Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sailing Swag on EBay

Sabrina's own March Madness on EBay. Score!

You just never know what you will find on EBay. For me, a new Gill Key West jacket with tags still attached. I was the only bidder until the last 3 mins. Then some Susie Q, sailing chick who was probably half way around the world in Russia or such, tried to get MY jacket. She made a couple of weak bids but I prevailed!

Spring my ass! This blows - for real

March 27, 2009 and a blizzard has blown into the plains of Kansas. Of course this would be at the same time we had to make a trip to Wichita KS. My beloved uncle Madison passed away Tuesday, March 24th. The family all made plans from near and far to converge on Wichita to pay our respects, tell some Madison stories and laugh. Then came the weather predictions with words like "blowing snow, white out conditions, ice, sleet, snow" and such. Many family members did the smart thing and canceled their travels. Tom and I left KC at 5:30 Friday night in light drizzle. Half way there it turned to sleet and freezing rain. We slowly made our way south, arriving safely at greatly reduced speed. The wind nearly blew us over as we unpacked the car at the hotel that night.

Saturday morning dawned cloudy and windy with snow still falling. We all pulled together to get transportation set up for everyone. Luckily, cousin Greg from France was able to fly in that morning after an unexpected layover in Houston due of course to the weather. My brother Nathan, Tom and I spent 45 mins de-icing 3 cars. The ice was up to 2" thick in places. Slowly we caravaned to the church. Much to my surprise given the weather, there were about 20-30 others that showed up to pay their respects. One church member told me it would have been full if it wasn't for the weather. By the time we left the church it was already starting to melt. The sun broke out around 6pm. We spent the remainder of the day catching up on each others lives, telling family stories and looking at old and current pictures.

By Sunday the roads were all clear with massive melting occurring and we were able to cruise home at normal speed. Without a cloud in the sky, the bright sunlight made all the ice covered trees glisten like diamonds against the snow covered fields. It was actually beautiful in a stark, Andrew Wythe sort of way.

I love you Uncle Madison. You will be missed.

ASA 105 Coastal Navigation - Where are we?

What's your vector Victor? Paging Mr Garmin? For the entire month of March Tom and I have done nothing but study coastal navigation. Each Sunday from 11-5 we sat in ASA 105 class at KC Sailing. Every night we studied. The dinning room table was converted to a huge chart/study table. Meals were instead snarfed down at the kitchen counter. All activities were put on hold until we completed this class. We ate and slept coastal navigation to the point that both of us were dreaming in chart symbols!

The big test day came March 22 and we both passed. Tom with a fantastic 95%. Me 85% - not bad for a girl who grew up sailing on irrigation lakes in KS. Before this course buoys were something to be giggled at in gym class and beacons were a family from Norway that lived up the street. Well not anymore my friends. We can now navigate the high seas with confidence. Red right returning, preferred channel to starboard, next DR in 15 mins, bearings, running fixes and more.

All that being said, it has given us a new appreciate for "Min" our Garmin GPS. If I ever run into Dr Min Kao or Gary Burrell (founders of Garmin) while out some evening for dinner, I pledge here and now to give them a big hug and kiss to let them know how much I appreciate all that they have created for sailors like us. "We're not worthy, we're not worth."