Tag Archives: #irenethedream

The Hudson River: 315 miles from NY Harbor to Lake Champlain

It is difficult to describe something as profoundly beautiful and grand as the Hudson River. From the time you enter the New York Harbor you are immersed in her energy. The NY Harbor is actually where she ends. The culminating point for this huge waterway originates in the Adirondack Mountains. I love this river. This would be my fifth time to sail her home. Remember in Genesis, on the fifth day God created creatures that live in the sea and creatures that fly? Hold that thought… As we entered the NY Harbor I said to David, I thought there was a submarine between the two channels (the NY City channel and the other to Sandy Hook, NJ). At that very moment, a pair of humpback whales breached the surface. They surfaced again, and we were astounded. We entered the shipping channel into NYC next to two yachts, an enormous cargo barge, and a pair of humpback whales.

No phone in hand for a photo so I found this one for you with the Empire State Building in the background. From Getty Images. Artist, Artie Raslich.

We made our way under the Varrazano Narrows Bridge connecting Staten Island and Brooklyn, past The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, along the Manhattan shoreline, and into the waters of the Hudson River. My fifth pilgrimage up the mighty Hudson River. Five, the number that represents dharma. Since I don’t believe in coincidences, this journey must indeed reflect my soul’s purpose. Not what I am, but how I am.

Writing this, I am wondering what word(s) can I use to describe NYC? I hear the word, “dense” and this works for me. It works across reasons. The obvious ones are the physical ones, like millions of people are packed together in a million buildings on both sides of this narrow section of the river. Density is also another way to describe “how we are” in these bodies we inhabit. On this particular morning, I request that we continue on our way north, and not drop our anchor behind the statue as planned. The density feels contagious and I want to lighten up. We agree to cruise on and set a course for Croton-on-the-Hudson and Half Moon Bay Marina. And it happens then that I feel immensely lighter. A planned five hour day turns to a nine hour day and a grand way to meet the Hudson River.

We were here at Half Moon Bay and it is starting to look a lot like the place we came from.

The Hudson is 315 miles long and we intended to cover them ahead of the throng of cruisers behind us. You see, there’s a legendary marina in New Baltimore, NY (Shady Harbor) that has an annual pig roast and blessing of the boats each spring. MANY boats will be there on the following Saturday. It’s ironic that we are pushing on to avoid the celebration as David would enjoy a pig roast and I love the blessing of the boats, but the pull to ease the burden of density wins out; again and again. We pass the places now familiar to us. Westpoint, the mansions and historic sites along her shores and among her hillsides, her lighthouses, her bridges, and all her creatures. Blessed by the company of eagles, osprey, sturgeons, gulls, and more. We travel on.

We spent one starry night behind Esepos Island on our anchor and then off to Shady Harbor Marina while it would be spacious and quiet. We prepare to stay three nights. One for boat maintenance, one for all the chores shore affords, and one because the wind is going to blow out of the south at 30 MPH. That windy day is a blessing. David reads, I paint birthday cards for Amanda’s twins, and friends we made in Marathon come howling up the river and adeptly bring their boat, ”Hardwork”, to the dock. We are all there to grab their lines and welcome them to this miraculous day.

Jen and Tom on Hardwork are stopping to prepare to make a loop up around Eastern Canada, around Maine, to Boston, back to NYC, and return to the Keys. I hope to see them again next winter. They remind me of our best us. I like the way they be. They are kind, they’re meticulous with their boat, they are exceedingly grateful for things, and they are expressive. A short story before signing off in images.

When we first arrived in Marathon, January 1, 2022, a couple were preparing to leave and they had purchased two bicycles at the Pawn Shop. They opted to not load them up for their trip back to New England and offered them to us. We happily accepted the bikes and I peddled like the wind around Marathon, but we also have a car there so mostly they sat on the bike rack. When Jen and Tom arrived they borrowed the bikes. They loved the bikes and praised the bikes construction and performance. We suggested they take the bikes with them. Tom cleaned up their bright yellow bodies a bit, put new tires on them and added baskets. When they took off, a month ahead of us, they loaded them on their upper deck and departed. I wasn’t around that particular morning, but Jen tried to sneak money inside a book she was returning to me, David discovered it and refused it. A gift is a gift no matter its value. SO when we were reunited in New Baltimore, Jen pulled some Shady Harbor shadiness and had wine delivered to our boat and then they left a gift bag with luscious local hemp oil for me and a beautiful card, ”We are enjoying the bikes. Thank you”! Here’s the thing. I had seen that oil in the ship store and held it in my hand. I read about the maker and the nonprofit they helped fund with their sales. I had put it back, twice. It felt like too much. It was meant for me after all. More importantly, it was meant for them to give to me. That is the incredible lightness of being. Or as Joe Henry wrote about, ”The Gospel According to Water”.

