Friday, November 30, 2012


Jessie is our dog.  Usually we end up leaving her behind when we go on our trips.  Since we bought the boat we have wanted to bring her with us.  We miss her when we are gone.  She goes and stays with Grandma and Grandpa, and they love her and take good care of her, but we miss having her with us.  She is a great dog and she loves the water, so we knew she would love the boat, but we had a few challenges to overcome in order to bring her with us.  First was how to get her on and off the boat.  Our boat’s entrance is high off the water and most docks.  Last year David designed and installed boarding steps that we use almost on a daily basis now.  The stairs lead down to a foot off the water and allow us easier access to loading in and out of our tender or dinghy.  And if the dock is that low below us we can use the steps for that as well.  They are still steep as far as stairs go, but they are much better than a ladder.  When we were in Mexico we met a fellow boater and his dog was able to go up and down the stairs easily enough so we hoped Jessie could too.  The other challenge with Jessie is she is old now.  She is 10 and is in her last year or so of life most likely.  She has some arthritis in her hind legs from old injuries and surgery.  She is also overweight.  She had been slowly gaining over the last few years.  When I was home last January I took her to the vet for her annual check up and they found that she has hypo thyroidism.  Once she was on meds for her thyroid and a strict diet she lost a lot of weight and was back to her almost bouncy self.  So the week before we were to fly out we decided to take her with us. 



She is loving the boat!  What’s not to love… she’s got her family, and water all around.  So the challenge with water all around was potty training her to use the deck for the bathroom.  We bought a roll of sod, the same as at our house, and flew it with us to the boat and laid it out on the side deck.  After the first day we did not take Jessie to shore except for a quick walk up and down the dock.  It took about 24 hours and then we saw her pee on her grass patch.  Jessie’s response to change is to stop eating, so she hadn’t been eating much and therefore we were still waiting for #2, to see if she would do that on her grass patch.  A day later and she did.  We rewarded her with praise and treats.  And since then she has been doing good.  Our grass patch is slowly dying and is getting smaller as we throw the dead mud parts overboard.  But she doesn’t really need it anymore.  She prefers to use the bow of the boat for #2. I wonder if she just likes having the wind in her face while she’s pooping.  I’ll have to watch at home and see if she turns into the wind while in the back yard.IMG_7338

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Back to the Boat

Time to head back to the boat.  We had planned to leave in October but then decided to wait a little longer, maybe move the boat to Puerto Rico and start our trip from there.  Well David only got as far as Marathon Florida, in the Keys and so we decided we’d start from there with the kids. 

So the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, we spent flying to Florida.  It was a long day with a lot of travel, but we made it and the flights weren’t too crowded.  In fact we had plenty of room to stretch out.  On our first flight we received one upgrade to first class, so we decided to let Madison, our nanny for the trip, take that seat.  David and I sat in the back with the kids.  We had 3 flights to get to Miami.  On our last flight we were given 4 upgrade seats in first class, so David and I invited Isabel and Benjamin to sit with us in First Class.  They were very excited.  They did everything together.  They watched Nemo, they tried everything on their meal together, but a bit of the reward was lost on them.  Savannah and Calvin each took a turn sitting with David while I spent take off and landing in the back feeding Alexander.  Then Savannah enjoyed the treat of “babysitting” Alex while I sat up front.  At one point I went back to check on her and found her holding Alexander and still playing a game on the Itouch.  I was impressed. 


After spending all day flying, we arrived at 10pm eastern time in Miami.  We had planned to spend the night there, shop for provisions the next day and then make the 2 hour drive to the boat.  We had a lot of provisioning to do.  I had made a pretty good list before leaving Idaho and we were able to split up into 2 or 3 groups to get all the stuff we needed.  It still took a long time.  Most things I planned to have for the next 6 months, and others for 2-3 months till we reach Puerto Rico and can visit a Costco there.  Below is our chain of carts from Walmart.  You might not be able to tell, but the third card is being held on the bottom by Benjamin to the 2nd cart.  and the 4th cart is being held on by Matthew to the third cart from the kid seat up top.  It was quite the train. 


IMG_0802Then we had to fit it all in the rental van.  I should have ordered the 15 passenger, the 12 passenger was just not quite big enough.  Oh it was soooo full, and we still had to go to Costco.  Between Walmart and Costco we had to make a stop at the airport again to pick up Jessie, our dog.  She flew out on the 23rd, same as us, but she couldn’t go on the same planes, the one out of Boise that we took wasn’t big enough for a dog in a crate her size, so she had to wait for a later flight, which meant she had an overnight layover in Chicago and arrived in FL the next day.  She was so happy to see us!  We were excited to bring her on our adventure with us and decided the week before we left to make arrangements so she could come.  You’ll have to check in to see how she likes living on the boat with us!



Here we are playing sardines in the van.  We did make it to Marathon all in one piece, just a little stuffed and tired.  Now to haul it all down the dock and to our boat!