In April of 2011 Tate made a huge sacrifice to make our dream come true. He got his house ready to sell in Baton Rouge and moved in with me in New Orleans. After all this is where it was easiest to work on the boat and also where my job was stationed but it wasn’t without consequence. He traded 1900SF for a shared 1100SF, a spacious backyard where he spent most of his time lined with oak trees many owls called home for no backyard and most difficultly he also left all of his friends and coworkers to work from home in NOLA. So while he gained in boat progress and our relationship he lost in his connection with others.

Working from home may seem like a dream come true but for someone who loves the company of others it is a double edged sword. Refitting a boat takes up a lot of time and can make it difficult to visit with friends in other cities not to mention it is the happy time in many people’s lives where marriage and children become priorities. So while we will always love our friends from times past and try to get together when possible we also look forward to new friendships born out of our sacrifice.

One of the main reasons for this trip around the globe is to experience the world… and the people in it. We yearn for those deep friendships based on similar interests and fortunately from time to time get to meet people through this blog and our lifestyle. Since entering the “boating world” and starting this blog we have met many people, who I like to call friends:

  1. We met Todd through a Westsail Rendezvous which led to being crew on his boat, the Westsail 32 Morning Sun, for the 2013 Harvest Moon Regatta. Which is coming up again…
  2. During the HMR trip to Texas we met up with fellow bloggers/refitters, Cidnie and Mark with Ceol Mor for a fun night out in Kemah.
  3. A fellow blog reader, Skip,  came to see us all the way from California during a boat search.
  4. An incredibly talented artist, Jean Marc Bock, sent us a heartfelt illustration of Sundowner out of the blue.
  5. G and C from another sailing blog, Gremlin’s Hammer paid us a visit in NOLA while sightseeing.
  6. We met and continue to hang out with Brian and Shana from Baton Rouge who have long term Caribbean cruising plans and own a sailboat.
  7. After sharing the worst conditions in Mobile Bay in 15 years, Debbie and SJ of Savoir Faire, invited us for wine and stories at their beach house in Orange Beach, Al.
  8. Through my mom we met Tyler and Tina with SV Ro’annon, who took us sailing in the Albemarle Sound shortly before owning our own boat.
  9. Living in our marina while he goes to dentistry school is Ben who I met one day sailing his brightly striped sail near our boat.
  10. On our dock we met Beau and Beka, SV Seaflower, and preceded to have many adventures aboard including sailing at night!
  11. Beau introduced us to Skipper Glenn of Quest who we still race with every Wednesday. I’ve learned more about sailing on his boat than anywhere else.
  12. We met another retired sailing couple, Bridget and Pat, currently sailing the Caribbean. We may meet up with them once we start.
  13. Tammy and Bruce with SV Dos Libras stopped at our boatyard on their way East and we joined them for dinner and wine.
  14. Paul, a blog reader and Great Looper, currently building the 28ft wooden MV Tardis, sent us a HUGE collection of sailing books which Tate has gone through and read.
  15. Another Great Looper, Bill aboard MV Tortuga invited us onboard for STEAKS while we were working in the yard this past winter.
  16. And we met countless others in the racing circuit both here and in Texas, others at our marinas and boat yards and many others we correspond with through the blog. (I’m sorry if I left anyone out!)

Even though we haven’t left the dock yet our dreams are being realized through the new connections and relationships we make. Just looking at the list above makes me realize how truly lucky we are and how wonderful, friendly and inviting the “Cruising Community” is. If you are in need of friendship start hanging around boats.

And now we get to add another one to the list of people we call friends!  Annie and Phillip with the blog Have wind – will Travel took a weekend trip from their home in Pensacola Florida to New Orleans and invited us out for an evening of fun. Annie and Phillip are both attorneys who just came back from a AWESOME 6 week trip down the Florida coast to the Keys and back aboard their beauty for a boat, Plantiff’s Rest, a 35-foot Hinterhoeller Niagara built in 1985.

Interestingly enough the Niagara was in the running when we were looking at boats but they are rare and there just weren’t any close enough. Annie is also an accomplished author, self publishing the book “The Billable Hour, a Legal Practitioner’s Guide to Smarter Billing”. Hopefully sales for this well written book will take off allowing her and Phillip to come cruising with us sooner. Are you an attorney? You can help this happen by purchasing here.