Irene and Hardwork on the dock in New Baltimore.
On the dock at lock 5 in Schylerville.
On the free wall in Whitehall.

We left Shady Harbor amid an early morning rainstorm and headed to the Champlain Canal. Eleven locks to carry us from the Hudson River into our beloved lake between the Adirondacks and the Green Mountains. Two nights on free walls in the Canal and then a glorious morning ride up the lake propelled by a lightness of being, love, and gratitude; drenched in the beautiful scent of Farmhouse Fresh Hemp Body Oil.

April ‘til Today, May 8th, 2020

Greetings from Beaufort, South Carolina. (That’s Beau, as in beautiful, Beaufort. BO-Fort is in North Carolina.) This is the second year that David and I have tied up at the Lady’s Island Marina. We followed our route from last year and traveled here from Hilton Head Island, crossing Port Royal Sound and Paris Island. This year our crossing from there to here included 30+ mile an hour winds out of the south east making a little more exciting. Wind is a beautiful cosmic force of nature. Like water, like the earth, and the air itself, wind is both a living process and a universal power. The next time you are outside and the wind is blowing, notice there are no boundaries between you and the wind. You’re one! Cosmic kin folk, us and the wind.

Crossing the Port Royal Inlet on our way to Beaufort, SC, with the wind behind us, pushing us along, riding the waves.
I took this short video after we had Irene tied up. I couldn’t capture the force of the wind but it is proof that I got Irene to the dock, safely and soundly, but not without the holy interventions of prayers and cussing.

We took a break in St. Augustine Beach to spend a week with Anna, Don, Isla, Olive, and Don’s mom, Janet. We connected with friends from the area, from Vermont, and Anna’s good friends from St. John who’ve moved there. Hats off to Anna and Don for having the vision and capacity to plan and carryout this rendezvous plan with a two year old and a one month old. I think they got a little of that powerful fortitude from sister wind 😉 David and I managed to get to the Conch House Marina a day before everyone arrived and I was able to Uber to Publix before they arrived and have the kitchen stocked up, the lights on and the sheets turned down. It’s the little things.

Images from the week~~~

From the top, left to right: Anna and Isla, David and Olive, first selfie with I&O, Don and Isla, Janet and Isla, Olive and me, Olive and David, James and JoJo and 7 month old, Maeve, Fletcher and Isla (best buds), Olive smiling at me with her eyes closed, Isla and the biggest shaved ice ever at the Farmer’s Market, Isla enjoying a popsicle (so Emma), the neighbor’s dog, Remy, and Isla xo, me and Olive again, Don and Isla and Anna on the beach, Isla takes Irene’s wheel, sunrise at the marina, and a visit from Terry.

From St. Augustine, the intracoastal waterway proceeds north through some beautiful Florida low lands and snakes her way into Georgia and her barrier islands. Our first night north of St. Augustine we anchored in the harbor at Fernandina Beach, FL right beyond Amelia Island and the last stop before the Georgia Border. Those GA barrier islands are stunningly beautiful. There’s a field of sweet grass that grows along the waterway and at low tide you see the oyster beds. It’s a dramatic coast line. Between the sweet smell of the grasses, the shrimp boats, the dolphins, and the colors in the world, the place inspires a state of aweness.

We had the privilege of spending one night at the Jekyll Harbor Marina on Jekeyll Island. If you are ever searching a place to experience a divine sense of isolation, white sand beaches and a million stars at night, visit Jekyll Island. Step back on the time/space continuum and count the lucky stars that are always aligning for you.

Surreal little marina on Jekyll. Infinite gratitude and LOVE for this time in our lives.

Once you are unable to count all the miracles you see, you come to the inevitable conclusion that everything is a miracle. Especially moved by the efforts dolphins make to connect with us energetically, I was able to take a little video of a pod playing in Irene’s wake.

Another moment, another miracle.

The barrier islands are remote and making your way among the rivers, creeks, inlets, bays and along her shoreline, you see a world that maybe you read about when you were a kid, but more than likely, will still astound you. By no means does that mean it’s simple to navigate this section of the waterway. Between the massive tides, up to 9 feet, currents, wind, shoaling, waterway markers and crab pots, you need to be on your toes. This makes sense to me. A healthy amount of reverent respect required; a type of ecological currency between this amazing earth and her humble guests. North of Jekyll, we anchored off the ICW in the Crescent River. The only other people we saw out there were shrimpers.

A shrimp boat on the ICW among the barrier islands of GA.

