Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Beautiful day for a boat ride

It was nice to be able to sit on the bow, if only for a few minutes, to enjoy a beautiful day for a boat ride. Too many of these days go by without me even noticing.
Today I did.

Since I have been back to the boat, it's been about 2 weeks now...well, it's been EXACTLTY 2 weeks now but who's counting, it's been one of those trips where everything seems to happen. It seems like every day there has been some unexpected issue for me to deal with. If not boat issues, life issues from home. Some hitches just go like that.
Or, if something isn't exactly wrong at the moment but I know in the back of my mind it won't be long before that something is going to go wrong. Anyway, today I felt quite confident that I could escape the noise of the engine room for a bit and sit and relax.

Of course, my trusty camera was with me and I was a bit put off that while I was peeking over the bow, not one dolphin came to entertain me. Flying fish were everywhere but they're just a bit too quick. By the time I can even process that those darting little morsels are within camera range, they're gone.

A last visit to the bow before sunset found me no luckier than I was earlier. Today just wasn't my day to photograph dolphin. That's ok. Tomorrow is another day....for some of us.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

You never know.....

This photo doesn't have a lot to do with the subject matter of this post, but what photo do you use for something like this.

 Last night I'm folding my laundry like it's just another day. I actually separated my whites.
My wife would be happy to hear that news. As I'm performing this most mundane task my mind keeps wandering to my cousin who passed away last Friday. It was very unexpected. No, this isn't the same cousin I mentioned just a week or so ago, it's a different one. Seems our family is in a bit of a slump.

One week ago my cousin was in a court room, doing what lawyers do. Seven days later, he's dead, due to the cancer that has ravaged his body.
What type of cancer? Does it really matter? That damn "C" word.

His children, all grown didn't have a clue. My cousin, from what I understand, didn't have a clue.
His mother, my Aunt, convinced him one day to go see a doctor because Mother's have that special gift of knowing when something is wrong with their child. Even when that kid is in his 60"s.
To old to be mothered? No.
To damn young to die? You betcha.

So, I go about my day here on the boat like it's just another day. There's just something wrong with that. As I walk in the engine room doing what I do to earn a living, a family in Delaware has their world crashing around them.
And I just go on checking my engines.

One week ago this family cruised along, clueless. Today they don't have a Dad. Life is tough sometimes.

Talking to a guy on the boat about this, and his comment was, " well, it's better that he went fast."
I'm not sure and his family might not agree. I don't know.
I've  had first hand experience with both options in my lifetime, as  many of you have.
My Dad dropped dead on a stage while giving a speech. My Mom fought lung cancer for a time. I'm not sure what way is better.

If I had to vote on it, I'd abstain. 

So life goes on for the rest of us but reality strikes agin. 
I would suggest hugging your family members the next time you see them, because you just never know. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Got gators?

Most days I handle being an adult quite well. Somedays it's just not fun.
Remembering the carefree days of childhood tonight.
Remembering family reunions, big and small, complete with seriously competitive basketball games in my driveway, played with cousins, many of whom had no business dribbling a ball, but did so, with great gusto.

Just remembering tonight.

After a few years sailing down here in the swamps of the Gulf of Mexico, tonight for the first time I saw one of these prehistoric looking buggers.
 While taking these photos I took an extra step back from the edge of the boat...just in case.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Negative? Me?

I do believe I blame my blogging drought on the fact that I gave up cable news for Lent, and have continued with this quest ever since. Granted, I pretty much have no clue what's going on in the world, and some may say that's a bit irresponsible but hey, my blood pressure is down and my spirits are up. In time, this may change....watching cable news and my blood pressure.

The downside is, I have nothing to write about. I've learned that my blog was fueled mainly by news reports that I could complain about, but hey, it was such fun!

Anyway, here are a few photos...just to hold you over until I can find what direction this blog will be heading in in the future.

As of now, it's pretty much dead in the water. Pun intended.

When we were recently visiting Zion National Park, we stayed at a place called Zion Mountain Ranch. Oh, I highly recommend both if you find yourself in Utah someday. Unbeknownst to me the ranch offers horseback trail rides....if I had known that I would have ran the other way, because well, me and horses don't normally get along. Don't get me wrong, I love those big beasts, but that's the problem, they are BIG BEASTS! Ok, I'm scared of them, alright?

