Saturday, October 23, 2010

Fall 2010 on the East Coast

September 10-19. After a month and a half apart, we met in the Bangor airport in Maine on September 10th. Happily reunited, we made our way east to Little Deer Isle. It was a busy but fun week savoring the end of summer in Penobscot Bay watching the tides from the Atlantic rise and fall with Dave and Anette. We had group dinners, several day sails with Dave in his 31-ft DuFour, Mouette, and even got a little boat excitement on the way to haul out.

On a roaring downwind run we were tempted to continue past our destination just a little further at which point it was decided to turn on the engine, drop the genoa, and motor back. Amidst the howling wind, pounding waves, purring engine, and flapping sails, the port sheet found its way securely... yes, into the propeller. Rapidly drifting downwind, after 20 minutes of wrestling with the line from the dinghy, his body half submerged, Chris wrenched it free. We crossed our fingers, started the engine and went on our merry way checking the stuffing box for appropriate drip rate. Of course, every true sailing adventure does not end without mishap. As it happens, another item on Dave’s list during Mouette's spring recommissioning will be to check/repair the cutlass bearing…

We also took a trip to Baxter State Park to hike Mount Katahdin, the highest point in Maine, with Dave and family friend Zip, just turned 60. Chris had last hiked it post Occidental in 1997 and Dave in 2002 when he turned 60. It was a picture perfect sunny end-of-summer-Saturday as we hiked up the Saddle route to join what must have been nearly 100 others that had also reached the summit at the end of the Appalachian Trail, and then looped down along the knife-edge on the Helon-Taylor route. A fairly arduous hike, our legs screamed at us as we cooked up some quick hot food and went to bed early with the sun in our reserved state park lean-to. On our way back from Katahdin we checked out some great boating spots on the West Branch of the Penobscot River and picked up a one day one way car rental from the Bangor airport for the next mornings trip south to Cape Cod.

September 20-October 5. We were welcomed to the cape by Jane and Abe in a flurry of activity. The next morning we headed back to Boston, to Harvard, to hear Jane give a well attended seminar on gender equity in Latin America. It was the first time either of us had heard her speak and was very special, particularly for Chris. Early that evening the four of us had a nice dinner in the city with Chris’ step-brother Michael’s partner Scott and his step-sister Linda and her partner Chris before hurrying off to Fenway and Shawn’s first Red Sox game ever! Over the next week we had nice dinners, watched the Red Sox final games of the season, and found there is a new Bikram Yoga studio just over a mile away from the house in West Barnstable. While visiting the cape, we managed a quick stop in Quincy to see Shawn’s teacher training friend Melissa Bell who also has sailing dreams, a brunch in Somerville to see Chris' friend from high school Brian Garrison, as well as a day at the beach celebrating our 9-year anniversary!

October 6-19. Another one day one way car rental and we drove to Ithaca through heavy rains with brilliant moments of sun shining on the changing leaves. The next day we were there for Mum’s 4th chemotherapy infusion and through our stay we had many great dinners and were able to help with a few things while her house is daily being overrun by contractors building an addition onto the kitchen. It was very special that she felt well enough to have a Canadian Thanksgiving celebration. Chuck, Maura and the kids came down to Ithaca, Mum’s good friends Janet and Jackie came over and we all celebrated the harvest season together with lots of food and a beautiful sunny day at the peak of leaf color changes. While in Ithaca, we also visited Leah and Gretchen and their twins on their momentous 4-month shot day and fit in near daily 6:45 am yoga classes.

Another one way (though this time a week long) car rental and we headed north. First stop: Syracuse for an evening with Chuck, Maura and the kids. Liam had just turned four and the girls 18-months. The next morning, Chris got to take the rambunctious puppy for a walk and then watch Saturday morning cartoons with Liam while Shawn and Maura took Campbell and Ainsley respectively to their swim lesson- it is amazing how different identical twins actually are! Then it was off to Canada for a quick trip to “the river” to visit Shawn’s dad at the family cottage on the St. Lawrence. We indulged in time on the river, helped with several closing tasks, watched the sun set each night with dad, and even briefly visited Aunt Barbie. Although the weather was cold, transitioning to fall, it was beautiful with clear sunny days and the colors changing on the islands were stunning.

October 20-Nov 6. Things got a bit crazy when within one week, Chris’ grandfather (92, Dave’s father) was diagnosed with lung cancer metastasized to the brain, his step-uncle (67, Abe’s sister’s husband) just diagnosed two weeks previously with lung cancer suddenly fell into a coma and passed away, and his sister Sarah gave birth to healthy Hazel Jane after two days of labor. Reeling from all of this, we drove back to Cape Cod and up to Boston to Chris’ step-aunt Judy's to pay our respects to Neil by making a shiva call (a very educational experience for us non-Jewish). Then back to the Cape awaiting news from Alaska about the new baby, the first grandchild in the Jaquette-Ray families. Skype is an amazing thing, after they got home from the first three days of recovery in the hospital, we were able to see Sarah, Jimmy, and baby Hazel all together in a video call! Congratulations Uncle Chris!

We are now appreciating a week of solitude on the Cape while Jane and Abe are vacationing in Europe. We are enjoying warmth from the wood stove, ocean views as trees shed their final leaves, the yoga studio down the road, and time alone to organize things for heading back to the boat and Mexico at the beginning of December. Still a month of adventuring stateside until then, we’ll keep you posted!

No comments:

Post a Comment