In Savannah, we anchored in just off the ICW in the Herb River. A breathless night of pounding rain followed by a perfect day moving between Savannah, GA, and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. At Hilton Head we anchored off Opossum Point hoping for some protection from an enormous south wind. We road out the wind among a few sailboats and amid a constant stream of ferries to from Hilton Head and Dufuskie Island. The wind has been howling ever since. So, here we are in Beaufort where the wind will reportedly continue blowing and gusting for a week. We will jump when we can and head north to a beautiful anchorages near Wadamalaw Island and Church Creek, both south of Charleston and onto Pawley Island to connect with friends we made in Marathon. You got a dream? Chase it!

In Other News:

Happy Mother’s Day Mothers. Here’s a postcard I got from two very special Vermont loves, Emma and Gus.

Flowers and family. One lucky mother. LOL.

A gift on this Mother’s Day for my friend Kaitie who lost her boy, Remy.

Be like Remy. Play, smile, take naps, enjoy your food, love unconditionally, don’t judge, discern, scratch your itches, give kisses, forgive everything. Remy. RIP, brother.

A postcard from St. Thomas as Olive turned 1 month and another painting to end the day.

Olive Ann Yesh.

And her little painting:

A work in progress.

There you have it. Reflections from another blessed month on the water. PS: A few incidents and quite a few cuss words have been omitted from this month’s blog post. Only making room for the good stuff.

“Gratitude is how you tell the universe that you are ready for more… Decide to only put your energy into that which you believe in. That which makes you happy. It is really that simple.” Xina Allen.

Greetings From Mississippi

Along the Tennessee River.

This past Saturday we traveled from Clifton, Tennessee- to Iuka, Mississippi. Iuka is on the border where Mississippi meets Tennessee and Alabama. It was a long and rainy travel day with the Tennessee River current against us the entire way. After about seven hours underway, we finally reached the Pickwick Lock and Dam. The lock raises boats up 55 feet from the river into the Pickwick Dam. With a stroke of lucky timing, we drove right into the waiting lock that already had 15 boats tied up and we took the last bollard before they closed the doors! Amazing~~~ At that point we felt incredibly fortunate to be inside without waiting and subsequently, we welcomed the rain and wind as we held Irene on the wall against the forces of nature and the turbulence of the water filling the lock.

Irene is the last boat on the far back, right side as you look at the lock. This photo came from the lock’s fb page. Who knew locks had fb pages? You can see how massive the chambers are to accommodate barges and ships. You can also see that that there was a bass fishing tournament happening by the bass boats heading into the dam.

Exiting the lock, the Pickwick Dam greeted us with a gusty WNW wind and big waves. Our destination, the Safe Harbor Aqua Marina, was just over five miles from the lock. It felt longer, but once we turned off the dam into a wide creek, actually called “Pickwick Lake”, to head to the marina, the wind was somewhat blocked and the waves subsided. Another bit of luck as the dockage was tight. So tight, I actually asked to have our slip reassigned. They accommodated the request (sometimes you just have to ask for you want). Without complaining, I will say this about the slip we ended up in- We are sharing it with the biggest spiders we’ve ever seen and a large colony of turtles. I am good with one of those.

Neighboring turtle.

We took advantage of a sunny Halloween Sunday to scrub Irene and defrost the freezer. The less glamorous side of life on a boat. On the brighter side, we had dinner with Looping friends that live aboard their boat Sisu, Jim and Kristi. We had met them on our two day trip from Peoria, Beardstown, and Hardin, Illinois and then later, we docked in front of them in Paducah. We caught up and shared stories, made hopeful plans to meet again, most likely in Florida but, who knows? This kind of traveling is truly dictated by the weather and by where you can anchor, dock or tie up for the night. You just have to go with it and greet the moments as they present themselves to you.

Irene’s out there under the cover.

Irene is scheduled to be hauled out today. We’ve spent over a week communicating with the service department about the work and yet, it’s 10:44AM and we have yet to see anyone at the boat. We did walk up to the boat yard at 8AM to greet them and it was obvious that the “system” (sometimes the absence of a system is apparently the system) and the workers (gracious and calm) are a bit submerged by the backlog of boat work and promises made. There were already two folks ahead of us to greet them. I have a sinking feeling that we will be staying in Iuka longer than we anticipated or desired. One of us is taking the news and the probable waiting, a lot better than the other 😉

I recognize that waiting can be difficult. I believe the secret to successful waiting is to change the story we tell ourselves and to acknowledge that our needs will be met, in good time. If any of you dear readers need some practice at developing better waiting skills here are a few ideas. Seriously. 1) When you are in a store and heading to the check-out line, go to the longest one. 2) Practice driving more slowly and welcoming red lights. It’s an opportunity to be present. 3) Always slow down as soon as traffic lights turn to yellow. 4) When you feel yourself getting pissy, heart rate rising, maybe frustration or anger surfacing, practice “recovery breathing”. That is, breath in deeply through your nose and hold it a few seconds, then blow out your mouth. Maybe these things will help to remind you that we are not ruled by our bodies and our blood pressure. We are minds and we are spirit and we are free to choose how we respond to everything. 5) We need to tell ourselves better stories. Reframe folks. Reframe. 6) Maybe sing this little song out loud: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkYL1b7MCEw

