Friday, June 23, 2017

June 6-June 23, 2017

6/10  After returning from Nashville, we attended the rehearsal dinner for Nephew, Joe (and Zara's wedding).  It was an interesting party because of the ethnicity of Zara's family.  They are Armenian. We sat with Zara parents, her brother's in-laws and her uncle.  Other than her uncle who had flown over from Armenia, most of the family spoke limited English even though they've lived in the states for a few years. Her uncle works for the US embassy in Armenia.
Kim(left) and her kids

6/11  The wedding!  It was a beautiful event and a fabulous reception!

6/12  My one year post cancer mammogram was scheduled in North Jersey (Summit), so we drove up a day ahead.  Ron's cousin Tom manages a Hilton Garden Hotel.  Connections!  He upgraded us to the bridal suite.

6/13  The mammogram was not good.  It showed new calcifications near my scar so the mammogram was repeated.  Then I talked with the radiologist who scheduled me for a stereotactic biopsy.  (Drove back to South Jersey)

In addition to that news, we attended a wake (visitation) for Ron's 65 year old cousin, Arlene Slinsky.  She had been diagnosed with pancreatic/liver cancer.  As children, Ron and Denise spent lots of time wit Arlene. She will be missed!  Drove back to South Jersey.

6/14  Arlene's funeral and repast (dinner).  We drove to North Jersey and back again for this. Each one way trip takes about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Coming from rural Illinois, this commute is tedious for me, but people in NJ are accustomed to it.

6/15 Stereotactic biopsy.  Another drive up and back.  Following the procedure, I stayed at Denise's  and Brian's in South Jersey.

Ron, Denise, Brian and cousin Theresa drove up and back in the evening for his Aunt Margie's (also Ron's Godmother) wake.  She had ovarian cancer.

6/16  Another drive up and back to north Jersey for Aunt Margie's funeral and repast.  The funeral procession contained many, many cars, had a police escort, and routed past her house on the way to the cemetery.  She had lived in the house for over 60 years.
11 of the 20 living cousins

Ron with Aunt Margie's sons

6/17  Ron and I are prepared for good or bad news on my test.  With good news, we will proceed on our boat trip.  With bad news, we will go home.  But how will we get a car, fly, buy a car???

6/19 received a call from Gail (Summit Breast Center) on my test results....all tissue samples were benign.  YEAH!!!!!!!!! With this emotion-filled week, we both breathed a sigh of relief.  Our decision made, we are preparing for our boat trip north.

6/20  We bought a used (2,400 miles) 2017 Subaru from the same dealer where we bought our white one.  Since we need a car to get us from Michigan to FL in September, the car will stay in NJ until Ron takes a train to come back and get it.

6/21  We departed from Viking Yachting Center, New Gretna at 0800 and arrived Traders Cove Marina in Brick, NJ.   We had a reservation.  When we got close, I phoned them since they don't respond on marine radio.  I have never had worse directions getting in to a marina.  Here is a portion of that conversation.

Jan:  we just came under the Mantoloking  Bridge from the south.  Can you direct us in to the marina?
Marina guy #1:  So you are where.?
Jan:  just came under the bridge from the south.
Marina guy #1.  He handed the phone to an older worker #2.  I repeated what I had said.  He said so you came from the south and you are heading south?
Jan:  I see your marina.  We are heading toward the 3 story gray building.  Do we go in the main marina opening.
Marina guy #2:  Do you see me?
Jan:  where are you?
Guy #2:  I'm on the grass.
Jan: I do not see you.
Guy #2:  Do you see the police boat?
Jan:  No. (Turns out that boat was down a channel and behind a larger boat).
#2:  do you see the playground?
Jan:  Yes. Do I head to the right of  the playground down that channel?
#2: Yes. Did you have a reservation?
Jan:  Yes.  Our length is 34 and our draft is 4 feet.  Is it deep enough?
#2: Your what.
Jan: where do you want us?
#2:  Will you fit behind the police boat?  If not, go further down.

By then we turned around and pulled into a fairly tight space behind the police boat and in front of looper boat, Wandering Star (Dirk and Pat) who helped us dock. #1 and# 2 seemed less comfortable assisting us.

This marina has been purchased by the city of Brick and completely redone.  The cleats on the dock are few and far between and the power didnt work well.  Current price is $25 per night but is expected to rise to about $2.00 per foot.  The grounds and playground are beautiful.  Currently they have only portapotties, but are building restrooms and showers.

According to a friend, the dock hands are public works employees...probably with no marina experience.

June 22.  We based our departure time on when slack tide would occur at Manasquan Inlet.  That made our departure 0630.  We had to transit the Point Pleasant Canal while the 2 knot current was against us.  That didn't sound like it would be a problem for this 2 mile stretch, but at one point Ron briefly lost control to the current.  A bit scary!

 Fortunately it was a weekday with very little boat traffic.  The railroad bridge at the Inlet was open, so we breezed right through.

 Conditions on the Atlantic were great.  Winds---3.  Swells--3 feet with a period of 8 seconds.

 We neared Sandy Hook, where there is a nude beach, and yes, there were nude bathers and walkers.
Once we were around Sandy Hook and headed for Staten Island, I  noticed a disturbance in the  water.  Then I saw the blowhole.  It was a whale!  How exciting!!

