Ship's Log

September 19th, 2008:

We apologize for the long stretch between updates, but the past two months have been just about the most hectic time of our lives here on SARABANDE.  

There's been so much going on that we've barely been able to keep ourselves fed and washed, let alone in communication with the outside world! Please forgive us.  It doesn't mean we don't love you, and no, we haven't left on our trip yet!

It's just been such a strange, exhilarating time of firsts, lasts, learning new skills, and seeing long-awaited plans finally take action as we barrel through the last few weeks of our time here in Jersey Cityl

So, what exactly do we have to show for ourselves since the last update?  Here's a rundown, in chronological order:

- the last weekend of July, we organized all of our "land based" possessions that we won't be needing for the next couple of years into a series of totes that would fit into our pickup truck.   All the space heaters, heavy winter coats, snow boots, extra blankets and other necessaries for wintering aboard in New Jersey were driven to Virginia to hibernate in the corner of Mrs. Collins' garage (thanks, Mom).

- the first weekend of August, we  successfully passed our SCUBA course.  The SCUBA tanks that came with the boat also passed the dive shop's safety tests with flying colors!  Getting the knack of breathing underwater was such a thrill, and we can't wait to dive in beautiful, clear warm water! SCUBA could be an invaluable resource when it comes to maintaining and repairing the boat as well.  And for catching dinner!

- The second week in August, Alicia began spending most weekday afternoons volunteering at Louie and Sheba's Brooklyn veterinary clinic.   In order to accompany us on our trip, the pets need all kinds of blood tests, certificates, vaccines and microchips to satisfy the customs requirements of all the different countries we'll visit.  In addition, they'll need their own medical kit for emergencies, and the amount of supplies it takes just to keep Sheba up and running is formidable.  Alicia struck up a deal with her former employers, and they kindly agreed to let her barter her time for their help in getting the pets ready for their world travels.

Why put in so many hours working just to make sure the Bus can come along?  Her sweet temperament and giving nature, of course.

The rewards of bringing Louis along are obvious.

- the second weekend of August, Alicia crammed her way through the "technician" and "general" class study materials and aced both exams to attain the penultimate nerd trophy:  a HAM radio license!  Now we can legally talk with others, access valuable weather information, and even send emails through our ICOM 718 SSB radio under Alicia's new FCC-assigned alias:  KC2TVQ.   A word to any fellow nerds thinking of taking the test: studying Gordon West's books worked for us!

 - the third weekend in August, retired Navy corman Mr. Tom Eagles and his wonderful wife Karen traveled to New York just to impart their medical expertise upon us, thanks to the generosity of Alicia's "Uncle Jim" Feigley.  Mr. Eagles, Mr. Feigley and Alicia's father all served in Vietnam together, and have considered each other family ever since.  Mr. Eagles is a kind soul who's saved countless lives of soldiers and civilians alike.   He not only provided us with a complete medical kit from his company, NA Rescue , but he spent hours showing us how to use it.   SARABANDE is now stocked with enough supplies to open up a small clinic, and we feel much better prepared to deal with injuries we might sustain during our trip. And we put some very professional-looking sutures on an injured pork chop!   Thanks, Tom and thanks, Mr. Feigley.  We sure are lucky to have you guys on our side!

Us, Tom and the lovely Karen aboard SARABANDE.

 - the fourth weekend in August, we traveled to a gorgeous ranch in Colorado for Alicia's brother's wedding.  It was absolutely beautiful, and Alicia has a wonderful new sister-in-law, Angie!

Alicia shares a beer with one of the friendly ranch horses.

Tommy and Angie do it up right!

 - the last weekend in August, we and our friends Brian and Joe took our boats to Northport in the Long Island Sound and met up with several boats from our marina, including Jenny and James aboard ESPERANZA and Frank and Ada of MANATEE.  We're grateful we got to spend some time entertaining such good friends.  Brian and Joe also introduced us to the Knickerbocker Yacht club, a wonderful group of salty men who rafted up nearby.

Brian, Joe and MAIDEN VOYAGER in the East River, on our way to Hell Gate.

The Knickerbocker Yacht Club raft-up.  Needless to say, this crowd knew how to throw a stylish cocktail party!

 - August 29th was the last day of Brian's five and a half years of work at the SoHo House New York.  His co-workers gave him an emotional send-off and some really thoughtful gifts.   Very nice folks there, and he already misses them!  He also already misses lounging in an air-conditioned room all day.

Brian moves out of the projectionist's booth at SHNY.

 - Oh, yes:  on September 13th, we up and got MARRIED!  Thank you to all the loving family members and our amazing friends who helped make the day special for us.  Check out our brilliant photographer's photos here (enter the event ID as "alicia_brian").   And here are the photo strips from the photo booth that we made for the reception.  

So in short, we got through the past two months mostly thanks massive doses of caffeine.   There's been no time for sleeping, eating, or other such frivolous leisure activities.   After the wedding, we went on a shopping spree at Defender Marine and bought ourselves all the goodies we've been waiting to cross off the shopping list for a long time:  a brand-new life raft, fancy-pants life jackets (SOSpenders to all you boaters), spare GPS units, mosquito netting. All the usual newlywed equipment!

With the wedding behind us and the days getting shorter, we've thrown ourselves into the final boat projects, buying provisions and working out final preparations.   The evenings are getting chilly, and it's almost time to go!  We've been saying goodbye to New York by visiting all our favorite places and our favorite friends, which has been bittersweet.  It's made us realize what an incredible city this is, and how much we'll miss the people we love here.  But there are other incredible places to soon see, and we'll carry our friends with us in our hearts, all e.e. cummings-style.

This website is about to get a lot more interesting!

Alicia & Brian (old married couple)

PS - If you ever feel up to the challenge of making your own wedding cake, or you have another event coming up that warrants the baking of an enormous cake, here's the recipe that worked for us!


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