E-mail:  llsitton@aol.com

August 29, 2011

We celebrated the end of the week by going to the lake.  We invited our dear friends, Tom and Cindy, who were able to come down on Saturday and spend the night.  It is still very hot and the lake is still way down but we enjoyed our selves by just hanging out.  Grannie and Pappy were at the lake and they always make everything better by being there.   Tom and Cindy made an interesting discovery while touring the area.  The lower water level has revealed some interesting organisms.  We are so thankful that Irene was not as bad as it could have been.  We heard from our friends in Crooked Island.  They flew down a couple of days ago and found a few issues but no major damage where they live.  That was really good news.  There were parts of that area that had enormous damage but now where our friends live.  Great news!

Here are some pictures of the Bryozoans that are in front of our lake house.  Cool aren't they?

Jelly Blobs is a term often used for a type of single cell animals called Bryozoans. Several varieties live in freshwater and attach in colonies to twigs, limbs, ropes and dock posts in the water. They look like brown blobs of jelly. If you look at them closely they have small star-like structures that are different groups of the animals, called zooids.

They remind me of jelly fish. 

Bryozoans Description - Round or oval shaped blobs of jelly like material attached to things in the water. Color is shades of clear to mottled browns, depending on how much silt is in the water. They feel solid but slimy to the touch.

Bryozoans Size - The balls can be as big as two feet across and contain 2,000,000 individual zooids. Most are smaller, with a one food across blob fairly big in most waters.

August 24, 2011

Yesterday was Rusty's birthday and I think he would agree it was not one of his best.  Work has been rough lately which is very unusual for Rusty.   He takes his work very seriously and when things are not going well he doesn't sleep and it really gets to him.  That is the good and bad about caring about your work.  I think we are both finding adjustment to land life more difficult than we anticipated.  I certainly needed the break from the boat but being on land and yet still away from all our friends and other family is harder than I thought.  Rusty is doing the hard part, I just need a mental reset.  I need to approach this as another grand adventure....I am sure I will get it figured out.  Saturday we attended a Luau here at the condo.  The resident's are a great group of people and have been so welcoming.  I find myself seeking "cruisers" and wanting to talk the lifestyle.  I guess I miss that environment more than I thought. 

It hasn't helped that Erin has been really sick for a couple of weeks.  She has been to the doctor twice and given copious amount of meds but she continued to get worse.  Yesterday, I finally called a friend of our's that is an internist.  She saw him yesterday afternoon.  I have always felt E's immune system is not what it should be.  If she pushes herself physically, she will get sick.  When she was playing Basketball you could count on her getting sick during the playoffs.  She pushed herself really hard for a few weeks with training in California at Wunderlust and then came back for Centergy training.  Bert is doing a lot of blood work.  She got a shot of steroids and by yesterday evening she seemed to be a little better.  Steroids make everything better...lol!!

Enough whining...lol.  Rusty mentioned last night about visiting some museums in the Houston area and I have been doing a little research.  The Houston Museum of Natural Science looks wonderful.  They having visiting exhibits, a planetarium, an IMAX and several other areas to visit.  I think we may have to take advantage of the many activities Houston has to offer.  I would love to see a play or musical.  I think I will check into what is happening at Jones Hall.  We would love to hear from any of you who are in the Nassau Bay, Clear Lake area.

This was our contribution to the Luau here at the condo.  One of the resident's cooked a pork loin and everyone else brought something.  It was held pool side and it was surprisingly pleasant weatherwise.  I was expecting it to be very hot and it wasn't.  I love being on the water even if it is not on the boat. This is always my favorite kind of party.  You get such a wide variety of dishes.  There are some good cooks living here!  Apparently they have a get together about once a month.  Nice!
      Photo's I took of sunrise at the lake a couple of weeks ago from our living room.                     The only other place I know to get better photo's is on SYL!

