Tuesday, July 7

First overnight 2009

West End Light is the Target we shoot for when going to Bassets Island

Ellen and I had actually planned on leaving on July 4 for Bassets, but because of a high wind forecast, and because we are both retired now, we decided to leave on Sunday for our first overnight cruise. Sunday morning Ellen, I And Neilli went out to the boat about 11 am but the wind was blowing 15 with gusts to over 20 mph so we stayed on the mooring, read and straightened up the boat. About 2:30 the wind seemed to have calmed down a bit so I took a reef in the main and we cast off. We were moving along OK and the wind did not seem too bad, so I pulled the jib all the way out and we picked up some speed. As we got into the Bay the seas became bumpy and mixed in their direction and after we cleared Bird Island light the wind all of a sudden picked up in intensity. In hindsight I probably should have pulled the jib back in but I had enough to do just trying to keep the boat on course. We made record time over to the entrance and doused sail behind Scraggy Neck. Then we had a nice motoring to the anchorage. Ellen put us on the spot, the anchor went over and grabbed quickly. The wind was still up around 20 but we were in the lee and so somewhat protected. No big seas, but lots of wind. I did not attempt to take Nell ashore, because there have been issues in the past of getting the outboard to start and I did not want to get blown across the harbor. The inflatable does not track well when attempting to row in a high wind.

We had fresh grilled Swordfish, asparagus and Couscous for dinner. The wind came down and I was able to get Nell ashore so she could do her thing. The Seagull started right up and ran perfectly. Nell will not "go" on the boat which means I always have to get her ashore. Upon return we had carrot cake for desert. Spent the evening reading & knitting and retired early.( Really sound like Old Farts here, but after the harrowing ride across we were both quiet tired.) Monday dawned warm, sunny and flat calm. There were only about 4 of us left anchored, where the night before there were at least 15 boats. Because there was no wind we motored out of the harbor and as we cleared West End Light we saw the Sailing Ship Kruzenshtern motoring out of the Cape Cod Canal. So we headed over and took some pictures. When she was coming from Bermuda to Charleston in June, she ran into a squall which blew out the fore topmast. No one was hurt and when they got to Charleston they had that section removed, and they are taking it home to Russia to be repaired.
I have posted more pictures on the web album which you can find filed under "stuff to look at" on the right had side of my blog. In the last picture in that series there is a 3 masted schooner in the far right of the picture. Barely discernible, and it was headed to Boston for the Tall Ships, and although we passed close aboard I must have been doing something important because we do not have a good picture. In any case she is the Annabelle, out of Newport, RI and she is available for charter for around 2 grand a week per person. We are going to try to head off to Woods Hole and the Islands next week so I will keep you posted.

Friday, March 20

Vacation with Tim

The Yacht Club at Palmas del Mar
The Yacht Club at Palmas del Mar

We are home after having spent 9 days in Puerto Rico visiting Timothy, who is managing the marina at the Palmas del Mar Yacht Club. This is a new Marina Management marina and Tim is working 2 weeks in Puerto Rico and 2 weeks in Boca Raton. We scheduled our southern vacation this year to be in Puerto Rico when Tim was there. We arrived the weekend of their first annual Marlin Fishing Tournament and he was extremely busy with preparations and set-up. We only saw him occasionally from Thursday until Monday and it gave us a chance to travel around the eastern end of Puerto Rico. On Saturday we went to the Rain Forest- El Yunque National Forest.
Rain Forest from Top of Torre Yokahu Tower
Rain Forest from top of Torre Yokahu Tower
Ellen and I climbed to the top of the Yokahu Tower for a great view into the mountains and out to the ocean. Our next scheduled stop was for a short hike to the Mina waterfalls, however the parking lot was filled and we had to go up to the next lot. The trail to the falls from the upper parking lot was all down hill on either staircases or asphalt paths. Lots of nice trees and foliage and we could hear the stream as we walked along. Not as wet as we expected. I thought being in a rain forest it would be always damp, but that was not the case. Lots of kids were playing in the falls when we got there.
Cascada La Mina
Cascada La Mina
We then decided to take the short hike out and walk up the road. The short way out was up hill and then another up-hill slug, on a hot afternoon, on the road to the car.
Saturday night and Sunday we partied at the marina. We saw the fish weigh-in, sampled local cooking and then on Sunday night watched the trophy presentations. Lots of people and lots of kids,a real family gathering. It was great to hear so many compliments about Tim's good work at developing the marina. On Monday we had planned to go to Culebra, but the ferry wasn't running because of the high winds and big seas, so Ellen and I took off for a ride down the spine of the island through the mountains to Albonito. We had a nice drive over up and down thru lots of twisty, turny, narrow roads. Had to back up once to let a fuel truck get by and we certainly saw the back roads of Puerto Rico. One of the problems we encountered was that everything was closed. Mondays and Tuesdays are maintenance/no work days. Restaurants, beaches, lighthouses, lookout towers, all closed. The Punta Tuna Lighthouse, a USCG maintained lighthouse was closed to the public. I found that one hard to understand but the gate was locked and we couldn't get in. Tuesday we had the beaches at Punta Sandiego all to ourselves.
A visit from
A visit from "Wilson"
We had lunch at a beach near Naguabo where Iguanas were plentiful.
Iguana's home
Iguana's home
Wednesday Ellen & I took the ferry from Fajardo to the Island of Culebra, one of the Spanish Virgin Islands about an hours ride from PR. We rented a jeep and headed to Flamenco Beach. Flamenco is known for its long stretch of white sand, and usually calm waters, but with the wind in the northerly weather pattern, the waves were running.Even so, Ellen enjoyed some great body surfing.
Ellen body surfing at Flamenco Beach
Ellen body surfing at Flamenco Beach
We were interested in snorkeling so we walked over to Carlos Rosario Beach where there was a nice reef and we saw lots of fishes and coral. We thought that the coral was a lot healthier than what we had seen on St. John 2 years ago. The water was really warm and that beautiful Caribbean blue. After lunch on the beach we headed to Zoni Beach on the other side of the Island. Up and down the hills and around the corners, driving on the right hand side of the road, we came over a hill and laid out before us was Zoni Beach and views to St. Thomas and the other small islands that make up the Spanish Virgins.
Zoni Beach
Zoni Beach

