Saturday, 11/22/08                                                                        Day 294

Today was good.  We got out of school!  After breakfast, we were going to take a quick drive with Dad, run an errand, and drop Dad off at the boat.  On the way, we saw a bunch of antique cars in a lot and a sign for a farmer's market.  So we parked and got out.  The cars were old.  There was one 1958 car that was really cool.  It was a tiny BMW that was 5 ft. only max.  It was like a little bubble with 2 seats, a steering wheel, and an engine.  It didn't even have a trunk or doors.  To get in, the whole front third on the car opened up with the steering wheel and all!  It was called the Issetta.        

There was also an art center next door that was doing a little fair.  There was no farmer's market.  Josh and I each made a picture frame at the art center and Mom & Dad bought a gift for the Lipscombs.

By the time we got out of there, it was 11:15.  The people had set up a campfire and were cooking hot dogs.  Josh and Dad had one.  I was still full from breakfast, but the apple cider was good. 

At the boat, we saw our new TV that is an early family Christmas present.  It is cool.  Then we came home and hung out.

The next event worth telling was at 3:00.  Josh and I watched a movie on TV while Mom picked Dad up.  By that time it was already getting dark!  The sun sets early now.  After dinner, Dad and I finished working on the fishing gear.  Then the whole family watched most of a football game on TV.  Now it's 10:30.  I need to get to sleep or ma'll kill me!!

Sunday, 11/23/08
                                                                                Day 295

Today was a bad day.  We didn't go to church.  Instead, we started the day early with a haircut from Dad.  Next came showers.  As soon as all that was done, we took off for Sam's Club.  We provisioned all day.  We also went to Wal-Mart.  At Sam's, they were giving out lots of food samples.

We were done shopping by dinner time.  We ate at a Chinese buffet.  We had missed the owners.  A stupid idea to shop all day.  We didn't even get home in time to go fishing at sundown, and today was perfect for it.  We came home and watched football.  Like last night, I need to get to sleep.  It's late.  Maybe, hopefully, tomorrow will be better.

Monday, 11/24/08
                                                                                Day 296

Today was okay.  The days (most of them, at least) have all been the same.  The same routine. (See 11/14/08 for the morning routine.)  After the morning routine, we do some combination of playing with some toys, playing imaginary games, playing on the computer, working on the website, and watching TV.  There might be a snack somewhere in there.

So, all of that happens until the evening when Dad comes home and we have supper.  Then we have a piece of chocolate, do this right here (journal) and turn on the TV or something like that.  Tonight the Green Bay Packers are playing the New Orleans Saints.  We're going to watch that.

I'm beginning to like watching professional football.  It's quite interesting.  Tonight I'm rooting for the Packers.  They are favored to win.  The commentators do stay that the Saints have more of a need to win.  They have been out of town for 42 days and need to win this home game as a morale booster.  Bye, bye now.  The game's starting.

Tuesday, 11/25/08
                                                                                Day 297

Today was slightly different from the normal routine.  The day was sdrawkcab routine-wise.  In the morning, we ran errands with Dad, and then dropped him off at the boat.  Afterwards, we went to the dentist and Mom got a haircut.  Then we got home, ate lunch, and did school.  We got done about the time to pick Dad up.  So, today was not better than the last.  Dad made a usual yummy dinner.   Not enough happened today to keep rambling on about.  Anything else I write (including this sentence) is just to take up space.  So, I'm signing off.  Bye, bye!

Wednesday, 11/26/08
                                                                        Day 298

Today was an "abnormal" day, or so you might call it.  What I mean by that was there was no routine that we followed.  We spent most of the day in Gloucester.  Dad did work on board all day.  We went to Radio Shack, Wal-Mart, and Quiznos for lunch.  Around 1:30-2:00pm, we returned the car to Enterprise.  They drove us home.  Luckily, Dad did get to use Zimmerman's courtesy "car" (actually a giant Ford F-250 that looks like a monster truck).  The boat got splashed today and it's ready to go, so the next two days will be spent gearing her up.

