Departure from DC – Under Two Weeks

As the first frost lies on the docks, and the cold, foggy rains shut down DC traffic to a two hour 13 mile ride, and after almost 40 events in DC and MD representing paws4vets, all of us (and especially Goose) are ready to turn in the car, untie the lines and blow this Popsicle stand!

Our target departure is a week Sunday and it approaches quickly. We are looking at last orders from Amazon, stocking up the larder for cruising, checking fuel for condensation, running engine and generator, and generally getting the stuff done that is so much easier in a dock. We won’t be back on a dock for a while.

All in all, we have had a very good three months or so here. It seems many people remembered us (mostly Goose actually) from last year. When we do show up and word gets around we are in the building, whether it is the Pentagon or EPA or any other three letter office, people come into see us and ask about travels and paws4vets. Let’s just hope this activity turns into lots of donations for veterans and dogs!

Yume is looking very nice. The decks have nice fresh paint, the varnish glows, new cabinets in the salon and much more was fit in between events. We did not travel and tourist this year like last for some reason.

Some highlights…

I won’t tell you the amount of money and labor went into these two winch bases but they do look nice and are angled properly to allow a nice lead for the genoa sheets.

Another project was Shelly’s wish to have cabinets above the starboard settee. Here is a before and after…

First Shelly strips the old varnish from the bulkheads (walls for you landlubbers) while I start cutting and fitting.
And three days later voila!

Painting the deck was fun. It all had to be sanded, taped and coated twice. The tricky part was keeping two very active 60 pound dogs off it long enough to dry. We are very pleased with result. Not only does the boat look great, we think the lighter paint will drop the temperature 10 degrees inside in the summer!

There’s more but you get the idea. Just don’t think we are just sitting up here at the dock drinking piña coladas all day!

On the 21st Tully and I will drive the Tahoe back to Wilmington, NC and I’ll fly back alone same day. We plan to leave Sunday morning weather permitting. It has been interesting to have a one year old Labrador with us for three months but he definately makes the boat seem about 10 feet smaller. For the first month he would give us heart attacks anytime day or night as he would suddenly bark (very loudly) at anything that he was not sure of. Like Ryan getting up for water at 2am. But he has been a lot of fun.

For instance he actually pulls me 2 miles every day on the bicycle. I have to brake to slow him down at times.  Here is a fun little video we made showing them pulling us…

(BTW -did you see this movie trailer we did? )

He is a muscle man in a dog suit! But it is time for him to go pick a client to help for the rest of his working life and get trained how to do that. We sort of think Goose will be glad for some peace and quiet too.

Here Tully is waiting patiently for me to call him at an event at the department of Justice. He will pick up his leash and come to me.

Ryan has gone to live with ‘Grammy’ in Marion until Christmas as he wanted unlimited internet access. We hear he is taking full advantage of the grandmother grandson relationship.

Ian will fly in from Air Force loadmaster training (HC-130J) in Albuquerque for Christmas while we rent a car and drive from somewhere along the coast in North or South Carolina. We plan to meet up with our great friends the Everett’s to visit the Bilmore in Asheville on 12/26. Fun!

Then we all will head back for some sailing until Ian flies back to work, and we head on down to Marathon, Fl.

The plan now is to turn around in March and come back up to Beaufort,SC where we have an awful lot of work to do to get this golf fundraiser going. See what we are doing at

If you know anyone in that area, or any company who would think about sponsoring veterans and their service dogs please let us know!

So next post will find us underway again at long last. Hard to believe we have been here since August and hot weather since now it is cold and no leaves!

Where will you meet up with us?













Updates and Theories From The Capitol

Happy October!

Who stole September? Sheesh. All of a sudden the shorts are put away, the bag with the sweaters has to be found, and I even got some gloves out this morning for our bike ride with the dogs.

That might be a bit overboard, but I hate being cold, and have very thin blood or something. After the northeaster storm that ended yesterday, and four days of 50 degree rainy days I am so ready for the Florida Keys!

We do feel for our friends further down the coast who seem to be swimming everywhere, and catching fish on the sidewalks! We are all thankful Joaquin decided to stay away. Things could have been much much worse had that storm come ashore (or even close) on Sunday or Monday in the Carolinas…

On other topics, I had a chat with a friend after the last post about the refrigerator. He said I had without a doubt convinced him owning a boat and living aboard was something he would never do after following our posts. He said he could never fix everything like I did.

