Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Busy Time in Gulfport and the 3000 Mile Trip

 We made the decision to buy the new motor for the boat that I wrote about in my last entry. Now, we had some time to wait for it to arrive. We also had two very important to us, things happening. Our Son, Mark was getting married in Missouri on July 14th and my father was turning 90 in Colorado on July 11th. We were planning to wait until after the wedding to go see Dad, but now we saw an opening to get to Colorado at the same time as my three brothers and see Dad on his Birthday and then drive to Missouri in time for most of the festivities around the wedding. It was a crazy plan that would involve over 3000 miles of driving, but we decided to go for it, but first we had to wait for hurricane Elsa to stay on her projected path and turn east up through Florida and then the East coast. While we were waiting for that to happen, we had some things happening around the marina that were kind of cool. 

First, was a sailboat race. We had heard that there was a race to Gulfport on June 12th. We saw the boats come in and one of them pulled into the slip right next to us. We enjoyed getting to know the crew of "Madam J". She is a very fast boat and has a large crew. 

The "Madam J" from New Orleans, LA. 

 We found out that the sail to Gulfport was really just to get set up for the big race on June 25th from Gulfport to Pensacola, FL. The boats were in the marina during the Tropical Storm Claudette on June 18th. That storm was not too bad with some winds around 50 knots and water up to top of the docks, but there was no damage other than lost sleep. We even got up the next morning and drove the 70 miles to New Orleans for our soon to be Daughter in Law, Callie's, wedding shower. We spent some fun time over in New Orleans with Callie and her Mom Christie and our son Mark. New Orleans is a cool place to visit with a person that really knows the city. 

On June 25th, we went out on the Jetty to see the start of the big race. 

It was hard to see much, because the start was 3 miles off shore, but it was cool to see them mill around with partial sails and then right at noon, they all brought up full sails and they were off. 

They sailed through that day and all night and arrived in Pensacola before noon the next day. It was a tough race with 25+knots of wind coming right from the direction they wanted to go. The Madam J finished 2nd overall! We were watching the race on the tracker and found that a good friend from the marina was racing and did very well. Dwayne is a 74 year old captain and just had a total of 3 on the boat.  

The July 4th weekend was crazy around the marina. We had a big fishing tournament and live bands playing just outside the office and a carnival set up in our parking lot. 

We have private access to the office building because our bathrooms and showers are there, so that served as a private skybox to watch the live music. Some of the bands were very good. 

And then behind us was the carnival set up in our parking lot. We had to park a bit further away, but not too bad. 

We then had a great fireworks show on July 4th. They shot them off on the jetty at the end of the marina. We just sat out on our foredeck and enjoyed the show. No drama at the end, we just went below and went to bed. 

On July 6th we drove the 8 hours to the DFW area to see Kim's parents. They are both in their 80's and doing very well. We really enjoyed our time there. We left at 4:30am on July 9th to drive the 12 hours to the Denver Area. We got there in time to enjoy dinner with everyone on a deck at my parents complex. 

Much of my family. We had a great time seeing everyone. 

 The next day on the 10th, Dad and I went swimming in their pool. Dad, at 90 years young, swam 20 laps. I swam 14 and had enough. Dad is amazing, and it is so great to see both him and my Mom doing well again after a tough couple of years. Then we had the big birthday party around the pool area. It was a great time. 

On Dad's birthday, the 11th, we went to church and then out to brunch. We are so glad we decided to make it for this special time with all of my brothers and parents. Then about noon, we headed out for the 12 hour drive to Missouri. We thought we might stop half way, but I am not very good at that, so we arrived at our daughter, Shannon's at 12:30am. It was good to get that drive out of the way. 

The next day we went to the lake with Shannon and son Michael, his wife Audrey and their kids and Amelia. Fun Time! The next day we had to run out to the ranch to find clothes to wear to the wedding. My suit still fit, and we were good to go. We made it back in time for a BBQ at Mark and Callie's house.

I got this shot of our 4 kids. The youngest, Mark on the left, then Scott, Michael and Shannon. Oldest to youngest and tallest to shortest. It is so great to see them all together.

The next day was the big day. We were all so excited for the big wedding and it went off without a hitch. I did not take any pictures because there was a professional there for the whole thing. I think I will make that an entry by itself for the extended family to see. 

On the 16th, we drove the 3 hours to Michael and Audrey's house. After a nice evening with them. We slept well and then got up and made the final 8 hour drive back to Gulfport. It was a crazy trip, but we are so glad we did it. It has taken the past three days to catch up on sleep and get used to life on the boat again. We are so glad to be home. I called the guy who is replacing our engine and he wants to start next week the 26th. That is a week later than we wanted, but it is fine with us, we really needed the rest. 

In my next entry I will either write about and show some wedding pictures or we will begin documenting the engine replacement. My number of readers as dramatically increased in the past few months and I am not sure why. If you are new here, please leave a comment and let me know how you found out about this blog. 


  1. That is a lot of miles but it looks like it was well worth it seeing your dad, brothers and sisters and everyone at the wedding!

    1. I know 3000 miles is like a drive around the block for you, but to do it in our truck with almost 230,000 miles was a bit nerve racking. Thanks for the comment.

  2. What a fantastic way to be with family on those special occasions!

    1. As you know, travel is great, but you have to get back to the family to have a complete life.

  3. Hi , not new here and have been reading your blog for some time . Always enjoy your postings and appreciate you taking the time to do them . Hope all goes well with the engine swap . Vern in Boise Id.

    1. Vern, Thanks so much for reading. Have we met at some point? I would love to know what brought you here. Idaho is one of my favorite states. We have had some awesome experiences there. Shawn

    2. No I don't think we have every crossed paths . A hobby of mine while having my morning coffee is reading blogs. At first it was just a couple . Then as I found more interesting ones they were added to my mornings. Yours was one of them . I enjoy your boat life but I will keep my feet on Idaho ground . I have had three different boats here just for the lakes over the years but none now . Stay safe and happy sailing . ( when your back in the water )

    3. Thanks Vern. Hopefully some adventure will begin soon.