Wednesday, April 22, 2015

We're Home!

Olympia glided into her slip in Huntington at 12:43 pm on Sunday, April 19th.  My girl's odyssey is over!

Pictures and a wonderful story will follow shortly - I need to pull the many pictures together, unpack, catch up at work and pack up the apartment for the move to the boat (just for the summer for now).

Be back soon - promise!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Homeward Bound!

Well dear friends and loyal readers, I've said it before and I'll say it now - dreams do come true.

Once my flight lands in BWI tomorrow morning at the civilized hour of  7:15 am, Larry from KKY will be taking me to Port Annapolis where I'll be reunited with my beloved Olympia for the ride home to New York!  As happens with boats, the rendezvous point changed from Norfolk to Annapolis due to favorable weather, superb navigational skills of the delivery crew, my flight plans and plain luck.

The last time I was aboard the subject of my dreams was February 3rd - far too long a span of time to be separated from her!  I'm sure I surprise no one when I say I'm delirious with anticipation, excitement, apprehension, joy, tumult, love - get the picture of me at this moment?

Yesterday, I took advantage of a glorious day to take my convertible (with the top down of course) to the ocean.  I communicate best with Tom near the sea, since that is where his first love of all things boats originated.  Against the roar of the surf, I thanked Tom for all he gave me and for where I am today, anticipating this next huge adventure of what is proving to be an unconventional lifestyle.  I whispered to him that though my heart is broken that he won't be physically present at the helm with me, I am heartened by the knowledge that his spirit resides in every inch of Olympia and how that makes her the most special boat I will ever own.

So many things in life are bittersweet, but none more than this upcoming adventure for me.  It was a year ago this month that I was poring over every picture I received from Taiwan as the building of Olympia resumed.  Now I'm about to take her helm and pilot her home where she will be loved, nurtured, enjoyed and the site of many, many happy and joyous occasions.

I didn't forget the christening pictures, but the next set of pictures you get will be scenes from the trip home. I'm sincerely hoping for clear skies as we cruise under the Verrazano Bridge and past the Statue of Liberty; however, there WILL be pictures of those landmarks regardless of what Mother Nature has in store for us.

So friends, I hope you'll join me for this most anticipated next adventure, the realization of more dreams and the beginning of a new phase of life.

All aboard!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

She's off the coast of North Carolina!

Like a love-sick puppy, I check Olympia's progress no less than several times an hour while I'm awake (I've been going to bed quite late this week).

Right now (as of 12:10 pm), she is off the coast of North Carolina, sort of opposite Camp Lejune making steady progress in the right direction. It appears that her latitude is 34.25434 and her longitude is -77.10927.  I wish I could tell you what that means, but were it not for the tracker, I would be clueless.   It's amazing to be able to see this girl making her way home.  Wait til I tell her how closely her mama was following her trip home!

Tonight is the last night of my 8-hour boating safety class, complete with a test.  Yikes - I haven't taken a test in at least 100 years; you can't believe the butterflies I 'm having all day today!  Luckily, my friend is taking the class with me and is equally nervous about tonight's test.  The reality is that this instructor told us that no one fails and that the material will be reviewed in great detail tonight, emphasis on the words "great detail".  I'm taking courage from that - and from the fact that some students in the class were asking how they can remember port and starboard.  I  hope I don't meet up with them on the water!  Once I pass this test, I'm going to find as many other courses as I can, namely, navigation and weather.  I really don't know how to read the weather - except of course if a T-storm is right over me.  So I guess that's a pretty good course for me to take.

So as I sit here counting the hours until I'm reunited with beloved Olympia, I can't help but feel sadness that this trip to meet her will be taken without Tom.  Yes he is always with me, I know and feel that, but let's be real about the lack of his physical presence.  As it turns out, I will be aboard on the 17th, whether on the water or at the dock - April 17th marks 19 months since Tom's passing.  Even as I type these words I cannot believe them.  It seems like yesterday and forever - all at the same time.

I thank you for your company and empathy as I make this journey.  More on Olympia's progress to follow!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Life in the (very fast) lane

I know, I know, it's been ages since I last posted.  If I said that my days race by and that my "to do" list would encircle the state of Texas, I would be making a gross understatement!

 I have to tell you that I know I owe pictures and a bit of narrative about Tom's memorial and Olympia's christening - January 31st seems like a lifetime ago.  However, I've been finding it difficult to  write about those 2 enormous events.  I should be ok in a little bit of time, but right now, I get clutched when I begin to think about relaying news about that day.

However, I do have momentous news - OLYMPIA IS ON HER WAY HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Captain Mike Warren along with a crew that includes Dan (journalist for some magazines), Tucker (VP at Kadey Krogen in Annapolis) and John Stempke (chef and co-captain extraordinaire) left Stuart this morning, heading to Morehead City via an ocean run.  If all goes well and Mother Nature cooperates, they should be there in about 60 hours.  From there, it's on to Norfolk where yours truly will come aboard for the trip of a lifetime.

John has his SPOT tracker aboard, so I can watch their progress.  Right now (as of 19 minutes ago), they are offshore in the Daytona Beach area.

 It's interesting that John was part of Serenity's delivery crew at this exact time in 2011.  Amazing how my life has changed so incredibly and dramatically since then.  Four years might as well be forty years!

I'll keep you posted on Olympia's progress and let you know when I'm aboard - hopefully a week from tomorrow.  Yikes, just thinking about it makes me breathless!

Speaking of breathless, I just mailed a hefty check to the Huntington marina where Olympia will hold court for the summer.  I'll be with all the big girl boats.  I already have a guest list going - and it grows by the day.  Suddenly folks in the office are stopping by to say hello.  Get it?  Someone that sells Pampered Chef in my office approached me about having a party on board.  Another person from a local wine shop asked about holding a wine tasting.  That would be boring since I'll only serve white wine when lots of folks are on board.  It'll be amusing to see who else crawls out of the woodwork.  I'm sure this summer will contribute many funny stories to this blog.

In the meantime, thanks for your patience in hanging in there with me.  You can help follow Olympia's trip home with me.