This adventure has barely begun and already we are feeling fulfilled beyond belief. The last few days have been a flurry of excitement, fun, memories, people who are so important to us, and support that we can’t even imagine. A while ago John told me that even if something happened our first day out he would be happy because at least we would have done it. Well, just a few days out, I realize how completely right he was in that statement. We hope for four years for our experience, but no matter what, we are unbelievably grateful for what we have already had.
Our trip from Duck Island in Westbrook to Stratford, CT was, once again, thankfully uneventful. We chose a marina in Stratford because the yacht club to which we once belonged in Bridgeport and the marina where we kept our sailboat, Solitude, before that could not guarantee us a dock. With the christening scheduled, we didn’t want to take any chances, so we reserved a dock on the Housatonic River in the town where I spent most of my early childhood years. Boating up past Short Beach where I learned to swim as a very little girl and where we walked out to the lighthouse during low tide brought back fond memories of my father taking us to the beach. At 2:00 on Wednesday afternoon we were safely docked and ready to prepare for the christening to happen on Thursday. Chris and Sam Alesevich showed up with 100 clams and a huge salad. Along with some shrimp cocktail and a pasta salad we had quite the feast for dinner that night!
Thursday morning, John started shining up the boat while Chris picked me up and took me to Costco, BJs, Wal-Mart and Shop Rite to get everything we would need for food and drink for the christening as well as provisions I wanted for AfterMath before we got too far underway. Becky Everhart came early to help us set up and before we knew it, the time had arrived for the big event. Everyone was able to walk around the boat and grab some snacks and then gather on the dock while John and I proceeded to the bow for the ceremony. Unfortunately the gnats arrived about the same time the christening started. Standing up high above everyone gave us quite a funny sight while we watched all of our guests batting the bugs with the pamphlet we gave everyone so they could participate in the ceremony itself! Thankfully we didn’t talk long and everyone was able to return to the boat where no bugs followed along. Regardless of the swatting and fanning during the de-naming and christening, I think everyone had a wonderful time. We were so happy to have so many dear friends and relatives come and share the fun with us. We missed all of those who wanted to be here but could not, but we know that they were all here in spirit.
Here is an assortment of photos of the christening and our guests, thanks to Chris, Judd and Caroline.
We planned to leave Stratford on Friday, but we had an issue with the inverter on our boat and decided to take care of that before we moved on. An inverter changes 12-volt power, such as in your cigarette lighter in your car, to 120-volt power such as the plugs you use in your house. When we are underway, John uses a computer to help with navigation and we like to be able to make coffee and plug in phones and such when we are at anchor and are not using a generator. Apparently, a hose clamp that had loosened up this past winter and sprayed salt water had done some damage to the circuit board of our inverter. John called around and found a replacement in Branford and, once again, Chris and Sam came to our rescue. Sam picked up John and off they went to get the new part. They then came back to AfterMath and spent the entire day installing the new inverter in a safer place in the engine room. Meanwhile, Chris came and picked me up along with Kirby and Jake and took me to their house where I did three large loads of laundry and went in their beautiful swimming pool while the dogs ran around their fenced in yard. We have a washer/dryer on our boat, but it is small and we just had let our laundry get behind. It’s so nice to start out on our trip with all of our laundry done, clean sheets on the bed and fresh towels in the bathrooms. After a nice dinner with Chris and Sam last night, we said goodbye, thankful that we were able to spend time together and that our friendship had been rekindled.
Today we left Stratford after a pump out and putting some fuel in the boat and had a glorious day on the water. We made it to Manhasset in New York and have now logged over 100 miles on AfterMath. Tomorrow we hope to go through New York City and start our journey up the Hudson River.
We are so happy that all is going so well and we are so thankful to our friends and relatives for being there for us these past few days. We just can’t imagine life without these wonderful people. We love you all!