27 July - 10 October 2014 Guntersville Marina, AL, and a 3 week road trip to here and there.

Guntersville, AL,
and places beyond!

     Bill's always had an affinity for working out but when he saw the For Sale sign, I guess it was one of his never-happened-before impulses!  Just kidding.  Neither of us wants to own anything that might fall under the title of Real Estate.  This is in the center where our favorite Mexican restaurant is.  After a meal there we should've visited the gym!

Any idea what this is??

     The eyeball on top really freaked me out!!!  We were told that it's a fresh water jelly fish, however when I Googled it, I didn't see anything that looks like this.  "They say" that these things form around anything they find in the water and I did see one enveloping a dock line that was hanging from a piling.  This creature moves by undulating and are said to not be poisonous.  They can even be picked up and held.  No thanks!  Looks like something in a haunted house that you'd have to reach in and touch and feel the bumps and slime.

I always have my camera handy because you never know what photo op you might otherwise miss!

     A very interesting looking couple, appearing to be in their late 80's, descended from this AAA decaled and air conditioned "ride".  She was attired as if she were Minnie Pearl and he could've been off the set of Hee Haw.

     We weren't tired of the boat---believe it or not after 6+ years---but we wanted to go to Cambridge, MD, for our fall Northern Rendezvous and take some little side trips to places where (to borrow from Norman Maclean) "a river doesn't run through it."  We rented a SUV, loaded it with too much stuff (of course our bikes went in first)---followed by clean undies and toothbrushes!  

     We stopped in Roanoke, VA, and, unbeknownst to each other, our daughter-in-law from coastal AL, was also in that area.  We were just a stone's throw apart.

     We've spent a month each time, a couple years apart, at Gangplank Marina, Washington, DC, and loved every second of it.  We were aware that marina and waterfront renovation was taking place and we were looking forward to seeing the progress.  Only a few docks are left and all along the waterway is protected by chain link fences but appeared, through peeking, to have been razed.  We didn't go down to the Fish-a-copia but imagine it remains, rank stench and all.

     Clarence is our favorite Safeway employee so we had to go there to exchange hugs.  Across the street from the supermarket are some interesting sculptures.

Onward to Cambridge, the MTOA Rendezvous, seeing old friends and making new ones.

Choptank River Lighthouse
Cambridge, MD

     This is a replica of the replacement light that once beaconed ships of all sizes along the Choptank River.  Serving as a beacon for all, it symbolizes the continuing revitalization of Cambridge.

     The rendezvous was much fun and too much wonderful food.  Very much unanticipated and unexpected, Bill was elected as Vice President of our trawler group for the next two years.  Whatever he does, he does "with all his heart". He's already been very busy and I'm seeing creativity in my engineer that I didn't know existed.  Maybe since his retirement he's gotten in touch with his expressive side.

Severn River

     You may recognize this from previously posted photos taken from Elinor and Tom's deck in Severna Park, a stone's throw from Annapolis.  In the past, Kindred Spirit III has been nestled across the dock from Meridian but since this was a road trip, we just enjoyed the view.  A great spot for Tom's very hearty early morning coffee and watching the mist lift and the birds feed.  They certainly must have the best view anywhere along the river.  As always, we enjoyed our visit with them.  Bill and Tom took a bike ride but I needed to stay home and veg so Elinor and I did nothing.  I read and she engaged in her needle work.  She's a wizard with cross stitch and other kinds creative needle work.  They do have fantastic bike ways there and I'd looked forward to cycling but enjoyed sitting on the deck, looking out on the river and contemplating.

A piece of hand carved marble from India.
      Moving on southward from Annapolis, we visited with other sailing friends, Curt and Judy, on Solomon's Island.  They recently spent a month in India and this piece caught my eye.  If "kind" coveting is OK, then I kindly covet this.  Inside, are 2 different size elephants.  This couple has been everywhere on God's green earth and more than once.  I could sit and listen to Curt talk forever.  He's forgotten more than I've ever known and can pull dates, people, places and details about different cultures, ad infinitum!  I'll bet he could answer any question of any kind that you could think of to ask.  He's phenomenal!  Judy has been developing her art during her retirement and makes beautiful sea glass jewelry.  Much of the glass are pieces that she's found. 