August 19, 2011

Land life is very busy, even stressful but it makes a really boring read.  I am not the eloquent philosopher as Rusty is, but since Rusty is working long hours right now, I felt the need to blog.  When we left the lake on Sunday, Rusty dropped me off at Erin's and he came back to Nassau Bay.  I finally got my car fixed and stayed in Beaumont going through boxes until yesterday.  I didn't come close to finishing going through every thing we packed when we sold Berry but I did make headway.  I got to see my son, Stuart, and that was great.  Land life is so much more complicated than cruising.  I have been watching the stock market and I have to admit it does not make any sense to me.  I have gotten the grocery shopping done and will soon start dinner.  Rusty gets home about 7:00pm.  I have always had mounds of papers to deal with.  I have just about decided to scan everything and get rid of most of the mounds.  See what I mean about land life being boring. 

Sea Yawl Later!!


August 13, 2011

We got to the lake yesterday.  Karen and the three girls got in around 10:00pm.  The girls are so cute and really good kids.  Their daddy, Brian, had to work and he will be missed.  Today, Rusty's youngest son came in.  We had quite a spread.  Rusty fixed his famous brisket and we all fixed sides, cole slaw, corn casserole, green bean casserole, salad, and baked beans.  Yum, Yum! 
                     Rusty, Hailey, Hannah and Heidi                               Off in the woods we go!!!  
                                 PAPA and Hailey                                Pappy and Hailey                      Hailey and Hannah fishing!          
                         Playing in the sprinkler          Karen, Jono and Grannie watching grandkids                           Hailey, Heidi and Hannah

August 11, 2011

Work…a four letter word huh?   You may not be old enough to have seen the show, but remember the “Jetsons”?  George Jetson was a futuristic dad that worked at “Spacely Sprockets”.  The family included his wife Jane, daughter Judy and son Elroy…. With Astro the wonder dog and Rosie…. the mechanical maid.

George’s job.. his “WORK” involved him standing in one place pushing a single button on the wall… lol.   We often saw George come home from work bushed… he’d slump down in his easy chair (that met him at the door) exhausted with the end of his button pushing finger oversized and pulsing with pain as only animated characters can.  We all thought it was so silly that someone could come home tired of pushing buttons after we (in the 60’s) worked so hard outdoors to earn our living…. lol.  What a life it would be if all we had to do was push a button……..  I remember coming home so physically tired and sweaty that George’s predicament was indeed laughable.       Who knew that now… probably 1/3 of American workers come home tired of pushing buttons… lol.  WHO KNEW????  We don’t have food replicators or cars that run on anti gravity yet… but how odd is it that today’s keyboard operators like me complain about work….  We go home tired of pushing buttons.  Hmmm…. I wonder if I could mount my easy chair on the Roomba so it could meet me at the door.

In my defense………. The physical input I do has me screaming across the keyboard all day with untold numbers of keystrokes…. But truly the “button pushing” isn’t the strain of the day for me…. It’s figuring out which buttons to push.  Now wait… I understand a keyboard pretty well if that’s what your thinking, that’s not what I’m saying… the information I’m gleaning and creatively managing within the intricate software I control is the real brain buster………….  Ok, Ok… I just re-read what I wrote and it looks like I’m trying way too hard (without much luck) to justify my groaning….. lol.  Maybe I AM George Jetson…… bemoaning my 21st century job… My button pushing finger is worn out… where’s my self propelled easy chair?

I like the folks I work with and it is a good job… (as far as jobs go)  Work…… I guess I should be glad I have a job I can go to in these uncertain times.


August 10, 2011

It’s enjoyable to pause and remember our past two years… to sit back and recall the people and places we have become closely acquainted with since we got SYL.   I can quickly file through mental snap shots with a crystal clear recollection of the water and faces we have been lucky enough to know.  I vividly recall which end of the beach I like on many of the islands we visited, and flash quickly to special sailing events that are deeply burned into my mental monitor.  I know how lucky I am to have experienced these past two years.  If it never happened again I have enough mental ice cream to eat for the rest of my life…. We’ve churned enough in our wakes to sweeten the rest of our meals.  