Annie and I have similar stories in that the plan started with the guys but infectiously spread to every part of our being. Are you saying you want to travel the world in a boat, YES sign me up!  It was also nice to meet a couple around our age who don’t have kids and have long term sailing plans. For us it’s coming up but for them it’s years out…luckily they get to take trips every year to keep the adventure alive. Maybe if we’re lucky they’ll join us in for a time in the Caribbean next year (it’s just a plane ticket away guys). I’ll be sure to stock the boat with alluring fresh grapefruits and gin, one of my favorites and, surprise surprise, Annie’s too.

Having traveled many times to NOLA Annie and Phillip had an agenda different than most people who come to visit.  Forget Bourbon, take me to FRENCHMEN street. You can see on the map is >just< outside the French Quarter boundaries to the right.  This area is crawling with local music and unique (and D-lish) restaurants.
Frenchman street map

Hell in New Orleans you often don’t have to choose between music or food, they’ll sit a trumpet and a double bass right next to your table. This was at The Three Muses where we had “small plates” of bacon wrapped blue cheese dates, fish tacos, scallops, blue crab spring rolls and lamb burger sliders. The food was topnotch and the music was very very good. I just love live music!
3 Muses band at dinner

Extravagant art hung on every wall.
Art work at 3 Muses

After a long dinner with Mojitos, Mint Juleps, Grapefruit Margaritas and wine we took to the streets, Annie and I both in highheels/wedge shoes. Tate advised against such high shoes for “Quarter walking” but hey this may have been one of the last times I get to wear anything over 1″ high!
Frenchman street sign

Annie and Phillip make such a great couple who know how to sit back and have a great time. If you get a chance you should check out their blog and their wild and crazy adventures down to the Keys. Annie is a talented writer and there are lots of laughs to be had.
Group picture, Annie, Dani, Tate and Phillip

We headed just a few blocks away on St. Claude to the Allways Lounge to catch, Clue a Burlesque Mystery! Would you believe that just then I almost had my handbag stolen? In all the times I’ve gone to the French Quarter, over 50, I’ve never ever been robbed or had anything stolen. We were simply standing RIGHT IN FRONT of the Allways Lounge when I felt a tug under my right arm where I was carrying my handbag. Naturally I spun around to see what it was and didn’t see anything. Then I started looking all around and saw two young men speeding ahead on bicycles.

Feeling the power and speed of the tug and having no one else around me I just knew that the first bike rider had actually swiftly ridden by and tried to grab my purse. Wow, I was blown away. Thanks to all the work on the boat my beefy guns held it in place but it was close. I couldn’t help myself as I yelled repeatedly towards the guys on bikes, “Hey they just tried to steal my purse!” One of them turned quickly and started talking about how he didn’t try to take anything while the front runner was long gone. We calmed any tempers and sent the would be thieves on their way without any more trouble. This purse snatching from atop a bike was a new one for me and thank god it wasn’t our visiting guest Annie who also had a small handbag.

Just as quickly as it happened it was over and we were headed inside for the show and drinks.
Clue a Burlesque show

We made it in and got a table just in the nick of time as about 15 minutes later the place was packed with standing room only. Arrive early to Burlesque shows people…folks like these things.
Allways Cabaret before the show

The whole night was a whirlwind of drinking, eating and talking, and talking and more talking. We all just had so much to say in such a short amount of time it seemed like the night could go on forever.
Annie and Dani

None of us guessed the killer correctly so we were sent on our way empty handed. We hit a couple of more bars around there and ran into someone who REALLY liked Sailor Jerry.
Sailor Jerry car NOLA

Eventually my feet got blisters and we were up way past our bedtimes so we said goodnight and got a taxi home. We promised we’d try to make it over to Pensacola this January on our trip down to the Keys to meet again. This time they can show us around their stomping grounds.

I’ve heard that friendships in the Cruising world are made quickly and deeply but that they are also short since everyone is on the move eventually. So far this hasn’t been a problem for me as I cherish each of the experiences and have fun planning the next time we’ll meet up. Thanks Annie and Phillip for a night out and a break from boat work, we hope to see you again one day!

*As a tribute to these new relationships I’ve made a link on the right “Friend’s we’ve Made” so we can always look back and remember.