Friday, 8/1/08                                                                                Day 181

Do you know what is the same about today, 6/27/08 and 3/30/08?  We spent over ½ the day off the boat to get internet.  Today, around 10:30am, we went to the Stony Creek library.  We were there until 5:00pm when they closed.  Josh and I did get to get on the internet a bit.  I spent my time on Star Wars' official website, looking at every Star Wars character ever created.  I only got as far as Plo Koon (a Jedi master), but the list goes all the way to Z.  That was cool.

When we left at 5:00pm, we were 5 hours later than we wanted to be.  As soon as we got back on the boat, we got ready to leave.  Around 6:00pm we raised the anchor and left the Thimble Islands.  We are going to sail overnight to Cape Cod.  I stayed up with Mom 'til 10:00pm.  Nothing happened.  Tomorrow may be better.

Saturday, 8/2/08
                                                                                Day 182

I was up at 5:00am this morning.  As soon as I went upstairs, my half-asleep dad, who had stayed up all night, gave me the helm.  He then went on to crash in the most comfortable spot in the cockpit and fell asleep instantly.  I stayed on watch for 2 hours, the only person awake on board.  Eventually, Mom and Josh woke up and Mom took control after breakfast.

When I was at the helm (approx. 5:00am - 7:00am), we passed Block Island, RI.  Our destination was Onset, MA.  As you can guess, it took all day.  Bad weather, currents and tides didn't help in the slightest.

So ... we spent all day travelling up Buzzard's Bay.  In the afternoon, we learned from the Shohets, our friends in Onset, that the bay their house is on can only be accessed at high tide, even with our shallow draft (4'6").  High tide was at 10:00pm, so we decided to go into Onset Bay Marina instead (there is a dredged channel to get in there) and go around Jacob's Neck to their house on high tide tomorrow morning.

On our way up Buzzard's Bay, we got hit by a bad squall around Cleveland Ledge Lighthouse.  The wind blew around 40 kts. at its worst.  It rained a lot too.   It was a bit scary for some of us (Josh
J).  Luckily, it was all over in about 15 minutes.  It was moving very quickly.

Around 7:30pm, we pulled into Onset Bay Marina with the Shohets waiting for us at the dock.  They helped us tied off and then drove us back to their place.  We know that Shohets from back in Pearland.  They come here for part of the summer. It is a family home and the Shohets we know from home - Jason and Ellen and kids Adam (11), Renee (9), and Amy(7) - aren't the only ones here!  They share the house with their grandparents and three other families of cousins, though only two others are here now.  There are 5 other kids - Melissa (15), Rafael (12), Sonia (10), Isaiah (12, but acts 16), and Helen (10).  We got to the house just in time to see the place and eat dinner.  It is a nice place.  They have 8 acres of land, including a barn with beds and a game room upstairs, a boat house that houses the s/v Geraldine, a 44ft. sailboat, woods, a private beach and dock, a field, and the house.  Adam showed me around on bikes.  Josh couldn't keep up, and got Isaiah, Rafe, Helen, & Amy to search for us on foot with big flashlights and everything.  Eventually, we were caught.  But we went and watched some fireworks some people were shooting off.  That was cool.

We all (the kids) congregated at the ice cream parlor when we got back.  They have an ice cream bar with 4 flavors of ice cream and almost anything you could want.  They even have a milkshake maker.  It's awesome.

Josh and I decided to sleep at the house tonight.  We're sharing a room with Rafe.  He's nice, and about my age, and I've made friends with him.  Today (the day) was boring and bad.  Tonight was awesome!

Sunday, 8/3/08 through Wednesday, 8/6/08
                                Days 183 - 186

We spent these last 4 days at the Shohet's.  On the last day, the Shohets we know from Pearland left (after a flight delay of one day), but everything was cool.  On Sunday morning at high tide, Mom, Dad, and Mr. Jason moved Liberty to the Shohet's private mooring.  Except for the first night (8/2/08), we all slept on the boat and went in to the house in the morning around breakfast time.  Twice we had sleepovers on board - once with Rafe and once with Amy, Adam and Renee.  That was fun.

High tide was always a time of excitement.  Both Sunday and Monday mornings, Mr. Jason took us all knee boarding in his Boston Whaler.  After waterskiing in the Abacos with Tauá (see 5/5/08 - 5/6/08), I was very good at knee boarding - one of the best of the five boarding.  I could do 360's, go backwards, and board back and forth from outside the wake to inside and on top of the wake.  Once, I tried to do a 360 on top of the wake and ended up crashing in a weird flip.  Rafe was the best of us all, doing up to five 360's in a row, catching air, etc.  Adam was good too, but made himself look worse by trying to say he was better than he showed.  Josh and Renee were both novices.  I think we should get a kneeboard for our dinghy to pull, just like we do with our tube.

At high tide almost every day, we also went swimming.  They had kickboards, boogey boards, a raft, and a tube that everybody played with.  We did have to be careful of jellyfish.  They were all over and Adam, Rafe and Amy got stung.  It was fun anyway.

