlery. Maryland crabs were had for dinner, of course. We are looking forward to investigating the town and the boat show.
Now that we can go ashore and meet new people, we found that we are on the Route 95 of the sailing world. There are a ridiculous number of live-aboard cruisers in the harbor. All are traveling to either the Caribbean or the Bahamas for the wintertime. We are a bit more unique since we are heading westward this spring. This is a very welcoming crowd and every boater we meet has been nicer than the one before. All are quick to give a helping hand or word of smart advice. It is a true community. Carla, Tommy and I sense that Uliad and her crew have entered it with gusto.
The boat show is huge. Everything we could possibly want is being shown at this tradeshow. Took 2 days to walk the show. Thoroughly enjoyed seeing the Hans Christian 47/50 and the Amel Super Maramu. Our friends from the Hampton, VA Safety Seminar, Ann and Rich Rinaldi, were showing their 3 week old Cherubini. Definitely the prettiest boat. We joined them for a Caribbean 1500 event this evening. Great new friends that will probably be sailing along side us (or in front of us since they will be flying at 10 knots) throughout the Caribbean and probably beyond.
Carla has gotten a taste of handling the kids onboard all by herself because Tom and I were busy with the boatshow. She has done a knockdown job and I am not just writing that because her family may be reading this. She chose to keep the kids onboard this past Thursday because it was raw and damp outside. We left them at 11:00am bound for the show and were not back on the boat until 6:00. She ran them, read to them (favorite pastime) and reeled around the boat all day. During that time, Carla and kids bounced like a cork in Uliad because there were so many wakes from other boats. She calmly watched as we drifted closer and closer to the big boat anchored behind. And on top of kiddie training, she has our generator and inverter down to a science. This morning she received a lesson in VHF radio etiquette.
Right now Tommy is smoking us out of the pilothouse. He had to turn on the diesel heater tonight to warm the boat up. For some reason, the diesel smell is pretty strong. I am probably dizzy writing this log entry. Pardon the disjointed commentary.
Talk about dizzy, Carla and I went out for an afternoon and evening without the kids. She gave me half of her ginseng yogurt shake. I was so wired up, that I got frightfully dizzy. I thought she was going to have to catch me at one point while were shopping in a boutique. After that episode, Carla and I had a great time. Tommy took the kids around 2:00p and went back to the boat show with them. We walked Annapolis, hit every store, and dined at a fantastic southern Italian restaurant called Maria's. We laughed, talked Italian, reminisced about our Italian childhoods, all the traditions, and topped off the evening by randomly finding an authentic gelato shoppe down an alleyway. Tom would like us to have a girls night every couple of weeks. I'll be sure to post them to the website.
Today was cleaning day. Tommy, not having had a boys night, treated himself to a weather seminar given by Mike Carr. He thoroughly enjoyed it. That also got him off the boat so we could sanitize the joint without him pulling out half his tools and starting a 4-hour grease project. Carla and I scrubbed, polished and wiped every surface. Cammi, of course, is my little helper. Cole is another story. When he got cranky, Carla promptly handed him a paper towel to assist. No way. He's nothing like Cam. He preferred to play with his ball and chew on his snoozie (aka cloth diaper). By lunch, the boat was gleaming.
The afternoon was a family gathering. We dinghied out to Kathy and Fred Davis' house, Cindy Rademacher's parents. They live on Back Creek in Eastport. Beautiful spot and the dinghy ride was even better. Every inch of the creek was filled with sailboats anchored, moored or docked. The kids played with Max and Emma's toys and ate shortbread cookies while the grown ups went online to write emails or pay bills (yuck, my job).
The gelato that we had tonight is just loosing its sugar effect, so I need to sign off and sack out.
We are preparing to depart lovely Annapolis tomorrow morning. We are heading across the Chesapeake to St. Michael's and Oxford. It is sad to be finished with the "first stop" of our big adventure. Annapolis is leaving us with some fond memories. Uliad acquired 3 new oriental rugs for her teak and holly sole while here for 10 days. They are unlike any others I have seen. Having an Indian for a dad, I have seen some stunning carpets. These were made in Afghanistan. Dad, you'll have to come and visit me to appreciate them! Every time we look down at the sole, thankful for dings and dents they have spared us from, we'll remember Annapolis.
One other thing that happened here is kindergarten. Although I started homeschooling Cammi in Newport, it wasn't until here that we got into a full blown rhythm. She is cranking through all the subjects and impressing me constantly. We worked with mazes, the letter "c" and the sense of sight. Cam can now write the letters Bb, Mm, and Cc. She also said, "Mom, that's a lowercase 'c'." I nearly fell down. I didn't think I had been using that description during my lessons, but who knew? She also has picked up on Tom's cussing. She tested out the word "freakin'" in context on Carla today, who immediately corrected her and handled the reprimand.
Cole is just Mr. Bruiser. I bonded with my friend Ferf (Jen) before leaving Newport. She too has a boy a couple of months younger than Cole. Same story. Bloody lips, noses, and faces in general are a daily occurance. But they are happy as can be. Cole is no different. While Cammi is amazed and enthralled with dolls, flavored chapstick, and hairclips, Cole is tackling everything that moves, only goes fast and faster to things that interest him, and has fallen madly in love with the dinghy engine. His position in the dinghy is to stand right next to the engine with his hand next to the driver's on the throttle. I give him 2 years and he'll be maneuvering that floating car better than daddy. Last week alone, I think he cut open his lip, originally damaged the night before we set sail from Newport, about 3 times. Of course always in the same spot. All in all, we have lucked out, nobody has needed to break into our first aid kit.
Tomorrow will be a 4 hour sail to St. Michaels. We'll be meeting up with the Rinaldi's. They have kindly offered to lend us their car, home and just about everything else while we are in town. I probably will take them up on the car offer. I need to design and order our crew t-shirts and other Uliad gear (if anyone wants one, email me and our designers can possibly drop-ship if we get a large enough order), get a Cinderella and black cat costume for each kid, and of course do more laundry and provisioning. I will have to bug all my friends to go to their local Disney store if I am unsuccessful at the costume errand. I already tried everywhere in Annapolis to no avail. We will have the kids dressed for Halloween while we are in Hampton, VA. They'll be shuttled from boat to boat in the dinghy and will then walk the docks for goodies. I promise to post some photos to the site.