“Data” Update: Monday, November 1st, 2021

  • We have been in 18 states
  • We’ve been traveling for 194 days
  • We have traveled approximately 4800 miles
  • We are 450 miles from Mobile, Alabama
  • From here, we will go 10 miles across the dam then turn into the long downhill of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway to Demopolis, Alabama
  • We can expect a lot of current against us-
  • While I have lost count of the number of locks we have been through, I do know there are 10 locks in the Tennessee-Tom Canal
  • The average drop in the locks will be 30′ but the Jamie Whitten Lock has a whopping 84′ drop!
….and every step. Peace ya’ll. Peace.

Alton, IL to Paducah, KY: The Mississippi River to the O-Hi-O

Somewhere on the Missouri shore.

It’s been a while since I have had the disposition to sit down and compose a blog post. The energies are so BIG right now. Take all that cosmic energy coming at us and add it to an industrious extended stay in Alton, IL, followed by traveling for long hours on the enormous Mississippi River, navigating a few huge locks, and some very tedious winding segments; it’s likely I was opting for time in the sunshine, exploring, star gazing, and as always, taking care of Irene. Here’s a brief retrospective.

The view from the Alton Marina dock; a bridge to Missouri.

We were able to get a stanchion repaired in Alton for next to nothing, and we were there long enough to get things we needed mail ordered. It was one of those places that makes living aboard easy (i.e. wifi, laundry, cabs, sidewalks, delivery, kind and helpful people, great showers, and protection from the elements). After 5 nights however; we were desperate to get moving again.

We left at 7AM on Tuesday morning. Shorter days required running lights for the first time as we made it a short mile to our first next lock, the Mel Price Lock. It is among the largest in the world and yet, simple to navigate and ready for us within minutes of arriving. The Mississippi between Alton and St. Louis is a robust habitat for Eagles. While we have seen many on this journey, nothing compared to the volume of them in this section of the river. They were fishing off of our wake. Eagles fishing during a sunrise heading south on the Mississippi is one of the things we had never considered would happen in this dream we are dreaming, but it did, and it was amazing.

Wide water on the Mississippi River.

This section of the river is also where the Missouri River meets the Mississippi and flows into it in a place known as the Chain of Rocks. Cruisers know to turn left at this intersection or end up cascading over big rocks and losing it all. There’s a small sign on a pile of rocks with a blue arrow pointing left that says, “Lock”. Trust me, I fretted over this so much before we got there that by the time I saw the sign I was like, “Whatever”. The “man” made canal that bypasses the rocks in long, straight, and tedious, but there are eagles, and once through the lock at the end you are in St. Louis. The best part of floating past the Gateway Arch was having our friend Doug watching on the live Google Earth cam and capturing images and videos of (tiny) Irene next to the enormous arch and beside the endless line of tugs and barges. (By the way, Doug is a virtual member of our crew now and we will be gifting him our white AGLCA flag when we earn the gold.)

The Gateway Arch, St. Louis, Missouri.

All in all, the day took eight hours on the water to make it to a free lock wall just off the Mississippi on the Kaskaskia River for the night. We got to watch a nearly full moon rise and woke to a small tow and barge entering the tiny lock. David and I were the first ones off the wall for a beautiful ride to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, to anchor in a little river diversion canal for the night. It was only a six hour cruise but, we had a 15-mile-an-hour head wind blowing over our bow. It takes a bit outta ya.

Tied up at Kaskaskia lock.
Early morning barge in the lock.
Night 2. Boats in the moonlight, rafted up in the diversion canal.

The plan was to take a leisurely ride down to Cairo (Kay-Row) IL, where we intended to anchor near a slew behind a bridge. The ride was filled with lonnnnggggg, S-shaped sections of river called “toe heads”. Our Huck Finn day took a turn to the north, literally. The wind was howling at the anchorage near the bridge, so we pressed on. The wind increased some more. That ruled out the other anchoring places as well. The only choice was to continue pressing on and turn up into the Ohio River. Four knots of foul current took our speed down almost by half. Cairo is also a barge staging area so the waterway was packed with barges and industry for miles.

Coal ready to be loaded.

This section of the Ohio leads to another enormous lock and dam, the Olmsted. By the time we arrived we had been traveling for seven hours. There was so much barge traffic going up and down the river and through the lock, the lock-master directed us to drop anchor until 5:30! With sunset at 6:10 we quickly realized we would be anchoring in the dark. Shit.

Sunsetting in the Olmsted Lock.
Wind calming down as sun sets and we approach our anchorage.
Wrapped up an 11 hour day in Grand Chain Reach.

