June 1 - July 31, 2005

We had originally planned a leisurely trip northward through the Bahamas to Florida, where we wanted to visit some old friends from our catamaran sailing days. But it turned out that we stayed in the Caribbean a bit longer than we should have.

The hurricane season officially starts on June 1, but normally nothing much happens until August. And our insurance company doesn't require us to get out until the beginning of July. This year, however, nature had other ideas...

As we describe below, we just barely got out in time, and had to run straight north to Norfolk, VA -- helped along by winds from the tropical storm and other bad weather racing along to our right, to our left, and chasing us from behind.

June 1 - June 8, 2005

We spent a few days in St.Thomas and FINALLY got going, making a short hop to Culebra, the eastern most island of Puerto Rico. Culebra, along with a few other islands, are known as the "Spanish Virgin Islands". We knew we couldn't stay long, as the weather in the Caribbean was starting to become very unsettled and we needed to get north. Besides, it was starting to get unbearably HOT!

Sunset in Culebra

We found a nice place to anchor at Ensenada Honda, a large harbor in Culebra, and enjoyed some beautiful sunsets.

 

During our short stay, we snorkeled in some of the clearest water we'd seen yet. The variety of fish life was spectacular. We also hiked around a bit, but it was so hot we didn't feel very energetic. Beautiful Culebra shore

Although the snorkeling was nice, we felt thwarted in many things we tried to do in Culebra. It took us 4 visits to the airport to finally clear through customs (it turns out the posted hours are more like "guidelines").

We rented a jeep for a day to do some exploring, but that turned into a bit of a fiasco. The rental place gave us a vehicle which had about 2 drops of gas. We quickly learned that all the stations on the island were out of gas and it wasn't until mid-afternoon that we got underway. The gas lines reminded us of the fuel crisis of the 1970's.

Crew of Upside Down A real bright spot of our visit to Culebra was meeting two couples (Rolando and Carmen; Mario and Suzanne) from Argentina and Uruguay. Their boat "Upside Down" was anchored near ours in the harbor.

We think that Culebra would be a nice place to visit again when we have more time to explore.

Passagemaking: Culebra to the Chesapeake

June 9 - June 16, 2005

The weather really started to look scary while we were in Culebra, with several potent tropical waves -- the precursors to hurricanes -- forming up nearby. We even used our dinghy to explore some of the local "hurricane holes" in the mangrove swamps where boats can hide out against storms. But we decided that our boat was too deep to take shelter in any of the swamps. Not a good feeling. Definitely time to leave, if we could find a patch of clear weather.

The local Caribbean forecasters were advising boats to stay put and seek shelter -- and not to attempt any long passages. But on June 8, Herb Hilgenberg, the weather router that we had used on our trip last fall, and the most famous and widely respected of the bunch, told us that we had a weather window if we could leave "tomorrow." Needless to say we spent a busy evening getting ready.

The Caribbean islands quickly receded from view as we set off for the Chesapeake under beautiful conditions. Last look at Caribbean islands

For the first 4 days of the trip, we had NE and E winds in the 15-20 knot range. These were perfect conditions for making tracks on a close reach, and we just flew.

Big waves on passage north The waves started to build with the wind. We saw some pretty big rollers passing through.

Even with a reef in the main, we were still heeled over enough that it was a challenge to move around. Below left, Beth is bracing against the cabinetry to reach the top shelf. Below right, the stove swings on its gimbals to stay level. Trying to stay upright on a heeling boat gives you a great isometric workout.

Balancing act in galley Stove swinging on its gimbals

Tropical storm Arlene was ahead and to the west of us when we started the trip. Below left, you can see Arlene in the middle of the weather fax in the Gulf of Mexico. The satellite picture (lower right) shows Arlene to the west of the Florida panhandle and lots of other nasty looking weather to the southeast. The "X" marks the position of our boat. We just barely stayed in clear weather, using the nice winds generated by the edges of all these storms.

Tropical storm Arlene looming off to the west Satellite picture of nasty weather in the Caribbean, including T.S. Arlene

 

Large squall in the distance Although we avoided the really big storms, we saw lots of nasty squalls.

 

We used the radar to avoid squalls as much as possible, altering course to dodge the worst ones. Usually we moved faster than the storms, but we really got nailed by one squall that caught us unexpectedly from behind. We had to reef in 30 knots of wind from full hoist, with the sail plastered against the spreaders.

