June 16, 2024  

Adventures of the Damn Yankee
Ahoy shipmates! Here's your chance to experience sailing the Caribbean! Our guest writer aboard the Damn Yankee provides a weekly narrative relating the adventures of life at sea. Join the crew aboard the 36' Catalina as her First Mate recounts the exploits of a couple who have moved into the lifestyle many dream of living. Insightful and compelling, Gwen Schuler will keep us posted in a series of articles and photographs as she and her husband Jim set sail for adventure. Dock here regularly!

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Lord of the Reefs
Installment No. 14
One Particular Harbor
Installment No. 13
Lucayan Marina Village, Bahamas
It’s Better in the Bahamas
Installment No. 12
The Bahamas
The Crossing
Installment No. 11
The Florida Keys
Changing Channels
Installment No. 10
Wrightsville Beach, SC
Follow in our Wake
Installment No. 9
Beaufort, N.C
Into the Ditch
Installment No. 8
ICW, The Ditch, Virginia
Down by the Waterside
Installment No. 7
Norfolk Harbor, VA
Mileage, Majors and Norfolk
Installment No. 6
Norfolk Harbor, VA
Installment No. 5
Zahniser's Marina, Solomons Island, MD
Portlights and pianos, Boat Show Week
Installment No. 4
Annapolis, Maryland
It's not the leaving of Liverpool that grieves me, but my darling when I think of thee.
Installment No. 3
Great Oak Marina, MD

There's a glitch
Installment No. 2
Upper Chesapeake Bay

Let the Adventure Begin
Installment No. 1
Fairlee Creek, Maryland

There's a glitch
We could delay leaving until November. We'd simply live on the boat at the marina or in Annapolis if we had to put the house back on the market.

Installment No. 2 -- Upper Chesapeake Bay
'There's a glitch,' intoned our usually upbeat real estate agent., 'call me at...'
Jim's jaw muscles tensed as he reached for the phone before the message on the answering machine ran through.
What now? My own stomach clenched as I hovered a few feet away in the kitchen shamelessly evesdropping.
'Ken, the settlement is one week away. Gwen and I are committed to be out of here.'
Oh no, I thought as I began moving packed boxes from one side of the kitchen to the other. The lengthy silence on Jim's end didn't suggest an easy solution. But Ken said glitch, not catastrophe. A glitch is like a bump in the road, merely a temporary barrier to work through so you can move on.
Jim hung up the phone. 'The buyers need to buy flood insurance. They haven't calculated the added expense.'
'You're not serious. Why?'
'Because, it appears we've been living in a flood zone for the last twenty-five years.'
'No is what I said. I can't believe it. ' He turned back into the den and booted up the computer.'I need to check this out.'
In minutes Jim was engrossed in elevation charts and flood zone requirements while talking to me about contingency plans. We could delay leaving until November. We'd simply live on the boat at the marina or in Annapolis if we had to put the house back on the market.
'Maybe you should have kept some of those sweaters you gave away...' Jim said with the hint of a smile, 'sloughing down the bay in November was not the plan. We'll freeze our asses off but we'll get there. This is just another glitch.'
Jim is good with glitches because he anticipates them. Always prepared, the constant challenge engages his formidable problem solving abilities.
As for me, I tend to slide over, bounce off or ignore Glitches. Confrontation is anathema to me. I'd much rather eat larvae. Am I going to be ready for the glitches that we'll inevitably encounter this first trip south? I'd better be.
Our roles will shift. We'll both be dependent on the other. Equal parts planning and shared decision making will be a hefty challenge for me. Left brained, I'm not. The sight of navigation charts laid out in latitude and longitude, degrees numbered for calculation with miles measured in inches make me quake. Maneuvering the Damn Yankee through a crowded anchorage sets my nerves twitching. My hands shake and my stomach plummets at the thought of docking her. All of the above are glitches soon to be overcome.
Though daunting, the thought is wildly exciting. I'll manage because Jim needs me to manage, one glich at a time.
Lately, my reading has consisted of a series of true sea disasters. "Alive!" (a couple rescued after 88 days together in a life raft), the sagas of the whale ship "Essex" and Captain Shackleton's, "Endurance" and finally, "The Perfect Storm."
Confronting my fears in the safety of my bed is my writing buddies' assessment. I'm sure they are right. Imagining the worst, dropping myself into the scene and playing it out complete with tensed muscles and throat choking terror is, in itself, reassuring. Some glitches just loom larger than others.
The phone rings as we're headed out the door. I snatch up the receiver. It's Ken, our real estate agent. "Relax guys, the settlement's still on for Friday. You're out of here."

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