05/01 thru 05/31/09
of 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 through 04/30/09 have been published on the
website. We continue with the
2009 #17 05/01/09 thru 05/31/09
At last update,
we were aboard AMARSE in Brunswick, GA.
FRIDAY BRUNSWICK, GA
The morning was
occupied with more varnishing on the brightwork of AMARSE’s teak.
Dave Bluto made some deliciously fresh cinnamon rolls for our breakfast
enjoyment. Yummy, yummy…
Every first weekend in
May, the city of Fernandina Beach, Florida hosts “The Isle of Eight Flags
Judy and I made the
hour-long trip to the waterfront fairgrounds.
It was a beautiful day to start the three-day event.
The streets were lined with numerous vendors specializing in artwork and
craft specialty items. The kickoff
event was the “Miss Shrimp Festival 2009” pageant. A terrific lineup of north Florida’s bevy of beauties
competed for the annual honor.
Various other events
and contests, as well as the perusing of the many booths, preceded the evening
A magnificent musical
group entertained us with a rousing performance.
KTG, a Jacksonville based show band, were a joy to listen to.
Under the cover of
darkness, a stealthy pirate ship arrived to the dock and the streets and stage
filled with wenches, pirates, and buccaneers.
They called it the “Invasion of the Pirates.
The evening culminated
with a brilliant fireworks display fired from barges in the harbor.
SATURDAY BRUNSWICK, GA
In the morning, we had
a nice visit with Robert and Carolyn Wilson (SEA ISLAND GIRL) and Dave and Barb
Judy and I made the
drive again to Fernandina Beach, FL for the second day of Shrimp Festival.
The traffic was heavy and congested because of a faulty railroad-crossing
signal. Arriving at the waterfront
at 3:30pm, we had missed the opening music band.
At 4:30pm, the “Rock
& Pop Masters - RPM”, treated us to a performance.
Featuring famous original artists from the 70’s and 80’s, the group
included Robbie Dupree Steal Away
– Hot Rod Hearts; Larry Hoppen (of
Orleans) Still the One -
Dance with Me - Love Takes Time;
David Jenkins (of Pablo
Will Find A Way – Whatcha Gonna Do – I Go to Rio – Don’t Want to Live
Without It – Find
Your Place in the Sun.
Most of the backup musicians were also members of well-known groups of
our past youth. It was a tremendous
show that had us singing and reliving those glory days of rock and pop music
The festival events
closed down at 6pm. We drove back
SUNDAY BRUNSWICK, GA
Just a beautiful
11:00am Jimmy Parrish
and the Ocean Waves Band played beach music in a copycat style more typical of
throughout the festival grounds.
1:00pm Blessing of the
Fleet & Decorated Boat Parade. Lots
of boats moved back and forth through the harbor.
A priest offered the blessings to all that passed by.
Even the Coast Guard
cutter and TowBoat/US received the ceremonial rite…
2:30pm The Swingin'
Medallions have been around since the early 1960's.
Their style of music is mostly beach music, frat rock, R&B, and
shaggin' music. Most of you will
remember their recording of "Double Shot (of My Baby's Love)". The
song became an over a million seller in 1966, and has been a party classic for
decades. "She Drives Me Out Of My Mind" and "Hey, Hey, Baby"
were top 40 hits in 1966 and 1967, but "Double Shot" remains the
signature song of the Swingin' Medallions.
The party girls were
out in full force and seemed to having a wonderful time.
05/06 BRUNSWICK, GA
The next few days were
occupied doing boat chores and miscellaneous routine things.
THURSDAY BRUNSWICK, FL
to CORAL SPRINGS, FL
At 8am, we departed
the marina by car headed for south Florida to visit Fred’s daughter, Sharyn,
and his son-in-law, Jeff.
We stopped briefly to
visit with Brian Fitzpatrick and Trey at the Halifax River Yacht Club.
Our lunch stop was at
Kentucky Fried Chicken. We have
wanted to try their new grilled chicken menu offering.
Neither of us was impressed at all.
We drove onto the
Florida Turnpike at Ft. Pierce, continuing to Lantana.
Two other toll roads brought us to Coral Springs, a community near Ft.
Lauderdale. The tolls totaled $7.70
for our sections of the route.
I made up a big pot of
Italian Pasta Fagioli based on Dave Bluto’s excellent recipe.
FRIDAY CORAL SPRINGS,
It was an enjoyable
day visiting and relaxing.
In early evening, we
attended a concert on the green at the Coconut Creek Shopping Center. The band played lots of classic rock songs from a mobile
stage set up by the municipality. We
brought our own chairs and had a good time.
The band wasn’t bad but not great either.
Sharyn and Judy went
out early to find bargains at the local garage sales.