After we reached Norfolk we discovered some small tears in the sail, caused by the spreader tips. Fortunately, the tears did not become a problem on the passage.

Getting caught like that made us more conservative, and we started reefing earlier.

Using radar to dodge storms

 

Protected from elements in pilothouse The pilothouse makes a nice, comfortable refuge from bad weather. We didn't really mind the rain.

Storms do have their redeeming aspects -- we saw some amazing cloud formations and rainbows.

Towering clouds in the distance Rainbow after the storm

Aside from a few squalls, our trip was very pleasant -- which was remarkable given the bad weather around us. The satellite pictures below from June 13 and 14 show the little pocket, or window of clear weather that Herb found for our trip. The "X" marks our boat's position.

Satellite picture from June 13 Satellite picture from June 14

 

Cruising at hull speed For the first time on a passage, we were able to break 200 nm/day. We saw one day of 223 nm and at least two others over 200. The winds were just right for hitting hull speed (about 10 knots) for prolonged periods. Overall, we did about 1300 miles in seven days.

 

Ken beaming at our speed and progress. During the first 6 days of the trip, we motored for a total of 18 hours -- less than 13% of the time. Ken pleased as punch with the boat's performance

All of a sudden, on June 14, the GPS started showing our "speed over ground" as about 7 knots, even though our boat instruments showed "speed over water" of 10 to 11 knots. In other words, we had somehow hit an adverse current of almost 4 knots. None of the weather charts showed this current, and Herb didn't know anything about it, but it persisted for about ten hours.

Vertical meander in Gulf Stream

The next day the weather charts started showing a Gulf stream "meander" (just left of the arrow in the picture.) Basically the Gulf stream had pushed down to meet us, and had given us our own personal adverse current for a whole day.

Had we been able to see this chart a day earlier we could probably have stayed away from the problem.

Normally we use the electric autopilot to steer the boat, but we also carry a Monitor windvane as a back-up mechanical steering device. We had used the windvane only a few times in the Great Lakes and we decided to test it out on this passage.

Monitor windvane steerng the boat

The windvane has a paddle which sticks up into the air and reacts to changes in the wind to keep the boat on a set course (relative to the wind). The paddle turns a small rudder, and the force of the water hitting the rudder swings it to one side like a pendulum (technically it's called a servo pendulum). That motion gets transferred to the ship's wheel and finally to the ship's rudder through a set of lines and pulleys.

 

If this sounds like a Rube Goldberg contraption, it is, but it really does work. These devices have taken lots of boats around the world.

Best of all, it uses no electricity, and has few parts that we can't fix (unlike the autopilot, with its integrated circuits).

Monitor control lines turning the wheel

We didn't have high expectations that the windvane would be able to steer our fast boat in big waves and brisk winds -- but we marveled at how well it worked. The monitor steered almost as well as the autopilot -- and definitely much better than either of us.

Unfortunately, the fishing wasn't very good this time. We had a few fish on the line early on but they all got away. There was even one monster fish which took almost all of the line from our reel before finally breaking the 50 lb line.

Flying fish catches Up to the last day, flying fish were our only take from the trip. And we didn't really catch them -- we just got in their way and they crashed into us.

 

Tiny flying fish Normally the flying fish were 5-8 inches long -- but we found this tiny guy lying on the deck. Beyond the reach of CPR, unfortunately.

 

Ken got so desperate that he fashioned a lure from one of the flying fish that landed on our deck.

Didn't catch anything with it, though.

Flying fish lure

Fortunately, Ken's persistence paid off on the last day of the voyage when we landed a small mahi-mahi.

Tropicbirds checking out our fishing lines We were delighted watching several beautiful tropicbirds swooping around the boat. They were optimistic we'd catch some fish (which they were hoping to pilfer) -- but were soon disappointed. They are gorgeous birds and they use their long, swordlike tails to steer.

While we were looking forward to visiting family and friends, we enjoyed the passage so thoroughly that we really weren't anxious for it to end.

As we got close to the Chesapeake, the shipping traffic increased dramatically. Coastal sailing is absolutely more difficult and strenuous than an ocean passage!

We decided to aim for Norfolk, VA at the mouth of the Chesapeake. The Navy's largest installation is located there and we began to see military ships, such as this warship, in the distance. It was a little intimidating hearing calls on the VHF radio from one US Navy warship to another. U.S. Navy warship in the distance

 

Submarine steaming by near Norfolk

It was even more intimidating and awesome to see some of the military might up close, including this submarine. The Navy constantly warned boats to keep their distance -- they haven't forgotten the USS Cole.

