Our Boat

Caloosa Spirit

Catalina 42 mkII

Log #102 Treasures Of The North

Well, I promised some updates, so I guess it’s time I delivered.

As I write, Jim is onboard Caloosa Spirit and I’m not. Our friend Bill from church was headed down to check on his boat in Key Largo, so Jim hitched a ride with him as far as Gulfport Marina. His plan was to check the batteries and fix a few odds and ends that usually get shoved to the bottom of the fix-it list. From his reports he’s been reasonably successful in meeting those objectives. However, he’s also reported that the sultry weather conditions we experienced in July are still at hand, so work has been somewhat limited by heat exhaustion. That was unexpected, in that past Octobers have been quite pleasant weather-wise. Even so, he says he’s experienced a sense of coming home that feels peaceful.

You may be wondering why Jim went to Florida without me. Let me explain. After my last CT scan in August both my pulmonologist and my infectious disease docs suggested that it would be best for me to stay away from the boat until my next scan in November. You may recall that there was some speculation that the infection may have come from the humid atmosphere in the southeast. So we agreed to test that hypothesis by my not going down to the boat any time before 11/18, the date of my next CT scan. Jim felt a need to take care of the concerns I mentioned sooner rather than later, so that’s the reason he went and I didn’t. He and Bill will return to Indy in a couple of days.

We have made a couple of trips together this summer, just not south. Near the end of August, during the week of our wedding anniversary, we traveled to Ely, MN, to visit with our church friend John. John has a rustic cabin on an island in one of the multitude of lakes in northern Minnesota, a place where he and his family have been summering for over 40 years. Despite the long drive and the somewhat rainy weather, we had a delightful visit with John. The serene quiet hung over the island like a snug blanket. The wild blueberries were sumptuous. And the outhouse was…well, let’s just call it “unique”.

Staton cabin
A cabin in the woods

Staton blueberries
These made great pancakes!

Staton lake
God’s country

Incidentally, on the way home from “Staton Island”, we happened to stop at possibly the best motel we’ve ever been in. When we started looking for an overnight motel, we were discouraged at several possibilities by the exorbitant rates—by our standards, anyway. We realized that northern hospitality is mostly limited to the summer season, and proprietors must make the lion’s share of their income in just a few months. However, we could not conscionably pay $100+ for a basic motel room. So we found ourselves in someplace named Maumet at an America’s Best Value Inn for a more reasonable rate of c.$70. What we found in the room, however, was worth substantially more. The room was approximately the size of two motel rooms and sported a four-poster king bed, a TV area with sofas and coffee table, a mini-bar, a large bathroom with two-person stall shower, and—wait for it—a four-person Jacuzzi! We had a VERY pleasant evening.

Our other northerly excursion took us to South Haven, MI, for a September weekend of sailing aboard Nakiyowin, Mark and Linda’s Catalina 36. The weather was perfect with mild temps and just enough breeze for pleasant sailing. It was definitely a weekend well-spent.

Relaxed sailing
Relaxed Michigan sailing

Back at the helm
It feels good to be back at the helm

Linda's Mom likes sailing, too.
Linda’s Mom likes sailing, too!

South Haven light
South Haven light

Jim got home safe and sound yesterday. We’re glad to be back together. Living apart is definitely not for us.

I had a fun lunch with four of my previous colleagues. Retirees Nancy, Carol, and I drove east to Kennard, IN, to visit with Shirley, who is still working. It was just fabulous to reconnect and catch up on each other’s lives.

We’re still living in a one-bedroom apartment in Indianapolis, and we still love the view. The neighborhood ducks visit regularly, and I usually have to refill our bird feeders daily. The squirrels and chipmunks are also frequent entertainers.

Our church, First Congregational United Church of Christ, has been occupying much of our time. We’ve both gotten re-involved in committee and team work. Having the support of our church family while we struggle with my health issues has been very soothing. Leaving our church behind is one of our biggest losses in live-aboard cruising. It’s been good to reconnect there.

Lately we’ve been enjoying the fall colors if not the temperatures. For at least two days last week the thermometer never made it above 50 degrees, with dreary skies thrown in. Brrrr! Yesterday and today, though, we seem to be having an Indian summer. Yesterday, with the promise of 60+ degrees and sunshine, we took the opportunity to visit a local park to marvel at the foliage. And marvelous it was. It’s been quite a while since we’ve been treated to such a display; this year the colors seem to be extra-glorious. In Florida I don’t usually miss the change of seasons; I rather like year-round summer. But I certainly appreciated once again having the opportunity to revel in the abundance of crimsons, lemons, pumpkins, and rusts we found yesterday in the woodland of Eagle Creek Park.

Fall Colors
The beauty of Eagle Creek Park

Fall Colors 2
A rainbow in the trees

We even got to see several deer. There are signs in the park admonishing feeding them, so we’re pretty sure the deer are present. But we rarely see them, so today’s pose was a treat.

Deer posing
A park resident

All in all, a delightful, relaxing, refreshing afternoon.

Deer and colors
Serenity personified

Once again we were surprised to observe one of nature’s forces—flooding. Enough rain fell overnight to swell our backyard creek into a swift-flowing river. We never even heard the rain. Not to worry—our building is sufficiently above the creek bed.

This is how peaceful our creek usually looks.
Oakbrook Creek

And this is how it looked this morning!
Oakbrook Creek flooded

The ducks seem to enjoy shooting the rapids, though.

This fall has been truly extraordinary. Trees continue to flaunt their magnificence of color as they softly and slowly dispatch their leaves to fertilize the still-green turf. I’m glad we didn’t miss it.

Fair winds and a faithful wake until next time,
Alice & Jim Rutherford
s/v Caloosa Spirit

Posted Wednesday October 28, 2009

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  1. Wow! You are quite the photographer. I always look forward to your logs. You write so well. I feel like I am there! (Of course, I AM there now- in Indy.)
    — Judy Blacketer    10/28/2009 02:34 PM    #
  2. Enjoyed your log and pictures. I’m wondering if my lung problems can be caused by weather conditions here. No way to escape forme but I will bring it up with my lunge doc. I’ll be very interested in your next scan. Hope you can get back to cruising soon.Love, Fran
    — Fran    11/02/2009 10:16 AM    #
  3. Your pictures are great Alice. Keep it up. Hope you feel better.
    — Jack    01/06/2010 02:17 PM    #
  4. Came across your card while cleaning out my office yesterday and could not resist checking out your website. Wonderful pics and story. Sorry to hear of your health issues.

    You may recall, that Steve and I met you two in a cove off Longboat Key, FL when we realized that we were anchored next to Caloosa Spirit – a boat that we had chartered in its first 6 months of service!

    Wishing you fair winds and better health in 20l0, Kathy
    — Kathy & Steve Cevoli    01/14/2010 01:35 PM    #
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