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Hurricane Season 2010

 

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United States Stay July –Mid Aug.
Monday morning, June 28,  I was on a 5 hour bus ride to Guatemala City.  Nothing too exciting except narrow roads, big trucks, construction, and bus stops.  Everyone I spoke to, finally a chance to practice some Spanish, wanted to know where I was going and why I was alone.  Lots of warnings from locals to, “Be careful”, since it is dangerous.  I had also read warnings about fake taxis.  Before I was off the bus, I had a persistent taxi driver waving me down from outside the window.  He had my bags before I was even off the bus.  Checked out his taxi and seemed to be legit, but I did have the tourist Helpline number ready for speed dial.  He had been divorced from a cheating Guatemalan woman and was looking for an American wife.  He was harmless but wanted me to translate Spanish Love Songs into English. 
Once in the airport, I had a 3 hour longer than expected wait due to the plane being delayed from leaving Houston by TS Alex.   I Finally arrived in Houston three hours late, Alleluia!  Scott had been gone only 10 days but after spending 9 months of practically 24/7 with him it was just too quiet w/o him.  He must not have felt the same because I got through customs, claimed my bags, and went outside to find NO Scott.  Since I only brought my UK phone with my Guatemala SIM card….I couldn’t even call him.  Why I didn’t bring the pay as you go phone I had bought in Charleston, I will never know????  Just didn’t think.    Fifteen minutes later he showed up….he had been misled by the airlines website about the time of arrival.  Needless to say, the first stop the next morning was to get me a US sim card.  Not that easy.  UK phones won’t work in the US, so we bought yet another new phone, card, and minutes.  We are going to have to find a way to store/organize all our various phones and SIM cards. 
The latest word is that Scott wouldl be leaving for Africa July 14.  Scott had spent a lot of time with his brother Ricky and his mom,

while he was here bach'ing it.  First we were off to visit the whole gang at Aztec and Teresa and the Boys.  It was great catching up and getting hugs.  The first days were spent enjoying the TS Alex rains.  I didn’t get them in Guatemala but it sure made up for it once I was here in Texas.   We couldn’t take not seeing my BLove kiddos any more, so Fri. morning we stopped by unannounced to surprise them.  Well we were surprised when the only one home was the Mom.  We felt really bad waking her up on a very rare morning with no one else home.  They kiddos had already left to go to Oklahoma for the Fourth of July Week-end.  So we packed up and headed to Karen’s, our friend who visited us in Isla de Mujeres, house on the bay, this will be our home away from home while we are in the US.  We got word that Scott would be leaving for Angola on Monday, July 5.  So we spent the week-end shopping to get him ready to go.  We had a great time celebrating Fourth of July of July. 

  Sailors on the Bay, Making beer with Karen, Ronnie, and Richard, Jackie’s, a grand place to party on the bay, the fireworks barge, and of course Fireworks. 
All too soon the next morning came and I had to take Scott off to the airport to catch his flight to Angola.  He flew on the, what we have dubbed the “Petro Air Company.”  To fly on these flights you have to be working with one of the three Big Oil Companies that run the 2 plane airline.  The #1 plane, is a all but a few seats, business class or above plane.  So Scott loves that one.  The #2, back-up plane isn’t as nice and he had to fly back on that one the last time he went to Angola.  So off he went with his Angolan Visa in his passport. 
With the BLove kiddos (Adelle, Bonnie, Chloe, Daphne, and Logan)  back in town off I went.  I was abundantly blessed with an opportunity to watch the kiddos, when their Nana had to work, so I got to be the “adult” in charge with them from Monday to Friday. 

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 We had lots of fun playing, watching videos, dressing up, learning on the computer, and going on a daily outing with the other Gma.   They sure did miss Scott…but made do with Cindy. ;) I leave a big piece of my heart every time I drive a way from this wonderful family. 

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  The next week I had a wonderful time celebrating the opening of Karen’s Blue Moon Bar and Grill Resort, sailing on the bay, and a girl’s night out at Rock the Dock in Kemah.  Also went and visited another Kemah family cruisers we had known back from Marina del Sol F Dock Party Days, who had just been gone a year on Capricous. 