For once, we did exactly what we were told.

We saw some other interesting military craft as we approached Norfolk, including this hydrofoil (leftmost vessel in picture below left) which holds a large number of hovercraft amphibious vehicles (below right). If the Navy had to stage the Normandy invasion these days, these boats would do the landing.

Hydrofoil taking on cargo Hovercraft zooming over water

After experiencing the laid back attitude of the Caribbean, we were a bit shell-shocked to be immersed so quickly again into the hustle and bustle of an American harbor.

Racing in Willoughby Bay with carriers in background

We anchored in Willoughby Bay, just outside of Norfolk, and found ourselves on the edge of the Thursday night sailboat race course.

It's not every day you see three aircraft carriers as a backdrop to a sailboat race!

 

Willoughby Bay sits right next to a Naval air station, and these helicopter pilots kept going right over our boat as they practiced takeoffs and landings.

Interesting, but noisy.

All told, we felt well protected.

Helicopter practicing takeoffs and landings

June 17 - June 19, 2005

With all of the activity, noise, and heavy use, you'd think the place would be inhospitable to wildlife.

Osprey on platform nest A common sight on the Chesapeake -- ospreys nesting on every horizontal platform. We saw dozens of ospreys even in the busiest places.

 

We were startled out of bed by loud quacking on deck. Turns out we were adopted briefly by this pair of mallards. They took one look at us and decided not to stick around (maybe they heard about Harry). Ducks on board

 

Crabbing boat harvesting traps Willoughby Bay was loaded with crab pots and we had to pick our way carefully around them. There were hundreds of traps in the small Bay -- hard to believe there were any crabs left.

Before heading up the Chesapeake, we took a little detour and motored past the fleet of aircraft carriers, escort ships, and other Navy ships parked nearby. Quite a collection of military hardware.

Huge aircraft carrier Navy escort ships

We had a few hundred miles to go to get to the boatyard where we planned to stash the boat during our trip West.

Ken taking advantage of the placid conditions We had very light winds for most of the trip up the Chesapeake (some winds less than 2 knots). The trip was anti-climatic after our exhilerating sail from Culebra. We decided pretty quickly that we much preferred ocean sailing.

The Chesapeake turns out to be full of obstacles (including shallow areas, fishing pots, and military restricted areas). Since the wind was light and directly on the nose, we motored almost the entire way. We also decided that we'd travel only during the day.

Here's a typical Chesapeake chart marking. This is a bombing range, in the middle of the bay! Bombing area on chart

 

Ship used for target practice And just in case you thought they weren't serious, here's the target -- a bombed out freighter.

 

We found a nice cozy anchorage in Fishing Bay for our first night on the Chesapeake. The anchor chain was caked with muck when we raised anchor the next morning and Ken used the deck wash pump to get it clean. Anchored in Fishing Bay

 

Beth in superman outfit The air temperature in the morning was deliciously cool and Beth got comfortable in long underwear and a pile jacket. Beth calls it her "superman" outfit.

We arrived at our destination, Herrington Harbour, on the third day up the Bay, without having set foot off the boat since Culebra. Unfortunately, although the narrow harbor channel was supposed to have nine feet of water, we found a spot with a little less than our 6.5 foot draft. So our first contact with mainland US soil in about seven months was going aground!

Fortunately the Harbour staff were able to pull us free quickly, with no damage except to our pride.

The harbour staff discusses our brilliant navigation. Rescue team at Herrington Harbour

June 20 - June 30, 2005

Herrington Harbour is the first place where we've tied up overnight since we left Newport last November. After two minutes of sensory overload, we quickly adapted to shore life and rented a car to get around. The weather was spectacular (low 80's during the day, 60's at night).

We also immersed ourselves in the local Chesapeake cuisine. Some of the locals told us to check out Abner's Crabhouse, and we weren't disappointed. We lucked into their all-you-can-eat crab fest. The waitress brought each of us a huge tray -- for a total of 34 crabs (picture below left). She said this was our first round and she'd keep bringing as many trays as we could eat over the next 2 hours! You don't even get plates -- the tables are covered with brown paper that gets rolled up when you finish.

Well, after two hours we barely managed to finish the first set of trays (picture below right). Sure made a mess, but the crabs were delicious. Can't imagine how anyone can eat more than one tray.

