We’re back in the saddle again!

We “ended” the blog in October of 2019 with a lyrical quote from one of the last great singing cowboys, Chris LeDoux.  Thus it’s kind of symmetrical to start back up with a title taken from Gene Autry, another great singing cowboy.  In yet another variation on the theme, the original great singing cowboy—Roy Rogers—joined with The Sons Of The Pioneers to give us his signature song, the aptness of which will become obvious in a moment:

Anyway, here we are again, turning up like a bad penny.  Since October of 2019, a bunch of stuff has happened, not the least of which was the eruption of a still-present global pandemic.  Under other circumstances we’d complain about Covid’s impact on our boating life, but given the real suffering of others that’d be pretty poor form.  Kind of like when we complained about lobster trap floats.

We sold Misty Pearl last year because we couldn’t really use her, hunkered down in a bubble back in Scottsdale, and waited for some semblance of normalcy.  Mallory finished the AT, then got booted from in-person grad school classes.  Shannon’s campus shut down as well, so she graduated early.  Which meant lots of Catan and Survivor after the girls returned to self-quarantine at home with us.  Great times indeed.

Another good thing to come from the virus is Black Dog Bikinis.  The girls started making swimsuits and were successful enough to move to Oahu, form a corporation, and start running an environmentally-conscious custom reversible swimwear business full time.  We’re quite proud of their entrepreneurial spirit, and only a tad bit worried about their lack of a 401k plan.

The obvious question then is why the blog post, since the blog supposedly is about Doug and Dana and a boat yet the above has not much of anything to do with boating.  Well—thanks to modern science giving us vaccines—we bought another one. 

Through a series of serendipitous coincidences, we now own a North Pacific 49 we previously knew from our Loop as Exhale.   Rick and Mary had sold her to another couple who were unable to use her, so here we are.  The recent survey and sea trial were uneventful, unlike last time.

So like the great non-cowboy-singer Roger Alan Wade, we made it through the desert with our canteens full of dreams.  The highlight of the trip back across the country to Florida, of course, was lunch at Chuy’s in Lafayette.  

We’ve been busily setting up the boat in anticipation of tomorrow’s departure from Rick and Mary’s home/dock/boatyard—again at trawler/sloth speeds—heading east through the Okeechobee Waterway before turning towards cooler places to the north.

The current plan?  We’re generally going to do the Loop again, but probably over the course of several summers and falls, taking time to do side-trips and stops we skipped the first go-round.  We’ll try to hit hotspots like Philadelphia, Montreal, Toronto, Detroit, and of course, Lenoir City.   Maybe probably The Bahamas.  Then we’ll ship over to Seattle in a few years for the Inside Passage.  We’ll return to Arizona for pickleball and such each year when October or November cold-fronts start rolling up on us.*

Oscar is older and perhaps not that excited about traveling again, but he’s still portable and lacks a credit score so his options are limited.

But back to the boat.  Early blog followers will recall that our fear of an angry Neptune convinced us not to rename Misty Pearl.  Meh.  Our new boat’s last owners named her Mimi’s Oasis, which obviously meant something important to them but means exactly nothing to us.  The only Mimi with whom we’re familiar runs an excruciatingly-mediocre cafe.  So our new summer home now is Tumbleweed, because the lowly-yet-intrepid tumbleweed is a desert dweller that blows around haphazardly, sort of like we do. 

The lettering is colored copper, because—as everyone knows—60% of the country’s copper comes from Arizona.  (Which is why copper is one of the “C”s for which Arizona is famous.  Duh.)   We used Times New Roman font because old attorney habits are hard to break.

During our involuntary sabbatical from boating, we started turning the blog into printed books so that we can refresh our memories of the fun times even after the Russians blow up the internet with an electromagnetic pulse bomb.  Which means that we have to start the blog up again now that we’re seriously boating again, so as to create material for more printed books and hopefully provide periodically-interesting tidbits for anyone desperate enough for entertainment to follow us.

Special thanks to the same Rick and Mary, who not only previously owned the boat now known as Tumbleweed but without whom none of this would’ve been possible.  Okay, technically it all would’ve been possible, but the value of their assistance and graciousness is immeasurable.  Okay, technically we probably could contrive some way to measure it, but we’re not going to bother because we already know the value is huge.  We can’t wait to meet up with them to thank them in person.  Okay, technically we can wait but the point is that we’re really looking forward to seeing them.

By the way, we love comments and feedback.  Unless you hate the blog, in which case keep your thoughts to yourself.  We also admit that for our first post in over a year, this one isn’t that great.  In fairness though, it’s been a hell of a day organizing, updating engine-room maintenance, and generally getting ready to move.  Plus when Doug wanted to get a drone picture it started raining.


* Yes, we’re now part of the snowbird migration that clogs up all the roads and parking lots for several months each year.

