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.