Saturday, March 6, 2010

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Crossing the Gulf

Captain Mike at the helm crossing the Gulf of Mexico.
Nov. of 2009. Is he even awake? Boy am I in trouble!
Posted by Admiral Mrs. ThunderBunny.

A beautiful Sunrise crossing the Gulf of Mexico.
Nov. 2009.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Vessel

Back in early 2004 my lovely bride and I were surfing the web looking for our ideal cruising vessel. I had many thoughts on the subject but this train of thought was soon derailed by an edict from the mouth of the priestess on high.

"It shall be big". And it was. And the morning and the evening were the first day.

And again from on high come the voice. "It shall be steel" and lo with much trembling did I fear the wrath of she who must be obeyed. "Why does the ark must needs be constructed of such a dreadfully un-nautical material" cried I.

And lowering her head and raising one eyebrow in such a manner as to eliminate all doubt as to her conviction she quietly stated her point. "In case YOU hit something!"

There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth but the search engine peered far and wide and found .... her. A Kanter Atlantic 45 in St. Thomas USVI.

Introduction 05 NOV 09

In November the adventure begins. Captain Thunderbunny and his first mate of 20 years will set sail from Seabrook, TX to begin an extended cruise around the world. This blog will keep family and friends apprised of the progress (or lack thereof) of the indomitable pair during their sojourn through the years and chronicle the best and worst of the effort while maintaining a sense humor and and attempting to lose any sense of dignity. Adding to this epistle pictures, video and a running commentary on the state of the world as it is encountered, comparing that to the state of the intrepid travelers that will be bumping around in it and you have the basis for this journal. 20 years of dreaming, 10 years of planning, 5 years of preparing and the time has come. We must be off. Some of us are just a little more "off" than others.

Who is this duo of dreamers/adventurers and what makes anyone want to take their lives in their own hands and face an unknown sea and unknown future? First, let me tell you who we are not. We are not riggers or sailmakers, mechanics or electricians. Neither are we shipwrights, welders or plumbers. No, we're not experts at much of anything nautical, though we can hopefully find our destination and can probably fix the stuff that breaks en route when we get there. Most of it anyway. And unfortunately for us, we are definitely not wealthy. We do, however, love each other beyond measure and hope to spread a little of our good fortune among acquaintances along the way.

Simply put, we are a pair of romantics armed with strong sense of not wanting to waste the time we have been given on this wondrous planet as a slave to others expectations. Or our own. Forty years of "paying dues" is quite sufficient to allow me an opinion, so let me explain something of this philosophy. Working is good. Builds character, confidence and a nest egg. Working so someone else doesn't have to is more than a little disappointing. There is little recommend the current system to which we find ourselves fastened.

Now in these uncertain times layoffs are a certainty. Trust me. I have been laid off more jobs than most people will ever have. But we do not expect to be taken care of nor do we expect to take care of those who can take care of themselves. They need to build their own character, confidence and nest eggs.

Now during my previous life as a high tech marketing/sales manager I had found that the corporate world was capable of taking more than its allotted "pound of flesh." It can actually take a toll heavier than can be counted. Don't get me wrong. It has its up side. Working in boardrooms, all one's time scheduled to the last minute, the pressure of making the deal happen. Oh, and the best part of course. Getting paid. It's a blast.

Then you realize what you're missing living in airports out of a bag with no time to just goof off. One day you look up and time appears to be fleeing from you. Maybe not at the speed of light like photons through the cosmos. More like the speed of a toddler or the cadence of the voice of a good friend. Or at the tempo of your first dance with the girl who became your eternal companion.

It's then you realize you can always make more money, but you cannot make more time. It is a commodity far too precious to squander. Time to learn, time to grow, time for giving, time for helping, time for love. There must more than just time to make a living. There must be time to live. In that sense then, the future is not unknown, the times are not uncertain and the sea is just water.

Swindled out of our life savings in two separate scams on the scale of Bernie Madoff, we could whine about not having any money and delay, postpone or completely cancel our lives and our cruise. Or we could go cruising anyway being at least certain that we would never regret the things we didn't do. Although it will be budget cruising now and we'll undoubtedly need to work during the journey to fill the cruising kitty, it's time to have a life, have the time of our lives and maybe do a little goofing off.