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4.26.2020 LAST DAYS AT BURNT STORE FOR THE 2019-2020 SEASON (UPDATED 6.24.2020)

I wrote the following while the boat was still in the water. So much has happened since so I will catch you up below……

Having a toast to us after arriving home.

The sails are folded and bagged. The motor is off the dinghy, covered and stored on the stern rail. The halyards are coiled, sitting on the boom, waiting to be bagged. The plan was to motor over to Safe Cove around noon in anticipation of coming out of the water at 1:00 pm on Monday. It has been warmer than usual for this time of year so we have tried to get more of the decommissioning done while still at the dock at Burnt Store - while we still have the air conditioning running. But perhaps predictably, it started to rain, although the forecast said it would be relatively clear today.

So, we are waiting till 2:00 pm when the rain should be done (based on the most recent forecast) to see if we can still make the four hour motor today. We have to consider wind direction and strength, and tides. We have to motor up Charlotte Harbor, enter a single boat lock and then have a two hour motor through the canal system to Safe Cove Boat Storage. Because there has been little rain up to now, the canals are at a lower level. The bay area at the entrance to the canal where the lock is located is always dicey and can only be approached at high or near high tide. When the wind comes out of the north it blows water out of the bay and also contributes to a low water level. The good news, the trip was uneventful and we made it without touching bottom.

The past month has gone quickly as I look at it in retrospect. We have walked almost every morning and tried to swim laps around dinner time in an effort to be in the pool when there are few if any other people. We are lucky that the marina pool has stayed open. We have enjoyed a number of day sails, and spent some time with David and Rhonda

And now for today …..

Galley with dehumidifiers

Two months have passed since I wrote the above and who could have guessed that the world would be in the situation we are in. We have been home since the first week of May. We left the boat in good order but left way more in place (inside the boat) than we have in prior years. With three dehumidifiers working and the cushions all sitting up so air can circulate, we are hoping to avoid the mold that many others have encountered, and that we have avoided the last two years. Keyan will be checking the boat twice a month as he has the past two years – Thank you Keyan!!

Main salon with cushions in the up position

Solar panel stored safely in the cockpit

During the ride home we saw a little more traffic than on the way down in March but it was still way less than normal. We stopped at a rest area for a few hours of sleep and watched an episode of Home Land – which we got hooked on. After an uneventful drive, we arrived home around noon and saw the trees blooming in the front yard. A wonderful welcome home!

Trees blog in the front yard.

We self-quarantined, for the most part, during the first two weeks we were home. We spent the first week cleaning, getting the house back in shape and making a few small improvements. During the last two months we have added a new kitchen faucet, new kitchen light fixture and fire pit area adjacent to the patio.

New Jenga game with fire pit in the background.

After three years of having different people living in the house, we have decided that we will NOT do it again. Unless we know someone WELL that needs a place to live over the winter, we will leave the house available to us for short trips home. This past winter I was back in Cleveland on and off for eight weeks. During that time I stayed with Karen in Westlake (THANK YOU KAREN!!) and although she was an excellent hostess, it meant a 45 minute drive back and forth to see mom. No one knows what might be next winter and we want to maintain the most flexibility.

I started working in the garden as soon as the weather got a bit warmer and have truly enjoyed the time walking the yard and watching the perennials pop out after a long winter. I planted some vegetables including tomatoes, cucumber, broccoli, and spaghetti squash. It is a constant effort to spray after each time it rains so that the deer don’t eat everything.

Planting in the rain

The Covid 19 situation has made it interesting seeing family and friends as everyone seems to have their own level of comfort when it comes to social gatherings. My immediate family is not concerned about spending time with us without masks. Various friends were eager to meet over dinner outside on the patio (with appropriate social distancing). Some friends are still reluctant to meet outside without masks and at least six feet of distance. We respect each and the boundaries they feel comfortable with. Bob and I are adamant about wearing masks in public buildings (Heinens, Home Depot, Gales) but don’t wear them while walking outside (Beachwood Park, Acacia). We are trying to take a calculated middle of the road conservative approach, while knowing that this is not a game and that the 120,000 that have died are evidence of the serious situation we find ourselves in. Bob wrote a short article on "Social Distancing Afloat While lLving Aboard which was published in Good Old Boat Magazine – see link.

My mother is still living at Myers, an independent living apartment complex in Beachwood, where visitors (including family) are strictly prohibited. She fell early in the year and has had a care giver with her during the day for a number of months. This has been such a blessing since she does not have to face each day alone. They have now opened up a bit and we can schedule an outside half hour visit. Picture this: four small groups of two or three people sitting six feet apart with masks on and each talking to someone who is hard of hearing. Not a pretty picture and not particularly effective. Mom does get out when she has to go to a doctor and Lynne (sister) or I take her. Then we can visit for a while before and/or after the doctor’s visit. At age 94, she is with it and very much in control of her immediate surroundings. Tara, her current age 23 care giver, has a wonderful relationship with her. We are very grateful for this.

Bubby on the patio at Myers

Summer work has taken an interesting turn this year. Bob had every intention of returning to West Marine part-time. But, after his first day at the store, he felt that working was taking too much of a risk. The customers, by and large, were not wearing masks or respecting social distancing while shopping. Although he enjoys being in the store, talking boats and working with the team there, at 71 and with type A blood, it was just too much of a risk. Federation was not able to hire me back for the summer so I will be working very part-time for Hebrew Academy helping them prep for their annual audit. I might be looking for something else to keep me busy during the summer.

Bob is working on a boat delivery and nautical consulting service, which many have told us would fill a niche/need that is not currently being met. See Bob’s blog page for a menu of services he can provide. Please feel free to pass it on if you know someone who might be interested.

Bridges on the Cuyahoga

Blue Heron on the Vermilion River

We are enjoying kayaking when the weather is right. We have already taken trips on the Cuyahoga River, Mentor Marsh and the Vermilion River. Our trip to Vermilion brought back lots of old family memories of traveling on the boat with the girls. We really look pretty good in the double kayak – absolutely in sync!! But what do you expect from a couple married 41 years? We have the Chagrin River and Grand River on our list of rivers to explore. Want to join us??

Having a beer at Quaker Steak and Lube on the Vermilion River. - Join us for a beer.

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