The reason we bought our boat was to see how long it would take to get tired of sailing, and I can delightfully say I still don’t know my personal answer to that one, but it seems about 6 months is all Linda needs in one stint.  It’s easy for me to agree with that too, I admit it’s nice to change your surroundings if you have the option.  If it was you’re job to sample fresh chocolate chip cookies every day as they rolled out of the oven, as magnificent as we all know that experience is…. sooner or later doing it day after day.. You’d eventually hate everything about the smelly things…. lol.  Change is good if it’s your idea.

I admit I never tired of the accommodations or daily opportunities to play with my boat…. but connecting with family and regaining that need for the sea by staying away for a while undoubtedly resets the meter.  When we go back to SYL our land time will have cleaned our taste buds and properly prepared our palate for the next salty course.

The blog has been lots of fun for Linda and me, I expect there is a wide variety of interests among blog readers.  I know many are relatives that want to keep up with us… they feel a bit closer by sharing our journey and pictures, enjoying the very intent of our blog…. which is logging our trip so folks could keep up, and for us to replay the events later.  

Another type of viewer is the guy that dreams of boat ownership, the guy that’s weighing his options… seeing how much life on a boat appeals to him by checking out the experiences of others.  He is running his fingers along the helm of boat ownership to see how it might fit… kicking the tires.  Hopefully we have provided some entertainment and guidance toward that end.

 Many readers are yachtsmen…. This group has already pulled the first trigger (boat ownership).  They enjoy anything nautical.  I know I consumed every written word I could find regarding sailing and sail boats for years while my “living indoors” required me paddling as fast as I could on the job.  This group may have come to ownership via the method described in the paragraph above, or from the one below.  Either way, they read adventure reality blogs for one of two reasons… #1. To satisfy their wanderlust (which it can) or  #2. To fuel their departure dream like dropping Mentos in a coke bottle….  The decision to stop buying new living room furniture and redirect those funds to “West Marine” to purchase “Mentos” is a BIG step, normally you have to have “been there done that” for quite a while and satisfied the others living under your roof… before you buy candy to pop in your coke. 

Let’s expand on the dynamic of “playing nice under your own roof”…. Making a decision to spend a major portion of your capital on agreed goals is an important part of long term happiness.  Always remember this:  Change is never good unless it’s your idea.   Let that one sink in a while because it’s very true, and useful……

I’m sure there are future cruisers reading our blog that don’t know they are “cruisers” yet, they lean toward the escapist lifestyle then find a way to do it.  Some people have either developed or were born with a desire to break away from the norm, or from civilization to some extent.  Reading a ships log may help decide what vehicle to use in that escape.  These people are predisposed for departure and are just looking for the right opportunity.  Ideas get planted in their heads, a boat becomes the best idea so the next step in the adventure rises to the surface…. Boat ownership and the selection thereof….

Boat shopping is as close as some people ever get to a breakaway.  Many are happy enough keeping their feet planted firmly on the ground… living comfortably by following a virtual journey.  It may surprise you to know I believe that’s perfectly OK…..  Sailing a boat to far horizons isn’t for everybody.  I was very comfortable for many years enjoying borrowed journeys until the right time came along for me.

I know from experience that the process of boat shopping can be self fulfilling.  I loved spending hours on yachtworld.com deciding what kind of vehicle I might want…. Once you choose and pull the trigger…  the fun of that part is over… lol.  Once your lot is cast, its done.. so enjoy the journey.  I miss that dream because I played with it so long.  Boat shopping or the next step…. boat ownership, often satisfies the appetite for wanderlust altogether…… just knowing they can “do it now” is sometimes as far as it goes. 

Case in Point: Have you ever been stranded at home with no car day after day?  If you don’t have a way to go it seems like there are a thousand places you need to be?  Then once you have a car at your beckon call…. you rarely leave the house.  Great satisfaction comes knowing you can if you choose to, right?  I contend that many people buy a boat expecting to one day sail the high seas… go great distances, but they find their personal level of satisfaction is somehow reached in the mere thinking of it, others who invest capital in their dream are wonderfully happy bay sailing…. just having that option to strike out is “ice cream” enough.

