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Thursday, February 27, 2014

AMISH COUNTRY

In my professional experience, you just never know for sure how your day will unfold.  After 32 years in this business I had not had the experience of appraising property owned by the Amish. Our area of western Kentucky includes a few counties with a strong Amish community. 

So Here I go.  My current task is to appraiser an Amish Farm. Typically, they do not have a phone, however, this particular farm has another business which has a phone available 30 min. per day.  That does enable me to make an appointment to view the property. I must say they do have some pretty farms. 


After meeting the your owner of the farm, I toured the property with his company, and it is obvious he is proud of his farm.  While a small farm, it offers a wide variety of operations. He has a dairy herd, 43 head, milked twice per day, a tarp construction business, draft horses for plowing about 80 acres and a homestead.  This is a considerable operation for only 100 acres. 
The above horses are large, draft horses used to plow the fields. They are huge and well behaved.  I watched a young man back them into the barn with the plow.  Of  course you had better not be behind them at the wrong moment. 

While touring the property I stumbled upon these calf feeding. It appears they have been weaned from Mom and are in a feeding barn.  They are cute and one has a name.
I spied this calf and since the calf is named after our daughter I thought she deserved her own picture.
Notice the name and date of birth on the ear tag.  They have plenty of room in the small coral and must be destined for the dairy operations. 

In another farm visit I encountered another pet.  I saw any number of these in Vietnam but this one is a pet.
Just scratch this pig behind the ears and it is your friend.

After touring this farm I need to invest in some rubber boots to mind my walking.  The cows and horses do not seem to mind where they poop.  But I must admit I do enjoy seeing the farms and admire the simple life style of the Amish.  I do wonder what they think of me. 

Oh well, see you on the farm or the water.

Happy sailing,

Adm. Denise, Capt Barry, Deckhands Bella and Bailey

Sunday, February 23, 2014

MY HERO

I have discussed in this blog my good friend "Doc".  Well he continues his voyage along the gulf coast of Florida.  Having cruised over 4,000 river miles, Doc has expanded his sailing south to cruise the Florida waters.

Thus far, Doc has cruised along the Gulf Coast panhandle from Mobile Bay to Steinhatchee.  He is rounding the corner as explained by looper boats.  He could cut the corner from Carrabelle to Tampa, but this requires a 180 mile cruise overnight across the Gulf.  While this can be possible for Doc's boat, this range can task his fuel and increases  the risk.  Therefore, Doc has opted to round the corner and see what he can see.
Click on the layer to see the locations of Doc as he travels the corner.




The above map is a work in progress.  I am new to New Google Maps but trying to teach this old dog a new trick.  Envious as I am of Doc we will follow this old dog along his pirates route along the West Coast of Florida.  Who knows, he may like the Sea Hag!  This will take an education on my part but hopefully my skills will improve. 

As I follow my Senior Hero down the west coast of Florida I continue to envy his journey.  However, I do not think I would enjoy the solitude of anchoring many nights with out anyone to share the experience.  Doc seems to enjoy the solitude but also craves human conversation after days at anchor.  

Doc is currently at anchor off coast from Suwannee River about 3 miles off coast.  Seems access to the river can be very shallow and at low tide he felt getting caught was a possibility.  After spending a few days at the Sea Hag Marina, an anchorage may be a break.  He did provide his coordinate which I will update on the next map post.  Now that I know the last coordinates, I can inform the Coast Guard of his last known location. 



While I am writing about "old sailors" I have another sailor dog to introduce.  A good friend and college has purchased an Albin Family Cruiser to restore.  Restore is a generous word, rebuilt would be more accurate.  He purchased this boat after it sat behind a house in the rain for 3 years.  The boat sunk on its trailer.  Tom pumped over 1,000 gal. from the boat.  Now, the restoration is underway.  He plans to follow Doc along the waterways.   Notice the bumped up cabin in the stern. This area is a small sleeping cabin.  It has more space than appears but is like crawling into a coffin. The boat has a cabin with head, galley and bed.  The saga will continue during the next year as the boat is restored.  