During the rest of the day, we pretty much had free reign of the place.  We were allowed to do almost anything and go almost anywhere.  We even drove a tractor all over one day.  One of the favorite activities was biking.  I found a French 10-speed that was a bit big that I liked and went almost everywhere on it - even off road.  On the Shohet's road that winds through the property, I raced Adam, Rafe, Renee, and even Amy.  I could beat Renee and, obviously, Amy, tie with Adam, and lose to Rafe.  It was fun.

Once, I went off the Shohet's property with Renee to two gigantic hills a couple of roads over.  We spent a while speeding up and down those two hills through the valley.  That was cool.  Later, Renee, Rafe, Josh and I also biked around picking wild blackberries.  They tasted awesome.  We picked about a cupful.

We also organized games during the day.  Once, we all got together and played some Norwegian game from the middle ages that Isaiah and Helen taught us.  We played cards a lot, mostly Speed, Stress, & Burrow.  Another time, Melissa, the oldest at age 15, organized a scavenger hunt for the rest of us.  My team won.

One day, Rafe, Adam, Renee, Josh and I all grabbed bikes and played this totally awesome gun game.  Rafe was the best at playing his part.  We used the Geraldine (the 44' dismasted sailboat in the boat shed) as our submarine and the bikes as our land transports, with the barn as our base.  We went all over and had all kinds of fun.  I got to be Mr. Automatic, the guy in charge of all the machine guns.  That's my favorite.

At low tide, we had fun at the beach as well.  We caught crabs in the shallow water and dug for clams.  I never got to dig clams.  The one time I was going to, I sliced my finger open digging.  I lost just enough blood to make me feel faint.  I couldn't dig clams and ended up sitting on the couch watching the movie Dreamer with Melissa, Adam, Helen, Sonia and Amy.

Movies were a staple in the Shohet household.  We watched a movie every night after dinner, and during the day on the 4th day when it rained.  We saw Dreamer, Little Mermaid, Master and Commander, Men in Black, Men in Black II, and Ghostbusters.  I got to watch some of the first PG-13 movies in my life.  I'm 12, but my parents are so strict.  If it weren't for the Shohets picking the movies and my parents having no say, I'd have never watched those movies.  I'm glad I did.

A lot of people wanted to see our boat.  The Gizzi's, friends of Dad's from college, came over one day.  They live nearby.  Jason rowed Amy & Renee out to see the boat once, and all of the other adults came out at one time or another.  Rafe, whom I became good friends with, and I went out to Liberty one day in kayaks.  We spent a while on board and ended up coming back with Clue and Stratego, two board games, to play at the house.  We almost flipped the kayaks trying to get back into them from the boat.  That was the second time in my life that I kayaked, and it was fun!

Every night, after dinner, all the kids congregated at the ice cream bar.  Adam and Rafe could make almost everything, from Oreo milkshakes to upside down sundaes and other made-up specials.  It was fun and yummy!

On Tuesday, our Shohet friends from Pearland, TX were supposed to leave, so the Boston Whaler was put on a trailer and things started winding down.  Melissa told me that with three less kids, things wouldn't be as much fun, and there wouldn't be as much to do.  But, Tropical Storm Eduardo was going to smack Houston, and they were able to change their flight to Wednesday for free, so they got to stay another day.  That was awesome.  These last 4 days were very, very, totally, awesome!  Whoopee!

P.S.  On the last full day at the Shohet's, we went and saw Dad's fraternity brother Keith Gizzi and his family again.  They brought us a car to drive and we ran some errands and then went to their house for dinner.  They made an amazing dinner of a roast perfectly cooked, caprese, potatoes, corn, and more.  Plus they had apple & Boston Cream pie with vanilla ice cream for a succulent desert.  After dinner, they drove us home.

The Gizzi's - Keith, Kara, Hugo (age 4), & Lucia (age 2) - have a newborn daughter Stella.  She is 12 days old.  I got to hold her.  She is cute and tiny.  We had a great time that evening.

Thursday, 8/7/08
                                                                                Day 187

We left the Shohet's place today.  We moved on to see more friends in Cataumet, MA.  We did get to stay at the Shohet's for the morning, and we had a good time, like always.

We got up in the morning and went in for breakfast as usual.  Gerry had taken Steven (Adam & Rafe's grandparents) to the hospital because of something with his leg and Mr. Ralph (Rafe's dad) had taken an early flight to D.C. for a business trip.  Melissa, Rafe, Sonia, Isaiah, & Helen were the only ones home.  We played until high tide when we ate pizza for lunch and then left for Red Brook Harbor and Cataumet, MA.

Red Brook Harbor was only one and a half hours away - nice and short.  I am glad that it was that quick because the weather was, and still is, crummy.  I stayed below the whole time.

That is it for today.  Nothing else happened.  We're going to meet our friends here in Cataumet tomorrow or Saturday.  Today was okay, but life in general is great!
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