Sunday, February 15, 2015

TrawlerFest, Riviera Beach, FL

On the day Olympia left for TrawlerFest, even the heavens welcomed her trip by greeting her with the most incredible sunrise.  BTW, this picture is the wallpaper on all my devices!  Being the nit picky captain I am, I called the "crew" and asked them to erect the KKY pennant and flag (which I correctly assumed was not in place either).  They said "aye aye captain" and got those flags up in record time - and sent pics to prove it.  LOL

Olympia continued her trajectory of awesomeness at TrawlerFest 2015, this year held at Riviera Beach, FL.  I arranged to attend the last day on January 25 and landed in West Palm Beach airport at 10 am.  I met 2 other Krogen owners who I invited to stay aboard with me that night and hitch a ride back to Stuart on what would be Olympia's maiden voyage the following day.  Yes, she had already plied the seas, but now she would have her proud mama at the helm, so this was THE maiden voyage for both of us!

It happens every I rounded the corner of the dock to where Olympia was holding court, I looked up and suddenly saw her imposing bow rising above me - and I caught my breath in wonder.  What a start to what would be a most extraordinary week!

She's beautiful from every direction!

The guys sent me this picture of Olympia once she got settled in her slip.  I told you that bow of hers is imposing!  Olympia is snuggled up to a sister KKY - Alba is a brand new and gorgeous 48 AE.  There's not a lot of room at these shows is there?

The day was fun - the KKY staff did a great job of reminding folks that Olympia was a private vessel so that no one decided to make themselves at home...

I loved listening to comments as folks entered the salon and had a look around.  There was no doubt who the owner was when they looked in my direction - the room was lit up with my proud smile!  The KKY staff does an incredible job at these shows.  It is an exhausting day for them since they always have to be "on" - answering questions, giving tours, making sure no one sneaks by or keeps their shoes on - all while standing outside in the elements.  Sunday was a gorgeous day - sunny, no wind and moderate temperatures.  It seemed as if Mother Nature did everything in her power to welcome me to the show and the ride "home" on Olympia.

The next morning was THE day I had been dreaming of for 2 years - me at Olympia's helm taking her home to her slip in Sunset Bay Marina in Stuart.  We were up early and had our girl ready to go by 7:15 am.  My trusty mentor Mike Warren would be at the helm with me, never mind with me - actually glued to my side - for the almost 5 hour run to Stuart.

The departure was quite tricky - you saw from the pics above that Olympia was in her slip with not much room to spare.  Captain Mike said we would have to "walk" her away from the dock since there was little room to move forward and NO room to move her backward.  I was very happy to be co-captain at this point and listened intently to his instructions.  We held a pre-departure conference with the "crew"...

With that accomplished, Mike and I wave bye bye to Riviera Beach and go to our battle stations...

Luckily, we had some early morning help getting us away from the dock.  Since Olympia was so tightly docked in her slip, we had to take care as we headed out that her stern was completely clear of the dock while her bow was kept safely away from the end of the dock.

Only now did I breathe a sigh of relief...
Check out that beautiful sky by the way and the way the rising sun is kissing the pilothouse.

So now that we're off, Alba could leave her slip and follow us back to Stuart.  Luckily for me, Larry of KKY was aboard Alba and offered to take some wonderful shots of our maiden voyage.  I was thrilled with the outcome.  But before you see those, I know you've been waiting to see these,,,,

These pics are what a dream looks like when it comes true......

Now that I've wiped some tears away, look at these wonderful pics of Olympia in her element!

I love this one - I'm actually taking her under a bridge, after calling for an opening on the radio!  This is important stuff!

 I hope you enjoyed these long-overdue pictures of Olympia and I finally getting to know one another.  The next post will re-capture her christening ceremony later in that week.

Please stand by.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Queen of the Fleet Has Arrived!

Thanks to the expert navigational skills of my favorite mariner Mike Warren, he and his talented crew got my girl safely into her spot at Trawler Fest, this year being held at Riviera Beach.  Trawler Fest begins tomorrow and ends Sunday.  I'll be arriving Sunday morning to bask in the comments of the attendees.

Judging from these pictures, I'll really be basking!