John Calascibetta, the harbor host extraordinaire, greeted us!  This is our 5th stay at Great Kills Yacht Club. We had an evening drink in the bar and Joe, the bartender, gave us 2 loaves of fresh Italian bread.

June 23:  We decided to stay a couple more days.  Rain from Tropical Storm Cindy is on the way and weather looks better on Sunday.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

June 1- June 5, 2017 New Gretna and Nashville, TN

We drove from NJ to Nashville and spent 3 days with Josh, Jessica, and Leah.  This time, when we arrived, Leah yelled, Mimi and Pop.  She is a bundle of joy!  We went to the zoo on Friday with Jess and Leah.

Saturday we spent the day at their house and the evening at a China Light Show.

Sunday it was rainy, so we hung out at the house and went on a walk between storms. We loved visiting and hated to leave!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

5/21-5/31,2017 Chesapeake City to New Gretna, NJ

5/21  2nd Day Chesapeake City

Former  student Ken Lutz, wife Laurie and daughter Aubrey came to visit us from D.C., at least a four hour drive.  Lt. Collins Ken Lutz works in DC for the office of the Surgeon General.  His jobs have always been in the medical field.  He actually joined the military while still in my Health Occupations class at Pekin High (1994).  They pulled their camper, hoping to go to a nearby campground.  It was full, so they went to Havre De Grace, about 45 minutes away.  We met for lunch and a tour of our boat.  Thank you so much for your visit!  It was great to see you!!!!

 We left mid-afternoon for Delaware City, only 14 miles away.  Apparently a lot of boats moved today  when we arrived, we were told we were 7th boat in line for docking which left us on the river in strong winds.

Once we arrived, and did a starboard tie, the dock hands turned the boat (with no assist from the engine which was off) using only the current to assist them.

Foster and Susan Schucker were on the dock greeting loopers.  They joined us on board for cocktails.

Alex and Andre were docked right in front of us., and there were many looper boats on the dock.

5/22  Still here.  After last night's briefing by Tim, the dockmaster, all but Alex and Andre decided to wait out the weather.  Tim changes the fee to $1 per foot if you have to stay due to weather.  Alex reported that Delaware Bay was not as bad as predicted.

Susan and Foster treated us to dinner at a local restaurant.

5/23  Heading for Delaware Bay
Ten boats departed starting at 0815.

The first 5 1/2 hours wind and waves were good.  It became a bit bumpy the last couple of hours.  We only passed one ship on the way.

We had a reservation at Utsch's but the others could not get reservations there so most went to Canyon Club which is $3 per foot, which is a dollar more per foot than Utsch's.

 Our slip was one of those short fingers 2 here you have to back in and you have to lasso the poles.  I did it perfectly the first time, just as the dock hand yelled, "We don't do it that way here". So I removed my lasso and put it through the metal handle.

 The dock we were on was about as far as you could get from the restroom, office and dog walking area.  Apparently the marina was getting lots of boats in for a fishing tourney.

Denise and Brian drove down from Little Egg Harbor and met us for dinner.  Great to see them again.

5/24, 5/25, 5/27  The weather was bad so we stayed put. Herb Seaton, AGLCA Harbor Host of the Year, left and realized it was too rough.  On his return to the marina, the wind was so strong that he ran into Red 16 and damaged the roof support and antenna on his boat.  A temporary support was added so that he could travel.

Duke was really curious about the crab pot full of crabs on the dock.

The new harbor hosts made their vehicle available, so we took it to their restaurant, FishCakes.

5/27 Saturday,  Memorial Day Weekend
Our preference is to never travel on a holiday weekend, but the weather finally improved enough for an outside run to Atlantic City.

  It was almost perfect.  Swells with a period of 6 seconds and light winds.  There was minimal boat traffic until we entered Absecon Inlet at Atlantic City.  The rest of the way to New Gretna was on the ICW.  At one point, we heard a securite' to the c
Coast Guard warning of fishing boats blocking the channel.  Within a mile, we also saw 12 boats fishing in the channel.  They did not want to move even though they saw our large boat coming at them.  We couldn't go out of the channel due to very shallow water. They moved under duress!

5/28-5/30  Time was spent with family and catching up on chores.  We attended St. Theresa where cousin Theresa served as cantor and Ron was one of the ushers.  Thanks to Brian and Denise for meals, the loan of a car and a ride to pick up our rental car.  Priceless!

Here is a Seinfeld flashback:

Saturday, May 20, 2017

5/20/17 Rock Hall to Chesapeake City

0900  small craft warning for the Chesapeake with 18-3 miles per hour winds, but we left anyway.  The winds were out of the NE so we had waves on the nose most of the day.  Lots of boaters were out because it was Saturday.

1430 we pulled in to the marina at Chesapeake City.  Chesapeake Anchorage Marina does not let transients dock there, but our friend Kenny Beach called someone he knew and got us a place on the T head.  When we pulled in, some boaters yelled, "This is a private marina".  When we told him Kenny , the dock master knew we were coming, they got off their boat and helped us dock.

Kenny and Jeanne Beach picked us up for dinner and we had a wonderful visit!!