Sunday, January 24, 2010
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
officially closing the circle on one of the greatest adventures of a lifetime. It took us nearly 3 years overall to cruise the 6,777 miles.
Everyone is asking us..."What has been the best part of the loop?" There is no 'best part', but rather hundreds and thousands of wonderful experiences all coming together to become one unbelievable adventure that we can't wait to do again!
*Photo of my very happy captain as we crossed our wake!
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by those you did. So, throw off those bowlines...away from safe harbors...Explore. Dream. Discover." ~Mark Twain
Monday, January 4, 2010
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Friday, January 1, 2010
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
- Let Go and Let God...detach from the outcome....release worry. Be trusting.
- Enjoy the Journey...we'll get home when we get home. There isn't anything we can do about the weather or anything else that can delay our homecoming. Be joyful.
- Be Content Where you Are...all along we have referred to this as "discovering Ithaka"...the home of our hearts, rather than focusing on the physical place on Jewel Box Avenue in Naples. Be Loving.
Leaving schedules and agendas behind, especially at this time of year has allowed us to connect with the true essence of Christmas in a way that we never have before. It may not be the Christmases that we had when we were children...nor is it the Christmases we had when we had little children of our own. Those memories are tucked away safely in our hearts to be remembered always. Of course, it won't be easy to not see our loved ones, especially the grandchildren today, but we know we will be home soon.
~Instead something magical happened on Ithaka this holiday season...Being alone turned into a wonderful gift...and hopefully we will be bringing it home to share with everyone we love. We didn't have the usual holiday distractions. Instead we have celebrated the real reason for the season...and it is Light! Some people celebrate the Winter Solstice; a quiet, abiding faith that in our planet's stillest moment a change occurs: the days begin to get longer, a promise of more light on earth's darkest day...a metaphor for what is true and perfect. Some people celebrate Hanukkah, the festival of lights! Lighting the 8 candles, signifying the trust and knowing that we will always have enough. Thankful that we will never run out of what we need to light the way...and, Some of us celebrate the birth of Christ...once again knowing it was the guiding light of a star that announced his birth to the world and led the magi to his manger...it was an angel's bright light than shone from the heavens and appeared to the shepherds letting them know of our saviour's birth...the light of the world!
In the coming year, we are going to try to be the best we can be...the best spouses, the best parents, the best Mimi and Papa...the best siblings, cousins, neighbors, co-workers, real estate agents and Friends. We are going to try each day to be and share the light...to keep the reason for the season alive in our hearts all year.
So, whether you are someone we know & love or someone who happened upon our blog by chance; whether you are sharing Christmas dinner with loved ones today, or feeding the hungry at a shelter, whether you are working to serve others as a nurse, a policeman, a waitress...or a soldier far away from home...Or maybe, just maybe you are a sailor on a boat on a journey, discovering the home in your heart like us...May the love and Light that Jesus taught shine in your hearts this Christmas Day and everyday throughout the coming year...
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
We already bought the gold burgee, which denotes the completion of the loop, back at the rendezvous in October.
We are days away from completing the circle and we will fly our new burgee once we cross our wake in Gordon Pass.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
If you know me, then you know...I don't hide my emotions very well...happiness wells up inside of me like bubbles in a champagne flute! Today is no exception...I am bursting! I'm high on sunshine and as giddy as a child on Christmas morning! I've been smiling all day! We weren't but 4 miles from the Florida 'border' when out of nowhere a momma dolphin and her baby leaped beside the boat (click on pix)...A welcome home straight from heaven!
Ahhhh...15 states...over 6000+ miles...and the white sands of Florida, the dolphins jumping, the sunshine streaming into the cabin...our home state welcomed us back with a wonderful warm embrace...it's good to be on our way home. What a feeling!
* Don't forget to check out our latest video clips and additional photographs set to music on YOUTUBE!
