Saturday, October 31, 2009

a new boat--- a kid's point of view

When you decide that you have enough money for a brrand new "toy" as my dad put it, what would a dad choose? A new grill, a new flat screen, a new car, or a chair for him. What would a kid choose? a new computer, a new pet, a new bike(ahem dad, you getting all of this?), new aquarim(comon' one more couldn't really hurt, could it? iv'e only got.... uhhhh two or three in my room now!), or a new cell phone. What does my dad choose? A boat. what's my reaction? YES!!!!!!!!

Okay, i should have explained that this is not you adverage family... No backyard grills, no room, we live in a forest with a pond and various things that my dad and i have put together, i only use them when i can get the nieghborhood kids to detach themselves from them. The term the more friends the merrier does deffinetally apply to mom's philosophy. Deffinetally not a hunting family, we don't even watch football! (gasp)No, we can proudly prclaim ( and i tell my friends on a regular basis) "nope, i am not normal"! Although around halloween, this has a new twist. ( we have a couple hundered kids every year, and we have had a family from texas come every year, and let's say that my friends get a kick out of saying " you know that house that goes nuts for halloween? The one with the graveyard in the frount yard, and the eyeballs on the roof? Ya, i know 'em!")

A new sailboat.... just a tad bigger than our Catermaran, The Cherokee Sun. We are getting a PDQ 32. "only slightly bigger," says my dad. Yeah, right. I can stand under the deck now! Well, i could do that before, but only because i'm the shortest one in my class! now i have a HUGE bed, a REAL kitchen with a fridge and a stove, a REAL head,( no more port-a -poty!), and ANOTHER BED for my mom and dad, MOT TO MENTION the dining room and all of the deck space! Right, slightly bigger my butt! i think i'm in heaven, except for one tiny detail.... we can't go to all of those awesome places on our trips that we love to go, the ones that need boats with a draft of about a foot. Well, that's okay i guess, maybe i can talk dad into GETTING THOSE KYACKS THAT I REALLY, REALLY WANT. ( ahem, oh daddy dearest, are you listening?) well, i was glad that we had a inflatable dingy, although i love, love, love kyacks! Now that i have my boating liscense, i can legally operate the dingy, and that is just, AWESOME!

to any other teen, the size and the bed would probably be a selling point, but, like i have preveiously stated, i am not the normal teen,at all. I love my exploring habbits, so that is what my dingy is for, i don't let dad operate it that often, he stinks at it. He really does. Failure! (love you dad!) but anyway, the fact is i love The Shoal Survivor, but i love exploring. The dingy on the boat, The Nana Two, after my grandmother in upstate New York, is my best friend.

Although i say that this boat restricts my family's exploring habbits, i am glad that my mom was able to finally make her first journey around the Delmarva. She was a interesting color of green now and a gain, though. i did manage to take off every night on the dingy, and go places that the Shoal Survivor was unable to go, let alone the catermaran. so, i am extreamly pleased about my new boat. and now, i can fit all of my friends on my boat, without it sinking!

When my dad and i compleated our latest adventure around the Delmarva, both of us agreed that it was wayy easier, i think that we cheated. We were used to getting attacked by fly's , cats , and dolphins ( oh my!) not to mention the storms that we got stuck in, and the problem finding slips in small fishing towns. although, we can still go to tangier...... YES! my absolute favorite stop! best place for crab cakes, and all of the cats are pretty awesome. We do need to add bikes to the boat. Dad wants some collapsable ones. ( donations are welcome! Christmas is getting a lot of publicity this year... kayaks are sure to be on sale!) I do miss the extreame thrill of surviving in the ocean, and my friends were just talking the other day about a girl younger than i compleating a trip around the world, sailing of course! Even with the extreamness gone, i still love sailing, and i am getting more nible on my feet. Amazingly, the cat didn't make running on deck soo difficult. on the PDQ, you have to duck, pick you'r feet up and not fall over! quite the trick!

All in all, the PDQ is a great boat, but there are some things that even a new boat cannot beat. it's weaknesses, in my mind at least, are pretty much covered in the strengths. As long as there is a boat to go on, i will be happy and not complain.... to much anyway!

