Friday, July 28, 2017

07/28/19 Sailboat racing

Wednesday night races are invigorating and fun. While the larger boats are in a class of their own, the lovely Rhodes19 race against each other. The weather was perfect with decent wind and tide and we came in first on Mike's Red Dawg.

Here are a few photographs of a J80 - beautiful yacht, the Boston skyline and us after the race was completed.

Winthrop, MA. CPYC boats are in the foreground. These are the boats for teaching the kids to sail. And they are great - a lot of confidence and camaraderie in those little ones. I especially like watching the little girls take control of their boat and develop self confidence.

Boston skyline is in the background, the J80 off to the right.

Red dawg spinnaker, a Rhodes19.

Spinnaker for downwind sailing.

OK, lots of photographs of this boat. It is a beauty.

The best view when racing - all of the boats behind you!

Mike, owner of Red Dawg. One Great Guy.  He helps me on my Rhodes19 when I have questions or problems. She will be in the regatta at the beginning of August.

Danny and I crewed for the race, here I am at the helm on the way home. Did not get lost!

Boston skyline at night, taken from CPYC, Winthrop, MA. Logan airport is in the foreground. The famous clock tower is to the right of the photograph.

07/28/17 Fledging

After the storm and heavy rains I was really concerned about the little cardinal chicks in the nest by the house. Well, worry no  more, they fledged! I had the pure luck of being outside while the first one flew out of the nest onto a very close branch. The little bird called to the Mom cardinal and then flew up one more branch. He looked so scared! Then Momma bird came close and called to him and off he went. I think there were only two chicks in the nest. Now the male and female cardinals are no longer sitting in the bush.

Here are a couple of pictures of the fledgling. He is a cutie! Look at that tuft of feathers on his head and that relatively huge bill!

A farm close to my house, with sheep and goats.

And Shorty is doing very well in his forever home. He follows me everywhere!

Friday, July 21, 2017

07/21/17 Sailing, gardening and home repairs

The rains this spring resulted in beautiful flowering gardens. I have mostly lilies in bloom right now and they are spectacular. The drought last year led to a loss of several well established plants and a short season of lily blooms. What a difference this year. The gardens are succession gardens, with different blooms from early spring through the late fall. One set back has been the non-optional need for home repairs and the construction is still ongoing. But when it is all done I will have one grand deck and a lovely place for outdoor eating and flowerpots of colorful flowers.

And the sailing has been very good, too.  I love taking Mimì out. A challenge we met was going against wind and tide (again) and the huge wakes created by the motor boats. Even though no wakes are allowed in the area where I sail, apparently no one can read or recognize the no wake signs! One such encounter was fun -  a large incoming swell created by a huge motorboat that we crossed perfectly and it lifted the bow way out of the water! Later as I was coming back into the harbor to pick up my mooring another motorboat sped by me and a very small motorized tender. The men on the tender yelled at the big boat as they had huge swells to manage as well. But this is what we expect when we all share the water. Next time I will try to remember to take my camera and take a few pictures of  Mimì under sail. She is so clean she sparkles! 

And my boys are having a great summer. Shorty has certainly settled in to our pack and sometimes challenges me for alpha status. He won't win. I have let him off leash a few more times, the last time he was very stubborn and did not want to come when called.  Bad doggie! Fionn appears to love to swim and just goes straight into the water and dog paddles. Shorty now goes  up to his shoulders - there is definite competition between Fionn and Shorty. And Gunnarr, he is so sweet. He looks up at me after lapping up some water and smiles as if to say, I will keep my coat clean and dry! They all are loves.

We also have a cardinal nest in the shrub right nest to the house. Am looking forward to seeing the eggs hatch!

Here are a few more new pictures:

They are sent outside to do leglifts and find their spots. They call me so I don't forget them!

Shorty loves sitting outside. He used to sit under the bench, now he sits on top and rests his head on the arm rest.

My Gunnarr. A darling. He is camera shy.

Fionnegan is a big tease. When he gets his bone he takes it and just waits for Gunnarr or Shorty to come close, then he growls at them! He also likes to take a bone outside and challenges Gunnarr to pick it up so he can chase him. This habit has often time resulted in a lot of rough housing and three way dog wrestling.

Here are a few flowers from the garden. A variety of colors and sizes and timing of blooms, so there will be color now for the rest of summer.

This is the cardinal nest with the female keeping the eggs warm.

Hope you all are having a good summer!

Monday, July 10, 2017

07/09/17 Sailing...............

Do you know the song?

And if the wind is right you can sail away
And find tranquility
Oh, the canvas can do miracles
Just you wait and see

takes me away
to where I've always heard it could be
just a dream and wind to carry me
soon I will be free.

One of the really special experiences that I enjoy in New England is the opportunity to sail. I have a little day sailer, Mimì, named after the Bohemian seamstress in the Italian opera La Bohème. She is a gem. I love to be out in the harbor and hear the sound of the waves hit against her bow and have the occasional splash over the rails as she leans away from the wind. And as we sail past the airport down "hurricane alley" I love the "puffs" of wind from the backdrafts of the airplanes as they land. It takes a steady hand on the tiller to hold the course and what fun! She is moored at Cottage Park Yacht Club, a wonderful gem in itself. We can sail the Boston Harbor, view the Boston skyline and watch the airplanes take off and land. What could be better.
So Sunday we had a wonderful time - some strong winds and some light winds. And getting back to the mooring against wind and tide is always a little challenge. Spent some time doing chores - cleaning - and now she sparkles.

Here is a picture of her - she is the smaller boat with the blue cover.

So when I am not walking or grooming the dogs (or working!) I try to either kayak or sail, depending on weather, wind, tide and time!

Shorty has settled in well with Fionnegan and Gunnarr, but there is no way I can take all three sailing.  At least Fionn and Gunanrr are small enough to pick up, Shorty would be a true challenge.

Here is Shorty sitting by me in the gardens.

And while he will never step in the doggy pool, he now takes a drink from it.

The gardens are beautiful this year with the lilies in bloom. Here are a couple of photographs of them.

Really happy doggies!

Our new deck is not quite done and already being well used. The boys like to chase each other under the porch, Fionn is a master of ambushing his brothers. They have such great fun together.

And a good dog is a tired dog! We had another long walk in the morning, but even in the early hours it is hot for Fionn and Gunnarr. We never walk further than I can carry them back. There were all left off leash for a while and they had a great run. Shorty really took off on the track but he did come back when I whistled - a couple of times. I think when he realized I wasn't behind him anymore he decided he should run back to me. And I carried Fionn back to the car in my arms, Gunnarr soldiered onwards and Shorty just slowed down a little. Most of the walk was in the woods so we did have a breeze and shade.

Here they are tonight. Sound asleep.

If you look behind Shorty's bed, you will see a lot of stuffed animals and toys. He took those from Fionn and Gunnarr's beds, one at a time, including my socks, and added them to his "nest". One day he even took one of my nice shoes and added it to his collection. Much to his surprise, I took it back! Having these things must make him feel secure. He does not chew on them and my shoe was in perfect condition. He just collects them and adds them to the bed.



Shorty wagging his tail when he saw the camera.