Friday, June 2, 2017

Happy to be Cruising North!

Today we took on 342 gallons of diesel and cruised 41 miles to the Little River Inlet which is on the border of South and North Carolina.  We sit looking out at the Atlantic for our last night in South Carolina, safely on anchor.  This time both the Captain and First Mate agreed upon the length of chain we put out and the exact location for dropping the anchor.  We have learned a great lesson on anchoring and won't forget it any time soon.
It feels good to have water and wave action beneath our feet and the sounds of wind and current to lull us to sleep tonight!  And we can sleep easy because our trip home yielded good news and plenty of accomplishments.  First and most importantly, Al can now sleep on his back and finally recline in the Stressless chair he has had on board for over a year!  Yeah, his eye is healed, doing well and he is "bubble free" so he can see more clearly.  The eye doctor was very happy and will not see him again until August for a routine recheck.  And the orthopedic doctor injected his hip the first day back at the "dirt house" and Al is walking with only occasional soreness and stiffness.  The final diagnosis is severe arthritis of his right hip and a hip replacement is likely sometime in (we hope distant) future.  For now, he can have repeat injections, up to 3 total to "band-aid" the problem and allow us to travel to the Northeast coast. He also had a "real PT" treat his hip for a few weeks so he has an exercise program to continue along the way.  (I was always the odd man out as the pediatric PT in the department!!)
Erik and his dad spent all their spare time in May working side by side to refinish the mahogany center console and boat interior of the 1972 Boston Whaler that was Al's pride and joy for years and Erik's gift for graduation.  

They both have become experts at sanding and applying AwlWood to the many pieces disassembled earlier by Erik that we hope, Erik can reassemble on his own! While they did their garage work, I spent my free time hanging out with my favorite family and their 3 girls, doing physical therapy and other therapeutic activities.  I saw some progress in the short time home and thoroughly enjoyed my interactions with the girls.  And since we stopped in Raleigh on the way to Hendersonville, I had quality time playing with my grand niece!!  This is what I used to do for a living, pretty fun eh? 

Head in midline and Happy Apple getting smiles! That is what I like!  

Ainsley is such a strong little girl! Working on head control was always the center of my therapy time with babies.  Brings back good memories but also reminds me that my body is older and not meant to be planted on the floor all day!! 
Then we ended the month home with a fun weekend trip to the Indy 500 for the 101st running race.  And the highlight was meeting a fan of this blog, Greg C., who is a race fan that has worked with Al  for years at Bridgestone and who got our boat card from Al at last year's event.  He has followed our blog regularly ever since "living the adventure vicariously" as he put it when we met up at the Friday night social event.  Our frequent conversations with old friends were not about the race nor about Firestone/Bridgestone, rather they centered on our adventures and everyone's interest in our trip.  That was special for us! And we enjoyed the race as well. 
I had a special treat with a meet up with Johanna, another pediatric PT friend from Ohio days who lives in Indiana and attended the race.  We had a great chat before the race started. 

We enjoy passes into a Gasoline Alley suite which gives us this great view of the main straight and the pits. This is the first pace car lap as things got underway. 

Plenty of fans have filled the stands and the excitement is building! We have great viewing seats thanks to the many years Al put into the race program!! 

Erik had a great time with his buddy Griffin who was happy to be the "chosen friend" to be this year's Indy companion!  

Nothing makes us more proud than a big sports event on Memorial Day weekend to celebrate so many troops who have kept us free and safe from losing our independence! 

We have a "bird's eye view" of the first 3 cars passing the timing pylon. Doesn't get any better than this! 

We also have great views of pit stops right below where we sit.  And add to all this, the access to good food and a very clean bathroom, we are happy race fans! 
So we managed to take off on Tuesday, 5/30 and split the road trip back to our water home over two half days of travel and get settled back into boat life.  We did some errands, got things settled and had a nice dinner with my sister, Carol and her husband, Pete last night. Now we can enjoy another sunset on anchor!
It is sooo good to be back to cruising but it was also a very good visit back to the "dirt house" and being with Erik for the month of May!  
We are truly lucky people!! More cruising!

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