Chesapeake Finale, Potomac to Norfolk! Ep. 24

I am coming to the conclusion that our kids will live in a big city when they grow up! They both light up and become energized as we descend on each big city … New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and now Washington, DC. Maybe they take their lead from Tom and I. We do LOVE cities and maybe our moods and excitement are infectious.

Our first day in DC, however, was spent on our boat! The winds were blowing around 30 knots and we were anchored with a whole fleet of other boats. As all the surrounding boats put out more anchor rode to hold in the building winds, we found ourselves increasingly pinched. Being the last one in the anchorage, we moved and re-set our anchor at least three times throughout the day. We also put out a second anchor as backup.

We spent five nights anchored in the upper Potomac, a brisk 10 minute walk to the Washington DC Mall and all that that offered — the Smithsonian museums, Washington Monument, Capital Building, Lincoln Memorial, Library of Congress, White House and many more monuments and memorials which will have to be enjoyed on a future DC trip!

We did make it to the National Zoo, which was a very pleasant surprise. Nestled inside a quaint DC neighborhood, this zoo was very impressive for what they had, the amount of research done there and the habitats they maintained for their animals.

The highlight for me was the Library of Congress and the Capital Building. Both of these are such magnificent architectural structures in and of themselves. When the historic value, the exquisite art and statues and the knowledge of what these places mean to our nation are added on, it makes these two destinations rise to the top.

We couldn’t get our youngest out of the National Air and Space Museum and Zachary loved the zoo and enjoyed the overall historic significance and being able to see places he had heard so much about. Here is a picture of a ceiling inside the Library of Congress, followed by two great quotes found on its walls

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Civics Assignment Ep. 20

By Zachary

For my Civics class, I have recently completed a survey of 16 friends/relatives and their volunteer hours over the recent past. So that I could easily represent this data, I asked that the hours be submitted into one or more of these 6 categories: School, church, hospital, community, coaching, and other. To those of you that I e-mailed in September, thanks for participating. Sorry I could not update this sooner- I have been very busy. As I read the e-mailed responses, I converted all of the data into percentages, forgetting that I had no easy way to represent this in a graph. I then assumed that the average hours spent volunteering in the recent past would be 100 hours of volunteer work. So I converted all of the percentages back into hours. These are the results in a bar graph:

Respecting Mother Nature! Ep. 17

Do you know what a five day cone is? For those kiddos who might be reading this, it is the National Hurricane Center’s visual product which represents the most likely path a currently active named storm will take over the next five days. The cone shape comes from the increased margin of error which naturally occurs as you predict further into the future.

Anyway, we have been living by the cone! There is a web site that we check at least twice a day to make sure there are no surprises in our future with the predicted route of “Florence”. For all you power boaters out there, it is important to remember that our max speed is between 6 and 8 knots, so getting out of the way of the storm takes us a while! We will experience higher than normal seas and strong winds as a result of Florence passing off-shore so when we will be the most affected, we plan to stay put for a few days. The anticipation is a bit unnerving! We typically use NOAA for the latest status.

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The Pig Who Helped the Man Ep. 16

(A fictional story by Zachary. The assignment was to write a story about an animal that helped a man.)

Janyang swept across the plains of North America, the foothills of the Rockies on his left, and the endless plains stretching far to his right, stretching out of sight. With his spear pointed forward, he slowed when he heard a herd of pigs approaching. The herd turned away when they saw him, but one of the curious younger ones continued on, and brushed against Janyang’s legs, before trotting back toward it’s herd. However, the young rogue had human scent on him now, and when he came to the other pigs, they snarled and kicked him away. Janyang had crept along behind the rogue, and now he intervened, protecting the poor little pig with his spear. The other pigs paused, and, after a moment’s hesitation, trotted away. As it was getting near dinner, he decided not to give chase, and turned toward the hills. He walked in that direction for a while, his tribe’s camp being under and around a rocky outcropping. Lost in thought about the strange pig’s behavior, he did not hear the threatening rattle of the coiled rattlesnake lying on the ground. He was only aware of it’s presence when it had jumped and was rearing up at him. He stopped and stared, terrified, at the snake about to bite him. He knew it was already over. He shouted, but to no avail. It was now a foot from his bare leg, when suddenly it had fallen to the ground, and was writhing in agony. Janyang looked and saw that the rogue pig had bitten it and killed it without fear. Janyang realized that it had a resistance to snake venom. From then on, Janyang and Mathnea (which means ‘deserter’) would always be together, Mathmea protecting Janyang while Janyang hunted and fed him. It was an advantageous relationship for both of them.

The End.

Birthdays, Books and “Bbbbrrrrrs” in the Mornings! Ep. 14

Birthdays ~

Late August is always accompanied by cake and candles for both our youngest and I and this year was no different. Ok, a little different ~ see, I don’t have my good stoneware baking pans … or, more accurately, they don’t fit in the boat’s oven! So, we all got pretty good at cutting off the slightly burned cake bottom while maintaining the icing position above! One never knows when THAT skill will be needed again!

Here is our youngest in front of their cake in the cockpit of our boat!

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Difference Between Houses and Boats Ep. 12

By the youngest member of the Thalia Crew!

There are lots of differences between living in a house and living on a boat. A boat is always moving because of the wind, water currents and ocean swells. All of the rooms in a boat are smaller. In fact, my room, my bathroom and by brother’s room would fit three times in my bedroom at home. Another big difference is how we get electricity. We buy it at home and we generate it on our boat by running our engine. The last big difference is water. We carry it with us all the time in four tanks. We have to be very careful about not to use too much. My favorite difference is that we can travel in our home.

A Day On The Boat Ep. 10

By Zachary:

A day on the boat is much different than a day at a normal house. Starting at the beginning of the day, you wake up in a small bed with a shelf around you and a clothes hammock right above your bed. You get up and get dressed in the small floor space available to you. Then you come out to have breakfast, and find your Dad working on the computer and your Mom still in bed. You beg Dad to make breakfast and he shuts down to make warm cereal, on a good day. And on a bad day, he’d tell you to get some cold cereal, like Cheerios. When Mom and my sibling get up and have some cereal, we leave port or anchor, at an average time of about 10am. Then we set off, sailing usually at about 5 knots for 20-25 miles. During the day, I usually read, write, do school work, or just look at the surrounding landscape. For lunch I might have crackers and peanut butter and/or hot pepper jelly, hummus or a sandwich, depending on what is available. Around mid-afternoon we usually arrive at our destination. It takes a good hour to settle down, at which point we usually, depending on what time it is and where we are, kayak around the area, have dinner and then “veg” out, take a walk ashore, or if it is really late, go to sleep. And that is the end of an average day on the boat!

Halifax or Bust(ers) Ep. 8

We have had a busy week and have covered some ground … or well, water! After we enjoyed a few more days of the Classic Boat Festival in Mahone Bay Harbor (where we saw more boats anchored, moored, rafted, sailing or just motoring around than we have seen the entire time since arriving in Yarmouth, NS two weeks prior) we took in a few more special destinations within the larger Mahone Bay region of the same name as the town and harbor! We quickly learned that the good sailing is NOT around the Yarmouth/Cape Sable Island and Southern portion of the Southeastern Coast of Nova Scotia! Mahone Bay alone is reported to have some 365 islands to sail around and explore and boasts more lovely seaside towns than we had time to visit!

Here is a picture of the boys in the town of Chester in the Northern reaches of Mahone Bay. This is a very New England town–from the architecture to the summer residents!

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