Bill and Cathy McArthur Spring/Summer/Fall 2008: 21

    Monday, August 25 , Bill started thinking seriously about a Bay crossing for Wednesday. A cold front was supposed to pass through during the day on Monday and Tuesday was to be windy. Thursday was supposed to bring rain from the remnants of tropical storm Fay. Wednesday's forecast was good. The only troublesome element was the marine forecast calling for east wind from 5 to 10 knots. Bill's recent paddle on Friday past made him wary of the east wind. Bill emailed Joe Link and Jim More suggesting Wednesday for the crossing. Then Bill talked with Cathy about driving the XTerra over to Prime Hook Beach for support. Cathy agreed and Maria Link agreed to accompany Cathy, so Bill made an online reservation for the 7:30 AM ferry with a 1:45 PM return ferry. Cathy went to the gym. Bill called Jim Johnson of Imperial 500 Motel in Wildwood and agreed to look at adding an "email blasting" feature to the Front Desk program. After lunch, Bill drove to West Marine to buy marine epoxy to seal his kayak's forward hatch cover. Bill reglued the rubber gasket on the hatch cover and also charged batteries and loaded the Bay crossing waypoints onto his eTrex GPS. Cathy went for an afternoon walk while Bill conserved his energy. During dinner, we viewed the DVRed closing ceremony of the Olympics. Then, we watched coverage of the Democratic Convention. Bill went to bed earlier than Cathy.

    Tuesday morning showed evidence that it had rained overnight. As advertised, it was windy and felt chilly with the low humidity. Bill took out the trash and saw Joe Link running around 5:30 AM. After breakfast, he touched up the sealing of the hatch cover. Bill pored over the weather forecasts and sent out the following email about 2:30 PM:

  I’ve been poring over the weather information for much of the morning. I’ve attached 3 files. The satellite image in zoom.gif shows that we’re at the edge of the cloud mass from Fay. The weather video on Accuweather Pro this morning showed that the GFS computer weather model is predicting that Fay will move faster than other models and people are predicting. Consistent with that idea, the hour-by-hour in wunderground.gif is showing 20% chance of precipitation during the late model and early afternoon tomorrow. Also, the east side of Fay has some violent weather. The hour by hour in accuweather.gif is showing east winds blowing and gusting pretty hard over the land. As we know, over the Bay, the wind is much heavier. My recommendation is to declare a nogo for tomorrow and look to the September window in a couple of weeks.

   Let me and each other know what you’re thinking. Thanks.

Bill talked to Joe on the phone and they agreed to cancel the crossing. Bill then called Jim More and talked to him about the cancellation. Finally, Bill canceled the ferry trip for the support vehicle. Afterward, Bill and Cathy took a walk along the Bay. We watched the Democratic Convention after dinner.

    Wednesday started out as a perfect day for a Bay crossing, but the Fay remnants lurked to the south. Bill emailed Joe and asked if he wanted to paddle around the island at 9:20 AM. It happened that Joe was already out running 14 miles, so Bill launched at 9:00 AM and headed down the Bay. Here's how the trip went:

I left at 9:00 AM and got past the concrete bunker when the fierce east wind and too big waves made me turn around. I had to fight the current back to the canal. Then I fought the current down the canal, which had a howling east wind and was rather rough. I kept battling the current, wind, and chop down the harbor to our usual rest break beach. The way back home was automatic, with wind and current at my back. On the last Bay leg to my house, the east wind was fierce. I would have hated to have been miles out on the Bay with that wind. The waves must be nasty out there. We made a good decision not to go across today. My total route was 25 miles.

Bill got back at 3:20 PM. We made reservations to dine at Tisha's and had a great meal there at 7:30 PM. We used the generous gift certificate from our family from the reunion. We watched the Democratic Convention when we returned home.

    Thursday, Bill was going to launch early to meet the Tidewater River Journey at Reed's Beach, but the radar showed the remnants of Fay close by, so he decided to wait for a while. It's a good thing because the leader of the group, Danawa Buchanan, called to ask for driving directions to our house. Later, she arrived with a kayak trailer to leave here until Friday. Cathy had a doctor's appointment in the morning to check on her blood work and prescriptions. Bill launched at 10:50 AM and headed up Bay to find Danawa. After 2.5 miles, he found Danawa and Larry Rafes about 3/4 of a mile off of the shore in a windy, choppy Bay. Bill accompanied the two paddlers down the Bay for a total (for Bill) of 7.5 miles and 3 hours and 20 minutes. The three pulled the kayaks in and washed up. Bill and Larry drove to Reed's Beach to pick up Larry's car and then returned. We all enjoyed a burger dinner. With only two paddlers, we could easily put them up in the house rather than have them camp in the yard. We all watched the Democratic Convention with interest.

    Friday, Bill went with Danawa and Larry, in a 3 car caravan, to Sunset Beach to drop off the kayak trailer and Larry's car. When they returned, Cathy went to the gym for aerobics. At about 9:30 AM, Danawa, Larry, and Bill launched on the last leg of the Tidewater River Journey. The east wind was strong again, so the three paddled in some swells and chop. They landed on Sunset Beach about noon. This was the end of Danawa's historic journey. Bill went into the gift shop and reported that the kayaks had landed. He supplied the text for an announcement which came over the loudspeakers a bit later. Meanwhile, Danawa talked with several people on the beach. A reporter from the Cape May Star and Wave arrived to get the story and some photos. Bill hung around until 3:00 PM and then paddled home at a good pace. Cathy and Bill got takeout from Bella Mangiata for dinner. Afterward, they went to the Cape May Beach Property Owners Association clubhouse to help set up for Saturday's shower for our friend Lauren Findlay. Later, we viewed "Consenting Adults", a good suspense movie.

