Update from Ft Washington MD

How many 16 year olds get to wander the halls of Congress, in and out of Senator offices, where so much history has been made?

Not many I bet.

This is outside the Senate office that was occupied by John Kennedy.

 
 

We would like to say Ryan and Goose were asked to speak to the U.S. Senate, but this conference room was open so we shot the picture!

We all visited every Senator’s office where paws4vets had operations or business, told our story, introduced Goose, and asked for help. It was interesting, fun, we were very well received and helped on our way with recommendations and help where they could. The halls of the office buildings were very quiet as Congress is out of session with a lot of politicians home fighting for their political lives.

This week our goal was to visit the monuments and Congress to talk about p4v as our other events have slowed down a lot.

Yesterday the White House was on the list. You can’t even get close to the “house of the people” as there are armed guards out two blocks in a perimeter every 25 feet. Those are just the ones we saw.

We have enjoyed other less highly guarded places, although every single place we have been has security to make the airports blush.

The Thomas Jefferson memorial was really cool. After coming from the National Archives (documents like the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution) reading about Jefferson’s life surely gave us a much greater appreciation of what the U.S. is about, and how we seem so close to losing it.

We have also visited the National Botanical Gardens, Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, Union Station, the Senate Offices, and all the war memorials.

After our events Tuesday and Wednesday, given decent weather we are planning to sail the 12 miles upriver and anchor 5 blocks off the Mall so we can easily walk to the museums without having to worry about parking.

We have driven about 1500 miles in the rental car covering events from Aberdeen Proving Grounds north of Baltimore, over to Ft Fredrick in the middle of Maryland north of the city, and down into Virginia. Traffic is just awful. It sure will be nice to head south again at 6 mph and not have to worry about a billion other drivers, crazy roadways, one way streets etc.

We even found time to go to an air show in Leesburg and pass out lots of cards, Although it is hard to see, Goose was absolutely fascinated by the model planes flying upside down just 50 ft away from him. I really, really wanted to let him chase it down!

Meanwhile back at Yume, work on the boat has almost stopped. Shelly did finish the interior cushions and they look awesome!

I am making lists for things to do once we turn south and start moving again. Spreader lights, varnish, deck paint, rigging work etc.

Until then, we continue to focus on this opportunity to create as much difference as possible for the paws4people foundation by raising as much funding as we can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 http://paws4vets.org/CFC. 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 Yume Odyssey – a Different Approach to Life!