I have been thinking about that and want to point out to anyone else who might be having the same thoughts. If you have a dream, go do it.

If you think about how you will make it happen, or whether you can ‘afford’ it, or whether you will fail, or a thousand other things that will stop you – then you will be like the vast majority of people and never get your dream.

I have found that if I (definitely we) direct our energy toward something, no matter how impossible it might seem, and we really invest ourselves into it, almost always there seems to be another force that is working to help us.

I heard it said like this: the Universe (God) has to help you. When you take steps towards the thing you really want, then God and the Universe will take steps toward you to make it happen. And the thing is, that God and the Universe take much bigger steps than you!

Many of the things we have done on the boat have been failures – at first. But we learn and try again. The refrigerator was one. Sure learned a lot of lessons there! Remember the leaking fuel tanks? More awesome (and painful) lessons.

You might remember when we refinished the top of the salon table as the teak veneer had been sanded through? Well, the construction adhesive was not applied correctly and parts of the table started lifting over the last year.

Finally having enough of plates and glasses not sitting level, I ripped the top off the table a couple of weeks ago.

We came up with a great idea of laminating a world map to the top. It would look great, and we would have a map to use for history and travel plans – cool right?

Except that after waiting a week for the map, and buying a quart of polyurethane, we carefully laid the map on the poly while wet, and watched as the map soaked right through and shredded like wet paper as we tried to make it flat. Duh.

Then it was a frantic hour to get the mess off the wood before it hardened. And back to the old drawing board.

We ended up cutting a piece of birch plywood, staining it, and gluing it down. Then we polyurethaned that! Much better. Moral of the story? We learn as we go along and always have. We make lots of mistakes.

From our first boat, to the horse business, to coaching, to raising kids. You just do it. Sometimes over and over and over…

Now that all the hard stuff is hopefully done, we are spending some time making Yume pretty. The decks are getting a paint job. We pulled everything off the stern and put five coats of varnish on the wood, and rebed all the deck hardware, then put everything back.

Here we have removed the dodger, all the winches and cleats, and are putting down new nonskid and paint. It look awesome!
All while Ryan hangs out behind his computer and creates animations. He is excited to go spend time with his Grammy in western NC and her unlimited internet!
Shelly has almost finished a beautiful hand made quilt. This has been a summer long project and truly is a work of art. It will go on top of our bed for those cold nights that are coming all too soon.

We are fairly busy with our p4p Combined Federal Campaign events here in DC and Md. This week we have five events with an additional Saturday showing at an air show in Virginia.

I have to admit to counting the days before we can leave. I do not like sitting at the dock. Nor the traffic. Nor the crowds. Nor the cold.

But this too will pass.

Next week the Williams family is coming to vacation in DC and we look forward to seeing them. Maybe we can take them for a sail downriver to Mt Vernon!


All the News Fit To Print from Ft Washington Md

We haven’t wrecked or drowned or gotten lost. Probably just a tad lazy. (Be sure to read all the way through – or skip to the video!)

Sitting at the dock in Ft Washington, and already driving in DC traffic (officially the worst in the nation) and knowing I have to be here for at least  another two months has  put me into a funk hard to drag myself out of. Still not there now that I think about it!

I have realized it is very important for me to have a project, a goal to get to, a finish line to cross. Sitting on the boat tied to a dock, waiting for the next event ain’t doing it for me.

But we are making an income.

Let’s catch up…

Solomon’s Islands are on the west side of the Chesapeake and just 20 miles or so north of the entrance to the Potomac River. We enjoyed a beautiful sail down the bay, and into a small river on the north shore of the river about ten miles in.

We anchored in a very small cove with the cutest little white sandy beach and decided to hang around a day or two to enjoy the peace and quiet.

While walking this little beach, we discovered it held a veritable treasure chest of sea glass, which is one of Shelly’s passions.  Between this and other beaches we found a lot of cool pieces. Enough in fact to make a very attractive mobile that is merrily tinkling as I write.

Goose had a blast in the shallow waters herding all the minnows.