    Saturday, Cathy had a lot of things to do to prepare for Lauren's shower. She went to the POA clubhouse fairly early in the morning. At noon, she picked up Bill and we both drove to ACME to get a full-sized sheet cake with photos of Lauren and her fiance on it. After delivering it to the clubhouse, we drove to West Side Market to pick up enough food for 60 people and brought it to the POA. Cathy had to hustle to return home to change and then go back to the shower. Bill ate lunch and then watched Virginia Tech lose a close game in its football opener. After the game, he walked the beach down to the canal and back. He talked with Margaret and Jim Lloyd and Joe Link on the way back. Our neighbors, Joy and Tom had us over to enjoy grilled vegetables and other delights with their daughter Maureen and son-in-law Rich.

    Sunday was a delightful summer day. We drove to Sunset Beach to check on the status of the Tidewater River Journey's doings. We couldn't find them or find out anything about their whereabouts. We walked from Sunset Beach to Cape May along the ocean. We walked down the Cape May promenade and ate lunch at McGlade's restaurant. We browsed the craft show on the promenade and got a frozen coffee at Coffee Time on the way back. We met some kayakers and walked with them to Cape May Point. We arrived back at our car after about 8 miles of walking. Later, we met Ann and Al Whitehead at Red Sky Cafe at 5:30 PM. We had a good dinner and conversation.

    Monday was Labor Day. It was a beautiful day, so we took a 23 mile bike ride to Sunset Beach and Cape May Point. After we returned, we shopped at ACME. The west wind was blowing fairly hard, so we ate lunch inside. After lunch, Bill joined the Delaware Riverkeeper Network so that he can stay aware of river and Bay issues. About 2:30 PM, Bill went out for a 13 mile paddle past the concrete bunker. The wind dropped for the last 5 miles of the trip. It was a beautiful end of the summer. Goodbye shoobies!

    Tuesday, Cathy went to the gym. Bill went out on the beach in front of the house and fished for a while. Cathy joined him on the beach until lunchtime. After lunch, we walked 6 miles to the canal. We cooked burgers for dinner. Later, we watched the Republican Convention.

    Wednesday, Cathy went to the gym. Bill joined our neighbor Tom for a fishing trip. It was a gorgeous day out on the water, but Bill didn't catch anything worthwhile. Tom caught a few flounder and bluefish. In the afternoon, Cathy walked for 4 miles. Bill bought the domain name, after receiving an email from Danawa Buchanan. Bill did a 10 mile paddle down to the first jetty at Cape May Point. The sunset was enhanced by the Kasatochi volcano in Alaska’s Aleutian islands. We had a good pasta dinner and watched the Republican Convention.

    Thursday, Cathy went to the gym. Afterward, we left the house around 11:00 AM when the rug cleaners arrived to do their annual work on our carpets. We drove into Cape May and ate lunch at McGlade's. We walked a bit on the promenade and then drove up to Tom and Jean Reilly's home in Smithville. We really liked their house, which has an open floor plan and very high ceilings. The four of us walked around the trails connecting the villages of their development community. We went to the Oyster Creek Inn for a surprisingly good dinner. It was a beautiful evening. We took a short walk when we got back to Tom and Jean's home. We left around 8:30 PM for home. When we returned, we had to restore our furniture to their usual positions after the rug cleaning. We watched a boring wrap-up of the Republican Convention.

    Friday, we had three local realtors over to our house for interviews concerning the possible sale of our home. We chose to talk to Dan Senico from Apex who sold us our land in 1993, Carol Menz from Coastline, who helped us to try to subdivide our land in 2001, and Mike Cosmo from Century 21, who did an evaluation for us in 2006. We decided that the Century 21 website would be advantageous and decided to list with them. We stripped the deck and got the house and grounds ready for Tropical Storm Hanna, due to arrive on Saturday. We went to dinner at Harbor View Marina and found the food much improved from the last time we were there.

    Saturday, Cathy went to the gym. Bill called Mike Cosmo from Century 21 and told him that we would list the house with him, making his day. Bill went for a walk to the canal as Hanna's winds picked up. It started to rain as bill was about 1/2 mile from home, so Cathy picked him up as she returned from the gym. Bill called Dan Senico and Carol Menz and told them of our decision on the house listing. After lunch, Mike Cosmo came over to explain the facts of listing and get our signatures. We spent the rest of the afternoon watching Hanna's wind, rain, and waves and throwing away junk and straightening up the rest of our stuff. We ate dinner and watched some TV as the west wind howled. Bill put in his ear plugs before going to bed.

    Sunday, the west wind still blew briskly. We restored the deck and washed the storm grime off of all of the windows in the house. After lunch we drove to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to buy a few items for the house. When we returned we saw Mike Cosmo putting up the "For Sale" sign out front. We talked with Mike for a few minutes and then left for Cape May. Our daughter Alex had already arrived there to meet with four of her friends who were staying for three nights at the Avondale Motel. We found the quintet in Gecko's as they were just paying the lunch bill. We walked on the mall for a while. Then we went to the beach with the others. Bill walked to the Cove, intending to walk to the lighthouse. He met Bob and Laurie Beers at the Cove and spent an hour or so talking with them. When he walked back, the rest of the crowd was ready to leave the beach. Bill and Cathy drove home and Alex joined them there. Alex joined her friends for dinner. Cathy and Bill enjoyed a quiche and a beautiful sunset. They wondered if their sunsets here were numbered.


        Bill and Cathy