Sunday, August 23, 2009

Holy Mackerel!

We carry fishing poles and a lobster trap on all of our sailing adventures and many people try for hours to catch a fish. Many go away thinking that there are simply no fish left in Penobscot Bay but we had a trip full of fishermen that had some luck and here's the proof (with 1st Mate John's foot for comparison):

These beautiful mackerel were used for bait after a plea to cook and eat them was voted down. Mackerel simply are a stinky oily fish and not particularly good eating although some people do like them. But lobsters and crabs LOVE them so we used them for bait in our lobster trap and this is what we caught:

A whole bunch of crabs...

...and one lobster! Here John shows Brian how to measure a lobster. Unfortunately this female was too small and we had to throw it back.

But the kids all named the crabs and we had a very uneventful crab race. Brian's crab (named Brenda!) won by default. That's the crab that ended up over the line when John emptied the crate!

Friday, August 07, 2009

One-Night Trip - August 4th and 5th

We just experienced our first one-night cruise this week. We had a lot of fog when we left the harbor but we also had a good breeze. We headed across the bay with the intention of anchoring in Hurricane Sound but the wind didn't seem willing to cooperate so we tacked back across the bay and anchored in Owls Head Harbor. We could hear Owls Head Light on the way to anchoring but we didn't get to see it until the next morning. We did get to see Monroe Island and many of the lobster boats on moorings in the harbor.

I prepared a snack of chips, dips, and vegetables that we served at 4:00 and then I moved on to preparing the chicken cordon bleu. Bob took the wheel while I was in the galley. I was at the wheel for anchoring and then went back to my duties as cook. First Mate John breaded and cooked the chicken while I cooked the lobster and corn on deck. We had a lot of food! We served the lobster with melted butter (of course!) and fresh lemon wedges and we also enjoyed corn-on-the-cob. Other side dishes included hot buttered rolls and couscous. We enjoyed strawberry shortbread for dessert (recipe is posted on the web site!). I washed up the pots and pans and cooking utensils and Jay and Julie did the dishes.

The skies cleared in the night and I actually saw stars and the moon! When I woke up at 4:00 to cook breakfast, the moon was setting over the trees to the west and it was deep red. It was quiet and I was thankful the fog had cleared. A couple hours later a lobster boat came by to see if we had heard any activity in the night. Apparently three lobster boats were vandalized and two of them sunk in the harbor. (see the story here:

Breakfast was a smorgasbord of wild Maine blueberry muffins, scrambled eggs with sauteed onions, peppers, and mushrooms on the side, roasted garlic, home fries (one batch with rosemary and onions and one batch plain), bacon, toast, sliced cantelope, sliced watermelon, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, orange juice, kiwi strawberry juice, granola, yogurt, and assorted boxed cereal. I was stuffed!

The guests on board were great. There were 13 of us total...5 kids and two guitars! Tuesday night after dinner most of us gathered in the main cabin for music and singing. Bob and Tony played a variety of songs on the guitar and even young Andy played a tune. Ned brought lots of toys as usual and the marshmallow guns were a big hit. The kids were trying to catch the ammunition in their mouths! Tracy hung out with me in the galley and also took some great photos.
Tracy captured the sunrise with this stunning shot.

All the kids spent a lot of time climbing...on the sail, up the they are doing their version of the Cingular commercial. That's Julie, Kira, Andy, Kate, and Mark hanging out in the mainsail.

Brother and sister, Mark and Kira, pose with the Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse on the way back to the dock.

Julie left her alligator puppet behind in her cabin but we sent it on its way and mom, Jean, provided some very constructive input for future one-night sails. I think everyone had a great time and I think we're onto something that will become very popular. As Andy said, "Everything was great - I just wish it lasted longer."

Roller Coaster Ride...Miracle Baby

To say that we are overwhelmed is an understatement. First we had the good news that I was pregnant and then we suffered what we were told was another miscarriage. But there's a new exciting development. Let me back up.

On July 6th, I had a sonogram to confirm my pregnancy. Everything looked great. I had already adjusted how I was working on the schooner (no serious pulling, no climbing aloft, and no cranking the anchor) and how I was eating (limited lobster, no caffeine, no deli meat, no unpasteurized cheese, etc.). I was getting to bed early and getting as much rest as possible.

On July 18th, I experienced some bleeding and went to the ER where they diagnosed a "threatened miscarriage" and sent me home. We visited our regular doctor on Monday morning, the 20th just prior to leaving for a week-long trip to ensure that we knew what was going on. Our regular sonogram technician was on vacation so we were rushed over to the hospital for a sonogram there. I knew something wasn't right when the technician hadn't said anything five minutes into the procedure. I finally spoke up and said, "You're not finding anything, are you?" The technician apologized and said that she was not. She continued looking for quite a while and finally called a second technician to take a look. She didn't find anything either.

We went back to our regular doctor's office and I was consulted on how to proceed during the week and what symptoms to look for when determining if I needed emergency care during the miscarriage. I was going to be out on the water after all and not near immediate medical care. We scheduled a follow-up appointment for August 3rd where a final sonogram was to be done to determine that the miscarriage was complete.

I took a half hour at our house after receiving the news, called my parents, and had a good cry before trying to compose myself enough to go to the boat and get underway. Brian packed up all the little baby stuff we had purchased already along with my pregnancy journals and put them in the attic so I wouldn't have to see them when I returned home at the end of the week. He also contacted a couple licensed captains to make sure we could continue the trip should I need to leave the boat for emergency medical care.

August 3rd finally came and I went off by myself to have my follow-up sonogram. Almost immediately I saw a blob on the screen and my first thought was, "Great. I'm going to have to have a D&C to take care of that remaining tissue." I was freaking out to think I'd have to go through that when the sonogram tech said, "Here's a little baby." I said, "What?!??!???" She said, "Oh yeah." and started pointing out all the little parts. She measured the femur, the waist, the head, and showed me the heartbeat. I kept saying, "But, but, but, but..." I started crying and saying I just didn't understand. Brian had not gone with me because we thought it was just going to be that follow up to the miscarriage. While the tech went to get my midwife she let me use the phone to tell Brian to come. We're still just shaking our heads in disbelief. The tech said that she is very familiar with my uterus and knew where to look and that the baby was "hiding behind a fibroid."

I was pretty freaked out when I realized some of the stuff I have done over the last two weeks. I started working on the boat as if I was no longer pregnant. I was pulling on lines and cranking the anchor again. I started drinking soda and hot chocolate again (caffeine). I took ibuprofen because of the pain the first week. The tech and the midwife assured me not to worry but to start acting pregnant again.

I'm simply flabbergasted! I'm disappointed that the two different techs at the hospital couldn't find the baby but I'm willing to overlook that now that we have this great news (and they've apologized profusely and waived the fee for that sonogram). I just wish we hadn't had to go through that unnecessary stress and grief.

So there you have it...a major "up" on our baby roller coaster ride. I'm 12 weeks 5 days today and we're still on track for the 2/14/10 due date.

We hope we only have good news to report from now on and we're pretty sure our miracle baby will especially like hide-and-go-seek and peek-a-boo!

Thanks to everyone for the cards, emails, and prayers.

Our miracle baby.