2008 Cruising Notes From The Crew

Sebastian’s Story Part 5


Hi folks. I know it’s been a really long time since I last wrote. Capt. Dad just had the first staff meeting for the 2008 cruising season and assigned me, the Cruise Director, the job of informing every one of our boating plans for this season.

First of all, it’s been a long, cold winter here in Chattanooga, TN. Admiral Mom had Capt. Dad doing numerous landscaping and house projects last fall. Additionally, they both trained hard for a climb up Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa (19,340 feet to be exact), in January. Boy am I glad they let me stay home for that one! Daisy and I did have to join in on the training. Capt. Dad would march Daisy and me up and down our steep driveway while wearing his backpack every day, rain or shine. We also went for long hikes around our neighborhood, also with Capt. Dad wearing his backpack. I would ask for my sweater vest on the cold, breezy, or rainy days. The neighbors think we’re nuts, although the ones who know us already know it to be true. A really nice lady stayed with Daisy and I while Mom and Dad made it up the big mountain. They also went to the Serengeti to see the wildebeest migration.

Capt. Dad was sent by Admiral Mom to de-winterize Idyll Time last week. It is an 11 hour drive to Great Bridge, VA where our boat is sitting under the covered sheds of Atlantic Yacht Basin. He took a whole car load of clothes and supplies with him. I really wanted to go with him but Capt. Dad promised that he would come back and get us before taking off in the boat. He said he worked so hard that he lost 5 lbs while preparing for this cruising season but I think he was just trying to save his allowance and just didn’t go out to eat. I happen to like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches so what’s the problem here?

Daisy and I are both getting ready for our time on the boat. We both went to the vet for our yearly shots. I had to go back a second time to the vet and have my teeth cleaned. Dr. Brock had to pull one back molar but I never felt a thing since I was out cold. After staying at the vets overnight, I was very glad to see Admiral Mom the next morning. Daisy was also glad to see me. It’s nice to be missed so much. While I was at the Vet, Admiral Mom took Daisy to the groomers. She looks neat and trim now, ready for the cruising season. I got to sleep in the big bed with Admiral Mom, at least until Capt. Dad got home.

Admiral Mom revealed the cruising itinerary to us at our staff meeting and it sounds like it could be cold to me. She said we plan on traveling north from the Chesapeake Bay up through the New England Coast and maybe even into Canada this year. We are planning on stops in New York City, Long Island, NY, Newport, RI, Cape Cod, MA, and finally Boothbay Harbor, ME once it warms up-probably later this summer. I just hope it’s sunny so I can work on my tan (Cruise Directors are always tanned). I’m not expecting it to be very warm. I’ve heard from other Cruise Directors that some days are really foggy and it rains a lot along the New England coast. Why couldn’t we go south to Florida? I know it’s always warm there. That’s my idea of cruising! I think I’ll go suggest this to Admiral Mom, while she’s in the big bed. Just in case, has anyone seen where my sweater is stowed? Bye for now.


Homer’s Handout #5


What the heck? We just had the first staff meeting for the 2008 cruising season and it couldn’t have been worse! Jeff (ugh- Capt. Jeff) said that I was again in charge of Guest Relations- not what I wanted or requested. I had put in for Daisy’s job as Security Officer. I don’t think they ever even looked at my resume! I’m much better qualified than that flea bag. After the meeting, Capt. Dad said it was apparent that he was also going to have to schedule some attitude adjustment classes again for this year. I wonder who will need those. I’ve noticed that Sebastian can be a little sullen on cold and cloudy days. Pete and Crush are always crabby so I guess they will have to go too. I think my attitude really has improved since last year, don’t you think? No classes for me.

Jeff (oops, Capt. Jeff) also said we would be cruising through New England this year. Is he crazy? What’s wrong with him? You know how expensive it is up there and everyone has really strange accents. Capt. Jeff said that several friends would be traveling with us during the summer and that I would have to be better behaved than last year. What was wrong with last year? As the Guest Relations Officer, I thought I did an outstanding job! I didn’t bite anyone (although if that Teaf guy had gotten just a little closer I would have been tempted) and I was quiet for most of the time. Nate was the one who made the loud squawking noises, not me. I was as silent as a mouse.

