Friday, November 26, 2010

A Song that Says it All (in 21 seconds)

Came across this song on Latts & Atts radio. I have to admit, I had to listen twice, but after the second time around, I laughed quite hard. I think she gets it. :)

A favorite musician among the boating crowd is Eileen Quinn.

Her CD Degrees of Deviation has a song called "My Old Job". All her songs are spot on to the cruising lifestyle, so go to her website and check them out.

(Music is copyright (c) 1999 by Eileen Quinn)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

One Year and Still Blogging Along

Pulling into Morehead City, NC

Tomorrow, Wednesday November 24th, marks the one year anniversary of Skylark's first blog post. Wow, I can't believe what has happened this last year, everything seems like a blur at this point. When I realized that we were coming up on a year, I went back and read through the earlier posts. I had to laugh, as in quite a few cases, I didn't remember any of what I had written. Especially all the events leading up to the trip down to Florida. That was an anxious, albeit, incredible time in my life and I am not surprised some of those details fell into the shadows. What I do remember without a doubt is that I am truly thankful for all the help and support I have received along the way. I am certainly no Hemingway, but I hope I was able to get my appreciation across to all of you. Thanks.

Skylark at home in Jacksonville, FL
Throughout the year, I have received wonderful feedback from the folks that follow and made some good friends along the way. The sailing and cruising community is made up of some of the nicest people I have ever met. Having the same dreams of sailing off into the sunset makes for some fun discussions. Many "coldies" have been consumed talking about trips, sailing and the monsters that live over the horizon. As I recently read somewhere, it never gets old. As a matter of fact, there is not a day that goes by where I don't check in with cruisers out there blogging their way around the world. In many cases these folks become like family as you watch progress, offer advice and help when you can. I really enjoy following along and have been lucky to feel the warmth of far away, and not so far away places as I watch the snow fall outside the window here in North Carolina.  For those of you that would like to to follow too, there is a place on my blog that's lists my favorites. Take a look sometime and say hi to others out there. I am sure they won't mind at all.

Anchored off Oriental, NC
 To me, and to many of the folks that read these blogs, sailing or cruising is not a hobby, sport or past time. It's truly a way of life...a lifestyle that allows you to be in tune with the elements and brings you, as far as I am concerned, a sense of spirituality that is hard to find anywhere else. To some, being 40 miles off-shore in a very small boat upon a very large ocean is something right out of a horror movie. Not seeing land for days and knowing there are very large creatures only inches from your feet makes for a scary afternoon. But to me, being on watch at 2:00 am when the only sound you hear are the waves along the hull, the feeling of a warm breeze and the presence of stars like you have never seen before is what it is all about. At that very moment, when the only light for miles is coming from the dim red glow of the compass everything is as it should be.

Then there are the people. The people I have met along the way have been some of the nicest, most interesting bunch I have ever met. Most would give the shirt off their back if you needed it but all that I have met would certainly help raise a jib up the furler, drill a 4 inch hole or run some electronics. The people are what glue everything else together. Of course those quiet 2:00 am nights are wonderful, but having someone to share it all with is pretty great too. I truly hope I meet a lot of you out there so we can chat about monsters and have a few "painkillers." No matter how hard the wind blows or how high the waves get, the right people make all the difference between adventure and disaster. (Thanks Bob Bitchn')

My tattoo
So with that said, I look forward to keeping you all updated as we continue to enjoy Skylark and plan for new adventures. The to-do list has been prioritized, so it's time to get started. I don't want to miss one day of the spring sailing weather. I know the first trip will be to St. Augustine, so if there are any folks in the area who to stop by for a coldie and few stories, give me a shout. There is always room.

Have a great holiday season and a wonderful new year. See you out there...
Jim and Amy
S/V Skylark

Friday, November 19, 2010

So it's not exactly sailing related...

...but how many times can you hear me say the weather is amazing, the boat is great and all is well. So, as I sit here enjoying the incredible sunrise, I thought I might share a quality YouTube video to help start you Friday. Enjoy.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Never Gets Old

No matter how much time I spend working on Skylark or the constant trips moving gear to and fro, I always smile when I look across the docks and see her sitting peacefully in her spot. Skylark is, at least from what I can tell, the oldest boat in the marina. Her lines make her stand out from all the new designs floating near by. She always gets a lot of looks from folks strolling the docks, especially after a good wash down. It never gets old.

Since the trip, I haven't started any new projects. Mostly because it's been so hot, but also because I wanted to just relax and enjoy things a bit now that Skylark is in Jacksonville. I have however broken out the list of to do's and started to prioritize for the spring. I will say the barnacle growth here on the river is astounding. In over two years on the Pamlico river, I had very moderate growth and only pulled it once for a pressure wash. In the 6 months that I have been here, the bottom is completely covered so a cleaning and a good coat of paint is up on the list. Then there is the engine, but that's a story for another time.

Monday, November 15, 2010

November Sunset

It was 80 degrees, sunny and beautiful today. Makes working all the more tolerable when you are in a setting like this. The breeze came through the cabin keeping everything nice and cool and the best is, there is not a drop of humidity. As the sun went down, I snapped this pic as it went below the marina office. A nice day all around. It's now about 60 degrees, I still have shorts on but Zachary calls it a bit brisk. I guess its all what you are used to. :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday Night and All is Well

After a long 6 hour drive I have made it safe and sound back to Skylark. Will be here for a week and looking forward to enjoying the warm November days down here in Jacksonville. Will update with a few pictures as the week goes on. The sea air feels great and the cool night will be perfect for sleeping.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Something to Think about on a Friday Afternoon

Pulled this from Captain Woody's, Latt's and Att's Captain Woody, website. This little story makes you think a bit after a long, tiring work week. I don't think he will mind...Enjoy.

The Mexican Fisherman
An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, "Only a little while."

The American then asked, "Why didn't you stay out longer and catch more fish?"

The Mexican said, "With this I have more than enough to support my family's needs."

The American then asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

The Mexican fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life."

The American scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing; and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat: With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats. Eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor; eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then Los Angeles and eventually New York where you will run your ever-expanding enterprise."

The Mexican fisherman asked, "But, how long will this all take?"

To which the American replied, "15 to 20 years."

"But what then?" asked the Mexican.

The American laughed and said that's the best part. "When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions."

"Millions?...Then what?"

The American said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos."

-- Author Unknown