Fundraising and Fun Raising

Our days seem to flow by, as we attempt to reach as many federal employees as possible to tell them about paws4vets, and ask them to consider pledging a part of their paycheck for 2015.

One of the really cool places to find these employees is at the historical sites. The parks are much quieter now as the season is mostly over, the weather is just glorious, and the rangers have time to talk to us.

(I keep having strong urges to say “hey Yogi, the ranger’s not gonna like this”…)

Yesterday we had to leave the boat at 6am to be at the Coast Guard Drydock Yard in Baltimore for a CFC event. We were asked to speak to the group, and Goose put on a great show for them.

Back to the boat by noon, some lunch, and then computer work until our eyes crossed.

Since Ft Washington is literally across the little creek from us we jumped in the car to tour the fort in the late afternoon.

Although very cool, this fort is another example of govt waste. They built this massive fort, and the two times the British came up the river the fort was abandoned without firing a single shot. In 1812 they just ran. In 1814 the officer in charge thought they would lose, so before firing a single shot, he ordered the fort blown up and they ran too! He was courtmartialed.

So the fort has been here since then and we pay to maintain it (somewhat).

Ft McHenry, on the other hand, definatly saw action as the British not only tried to bomb the fort into oblivion for an entire night, but also sent a formidable force overland to take the town from the rear at the same time.

As we all know from the Star-Spangled Banner the fort held, the British called back their ships and infantry and sailed off into the early morning sunrise.

The fort is an amazing place to visit.

We were able to help raise a replica flag that was raised the morning after the bombardment to show the British that the fort was still there. It was especially sewn for that purpose and is huge!

Behind Shelly is the ‘little’ flag coming down…

To date we have made presentations for the Marines at Quantico, the Coast Guard, and the Dept of Defense Inspectors General offices. We leave at 9 this morning for Fredericksburg and Ft Detrick for another presentation. Lots of people to talk to about helping veterans stop committing suicide due to Post Traumatic Stress.

Time is already flying by. The weather has turned cool in the mornings, with highs in the 70′s and it feels like winter is just around the corner. We will stay as long as we feel we can before we have to sail south. (Remember someone has to outside in the cockpit in the weather piloting the boat so we can’t wait too long!)

Time to go to work!








Let The Campaign Begin!

We have sailed and motored Yume over 1200 miles from Marathon in the Fl keys to Washington DC to help an organization called paws4vets get more funding.

Every year federal government employees are encouraged to pledge and contribute to their favorite charity. The cumulative efforts raise over 250 million dollars spread among 2500 of the best charities in the county.

Fully half of paws4vets previous two year's contributions have come from the DC area. Our hope is that by being here, and representing p4v at as many events as possible this campaign season (Sept to Dec) the overall contributions will be increased.

We get out of our shorts and flip flops, put on some slacks and nice shirts and tell the paws4vets story – over and over and over. It is story that never gets old.

Today was the Dept of Defense Office of the Inspector General. This is a BIG office with multiple layers of serious security…

Last week we stopped in Quantico Marine base for an event. We were able to take the time to visit the Marine Museum which was just awesome. If you ever get the chance you must visit.

We are in a small marina in Fort Washington right off the Potomac River just ten miles out of DC on the Maryland side.

And yes, there really is a Fort Washington which guarded the entrance to the Capitol. When we get over to visit, I'll tell you more…

We rented a car to drive in today and the traffic was simply awful. They tell us the 14 miles to DC can take four hours on a bad day. Yuk

What we are really looking forward to is being able to visit all the museums and other historical places in around the Capitol. Ryan's homeschool will be very heavy on federal government and American history these next few months!

A weather front came through two days ago and the temps went from 93 in the day to highs in the 70's. I hope it is not a sign of what is to come. I already miss Marathon.

Just trying to catch up and keep in touch. Thanks for your emails and calls. It's great to hear from you!


Yume Sails Into Chesapeake Bay

The newly repaired windlass hummed under Ryan’s foot switch bringing in the anchor and rode from the bottom of the bay where President Lincoln, General Lee and hundreds of thousands off others had anchored since forts were built on the north shore of Hampton Bay.

The Monitor and Merrimack fought to a standstill 2 miles from here.

I love history! We toured Fort Monroe this morning on a beautiful clear Sunday. This place takes in an amazing 52 acres, is moated and is the largest stone fort built in the US. Try to visit…

Now we are four miles out sailing up into Chesapeake Bay under the hot last day of August sun, headed north to our next anchorage for the night. The crew is sunbathing.

The trip from Wilmington to Norfolk was breezy at best. The wind came to the Northeast and blew hard for four days. We ended up motoring most of the way, and some of it was a little rough.

Traveling up the waterway is like traveling through the past. These towns were once the hub and center of the community where all local foods passed through out to the rivers and needed items came in by water.

