October was such
an absolutely chaotic month, we had no time to update the website or actually sleep or breathe for that matter.
So here are some highlights…..October started with Jane and the kids on a mooring ball at the 79th St Boat Basin
in NYC. Marc and Dave (Jane’s Dad) flew back to Chicago for work on Sept 30th. So
Jane spent the first time on Imagine alone with the kids. I have to admit it was a little freaky - Would
I remember how to the start the generator without Marc to “remind” me what buttons to hit? What
would happen if I couldn’t get the dinghy started? Could I actually drive and dock the dinghy in
the current of the Hudson River? Despite all of my concerns, the week went great. The
kids and I really started to get into a routine with school every morning and then fun in NYC in the afternoon.
We saw so much and had a wonderful time. Caroline and I mastered the subway system and the “1”
train became our official mode of transportation. The hits for the week were seeing Dum - Dum likes gum
- gum at the Museum or Natural History (home to Night at the Museum), trying to find the Adams’ family and Kilgore’s
who came through Ellis Island, one more trip to Times Square (Caroline’s favorite spot), and a few trips to Central
Park where the biggest hit was climbing on the boulders near the pond. The kids could have climbed for
hours on those rocks which just confirmed that the best things in life are free!
Marc flew back to meet us on Friday. We
had a great dinner with Pete West, one of Marc’s best friends from CT and then we prepared Imagine to sail into the
Atlantic and down to the Chesapeake. Our first trip in the ocean - we were all excited and a little nervous.
We left early Saturday morning and spent
the day and night traveling down to MD. We had some great winds and we were actually able to sail most
of the way. We hit the DE Bay early AM on Sunday with about 20 other sailboats heading to Annapolis for
the boat show. We caught up on school work while we motored. We made it to Annapolis and immediately started
making friends with other kid’s boats. We met the crew of Liberty as soon as we hit the Annapolis
and the kids hit it off immediately. Later, we met the crew of Charlotte with Pete, Kirsten, and Aldin.
Pete is an owner of Swiftsure Yachts of Seattle which is the brokerage that sold us Imagine. Thanks
Pete for all of the advice throughout the week. We spent two days touring DC. It is
so beautiful there. Jane and the kids walked by all of the monuments and had a great history lesson.
We are now well versed on the Revolution, Civil War, Great Depression, and WWII. We toured the Capital
building, the Museum of Archives, and the Smithsonian Air and Space. The new WWII exhibit is absolutely
gorgeous and makes you appreciate the Greatest Generation even more. It’s interesting explaining
the war and the sacrifices of that generation to a child and really opens your eyes to what we owe them. I
believe that the kids now have a much better appreciation for those that have given up so much for our freedom.
We had a great time in Annapolis touring the Naval Academy and just enjoying the Boat Show. We met
many new cruising friends and are all more excited than ever by the adventure that awaits us.
After a wonderful “vacation”
we packed into a rented mini-van and started driving back for our last trip “home” to Chicago for a long time.
to Chicago made me start to realize that Imagine is now our home. Since we had packed up almost everything
but our mattress, 848 W. Wolfram doesn’t feel like home much anymore. However, it was wonderful seeing
friends and family again. The Sartino’s hosted a wonderfully going away party – Thanks Chap
and Tracey! Also thanks to all of the friends and family that came to wish us well. The
kids each had their own party to celebrate with their Chicago friends one last time. Each of the kids got
to go into St. Clement School and do a presentation for their classmates. It was so fun to listen to the
questions from other kids about our plans. Many of the kids had phenomenal insightful questions.
Of course, we did have some questions regarding why we don’t have video games and won’t we get bored –
which completely reinforced why decided to go on this adventure. We said good-bye to all of our friends
and family and after quite a few tears headed for the airport for that one-way flight back to Baltimore and Imagine.
Moving Aboard –
found Imagine in great shape sitting at the dock at Tim Troy’s house. She was ready for the trip
down to Hampton, VA. We left early Sunday morning and started to make our way down the Chesapeake Bay.
The good news was that we were able to sail most of the way but the bad news was that we had some pretty good sized
waves and wind gusts up to 50 knots and the auto-pilot decided that it didn’t really like keeping us on course with
these gusts so we actually had to hand sail. Wow, how we did we that for 12 years on Chaos (our previous
boat). It made me appreciate push button sailing and it also made me appreciate how solid Imagine was to
handle that wind and waves so beautifully. When we finally pulled into Hampton, the waves were breaking
over the hard dodger and I could barely see trough the window to steer. We love that new bimini and enclosure
from Ideal Marine.
We ended the month sitting in Hampton and waiting for the Caribbean 1500 to start. We already
know that we are delayed and now we get to finish up some things on the boat and get mentally ready for 10 to 14 days at sea.
The kids are doing great! The have made new friends on the catamaran, Stay Kitty.
They have 3 kids as well around the same age as ours. We have already had numerous playdates and
even sleepovers. They are sailing the 1500 as well so I am sure that there will be plenty more fun.