Archive for September, 2013

Summer Vacation

September 5, 2013

posted from Flat Rock, MI

It has been a long time since our last post and a lot has happened.  I will try to hit the high points.

Summertime.  It was already past Memorial Day when we left Compass Rose in Antigua and flew to Florida.  It is now after Labor Day and we have not stopped moving.  We traveled from Florida to the DC area via Wilmington  and Oriental, NC, and back to Wilmington, NC.  Then two round trips from Wilmington to Michigan and back with stops in between.  Here’s the story – not necessarily in order.


We decided that in the future we will spend a little more time on land than we have over the last four years, so it finally makes economic sense to buy a car.  We landed in Florida and began car shopping.  This was an interesting experience because neither of us has bought a car in the past ten years or owned one in the last four.  Most models have changed from what we remember.  To add to the fun, I misplaced my license in the Caribbean and would not be able to pick up the replacement until after the first weekend we were there, so Jackie got to do all the early test drives.  We eventually settled on a late model Ford Fusion.

Our slightly used Ford Fusion


We had wheels and we were ready to roll.  We checked our schedule and found we had just enough time to cruise to Oriental, NC, pick up Don and D (Dickerson 41 #1, Southern Cross) drive to the Chesapeake with Don and D for the annual Dickerson Owners Rendezvous.  On the way we stopped to pick up their new half hull model.

Don and D get their new half hull model

The rendezvous was a lot of fun.  We got to see many other Dickerson owners who we only ever see at these gatherings.  We stayed on Bruce Franz’s boat, Hemisphere Dancer, and crewed for him on the race from Cambridge, MD to Oxford, MD.

Bruce peeks around the dodger

We placed second in class behind overall winners Dave and Siobhan Fahrmeier on Down Home.


Racing got a bit close at times

Down Home negotiates some traffic on the way to her victory

After the rendezvous we sailed to Galesville on Down Home for a small gathering.  It was a lot of fun to sail into the West River after being gone for so long.

Rafted up in Galesville


We said goodbye to our Dickerson friends, collected Don and D, and headed back to Oriental.  We got there in time for open mike night at The Silos and spent the evening listening to good music and hanging out with people we met when we stayed there in 2011.

Dinner at The Silos

Peter (right) from Jabaru has kept us entertained from Oriental to Grenada and back


Somewhere in here we did a road trip to the DC area, Newbury, Detroit, Mackinac Island, Cambridge, OH, and back to Wilmington – more or less in that order.

DC was to get our annual doctor visits out of the way.  While there we managed to take a little kayaking trip on the Potomac with our friends Mark and Elizabeth and their kids.

In Ohio we stayed at my mom’s house and visited with her, my siblings and their families, and my aunt who was visiting from Florida.  While there we went to a unicycle drill team practice to watch my sister and niece.

Mom and Mimi

Mom and Mimi

Jackie and Aunt Ruth demonstrate their hula hoop skills

Jackie and Aunt Ruth demonstrate their hula hoop skills


My sister Susy and niece Sarah practicing

My sister Suzy and niece Sarah practicing

We worked our way to Michigan to meet niece Nancy, her husband, Corey, and their daughters Sumer and Willow.  We rendezvoused with them at Jackie’s brother’s house.

(l to r back row) Frank, Linda, Cory (l to r) Mike, Jackie, Pat, Sumer, Nancy, Willow

(l to r back row) Frank, Linda, Cory
(l to r) Mike, Jackie, Pat, Sumer, Nancy, Willow

While there Sumer took her first bike ride without training wheels.

Corey spots Sumer as she "solos" without training wheels

Corey spots Sumer as she “solos” without training wheels

We then spent most of a week with Nancy, Cory and kids at Mackinac Island.  No motor vehicles are allowed on the island, so all transportation is by walking, bicycle or horse drawn conveyance.  It was a very fun, relaxed week.

Notice the street sweeper. All those horses provide street sweepers with job security

All those horses provide street sweepers with job security


Horse drawn carriage tour of Mackinac Island

Horse drawn carriage tour of Mackinac Island

The trip from Michigan back to Wilmington included a stop in Cambridge, OH, to celebrate Jackie’s aunt Mari-an’s 93rd birthday.  We were joined by some of her siblings for the event.


We went to Ohio and Michigan for Labor Day weekend.  The trip actually started with a stop in DC to visit friends Terry and Bob.  While there, their friend Mary stopped by for a couple nights as she breezed through the area.

(l to r) Mary, Terry, Bob, and Jackie

We left DC on Wednesday and arrived at my Mom’s house in Newbury (near Cleveland) with a couple days to spare before our nephew’s Friday wedding.  The wedding was held at a park on the Lake Erie shore and the reception was at my mom’s house.  All my siblings, an aunt, cousins, nieces, and nephews and some friends were there.  It was great to see all these people at the same time.

Nephew Michael and his new wife Becky cut their cake


Saturday was a travel day.  We drove to Michigan so we could attend a family picnic at Jackie’s brother John’s house on Sunday.  We spent Saturday night at Jackie’s sister Beth and her husband Mark’s house.  Mark and I tend to do “guy stuff” when we get together. (Mark was half of the crew that helped me sail Compass Rose from North Carolina to the Virgin Islands a couple years ago.)  This weekend was no exception.  Saturday evening started with beer and cigars.  Sunday started at 3 AM when a friend picked us up for the opening of Goose season.

Sunrise over Lake St. Claire

Sunrise over Lake St. Claire

By 6:30 we were at the lake and in position to slaughter those poor geese.

Hunting party (l to r) Matt, Mark, George and stealth hunting craft

Mighty Hunter

Don’t let the gun fool you – it was just a prop for the picture.  Given the cost of a hunting license for a non-resident, I did all my shooting with a camera.

Animals are smarter than you might think.  The geese knew they were in season and the few we saw were way out of gun range and almost too far away for my camera.  On the other hand the ducks knew their season hadn’t started yet and landed near our decoys.  We never fired a shot.

By early afternoon we had made it back to Mark’s house, put the hunting gear away, showered, and driven to John’s house to join the rest of the family at the picnic.  Lots of good people and good food.  Swimming off the party barge in the lake.  Just what you would expect on Labor Day weekend.

Friends and relatives hanging out on the back porch

You have to make the most of the end of summer, so on Monday we joined Jackie’s childhood friend, Maureen, her husband, and a bunch of friends at their new fixer upper lake house.  It was much like the day before, but with fewer people and a bit cool for swimming.  A nice end to the summer.


What would a blog entry be without a couple bird pictures?

Goldfinch in DC

Goldfinch in DC

Cedar Waxwings

Cedar Waxwings

OK, so it's not a bird

OK, so it’s not a bird

Ospreys always remind us of the Chesapeake

Ospreys always remind us of the Chesapeake