Prologue

Summer at home in Pittsburgh was brief but delightful.  It wasn’t until June 26th that the previous sailing season officially came to an end when Cutter Loose was moved from her slip to the boatyard at Port Annapolis Marina.  Here, she remained high and dry for 82 days while we assimilated into a thoroughly enjoyable and comfortable land-based lifestyle.

As usual, the highlight of our summer at home involved reuniting with family, friends and our full-sized refrigerator. Summer camp activities such as tennis, golf and bicycling commenced almost immediately upon our return.  These pastimes contributed to a considerable appetite for the bounty of summer…fresh fruits and vegetables from the local farmer’s market and Whole Foods.   In July, we visited with Caribbean 1500 friends, Shaun and Neil at their home on the Potomac River, including a 11 mile, boulder-hopping hike to the summit of Old Rag Mountain at Shenandoah National Park.

furries

Summer also means squeezing 12 months of routine doctor and dental appointments into a three-month period of time.  This requires a considerable amount of planning and coordination, especially in light of the learning curve that accompanied our recent transformation into the world of Medicare Advantage Plans.

chuck

The Pittsburgh Pirates delivered yet another incredible summer of entertainment to its fans, winning 98 games in the regular season…the second best record in Major League Baseball this year.  For the third time in as many years, the Pirates advanced to the playoffs as a wild card entry.  Unfortunately, the postseason for the Bucs was brief, succumbing to the considerable talent of Jake Arrieta and the upstart Chicago Cubs in a single “do or die” playoff game.

Just because Cutter Loose spent her summer resting in a boatyard in Annapolis does not mean that she did not require attention.  After spending three sailing seasons in the Eastern Caribbean, the list of deferred boat repair/improvement projects had become considerable.  Among other improvements, she is now equipped with new sanitation hoses, ten new house bank/start batteries and a 2,000 hour diesel engine service including a new custom-fabricated mixing elbow.  Thankfully, there is an abundance of competent contractors in the Annapolis area to complete these tasks.  Ordering parts, coordinating contractors and managing boat projects consumed a considerable amount of time, energy and cash this summer.

On September 15th, Cutter Loose was launched at Port Annapolis Marina.  This began an intense period of frequent shuttling from home to Annapolis, lugging provisions and supplies and preparing the boat for the long journey ahead.

launch

It is now October.  There is a chill in the morning air…portending the arrival of winter. A drenching nor’easter taken together with the threat that Hurricane Joaquin may make landfall on the east coast inhibits our preparations and places us behind schedule in completing our pre-departure tasks.

Andy and Mia, Caribbean 1500 staff and temporary dock neighbors at Port Annapolis Marina

Andy and Mia on s/v Isbjorn, Caribbean 1500 staff members and temporary dock neighbors at Port Annapolis Marina

Our transformation to life aboard was made more manageable when our friend Chuck generously offers to drive us to Annapolis for a sendoff.  We have thoroughly enjoyed our time with Chuck, attending the Annapolis Sailboat Show and participating in boat show related social events.

Eric and chuck

In a few days, Cutter Loose will depart her slip at Port Annapolis Marina and join the parade of snowbirds sailing south along the Atlantic coast.  Our journey this year will take us to Florida and the Bahamas in search of warm weather, aquamarine water, invigorating sailing and the comradery of cruising friends.  We invite you to visit this website frequently for an on-going update of the adventure.

CL in water

 

“A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike.  And all plans, safeguards, policing and coercion are fruitless.  We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.”  

-  John Steinbeck

 

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