Posts Tagged With: Eulalie Jean Laschever

It’s show time; finish strong.

We named our sailboat for our two daughters, Beth and Jean.  We explained to them that by so doing we would have them near us as we traveled.  Not surprisingly, over our four years of cruising, Elizabeth Jean helped connect us to her namesakes as they pursued their distant and separate paths.  At the same time, Elizabeth Jean became alive to us, possessed with her own personality: solid, steady, comforting.  In a word, beautiful.  As we thought of what would be our final passage together, we thought of these characteristics.  Too, we thought of Beth and Jean.  Beth, who found her voice on the stage, abandoned her inherent shyness at “showtime” to deliver one remarkable performance after another.  Jean, always the most coachable member of her many athletic teams, always followed her coachs’ advice to “finish strong.”  Thus, for our passage from the Bahamas to Chesapeake Bay we elected to take the 700+ miles in one long six day at-sea passage, rather than a series of shorter hops.  Now, it was show time.  We intended to finish strong.

Albatross scopes out the passage from Great Sale Cay, east of Florida, to Chesapeake Bay (shrouded in clouds above Cape Hatteras).

Beth and Jean, together this past winter, always in our hearts.

 

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“We came for two weeks and stayed for fifteen years” Pam on SV Dejarlo

Almost every morning for the 27 days Elizabeth Jean rested and played in Elizabeth Harbor, Pam on Dejarlo would moderate the 8:00 cruisers’ net, the forum for sharing news and information for the Harbor and the greater George Town area.  Almost every day she would note the magnetic hold that the harbor held on her and her husband, Oliver.  It was easy to see why.  The cruisers’ net provided a menu of activities from beach volleyball, to water aerobics.  Painting sunset scenes on coconuts? Yep, you could do that too.  Bonfire socials and snorkeling with the resident reef expert?  Roger, roger.   Just listen to the cruisers’ net and then sample from the cruiser friendly smorgasbord.  During our time in Elizabeth Harbor, Elizabeth Jean rested safely through gale force winds at a dock and on a mooring.  In calmer weather, Elizabeth Jean enjoyed an array of pleasant anchorages that provided ready access to stunning beach walks, excellent snorkeling, free reverse osmosis water and restaurants, stores and shops.  The George Town International Airport provided easy access for daughter Jean and her fiancé, Max’s visit.  As a cruising cross roads, we also ran into Adam Hauck, one of Lal’s fellow captains in Seattle and Jupiter’s Smile, a sailboat we met our first season in Mexico and who we had not seen or heard from in more than three years.  As  Elizabeth Jean, headed north up the Exuma chain towards Nassau, only the encouragement of excellent sailing on the protected Exuma Bank, eased Elizabeth Harbor’s enticing embrace.

Elizabeth Harbor, home to Georgetown, is in the lower right hand corner.

Albatross-eye-view of Elizabeth Harbor.  Elizabeth Jean spent time at the marina in the upper left hand corner of the photo and at anchorages throughout the Harbor.  At the height of the season as many as 400 boats were anchored in the Harbor.

Elizabeth Jean is secure at the third dock from the left.  She is the brown masted vessel just right of center obscured by a sailboat with a blue sail cover.  We arrived in Elizabeth Harbor just ahead of a gale and weathered the storm at the dock.

AJ making conch salad at the Peace and Plenty, a very cruiser friendly hotel and restaurant.  He is dicing a piece of conch and another piece is to the right of his hand.  Citrus juices, onions and peppers complete the simple dish.

Just one of the beautiful beaches on the harbor side.

A beach walk on the more turbulent Exuma Sound side.

The mooring field where we left Elizabeth Jean for a short visit to the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.

Jean and Max joined us for a week.

Max goes up to help restring our courtesy flag halyard which had frayed in the heavy winds.