 Found this wonderful pic, reminding me of Kentucky Spring. Yep, only good looking dogs and a beautiful women in this picture.  The old sea dog was the photographer.  We have experienced a rough winter and this is a view we all are looking forward to.  It will appear eventually.  

We continue to remodel the condo and I would estimate about 95% complete.  We will post before and after pics for all to enjoy when the project is complete.  Of course, Spring brings boat work which I certainly enjoy. 

Well I must bath the wife and walk the dogs.  Good time along Bend of the Rivers.  See ya'll on the water.

Happy sailing,
Adm. Denise, Capt Barry, Deckhands Bella and Bailey 

 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

LIFE, IT IS A CHANGING

Sitting here along Lake Barkley shoreline I am a bit pensive and realizing, Life is changing.  This is certainly prompted by our recent move to a wonderful condo unit along the "beach" of our development, Bend of the Rivers.  I sit here daily watching the river, lake and view change. Each morning I am greeted with a new view, punctuated by my friends, Canadian Geese, Mallard Ducks, uncounted birds and changing landscape. 

As visible above, our view changes many times in just 24 hrs. We have had sunsets, snow, fog and the ever passing towboats. 

As readers of this blog will hopefully remember, our plans have always been to travel as far and wide as we can manage.  As these plans have evolved, we found ourselves transitioning from land based travel via our motor home to water based travel aboard our trawler, 0 Regrets.  This included the purchase of our first condo unit, a one-bedroom charmer.  However, karma intervened and offers us an opportunity to purchase our current home on the beach with the view above.  We sold our one bedroom unit to the first viewer and happily began this journey to make the "lake" our home.  

This began the renaissance of Unit 4B.  However, this project has opened other doors to Ms. Denise and I.  Other factors must fall in line to complete this relocation, but it appears they are moving along.  I feel the most significant change is Denise seems more than happy here and has been "nesting" actively since our purchase.  I tend to stir the nest up i.e. demolition, and she puts things back together beautifully.  A good team effort.      
The above shot conveys the comfort we are feeling in our new home.  Although the entire unit is being redecorated, the view and dogs remain.  This picture seems rather "comfortable" to me which is how we feel here.  We will be completing our remodel in the next 3-4 weeks.  Our careers do continue but will require some commuting to and fro but a little driving is a small price to pay for our plans to continue. 
Above is our planned water borne conveyance, 0 Regrets.  Seen here a Grand Harbor Marina in Pickwick Lake during our fall cruise of 2013.  We plan to live aboard for 2-3 months then dock the boat, somewhere, escaping back to Lake Barkley to visit and get land legs back.  Then back to 0 Regrets to continue our adventures.  We are following a number of blogs of friends we have met along our river cruises, stealing ideas, anchorage and marina locations. 

I remain envious of friends who are currently aboard their boats along the Panhandle coast of Florida.  I have written about "Doc" in this blog and he continues to entertain and provide a glimpse into life along the coast.  Another long time friend has just begun a dream by purchasing his cruising boat.
The above boat is the dream and project of my friend Tommy. This is the same boat Doc lives aboard, just about 2 feet shorter. Right, 25 ft. of joy awaits Tommy.  The boat sank in the Ohio River and sat on the bottom for over a year. He purchased boat and trailer and has embarked on a total rebuild.  In fact, the only really good portion of the boat is the hull and trailer.  While we were talking "boat" we stumbled on the idea of cruising together when time permits.  He does anticipate maybe a year project to complete the rebuild.  Maybe he can help me with projects aboard 0 Regrets. That would be a challenge. 

Well, our transition continues.  I am starting to feel like a local. The lizard keeps changing but he has a smile on the old face.

Happy sailing,

Adm. Denise, Capt Barry, hands Bailey and Bella