Getting ready to tackle crabs If we never see another crab, that will be a good thing!

Another local restaurant caught Beth's eye because there was a scrumptious looking chocolate cake displayed on the dessert tray. But when we ordered dessert, she was horrified to learn that at that very moment, someone else was eating the last piece of cake. Ken gallantly inquired whether the display piece was still available. The waiter replied that it was, but had been on the tray for the last 4 weeks! Beth decided she was not quite THAT desperate.... But she also decided from now on to order dessert FIRST.

We managed to do quite a bit of work on the boat, in between bouts of eating. We'd had a persistent problem with debris getting through our main water intake strainer. The strainer catches large items (like the two small jellyfish in the picture below left), but unfortunately lets skinnier items (such as needle grass) through the strainer. Ken was tired of debris getting into the heat exchanger (which is hard to clean), so he sewed a finer mesh liner into the existing strainer (below right).

Jellyfish in strainer Ken modifying strainer to catch debris

The week flew by and we spent lots of time getting the boat ready for hauling and talking with various service providers about several projects we wanted done while we were gone. We were very impressed with the quality of the service people at Herrington Harbour -- it reminded us a lot of Manitowoc and Newport. We felt comfortable that the boat would be well taken care of while we were gone.

People in the Chesapeake region show a lot of concern for the environment. For example, Herrington Harbour captures, filters, and recycles water used to powerwash boats after they are hauled, to keep the old bottom paint out of the water. All of this makes a big contrast with the Caribbean, where people don't seem to care.

Since the boat will stay "on the hard" while we are gone for a few weeks, we wanted her to be ready to handle any possible big storms. That means all of our sails have to come off. Plus we needed to repair the tear in the main.

The jib was easy to remove, but the main was a big job -- especially since we had to get it off the boat and onto a nice big grassy area where we could patch the torn sections. After quite a struggle, we got the sail off the boat and Ken rolled it like a big snowball to the grassy area:

Ken rolling sail Ken rolling sail

 

Ken rolling sail Ken rolling sail

The sail repair went very smoothly and time will tell how well it holds. We'll have our sailmaker do a better repair job when we stop in Newport on our way up north.

When the yard finally hauled the boat, we were like mother hens hovering over her as she was lifted out of the water and moved to dry ground.

Eagle's Wings after hauling Sure was strange to have Eagle's Wings out of the water.

With all of the systems disconnected, we could no longer stay on the boat, so we found a local motel. Other than one night last August, this was the first time in over a year that Ken has slept off the boat!

The biggest project we planned to have done was bottom-painting. We had hoped the bottom paint would last more than a year, but we began to notice heavy sea-life growth after about 9 months.

Ken scraping off barnacles Our bottom paint didn't do a very good job keeping the sea-life from attaching itself to the boat. Ken made valiant efforts to clean off the bottom when we were at anchor in the Caribbean. But without scuba, he had to hold his breath to dive under the boat. And cleaning the underside of a 60 foot boat is a monumental task using a 2" paint scraper.

We realize now that we have to keep moving to prevent sea critters from attaching themselves permanently to our boat. We stayed in some places too long without moving (like 5 weeks in Martinique). The bottom paint works best when you can keep water flowing over the bottom. We are also going to try a different paint (Micron 66) and hope it works better than the old paint (Micron Extra).

The pictures below show well-established barnacles on top of our rudder.

Sea creatures attached to underside of boat Barnacle making our rudder its new home

June 31 - July 2, 2005

With the boat safely ashore, we set off for the Midwest in our rental car. Boy, you can sure cover alot of ground at 60 MPH!

Gettysburg, PA

We made a little diversion to Gettysburg, PA. Ken had always wanted to see the battlefield and since the anniversary of the battle was July 1 - 3, we would be visiting right during their annual reenactment.

Devil's Den at Gettysburg

Devil's Den as seen from the top of Little Round Top, where Joshua Chamberlain and his 20th Maine regiment kept the South from winning the Civil War.

 

 

We met this mother and son, dressed in period costumes, at the Pennsylvannia monument on Little Round Top. Every year they visit the monument on the anniversary of battle, to remember their relatives who fought with the Pennsylvannia regiment. Mother and son at Pennsylvannia monument

As we wandered around the sites, we were amazed at the conversations we overheard amongst other visitors. Sample: "I don't think General Sickles ever got down here to reconnoiter in person, because he had his headquarters over where Geary's brigade camped the first night." For the first time in his life, Ken felt that he didn't know enough military history to keep up.

