Wednesday, 10/22/08                                                                        Day 263

Today was pretty good.  It was not awesome, but it was never bad.  It was cold, clear and windy all day.  We found that it was warmer in town between buildings and such.   While we were on board in the morning, we were tempted to keep the generator and space heaters running.  We didn't.  If fuel were not an issue, I think we would have.

We went into town for the afternoon.  We ate lunch at City Wraps and did some laundry.  While doing laundry, we walked around town.  The fall color and oldness of the town make it quite beautiful.  The waterfront is completely different now that the Boat Show is gone.  There are also a lot fewer people around town.  We also fed the squirrels at the Naval Academy, or at least we tried to.  We were almost 100% unsuccessful.  Only one squirrel took our nuts.  That is okay.

We ate dinner at an Italian restaurant on the waterfront.  We had pizza.  We topped it with pesto, mushrooms, and red onions.  It was delicious!!  They are an authentic restaurant and had good gelato.  We finished with that.  It was a good end to a good day.

Now we are back on the boat.  We are all bundled up and have the two space heaters running.  It's toasting up fast.  I had a good day.

Thursday, 10/23/08
                                                                        Day 264

We had a pretty good day today.  We spent the whole morning working on the website.  We were really just sorting Mom' s pictures, but she says that is part of the website.  I disagree.

After lunch, we went into town.  We started by jerry-jugging water.  We half-filled a 5 ½ gallon jerry jug (that's all we can carry at once) and made trips back and forth from the dock to the boat.  Josh stayed at the dock to man the hose.  I drove the dink and worked on pouring the water into our water tank.  Mom helped with the latter.  We made four runs and filled the jug five times (once when we came to go into town).

Then we went to the post office.  We had to walk all the way to the other side of town to get there.  From there we took the long way home so that we could stop at a Laundromat we were thinking about going to.  The Laundromat looked okay.  They had a drink machine and Josh got an iced tea, but Mom had to get change for another one for me.  I accidentally put the $5 bill in backwards and the machine ate it!!  Mom was pretty angry because there was no one there to talk to.  She wrote a note to the people who own the place asking for a refund and slipped it under a door as the mailman did with the mail.  I hope she gets a call.

Next, we just went home.  Josh and I played Trout.  Mom made Chicken Parmesan for dinner.  That is her specialty.  I was surprised she could make it with our little oven that doesn't heat past 350°!  But it was as good as ever, served with penne and yellow squash!  Hopefully, she will make it again soon!!!  I had a good day!

Friday, 10/24/08
                                                                                Day 265

Today was good enough.  We worked on the website (more photos) until 10:30am.  At 11:00am, we met Dad at the Harbormaster's office and took showers.  We came back to the boat and had a lunch of leftover Chicken Parmesan.  It was just as good as last night.

After lunch, Mom, Josh and I had to go into town so that Dad could take a conference call.  We went to Starbuck's where we could get free, fast WiFi.  We used the good connection to do some stuff and were going to use it to download a trial version of Site Spinner, the new website designing program that we are going to use.  We didn't download it because we thought it would be better to do it after we finished the task of sorting pictures.  Instead, we sat and drank our coffees and worked on pictures.

We picked Dad up from the boat as soon as we were all done. We rushed on to the Academy grounds.  We go there just in time to see the midshipmen start to march to the parade grounds.  They had a parade today.  It was exactly the same as last week's.  It was just as cool.  Mom brought her camera this time and took tons of good pics and vids!!

We left the mooring field very soon after the parade was over.  We had to motor up the Severn River to Maynadier Creek where the Brashers live (see 10/5/08 for info on the Brashers).  It was dark for most of the trip.  I stayed downstairs.  When we got to their house and got the anchor down, we dinghied to their dock.  Mr. Brasher was waiting for us and led us up through a walkway up a forest-hill to their gorgeous house.  It is huge and has great views.  We met Mrs. Brasher.  They also have a sheltie named Gaylen.  He's fun to play with.  While the adults talked, Joshua and I were allowed to go downstairs to the gameroom and play air hockey and foozeball.  I beat Josh 40 to 37 at air hockey!

It was late when we went to dinner with them to an Italian place.  The food was pretty good.  We are spending tomorrow with the Brashers.  It will be great!  They are really nice.  We are gong to go to a Navy football game too.  I can't wait!

Saturday, 10/25/08
                                                                                Day 266

We hung out at the Brasher's all morning.  It was very windy and rainy all day.  It rained on and off, but always blew hard and had a gray sky.  We mostly stayed inside.  We had bought enough Pumpkin Cream Cheese muffins from Starbuck's yesterday for us all to have muffins for breakfast.  They were delicious!!  Starbuck's doesn't make anything better!  We played with Gaylen and air hockey and foozeball.  Bridget came and played some air hockey too.  Foozeball was funny.  We had to keep pausing the game because my players' heads would fall off every time I hit the ball!  Josh won at foozeball both times we played.  Mom did laundry.

