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Captain ~ Much Too Soon To Say Goodbye

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Nov. 1, 2009 – October 5, 2018

It is with the heaviest heart that I share the news that our sweet dog, Captain, has passed away.  We received a phone call from the pet sitter late last Friday night and since then my world has been a much heavier one.  The actual cause of death is still unresolved although we have had a necropsy (pet autopsy) performed.  The information we received from the pet sitter and the results of the necropsy do not agree and not knowing the truth of what really happened to our girl has made her loss much more difficult for us.

However, my family and I are doing everything we can to remain positive and keep only good memories of our very special dog. Captain brought so much joy to us and to everyone she met, that we want to use her memory and love to prevent us from becoming bitter about not knowing what happened.

Please indulge me as I inundate this post with pictures of Captain and as we share some of the life lessons we learned from her…

We weren’t sure she would grow into her ears but she did!

Captain was always game to try anything we asked and as a result, we did nearly everything together. Looking back at pictures from her very short life shows the myriad of places she has been and the variety of experiences she had.

Wanna snorkel? Wanna hike? Wanna take a beach pic?  YES! Anything!

Snow is fun… oh, but the tropics are great too!

Mom, I’ll help you stretch, then give you kisses.

In addition to helping us meet new people, Captain taught us some important lessons that we will remember and try to put into practice:

  1. Go to shore every day for a walk, to stroll the beach or just to be on shore.
  2. Jump and bark and wag your tail when you see your relatives.
  3. Look up in addition to down – there are things in the trees and sky.
  4. Stretch when you stand up in the morning and after a nap.
  5. When you are happy, bark for joy.
  6. Smell the roses, literally.
  7. You can’t truly enjoy life without getting dirty once in a while.
  8. Ask for hugs when you want them.
  9. Try new things.
  10. Persistence pays off.
  11. Let the people you love know you are happy to see them.
  12. Don’t stay sad or mad; live in the present!

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Hey, it’s pretty outside.  Wanna play?

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See how good I am…. chillin’ at a beach bar.

Resting during a hike. Hitching a ride back from shore.

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Protecting mom and dad from wild goats on Antigua.

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Please let’s go for another dinghy ride!

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Roll in the sand, then dig to the cool sand in the shade of the dinghy.

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Getting into the spirit of Christmas.

Reading or helming, Cappy was a big help.

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Captain’s blogs were the most popular ones.

It’s really hard to believe that Captain won’t be part of our future on s/v Ticket to Ride. Her loss has left a vacuum in our lives that will become more painful when we are in our usual routine and she isn’t with us.

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Cappy smiling for a photo too.

Cap was enthusiastic about everything; and always wanted a front row seat!

We will miss meeting people because of her. We will miss having her bark from shore to alert the person on the boat that we were ready to be picked up after a walk. We will miss her alerting us to dolphins or people or flies or some interesting activity happening around us.  We will miss her joy, her energy, her enthusiasm for any and everything.

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I will miss those sweet eyes.

People we don’t know personally but read our blog would ask about Captain if we actually met them in person. We will miss our little ambassador who was the most popular being on the boat.

But we will focus on how lucky we were to love her and be loved by her.

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We love you pretty girl. And we always will.

Thanks for reading our blog. To those who loved our Cappy-girl ~ thank you!

Grr and Growl… I Miss My Swims!

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Hey y’all, it’s me, Captain.  MG said I could have the computer today since I have been a really good dog. Plus, everyone was really complimentary about my first sneaky blog, so I didn’t even get in trouble. (Big tail wag for that!)

Boy has it been hot and boring here in this marina. I don’t really understand why we are staying in one place for such a long time and I’m a little tired of it. But I keep my tail up and make the best of it.

With so much down time here, I have plenty of time sleep and think about the fun stuff we have been doing since moving onto Let It Be.  I really like boat life these days because I spend so much time with my humans.  I mean, they are with me so much more than when we lived in a house. So I guess if I had to choose between land life or boat life, I’m fine with giving up squirrel chasing on land and spending more time with “mom and dad” on the boat.

Probably my favorite time so far was when Hunter and Clayton came to stay on LIB with us. I know I mentioned it before but everybody was so glad to be together and we had such a great time that it is still my favorite time.

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I went to shore for walks with the boys and made sure they knew the way back to LIB.

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I also kept Clayton company when he was reading. I’m pretty certain that having me with him made the reading a lot more fun.

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Hunter understands that I get really hot with my life vest on, so sometimes he would take it off and just hold me. Gosh I love those extra scratches!