But, because I am a GREAT husband, I treated my wife to a ride through the neighboring canyon on horse back. Pictured below are me and my wife,  one person is right at home in the saddle, the other is not. I'll let you decide who you think should be in the saddle.

 I think we were driving toward Flagstaff, AZ when we came across this rainbow.

And this........
well, that's just stupid.

I do believe tomorrow is Hump Day.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Revisiting the Grand Canyon

I posted some pictures of the Grand Canyon, where I was lucky enough to have visited again recently
while on a trip to Phoenix to visit my daughter who lives there.
 My wife, my oldest daughter Erin and my youngest Keely headed off on a road trip to see one of the grandest sites you can ever see.
 I received some comments that were very nice, some saying things like, have never been there but thanks for sharing the photos.
 Let me be clear here. These photos posted here do not even come close to capturing the majesty that is our Grand Canyon. Not--even--close.

 Maybe this antidote will make it a bit clearer. The day we were visiting this great hole became cloud covered as the day wore on. We were hoping to catch a Grand Canyon sunset, but I really had my doubts. It wasn't looking good. But we decided, what the heck, we would head up to the Canyon resort on the North rim, just in case the clouds cleared. We were fortunate. The gods were on our side and let just a bit of the sunset peek through the mostly cloud covered canyon. Being a resort, there was quite a few people around there for the same reason, armed with cameras, to catch a Canyon sunset. Taking a glance around at any time I bet I could see 50 to 75 people, positioning themselves for a photographic opportunity.

The voices of those people could be heard, until the sun started to set, and the light began to paint another masterpiece  on the Canyon walls. As it became more spectacular by the minute, the decibel of the voices lowered. By the time the sun had set, even though I was surrounded by all these people, it was as if I was in a church. The few people that spoke, were whispering. That's the affect this place has on people. To say it is a religious experience is not a stretch. It is a place words can not describe. Until you see it, you won't understand it. If at all possible, a visit to the Grand Canyon should be on everyones bucket list.

 My daughter Keely, with the best view in the house. This awesome experience was doused a bit because my family wasn't there as a whole. My middle daughter Bryn was missed and mentioned among us every day. Some day Bryn will join us on a return trip. It's a must.
Do your self a favor if you haven't already. Visit this spectacular place.

A Prickly Situation

Coming from an area of the country that is very green,
I was infatuated with these crazy plants
in Phoenix.

And I took way too many photos,
but here are a few.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Should have went

There was a funeral today for my cousin. Geography and a difference in age kept us from being "close" over the years, but as time marched on it seems now the difference in age wasn't as large.

I had every intention of attending his funeral today. Having a job that takes me away from home one half of each year, decreases my chances by 50% of me attending these family sad events. When my work schedule permits, I like to go to support my relatives. So when this date overlapped with a scheduled appointment I had with a skin doctor, I found I could not attend my cousins funeral, and I feel terrible about that.

My current issues seem miniscule compared with what the surviving members of my cousins family are going through, and that's because they are. I feel terrible I didn't go. I should have found a solution.

Thankfully, my sister travelled the many hours to Buffalo NY, representing the rest of us who could not make it. For that I am grateful.

I hope his family finds the peace that this photo represents....

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Grand Canyon

I recently returned from the Grand Canyon, and upon reviewing some of the photos I realized what every other person who has visited this beautiful place has realized, and that is, words or photos does not do this place justice. 
So, I will speak no more on this magical place.

I will post some photos, well, because I have a blog, and that's what we do. 

Sunset on the Grand Canyon

Daughter Kelly with the best view.
Unfortunately for us, Bryn, my middle daughter did not make the trip with us, and she was missed.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Crew Change

Crew change day. Off with the work cloths after 3 weeks and on with the good cloths that have been on a hanger on my wall, looking at me for 21 days, almost mocking me.

Clean up the boat, finish the paperwork ( thanks to Homeland Security, the Coast Guard, ABS and other governing bodies there is plenty ) leave my crew change notes for my relief and tell him how good everything is running ( whether it is or not ) pack my bag and head for Pennsylvania.

It hasn't rained in Texas in like.....105 years, but today, on crew change day, the day we have to get a launch to take us from the anchorage to shore, the day we all rush to get in our rental car and make it to the airport so we can all make our flights, the Texas sky has opened up like we're doing a remake of Noah's Arc or something. 

But that's ok. It's crew change day and I'm pretty darn happy.