Days pass by so quickly on Aftermath! If I were an outsider, I would think that spending a week and a half at one dock without moving the boat more than to turn it around would be getting old, but life here has been far from boring. Since our last post we have been blessed with visitors, learned a lot, done some work, and had a few minor mishaps!
Tuesday brought us a visit from Carol and Jim DeRoche. Carol and I have been friends since 8th grade, but, unfortunately, we hardly ever get to see each other anymore. When she emailed to say that she and Jim would like to come down from Massachusetts to see AfterMath I was thrilled! We had a wonderful time catching up over a Mystic Pizza; the restaurant was the setting of a Julia Roberts movie several years ago, you may remember. Carol and I have known each other for almost 50 years now, but somehow when we get together, we still feel like the teenagers we were when we met so long ago.
Yesterday we had a visit from Kathy and Steve and Caroline, Mark, and Charlie. Kathy is John’s sister, Steve is her husband, Caroline is our niece and Mark is her husband. (It seems so impersonal to put these relationships this way. I have known Kathy since I was 15 and she is as much a sister to me as she is to John, I believe. And Steve has been in the family so long that just calling him Kathy’s husband seems strange, but the relationships are written here for clarity.) Charlie is the youngest member of the clan and we had not yet had the pleasure of meeting him. At first Kirby was noisy and Charlie was a little scared, but before we knew it, both young ones had settled down and Charlie was happy to sit on the floor and play with Kirby’s feet. We were so happy to meet Charlie and to have a little one on the boat with us. After a few snacks and an afternoon of touring AfterMath and chatting we went to dinner at a Mediterranean restaurant nearby where we had a delicious meal of authentic Lebanese food.
Today our good friends, Becky and Judd, came to Mystic to see our new home. We have known Becky and Judd for almost 40 years and trust me when I say we have shared a lot of good times and treasured memories. Becky has been one of my closest friends over the years and we love spending time together. Today we had so much fun showing them both the boat and sharing a late lunch in the pilot house. Something about that pilot house seems to bring out the silliness in everyone! After our meal we went for a ride and a look at the area around Noank and Mystic. It’s always interesting to see the old houses here with their dates of construction on plaques at the front door. Most of the homes date back to the 1850’s and they are beautiful and well kept.
Thursday was another day of learning while Tom, the previous owner of our boat, came and spent time showing us everything we need to know about the systems aboard. In all, Tom has spent four days with us and we think we are pretty comfortable with what we need to know now.
While we wait for the dinghy to arrive, which will be in about two weeks, we are busy preparing the boat for the trip. We are both getting anxious to get moving! In the meantime, I have been working on some sewing projects. I am making bedspreads and throw pillows for the v-berth, I will be covering the mattress in the pilot house with a new cover, and I have altered our comforter for easier bed making. For those of you who are boaters, you understand the issue, but for those of you who are not, nothing is harder than making a bed on a boat. The v-berth is obviously irregularly shaped so you can’t just go to a store and find a bedspread that fits. Our bed is a strange size (extra long double) and is mounted all the way against a wall. Many boaters just don’t bother to make the bed each day, but I really can’t stand messy beds, so I am making everything custom fitted. For our bed, I cut a whole side and a foot or so off the top of a perfectly good, brand new comforter. Now you can kind of pull up the sheets and blankets as neatly as possible and then toss the comforter on so that it covers the bed without having to tuck it in on the wall side.
John has been busy researching what we want for upgrading the electronics and is working on selecting a computer and navigation software. Every day brings another task or two that needs to be done, but all is well and we are getting more ready every day.
As for mishaps, well, I don’t have pictures to share because when mishaps happen they need to be taken care of right away! Actually every mishap that we have had has been a dog falling in the water. Kirby has only fallen in once, but Jake has fallen in four times now! Poor guy! All falls have taken place when getting on or off of the boat. Usually the missteps happen because of overconfidence in making the jump from the boat to the dock or vice versa. Kirby likes to get on and off first and Jake just jumps before we have a chance to move the boat as close as possible after Kirby gets on. We are working to correct this problem, and we will probably buy a ramp to make this easier, but for now both dogs have to wear harnesses all the time so we can reach in and pull them out if they make the splash!
The weather here is starting to get better, but certainly it is not what we relocated Floridians are expecting. We have had a day or two when you could go out without a jacket for an hour or so, but generally it is still to cool for our taste. We did have lunch outside one day and I have had my morning coffee outside a couple of times. Hopefully it will warm up before we take off even farther north to Canada.
We are looking forward to more visits from old friends this week and we are hoping to get some more work done around here so we will be able to leave as soon as possible. More updates will be coming soon, but for now, if you have any influence at all, will you please send some warmth up here!
Until it warms up, I at least have some beautiful flowers, courtesy of Carol, and a little herb garden to keep me smiling!