Still Hull Side Down

Travelogue - April 15, 2015

Cruising, 2015

Cruising the 'Gator in 2015 was abbreviated, due mainly to fretful weather and lack of motivation.

We enjoyed puttering the waters between Charlotte Harbor and the Ten Thousand Islands; I journeyed to the home office once; we stayed at Naples City mooring field for several days (the fishing guides clean their catch adjacent to the dinghy dock, right, which has its consequences to Bump Head). We rode our bikes to the Naples Botanic Gardens - highly recommended, y'all, for its gardens designed by various renowned landscape architects including Burle Marx, Herb Schaal, Robert E. Truskowski (I know, me neither) and Raymond Jungles.

We stayed for a month at the Calusa Island Marina in Goodland, so we could make it to Miami for my flight. Which I missed, when daylight savings time occurred the very night before, who knew?

While I was gone Captain Moe called Rick to ask why we weren't in the Keys where we said we hoped to be, as they were in Boot Key and didn't see us anywhere? Fortunately, Sea Gator was still in Goodland when they sailed through, northbound aboard S/V Double Pleasure (left). It was great to see them!

Near the end of the season we explored some new hang outs south of Goodland, our new favorite anchorage being the pass inside Whitehorse Key. We walked the beach at Panther Key and Gullivan Key. As it happened, we were strolling Whitehorse Key when Jenna Star came into the channel, right on schedule (see her in the left background). So we had the treat of visiting George and Nancy and some of their cruising friends as they all headed north to put their boats to bed.

Land-Based Adventures

Back at La Marina we borrowed the car for a day and drove to the Everglades, touring Shark Valley on our bikes. We were so excited to see an alligator in the ditch! Each time we spotted one we'd stop, ooh and aah, and we counted every one. At the end of the road there was a big pond, with - this is absolute truth - nearly 30 big boys lounging around. We quit counting then.

Soon we put the 'Gator and the house to bed and headed to the airport.

Our trip home included an excellent detour to New York to visit Rick's old friend from Kodak days, Paul G., and his wife Holly. Paul is into his second career: brewmaster and owner/proprietor of Fairport Brewing, Fairport NY. Yay, Paul!

And then on to Newport, Rhode Island, for Louise' and Greg's picture-perfect wedding on the beach! Louise was beautiful in her mother's wedding gown, Greg was charming and solicitous. And their reception featured a clam boil and there was a carousel with horses, and everyone except Matt did the Hustle.

Rick returned to a busy summer of biking, hiking, and climbing. He assisted the Teton County Search & Rescue to help locate and retrieve a lost hunter and learned a lot about working with cadaver dogs in the wilderness. I resumed working the Dream Jobs: LA studio lead and aerobics instructor.

Other summer highlights included:

A visit from our train daughter Jill! Here we are (Gwen, Jill, Pat and Rick) enjoying Cassidy's artisan pizza at Camp Creek.

A fun-filled visit from Louise and Greg. It was their honeymoon, and Greg's first trip out west. They started their trip in Montana and visited all the wonders of Yellowstone, then came down our way. We showed them our mountains, they canoed in Grand Teton National Park, we hiked (right), and we floated the mighty Hoback River on inner tubes. AND, thanks to Louise' encouragement, I and my friend Kisa got brave and joined them for a paragliding adventure! I had hoped you would literally "jump off a cliff" because that would be very deeply satisfying; but instead, strapped to the pilot, you ran down the slope until (hopefully before the cliff) your 'chute caught and you were both swept up into the air. Like a bird.

A wonderful but too-brief visit from Marc and Shana;

A trip with my mom - by train to Denver! - and to her family reunion in Laramie, and we drove home with my brother Dean and his wife Debbie; and then

Another trip with my mom to visit her sister-in-law in Arizona. Also on that trip I had a long-delayed reunion with my college roommate Lisa in Phoenix - we vowed to keep in touch. And my mom stayed on with Paul-Bob and Becky while I flew on home.

Now. Here we are.

We wish you all smooth sailing and calm seas!

- Pat and Rick

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