Friday, October 13, 2006

Baskets from home

Women of the Embera tribe weave these baskets with intricate patterns using fiber as fine as human hair. The baskets help to express the beauty and achievements of the Embera culture. This is one of many missions for the Pajaro Jai. During their travels the crew contact other native peoples to share their experiences and learn ways to preserve their culture and develop their future. This beautiful boat carries the dreams of a tribe living in the rain forest of Panama. How amazing that it was built and it is sailed by people who had never seen the ocean. You can find out more on:

The boat from Panama

Crew from the Pajaro Jai invited us aboard. The Pajaro Jai (Enchanted Bird) was built in the Panama Rain forest by people of the Embera tribe. In 12 years they built the 92 foot boat, using the wood from their forests. They imported ingots of lead which they melted in fires to cast the keel. The entire boat was made in the jungle by the tribe, except for the motor, sails, and winches. This picture of the interior salon only hints at their beautiful craftsmanship. Some of the spindles are turned, while others are carved medicine sticks which are used for healing in Embera culture. The cabins were a gallery of unusual and beautiful woods, including iron wood and blood of Christ wood. Posted by Picasa

Pajaro Jai

Our curiosity grew as we noticed that the people on the boat were using dugout canoes with leaf shaped paddles to get back and forth to the dock. Posted by Picasa


We returned to the anchorage to find ourselves with very big neighbors, a beautiful 92 foot wooden boat. Lovely lines, elegant wood work, and several people working on her. Her name was Pajaro Jai. Posted by Picasa

Life with family

The best part of anchoring in Washington DC is that we are close to Bethesda MD and family. Here we are having fun mixing, decorating, cooking, and eating cookies. This entertainment is not available on the boat's stove top. Lexie, AKA super duper girl, is the star cookie chef. Posted by Picasa

Visiting DC

We sailed up the Potomac and into Washington DC, anchoring in the teeth of a storm. Wet and cold, it was great to go inside to make dinner. The anchorage was safe and this smile did not greet us at the boat. We found him at the National Zoo during one of our visits to the city. Posted by Picasa

Annapolis star

Our trip down the Chesapeake took us near Annapolis and there we found Bob and Gail. Hinkley the cat was guarding their boat and could not join us for dinner. This photo gives evidence that Maria and Gail are secretly related, a happy discovery. Posted by Picasa

Home is the sailor

It happens less frequently, but still we have flashes of amazement and gratitude, "Look, Vinnie can stand!" Posted by Picasa

Reseach findings

Our visit with Patricia and Michael shows that sailors can leave their boats and return to land for an exciting, productive, and happy life. As Patricia has noted, it is best if you don't mention the "W word", wwwwooooor, woooorrrrr, oops, work. Posted by Picasa

Walking in Philidelphia

Pat and Michael gave us a tour of Philidelphia and we wandered through historic areas, past the famous mosaics (see previous photo), museums, and parks. They covered many of the famous sights and several which were of personal interest, including the house where Maria's father had lived as a child. We ended a wonderful day in a large, wooded park. There on a hillside, we found this statue of an unknown indian chief. It is thought that he is looking for his people who are gone. He has been waiting like this since the early 1900's and Maria's father used to see him as he explored these woods so many years ago. Posted by Picasa

Ashore with Twice in a Blue Moon

Patricia and Michael from Twice in a Blue Moon had returned to Philidelphia and were moving back to land life. We took a couple of brisk over night sails to get down the coast and up the Delaware to check up on them. Patricia, Michael, and Ginger were all doing well, surrounded by the family, friends, and neighbors who were celebrating their return. Poor Oliver, however, was distressed and could not be extracted from his litter box. A born sailor, he yearns for the rolling waves, sea breezes, and the sound of Patricia and Michael singing sea shanties over their bottle of rum into the early morning hours. Posted by Picasa

Heading South Through New York

We had wonderful visits with the Stacks in Rhode Island (twice), the Herrmann's in Cape Cod, and the natives in Nantucket. As autumn approached it was time to head south. We sailed through Hell Gate, the East River, and finally New York harbor. Diva with Carl and Debbie Gaines were traveling with us and we took pictures of each other along the city. Posted by Picasa


We've been looking for a live aboard feline mate. On previous visits we have been impressed with Tip's wisdom, personality, and serene world view. Here she and Vinnie discuss the responsibilities and wages. Unfortunately, Tip's services to the Stack's are more essential during the winter months and she was unable to accept the position. Posted by Picasa

Rhode Island Return

We left New York for Rhode Island and a visit with Ginny and Peter Stack. Ginny, Peter, and Tip seemed happy to see us. Bailey's reaction was a little more difficult to determine. It certainly made walking a challenge for Peter. Posted by Picasa

One last celebration

We lived with Meg and George for a month and most of that time Vinnie was a bedridden stranger. He was in good form for Nellie and Larry's wedding and we left shortly after the festivities. Here Meg and Melanie celebrate the marrage and perhaps our imminant departure. Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 21, 2006

A toast for Dr. Daniel Spitzer

During the wedding festivities, the family gathered to offer a toast in honor of Dr. Spitzer. We are amazed and thankful for Vinnie's remarkable recovery and wonderful care.