I will admit, I was a little tired on the days Hunter and Clayton flew those kite things and skimmed across the water.  I ran from one side of the boat to the other, barking warnings at them but they didn’t listen at all. I was so tired when they finished, I just plopped down on the front of the boat and went to sleep.

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I really love sleeping on the trampoline where the wind can cool me from underneath and on top! The wind just tickles through my fur and it is delightful!

Hey, I’ve learned a new job here on LIB. I don’t really understand why, but MG and Frank get all excited when they see these dolphin things in the water.  Every time they come to swim, my humans go to the front of the boat and watch those dolphins swim and jump. (Hello, I can swim and jump too!)   For some reason, Frank and MG always laugh and feel happy when they see those dolphins, so now I keep my nose and eyes on alert for them.

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These days, I am always the first one to spot dolphins and I sound the alarm if they are coming.  It took a few times for my people to learn why I was barking in the middle of the ocean, but now they know that if I bark “at nothing” to keep an eye out because probably there are dolphins…. It’s nice to have trainable humans!

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I just love running as fast as I can on the beaches. I pound across the beach, then I splash right into the water and cool off.  The water in the Caribbean was so pretty and cool.  But it’s also weird  because it tastes terrible!! I can’t figure out why and I keep tasting it when we swim. But nope, it always tastes salty!  Blah!

When I don’t feel like swimming but it is hot, I dig in the sand and find the cool parts down deep.  I just love to roll around and scratch in the sand.  It’s all wet and cool and sticks to me everywhere.

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This is my sandy raccoon look!

I love that sandy feeling but Frank usually sloshes me around in the water before we go back to the boat. What a waste! If he would just let me bring the sand back in my fur, I’m pretty sure the boat would be a big sandbox by now.

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When we first moved to the boat, mom decided to shave my belly hair because she thought it would cut down on the hair in the boat.  Oooh boy, that thing tickled my tummy.  You can see in this picture that it kind of made me laugh.  I liked it and I really liked all the attention. But there was just as much hair as ever, so we gave up on that.

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Phew, this picture really makes me miss the water.

When we were in the Bahamas, there were a lot of nice shallow places.  Sometimes we would go for a dinghy ride, then just stop in the middle of the water, not even on the land! Dad would drop the anchor and we would just walk around in the clear water.  That was really fun.  I could see fish swimming, but they always stayed away from me. It’s hard to run in that water! Look how pretty it is! 

Not all of our trips to land are fabulous.  Sometimes we get caught in a sudden rain storm. One afternoon, Frank and I had gone out for a nice paddle. It was cloudy which was kind of nice because it was like shady everywhere.  Well, I guess we got a little too involved in exploring the island because the rain started gushing down.  I hid in the trees, but dad was kind of stuck on the beach in the rain; so mom came and rescued us in the dinghy.

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One of MG’s friends took this picture of us.

Nobody got hurt and we laughed on the way back to LIB.  I was really glad we didn’t have to paddle back in all that rain.

One thing humans are always asking about is where I go to the bathroom. I totally don’t understand why people care because when we go for a walk, the humans never inspect any tinkle or poop spots! So why do they care? I mean really, who cares where you “go” it’s what you learn from smelling it!!!

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But, just to answer your question, here is a picture of the “grass” MG got for me to use on the boat. For the record, this does not fool me one little bit and I do not like it. But if we go on long sails, I will use it when necessary.  BUT only if we are on long sails. Otherwise, I still wait for Frank or MG to take me to shore so I can sniff and tinkle and poop like a proper land dog!

So there you have it, these are the things I dream about while staying at this marina. As much as I enjoy having land right here and plenty of sniffs everyday, I think the Islands are now in my blood because I miss the beaches.

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Guess I’ll just take a nap and dream about where we will go next.

Tail wags and doggie kisses to anyone who reads this. Be sure to stop by Let It Be and give me a little scratch if you are nearby!

 

Jolly Harbour, Antigua – Take Two or is it Three?

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Jolly Harbour feels like the treasure at the end of a rainbow.

Jolly Harbour has been a very welcome anchorage after both of our passages from St. Martin. This time I was ready to return to Jolly because the surge in Nelson’s Dockyard made our lines squeak at night which made sleep a little difficult. Even though I really like English Harbour, I am such a light sleeper that the squeak kept me awake so I was ready for the quiet of Jolly Harbour.

Last June we visited Jolly Harbour, so we knew what to expect this time and we were not disappointed. The folks in Jolly Harbour Marina are very nice and always have a smile. Jenn was in the marina office again this visit and her warm welcome was appreciated.

