A midshipman’s cap we found floating in the harbor after a night of festivities during graduation week at the Naval Academy. We did get it back to its rightful owner…who shall remain nameless here!

While pulling out of the New York Harbor this morning and heading north on the Hudson River, I thought about how many stories, places and experiences we’ve had just in the past two weeks alone. So much to write about, so little time I thought! So little time you say? Yeah, yeah, we‘re not exactly working traditional jobs and leading the conventional life and all, but you might be surprised at just how fast the days whiz by for us. All in a good way of course. We’ve never soaked up so much – history, travel, boating, nature – in such a short period.

Between homeschooling in the mornings, exercise, boat activities, touring cities in the afternoons, music for the boys, then collapsing into bed with a book tired from a good day’s activities, we realize we haven’t spent lots of time writing on our blog. My cooking blog is woefully past due for an entry, and with all our activities lately, I just haven’t been cooking onboard as much.

Much of what you all do at home, we still continue to do onboard. From the traditional chores such as cooking, cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, boat maintenance (pump-outs, oil changes, scrubbing the decks, windows and fiberglass), bill paying and exercising, add to that trip/activities planning and weather forecasting. NO complaints at all on this end, just a sort of excuse I guess for why we fall behind on our blog. Like everything else, it’s about making the time in an already full and richly-rewarding schedule.

Some of our blog posts will start coming in stages, even out of order sometimes. We might even stick them in earlier in the sequence so we keep things in some sort of order. The blog of course is for family and friends to follow our travels, but also for us to have an accurate log of our trip for down the road so we can look back.

I think Michael is getting ready to post something on North Carolina (Wrightsville Beach, Beaufort, Oriental, Okracoke, Manteo, and the Dismal Swamp) and a Virginia blogpost will include Norfolk, Yorktown/Williamsburg and a stop to visit and tour a little with our friends the Hagens in Indian Creek. Those two blogposts should cover many more of the people, places and events from the past two months, so stay tuned.

I also wanted to wrap-up the Baltimore/Annapolis blogposts with a few more stories. First, that hat in the photo above. I was paddle-boarding with Michael one morning when I came across this little gem bobbing along in the current. I guess the Naval Academy knows they need to have floating hats for all those sailors. After a quick fresh-water rinse, a spot in the sun aboard Muddy Waters, and a few photos, this sailor’s cap was good as new.

No one would have known it’d been floating in the harbor except maybe the poor kid who lost it! HIs name and midshipman’s number were printed inside so it was just a matter of returning it to the right person. We all agreed that taking it to campus officials might not be best (What was he doing that ended with his hat in the water!?), so we found another midshipman (easy to spot because they all wear their white uniforms) walking in town. We’d say we found one who looked trustworthy, honest, and fully of integrity, but (you know where this is going!) heck, they all have all those qualities!

Our friend Meg and I found two especially upright looking midshipmen, and told them the story of the floating hat. After looking at the name, they chuckled and said they knew the classmate who’d lost it and even looked like maybe they weren’t surprised it went missing! We hope it was returned without any accompanying pranks, but we had a good laugh thinking through what this poor midshipman’s classmates might do to him!

While in Annapolis we also had a great visit with my sister Ann for a few hours one evening. She’s been tracking our journey since South Carolina, and after a few failed attempts, was finally able to rendezvous with us onboard Muddy Waters.

One important fact about Ann. She’s a fair-weather sailor. Sun bathing, chilling with umbrella-adorned drinks, and clear calm waters are her cup of…tea. In past years she’s sailed with us through the Bahamas on a few trips so she knows a little about boating with us. Tia Ann doesn’t, however, do well with rough water and big waves. Guess it’s a balance thing. Just ask her about her “One-Eyed Willie Experience” and you’ll understand! She spent one sailing trip with us in the Abacos in need of an eye patch after some generic sea sickness medicine caused one pupil to dilate even in the light. My sister the pirate!

So we weren’t completely surprised when she boarded Muddy Waters in Annapolis and only moments later declared that sleeping onboard was out the…porthole, er, window. Plenty of boat traffic and a southwesterly wind (bouncing off the scoop of the harbor and back into us) combined to make for a roley-poley, topsy-turvey and wavy-gravey kind of experience even while tied up at the dock. She lasted about ten minutes. Enough for a boat tour, then she was outta’ there and back to Baltimore for the evening to visit with some girlfriends she’d also planned to see on her trip up. It was great to see her, and we appreciate the effort it took for her to travel from Georgia up to Maryland. Next time we’ll have the Dramamine drip ready!

Other visitors to the boat included Larry and Shannon from the Kadey-Krogen’s Annapolis office. The Krogen team is unfailingly helpful especially for folks like us who are new to the trawler world. Shannon even posted a nice blog on the Krogen website on May 27th about their visit aboard Muddy Waters. Thanks again to Krogen, what a well-run company. I wonder if that has something to do with having a great product as well as smart and thoughtful people working there? Hmmm, Michael likes to say that sounds like some of what makes certain companies great ones.

We also had a visit from our good friends Meg and Anthony (whom we met 15 years ago in Costa Rica while we were doing some adventure travel and they were on their honeymoon), their daughters Elaina and Vivian and their dog Lucy. Swapping adventure stories, catching up on the latest triathlons, and debating healthy eating practices were just some of the topics we chatted about. Lots of stories and lots of laughs.

While in Baltimore, in addition to our extensive town touring, we were also able to visit with one of my family’s longtime friends, Lacy Flynn. The last time I saw Lacy was when the kids were babies, so it was a treat for all of us to spend a couple of hours with Lacy and especially to hear her stories of volunteering with a medical team in rural Colombia recently. It brought back memories for me and Michael from our years of living and working in Latin America.

It still amazes me how many people we’re able to connect with as we travel. Friends and family have traveled from near and far and have been so generous with their time, thoughts, and best wishes – always cheering us on in our little family adventure. We are very fortunate indeed!