At 3:00, we went to a college football game.  It was Navy vs. SMU.  Mr. Brasher had tickets for seats right at the 50 yard line, about 6 rows up.  They were awesome seats.  Before the game, the whole Brigade of Midshipmen marched onto the field and saluted the section of SMU fans.  Then they turned to us and yelled, "GO NAVY!!!"  Then a cannon fired, there was a fly-over, and the players rushed onto the field.  Every time Navy got a touchdown, all the Freshmen did 25 push-ups on the field and a cannon fired.  By half-time, the score was 27-0 Navy.  They had run 251 yards and passed 0 yards!!  They have been the top rushing college in the nation for 3 years now.  The QB, Dobbs, #44, carried his first 8 plays!  They were playing a Triple Option.  That is where either the QB carries the ball, he hands it to the running back, or he pitches it to the tailback.

At half-time, it was pouring and we decided to leave.  The score was 27-0 Navy.  We got home at about 6:00.  We saw on TV that Navy had won the game 34-7.  That means that the Freshmen did 125 push-ups!!  We came back to the boat and had a small supper.  It is cold.  I can't wait to get in bed!!

Sunday, 10/26/08
                                                                                Day 267

We didn't do that much today.  Mr. Brasher kayaked out to the boat early this morning.  He brought Entenmann's donuts and danishes!  This is the second time he's done this (first time was 10/5/08).  So we shared coffee and donuts.  Then Mr. Brasher kayaked back to his dock and we raised the anchor.  We did a touch and go at the Brasher's dock and took Mr. Lance aboard.  We sailed all the way down the Severn to the Annapolis harbor.  It was a peaceful and relaxing sail.

Because it is going to be cold next week, we decided to take a slip so that we could run the heaters all day on shore power.   We turned on the engine as we got into the harbor.  Just as we were turning into the slip, the transmission failed and we could no longer go into forward, only reverse.  We backed out into the harbor and made a big, backwards circle.  We almost crashed into Pusser's dock and a guy told us to throw him a line, but we were not close enough.  Somehow, we backed into a slip.  It turned out to be a private slip for a harbor cruise company.  A guy said, "This is a private slip.  You can't be here."  We replied, "You don't understand.  We have no transmission.  Catch a line!"  He did catch the line and the marina guy was there to help too, but the guy did not want us in his slip.  The next slip over had a houseboat which was his office.  Next to that was our slip.  Mom and Mr. Brasher climbed onto the top of the houseboat and took lines to pull Liberty out of the private slip and spin her around the houseboat into our slip.  The guy wasn't thrilled about Mom and Lance being on his office, but it was that, or we stayed in his slip which he needed.  In the end, it worked.  That is a good thing.

 Mr. Lance left and we took showers.  Daddy had to leave for the airport.  He will be home on Wednesday. Mom, Josh and I went to McGarvey's for dinner.  It was great.

It has gotten cold.  I am glad we can run the heaters.  I think it's going to be in the 30's tonight.  Brrr!  I can't wait for it to warm up!

Monday, 10/27/08
                                                                                Day 268

Today was pretty boring.  We left the boat once.  No more than that.  At 8:00am, when it was somewhere in the 40's, we scootered up into town to the Laundromat.  There, we got the $5 Mom lost on 10/23/08.  They gave it back with no problems.  That walk was a good way to start the morning.

It was cold and rainy all day.  Our morning excursion was the only time that we got off the boat.  We did school and sorted more pictures on the computer.  We really didn't do anything fun.  Tomorrow will be the same.  Maybe it will be somewhat better.  I'm not counting on it.

Tuesday, 10/28/08
                                                                                Day 269

Today was better than yesterday in some ways and worse in others.  We sorted pictures all morning, and then got off the boat.  The weather is worse than yesterday; it is blowing a lot harder.  Around lunchtime we went out for a hot meal and showers.  We went to McGarvey's after showers.  We all got hot soup and sandwiches.  It was delicious!  I love that restaurant.

After a stop at CVS, we came back to the boat.  We stayed here for the rest of the afternoon.  So today was okay.  Not great, but not bad.  At least I've got a good book - The Lord of the Rings by J.R. Tolkien.  You need one in this weather.

Wednesday, 10/29/08
                                                                        Day 270

Today was simple.  We didn't do much at all.  Dad got home at like midnight last night.  We started by all going to Starbuck's for breakfast.  Mom tried to install/download Site Spinner, but it failed.  Josh and I did some school.

Josh came up with the idea of drawing a comic book.  He got the idea from his book.  The comic is called Joe Quick Draw who is a stick-figure cowboy.  Josh is the author and I am the editor, illustrator, and printer.  I know how to copy them in bulk using a printer/copier.  We created the first book:  JC Comics, Volume 1, Number 1.  I made a printer copy for the next time we take the printer out.  As of now, the printer has no ink, so that's that.