Satisfaction is reached at different points for everyone, and I might add…. never exists for a few unfortunate souls… lol.  Isn’t that what life is all about….. the pursuit of happiness?  If your realistic about your goals, you CAN live your dream.

 I remember one day sailing South in 20 knots of wind on a 6” chop along the lee side of the Great Guana Cay between Black Point and Little Farmers…… completely protected from the waves, slicing through the water like it was put there just for me.  Nobody around as far as the eye can see.. just the tropical trade winds binding my sails and the sound of SYL’s stern wakes as they make back up behind the boat….. Sandy beaches slipping by to port.. Mental money!  You can’t have a memory like that unless you go get it, but you can live it virtually in the comfort of your own monitor can’t you…. You just did…   For most people that’s enough and I believe it’s perfectly OK to find your own level of joy.

Do I recommend the “Full Monty”…. getting out there and making your own mental snapshots…?  You bet!  I believe at the end of our lives we will regret more of the things we didn’t do… than the things we did.  What do they say…?  “Who wants to be a perfectly preserved corpse?  Let’s all lay down worn out not rusted out…

Not that I’m an extremist… looking to slide sideways into my coffin pointing back over my shoulder yelling MAN.. did you see that!!!!!”  Those are extreme expressions and I’m somewhere in the middle….. but you get my drift.  I would encourage everyone to live life to the fullest.  If you make a conscious effort to live your life rather than let life rule you… your regrets will be few, the only limits to hold fast to are, don’t hurt anybody (or yourself) in the process.

An old sailor’s word of caution:  I have seen many boats for sale that for reasons beyond the 65 year old man’s control are sold totally unused, never having left the dock, a dream that didn’t happen.  Don’t wait too long.  Two years ago Linda sprained her foot stepping into the pool, she was somewhat disabled for a few weeks.  That experience made it clear to us… if somehow her foot would have been a long term problem, it could ended our dream of sailing altogether so we bought SYL and began our journey only weeks after her recovery.  One day a time will come, driven by life changes beyond our control that will put us “on the bank” somehow unable to go play on the water….. 

I have quizzed several of our fellow sailors asking if they knew how long they would be sailing, what circumstances would it be…. That put them back on land for good…. what those events look like for them personally ... most couldn’t see that picture clearly at all.  We pretty much all agreed that when we can see it… it’s probably not far off.  90% of the cruisers we met had no intention of living out their life on a boat.  Some don’t make it a month, some only one season; others go year after year during sailing season (January through June) for a decade.  The other 10% have cast their lot upon the water and never intend to willingly give up living on a boat. 

We all pretty much get what we want don’t we?  I doubted that statement until it was well explained to me….  If you want something, you usually make plans for it… rather than just wanting it to happen.  When you work out the plan and pursue it, you’ll usually get it.  So we do… usually get what we want.  The part that seems to be hiding right in front of our face is that we have to get up and walk toward a goal… not sit on our butt and wish for the cosmos to drop it in our lap or become use to regret… don’t die boiling in the gradually heating water like a frog without jumping off the fire.

Wishing without determination, then crying about it when it doesn’t happen doesn’t look good on anybody.  As any business man knows it takes intent… not luck to make a million dollars.  You usually get pretty much exactly what you want in life situations both personal and with your health.  We either get use to regret, or make ourselves uncomfortable for a while short term to beat it.  Sometimes we have to get off our butt before we don’t have that option anymore.  Is it hard, yes probably the biggest challenge we can face, but the rewards are obvious.  Go for your dreams…. We are………..

Enough about hard facts…. Death and life choices.  You usually get what you think about.. and I’m not going to spend my time on the negative…. lol.  I’ll mentally talk myself into being happy thank you….  The best thing is… YOU get to choose for yourself too!  If nobody ever told you that you have that right….. HERE  I’m giving it to you.  You choose!


