Saturday, June 28, 2014

I Do, Winnipeg!

We flew to Winnipeg, Manitoba (my hometown), and I took Dexter with me. I stupidly forgot to bring his papers with me, but was luckily let through customs with a slap on the wrist since "he looks like he's well taken care of", but I think it was his fancy tie that he was wearing that let him through. I've travelled halfway across the world with these papers, and couldn't bring them when I actually needed them!

Just a warning, but the rest of this post is very much about my friends wedding. I realize this is a sailing blog, and this has very little to do about sailing, but it's my blog so I can do what I like!

One of my closest friends Dominique just got married (one of the reasons we are here in Winnipeg), at Victoria Beach, just out of the city. We came all the way to Winnipeg, only to go back to the beach! John and I arrived the night before and got the pleasure of spending an evening alone with Dominique and Danny. I have to say that Dominique and Danny are some of our friends who are the most interested in what we're doing, and actually in the sailing aspect as well, not just the traveling. We had the pleasure of spending the night before the wedding with them, eating perogies, drinking wine and practicing Dominique's hair and makeup for the wedding!
The boys helping out while we practice hair and makeup!
The practice run the night before

It was a beautiful, simple, and as John calls it, frugal wedding. The day of the wedding, I did her hair and makeup, and the father of the groom (actually Dominique and mines high school art teacher!) married them. She did all the decorating and planning herself, her brother even built a photo booth! 

We had so much fun and we even got a shout out in Dominique's mothers speech, thanking people for traveling from near and far-even from a sailboat in the Bahamas (at least I'm assuming that she was referring to us!), my face got beet red! It was so great to see and catch up with people, and find out that old friends are actually following the blog (thanks guys!). Though I'm finding it difficult at times to answer people's questions about the trip. People ask "what was your favourite place?" "what was the scariest thing that happened?", and it's not that easy to answer, I actually find it a bit overwhelming, since it wasn't a week vacation, or even a month of traveling, it's a year of something that still feels kind of new to me and is like nothing I have ever experienced before. I think I need to reflect and actually write some answers down so I'm prepared for when we're back on land full time, otherwise I just start stuttering, and mumble something incomprehensible until the subject is changed. I'll work on that.
So beautiful!
The beautiful beach ceremony

Me & the groom

And the party begins! John's throwin' it down on the dance floor!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Getting Pampered in Long Island

John and I had a whole day and half all to ourselves to do nothing before heading into the Long Island harbour. We've been so go-go-go since we arrived back in the US that it was nice to decompress a bit. But of course, there is always stuff to be done, fixed and cleaned. We calculated that it has just taken us 3 weeks to do what we did in 3 months on the way down. Why? For one, we aren't making as many stops or touring as much, but more importantly, because we are more experienced sailors, no longer weary of the ocean (now we much prefer it to the ICW), and are very comfortable making overnight passages (I actually enjoy it!), so we are able to cover a lot more ground in a lot less time. If only we had known then what we know now!

Sailing into Long Island there was a lot of traffic, it was a busy, beautiful day on the water. The beach was absolutely covered in people, and it was so nice to see the New York City skyline in the distance. We made it to the "beautiful" harbour of Freeport, LI and tied up at the ever famous Yankee Clipper Marina (for those who don't remember, we tied up here for a week on the way down, it is actually some docks behind a dentists office, in an "interesting" part of town, that calls itself a marina, but has no facilities whatsoever-but it's cheap!).
We had some time on our hands, so that means dress up time for Dexter!
Don't ask, but he thought this would make for a really great picture

We were so happy to be reunited with John's sister Alison, her husband Matt and little Josie. Josie has grown so much since we were here last, she wasn't even speaking, and now she can say so much (I even got her to call her Uncle John curmudgeonly-I can hardly say that word!). We gave her her very own pirate tent, so now she's officially part of the crew!
Josie says Arggghh like a pirate
We also went to the fanciest strip mall that ever existed
The swans came to visit (and hiss at us) again

We had a great time with them, and even got to go see Matt shoot a music video in a recording studio in Brooklyn, it was pretty cool. We had some fun pretending we were major recording stars. 

Some amazing graffiti in Brooklyn
Sing it John!
We took Josie to the children's museum (which I may have enjoyed more than her!), and then got our nails did (John thought that we deserved a little bit of pampering, I feel bad for the poor women doing our feet, it's been over a year since anyone has gotten near them!).

Our week here has already flown by, and now it's time to fly to Winnipeg!

Down the rabbit hole
Pedicures and Shake Shack!
This is where he slept a llll week

Monday, June 23, 2014

Virginia is for Lovers

After the Dismal Swamp, we stopped in Portsmouth, Virginia, where we happily tied up at one of their free docks. They have 2 separate semi-circle shaped docks, that each have room for about 10 boats that are free! Nothing we love better than a good free dock!

Disclaimer, there were a lot of homeless people by the free docks, completely harmless, if not entertaining (one guy actually had a boom box, blasting some great 90's hits and all of Celine Dions greatest), and they looovvved Dexter. One guy who came up to us looked exactly like Cosby, so I just had to give him a dollar. When his buddy saw him talking to us by the boat he asked "hey man, you goin' sailing?!", and they thought that was pretty hilarious, I thought it was pretty hilarious that him and John had a similar outfit on-shores, socks and shoes and no shirt-besties!

We took the water taxi/ferry across to Norfolk, VA and went out on the town with Pierre-Luc and Isabelle for their anniversary. The next morning John got me out of bed by bribing me with McDonalds breakfast (I've been told I talk a lot about my love for egg mcmuffins, so I assume no more needs to be said-but for the record, this is our first time back there in many months!). It was definitely a colourful crowd in that McDoncalds, there was a  woman from the church yelling at every staff member to get her her chicken and egg mcmuffin (those exist?!), this was a Sunday morning, clearly she was just getting fired up for a passionate sermon.
If Virginia is for lovers, why is the word virgin in it?
Topanga tied up
Oceane on the other side
On the ferry
Portsmouth is a cute charming town, with lots a beautiful historic houses, and a pretty vibrant arts scene. We went to the historic Commodore Theatre, which is the oldest functioning movie theatre in the US. You sit down at tables and can order dinner, snacks, even booze. You pick up the phone that's on every table and call to place your order. It was a pretty neat experience.

What the...?

Check out the sexy hoola lady!

The next day, after preparing some food for our last big ocean passage, we set sail again, passing many giant navy ships. We had a smooth 52 hr (271 nautical miles) passage, full of napping, reading, movie watching, and even cuddling in the cockpit (it gets so cold at night!), and made it all the way to Sandy Hook, New Jersey. Our original plan was to stop in Cape May, and then go to Sandy Hook from there, but the weather was so great we decided to keep going.
Hey neighbour!

Look who decided the comfiest spot was on my head
Our last sunset on the open ocean

Yes, it was chilly enough for booties
The next morning OcĂ©ane came over, and I made a birthday breakfast for Pierre-Luc. We shared our last meal with them before parting ways. They are going to keep going, while we're going to stop in Long Island to visit with Johns family, and also fly to Winnipeg to see mine before we continue back to Montreal. Luckily we live in the same province so this isn't really goodbye! 
Happy birthday!