This is Olympia on her way to Riviera Beach at sunrise this morning.  Why oh why am I here in 28 degree weather when I could be here??????

Safely docked starboard side to, waiting for her admirers to arrive

Olympia's bow makes a statement everywhere she goes!

If I get more pictures from Trawler Fest, I'll be sure to share them!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Dream Will Become Reality......

Next week, the dream that I've been dreaming for two years will come true.

Olympia will carry my family and some very dear friends to a quiet spot where my daughter and I will scatter our beloved father and husband's ashes to become one with the realm he so loved.  As I write this, I am praying for the strength and dignity to honor Tom's memory in a most eloquent way.  Though the memorial service will be small and private, the many wonderful friends I've made during this incredible and surreal journey will be there with me in spirit.  I've already received calls, texts and emails reminding me of the loving support I can expect.  I guess I've done something very right in this world to be the recipient of such love.

So that I don't leave you feeling a bit unsettled, you need to know that I'm going to have the the most wonderful christening ceremony and party for Olympia later that afternoon!  I've invited the entire Krogen family at Sunset Bay Marina plus everyone and anyone that so much as touched Olympia during her build and commissioning process.  There will be food, drink, music, balloons and all things festive going on to celebrate the Queen of the Fleet (my designation).  If you're going to be in the neighborhood next Saturday afternoon (1/31), please stop by to wish Olympia a long and happy sailing careeer.    And yes, there WILL be pictures.  I have lots of folks volunteering to help, so I'll find a halfway decent photographer and assign the task of filling my next blog with spectacular pictures.

Until then my friends, please keep Olympia and my family in your thoughts as we bring Tom's dream to fruition and celebrate a life that though cut short all too soon, was very well lived.

Monday, January 5, 2015

She's Home!

Happy New Year everyone!  Olympia and I send our warmest wishes for a new year filled with good health, blissful happiness, uproarious good times, smashing success - and the love of family and good friends.

What a start to 2015 - Olympia arrived at her winter home Saturday!  She's safely settled - bow in - on C dock in slip C-2 at Sunset Bay Marina in Stuart, FL.  She's excited to be there since many of her "sister" Krogens are also there.  She is impatiently waiting for the parties to begin!

Her arrival was anticipated and greeted by many well wishers.  Among the well wishers were those who were absolutely bursting to see Krogen's newly designed 55' Expedition.  Olympia did not disappoint!

In just less than 3 weeks, I will be reunited with the subject of my dreams for so long.  I'll be flying into West Palm as usual, but this time, I'm heading to Riviera Beach for the last day of Trawler Fest.  The plan is for Olympia to head back to Stuart at first light on Monday - with yours truly at the helm.  Of course there will be a cast of "helpers", but the helm will be mine!

I found out that the chairs I ordered for the salon on September 13th were finally delivered - not to KKY's office as planned, but to Apex Marina.  After a few phone calls, all was well - Tom Button went to Apex to retrieve the chairs, which are now safely stored until they can be brought aboard.  I'm delighted that they'll be there for my visit.  At last another place to sit other than the settee!  Things are falling into place.  I arranged for Olympia's spa schedule so that she will always be gleaming and also arranged to have her generator oil changed - we're already at 53 whole hours!

Since not much will be happening until my visit at the end of this month, I ask your indulgence for this unavoidable dry spell.  If the marina's Wifi cooperates, I promise to regale you with the happenings of my visit - which by the way will culminate with a memorial service for Tom and Olympia's christening.

What a time it will be!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all my wonderful readers!  It's been an incredible year, but I have a feeling that with Olympia in the picture, next year will be even more incredible.  

By the time boating season rolls around, our Tucker will be old enough to join me at the helm.  For now though, he's mastering the art of a red Radio Flyer tricycle!

This is Christmas!

Enjoy a wonderful holiday season everyone!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Trip PIctures and Story!

OMG, and what a story it is!  Enough to say that the guests I brought with me from NY were calling me Captain Bligh by the end of the trip and singing "It's a Hard Knock Life"?  I guess they failed to hear that this would be a working trip with just a few short "sun" breaks.