One really nice change in JH is the upgrade to their internet signal. Jenn told us that in the past the marina had complaints about the wifi, so they upgraded the system.  Since then she said they have not had any complaints. We were on a mooring ball and had excellent wifi on LIB. Thanks for the upgrade Jolly Harbour!!

As you can see from the picture above, there are a lot of private homes with boat docks along the edges of JH which offers a different view and feeling from many anchorages. These quiet fingers are perfect for paddle boarding.

Last year we wrote about our visit to Sha Sade where Frank had his hair cut. This year I visited Shamone who gave me a manicure/ pedicure and even dyed my eyebrows for me. It was like a regular spa day!

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Shamone and Sadie’s store front.

The salon is in the building right next to the dinghy dock so the location is perfect for boaters. I will certainly go back the next time I’m in Jolly Harbour.

As most boaters know, Jolly has an excellent grocery and it is pretty easy to find familiar products. We were able to stock up on some essentials like M&Ms. 😉

Near the mooring balls their is a neighborhood with an open field and quiet streets which makes a perfect place for us to throw the frisbee for Captain.

She apparently thinks we should have gone there more often as she decided she would sleep in the dinghy between visits! She has only done this in Jolly Harbour, so I’m guessing this is one of her favorite anchorages.

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Yes, that black ball of fluff is Cap waiting for another trip to shore!

This time we left Jolly Harbour to head to Shell Beach where we picked up our older son, Hunter. What a great reason to head out.

The focus of Hunter’s visit is kiteboarding. Frank has been anxiously waiting for this opportunity to kite with Hunter right off of LIB.

Let’s hope these crazy winds keep blowing…

 

Around the North and West Coast of Antigua

The week following our stay in Jolly Harbour was remote and beautiful.  Our sails took us past and to some interesting places that aren’t captured in pictures, but I tried.  This entry is simply a photo essay of views or activities… Hopefully my photography skills will improve.

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This rock looks like a giant alligator on shore.

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Relaxing off Jumby Bay, Antigua.

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Rocky spits near Long Island and Rabbit Island, Antigua.

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These small flat islands were fun to walk.

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We found many fossilized shells…. are these fossils? What is the correct term?

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Kiteboarding was high on our activity list!

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Kiteboarding friends, Mike and Olga from Toocanoo.

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The front deck is the perfect place for drying a kite.

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GIANT plants on Green Island.

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LIB at rest behind Green Island – a perfect kiteboard spot even for beginners like Mary Grace.

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A nice place for Captain to explore.

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Captain went with us when we snorkeled!

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Sunset while on Toocanoo.

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Not many neighbors here.

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There is a powerful beauty to the crash of these waves.

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Sunset near Bird Island shows the dust some say comes all the way from Africa.

Next stop is English Harbour on the southern side of Antigua.

St Martin

St. Martin

Fair or not, St. Martin will not be remembered as my favorite place, at least from this trip. While the island is beautiful, I was sick the whole time we were on St. Martin, thus my impressions are negatively colored.

This trip we really only experienced the French side of St. Martin.  Still even when sick, this is a beautiful place and we did manage to see some rather lovely spots.  I am certainly interested in stopping here again later this year as I am certain St. Martin will be even more fun when I am feeling better.

For now, here are some photos to show you some of the beauty of the areas we visited this time.

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Leaving Virgin Gorda, BVI

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                     Arriving in St. Martin at dawn….. Captain is ready for land!

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      Exploring pretty little ocean side towns by foot.

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Stopping for lunch and watching the Ski School teach with LIB in the background.

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How about the Pink Iguana – with the Texas flag to represent?!

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A narrow and beautiful entry to Anse Marcel marina

There is so much more to share, but my internet is very limited and I had a hard time loading this much. With luck, we will have better internet and I can post more often.

Hope you enjoy the views!

Captain Sails for the First Time

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I mentioned our dog, Captain, in my last post. This Christmas was her first visit to Let It Be.

Initially, Cap was not a fan of being underway, especially if engines were involved.  Mostly she hid under the table of the cockpit, closed her eyes and pretended to be somewhere else.

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However, English Shepherd dogs are very adaptable and like to be involved in the decision making. So pretty soon Captain was up and about, making sure we were heading to a choice mooring ball:

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In fact, by the end of her first two weeks of sailing, Captain was living up to her name and taking her turn at the helm:

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And like any good captain, she took breaks, but stayed nearby in case we needed her help when she wasn’t at the helm:

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I won’t be at all surprised if some day I find Cap has managed to make her own posts on this blog!

 

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