August 6, 2011

We haven't blogged in a little while which I realize is stating the obvious but... Rusty has been busy working and I think I have become stagnant. Today is Saturday and Rusty is off.  He is catching up on some much needed sleep.  I think we are a little lost here in Nassau Bay without the boat.  Most of me does not regret leaving the boat in Brunswick and I know I am enjoying living on land for a while but yesterday I was missing the boat.  Rusty got off work yesterday and we both wanted to do something but we were at a loss for something to do which is not usual for us.  We took a drive down to Watergate Marina where we have kept SYL for the last two summers.  We were hoping to run into some of the great folks we knew.  Normally, Watergate gets pretty active on the weekends but not yesterday.  Maybe it was the heat, I don't know.  We just walked around a while and kind of dejectedly drove back to the condo.  We couldn't find anyone to "play with".  Usually, Rusty always has some project going on.  He has projects he wants to do but SYL isn't here and the other projects are at the lake.  The lake is just too far to drive to every weekend.  We are going next weekend to meet with some of the Sitton clan.  Since I don't have a car here still, I am pretty much stuck in the condo all the time.  Geez, I am whining aren't I.  Being bored is not something either of us do well.  I am sure we will figure it out.  Our main goal now is filling the cruising kitty and that we are accomplishing.  If anyone wants to "come out to play" give us a call....lol!


August 1, 2011

We started this website before we left for our first extended cruise in 2009.  It was created mainly so that our family would feel better about us being gone and it was a great way to journal our cruise.  Then we realized that people we didn't know or friends enjoyed following our adventure.  We were surprised and thrilled.  We have a guestbook that people sometimes sign but we had a "Contact Us" at the bottom of the site so if someone wanted to email us they could.  We get a few e-mails but not very many.  When we were talking with the "Texas Navy" yesterday we found out that Troy from Storyville had e-mailed us over a year ago and we never responded.  We never got the e-mail.  I started wondering if maybe that was the reason we don't get many e-mails.  We love hearing from people and we knew that people visit the site because of the counter ( though, there has been many times that didn't work).  Yesterday I decided to run a test.  I clicked on the "contact us" and sent a test e-mail.  It was received.  Today, however, I have sent 4 e-mails and I have not received a single one.  Hummmmm...maybe there is a problem.   I am putting our e-mail address at the top of the site while we try to figure out why the link does not work very often.  Let me say here, that if you sent us an e-mail and Rusty nor I answered then we didn't get it.  We LOVE e-mails and get so excited when we hear from someone.  Please except our apology if you were ignored....it was purely accidental.

Sea Yawl Later!!


Rusty Here.. with a man question....

  Being a country boy and somewhat of a nature lover.... I have a great love for simplicity and the outdoors.  I came to love a very rustic environment spending many enjoyable weekends at my river camp on the Sabine River.  The remoteness of the camp lends itself to the most natural experience a man can accomplish.  The camp imprinted me with a single, purely male experience that is generally considered perfectly crude. 

I think on some level the action may be understood.... if not even smirkingly envied by most guys..... lol.  I certainly have control over any social indiscretion, but there is a place I come from that spawns an undeniable primitive joy that I (and most real men) enjoy. 

"Direct Deposit" is only acceptable if there are no witnesses........  Peeing on the ground may be the most misunderstood yet purest form of expression available to man....lol.  Yeah... I know it's crude and completely socially unacceptable so I have refrained from the activity here at the upscale condo on Clear Lake.  To make matters worse for me, the apartment sports a wonderfully large balcony overlooking the water..... even worse than that.. the balcony is 20 feet off the ground!  How hard is that to resist?  I know.. I know...... pure torture huh?

On the boat it was a no brainer.... at the camp (with no one around) it was a pure right..... but here in upscale Nassau Bay I'm sure nobody would enjoy it but the user.... to be sure, I strongly support the fact that it's a no no in public... I certainly wouldn't enjoy seeing someone else do it... I understand the fact that it's not a spectator sport... lol.