     Dear boating friends (we have sister ships), Rosemary and Bill, who live in Richmond, VA, are buds that we rarely get to see so we couldn't drive through their fair city without a quick visit.  Albeit brief, it was pure gold and an opportunity we wouldn't have missed for anything.

Raleigh, NC, State Capitol

     Neither of us had ever been to Raleigh so this was our next stop.  This is the Capitol's dome and although not exactly the makings of a Kodak Moment, it was the best of this historic spot.  The governor has his office in this building but other than that it's kind of defunct and a disappointment.

     Aside from that, we LOVE Raleigh and were it not for their winters, we could live there.  Very metropolitan, cultural melting pot, and numerous learning opportunities.  We spent a long time in the history museum but had I known what awaited just across the street, I wouldn't have lingered so long appreciating NC's past.  The Museum of Natural Science was right up my alley and I could've spent at least a full day in there.  There are 4 floors of exhibits and classrooms and the opportunity to watch interesting procedures under magnification--- surgery on a worm---for example.  My stay in there was far too short and I look forward to returning.

A Mama Manatee and Her Calf
Museum of Natural Science
Raleigh, NC

                                           A Means of Getting Around Raleigh

     Bill always enjoys going to Charlotte, NC, either in spring or fall for the AutoFair and we go almost every year.  I dropped him off at Charlotte  Motor Speedway early in the morning and would pick him up in the evening when it closed for the day.  He has a colossal affinity for old cars so had to remind him that nowhere on this 42 foot trawler will a Model T fit!.  He did zero in on a Corvette that, if we had a place to keep it, it would've followed him home.

     Being a Sea Urchin, shopping isn't something in which we very often have the opportunity to engage.  I have never been a shopper although I love marine, outdoor outfitters and hardware stores.  Will Bill was drooling over cars, I "shopped" and for someone who loves doing that, you can definitely shop till you drop there! Didn't spend a cent but was exhausted at the end of my "shopping sprees".

Farther South Still
    We spent 2 nights in the Greenville, SC,  area--actually Traveler's Rest-- with daughter, Courtney and 9 year old granddaughter, Alleigh.  The Swamp Rabbit trail is very near their home so the four of us took a beautiful ride toward Greenville on that bike path.

A lonesome Praying Mantis on his way home from church, I'm sure.  It WAS Sunday, after all.

A pretty sight on Furman University Campus


9 Year Old Alleigh

Father and Daughter
Bill and Courtney

     I have more love for technology than I have savvy so when Bill's iPad said IOS 8 was patiently waiting to be updated, without asking, I took it upon myself to let it update overnight.  But what to my wondering eyes did appear the next morning but a black screen with a white cord and plug.  I couldn't get it to boot so had to confess to my sweet husband. Now this man, like all of us of this vintage, knows Microsoft inside and out. I love my iPhone and MacBook Pro very much and the iPad has a great application for navigating so I dragged him kicking and screaming from the world of PC to Apple and much to my delight, he LOVES his iPad...till that very moment.  AppleCare and I are almost on a first name basis.  If they kept a paper chart on me, it'd probably be more thick than War and Peace.  I called and made an appointment at the Mall of GA Apple store for the next afternoon.  

     On the road again to Atlanta to see my brother Bob, our friend, Nancy, and Bob's early 1950's Porche Speedster that he restored himself.  A thing of beauty and many, many man hours he's put into this.  

     Boating friends, Bob and Emily, and our over-the-top friend, Plex, met us in Clemson for a quick lunch.

     Of course we were eager to see Bob and Nancy but couldn't wait to see this labor of love in person. This is the beginning--the ghost-like thing on the top rack and NO idea the date on this photo.

The Evolution

Definitely a thing of beauty and a work of art!
(My little brother did that and I'm so proud!)

     Boating friends, Bob and Emily, and our over-the-top friend, Plex, met us in Clemson for a quick lunch.