Friday, December 18, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
We have about 900 miles to go to get home. At 90 miles a day, we could be home in less than 2 weeks. But of course, we are trying to "discover ithaka" so you know that won't happen! Thanks to you all for following along... Each of you are with us in spirit as we set out on this amazing adventure.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
After losing a day to bad weather on Friday, we stepped it up today and continued onto Columbus rather than stopping at Aberdeen as previously planned. The next couple of days will be spent organizing, packing, doing a bit of site seeing and trying to eat what's left in the fridge. Last night we had fun at the Halloween Party hosted by the owners of Midway Marina in Fulton. Then this morning, thanks to "falling back" our clocks gained an hour and we were underway before 6:30 AM. We saw another spectacular sunrise...there was a mist rising on the river with silhouettes of the cypress trees standing along the shore...hundreds of American Coots were swimming in the slough as we departed the marina's entry and headed back into the flow of the Tenn-Tom Waterway. Mom has really enjoyed cruising and many times through-out each day she has said, "this is such a beautiful world." Today, on two occasions, we saw an otter swim across the river, although once it may have been a beaver...a huge bald eagle perched in the tallest tree...countless blue herons, of course the coots at sunrise...we've kept a watchful eye out for deer as we were told we might see them along the banks, but no luck yet...then as we approached the marina, the White Pelicans greeted us in the channel. It may very well have been one of the flocks heading south that we saw when we left Grafton over a month ago.
I'm enjoying posting our videos on YOUTUBE and creating movies with music from our photographs...It's a great way to share since I am a possessed shutterbug! I'm sure I'll add a few more posts on the blog before hanging up my writer's pen for awhile. I know I can speak for my captain when I say what a wonderful time we have had cruising with Fern. She is a joy to be around and an inspiration to everyone who knows her. Thank you mom for being here.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Speaking of lifetime friendships; when I lived in Galveston Texas, many many moons ago, I met Chino and Yvonne (click on photo). We became fast friends. I sang at their wedding! Over the years we never lost touch...we watched each other's children grow up in photographs sent in with Christmas cards and caught up in person when Yvonne came to Naples occasionally on business. We calculated that it had been nearly 30 years since I last saw Chino and over 19 years since Yvonne and I last saw each other. I don't think we have talked on the phone once in all those years. But, when they arrived here in Joe Wheeler State Park on Saturday (they live close-by near Huntsville) for a visit that we planned almost a year ago, it was like no time had gone by between us...The years melted away and we picked right up where we left off.
...and so, when we read other loopers' boat blogs, and talk to folks out on the docks...when we attend a rendezvous and run into cruisers we haven't seen since the Chesapeake in 2007, or get a call from the ones we maneuvered through the Georgian Bay with in 2008...when loopers reminisce about what was the best part of their journey and always start by saying, "it's all about the people you meet along the way", they couldn't be more right...
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
We are back at Goose Pond Marina, pulled in late yesterday. We've been hearing all about the restaurant here and their house specialty, so we went out for dinner and I tried the "Shrimp and Grits" (When in Rome)...I must say, that it was wonderful! The Docks Restaurant was lively, the service was tops, and the food was delicious! Save room for the home made desserts!
We went to church this morning with a few of the other folks who are staying at the marina...as it turned out, a Catholic Mass at St. Jude's with a very inspiring priest...We left feeling very blessed. Later today we will be borrowing the courtesy car and making a grocery run...my mom will be joining us in another week or so to spend the last few days of this leg with us before we head back to Naples together for a month of catching up with business, friends, and of course GRANDCHILDREN!
As always, life is good on Ithaka.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
We had a few very nice things happen to us yesterday. For starters, we were the 'welcoming committee' for Salvage Crew as they passed by the dock at Grand Harbor, just moments after crossing their wake, after nearly 12 months away from their home port...It was very exciting to witness the end of such a memorable journey first hand...Of all the folks they met along the way, how ever did we get to be so lucky to be right at Grand Harbor to share in their joy? We went to dinner with them last night to celebrate. They are retired real estate agents from Birmingham...I am sure our paths will cross again.
Next stop Florence, Alabama!
(Chip took that picture of me piloting Ithaka on our way to Florence through Pickwick Lake).