Photo credit: SV Spiraserpula.  Elizabeth Harbor has an abundance of good snorkeling sites.  The numbers on this picture were provided by Gayle on SV Spiraserpula.  Gayle and her husband, Bill, are retired marine biologists who live on their catamaran, named for a marine worm named for Gayle.  One morning on the cruisers’ net Gayle announced she would be snorkeling at a reef near our location.  She invited anyone who wanted a reef ecosystem tour to swim on over.  Eric was the only taker and enjoyed one on one instruction with the local expert.  For more about Spiraserpula and local snorkeling see:

http://cruisingbiologists.com/

Anchor lights in Elizabeth Harbor the night before Elizabeth Jean departs for Nassau.

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“To have a daughter is to know a special joy” Anonymous

As we were preparing Elizabeth Jean to depart Seattle three years ago, our daughter Beth (the Elizabeth in Elizabeth Jean) sent us a picture of an attractive New York City boat basin.  “Here’s where to come in when you get Elizabeth Jean to New York City to visit me,” she enthused.  While we have worked hard to manage our own and others’ expectations about our journey, we privately kept alive the goal of arriving in the New York area to visit Beth.  July 4th, therefore, provided a dual celebration: fulfillment of Beth’s optimistic prediction, along with our nation’s 240th birthday.  This visit also provided a daughterly bookend to our 2013 visit with Jean after our 1000 mile trip from Seattle to Newport Beach, California.  Our daughters’ enthusiastic support  of their namesake’s journey has buoyed her and our spirits along our way.

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Joyously together.

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Seastreak, a high speed ferry, docked ten minutes from our marina, provided an attractive alternative to accessing the Big Apple for a  busy holiday weekend.

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From the ferry’s deck we relaxed and enjoyed New York Harbor and scouted Elizabeth Jean’s route to the East River.

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Forty minutes after departing, Seastreak deposited us near Wall Street where July 4th celebrations were in full swing.  A short walk from the ferry dock is the site of George Washington’s inauguration as our first president.

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We celebrated the festivities at Riis Beach to the vocal stylings of Raycee Jones, one of Beth’s college friends.

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Captain Sullivan.  Action Hero.

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We both got the memo to wear blue, but apparently not the memo about looking at each other while we dance.

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A captain’s kiss.


Ton17f

 In September 2013, Jean helped us celebrate our arrival in Southern California. To have two daughters is to know joy’s abundance.

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“Passion is the gale” Alexander Pope

On the Beaufort Wind Scale, a gale is classified as: 7: Moderate Gale (32–38 miles per hour), 8: Fresh Gale (39-46 mph), 9: Strong Gale (47-54 mph) and 10: Storm/Whole Gale (55-63 mph).   As a general rule, Elizabeth Jean avoids gales.  For example, two days after departing Seattle in 2013 with Elizabeth Jean 60 miles offshore, weather forecasts predicted we would run into gales off southern Oregon.  We opted to head for Newport, Oregon to wait.

We were anchored at Isla Mujeres, when we broke our general rule.  The good news: we we were in an anchorage.  The bad: Isla Mujeres is notorious for its poor holding.

Dark clouds and nearby thunder and lightening flashing in the mid-afternoon announced the gale’s arrival.  As our wind meter climbed to 29, then 35 and finally 37 knots, the gale engulfed us.  The squall hit the same time as the peak winds, drenching and blinding us with white-out conditions.

The Cruisers’ Net the next morning joked about a night of “bumper cars and drag races” in the anchorage.  We were among many boats that dragged. During a lull, we set a second bow anchor (a first in our two and a half years) and set an anchor watch through a long “passion-filled” night.  We were spared the harrowing experience of encountering another boat, although an errant boat came down hard on two nearby boats, entangling one’s second anchor and ripping another’s bow pulpit from its deck.

Gales, as do clouds, come with silver linings.  The below photo of the entry from our log the day of the squall explains.

squall log

As the log notes, the gale’s first hit came quickly at 1650 (4:50) and lasted 30-45 minutes.  At 1700 (5:00) our daughter Jean called to tell us she and her boyfriend, Max Friedman, were engaged.  Shortly after the call, the winds built again and we spent the night taking turns on anchor watch.

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