We took off from Long Island's MacArthur airport on a 7:05 am flight on Thursday, December 11.  The weather was a sleety mix of wet snow and freezing rain.   Lovely weather to be leaving, even though the de-icing of the plane made us a tad nervous.  Frequent checks of The Weather Channel on our iPhones promised glorious Florida weather for the duration of our trip.

We were not disappointed for one second of this trip - Florida served up some of the best weather I've ever seen.  Crystal clear azure blue skies with not a trace of humidity.  The mornings were cool - in the high 60s -, the days warmed up to the mid-70s, and the evenings cooled off to the mid-60s again.  Though it got progressively warmer during our trip, it was delightful.  We were in bathing suits by Sunday!  Well, the girls were; I was in working clothes the whole time.

Upon arrival in Stuart, I headed to KKY's office where closing paperwork awaited me.  The form on top was the one that produced a fountain of tears -  "Acceptance of Vessel".  Though I technically owned the boat, this form was the final step in saying, "she's mine".  Each line that stated my name as "owner of the vessel" was a reminder that this was a sole ownership, something that was never contemplated on  July 1, 2013 when Tom and I signed the Purchase Agreement.  For those of you who have not yet had the good fortune to sign closing documents on a boat, it is a moment of truth as well as a moment of sheer excitement as the possibilities of a new life burst forth.  My tears were tears of joy to be sure, but also a mixture of fear, anticipation, trepidation, pride and a whole host of other colorful nouns.

We were quite a procession leaving KKY's office - in addition to Gregg and his new assistant (won't even attempt to spell his name), my guests - who now included 2 more friends who had just driven over from Sarasota - all piled into cars for the 2 minute trip to Apex Marina.  Gregg followed in a KKY truck that was laden with all the "stuff" I had ordered and had shipped to KKY's office.
This is what the cockpit looked like BEFORE I brought the things from my storage bin aboard!

Once everyone and everything was aboard,  I announced that we were now going to empty the storage bin.  My guests thought they were going to rest after the ordeal of their flight.  When we got to the storage facility and the contents of the unit were revealed, groans could be heard back in NY.  They thought I was kidding when I said the unit would be emptied then and there and stuffed into the 2 cars with us.  Though the cars looked like the doors would pop open, we got everything in and eventually onto the boat.  I say eventually because the one constant that never changes and is inversely proportional is that the more stuff you have, the less likely there will be a dock cart within miles - and the boat will be on the dock farthest from civilization!  We flagged down any and every able body with free hands that made the mistake of coming into our line of sight.  Several hours later, everything was on the boat, including the 2 huge suitcases of summer clothes I brought to put into Olympia's closets.
It was now cocktail time and here we were with no cocktails, no glasses or cups from which to drink the cocktails and no place to sit outside except for the floor.  It was a tense few minutes until a lovely human being with compassion brought over a bottle of wine and some plastic cups for this all important late afternoon ritual.  The ritual started less "late afternoon" as the week progressed.   I thought you should know that.

So lest you think we didn't find time to have fun, we certainly did.  This couple is more near and dear to my heart than words can say.  Ron was Tom's graduate school college roommate when they did their Executive MBA program back in 1981 where a stay "in-residence" was required at the beginning of each semester.

By virtue of their last names ending in "E", a life-long friendship was born.  These people flew up to NY immediately upon hearing of Tom's passing and stayed with me in the house for the days leading up to his memorial service.  Our children grew up together, we attended first holy communions, confirmations, graduations, weddings, births, and every other life event in between.  We traveled together and spent countless weekends in each other's homes.  To maintain the tradition of being there for each other, they drove over from Sarasota to share my first night aboard as Olympia's owner, despite knowing ahead of time that there were few creature comforts aboard.  I cherish these people.

The next morning, we sent Ron out for coffee and something to eat while I acquainted myself with some boat basics.  I think it was a mistake to do this on an empty stomach, but that realization came after the fact....

Yikes, and that's not everything!  Later on, I took more peeks, but this time, fortified by alcohol-based spirits.  Smart move.

Our first night aboard, we decided to dress Olympia in lights.  Between the bow lights, pilot house lights and cockpit lights, our girl was quite a sight....

She looked pretty good in the daytime too, from a few different angles...

