Day 16 through Day 21: A Martin Clan Farewell
Date: Wednesday, November 2 through Monday, November 7, 2005
Weather: Glorious Fall Weather, Sunny and Warm
Location: Oxford, Maryland, Tred-on-Avon

It is Monday afternoon, November 7. If we had not had engine problems, we would be headed for Bermuda today, but instead we are sitting here aground (Yes, you read that right. We are aground.) Oxford, Maryland, on the Tred Avon. It is the eighth beautiful, warm day in a row, so we are enjoying the weather while it lasts. But we are enjoying it about a football field’s length from where we need to be. They say you haven’t sailed in the Chesapeake until you have gone aground, so I guess we can now say we have sailed the Chesapeake! Actually, we knew we were headed for a slip that has only about five feet of water at low tide. We will sit here aground until the tide comes up and then head into the slip where we need to be for the next week or so. Once in the slip, at low tide we will sink into the mud, but that should not be a problem. I say “should not be a problem” because we are about five inches deeper than normal due to all the supplies we have stored for the trip. Hopefully that won’t cause a problem. We at least went aground close to some piers. We are tied off and actually Mark is ashore right now checking out the situation.

We arrived in the Magothy River near Annapolis last Tuesday afternoon. As I explained in an earlier log, my nephew, Tommy, his wife, Marilou, and their five children (Josh, Ryan, Madelyn, Cory Hayes, and Olivia-ranging in age from sixteen to one) live just a few blocks from the Magothy Marina, so we made that our home-base during the day and traveled to and from the boat by bike, golf cart, or borrowed van.. On Wednesday, Mark, my brother, Dickie, and I drove from Annapolis back to the Lewes, Delaware, area to get my brother’s van. Then on Thursday, I went shopping for the many items we still needed to provision the boat for our travels. Of course, we will buy fresh food and other items all along the way, but we want to leave with all the basics onboard. I’m not crazy about shopping, but in this case, shopping was the easy part. It was putting everything away that took lots of time and ingenuity, but with a little help from family, we found a home for everything. I continued shopping on Friday while we were waiting for other family members to arrive and didn’t finish until Sunday night, but the good news is that we were able to get most everything on our lists.

Now back to the family gathering . . . The first thing you need to understand is that when I refer to family, I am referring not only my children, but also my brothers, my sisters, their spouses, their children, and their grandchildren. When the whole clan is together it is about forty people and we actually vacation together often. We do everything in mass. So Friday afternoon the masses began arriving. They came from North Carolina, Ohio, and West Virginia. The Massachusetts, Florida, and Georgia parts of the family were not able to come, but twenty-three of us had a wonderful weekend together. We did more shopping, gave tours of the boat, enjoyed downtown Annapolis, enjoyed each other, and basked in the absolutely gorgeous weather. The leaves here have started to change and that added a hint of color to the weekend. Even the evenings were warm enough for us to stay out on the deck well after midnight, but I must admit that we had a little wood stove on the deck to keep us warm in the wee hours of the morning. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect setting for a gathering. For those family members who couldn’t make it, we missed you very much and you will simply have to plan to fly to visit us somewhere along the way.

When my family gets together, parting is always hard, but yesterday’s goodbyes were a little tougher than usual. Rachel and Billy, my nephew Rex’s college-aged children, had to leave at 6:00 am, so we had to say goodbye to them on Saturday night. My nephew, Barry, and his wife Beth, were the next to leave, followed by Rex, and his friend Anissa. They were all traveling back to West Virginia. Later in the afternoon, my sister Patsy’s daughter, Jennifer, her husband, Bill, and their son, Jacob, left for Charlotte, North Carolina. My sister Patsy, her husband, Joe, and their other daughter, Janet, left later in the afternoon. Janet was flying back to Columbus, Ohio, and Patsy and Joe were headed to Ohio for a visit with friends before returning home to Calabash, North Carolina. That left my brother, Dickie, his wife, Conda, and, of course, Tommy, Marilou, and their children. We spent a quiet evening cooking, reading with the kids, and saying the final farewells when we left to go to the boat. I feel blessed to have such a wonderful, supportive family. I am the baby of the family and I know my remaining brother and sister worry about Mark and I as we set off on this journey. I will think of them everyday as we travel and look forward to flying home from New Zealand to gather once again with the Martin Clan.

Mark is back from his information gathering walk ashore and just got off the phone with the engine doctor. The tide is rising, so we are no longer aground. We will be in the slip before the sun sets and prepare to begin the old engine removal tomorrow. I’ll check in with you then.

051105 Day 19a Boston to Norfolk, USA–Family Visit to Windbird
051105 Day 19b Boston to Norfolk, USA–Martin Clan Farewell
051106 Day 20 Boston to Norfolk, USA–The Morning After
051107 Day 21 Boston to Norfolk, USA–Magothy River to Oxford on Avon