From there we hopped across the river about 20 more miles (half day) to Colonial Beach on the Va shore and stayed there two days waiting for US mail forwarding that never came.

The second morning a familiar looking aluminum sailboat came in that turned out to be a boat I had been reading about for months on the Attainable Adventure Cruising site. Cool.

Potomac River   Google Maps

From there it was a long 12 hour slog to windward up the river to another anchorage just 15 miles shy of Ft Washington and almost across from Quantico Marine Base.

The next day we motored up past Mt Vernon and into the little weed filled creek to Tantallon Marina and our home until the November ice reminds us to head south again.

The day after we got here it was off to the airport in a borrowed car to pick up Ryan from his mini vacation in Atlanta. Then a few days later I hopped on a plane to Wilmington to pick up an older Tahoe p4p is kind enough to let us use for the next few months.

Which puts us back on the snarling, angry, backed up and congested traffic they call DC!

Big Announcements! (Well – for me anyway!)

The refrigeration soap opera is over! After almost two years of battling issues the refrigeration works like it is supposed to. I replaced the evaporator (again) and fired it up only to almost cry when it would not get cold. But, being the professional refrigeration troubleshooter I now am, it didn’t take long to figure out some moron (ahem) had soldered in the suction and discharge backwards.

Once this was corrected we heard the wonderful sound of freon hissing (professional terminology) through the plate, frost forming where it was supposed to , and now voila! Everything frozen that is supposed to be frozen and nice cold milk for cereal. What more could a capt ask?

Maybe a little big bigger space in which to work?

So now we are in a routine. The events are coming in. We have already been to Office of Personnel Management, in the atrium of the Ronald Reagan Bldg downtown and Defense Intelligence Agency down in VA. Goose is in his working mode and reading about himself in Bob Drury’s latest best seller.

And we have a temporary companion for Goose. TULLY is a chocolate lab, 11 months old, full of himself and full of energy. He makes the boat seem a lot smaller. He is fun though.

We ride the bikes for the walk in the mornings and whoever gets TULLY does not have to pedal!

And lastly, if you haven’t seen it,  is our video trailer. We had fun making this and are working on the full length release. Coming soon to a YouTube near you!

We send our best and hope things are right in the world for you!


Headed to DC – Fall Around the Corner

I know. August is not even here yet and I say Fall in the title. When you get to be 60 you will understand. Nuff said.

I need to write more often as it is challenging to catch up and give the whole story. But it is also a challenge to write. And how do I know people want to read this stuff that often? (BTW thanks so much for the emails and comments to let us know that you actually DO read this stuff!)

Shelly and I are a week into our alone time without Ryan who is visiting his second (at least we think we are first) family in Atlanta. We got him off to the airport in Baltimore while anchored in Annapolis without a hitch.

He say he never has any fun on the boat. Pictures don’t lie. Just saying.

It has been fun for us – and interesting. We eat completely differently but other than that not much changes without Ryan. Well, there is no one complaining about stuff… We miss him though.

Last you heard we were headed for Tangiers Island. This is a really cool island out in the middle of the Chesapeake on the southern side. Historically the British built a naval base there and used it to launch attacks when they burnt Washington DC and tried to take Baltimore. The families have been here for generations and still fish and crab – although tourism is playing a part since it would seem the govt is trying to shut down any commercial crabbing and fishing.

People were super friendly and talked to us as we walked every road (3) on the island. When we asked one older lady about buying beer she laughed and said they don’t sell alcohol on the island as it would end up causing all kinds of problems. I guess that when your house is 5 feet from your neighbors (who you have known since birth and are probably related in some way) and all your immediate relatives are buried in your front yard, alcohol might become an issue…

Tangiers is the only place we have had to put our Verizon hotspot into a bag and hoist it up the mast to get a signal!

From Tangier we motorsailed 25 miles on a fairly rough bay to Solomon’s Island on the Patuxent River on the west side of the Bay. Actually it is the river just north of the Potomac… We liked Solomons a lot. Lots of boats and very low key. It seems like this is a place where people from all over inland Maryland keep their boats as there really isn’t a town to speak of for people to live!  We hung out for a couple of days and then headed north to Deale Md about 30 more miles up the Bay.

