Sunday, June 21, 2009

IRONY, NORMALCY AND WHERE ARE YOU GOING ANYWAY???

Well I couldn't resist this one. We are now less than a week before starting the first leg of the trip. Lisa decided to go to Costco (bulk retailer) to load up on some things to save money by buying larger quantities. You know, stuff like shampoo, sunscreen, vitamins etc...

She also picked-up a monster size bottle of Tabasco sauce, and anyone that knows Lisa realizes this MIGHT get her through the next 4 months. Cool, buy it in bulk and save some money. The kicker is she also bought a Jumbo package of Tums, to help get her through the Tabasco (oh yeah, she also bought a huge bottle of Worcester sauce). Self-defeating? Ironic? I wish she had gotten me a jumbo pack of Skittles (and toothpaste).

Things are also winding down on all the "normal" land-based activities we do.

Delaney had her final night of gymnastics, which was actually a demonstration and competition. She was awarded two second place, one 3rd place and one 6th place ribbon in the four disciplines, in additon to a trophy for 2nd place overall!!! Here is a video of her floor demonstration.

video
Part of Mitchells weekly routine also came to an end this week. He has been taking drum lessons since September, and unlike Jiu-Jitsu, soccer and Beavers, this one he actually stuck with and enjoyed!! He had a great instructor (Dwayne, a big RUSH fan) and really seemd to enjoy it. Here is a little clip from his final lesson this week.

video
Lisa and I also finished up something we both really enjoy, mountainbiking. Today we (along with my brother Alan) raced in our local race, the Great Lake to Lake Classic. The race starts around the corner from our house in H.H. Knoll park next to Lake Erie. It then runs 50km through the Niagara Penninsula finishing in Port Dalhousie on Lake Ontario.

You can't really see how muddy we were here at the end, but trust me, we were caked in good old Niagara clay!

It was fun, tiring , muddy and frustrating (I got 3 flats, and no, I wasn't racing a tricycle!!). Here is a short video giving you an idea of what we and over 900 other riders faced at about the 30km mark.

video


Lisa’s turn to write in our blog (bare with me)!!!
Everyone keeps asking what our agenda is for the trip. Well in a nutshell, this is it:

June 26: Drive up to Bath (thanks Tara and Kathryn!). The kids and I finally get to see all the hard work Mark has done.

June 27: Leave Bath and cross Lake Ontario for the Erie Canal (weather permitting). The plans are to be in Sylvan Beach, NY around the 1st or 2nd of July. We have recruited the driving team of Ann and Bob to meet us in Sylvan Beach (with 2 vehicles). After a bit of shuffling back and forth the six of us are continuing through the canal to Coxsackie Yacht Club on the Hudson River. This is were the Charlotte Ann will be left for the next month (thanks Sal Santo “SeaDog the Cat”). We then head back home to Port Colborne so Mark can go back to work.

July 14 – August 12: The kids and I will have time to pack up house (we have it rented out), and say good-bye to our friends. It looks like we will need a place to stay as of August 1 (thanks friends and family for putting us up). The kids are also attending a 2-week sailing camp. They will come out of that with a higher sailing qualification than either Mark or I have!

August 12: We are off!!!! Mark comes home and we head back to the Charlotte Ann (still haven’t figured out how we get there).

August – September 8: We sail down the Hudson River, spend a couple of days in New York City (say hi to Lady Liberty), head on to the Atlantic Ocean and make our way through Norfolk, VA, the Dismal Swamp and on to Oriental, North Carolina. This town is on the mainland side of Pamlico Sound (actually on the Neuse River), but very close to the Outer Banks/Cape Hatteras. One of Mark's "goals" is to anchor the boat in the Slick at REAL kiteboarding, walk ashore and buy himself a Jimmy Lewis kite surfboard. We'll have to see how that plays out, but at the least we are hoping to sneak in a couple of days of kiting before heading to Oriental. The kids and I will be staying here for the month while Mark goes and makes more money.
October 7 – November 3: Sail from North Carolina into Georgia and a town called Brunswick (South of Savannah). Here the kids and I will be held up for another month while Mark heads back to work.

Mark will be back with us around December 2nd. Normally he would have December off, but he has told his office he would like to take January off as well (sadly without pay). So that will give us December, January and February together. We will leave Georgia and stop off in Fort Pierce, Florida. There is a small mooring field there where we will leave the boat for a few days and drive to Disney. We will then continue south to Palm Beach. It's here that we provision the boat and wait for a weather window to cross over to the Bahamas Islands. We will start in the Abacos portion of the Bahamas then possibly move further south to the Exumas. Our goal is to arrive for Christmas, but at the latest to be there for New Years (really hoping to catch Junkanoo).

Plans start to get a little hazy after this. If I feel comfortable in an anchorage the kids and I will stay while Mark goes back to work in March. After that it will be time to head back to the States and start going north (boo!!).

Well that's what we know right now. Some of it will happen, some of it might not. All part of the adventure I suppose, no brochure available for this one!!!