Our first guest blog!  From Jamie:

I took to the sea for 4 days as a 4th class mariner on a 40 ft boat named troubadour with a family whose name is fit for the sea.

(really six days but 6 doesn’t fit by 2 with this 4 theme I’m working)

The Gillman family reunion complete, we launched from annapolis, kissed by lynn, who thankfully skipped busting the champagne bottle since it warn’t inaugural and a waste of champagne. We cut east from the naval academy and north up under the spans of the bay bridge. I had been an overer many times but was a virginal underer. Then a hot path up the chesapeake past lord baltimore hon’s namesake and anchored down where the bohemian river turns to bay for one hot night.

By morning it cooled. We upanchored and started a nonstop squiggled 76 hour line towards block island. In marinerese; a passage.

We cut through the chesapeake and delaware canal which was planned with the blessing of ben franklin in 1788. When completed in 1824, it reduced the sea travel distance  between philly and balmore hon by 300 miles and saved us probably an extra day or two at sea.  Hats off to our engineering ancestors.

You can just see Jamie's head on the bow as Troubadour passes through the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal

At canals end, we turned right on to the delaware river and waited for river to turn to bay to turn to ocean, or, fresh to salty.  12 hours later that all had happened.

Wind power and nuclear power in contrast on the Delaware River

But so did day turn to night. Poor tiny troubadour sneakin around leviathan tankers chuggin ill gotten goo towards the philadelphia refineries.

Still we harrowed through and watch turned to sleep and morning brought by chart, not chance, atlantic city, tiny, portside.

The day motored on and watch swung back and newbies at the helm, in their inaugural concert, had a boating lesson from a crab chasing rainbows and a bad onboard teacher. Still we survived and then a minefield of buoys, an indoor rainstorm, and day turned to night and watch to sleep.

Waves lapped. Hours rolled, and a gentle sea heaved us northward.

Morning brought the radared promise of long island as a thick fog reminded us of our human vulnerability, and made us appreciate capt ahab’s less technological skills.

Mattie at helm, mother and child asleep, and 4th class seaman on bow, we picked through the soup to have block island burst forth from the fog a quarter mile from harbor. All hail capt matt. Destination dead on. (Child joined 4th class seaman on bow for the presentation of the island while mother joined capt the same in cockpit)

we splurged for electricity and showers, lunched like royalty, and patted down for a guaranteed cool night.  Block island fulfilling its quaint promise.

A million ahoys to the gillmans of troubadour- Matt amy and graham.

Notwithstanding, it being hot as bleep for a good portion, it was for me, a lifetime memory; confirming yet again our blessed friendship and its connection to the sea.

(As provoked by interesting boyfriend turned father turned husband with dreams enough for all of us)


PS to the casual reader we did not have chateaubriand for breakfast. It is simply an authors license.

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