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
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
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
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.
put in so many hours working just to make sure the Bus can come along?
Her sweet temperament and giving nature, of course.
- 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 rewards of bringing Louis along are obvious.
- 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
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
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.
- 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.
The Knickerbocker Yacht Club raft-up. Needless to say, this crowd knew how to throw a stylish cocktail party!
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
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
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
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!