August 20,2006 Nellie and Larry are married!

Storms and rain were predicted, but even the weather had to smile for Nellie and Larry's wedding celebration. The day was beautiful, the bride was lovely, and the family is thrilled to welcome Larry.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Why we came to New York

Another high point for our stay was the annual family reunion which took place several days before the blessed event (Vinnie's surgery). There are shocking pictures from the festivities of Vinnie lurching across the lawn, looking like an old man with a broken hip on ice, but nobody wants to see that, do they?

He's fixed

Despite chiropractors and orthopedic specialists, Vinnie's back just got worser and worser. With increasing pain, weakness, and numbness of his leg, we were very motivated to find the big fix. On 8/9/06, Dr. D. Spitzer, a neurosurgeon, took these problems away by removing an enormous (humongous - in medical jargon) herniated disc. We could not be happier and are very grateful for his excellent care.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

So What

We rush from bus stop to chiroprator clinic to grocery and marine hardware store . Staggering down the dock we find an invasion of flowers bunched up by the pilings. Stinging flowers, but beautiful all the same.

Hampton VA

We sailed off shore from Fort Pierce Florida to Beaufort NC, (450 nautical miles) and returned reluctantly to the ICW after the seas and wind became rough. A quick run north on the ICW brought us to HAMPTON VA. Vinnie's back had become a serious problem and we parked in the river to find a cure. Richard and Rosa are dock masters. We could not believe how kind, knowlegable, and helpful they were. They were our introduction to a city of wonderful people. Can you imagine a Rotary Club inviting clean, but informaly dressed transients to their dinner and drinks on the dock festivities? Oh yes, we are now seeing a chiroprator whose office staff provide rides back for sailors. (Dr. R. Miers at Bayview ChiropracticClinic) This town is a wonderful place.


We travelled off shore until the seas and wind drove us back to the inland passage. Great to see reminders of home and family.


We thought that our return to Riverside Marina and east coast travels would be a repetitive bore. So, we planned to shut down the blog and spare our friends and family the tedium of our replay, but life continues to surprise us. We found that our neighbors in the boat yard were movie stars. John and Barbara Ann Calvert
have traveled all over the world as magicians, actors, producers, and explorers. Although John is 95, he and Barbara Ann ?, work on the boat while exuding glamour. Their most recent movie is "Curse of the Elephants Grave Yard". They loaned us the Promo edition. BIG FUN. Please note that John and Barbara Ann are working on a really big boat.

Boat yard sages

We returned to Fort Pierce and Riverside Marina. In between our rush to complete necessary maintainance and repairs, we had time to consult with the boat yard sages. Here Vinnie and Pappy (a mature and knowlegable 77) review the facts.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Family Visits

When not in Iowa City, we wandered about the country checking up on the well being of our family, putting over 7,000 miles on our little car. Although suffering from the loss of our morally uplifting presence, they seem to be doing very well.

Back to Work

Fortunately, we were able to return to short term, gainful employment. This did much to improve our financial standing and moral fiber. Here's Vinnie off to work, another pirate rehabilitated.

The Wedding Party

With an entourage of 7 opinionated female relatives, Alessia braved the hoards of crazed brides to be and shopped for her wedding dress. All of her dress pictures are restricted and can not be published or shared in any format. We can provide evidence that the Sandra (the mother of the bride) and Sue (mother of the groom) are already working on their ensembles for the big day.

Alessia and Jim

Alessia and Jim are engaged! They are excited to have months of wedding preparations ahead.

Camping in Iowa

We rented a wonderful apartment for a month in Iowa City so that we could spend time with Chiara and James after Samuel's death. Here two of our technically adept family members meditate on the intricate system of internet service. Thanks Vinnie and Sandra.

Baby Samuel

The birth of Samuel, the first child of Chiara and James, was at the heart of our decision to return. "Now I lay me down to sleep" is an organization of professional photographers who donate their services to take photopgraphs of babies who die at birth. One of their members, Lisa, drove an hour and a half to take pictures for Chiara and James with baby Samuel.

On Friday, May 26, 2006 Samuel Lewis Hemsley was still born. All of Samuel's aunts and uncles, grandparents, and many friends of the family joined Chiara and James for his memorial service.

James Graduates

Then our son-in-law James received his MBA from the University of Iowa and more celebrating was in order.

Cecca's Graduation

Dodging storms and nasty weather, we arrived in the states just in time to see Francesca graduate from Grand Valley State University. Another Philosophy Major ready for the job market.

Heading Home

During the past several months, our family kept busy generating new events to distract us from our travels. While we were waiting for a weather window in Mayaguana, their news reached critical mass and it was time to return. The rest of our travels were just the fast road to home. Painting by Kateri Herrmann, 8/2005.