Bill and Cathy McArthur Spring/Summer/Fall 2009: 18

    Monday, September 7, was a cloudy, breezy Labor Day. Cathy went to the gym. Bill did his 3 crossword puzzles and then went out for a 36 mile bike ride where he averaged 12 mph in spite of a gusty NE wind. We ate lunch on the "high chairs" on the deck. After lunch, Bill went out to water the flowers. Our neighbor Tom and his son-in-law Rich came over to see if Rich and his wife Maureen could use our double kayak. Bill said he would accompany them and hosed the sand off of the Malibu Two. The three paddlers went north into the wind and current and made it as far as the Villas Fishing Club about 1.5 miles away. Cathy went out for a walk while the kayakers were out. When Bill got back, he showered and made a cappuccino. We grilled burgers for dinner. We viewed "State of Play" on DVD - excellent story line and great cast. Afterward, Bill watched the first half of the FSU/Miami football game.

    Tuesday was cloudy and breezy all day with a few drops or rain falling from time to time. Cathy went to the gym. Bill did a lot of stretching and warming up and then went out for a very slow recovery run of 5K. His left foot was hurting. We ate lunch indoors. We took early afternoon showers and then drove to the Smithville area to visit with Jack and Sue Beatty, who were staying at the Fairways Resort for a week. Sue's brother Jay was also staying there for a few days. We all headed over to the home of our friends Tom and Jean Reilly very close by. We had hors d'oeuvres and drinks and then loaded up two cars for a tour of the Reillys' community center and for another short drive to the Oyster Creek Inn. We had excellent meals and a lot of lively conversation. We had the longest trip home afterward. We were home around 9:30 PM.

    Wednesday was windy and gloomy. Cathy went to the gym. Bill went out for a kayak paddle to the canal. The Bay became very choppy while he was out. We had an early lunch and then drove to Somers Point for Bill's urologist appointment. His PSA went down to 6.9 from 22.5 last spring. This was very encouraging and caused Dr. Schutz to say, "I'm just going to leave you alone." These were very pleasant words to hear. Back at home, Bill made a cappuccino and then did an hour's work for the Water's Edge Motel in Wildwood. We had tortellini for dinner and viewed "Hitman" for the second time. We also watched President Obama's speech on health care and both thought it was an excellent effort.

    Thursday was very windy and cloudy with rain later in the day into the night. Cathy went to the gym. Bill did some crossword puzzles and then rode his bike for about 14 miles, dealing with a strong NE wind. We ate an early lunch of fruit. After showers, we headed up toward the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City. We parked and played a penny slot machine for a while and then met with Jack, Sue, and Jay near the registration desk. We all played slots for a while. Bill went to Starbucks (inside the casino) for a cappuccino. We had a light lunch at mid-afternoon. By the time we left the Borgata, the rain was very heavy. We drove to Jack and Sue's vacation resort. Jay went to the train station to pick up his wife Marge who was traveling down from her contract job in Philadelphia. We all went to the pub in the Seaview resort for more light fare at about 8:00 PM. Bill and Cathy drove through a lot of wind and rain to arrive home a bit after 10:00 PM. We got to bed about 11:00 PM as the storm continued throughout the night.

    Friday morning was not for sleeping as thunderstorms rumbled by for a few hours. Bill got up at 5:30 AM and watched the radar to see that the unnamed tropical storm was heading up the Delaware Bay. By 8:30 AM the main rain bands had stopped coming in. Jason Malick, the swimmer who wants to swim around Cape Island on Sunday, emailed to say that the Cape May County Gazette had published an article about his attempt. After the rain let up, we went to ACME for some shopping. Later in the morning we picked up the RV. Bill stopped for gas on the way back. Bill hooked up the water and electricity and carried the vacuum to the RV. After lunch, Bill went over to Water's Edge Motel to install their 2010 program. When he got back, Bill installed the new bike rack on the RV. The weather had turned cold and breezy. Bill came in for a cappuccino. He made a great dinner of quinoa, sweet onion, dates, and walnuts. Cathy had a frozen dinner. We viewed "Duplicity" on dvd - great cast, but confusing story line. We turned in early.

    Saturday, Cathy went to the gym. Bill worked on the RV. After lunch, we watched Penn State win and Notre Dame lose. Bill spent part of the afternoon getting his kayaking gear together for Sunday's marathon swim support. At the 4:00 PM phone call, we decided to go with the 10-15 knot NW marine forecast. While we ate a good pasta meal with quinoa/corn pasta, we viewed "Bill Maher" and then later "The Changling." Bill set two alarms for 4:00 AM and went to bed fairly early.

    Sunday morning, Bill was up by 3:45 AM. He got breakfast and hydrated with Cytomax. At the 4:30 AM phone call, we decided to go. Bill launched his kayak, wearing a headlamp, at 5:00 AM. The seas were 3 to 4 feet, the north wind was blowing at 15 knots with gusts to 20 knots. It was a horrible kayak paddle for the 3 miles to Douglass Park. Bill had forgotten that he could have checked conditions at Brandywine Shoal. If he had checked before the 4:30 AM call, he would have seen the wind blowing 18 knots with gusts to 20 knots; we would have called it off. Live and learn! When Bill landed around 5:30 AM, he saw a bunch of ghost crabs in the light from his headlamp. He saw two big crabs fighting. Joe decided it was too nasty on the Bay to paddle down to Douglass Park and drove down. When everyone was assembled, including paddler Luke Webster and Jason and his parents, we all walked to water's edge to feel the strong wind and see the whitewater. We decided to scrub the mission for the day and try again on Monday morning with a 7:00 AM launch. When Bill got home, he called Ed, our other paddler, and heard a tale of woe: Ed was driving on the Blue Route near Philadelphia around 3:00 AM; he thought his kayak was loose and pulled over to check it; he got locked out of his running car; he jogged to an exit and sought help. It was a mixed blessing for Ed that he didn't drive down from Philadelphia for naught. Luke transported Bill and his kayak home in his truck on his way back to Vineland. Bill put away his gear and took a shower. Then, he woke Cathy and explained the situation. Bill and Cathy took a 10 mile bike ride to the West Cape May bridge. After lunch, Bill went out for a 20 mile bike ride to Cape May Point State Park. When he got back he secured the bikes to the bike rack on the RV. He also made a cardboard bookcase for one of the cabinets in the RV and sorted through our books and organized them. Bill talked with Jim Sosna on his way to a Phillies game. Afterward, Jason called and Bill and he decided to go for it on Monday. Bill then called Joe and he concurred with the decision. They planned to talk at 5:10 AM to confirm the trip. Bill planned to launch from our beach at 6:10 AM, when a bit of light would be available. Bill decided to suggest that the wind and gusts at Brandywine would be under 10 mph (8.6 knots). We went to dinner at Panico's where Cody waited on us. We viewed part of "Wall-E" and an episode of "True Blood." Bill set two alarms for 4:30 AM.


        Bill and Cathy