Wednesday, July 31, 2013

postcards from summer

We have been on the go here, taking in the fabulous weather, the free time, and of course a visit all the way from Hawaii from Grandma!  Here is a little peek at what we have been up to...

Thursday, July 25, 2013

spit and shine

There is nothing that will get the less tidy members of our crew cracking on the boat cleaning more than an impending guest. And this isn't just any guest... it's GRANDMA! So Legos were plucked out of the bilge, heads were scrubbed with an old toothbrush, those bags of books and clothes that needed to be donated were finally hauled out, the galley sink was fixed, new pillows were purchased, and of course the whole boat got one big bath.

Naia needed a job to do, "I wanna help toooo-ooooo!" So we gave her a squirt bottle and she marched around the decks feeling very important indeed about spraying down everything with water. Zach is old enough that he actually can do meaningful work (huzzah huzzah) and truly scrubbed half the boat all by himself.

I love this boat to the moon and back, but man when we are washing the 10 acres of deck space I long for a 30 foot monohull.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

boat yard strolls

We're really lucky to have a very walkable little neighborhood back here. We have a pool right in front of our dock, loads of green space and gardens in the marina, woods just up the hill, a beach just down the otherside of the hill, and a playground just across a boatyard next door.

Getting there is half the fun because we love walking through that boat yard. It's total eye candy for a boat geek. The fiberglass beasts perch awkwardly on metal stands, literally fish out of water. Sometimes I like to think that the boats are old proper ladies and when their undersides are showing they feel all embarrassed.

There are the obvious things to gawk at when strolling the yard. The lines of a classic, seaworthy vessel. They decay of a long neglected hull. The one off boats that don't seem to fit in.

Zach loves reading the home ports on the transoms and talking about where they came from. It's been a game to find the boat from farthest away.

But more than anything when I look upon these hulls of all shapes, from ports all over the globe, tools of the trade tacked on to their decks I can't help but see a dream. Each boat represents someone's dream, sometimes a dream fulfilled, sometimes a dream dashed. Or somewhere in between. Each vessel is a story. Somebody looked at her and said, "You and I are going places." Someone raised those sails and cut the engine and felt that surge as the boat propels you forward under wind power alone. Someone dropped the hook somewhere new and sat back in that cockpit full of the joy and wonder at navigating from Point A to Point B. But each of these boats stand aloft and alone now, dried out and waiting. Waiting for a day at the spa before another season with her owner. Waiting for badly needed repairs. Waiting for a new partner in adventure, a new dreamer to point her bow toward the horizon.

"A RED one with an EYE mommy! Why that boat got eyes?", she chirps snapping me out of my own dream state. Yes, red with eyes, blue with a stripe, molded fiberglass,  bent wood, furled canvas, dreams in suspended animation. Waiting.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

maritime museum

Our wee state of Maryland is dripping with maritime museums. It makes sense, since we're all waterfront around here between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Aside from being nirvana for boat geeks, maritime museums are almost always super kid friendly. Very much a touch and feel and do and climb sort of atmosphere. We romped around the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michael's, Maryland in the heat recently.

Zach loves anything having to do with animals and fishing and crabbing that he can get his hands on. He got to use old fashioned (and he loves anything old fashioned) oyster grabber thingies. He was so excited that he was getting some I didn't have the heart to tell him they probably put shells down there every few hours for kids to grab.

And Naia just likes anything she can climb, so the lighthouse was a hit. And so were the many old boats and replicas they allow kids to crawl all over.

I love geeking out over the retro boating swag and nautical lore. Are these ladies the bomb or what?

That's totally what I look like when I am driving the dinghy.


But then there are reminders about how our seaside shangri-la wasn't always so fab.

The portion of town we live in was for a very long time designated only for African Americans, while across the creek was the whites only part of town. The beach right off our marina became a blacks only concert and dance venue that was pretty happening for its time. Big name acts from across the USA would fly out here (there was a little airport where we now have a grocery store) and perform on the beach.

It's definitely worth seeking out the maritime museums in your area or when you travel to the seaside.

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