     I was sitting on needles and pins during lunch but everyone assured me that we had plenty of time to get there and there wouldn't be any traffic.  For a 3:50 PM Apple appointment, I thought we should leave Clemson, SC, by 12:30 or 1:00 at the very latest.  I loathe being late but being early is just fine.  I always carry a book.  WELL, we didn't!!!  Heavy traffic, how do you find a particular store in The Mall of Georgia?  Similar to finding a needle in a hay stack so guess what??? We were late to our appointment.  I bit my tongue off to a nub to keep from saying, "I told you...."  I was just about to have a fit and fall in it and his innards where churning more than mine---I was the initiator but it was his spread sheets that were gone.

     Brother Bob and Nancy were expecting us by 5 PM...then by 6 PM...we got out of the Apple store when they kicked us out at 9 PM.  The iPad is back in business but most of his iPhotos are gone and ALL----repeat ALL of his spreadsheets are gone.  We advanced up the Apple Genius food chain at the Apple store till we got the top dog who said that even Steve Jobs wouldn't be able to retrieve the spread sheets.  We're talking, not just man hours but man weeks of work and projections and plans...and all those things that engineers do on spread sheets.  He can hardly start his day without consulting one.  Before I took the liberty to update his iPad, I backed up my iPhone to Mac; backed iPad up to Mac and then backed up the Mac to an external hard drive so to my non-techie mind, we were all backed up and I was safe to update his iPad OS.  So if backing up isn't really backing up...?  Needless to say, we were toast and Bill was in the bluest funk I've ever seen.  

This is the image of a poor soul who feels that he's been had!  
He was too sick to eat.

     We were extremely disappointed at not getting to visit with Bob, Nancy, and the beautiful speedster.  We were absolutely fried and drove as far out of Atlanta as we thought necessary to avoid the next morning's traffic.  We crashed in the first "bed for rent" that we saw--somewhere near Six Flags.  Up the next morning early and back to Guntersville to unload 3 weeks of carnage, borrow the marina's courtesy car, and high-tail it to Huntsville to return it to Enterprise by noon.  We got there at 12:01.

     While we were away from the boat, we had our floors stripped and varnished.  They look wonderful and feel so good beneath bare feet.  

     Now it's time for us to get back to work.  Bill had the worst job--or the one requiring focus, concentration, and meticulousness!  He took the teak cap and hand rails down to bare, finally getting all the Bristol off that he hated so and has put on 10 of 12 coats of Epiphanes. The poor man was on his knees for days which reminded me of something someone told him years ago when he was in that position working on our teak decks.  They said, "Bender, I'm so tired of looking at your butt.  You've spent more time on your knees than the pope."

     After he spent hours getting the teak sanded, he applied the first coat.  The next day it "cured".  The next day he sanded it.  Day 4 he varnished.  Day 5, it cured.  Day 6 he sanded.  Day 7 he applied coat #3.  Understand that all of this wasn't daily.  We had weather, wind, and humidity to factor in but luckily we were in a covered slip enabling him to work when he otherwise couldn't and he was also protected from the sun.

     Meanwhile, I'm inside filing my nails and sipping Mint Juleps!  NOT!!!  I was making draperies; digging through hatches and lockers scrubbing, cleaning, and getting rid of stuff we haven't used and forgot we had.  

     Guntersville Marina was a super place and we fell in love with the owners, management, and residents.  It was sad to leave but time to go.  Our intentions were to stay a month--we were there for 75 days.  We don't stay put too long in any one place so it felt good to feel water moving beneath our hull once again...and with beautiful glistening bright work.

     Slowly we steamed toward Chattanooga enjoying the exquisite TN River and Appalachian foothills.

Jay, our neighbor, captured our departure

     I'm closing with something posted on the site of our home church in Mt. Pleasant.  It is Psalms 39:4,5.  "Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.  Remind me that my days are numbered---how fleeting my life is.  You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.  My entire lifetime is just a moment to You; at best, each of us is but a breath."

     Everyday I become more and more cognizant of how my life is so very much like a vapor.

Hugs from Bill and Laura aboard Kindred Spirit III heading east on the TN River

10 October 2014


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