Now they are all sleepy southern towns with the old style Main Street downtown, where people are super friendly, know each other and are glad you are visiting.

For four days it was pull up the anchor by 615, and head north through the sounds, rivers and man made cuts that make up the intercoastal waterway. We would go to 530 or 6 and find a place to anchor, usually by one of the old towns like Bellhaven, Elizabeth City, Morehead City and take Goose ashore to just walk.

If we could travel in a day what a car does in an hour we were happy. Of course, we are moving our home…

Because of all the rains, we were fortunate enough to be able to pass through the Dismal Swamp Canal. This place is awesome. Much of it was cut in the 1700′s by hand to 12 feet deep and 50 feet wide and was dug for 20 miles! Think about that…

It passes through beautiful parts of NC and Va, is full of history, and a joy to pass through. Pictures cannot do it justice.

The canal itself has two locks. We left Elizabeth City about 3 and ended up looking at the wall of a lock at 530 that would not open until 830 the next morning. So we turned around and anchored in a narrow split in the channel.

After we found a place to run Goose and had returned to the boat, we noticed a crab pot and line had become wedged in the rudder. It turned out the only way was for someone to get into the water and cut it off. Yuk. Guess who got voted that job.

That was a hot, muggy night at anchor in the middle of a ‘swamp’ with plenty of mosquitoes.

The next day was perfect. Like the first day of fall. First thing in the lock, we rose up eight feet for much better visibility. Here we are going in.

And going out after being lifted.

After motoring 20 miles (including a stop at the Dismal Swamp Hwy 17 Rest Stop where we pulled up to dock and cars were pulling in from the highway. Boy did they stare!) we ended up at Great Neck lock and were lowered back down to sea level for the entrance into Norfolk.

What a culture shock to be in a quiet, tree lined canal then 1 hour later to be in Norfolk and the largest natural harbor in the world!

Four of the five US Navy carriers were in port. They are big! The pic is not the best but…

We spent a night in a marina, getting fuel, doing laundry and miscellaneous errands. Then it was back out and up to Ft Monroe.

Tonight we sit at anchor in Horn Harbor, halfway to the Potomac River.

We celebrate 29 years of marriage tomorrow and Sept 2 is my 59th year on the planet. Sheesh.

We will be at sea, but looking for someplace cool to be. Maybe Mount Vernon?

It is just 150 miles to Washington DC and the Combined Federal Campaign for paws4vets. If you don’t know about that visit We have come more than one thousand miles since leaving Marathon.

This was the plan before we even found Yume. You have to love it when a goal is within reach.

We truly appreciate your support and love to hear from you.



The Road To Work

Our road to work this morning sure looks nice.

630, the sun peeks up over the horizon, a fresh 15 knot NW breeze on the face and 300 miles to go to Norfolk!

We left Wilmington at 545 yesterday morning so we could ask for the 600 bridge opening on the river just north of Wilmington. It was dark! Terry Henry was waiting for us at the city docks and came aboard for the 5 hour trip down the Cape Fear River, through Snows's Cut and back up the Intracoastal back up to Wrightsville Beach.

We dropped him off on a dock just in time to catch the on the hour opening of that bridge, then settled in for the next leg of our journey to DC.

Rain had been promised and as soon as we dropped Terry off, it came with a roar. Sails had to come down, and we motored most of the rest of the day.

It is great to be back on the water again!

We got to a good anchorage just north of New River just at dark as a big rainstorm came barreling in. The crew decided to go ahead and take Goose in anyway. Halfway in the outboard quit, and it being easier than find the problem, Ryan broke out the oars and rowed them in and back out.

Luckily for them, I could take pictures from inside. Hehe.

We are just barely making way, waiting for the Onslo Beach Swing Bridge's 'on the half hour' opening. Awesome breakfast smells are wafting up from the galley. And the sun is fully waking up.

We sat on the dock in Wilmington for 31 days. Although docks provide great places for getting things done on the boat, (and for plugging in for air conditioning) much of the magic of living on a boat is lost. Another reason it feels so good to be out there.

Jim and Pat came to visit while we were there. Since Jim is a reader of the blog, it was cool to be able to show him what he had been reading about!

A lot got done while we were there. Fortunately, much of the work is now making the boat look better, and things to make her easier to live in, maintain, and use.

Things like digital voltmeters to see exactly what is going on. And 12 volts run to the cockpit for a new VHF radio, and power supply for the ipad so I can blog like this while steering. ;-)

Shelly chose new fabric for the interior cushions while she was visiting her mom in Marion, and got the first two done the day before we left. They are going to look great!

And Yume is looking very ladylike with more coats of paint, varnish and oil on the teak.

Well, I hear the ringing of the bells for the bridge, so it is back to work. At least traffic is light this morning!



The Yume Odyssey – a Different Approach to Life!