Jeff and I stayed home and relaxed over coffee and the newspaper.
Hollywood Beach was
hosting the “Red, White, and Bluegrass Festival” this weekend.
A great lineup of performers came from all over the country to belt out
their bluegrass and mountain music tunes.
A family group, called
Gold Heart, performed on the band-shell stage.
They were exceptionally good and can be credited with writing most of
their own music.
There were numerous
stages along the beach and broadwalk areas.
It was an absolutely beautiful day except that the temperatures we
unbelievably hot. We sought out
some shade and were able to listen to Augie Blaylock & Redline from our
big draw band for today was the Dan Tyminski Band.
Tyminski plays guitar and sings for Alison Krauss & Union Station. He
is generally regarded as one of the most talented performers on the bluegrass
scene. He attained special notoriety after providing the singing voice for
George Clooney in O Brother, Where Art Thou?
His performance of "I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow"
won “single of the year” honors at the 2001 CMA Awards and a 2001 Grammy for
country collaboration of the year. Including
his tally with Union Station, he has won 10 Grammy Awards.
This is what Bluegrass music is all about...
SUNDAY CORAL SPRINGS, FL
BIRTHDAY to MY BROTHER, DOUG…
Jeff and Sharyn
attended early church services while Judy and I relaxed on the poolside patio.
A cooling swim in
their gorgeous pool was refreshing and very enjoyable.
In the afternoon, we
returned for the second day of the Red, White, and Bluegrass Festival. The big stage on the beach was set up for today’s events.
Several groups performed.
At 4pm, “Palms
Bluegrass” took the stage to open the beachside music scheduled for the
own folding chairs, we had a great spot to watch and listen to the bluegrass
At 6pm, the Wildwood
Valley Boys put on a terrific show. The
fiddle player was nothing less than awesome.
Their bluegrass style was very enjoyable.
Marcia Ramirez did her
set of folk and country bluegrass. She
also plays keyboards for the Patty Loveless band.
The show headliner was
Patty Loveless. Although more of a
country star, she has some bluegrass in her blood.
is well known for her amazing 20-year career that has taken her from a
coal-mining family in Pikeville, Kentucky to the Opry and to the top of the
country music charts. Her country music fame includes a string of top 10 hits.
The CMA has honored has as "Female Vocalist of the Year," and
"Album of the Year" for When Fallen Angels Fly, and the ACM has
recognized her as "Female Vocalist of the Year" for two years in
succession. She has received nine Grammy nominations, the most recent in 2008
for "Best Country Album (Vocal or Instrumental)" and "Best
Country Collaboration with Vocals."
It was a wonderful
performance but much, much too short. Her
gig tonight was less than one hour and didn’t even include an encore song.
I love her songs and music so, naturally, I was hoping for lots, lots
more from her appearance. Oh, well, I guess I’ll just have to fire up the iPod for
MONDAY CORAL SPRINGS to
TITUSVILLE to BRUNSWICK
We left Sharyn and
Jeff’s at 8:15am. This time, we
took I-95 to save on the toll charges.
While on the road
listening to the radio, we learned that the Space Shuttle was scheduled for
flight this afternoon. Having seen
two launches last year, we were excited at this opportunity to see another.
As most of you know, the Shuttle program is scheduled to shut down in
2010. We won’t have many more
opportunities to see the spectacle.
Having extra time on
our hands, we dawdled along and made a few stops along the way. From a small park, located in the vicinity of the Sears store
in Titusville, we selected a great spot to watch the liftoff.
We parked in the Sears lot and walked over to the park with our folding
chairs. We brought enough stuff for
a picnic type lunch.
According to schedule,
at 2:01pm, the horizon lit up with the blazing, rocket ignition. Moments later, the loud rumble and roar of the massive
engines filled the air. It is
really quite a sight to see. Note:
the building on the right is the VAB (Vehicle Assembly Building).
It is the largest single-story building in the world.
In the 1960’s, my
Dad was involved with the design of the inertial guidance systems for the Apollo
Rocket Program at MIT. I guess it
is only natural that I have always had this intense interest in the space
After the launch, we
headed back to Brunswick Landing Marina and our beloved AMARSE.
TUESDAY BRUNSWICK, GA
It was another day of
working on the boat with the list of chores being added to and some removed as
accomplished. I made repairs to one
of the bilge pumps to return the system to full working order.
I serviced the batteries, ran the engines, exercised the transmissions,
tested out the air conditioning units, and managed to cross off a couple of
other minor items.
Bill Seward is here
aboard TORTUGA. It was good to see
him again. As you may remember, we
crossed paths on the Bahama Bank as he was arriving and we were departing.