View of the route used by Pickett The view up the route of Pickett's climactic charge. Ken walked the whole distance. It was pretty sobering to imagine getting shot at for the whole 20 minute walk.

 

Here's the last 200 yards that Pickett's men had to cover to reach the Union lines. Last 200 yards of Picketts charge

 

Spot marking Armistead's advance The spot where General Armistead, the only Confederate General to get to the Union lines, was shot down. This area is considered the "high water mark" of the Confederacy.

July 1, the first day of the Gettysburg battle reenactment, was hot and steamy. The people dressed in period costumes looked pretty uncomfortable.

Sound and fury. Shooting cannons during Gettysburg battle reenactment

In the picture below, the "Iron Brigade" goes by, on the way to reenacted immortality. Widely regarded as the best troops in the Union army, the Iron Brigade was virtually destroyed making a gallant stand on the first day of Gettysburg. Beth was proud to learn that a majority of the Iron Brigade soldiers came from Wisconsin.

Iron Brigade and fallen General Reynolds In the foreground lies General Reynolds, killed on the first day. Unfortunately, the reenactors had a little trouble getting the dead general into the ambulance wagon, and finally had to get some help from the corpse, much to the amusement of the spectators.

 

Ken posing with the exact cannon that fired the first shot at Gettysburg. Cannon that fired first shot at Gettysburg

Of course, Ken was thrilled to visit all of the battle sites at Gettysburg. Much to Ken's amazement, Beth really got into the history of the place and we raided the local Gettysburg bookstore for books on the battle.

July 3 - July 24, 2005

Over the next three weeks, we visited Illinois, Wisconsin, New York, Washington DC, and Virginia, where we immersed ourselves in visiting family and friends. We really missed people tremendously and it was wonderful to visit and catch up with some of our family and friends.

Illinois - Wisconsin

Lisa and Dave in wedded bliss We went to the wedding of Lisa, the daughter of one of Beth's cousins, and we got to see Beth's aunt and all of the cousins and their families. Here are Lisa and her new husband, Dave, looking very relaxed and happy.

 

Beth's sister-in-law, Cindy (left), and sister, Kay (second from left) came to the wedding and it was terrific to spend time with them. With Cindy and Kay at wedding

We also stopped at Waukegan Harbor in Illinois, our point of departure last year, and had fun walking around, bumping into old friends. Two of our friends, Owen and Happy, bought a 30 foot sailboat last year and they've made a lot of progress getting it refitted. For a while their engine didn't work and they rigged up an ingenious system where they could row the boat into and out of the harbor using large rafting oars (see below):

Owen demonstrating oars for maneuvering boat Owen and Happy demonstrating rowing technique

It works, but they have to put up with a lot of grief from other boaters.

We spent some time fishing more boat gear out of our storage room. We have a climate controlled room with Extra Space Storage where we are storing family keepsakes and boat parts. The managers, Loria and Neal (at right), have been terrific to work with and run a very efficient operation.

Loria and Neal of Extra Space Storage

Beth was in 7th heaven when we visited her parents up in Wisconsin.

Mom getting ready for computer session

Beth's 89-year old Mom is a real wiz with the computer and she sends us e-mail everyday and often sends links to articles that she finds on the web.

Beth's 92-year old Dad plays golf several times a week all summer long. He gets up before dawn to play, so that there won't be anyone in front to slow him down. His best score this year is a 45 for nine holes! He had been shooting in the 50's but saw a dramatic improvement when he cut off the tops of his clubs (to compensate for getting shorter).

Dad showing his stuff Dad demonstrating his swing (see left). At right, Beth and Dad enjoying some quality hugs. Beth and Dad enjoying a hug

On our way back through Illinois, we stopped in Chicago and visited many of Ken's colleagues at Lexecon, his old employer. He really has missed the stimulation and comraderie of his old workplace. The boat provides endless challenges and stimulation -- but it is clear permanent retirement is not in his future. Beth, on the otherhand, is happy as a clam.

We also took an afternoon and visited Chicago's new Millenium Park. What a spectacular place. There are so many different venues of interest that there is something for everyone. The famous reflecting bean (below left) is a delight (can you spot Ken taking a picture in the reflection?). And the new band shell (below right) provides a suprisingly intimate space for concerts.