I sat up top with a quilt, a glass of red wine, and the full moon, listening to the chine on the hull, and vimeoing with my spirit-led friends. Just when my tank was running low, they all loved me back into laughter, hopefulness and gratitude. It turned out to be a wonderful place in a wide part of the water. i woke up rejuvenated and made David bacon and eggs before heading to Paducah, Kentucky. Paducah has a dock with power and we have reservations. Amen.

The wind picked up again as we started back up the river. I called the dock about fuel and water levels and about the eddy at the dock. The dock-hand was so kind. He put us on the end a across from the fuel dock, so we could stay out of the shallows and still get diesel as the hose just reached Irene. Tons of wind and current at the dock but not one issue, unless you count me yelling at David. Don’t you worry dear reader, I forgave myself and him too.

Irene and her pals on the Paducah riverfront dock.


  • BIG rest at Alton
  • BIG locks on the Mississippi and the Ohio rivers
  • BIG arch
  • BIG hours underway
  • BIG barges
  • BIG industry
  • BIG water
  • BIG wind
  • BIG current
  • BIG moon
  • BIG emotions
  • BIG energies
  • BIG sigh

BIG BIG love to y’all.

Isla, age 2.2, passes her first swim test like a BIG fish 👏🏽

Heading West: The Inland Waterways

Exiting the Chicago Lock. Where Lake Michigan ends for us.

Entering the Chicago River. 40 bridges in 5 miles~~~

The US inland waterways represent an entirely different type of environment for us. Unlike the Hudson River in NYC, the Chicago River is tight and densely populated. Turning the corner south west into the Illinois River, the landscape is BIG industrial complexes and barges on both sides, loading and transporting things like mulch, coal, cement, and other elements we couldn’t identify. There are also a few miles of water where the Army Corp of Engineers run an electrically charged field to stop giant carp from reaching the great lakes. They say to watch out for the big fish jumping into your boat, they’re dangerous, but we didn’t see any. Here are a few examples of what we did see:

Waiting for an Amtrak bridge to open.
Barge loading…
An Egret 🤍

Our first day was long and we didn’t see any other cruisers until evening, on the free wall in Joliette, IL. The wall has a bad reputation due to crime however; after 47 miles and three locks, we decided it was preferable to doing 15 more miles and two more locks. The locks are enormous and all commercial vessels have priority which means waiting can be hours long then to refill the chamber for us to enter and be lowered can also take “forever”. In the end, it was a pretty uneventful night with the exception of sirens and trains. 🙏🏽

Lots of police driving by the wall. Not sure if that made us feel safer or not, but David made a friend 😂
Nice boat on a rough wall.
Exiting the massive Lockport, IL, lock.

Day two on the rivers we traveled in a flotilla with the six other boats who had also stayed on the wall. It made things interesting and we had to raft up to go through the locks. Something new for us. It was also an even longer day- Almost ten hours to Ottowa, IL. We waited several hours for the lock in Marceilles due to a huge barge taking hours to load and exit the lock chamber. We dropped anchor and tried to relax LOL.

A couple of beauties in our flotilla waiting alongside us. A 70 foot Marlowe and a 53 foot Selene.
And these two beautiful creatures, Eagle and Hawk.
Tied up in a lock with other Loopers ♾

It was just getting dark when we pulled into our slip at the Heritage Harbor Marina. It felt really nice to float Irene into a beautiful cement tiled dock. It was windy and I was thrilled we were all safe and sound. Also, nice to see a kid waiting to grab a line from David. Im not sure if I have mentioned the fact that I am doing all the steering into/out of locks and all the docking. If there’s a learning curve, I am rounding the bend. Sometimes, like last night, my heart rate noticeably increases and I need to calm myself down but mostly, I’m doing great. Last night I got 💯

Safe and sound.

We have some bad weather moving in and we are staying a day or two. Tonight we are attending a lecture the Harbormaster is giving about traveling from here down to the Mississippi. Kind of excited to learn more about what we can expect ahead. No doubt though, the unknowns far outnumber the known.

Keep the faith ya’ll ❤️‍🔥 The days are getting shorter so we all need to turn up our light and shine on. Shine bright, friends.

A Week in Ludington, MI

The Ludington Harbor.

One thing about living on a boat while taking a 6,000 pilgrimage is there is a tremendous amount of solitude. It is an indulgence of sorts to be able to spend this much time alone or away from the outward world. On the surface it takes us away from others, paradoxically, it takes us deep within and that dear readers, is a vast landscape. Recently, my bff, Wendy, sent me a text of an Emerson poem about the world behind and front of us is “tiny” compared to “what lies within us”. This familiar passage resonated with me more than ever, now, in this journey of human inwardness.