Bill is a great chef
too. He prepared a sumptuous dinner
for Judy and me and invited Dave and Barb (CHABLIS) to share the fabulous
repast. Soon, TORTUGA will head
north to continue the voyage of America’s Great Loop Cruise.
THURSDAY BRUNSWICK, GA
At 9:30am, we left to
drive Bill Seward (TORTUGA) to the Jacksonville airport for his trip to San
Antonio. I have affectionately
nicknamed him, “Steamboat Willie”.
I activated my Verizon
aircard today so that we would have internet capability while we travel this
summer in Texas and the Midwest.
FRIDAY BRUNSWICK, GA
We accomplished a lot
more work on AMARSE today. There
are so many chores to do to have her ready to “Summer-ize”.
In the evening, we
went to the Casino Theatre on St. Simon’s Island.
The Casino Players production was well done.
It was a good story, but not rousing, about four English women who try to
find “themselves” with a trip to Italy.
The timeline was set in 1922.
SATURDAY BRUNSWICK, GA
We had originally
planned to have AMARSE hauled out of the water and stored on dry land for the
summer. We had considered several
locations in the area but finally opted to have her remain in the water here in
Brunswick. Sherrie, our capable and
reliable dockmaster, was enlisted to take careful watch over our “Home, Sweet
Home” while we would be away. She
came by for a complete familiarization of the layout of switches, components,
and operations. Both Judy and I are
very comfortable that she will be just the right person to oversee AMARSE.
Part of the
“Summer-ization” included removing all of the bimini enclosure to eliminate
the chance of any wind damage. AMARSE
looks a bit naked stripped of her robes.
Lots of extra dock
lines and fenders were added to provide an extra measure of security.
SUNDAY BRUNSWICK, GA to
We got an early start
this morning for our land trip west. We
said our heartfelt thanks and temporary goodbyes to AMARSE as we walked up the
Our drive took us to
Jacksonville, FL where we joined the I-10 Interstate highway westbound.
At the generous invitation of our cruising friend, Jimmy Ethridge (SIMPLY
SOUTHERN), we enjoyed the evening and night with him.
Unfortunately, Betsy was out of town that night.
Jimmy took us to
Taranto’s Restaurant in Ocean Springs, MS.
Judy had a grilled shrimp dinner while I thoroughly enjoyed a bowl of
Gumbo and some of the best boiled, seasoned, very large shrimp that I’ve ever
had the privilege to consume. At
very reasonable prices, the one-pound plateful of shrimp lists for only $6.99. The Gumbo was excellent too.
Jimmy is a great guy
and we always enjoy being with him.
MONDAY GAUTIER, MS to
By 7am, the Buick
wheels were turned toward Texas. I-10
and highway 69 took us to Lufkin by 5:45pm.
It was wonderful that
all three of Judy’s sons could be there to visit.
Together, the “boys” enjoyed a brew-ski and a cigar on the patio
(L to R) Scott, Chris,
and Mark… Fred is standing in back.
Dawn prepared a great
dinner featuring her famous “Chicken and Dumplings”.
TUESDAY LUFKIN, TX
Once again, our
comfortable accommodations were in Mark and Dawn’s guesthouse. It is the type of lovely little house that we could be happy
living in (if we were land dwellers).
Now back in Texas, we
had to get the car inspected and Judy renewed her driver’s license at the DPS
Mark took us all to
their favorite Japanese restaurant, Little Tokyo, for a fabulous, grill-side
For dinner, I made a
big pot of Italian Pasta Soup that everyone, including the kids, enjoyed.
For the evening
entertainment, we all went to the Angelina College Auditorium for a band concert
featuring the Hudson School District’s array of school bands.
Judy’s number one grandson, Tyler, played trombone with the 6th
grade band group. We were delighted
with the high quality of all the performances by the various class groups.
The “kudos” were well deserved for the music staff and for all the
kids that have taken their music so seriously.
THURSDAY LUFKIN, TX
The girls went to
lunch at the local Teahouse. It is
not really the kind of thing that most guys would enjoy but it was fun for the
gals to be together without being disturbed by any masculine influence.
Tyler visited with us
at the guesthouse. The circular
staircase leads upstairs to a large area that would be perfect for a sleepover.
had to leave to return to work in Arkansas.
Mark was busy again
today laying out the foundation for the new house that he is constructing on a
lot behind the “big house”. When
completed, Dawn’s parents will live there.
Mark is a very talented and capable builder.
For dinner, Dawn made
a Steak n’ Potato Casserole that was delicious.
She always plans and provides great meals for her family and guests.
SUNDAY LUFKIN, TX
The boats were loaded
on the trailers for a day trip to Lake Sam Rayburn.
