And while laid up resting the lumbar-sacral region I have been reading this month's selection of my book group (all right, it was my suggestion): Jules Verne's "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea". So avid readers may expect another book report soon.
So what can I say about 2015. I sure got a grand dose of sailing and boating related activities - a lot of water under our keel. It was a very satisfying year, the year that my beloved Lene finally lost her ability to continue to claim "I'm really not a sailor.".
We began the year in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to which we returned on March 5, after a lovely multi-stop visit to Key West Florida and 20 miles past that. Next were a lot of great passages and ports until we got back to the Harlem on May 26, the 146th day of this calendar year. Also: a two day trip down to Gravesend Bay to sail with L'Hermione, 17 days on the Club Cruise to Block Island, five days with Bob on s/v Pandora from The Connecticut River around Montauk Point to Hampton Virginia and 22 additional days of day sailing from our mooring and back for a total of 190 sailing or living days. My career high total, and possibly a number that what with aging, may never be equaled or exceeded. And as they say in the infomercials: "But wait, there's more! Add on 21 days involving the water that are not related to living, sailing or working on a sailboat, and 25 work days on ILENE. (Or course, many of the cruising or living days also involved some boat maintenance and repair, but those are not counted as lowly work days.) So the grand total this year was 236! A goodly percentage of the 365 available. I have nothing to complain about.
The way I have looked at it, sailing is a social activity with much of the fun coming from sailing on other peoples' boats and inviting them onto ours. Most of the sailing days, including the first 146, were aboard ILENE. But 5 were on Pandora, 4 on Deuce of Hearts, 2 on Ohana and 1 on Pas de Deux, totaling 12 -- 178 out of the 190 were aboard ILENE.
Continuing my lifelong desire to share my boat with present and future friends, a total of 38 different people in addition to Lene sailed with me on ILENE, at least once day this year. Some sailed multiple times and others, not counted among the 38, did not sail, but came aboard for meals. Friends of mine, of Lene, from the Yacht Club, from our Synagogue, and from our condo.
And 2016, with a three month cruise to Nova Scotia as a goal, starts in a few hours. Before Nova Scotia comes after both a week with Bennett and Harriet (in whose home we will celebrate the New Year's arrival) on s/v On Eagles Wings in the Virgins in early April and a week with Lene's family on a cruise liner from Galveston Texas in the Gulf of Mexico in early June.
On the macro level, the world may be going to hell in a hand basket with democracy threatened by big money at home, climate change destroying the world, gun nuts (both domestic and foreign) running amuck, a certain redheaded egomaniacal reality show star trying to move us from love toward hate, educational standards low and sliding, etc. But all I can say is that focusing in on the micro level I am blessed to have such a great life. And I recognize and am very grateful for the bounty bestowed upon me and my family.