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  In the group picture working right to left, Randall Redd, Randall and Tammy Fuchs, Michelle George (our Sail Mate) Me, Vicki Redd, Wanda Warmuth, and Lily Fuchs in front. 
Finally on July 20, the rig moving ship the "MVTarget" had the Rowan rig Gorilla VII loaded on board, cleared customs, and were heading out of the Luanda, Angola harbor, you can find out more about the ship at dockwise.com and you can watch a movie of this rig being loaded forit's trip to Africa here at Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soSuAB8S5x8  Rowan paid more than 1.5 million dollars in customs fees to exit Angola and the ship used almost 1200 tons of fuel during the trip. Scott sent SAT Tracker GPS positions and called on the SAT phone or his international phone when ever he was close enough to towers.  They had 36 people on the rig while it was on tow.  The chef left the day before they left Luanda claiming he was sick.  The head mechanic, Stan filled in, he was once a pastry chef in a hotel, and by Scott’s account did a fine job.  Allthough, by the end of the trip they did start running out of things.  Scott was able to get Russian Cokes and Diet Cokes from the MV Target.

 They also bartered with the Russian ships crew for potatoes and coffee with excess chicken and rice they had on board. 
Next, I am taking a road trip to see Tina and Family in Fort Worth.  Earlier in the week I had gone and gotten my car detailed and the battery died.  I got a jump at the car wash place.   Karen and I decided it would be best if I would get a new battery before my trip to FW.  On Friday morning I headed north.  Just 20 miles into the trip, I lost my radio.  Then the clock, AC, power to windows, and the BMW completely died before the next exit in downtown Houston.  I was able to coast off the road and completely stop in a safe place near the Houston Courthouses.  So there were lots of people about.  Got on the phone and NTB said there was nothing they could do to help me.  With Tech support from Karen, I was finally able to contact the BMW Dealership about 5 miles away.  From break down, tow, and installation of a new alternator…I was back on the road in 3 hours 15 minutes oops almost forget the $1100.   During my 33 years of driving I have never broken down before where I had to be towed.  Thinking how bad it could have been, like having it happen half way to FW and being towed hours…it all worked out amazingly well.  About a half hour later, Scott just happened to call, he may have gotten an earful! 
He duly noted that he would have to work an extra few days to pay for it.
            Finally I made it to Lannette, Alex, and Roman’s house.  Roman is 16 months old and I had only seen him by pictures posted on FaceBook.  Gotta’ Love FB!  I planned the trip for the next to the last week before Lannette had to start back to school, teaching 6th Grade Math.  We spent the week-end on the water at John and Shelley’s lake house on Eagle Mountain Lake. 

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I really enjoyed just a floating at party cove.  Don’t you just love my new way of wearing a life jacket?
            I spent the next few days getting to know and playing with Roman.  I just love getting to know little ones. Especially Roman, who is all boy!   ;)   Our big adventure was to the Fort Worth Stock Yards.

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and dinner at Tina’s with the whole family.  Again, I go to meet some new family additions.  The highlight of the trip was to check off a bucket list item, if I had a list it would definitely be on it, of going skydiving.  Years ago, Patti McG had told me how wonderful it was and that some day you just had to do it.  Well, finally I was given the opportunity.  John and Shelley’s son had wanted to “fly” for years and they had told him they would do it when he turned 18. It was just after his birthday and a group of ten of us jumped out of a perfectly good plane.  Scott did call the day before and I asked him if he would want to know if I was going to do something crazy??? He came back with are you going to be at my door in Dundee??  I chuckled…no, but I am planning to jump out of a plane.  He told me to go for it and have fun with no reservations.  So here is the proof… 

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I really loved the free fall.  Can’t wait to do it again, when I won’t have the first time doing something not knowing what is coming nerves, and can enjoy it more.
            Heading to Fort Worth and coming home I had a new place to stop halfway in Buffalo, Texas at the The Horse’s Mouth Bookstore.  Some fellow cruisers, Laura and Glen off Turn One have opened this quaint little store. 

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A great place to stop and catch up with old friends.  Once back in Seabrook, I had one more little one to meet, Hannah,   Judy’s daughter, an ole teaching mate from LCIS, being the Spanish teacher we spent many a night translating something for the hotline, newsletter, or website. 

We spent a wonderful afternoon getting to know each other and catching up, deciding that it had been just way too long!

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