Sad to say but we were only able to spend about an hour here before we headed back to town, to turn in the jeep and catch the ferry back to Fajardo. If Tim is still at the marina in Palmas del Mar next year, we would plan to spend 3 days on Culebra. Definitely a place to visit again.
Thursday we had a rest day and Tim took us out for dinner at a favorite restaurant of his in Juncos. On Friday, the three of us headed back to Fajardo to catch the ferry to Vieques, the other large Spanish Virgin Island. For years this island was a US Navy Bombing range and today, half of it is still off limits because of unexploded bombs. That section is a National Wildlife Refuge. Where Culebra has a population of about 2,000, Vieques's population is over 10,000 with most of the inhabitants living in Isabel. It doesn't seem to be as well organized for tourists as Culebra is, and we were unable to rent a jeep for the day. So we grabbed a taxi and headed to Sun Bay beach, where we thought we were going to be able to snorkel. We found although it is a beautiful beach there was not a reef and so we walked around the point to Esperanza, the other town, on Vieques.
Esperanza's Main Street
Esperanza is a small one street town with a walk along the water, dive shops and outside bars. It started to rain so we headed to Duffy's for some refreshments, and as the weather did not improve we took an early ferry home. Saturday we left Puerto Rico on a rainy day and flew home. The end of another great vacation. The rest of the photos from our trip can be found filed under " Stuff to look at" in the right hand column on my blog. Also check out Cecelia because we have uploaded the latest pictures of our Missoula cowgirl. Please visit them.

Saturday, January 24

Going Home Slowly

Seems like we are going to be here in Missoula for another day. Our plane broke down at the gate and we will not be heading east until tomorrow. The sun has come out and we are getting a few snow flurries and looking forward to a quiet afternoon.

Visiting the Missoula Keogh's

Gramma and Grampa Keogh are heading home from Missoula today after 9 glorious days playing with our first grandchild. I am still having a problem considering myself a grandfather. When I hear those words, I think they refer to someone else, like my grandparents, certainly not me. But we have arrived and as most of our friends already know it is so nice having a grandchild. Cecelia is now a month old and very easy going. She is smiling and cooing and loves her jiggle chair. She really only has one fussy period a day and is then easily calmed with rocking. Sean & Nicole are extremely lucky. Last night she went out to dinner with us and slept through alher admirers and dinner!

The days here in the valley that Missoulians call home have been cloudy and foggy. It is only when we head out of town to the mountains that we see the sun. We have been snowshoeing , hiking, walking Cecelia in the local park and having a great time. I have some more pictures to post on the web album, which I will do tomorrow from home. We are all packed and Sean is driving us to Missoula International.Thanks for all your support and good wishes.

Monday, January 19

Cecelia Methot Keogh

I am sure that everyone has heard the good news but in case you haven't Cecelia Methot Keogh was born on Dec 26, 2008 at 12:51 am, 20 inches long, 6 lbs 11oz and mother and child are doing well. Nicole's parents, Sandy & Norm, were out here in Missoula for Cecelia's birth and Ellen and I arrived last Thursday for a week. She is absolutely beautiful and very mellow except from around 7 to 9 pm. What more can you ask!! We will be posting pictures on our web album which is accessible from the right side of the blog filed under Other Stuff. Grandma & Grandpa took Cecelia for a walk yesterday afternoon and today we are going snowshoeing. We will keep you up to date with more pictures.