Located less than an hour from Lufkin, the lake is the largest in Texas.
Judy, Lexi, Sarah
(Judy’s daughter-in-law and Scott’s wife), and Ashlyn…
Sarah and Lexi…
Mark’s boat is
equally suited for fishing and other water sports.
Judy lounging on
Judy jumped at the
opportunity to do some water skiing. It
had been many years since she had slipped her feet into these kinds of
footholds. She definitely had
not lost the technique.
Well, I had no
intension of being outdone by her, and probably hearing about it for the next
century, so I accepted to take the challenge too.
It has been well over 20 years since I had grabbed the towrope handles.
Mark got quite a kick
out of towing us and I think he was surprised and impressed at how well we did.
MONDAY LUFKIN to SAN
We departed Mark and
Dawn’s house in Lufkin at 10am. After
driving almost an hour, I realized that I had left a package at their house.
Of course, that meant turning around to return.
Heading out again, we had lost several hours of travel time and added a
bunch of extra miles. We took the
back way through Crockett and Bastrop to shorten the overall mileage.
It was 6pm before we finally got to the house in San Antonio.
Since the house has
been sitting idle, we had to turn on the water, electricity, and natural gas.
All in all, the place was in very good condition.
Chores and cleanup will occupy our efforts for a while.
TUESDAY SAN ANTONIO,
The patio was quite
dirty and needed some serious cleanup. We
went to Harbor Freight where I bought an electric pressure washer. It worked very well to remove the dust and dirt buildup.
WEDNESDAY SAN ANTONIO,
Our plans for the
summertime travel are coming together. Changed
from the original plan for a road trip to Alaska, the new plan is to go to Peru
and Ecuador for two months of sightseeing and adventure. Our flights would be from San Antonio to Ft. Lauderdale, then
on to Lima, Peru. The rest of the
trip is being planned as land travel. The
airline reservations to Florida were arranged today.
We agreed to meet our
friends at El Jarro Mexican Restaurant for drinks and dinner.
They feature spectacular margaritas and their chips are served with some
of the best salsa that we’ve ever experienced.
It was great to see
our friend, Scott Kee, again. We
worked together for many, many years. He
is the senior member of the “Three Amigos”.
Scott’s gal, Mary,
and Judy have become very good friends too.
Joe Fugate is the
junior member of the “Three Amigos”. I
guess that puts me in the middle…
THURSDAY SAN ANTONIO,
In the morning, I
worked on the house air conditioning system.
After replacing a motor capacitor, I finally found the actual problem as
a stuck relay. I was able to free
it up and return the unit to operational status.
Not having air conditioning in San Antonio is tantamount to a near
Bill Seward (TORTUGA)
was visiting San Antonio for a week or so while his boat is back in Brunswick
too. For dinner, we went to Chris
Madrid’s Restaurant. The place is
an icon renowned for their huge burgers. Bill
had been a steady customer for many years.
I don’t know whether or not their quality has slipped permanently, but
we all were disappointed with our meals. Hopefully,
they will get their act together and restore excellence between the buns.
FRIDAY SAN ANTONIO, TX
BIRTHDAY to MY DEAR SISTER, CAROL EDITH ANN ELIZABETH JOAN CAMILLE REED KENNEDY
POCO (that’s what I’ve learned to call her for many, many years)
SUNDAY SAN ANTONIO, TX
When we first got
home, we found that a feline family had set up housekeeping in our back patio.
Apparently, the feral mother had her litter while in our back yard.
Since there is a wall and enclosed area, the young kittens were unable to
leave the yard. The mom could climb
out but the kittens mostly just hid under the patio deck.
The mom would come and go as she pleased.
youngsters would scurry off under the deck with any little sound or movement. I could not resist the urge to offer them some food to try.
Starting with plain milk, they eagerly lapped it up.
They quickly graduated to evaporated milk and on to the kitten versions
of canned cat food. The cats are
definitely wild ones and would never show any interest or affection toward
humans. I don’t know if their fears were natural instincts or
whether their feral mother cat had taught them to be this way.
Judy was surprised at
my interest in the little creatures. We
had a lot of laughs about my “new sensitivities”, etc, etc…
UPDATES ARE IN PROGRESS…
WATCH FOR THEM, COMING SOON…
We sincerely hope that
you will review the previous years of compilations to give context to the
current editions. Please let us
know if you have any special suggestions and thoughts.
The website is now fully active and you can visit it at any time.
You can also review any of the previous logs from the years 2006, 2007,
or 2008 and learn more about the crew and their many adventures.
You may contact us via
for allowing us to share our life and adventures with you.
Reed and Judy Law
Our website is:
Fred H. Reed
www.amarse.net © 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011