BTW it takes us (depending on wind direction and wind speed and current direction) about 4.5 to 6 hours to go 30 miles. Last 30 miles we did completely under sail into the wind and took 10 hours!

Deale is the same deal. Hehe. This is a very small sleepy place crammed full of boats but no people. Strange. On the weekend the place comes alive, but during the week we seem to be the only ones around.

This is the only place Yume has been warned about speeding. I guess we were exceeding the 6 mph limit. I looked at the knotmeter and we were going 6.2 mph. No joke.

Then there was Annapolis. We made the mistake of coming in on a Sunday. Yowsa there are a LOT of boats in Annapolis. To get to Annapolis from the south, you have to go around Thomas Point Light. This is a really cool lighthouse!

We made our way in on a bumpy, breezy bay full of all kinds of boats coming and going. As we passed in front of the Naval Academy there were two different sailboat races going on and it was bedlam as they were in the channel.

Once in the harbor there are so many boats it boggles the mind. Like most cities, they have installed moorings in most of the anchoring spaces to create revenue and stop the lowlife type people who just put a junk boat on an anchor to live cheap. Their moorings are ridiculous at $35 night. We had the Spa Creek Bridge open up for us and unsuccessfully tried to find a place to anchor.

So we had them open it back up an hour later and left the harbor for Eastport which is the next river south and still part of Annapolis where we found a nice place to anchor with a couple of other boats.

It was time for Ryan’s 17th birthday bash which we celebrated by buying an ice cream cake and eating it all day as it melted. How much fun can you have? It is so hard to believe we have a 17 and a 23 year old son. (Remember what I said about Fall?)

Then quick as a wink he was gone on an airplane and we were alone for 18 days!

Shelly and I spent a few hours walking around Annapolis. As far as history goes this is awesome. The State House is where George Washington resigned his commission after the  Revolutionary Way, and where the Treat of Paris was signed.  Last year I had lunch in a tavern and sat in front of the same fireplace Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and many others would have sat and talked news of the day. In those days ships from England and France would come up the Bay to Annapolis and everybody got off there as it was much easier and faster by coach to the Capitol in Philadelphia or later DC than by boat.

We have been puttering around a bit. We made a trip across the Bay and south to visit Oxford Md. This is another old town (1662?) that we love to walk around in. Shelly’s parents kept a sailboat here when she was a little girl (last century) so it was sort of a homecoming for her.

With the wind behind us Yume sailed wing on wind for 3 hours back to Annapolis from Oxford.

Then we had some  mechanical issues. The salt water pump for the main engine is acting up. I replaced the seal but then couldn’t get it to draw through the strainer, and had to bypass it to keep running until we can replace it.

Then the refrigerator started acting up again. I’m starting to think this thing does not like me! I am pretty sure there is a blockage of something in the tiny capillary tube and am waiting until we get someplace settled before I tackle that one.

We decided the hell with it, and left Annapolis headed towards St Micheal’s to explore. I realized the wind was on the nose and it was going to be an uncomfortable ride and had almost decided to head north under the Bay Bridge when we found the salt water pump was throwing a lot of water. Again. Crap.

With the refrig and the sw pump looking dicey, and waiting for payments due before attempting any major repairs, we decided to just start heading for DC and the marina we will be in for the next three months. We aren’t more than five days and maybe more if we sail and not motor. At least we are not in a hurry.


As soon as that decision was made I saw some baitfish in the water, threw in the fishing lure and a small striped bass grabbed it. He was tasty!

We turned back to the south and beat our way against a strong SW breeze for six hours the 18 miles to Deale. Instead of going all the way into the harbor and adding an hour each way to the trip, we anchored more out in the open for the breeze and an early start.

Unfortunately the swell from the bay curled around the point and rocked us badly all night. Neither of us got much sleep.

Then we sailed against the wind again the 30 miles to the Solomon’s, tacking all the way across the Bay at least six times and ended up sailing 62 miles in 10 hours. Yuk. At the end of the day this ugly storm front chased us into the harbor.

All is good though. With a nice supper, and a cool beverage or two we are cozy and comfortable anchored up in a creek and telling you the story!

In three months we will freezing our butts heading for the Fl Keys as fast as we can go!

So we enjoy today as it is given.

Are you?


The Yume Odyssey – a Different Approach to Life!