Friday, October 30, 2009

I Had a Sinking Feeling that this would happen

This is the newspaper article that i wrote for the sailing magzine "Latitudes and Attitudes" I mainly decided that this article would be perfect to aggravate my dad and show my six grade teacher ( whom i still despise to this day) that yes, i could write. This article is still the butt of many of the family jokes about dad's anchoring skills and sailing in general.

I look out across the dark murky water of the Atlantic Ocean- and see only water and sand. We've been sailing for days, and opnly seen one big fishing boat, and that was on the horizon. No one lives on the here. This is my second sailing trip with my dad on our catermaran, the Cherokee Sun, from Deal, Maryland to Cape May, New Jersey. Actually, We're going all of the way areound the Delmarva (Deleware, Maryland, and Virginia), what everyone calls the penninsula on the Atlantic side of the Chessapeak bay.The trip is going to take over two weeks, but we are going to see Mom and my grandparents in Cape May for a few days for a break.

it's almost dinner time; correction, it is dinner time! iv'e been exploring the and playing with hermit crabs all afternoon. There are thousands of them in the shallows around Cedar island. I love catching sea creatures- fish, small crabs, snails, hermit crabs, big crabs- and watching them in my little aquarium that we bring with us. The hermit crabs crawl over the pebbles and each other, and my fingers- i wonder, do they know the difference?if they were as hungery as i am, they would be nibbling. Dad was grumbling about the oyster shells earlier. He couldn't really get a anchor to hold well, but as anchoring spots go, this sandy little cove is perfect.

"Jessica!" My dad calls. I jump in the air. " Dinner." Dad has cooked up some of the fish that we caughtyesterday with rice and vegetables. Iv'e been smelling the cooking for the last hour, and it's been driving me mad... so much for the getting away from Dad, who always likes to talk about sailing. When I say talk about sailing, he talks about the technical parts of it and the historical parts. Of course, i like sailing too, although I talk about experiances... oh well. Bye-bye hermit crabs. It's dinner time!

About three o'clock in the morning, all of a sudden i hear "scratch, scrape, creeck" ... the boat's moving! I seem to fly out of bed and my dad gets ready to move the boat to where we want it. We knew the water was shallow, we just hoped it was deep enough. We knew that the tide would go out, but not this far! Quickly, we start the engine, and move the boatout a few hundred yards. Dad puts down one anchor, and has some trouble getting it to hold on the oyster shells... again. We drift back, and Dad gets another anchor out ofr when the tide changes. He has me hold the flashlight as he connects the and disconnects anchors and ropes from each other. Everything is tangled up. We are both half asleep, and the deck light was knocked out during the last storm that we went through. How fun!

He tosses the second anchor, but something isn't right. It's not attached! My dad and i stare at each other for a long second. We both thought that we watched as he hooked the anchor up... but later we decide that we attached it to it's self. There's no wayt to get the anchor back- the water is over thirty feet, and not to mention a strong current, the lack of light, and the visibility quite unlike that in Mexico!

i will never let him forget this one. This is going down in our family history in the dumb file of stupid things that we have done. It's an interesting file, i will tell you that!

For the rest of the night we won't sleep well; we will have to check all of our anchor all night since the tide is going to switch in a few hours, and the boat will swing in the other direction, probably pulling out our only anchor. It's only hooked on shells. Good thing we finally reach land in the morning, Chincoteague! Maybe we will be able to get another anchor there. My dad is concerned that they won't have a big enough anchor for our catermaran, since only small trailer fishing boats are commen there. " Does anyone have a big anchor for a catermaran? we will pay well!"

Anyway, for now, it's time for bed. Again. I'm sleepy and i'm hitting the sack. Tomorrow i'll call mom and tell her about our "overboard anchor problem" as dad put it. I'll tell her the story over and over and over again.

I hope that we'll see dolphins on the way to Chincoteague.That's a different story to tell my frinds. And the ponies! Dad says that we can take the boat right up to the islands where they graze. Iv'e got my camera and aquarium ready! Let's hope that we can solve our floundering anchor problem!

Now, where did I put that hermit crab shell? i thought it was empty! Oh no, not another one that got away. Looks like this is another boring fishing story about "The one that got away" after all!