Monique Burgess

Newport, RI
07/05/00 - Cammi. s 3rdBirthday

Over the past few weeks, Uliad has seen more guests than our condo did in a year. We started hosting a 10-year-old "exchange student" from CA. Eliza Jane, AKA E.J. She. s been a breeze, fun to be around. We also celebrated the arrival of the "Tall Ships 2000" here in RI. Started on Thrusday 6/30/00 with a parade of lights, then fireworks (for Cam of course), then parade of sail. The final parade was our entertainment after Cole. s christening, for Cam. s family/friends bday, whatta backdrop! Couldn. t even see blue water on Narragansett Bay, just wakes and thousands of boats. We had about 17-18 people without a hitch. It feels like we want to populate Uliad before we drift off to solitude. During the end of June we saw the Quonset Airshow. Not as memorable as the Fed Ex plane going vertical last year.

On the boat, lifelines have been covered with netting, water filters have been added, new "office" chairs in the pilothouse have been reupholstered, and the new autohelm has arrived along with the new alternator/battery charger. We are waiting for a number of other things. I spotted Tom Neale, writer for Cruising World, in Walmart. s parking lot. Made friends. Might have him as a neighbor on the dock. I took my first solo dinghy ride with Cam. We went to Fort Adam. s beach. Great time till I hit (bounced) off the rock on the way back to the Uliad. Forget about the 12 pulls it took me to start the damn outboard. Me and dinks don. t mesh& .period. We saw "The Perfect Storm" with Clooney. We decided that hiding from hurricanes up in Maine is the most prudent move. Sleepy, night night.

Newport, RI
07/17/00

We dragged the "Netting Project" along for a month. Every time Tom says "just weave the kev cord", I respond with "you need to fasten the hose clamps first". Touche. Maybe it will be done before we arrive in Virginia! We. ve avoided to complete it with an unmatched expertise. Tom signed us up for SCUBA certification. The classes kept us more than busy. It was sick. We cashed in all our babysitting chips. Diving sucked us up from 6-11pm nightly for the week. At first I was so nervous, but after the pool dive I was hooked. We are now certified and plan to learn Nitrox diving and deep diving. Teacher was excellent. 8 pupils. Tom planned to simply buy a dive knife from the shop. Yeah, $2,500 later. I think the majority of our diving will happen with Carla or visitors who will watch our little loved ones. Comically I was tested in the pool on how to take off the mask and replace it all underwater. I casually ripped off mask AND regulator. Joy, find face and mouth gear with eyes shut. Other than my mask nemesis, I was cool. Our first dive, supposed to be a simple single file parade out to 25 feet, along the bottom, turned into a 50 foot solo dive for me and Tom when we lost the group. We practiced our compass navigation, certainly some thing we were accustomed to. Unfortunately my mask leaked like a sieve. I got a new one the next day& cured. Whew.

We enjoyed our first night of non-diving on Tom and Mel Neale. s "Chez Nous" next door for dinner. Steak and the works! Such nice people& it was our first dinner aboard another cruising boat.

Last night Katherine and Darlene joined us for dinner. It. s so nice having close friends at the top of our dock. I am going to miss Dar tremendously. She is such a treasured friend, seems like we have known each other forever. Choke.

Tonight kids sacked out early. Tina Gruetch is coming to just watch TV on Uliad while Tom and I catch a movie. Being so busy takes a toll. Constantly going makes us yearn for private time, especially since both kids are at a testing stage. Tom kicked into high gear with Cam tonight on a listening and obeying issue. It helps to have both parents saying and doing the same thing.

Well off to the movies, candyland. Mmmmm. I know I go to Showcase purely for the sugar, not the entertainment. At least I am not in denial.