We have to work on Thanksgiving.  Our day won't be much.  Dad bought "Thanksgiving in a box" - a box of pre-stuffed turkey breast.  It'll be okay anyway.  I wish we were back home celebrating with family.  It was always a great day back home!  It was .... splendiferous!  Whatever. I should stop thinking about what was and begin thinking about what is.

We spend the rest of the day working around the house.  Dad came home, and he and Mom worked on the boat without us for a while.  We watched TV. Then Mom & Dad came home and we had dinner and watched TV together.  Today was good.  Really good.

Thursday, 11/27/08
                                                                        Day 299

We had a decent Thanksgiving Day - the parade, a nice dinner and a football game. 
The day started with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade from 9:00am until noon.  I love seeing it.  Watching that could be considered a tradition among our family.  Some of the acts were really good this year.  My favorite was the Rockettes (they are always my favorite).  Last year we actually saw them live in Houston.  They can kick their legs so high - over their heads! And all in perfect unison.  They are very good.  I wonder how much training it takes to be that good.  And we had to stick around for Santa at the end.  He was dressed really nice this year.  I wonder if his fashion designer - elf is hireable!

After the parade, we made a few trips bringing our stuff from the house to the boat.  We moved almost all of it.  Then we settled back in to the warm house for dinner.

Though we had "Thanksgiving in a box," it was still yummy.  Not a feast, but a nice supper.  We had turkey (pre-packaged, stuffed turkey breast), cranberry sauce, mandarin oranges, candied yams (actually sweet potatoes) and a pumpkin pie that Mom made.  While everything was cooking, we watched the Dallas Cowboys vs. Seattle Seahawks football game.  They (the Cowboys) have a tradition of playing on Thanksgiving Day.  At half-time, they were winning 24-6.  We ate during half-time.  Then we watched them go to a 34-9 victory!  Pumpkin pie finished up our wonderful evening.

So, we had a nice day.   Tomorrow is Mom's b-day.  We have a great breakfast planned for her.  It'll be great.  As great as today!

Friday, 11/28/08                                                                                Day 300

Today was Mom's birthday!!  We tried to make it great for her, but she couldn't do nothing or anything lazy like that.   She had to work.  At least we started it great for her.  At the end of the day, she rated it a 6.5 on a 1-10 scale, so we did well.

I had started to talk about the morning.  We (Dad, Josh and I) got up at 6:00am to start making a wonderful breakfast for Mom.  We let her sleep in until 7:00am and not start working early.  While she slept, we prepared coffee (Dad), fruit shish kabobs (Josh), and ham & cheese omelets (me).  On the side, we gave her a small piece of pumpkin pie because she loves to eat that stuff for breakfast.  So, Mom woke up to a wonderful breakfast of OJ, coffee, a thick ham & cheese omelet, a mini fruit salad stabbed on a sword (the kabob thingy), and a sliver of pumpkin pie  topped with a generous blob of whipped cream.  She loved it!  I have to say, it was quite good.

For the rest of the day, we packed up from the house.  By the afternoon, we had cleared the house of all our personal belongings and cleaned .  We spent the rest of the day putting everything on the boat away.  It was boring.

Uncle Gary is flying in and arriving in Deltaville around midnight.  He will travel with us until Beaufort, NC and go offshore as crew with us to the Bahamas or Turks & Caicos.  I am glad we will have him here to help,.  He is also good, funny company.  He will be great fun.

So now I shall go to sleep and wake up tomorrow with Unc (a nickname) on board and us leaving for the first time in about a month.  I can't wait.  Oh yeah, by the way, today was between good and great.

P.S.  Today is the 300th day of our trip!  Wow!