Another friend messaged this week to inquire about whether or not David and I are “bored”. My response was a simple, “No”. In fact, the more articulate response is, “We are sculpting our inner intelligence”. We do things, take walks, nap, go to dinner, work on the boat, read, talk about things, help other boaters at the dock, and things like that. However; we are practicing aloneness too and it is such a privilege to go be working our way back to something that is so natural and innate. Solitude actually has agency. Solitude is actually a verb and a form of sovereignty. It nurtures and enriches us.

Sunset over the marina. Ludington, MI

It looks like our work here in Ludington is unfinished as today’s marine weather forecast is forcing us to extend our stay here by another day or even two. More gale force winds. More 4-6 foot waves. Many other “Loopers” are also stalled in their course, some here in Ludington, and the vast majority spread out along both the Michigan and Wisconsin coasts. We use an app called, NEBO, to track our time on the water and we can literally see where other cruisers are. Up and down Lake Michigan, we are all staying put, shining our light on the little towns and places where we are stopped, in this now moment. I imagine we will all be moving again, soon, simultaneously. All this solitude will serve to make us all much more grateful to be on our ways. Grateful to not be a monks too 😉

A current NEBO screen shot.

This harbor is home to the S.S. Badger- A Lake Michigan car ferry that travels across the lake to Milwaukee, WI. At least once a day, sometimes twice daily, she goes out and returns. Its horn blares one long blast to let everyone know it’s leaving the dock. The night before last it returned in a strong wind and had a helluva time getting up to the dock. David and I watched in aweness as the captain turned that ship around, literally, lined it up again, then cranked on the thrusters to bring it to port. It was pretty exciting. Friday nights on IRENE, LOL.

Coming through~~~

In Other News…

If you’ve been following Betheship, you know that we have had unidentified, ongoing issues with our generator. Lots of great folks have worked on it, Leo on Jekyll Island, Mike and Sean at Brewerton Boat Yard, Nathan Delke in Roger’s City. They all helped some. Update, we finally found the actual Master of Diesel here, in Ludington. His name is Oene (pronounced oh-knee) Pomper. He owns Lake Street Marina and he is a genius. He is 6’4″ and weighs about 120 pounds. He slips down into the motor room with ease. He talks about “infinity energy” and plays with the generator and how it puts out power, and we learned so much from him. If we are ever here again, we’re going to stay at his marina and have him do a complete service on the engine. He is the master.

We continue to receive beautiful messages and “postcards” from friends and family. We appreciate the updates and photographs that reach us, from everyone in texts, emails and FaceTime calls. Social media, especially Instagram, is also a means of “seeing” people we love. Just this week, we got to see (and hear) Hollis napping with one of her puppies; the daughter of an old friend’s just born baby, Maeve; hear about Leda’s new passion for playing the recorder; see pictures of other Loopers we met earlier in the season and their travels on the Tennessee River (where we’ll be someday); and images from my sister Patty and niece, Nicole’s birthday celebrations; and much, much more. You can find me and my own posts on Instagram at xvxmom.

And finally, today marks day number 350 for me as a student in A Course In Miracles. At this point in the study, we shift to the question, “What Am I?”. Hoping this prepares me for what comes next. David and I are looking forward to crossing our wake in Florida and spending January, February and March in Marathon. We look forward to Christmas time with our family there. And, we are beginning to talk about what may be after that. We are careful about our thinking and words because we know that it’s a reflective universe and we are creating the future right now in the quantum moment because everything is equally present. In actual life, it’s a dream and the future is now too. We are energy and we are frequencies. Keep it light friends. Keep it high. Keep loving. Keep in touch.

IRENE in her well protected slip in Ludington, MI.

We Are Here!

At the tip of the mitten ✋🏽
  • Day 142
  • 400 hours underway
  • 3000 miles traveled
  • 12 states
  • countless rivers and creeks

We are about to cross the Straights of Mackinaw and officially say “good bye” to Lake Huron and “hello” to Lake Michigan. From the Detroit River all the way north, this section of the loop has been big and beautiful! Big like Montana sky big. Big like an ocean! And the eastern shore line of Michigan is a remote wilderness with white sand beaches for miles and miles and evergreen trees like those that grow in Nova Scotia. Its a place that inspires aweness.

Rogers City breakwater.

The weather here is big too, like when its blowing 10+ on Lake Huron the waves come up fast and every couple of seconds! A little bit of west in the wind brings some protection from the land, but certainly don’t count on it because its too powerful to accurately predict. Here, the forecast and the actual weather, rarely agree. We have had five foot waves crashing over our bow and we have seen relative calm. This place has taught us a lot and has definitely earned our respect. This morning we walked down on the beach looking towards Bois Blanc Island and the Mackinaw Bridge and reveled in the grandness of it all. If I had more time with my phone in hand and planfulness about documenting this section of the loop, you would be seeing dozens of images of light houses, big ships, expansive waters, multidimensional clouds and waves on the water. This morning’s imaginary pictures include the gorgeous fruit and vegetables at the Cheybogan Farmers Market, the beach pines and a fun video of me zipping along the trails from the harbor into town.

