Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I'm Alive!

Well, it has been a while since an update! At least it shows that we have been a busy, busy boat. The 5-day trip down from Norfolk, VA to Ft. Lauderdale, FL was a success, as I am alive and well to write this now. The trip was a good test for the Weatherbird, as our 2nd day out to sea we encountered a little rough weather. The sunsets and rises were breathtaking and dolphins greated us in our wake almost everyday. For the most of the duration, the waters were calm and those off watch started early on their tans out on the deck, I presume so as not to scare the sun-soaked Floridians with our paleness, when we pulled in dock. Our vessel and operations have attracted various peoples around the docks, i'm thinking reasons being (1) we're a cool crew and look fun to hang out with, or (2) the Weatherbird is surrounded by million-dollar yachts and obviously stands out. Regardless, the yachties (as i've been calling them) are interested and enthusiastic to learn more about our project and upcoming expedition. We have even had some yachties walking up with resumes in hand after learning what we are all about. Awesome! All in all, I have determined and observed that the following applies to most of the crew, I (us) work better in warm and sunny weather! Having lived in Norfolk's Lyon's Shipyard for 2 months, I am glad to have moved south. I will, however, keep the memories of the ol' dirt and gravel yard, the hard work in the freezing cold, slamming Dave's finger in the car door (can't forget that one) and the after-work beers out of a cooler, sittin' on the back of a pick-up truck, in the parking lot, with the ol' yard workers and their intellectual conversations. Good times!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Weatherbird Update...

Sorry it has been a while since a posting. We are back in Norfolk after our successful trip up to D.C. The trip was awesome and the crew was great. Jenna, a newbie crew member, met up with us in D.C. and rode back with us to Norfolk. Luckly, TJ was able to find a cook, Debbie. We would of all been hungry and cranky without her. I think I gained like 5 lbs from her cooking, seriously. We borrowed a couple crew members from the Hatteris, Duke University's research vessel, which worked out great. To celebrate the maiden voyage of the Weatherbird and our sleep deprivation Jenna, David, and I went out and met up with Cuervo Tequilla Friday night. The weather in Norfolk is GREAT (opposite of the snow storm we got in D.C.)! I'm wearing shorts and slippa's for the first time since I left Hawaii. We have plenty of pictures which I will put up soon!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Today Lyon Shipyard, Tomorrow the World

It has been brought to my attention that I have been slacking on my blog updates, and for this I apologize. I am writing from our cozy galley, on yet another dark and stormy Norfolk night. Peter, an old GREENPEACE buddy of Michael’s, arrived on the boat this afternoon. The two of them have been regaling us with their many dangerous and colorful stories of environmental warfare out on the high seas. Peter has been a captain on most of the GREENPEACE ships, including the Rainbow Warrior II, and has a weight of authority which can only be garnered from years of experience. Needless to say, he has faced some pretty big adversaries while pressuring for important environmental causes. He is going to remain onboard the ship for several days to help us get her seaworthy. Many more people are going to start arriving over the next few days, so we need to start preparing for some solid entertaining.
We have launched into crunch week and things are starting to get a little busy around here. One car was just not enough for all the errands we need to do, so I had to purchase a rental car for the week. Don and I spent all morning zipping around the coast, picking up rope and other necessary implements for our trip to D.C. (which is approaching incredibly fast.) But we are putting the petal to the metal, and expect to be ready for departure on Sunday. Melodie and I are really looking forward to seeing more of the world. Still, I’m sure we are going to miss Lyon Shipyard, and the crazy and endearing old men who fish these polluted industrial waters.

Boat Mom!

So Dave has been slacking on his posts. He says mine are better, so he doesn't want to compete. The title "Boat Mom" has begun to flow around the boat and is slowly developing into my identity. Although ironically the boat is around my age as with dave, and Mike and Don are older that me, I am taking on my first role as mother (not counting the motherly role of raising my puppy Angel when I was 10). Speaking of boat mom duties, it's starting to rain and I must go to the rescue of securing the plastic bags covering the hydraulic controls outside. Bye Ya'll.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Good Mornin' from the East Coast

Things are finally starting to shape up around here. Fire systems are checked and done, life rafts are being serviced, the winches and the crane are welded on and hydraulics are getting worked on. It was windy last night and the boat was rocking and creeking, but I slept like a baby. I heard the news about Discovery coming onboard for the D.C. trip, awesome! We almost went crazy this morning when we realized there was no coffee onboard, but TJ came to the rescue (he had backup in his car). So all is well, just wanted to give you guys a quick status update, and wish ya'll a good mornin'!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

春節 - Happy Chinese New Year!

So David and I are just sitting here, thinking "We haven't composed a blog in a while, so we are making a combined one." And so it goes: Russ just left for the airport, to continue to create experiences for his autobiography. We have two new crew on board, Nancy and Don who are a couple who just arrived from Guatemala. They are interesting and colorful people, with many stories. Oh! We had our first injury, I closed David's finger in the car door. He forgives me, I think. But all is well, he found TJ's private stash of "Winnie the Pooh" band-aids. We have been doing research, and our boat really does look like the one from "The Life Aquatic." Russ took a picture of David wearing all the firefighting gear, including the air mask, while holding a french maid feather duster. David and I also had our first encounter with the locals on Friday, hustling a couple pool sharks. We are celebrating Chinese New Year on the boat, and have considered lighting our many expired flares. We finally have a stereo and are thinking about hosting a shipyard dance. All of the shipyard folk love their country music. We had some Tibetan SInging Bowl music playing and TJ got quiet, a weird and almost scary expression overcame him, and he walked away, backwards. We have moved the boat 90 degrees counter-clockwise from where it was, the view is much better here, and some of us almost got seasick. We are all looking forward to the sunny tropics, I think we all need tans! David just agreed, "We DO!!!!!!" We will put more pictures up later this week, for now...春節 and ALOHA from Norfolk!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Lunar Madness

We had a strange night aboard the Weatherbird II. I awoke with a start at 4:30am and could hear something rattling away up on the bridge. My first instinct was that it was someone trying to break in to the ship. I jumped out of bed, and ran upstairs, hoping to startle the would be intruder. But instead of some big scary man in a mask, I saw Michael working away. Apparently, the tide had risen unusually high, and he was fixing some of our tire fittings. Melodie had some quirky experiences as well, and wondered into the fridge in the middle of the night. Its a good thing she didn't fall asleep in there. Meanwhile, Outside the ship its freezing cold, with possible snow on the forecast!
TJ thinks our strange interrelated events were the result of the moon cycles.