Day 20, Year 9: Puerto Rico in February
Date: Saturday, November 9, 2013
Weather: Same as Yesterday—Sunny, Somewhat Windy, High in the Upper 40’s F
Location: Brewer Fiddler’s Cove Marina, North Falmouth, Massachusetts

Flights are not booked yet, but we have made the decision to go to Puerto Rico for a mid-winter break in February. Heather, Jed, and boys are going as well, so we will have our whole family together. When Mark saw the oncologist here, Dr. Crook, last Wednesday, we asked her if being gone for about ten days in the middle of February would work with his chemo schedule and she reassured us that it was actually perfect timing. He will end chemo treatments on the 15th of January, have a PET scan at Mass General at the end of the month, and then have surgery the end of February. They want to give him a break after chemo to regenerate before the surgery, so the vacation works out great. No matter how cold and miserable it might get between now and the middle of February, we will just grin and bear it and think of days on the beach with grandkids around Valentine’s Day. I LOVE it.

Our hearty Australian friends, Chris and Geoff, left Quissett Harbor this morning. They sent a text message letting us know that they motored out and then sailed hard on the wind at 5 knots with wind gusts up to 25 knots. We did not hear from them tonight which makes me think they are probably in an anchorage without phone service. It is going to get quite cold this week in all of New England, so no matter how far they go toward their goal of New York City, it is going to be chilly. I love cruising, but not in cold weather. So we’re sending warm thoughts to Chris and Geoff.

This morning we slept in and after breakfast, we went out to work on getting the boat ready to be covered for the winter. We took down the staysail and removed the water and fuel jerry jugs from the deck. We extended our spinnaker pole that is attached to mast and tied the other end down on the front of the bow pulpit. It will serve as the forward ‘ridge pole’ for the plastic covering. We’re having our yearly battle with birds that roost on the top of the mast and leave their ‘presence’ on the deck and on the top of the canvas cockpit cover. Every day or so, we have to spray down everything and today was one of those days. After I washed down the deck, I went forward to put the hose over the front of the boat so I could wash down some things on the dock. I bent over to put the hose forward and when I came up, I banged the right side of my face right into the newly placed spinnaker pole. Ouch! But that wasn’t the worst of it. When I finished washing down things on the dock, I went back up on the deck of the boat to pull the hose back up and coil it. After doing this, I raised up and really bashed the left side of my face. I hit my glasses so hard that it knocked the lens loose. Hopefully I don’t end up with a black eye, but thankfully I survived.