Saturday, February 23, 2013


23 February 2013
Vonore,  TN

 Looks like I will be trading this one, the S-61........

for this one, the UH-1H II Super Huey gunship.  

Well, things change.  Up until this recent break, I have been in Quakertown, PA undergoing training in the Sikorsky 61 helicopter.  The mission was eventually going to be to fly passengers for the State Department in Afghanistan.  While a somewhat dangerous mission, we will always fly with gunship coverage, and that is reassuring.  Now it looks like I will be the gunship coverage.

The S-61T program is apparently fallen victim to the current administration’s “cost cutting measures”.  (I had inserted my political opinion about the government, and this administration’s cost cutting, but in the interest of keeping this a sailing blog and not a politicaI one, I refrained and deleted my comments.)  I did get my S-61 qualification, and I did get to spend 4 months enjoying the Quakertown area, especially the eating establishments.  Dahleen did get to come and visit, and we did a lot of sight-seeing that we probably wouldn't have taken the time to do otherwise.  All in all, it was a good experience.

The end result for me is…..I will now be going directly to Afghanistan to fly the UH-1H II Super Huey gunship, providing escort security for unarmed aircraft and ground convoys ……(along with other missions, if you know what I mean).  I thought I was through with all that tactical stuff when I retired from the military.  Oh well, “never say never”.   

I will be glad to get started, only because the sooner I will get there, the sooner I get back.  The sooner I get back, the sooner we leave on the boat…..when we get the boat.  LOL.

I will be leaving on the 25th of this month for at least a year….maybe a little longer, depending on how it goes.

Next post......from the Sandbox.  

Saturday, February 16, 2013


Vonore, TN

                                                         The Turquoise Water of Fish Cay

After I arrived home the end of January (for almost a month), we both had doctors and dentist appointments all day on a couple of other days during the week.  I think, in all, we supported 4 different doctors, a dentist (same dentist for both of us), and an optometrist....all in a week.  At least the flight physical, dental checkups and cleanings, and the real physicals are over, and we don't have to fool with them for another year. 

We started sorting through the things that we want to sell, deciding what goes on ebay, what goes on craigslist, and what we want to make available to friends and family in an email.  What a chore!  We now have half the garage dedicated to 'stuff '  we want to sell in order to rent the house and save money for the boat.  We really only got started....there is much more to go through and get rid of and then those things that we are going to keep, we have to pack up to store.  It will be a process....we can't make ourselves get rid of everything that we know we are going to have to eventually get rid of, so we do it in waves.  The closer it gets to setting sail to more things will have to go.  But, we did get a pretty good start.

So, over the next few months if you think of someone who needs furniture, wall decor, Ben Hampton prints (signed and numbered), clothes, and they are willing to pay a fair price for them, send them our way.  Those things we can't sell we will eventually donate, but we want to raise as much money as we can to put toward the boat and the cruising kitty.                       

Thursday, February 7, 2013


7 Feb 2013
Vonore, TN

                                                                   OUR FIRST SAILBOAT

Having owned a previous boat, we aren't going into the process blind.....we kinda know what we want this time.

Our previous boat, a 3-cabin Beneteau 411 was a great was perfect for what we did, which was to cruise the Bahamas for 6 months at a time. While doing that, we learned that for full-time cruising we wanted a larger boat and we needed a 2-cabin version this time (much more storage). With a 2-cabin we will still have the extra cabin for visitors and could resort to using the galley table/berth if necessary.

Notice in the above paragraph I used the words "wanted" and "needed"....there definitely is a difference. The Lord willing, we will get what we need, but whether we get what we REALLY want......I doubt it. What we really want, our dream boat, is a two-cabin 2004 or 2005 Beneteau 50. That ain't gonna happen; with the economic turndown "that ship has sailed", so to speak. A more realistic boat will be a Beneteau 46 - 47'.

While the boat market is a buyer's market right now, so is the real estate market. That's great for buying the boat, but not so good if you were thinking of selling a house and some other properties. So, what we ultimately get will greatly depend on what we net (I made a ryhme :-) ] for some of the real estate we sell (now decided to rent out our house) and how long we want to wait before taking the plunge, buying the boat and leaving. The longer I work, the more money we save for the boat and the kitty; but I have never been know to have a great deal of patience, and..... how long will the boat market be a buyer's market. Ahh, the dilema.....

We have enlisted a yacht broker in Hilton Head, SC to assist us in the search...we met him when we sold our other boat, and really liked him. He brought the buyers and was friendly, and professional. We have told him what to be on the look-out for and that we were going to be patient and wait for the right boat at a great price. He has been very helpful thus far. We will give him a plug later in the blog, or not.  It's up to him.  

Updated Nov 2013:   No plug for our broker....he wasn't any help.  We found our own boat and negotiated our own deal with a selling broker.  It has worked out so far; we are due to close in May 2014.