28 thoughts on “We’re back in the saddle again!”

  1. I love a good western. I remember the song Tumbling Tumbleweed. So I look forward to your blog.

    1. Once we circle back around to Iuka, you can tell us what Roy Rogers was like when you saw him live in his prime.

  2. Congratulations and safe travels. I love reading your posts and look forward to following along on your upcoming adventures.

    1. Thanks Robin! We’re glad to be back on the water. Hopefully we can catch up with you guys in Deltaville (and hopefully the timing works for Barry to check out our electronics situation).

  3. I’m so happy to have this fantastic read again! It really takes me back to 2019, and who doesn’t love a pandemic-erasing blog time machine. As always, I found something laugh out loud funny – this time it was Mimi’s excruciatingly-mediocre cafe, although Times New Roman as an old attorney habit also made me briefly nostalgic until I remembered how much I hated being a lawyer. Happy boating!!!!

    1. Thanks Erin! We’re still wondering what it would take to get you out here to cruise with us for a few days.

  4. Love the catch-up!! Safe travels on your next journey!! Touch bases when you land back in AZ!!

    1. Great to hear from you Diane! Hope all is well with you and the Big FIG.

    1. Thanks Rich! Keep the Cholla pickleball courts warm for us, and don’t take any guff from Dominic.

  5. So glad the blog is back and that I can live the boating life vicariously. Have a wonderful summer, because I need lots of good reading!

  6. YAY – so fun to see pictures of your new boat. Enjoy yourselves as we jealously follow your adventures–looking forward to seeing you on the court in the fall!

    1. Thanks Liz! Enjoy the cool mountains. By fall we’ll be pickleball-rusty, but ready to get back to it.

  7. Super excited to find this in my email! Love following your blogs, yes I am that desperate for entertainment 😂. I’ve truly missed reading about dougdanaandaboat. Love the new boat!

    1. Hi there Greg! Should we assume that you’re still pulling teeth instead of pulling anchor?

      1. You are correct. So many teeth to which I must tend. Local boating only, for now. On a fun note, we built a house on the lake, so that’s nice 👍. Safe travels!

  8. Glad you’re back and congrats on Tumbleweed. Very much enjoy your blog because I love you’re writing. Ours is “Searching for Salt” at http://www.jeglic.net if you want to follow our parallel adventure. We’re at Ortega Landing in JAX for through next Spring, then plan to resume our Northward journey on what the virus has turned into a slow loop. Cheers,
    Mike J.

    1. Thanks Mike! We’ll check out your blog for sure. Not sure where we’ll stay as we pass your area, but we’d love to meet up for a docktail.

  9. The Sydenham Clan is excited to follow the exploits of Tumbleweed and all those therein. I wonder what kinds of insects, frogs, and general wildlife will be part of the experience this time and whether or not Doug will lose the drone? Can’t wait to find out. Also looking forward to meeting up with y’all on one of the legs in September and having a few docktails. Safe travels!

  10. Hi Oscar. Glad to see you on the water again! I’m curious about your owners’ switch from Selene to North Pacific. Can you get them to bark a little about their thought process for transitioning to the NP?

    Thanks from Eloise on S4327 in Ketchikan, Alaska

    1. Oscar was pretty handy with his old Smith Corona but he’s not so good with an iPad keyboard. Probably because he doesn’t trim his nails as often as he should. So we’ll tackle this important question.

      Tumbleweed is fourteen years younger than Misty Pearl so some things are hard to compare fairly, but there are some differences. Tumbleweed sacrifices the ability to walk around along the gunwales in exchange for a full-beam salon and galley. The former was easier for locking and docking, but the latter is much better for comfort. That’s a net-positive for the NPY in our opinion. We do miss the commissary, but the NPY lazarette is huge. We also wanted a larger cockpit and a seating area on the flybridge, both of which we got. Access to Tumbleweed’s engine room isn’t as easy, but once in there it’s easier to get around. Tumbleweed’s second cabin is much more comfortable than was Misty Pearl’s. If we anticipated crossing an ocean or spending time in ten-foot waves, we’d prefer the Selene. As you know, those things are like floating tanks. Tumbleweed burns more fuel so has lesser range. All in all, we love both boats, although we still have much to learn about Tumbleweed.

  11. NIce to see you blogging your adventures instead of using twitter or FB, as I don’t have accounts on either. Thanks for sharing your (new) adventures with us!

    I’ll have to confess, though, I’m a little curious about your reasons for starting up the Atlantic seaboard right at the beginning of hurricane season . . .

    1. Well clearly it’s not ideal, but the options were limited. Staying in Florida would’ve been just as bad and crossing the gulf to go upstream on the rivers wasn’t very appealing either. And we couldn’t stay in Phoenix because it’s roughly a zillion degrees for another three or four months at least. So here we are, tempting fate yet again.

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