Saturday, 11/29/08
                                                                        Day 301

Today was special.  We left!!  Getting gone from Deltaville, VA is almost as big as leaving Kemah, TX (see 2 /3/08).  We have been stuck here for almost a month, getting work done.  We have gotten everything from the transmission-to-engine mount to the propeller shaft replaced (that means the entire back system in the running of Liberty).  Plus, a lot of other stuff has broken and been fixed/replaced.  But we're all fixed up and squeaky clean now!

Uncle Gary is on board now and we put him right to work.  We all helped put everything in the salon (mostly provisions) away in lockers & baskets & such.  We put the new ultra-faux leather cushions in their places for the first time.  They look amazing!!  Go to
Our Boat to see pictures.  We tidied up the boat on all sides (including topsides and downsides) and cleared the dock of all our junk.  I made multiple runs to the dumpster.

We cleaned up and cast off the lines shortly before noon.  It was cold on the water.  Rough also.  We sailed, motor-sailed, and motored.  There was a small problem with the mainsail halyard (hoisting line), and it got stuck at the top of the mast.  Dad said that I could get it from the top when we anchored.

Dad and Uncle Gary made the glum day a bit more exciting by successfully flying our new asymmetrical and mizzen spinnakers!  The two new sails are huge!  They are red, white and blue and are really cool.  We must have looked spiffy from off the boat.  I'll never know.

The sails really picked up our speed (for the short time they flew) and we got into Mobjack Bay around sunset.  We got off to a late start today, so we decided to only go as far as Mobjack Bay today.   I baked a quick Caramel Cake (the same as on Mother's Day 5/14/08) for Mom's DAB (day after b-day) and topped it with caramel-pecan sauce.  It was a really tasty dessert.

It'll be time for bed shortly.  Maybe I can get one more game/round of Gin Rummy in with Uncle Gary.  Today was okay.  Tomorrow's weather isn't going to be any better, so I think it will also be only okay.

Sunday, 11/30/08
                                                                                Day 302

Today was dismal (quite fitting for the day's prime event).  Not dark, not sad, not overly gloomy, horrible weather, boring, dangerous, or good.  Just dismal.  It was very cold for most of the day.  It started out in the high 30's, but got a bit warmer as the day progressed.  It rained all day.

I woke up at 6:30am when we raised the anchor. But, it was so cold and rainy that I didn't poke my head above decks until after lunch.  For most of the morning, I worked on the website and played with Josh.  Bro and I also got on our computer to play a bit.

The first time I poked my head up, it was to see something really cool.  The USS Vicksburg was going past us and into the big naval yard at Norfolk, VA.  I got to call it on the radio and ask what type of ship it is.  It is an AEGIS Guided Missile Cruiser!!  That was awesome!

The second time I came up, I literally just poked my head upstairs to see Fort Mull.  It was just another one of the Civil War era coastal defense system forts.

The third time I came above, I stayed above.  We were entering the Dismal Swamp.  The name certainly fit today!  I helped us go through the Deep Creek lock into the Swamp.  I only half like the Swamp.  It's just a straight canal with a highway right next to it and only a fairly thin forest on one side.  I like the Pasquatank River that comes after it much better.  On the Pasquatank River, there is windiness, no civilization or cars, taller trees, more stumps, logs, and wildlife.  Today, we actually did see a good number of birds, including half dozen kingfishers.  It was quite foggy too.  I got to take the helm for an hour or so along the way.  Dad took the helm back as we started to approach the Visitor's Center (about a mile away).  The Visitor's Center is 3 miles into North Carolina.  So, we have undergone interstate travel today.  That sounds kind of cool.

The Visitor's Center has a dock that we tied up to for the night.  We had steaks and salad, and berry ice cream smoothies for dessert.  Then we all watched Hoot.  I like that movie.  Tomorrow we will leave the Great Dismal Swamp and head to Elizabeth City, NC via the Pasquatank River.  That'll be great!  So, good night.  The faster I get to sleep, the faster I'll wake up to a good new day.  Hooray!
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