Capt. Jeff said that we will get a chance to meet lots of people in New York City, Long Island, Cape Cod, and all along the Maine Coast. He said that if I didn’t improve my attitude, he would leave me with the puffins on Egg Rock. Talk about a funny looking bird- have you ever seen a puffin? What a beak! They aren’t even green. An ugly bird if you ask me. Where’s Egg Rock? I need to get out my charts and see what he’s talking about.



Daisy’s Diary #5


Well it certainly has been a busy winter here in Chattanooga, TN. As Security Officer both on and off the boat, I’ve kept active with many projects. Here at home, the squirrels needed constant attention and the blue heron on the boat dock had to be reminded several times a day not to make a mess. The muskrat that lives on top of the dock floats tried to slip in and out without me noticing but I’m always alert to this and let him know it by barking and scratching at the deck boards. Sometimes I would have to do this for an hour or more. There were also shore patrol duties to perform. I found several dead carp and brought them back to our yard for safe keeping. Capt. Dad was not impressed and quickly buried them followed by giving me a bath. I’m just doing my job. It’s a tough job but someone has to do it. I don’t know what will happen to the place when I go back on the boat.

Admiral Mom and Capt Dad have been packing up many things into our canvas boat bags in anticipation of returning to Idyll Time. As security officer, I have to carefully search each bag to make sure all items are safe to have aboard our boat. I learned from Mom that we would be traveling through New York this spring. I am studying my charts to see what security items need to be addressed. I think New York City can be dangerous. We will need to have a special class on this. When it comes to safety, you can’t be too careful. I suggested that we get body scanners for all guest to pass through before entering our boat. Dad replied that sarcasm did not become me and I should concentrate on perimeter security instead. Sebastian and Homer couldn’t stop giggling after that. Capt. Dad had to end the meeting. Well, there’s a lot to plan, so that’s it for now.


Nate’s Notes Chapter 5


The crew had our 2008 Idyll Time cruising seminar the other week. Itineraries were discussed, various routes and stops debated and logistical matters arranged. The crew responsibilities for 2008 are to stay the same although Homer was trying to change his job from Guest Relations to Security Officer, the job held by Daisy. I think Admiral Mom made a wise decision in keeping things the way they are. I just know that if Homer became Security Officer it would go to his head and life on board would be miserable. He would have all of us pulling regular watches both in and out of port as well as calisthenics every morning at 6 AM.

I’m glad to be the First Engineer again. I already had a long list of mechanical issues ready for Capt. Dad to carry out. We decided at our meeting that he should go ahead of us to Great Bridge, VA and prepare IT for our arrival. My list included oil and filter changes, fuel tank inspection, outboard motor service ( oil changes, filter changes, new spark plugs) fresh water system flush and fill, boat washed, all canvas cleaned and water-proofed, bikes tuned-up, boat hauled, bottom painted, new zincs installed, and finally the entire hull superstructure and rails cleaned and polished. Capt. Dad accepted my list with a measure of surprise at its length and was grumbling something about a little green Hitler under his breath as he walked out the door. After a week, Capt. Dad returned with all of my chores completed. What a surprise! I complimented him on his good work. After all, I want to keep up the morale of all of us on board as well as starting the season off on a good foot.


With Idyll Time prepared, I’ve been watching the crew getting ready to leave for the boat. Bags of clothes and food from our TN home are assembled in our living room. Capt. Dad even went out and bought the dogs a new square of fescue sod grass for them to do their business on while aboard. They keep the sod in a blue plastic tray and water it every day to keep it green. I came up with the idea last year after a particularly long leg of our trip and Daisy didn’t want to go on the deck. Sebastian likes it a lot because it has a small lip around the edge so he can lift his leg against it. You know what they say; necessity is the mother of invention. That’s what I get paid for around here- to come up with great ideas. Anyway, we should be back on the boat next week. I’ll let you know how the boat is once we get aboard and I have a chance to inspect Capt. Dad’s work. I’m sure Admiral Mom and I will find some deficiencies with his preparation and I will have to prepare another list for him to complete. I just hope he doesn’t make anymore sly comments. It’s bad for morale.