Though the lighting is not ideal, I wanted a few pictures of Olympia looking like real people are living aboard.  I've put out a few personal effects - just enough to make Olympia look like mine.  There are still some work items around, but she is starting to look like home.  What you didn't get to see is me walking around clutching the pillows, putting them in every spot until the right spot showed itself.

Looks better without the plastic on the settee, right?  I'm sure I'll change things around, add pillows, rugs, etc. but this is definitely a start.  The things are from Serenity, which also makes everything even more special.   Though hard to see, the bigger pillows are from my Huntington house.  They are a cinnamon and ivory plaid with dark green fringe that perfectly picks up the dark green granite.

The all-important bar is getting set up.  Once the radio is installed in the cabinet beneath the bar, there will be more room for more bottles!  I'm hoping to fill the bookshelves with some of our favorite books and an accessory or two to add a touch of class.  Tom loved a carved teal duck someone had given us, so I'm looking for a place for the duck to call home.  The duck is still in NY, so will have to wait until Olympia is here to move aboard.

The galley got well used during this trip.  My newly delivered All Clad pots and pans found a lovely place in a large cabinet.  My guests bought me a Keurig with assorted Kcups, so we could face the mornings.  I'm thinking of putting a model of a J boat above the sink on the back of the cabinet that's facing us.  We did something similar on Serenity; it looked really nice.  I have some plastic tumblers and wine glasses in the glass cabinets, but will replace them with some Waterford pieces (now that I found my Museum Putty while unpacking).  The storage under the steps is awesome!  In addition to several steps lifting up for storage, there is a door in the curve of the steps that holds a 15 roll pack of toilet tissue AND a case of water, with some room to spare!

The master was fun to decorate.  A KKY friend called to ask if I needed anything from Bed, Bath and Beyond - poor girl - I gave her a list!  Luckily, all the pieces I ordered shipped from NY arrived and were ready to be pressed into service.  There are no less than 8 pillows on the bed, 2 teddy bears and a beautiful jewelry box Tom brought back for me from a training cruise trip to Barcelona while he was still in college.  I'm covering the windows with fabric from the bedskirt that came with the comforter.  Someone gave me an excellent idea for how to do this - and it won't cost a fortune!  The closets are pretty full - all my clothes are on matching black velvet hangers, all hanging in the same direction.  I found a shoe rack that fits perfectly into the closet - 9 pairs of shoes are all standing at attention in their respective holder.  The guest stateroom is pretty comfy too - same hangers in the closet, sheets and blankets in the drawers under each bed, box of tissues and soon, books in the bookcase over the starboard bed.  Eventually, there will be a perfect print above the bed.

The girls couldn't resist a picture of me as I took a break and climbed out of the lazarette - once they knew what a lazarette was!

The first 2 ladies are the "girls" from my bereavement group.  Without them, I could never have accomplished what I did on this trip.  Yes, we worked very hard, but we did find time to play too!  We enjoyed a wonderful dinner and a gorgeous sunset that evening (which you can see in the background)!
You can see by our bare arms that it was a beautiful evening.

While we were there (Sailor's Return), I decided to walk over and take a look at the slip Olympia will move to on January 1st or 2nd.  Not much to see, but still exciting.

Two nice pictures of the captain taken right before leaving the boat.  If you look closely, you can see the tears in my eyes.  It was very difficult to leave - that in and of itself is nothing new, but since I know how much Olympia depends on me, I felt actual pain upon leaving.

...and in my soon-to-be perch......

I hope you enjoyed the story and pictures.  Next trip is January.  I'll be meeting Olympia on the last day of Trawler Fest and taking her back to Stuart at the helm with 2 helpers!

I'm going to confess to you that I've been typing and attaching pictures for well over an hour and have Tucker staying over, so too tired to do any good proofreading.  Therefore, I apologize in advance for any typos or poor grammar.

Stay tuned for more as the story continues to unfold.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a happy healthy New Year to everyone!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

I'm Back!

OMG, I dropped off the planet while visiting Olympia this past week!

I'm on my way to work, but just wanted to let you know that I will be posting some tidbits - and pictures - from that fantastic trip.  I wore myself (and my helpers) out, but every second was worth it.

Be back later!