Everything is energy.

Lake Michigan is bound to bring new challenges and new lessons in life. Personally, I am learning to not be separate from the essence of things. This requires being fully present in every moment. You bring everything in and welcome it. That, my friends, is love. Presence is unburdened by old stories and doesn’t need to worry about the future. I hope you find yourself in your own presence and realize the profound being you are at heart.

Me time for David.
Profile like Santiago, from The Old Man and the Sea.
One last look at Lake Huron ☀️🤟🏽

Tonawanda, NY

The end of the Erie is a blessing a long time in coming for us. We have enjoyed the process and never, not in a million years, could ever have believed that we would sit still for days on end, and take six weeks to travel 400 miles. Granted, there were 35 locks which take time and effort but Lord, sitting still in small towns, not once, but three times in Amsterdam, Newark and Tonawanda, for a total of 24 days, have mercy. I know we have learned a few things along the way. Nothing mind blowing, just a few reminders about not trying to control what’s beyond our control; releasing all grudges, never blaming anything or anyone, and never letting circumstances get in the way of being present and experiencing joy; and learning to appreciate the rest as much as the movement.

IRENE is the second to last boat from the right (just before the ominous train bridge) in North Tonawanda.

The way out of the canal is by heading south on the Niagara River, south of the famed Niagara Falls by a few miles. The joke is, turn right and you’re over them. There’s at least of couple knots of current pushing the river south and because of the that, the government built a federal lock about 7 miles from where we are now in North Tonawanda (i.e. the north side of the canal) to help mariners negotiate the current and make it safely to Buffalo (10 miles) and then into Lake Erie. The federal lock is the gateway to a three and half mile canal on the south side of the Niagara River called, Black Rock [Lock] and Canal.

I won’t be there tomorrow when David and Mark make that part of the trip. It feels a bit unsettling to think about them moving our little home without me. This trip I’m taking to be at Isla’s second birthday in St. Thomas has been in the works for a long time. David and I thought it would be a piece of cake, pun intended, for me to be gone for a week. The truth is, we were both having a little anxiety over lunch today as the reality hit. We’ve developed a pretty good partnership on the water and we have grown into our roles. We have our own lanes. I have every confidence that we’re all gonna’ be ok, but it’s strange too- not going to deny it.


Some friends we made while stalled in Amsterdam, Jane & Bryce Johnson and their sailing boat, Beauty, were with us in Tonawanda for a few days. Jane and I were talking about all the little and big places along the way, from Florida to here, and which ones we could live in. We agreed that the best place to live is on a boat, but Tonawanda is a nice stop if there ever were one. There are excellent restaurants, little stores, nice people, a wonderful farmer’s market, it’s flat with great sidewalks for riding my electric scooter, you can swim in the canal, the wall is smooth, they have band concerts a few nights a week, it’s not expensive, there’s a really nice grocery store and even a clean laundromat. Tonawanda is full of pride and life.

Oh. They have some weird shit too. Like a lot of cigarette boats that are noisy as hell. Why? No one knows for sure. Owen gave me an answer but it’s too obscene to repeat.

Saturday in North Tonawanda (imagine sirens and canons and Thunder Road engines loud). Or, as Doug D would say, “TonaWandaFun” 😉

It doesn’t make for a very exciting blog to write about all the things we are reading but here are a few books in case you are wondering how I’m filling my head: Jumpgirl; Visualization and Imagery; Essential Reiki; Sound and Vibration; and the Book of Awakening. I believe we are part of a monumental shift in the evolution of our planet and the cosmos. I believe we are shifting in multiple ways and one of those is a dimensional shift. Periods of rest and reflection are actually important to all of us as we go through these times.

I wish everyone continued health and wherever anyone stands, I hope they stand there with their entire being, with integrity and love. I am very grateful to my friends, mentors and guides who are cheering us on through this journey. I could not have found a more beautiful group of people to expand my consciousness with. May we all find a most forgiving path through these unusual times and be able to stand above the chaos and look at what is happening in the world and see what an interesting time this is. May wisdom find a place at the table.

See you next week! Gotta fly xoxo

Be here now.

July 26 – 29: Brewerton, NY to Newark, NY

On Monday, the 26th, we received the news that locks 24 – 28B, would be opening up again at noon. We rallied and washed the boat down, got organized above and below deck and we were on our way. It was a beautiful, sunny day and we were so happy to be moving with the sun on us.

Heading west!

