Autumn evenings are drawing in, leaves in New England are turning fantastic colors, and the sky is that astonishing clear blue that tells us it is time to head south for the winter. We will leave in a few days.
Meanwhile, we have glorious memories of the best summer yet. Weather was moderate, family was all well and visits were a pleasure. The boat is more and more comfortable and settling in as a cruising home.
We were fortunate to finally be able to visit old family friends in California last month by air. We stayed in a mountain cabin belonging to our friend Jenny at nearly 6000 feet behind Los Angeles in a wilderness area complete with real bears, condors (they say), and coyotes. Nev and I felled dead trees, varnished doors, fixed lots of stuff, cleared brush, and enjoyed the sunshine and exercise plus Jenny's excellent cooking. After all that recreational eating, we will be dieting like mad.
Now we will keep close watch on the hurricanes listening to their latitude and longitude position reports on the weather radio each day and plotting them on our weather charts. These weather monsters are not to be trifled with. They are hard to predict because they whirl about somewhat like a child's toy gyroscope wobbling across the surface of the Earth spreading unbelievable destruction. Our many friends who live in Florida and nearby states are often on our minds as we watch news reports on friends televisions. So many homes have been built right on the water along the Atlantic coast, it is inevitable that the normal appearance of hurricanes at this time of year causes such tragedy. The ocean needs enough room to accommodate that much wind and waves, so it is no place to build a house or a business, and it should be reserved for park type usage so that all can enjoy the beauty in fine weather and get clear when the storms come. But this year, even homes built well inland were destroyed. We think global warming may be making hurricanes worse than in the past.
We are much encouraged by the development of marine composting toilets that provide an odor free and germ free way to dispose of human waste. This kind of invention could be adapted to regular household use and conserve dwindling supplies of drinking water rather than flushing it down the toilet needlessly. While a refrigerator would be greatly appreciated by this cook, we feel that we are more likely to "clean up our act" and replace our little porta-potty first so as to continue with the ecologically green theme we started when we installed our solar panels, wind generator, and many energy and water conservation measures. There is still much to learn about composting toilets, but we have begun learning all we can. We cannot simply live in such glorious nature without showing a bit of respect for clean water topics.
On returning to the boat after our California visit, we found that thieves had been rummaging through the boat. They did no serious damage and only took pocket change from a box and just tossed Nev's grand mother's watch aside, thankfully. We discussed several ways to improve security and decided not to do so, because that might result in more structural damage next time we have a break in. We have no serious valuables, but will pass along all the remaining "heirlooms" we still have so that others can worry about keeping them. Timex watches cost so little, and they work so well for folks like us! Stainless lasts as well as gold and is stronger, so we can just look at the golden sunsets. The ocean on a sunny day is covered with sparkle, so who needs diamonds? Our thief was not a sailor so we are lucky that none of the boat equipment was taken. Nev's bar locks really did work fine against the crowbars they used, and it was only where we had used other rope based systems that they got in.
We will plan to be in Oxford in the Chesapeake on Oct 22, in St Lucie, Florida on December 3, spend Thanksgiving with Bill Tait in Palm Coast, Florida and celebrate Christmas in the Bahamas.
Our favorite palm trees, beaches, and swimming beaches are waiting for us to return and we are eager to see them and enjoy more of our endless summer style of life.
Love, Ann and Nev
© Anne and Neville Clement, 2004