Amazing reflecting bean in Millenium Park Millenium Park band shell

 

We enjoyed people-watching and were treated to examples of the latest styles -- young women wearing blue jeans (including bell-bottoms), and young men wearing knee length cargo pants (very practical with all those pockets).

Actually, Ken wasn't really looking at the fashions.

Chicagoans sporting latest summer fashions

We were mesmerized by the pair of wall fountains at the edge of the park and had fun watching the changing dynamics of the fountains and kids.

Children getting plastered by wall of water Kids loved getting sprayed by the fountain

 

Even the babies were sporting the latest in fashion The fountains and interconnecting plaza drew kids like a magnet.

New York

We finally left the Midwest and headed for Rochester, NY to see Ken's sister, Cathy and her husband Rob.

Cathy is just learning to play golf and we badgered her into letting us come to her golf lesson. She is a natural athelete, and it shows. Cathy showing her natural athletic ability

Washington, DC - Virginia

Turning our sights back to the East coast, we made a little detour to Washington, DC and Virginia where we spent some time sight-seeing and visiting old friends..

The US Capitol is an awe-inspiring sight The Capitol Mall, anchored by the U.S. Capitol at one end and the Washington monument at the other, has a rich diversity of Smithsonion museums around the perimeters.

 

We visited the Spy Museum, where we learned that Washington, DC has the highest concentration of spies in the world (how do they know?), the American History Museum, and the American Indian History Museum (pictured at right). We loved all of the museums -- but the American Indian museum was unique in its intimate and personal approach. Each tribe featured at the museum told their history and talked about the future in their own words and with their own artifacts. Creative architecture of the American Indian museum

 

Dave, Donna, Leslie (with Pascal), and Al in Alexandria We hooked up with friends Dave, Donna, Leslie, and Al while we were visiting Washington. Donna and Leslie were at our wedding 24 years ago and they didn't appear to have changed much at all in the intervening years!

Donna and Dave let us use their home as a base while we were sight-seeing in DC and they took us up to their log cabin in the Appalachian mountains for a few days.

Calling their place a "cabin" is a bit of a stretch -- it was a full-featured house and extremely comfy and cozy. Donna and Dave's very inviting log cabin

 

We saw a huge variety of mushrooms on a short hike near their cabin. If you knew which were edible you could probably survive up there on mushrooms alone! Of course, if you made a mistake... Beth with very large mushroom

 

Property line marker Up there in the woods, we saw some unique devices used to mark property boundaries.

Donna has developed a real passion for creating pottery, and she cajoled us into making some of our own during our visit.

Ken with Donna and one of Donna's plates in the pottery workshop. Donna has racks and racks of beautiful pottery and she even has her own kiln (partially pictured at far right) for firing. Donna and Ken with a beautiful plate she made

Art Lesson

Ken signing  backside of tile Ken is signing the back of his masterpiece tile creation.

 

Tiles after painting but before glazing

Step 1: Make the pottery. Donna made the blank tiles for us ahead of time using an elaborate rolling pin-like device to shape the clay. After the tiles were formed, she fired them in her kiln (heated to about 1800 degrees F).

Steps 2 and 3: Draw an outline of the artwork on the piece and paint it. Donna's cat, Ken's swordfish, and Beth's swallows have just been painted.

 

Steps 4 and 5: Dip the piece into a glaze mixture (looks like mocha) and place in kiln and then heat up the kiln to REALLY high temperatures (over 2000 degrees F) for a bunch hours. Pottery ready for firing

 

Results after firing pottery in kiln And... voila! The results after firing are beautiful. Donna also surprised us with two gorgeous bowls she had made decorated with etchings of our boat. It was fun trying our hand at this art form, but we know our limitations!

Antietam Battlefield

We also visited the Antietam Creek battlefield, and got in on a ranger guided tour.

The "Burnside Bridge," which General Burnside insisted on trying to cross under fire, despite the fact that his soldiers could have walked across the creek. His 8000 man corp was held up here for hours by about 400 confederates. Had he crossed quickly he might have ended the war in 1862.

Famous Burnside Bridge

General Burnside was not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

July 25 - July 31, 2005

Back At the Boat

Our trip west was a nice break from being focused 100% on the boat for the last year. But we were glad to get back to Eagle's Wings and are looking forward to relaunching her and getting underway. We plan to move on northward for the next few months, hopefully visiting more family and friends along the way. We'll head back to the Caribbean after hurricane season in November -- and then we're bound for Panama.