Initially, the water was high, but not at its banks and there was not too much debris. We passed through Lock 23 at the west end of Brewerton and Lock 24 at Baldwinsville. Since we had been stalled for a full week we decided early in the day we would travel until sunset.

After Baldwinsville, we crossed a beautiful fresh water lake, Cross Lake- Then through a long stretch of the canal that is within the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. While the natural beauty was incredible with eagles, herons, fish jumping around us and more, here the water was extremely high and well above its banks. We saw many campsites and docks submerged and properties that had been damaged by the heavy rains the week before 🙏🏽.

The swollen canal at Three Rivers.
The wilderness.

Around 8:00PM we made it to the wall at Lock 25 and tied up for the night. We were ambushed by hungry mosquitoes and ducked inside as fast as we could. It was humid and we started the generator BUT it didn’t put out any power! Before we began this journey we’d been advised to never rush to “worst case scenarios” by a marine repair person in Florida. “Start with the most obvious, simple possible cause.” It took us all night, but we figured it out! There’s a second breaker for the generator down below on top of it. It was shut off when they were serving her in Brewerton and simply hadn’t been switched back on. Damn. We had a moment.

Tuesday morning we got going early and decided we would travel through all the open locks and stop near or at Lock 29 in Palmyra. It looked like we had another beautiful travel day and made it through five locks. It felt like we had the entire canal to ourselves. We passed a couple of boats and went through 4 of the 5 locks alone.

A sunny morning.

Around 11:00 the forecast changed to powerful storms passing over Buffalo and Rochester and we decided that if there was any space on the public docks in Newark, NY, just after Lock 28B, we would stop and tie up. The winds were increasing and the sky was black. The lock master at 28B told us he believed there was one space on the side of the canal that has power, just below in the Port of Newark. He was correct, but it was sooooo small. Luckily, a group of angels were walking on the dock as if they were waiting for us. David got us close and they all said, “there’s plenty of space”. I threw bow a line to angel Annie and a stern line to angel Steve. We literally had a couple of feet on either end, but we were safely tied up with the nicest neighbors. Annie and her husband had been stuck in Newark for 30 days! We counted our blessings one more time. The word on the wall was that Locks 29 & 30 may be reopening before the weekend to shallow draft vessels. (They we’re closed due to reconstruction and had to be refilled.)

Stormy skies in Newark.

We could not have been more fortunate. The Port of Newark is a city park and the wall, electric, laundry, showers and trash removal are free! They love boaters and one section of the literature we received upon arrival said, “If not for the Erie Canal, our city would not exist”. The generosity of spirit did not end there. (Angel) Annie and her husband let us borrow their truck to get groceries (way beyond the provisions I can carry on my scooter)! Folks gathered on the park swings and in the gazebo to talk with one another and offer insight from their experiences about our future destinations. In fact, after hearing from others and not being sure about the two closed locks, I decided to change my outbound flight to St. Thomas to leave from Buffalo. This diminished our sense of urgency by a lot. Right after I’d made the change, we got word that the locks would open on Thursday. I took a sunset scooter ride down the canal trail and a fawn jumped in front of me! (I’m taking it as a loving sign of good things ahead!)

The natural world never ceases to amaze. This mallard and her fish friends stayed near Irene for hours.

Keeping in mind there were a lot of boats backed up between all the little towns and locks that are also looking to get past 29 & 30, we decided to not depart with everyone in Newark and our friends back in Lyon, on Thursday and opted for a Friday morning departure. That’s tomorrow folks. Today’s work is watching the parade of boats as they make their way west while we cheer them on look forward to the road ahead.

Godspeed, Annie & Rich 🙌🏽

Day Six of Erie Canal Lock Closures

We have been tied to the wall at Riverlink Park in Amsterdam NY for nearly a week. The heavy rains and strong current damaged gates on the locks and moved red and green bouy markers from what anchored them in place. No word yet on a definitive reopening date. There are five other looper boats here too, and many others scattered at lock walls and marinas up and down this section (Locks 2-19 in the Mohawk River) of the canal.

A lot of trees, logs and debris float by.
The tip top of a submerged green can that later was dislodged by a floating tree.

So, we wait. Today we are grateful for-

  • Sunshine
  • kindness
  • local knowledge
  • fresh food
  • books
  • kindle
  • music
  • meditation
  • walking
  • one another
  • freedom
  • friends
  • family
  • conversation
  • trees
  • mother earth
  • water
  • Spirit
  • stretching
  • rest
  • breathing
  • A Course in Miracles
  • time
  • imagination
  • love
This delicious wine from Owen & Dakota ☀️
Grateful for an awesome gas stove and fresh garlic veggies pasta sauce bubbling away.
When things reopen, we are ready to go!

Wishing you all the best wherever you are. 🌊