On the boat after Starbuck's, we had a light lunch and did school.  We did school for most of the rest of the day.  Mom and Dad have decided that we should leave for Deltaville, VA tomorrow.  We are going to a boatyard there.  Mr. Brasher is coming as crew.  It is 100 miles.  We will have a good passage by the looks of it.

Thursday, 10/30/08                                                                        Day 271

Today was pretty good.  Almost nothing happened until around noon.  We just scootered around and got ready to go on passage.  Mom went alone to Starbuck's and finally downloaded Site Spinner.   We took showers.

At around noon, Mr. Lance Brasher showed up.  Dad was ready to leave so we took off almost immediately.  The scene was somewhat similar to 10/26/08.  Oddly enough, Mr. Lance was on board then too.  Dad was in the dinghy, working to tow/push Liberty into safe water.  Remember, we don't have a good transmission.  Mom had the boat in neutral, trying it in forward every once in a while.  When Mom put it in forward, we just accelerated in reverse, but at the time, we didn't realize that.  (We later found out that whenever the engine was on at all, we were in reverse.)  That made things very difficult.  Mr. Brasher, Josh, and I were all on deck dealing with lines and boat hooks to keep the boat from crashing.  Once, the solar panel array smashed into the houseboat of the cruise company whose slip we pulled into on 10/26/08.  I couldn't stop us!  The last solar panel got its frame completely mess up, but it put a big scratch into the houseboat.  We eventually got out and were able to sail out of the harbor.  (Dad called the houseboat people and told them about the scratch.  They said it wasn't bad and they would just paint it, not to worry. Phew!)

Once we got into the bay, we were flying along at 6+ kts.!  We were having a great time!  It was cold, but the sky was clear and blue, and the sun was shining brightly.  Nothing interesting happened for the rest of the afternoon.  I'm going to stay on watch with the adults as long as I can. 

The Night of 10/30/08

I stayed up until 11:30pm.  The sun set around 6:45.  It got dark fast.  Mom and Josh went to catch some z's around 7:00.  I stayed up with Dad and Mr. Lance.  Mr. Lance, after being in the Navy, was extremely observant.  He wanted to know what every light meant.  He taught me how to find our general area on a chart by taking bearings on charted points.  We passed a nuclear power plant and an LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) transport facility.  A lawyer friend of Daddy's worked on the LNG facility.

We ate a late, hot dinner that Dad heated up, and then Mom woke up.  As soon as Mom woke up, we started getting into the area with a ton of ship traffic.  Every 10 minutes or so, we'd be all over these tankers and cargo ships.  That was around Cove Point, MD.  Some of the ships got very close to running us over, stealing our wind, and not moving even though we had the right-of-way.  Some captains were very rude over the radio.

The stars were very pretty; it was nice outside.  Our speed did slow down to 3-5 kts., but that was okay.  Mr. Brasher insisted on not going down to bed because it was so nice.  He slept in the cockpit all night.  To keep people warm, I made hot drinks like hot tea, hot chocolate, and coffee.  I kept everyone happy.

Josh woke up around 10:30pm after a 3 hour rest.  I pooped out at 11:30pm or so.  Josh and Mom stayed up until 12:30am when Dad took over.

Friday, 10/31/08
                                                                                Day 272

Today was great!  I woke up at 8:30am.  We were about to go into Deltaville.  By 9:00am, we were tied up in the travel lift slip at Zimmerman Marine.  Deltaville is so pretty!  They have lots of fall color!  Josh and I played for a long time amongst the boats.  Finally, after Mr. Brasher had left to catch a train, they lifted Liberty out of the water.  It was a scary thing to watch.  When they drove her away to get power washed, that was good.  All the gunk and barnacles came right off.

We got lunch while they were blocking Liberty and getting ladders.  The restaurant, The Galley, picked us up in a courtesy car.  Deltaville is very cruiser-friendly.  It is known everywhere for its great boatyards.  In the 1940's, it was the nation's boat-building capital! I hadn't eaten breakfast, so I got a half pound burger and ate the whole thing.  It was pretty good.  We had homemade cream pie for dessert.  That was excellent.

Back at the boat, I played around for the rest of the day.  I explored.  This place is cool!

This evening, we took showers and trekked up the road to the town's Halloween party.  There is no such thing as door-to-door trick-or-treating in this town anymore.  That stinks!!  We were dressed as pirates.  This is year #2 for that costume.  The party was only O.K.  There was a really cool haunted forest.  All the businesses were handing out candy.  There was no "trick-or-treat" about it.  There was a hay ride, but there wasn't much hay by the time we got there.  We did meet another family who is cruising.  They are wintering here, getting everything together.  Their kids are going to public school.  We met Sam, their 12 yr. old son.  They have a twin girl who stayed at the boat.  We are going to get together some time. They gave us a ride home in their car that they are trying to sell.

On the boat, I counted my candy.  I got 36 pieces.   I still have charts from Halloween '06.  That year I got 110 pieces.  In '07, I got 70 pieces.  Dad predicts that next year I'll be giving it away!!  Today was great!
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