We have been remiss about keeping our blog current for the past twelve months or so. After getting back from our four years in the Caribbean, daily events, Covid 19, and the social upheaval brought on by the pandemic caught up with us, and we let our blog slide. We intend to do better in 2022, but for now, suffice it to say, we are all healthy, and the boys are now both well into the academic and social experiences that Theresa and I vaguely recall as our high school years. We have been involved in endless boat projects, to continue to improve the Pilot’s Discretion and prepare her for our next boating adventure ( more to come on that front shortly).
One of the highlights of 2021, for us, was the opportunity to finally get to see The Rolling Stones live. When the Stones first announced their “No Filters” tour in late 2019, we were fortunate enough to buy seats in the third row at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium. To say that we were stoked is an understatement. Theresa and I have both been trying to see the Stones since we were teenagers, and in late 2019, we were sure we had arrived at rock and roll heaven. Of course Covid happened, and one of the first social casualties of the pandemic were large social gatherings. It seemed like there was a high likelihood that our once in a lifetime opportunity to see the Stones had slipped past. Obviously, with all of the tragedy associated with the pandemic, our lost opportunity to see the Stones pails in comparison, but we were disappointed nonetheless.
Fast forward to October 2021, and, Covid vaccination cards in hand, we gathered with about 100,000 of our closest friends for what was an unbelievable night of rock and roll. The crowd was an eclectic mix of old hippies, baby boomers, Gen Xers and millennials with a few thousand babies in strollers determined not to be left out of a night of rock and roll history. We are attaching a few pictures of Mick and the gang.
We respectfully dedicate this post to the memory of Charlie Watts.
We will close this post with our sincere wish that you all enjoy a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year.
OK, we know our followers read our blog to keep up with the travels of our family aboard our 50 foot Sea Ray Motor Yacht the “Pilot’s Discretion.” We assure you that we are making significant improvements to our floating home to prepare her for the next chapter in our cruising life and we will be chronicling those improvements as well as sharing our future cruising plans in posts in the near future.
For now, we hope you will indulge us as we go off on a brief tangent about all things flying machine related (after all, our boat is named after an air traffic control term related to an altitude clearance). With the exception of 2020, as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic, springtime in Florida means warming temperatures and the Sun N’ Fun Fly In Aerospace Expo in Lakeland Florida. This year the fly in played host to thousands of pilots and hundreds of airplanes of every type and size from single seat home-builts all the way up to the US Air Force’s massive C17.
To the non pilot, the differences between the legacy Hornet and the new Super Hornet might seem hard to discern but the Super Hornet has lots of improvements all pilots love. More power, more fuel, more payload are all noticeable improvements to the Super Hornet. When you give a plane with the Super Hornets capabilities to the Blue Angels, you get a very loud and impressive improvement to their already legendary air show.
In addition to the Blue Angels we also enjoyed watching the F-22 Raptor demonstration as well as a very cool formation flight pairing our most advanced fighter, the F-22, with the legendary WW2 fighter the P-51 Mustang.
The combination of the roar of the Raptor in full afterburner and the sweet sound of the Mustang’s V12 Rolls Royce Merlin engine was at least as mesmerizing to a pilot as any Pavarotti aria or Rolling Stones live show.
All in all, our day at Sun N’ Fun 2021 was a perfect way to celebrate our son Ronan’s 15th birthday with the added bonus that we finally are feeling like our year in isolation as a result of Covid 19 may be fading into the history books.
Here’s hoping 2021 brings good health and new adventures for our family as well as yours.
Like families the world over, we are adjusting to the new norms in a world with COVID-19. We have limited our family gatherings, forgone the holiday parties, and avoided public places. As followers of this blog already know we have spent 5 previous Christmases aboard. This year we decided to enjoy Christmas in Florida at Caladesi Island State Park. We are attaching a short video to share some of the isolated beauty that we experienced this Christmas.
It turned out to be the perfect socially distant choice given the circumstances of 2020. We arrived at Caladesi Island on December 22 and stayed through Christmas Day. The beautiful Caladesi Island Marina (a 100 plus slip marina with floating docks) was empty, save two other intrepid cruising couples who, like us, wanted to spend Christmas afloat on one of Florida’s most beautiful and isolated state parks.
We hope everyone enjoyed their holiday and are wishing everyone all the best in the New Year! Hopefully, 2021 will give us all the opportunity to enjoy a more traditional and festive holiday season.
Below is a video of our last year’s Thanksgiving and Christmas Cruises. We are very much looking forward to this year’s Thanksgiving and Christmas cruises. Being out on the water is an excellent way to stay socially distant and safe while enjoying time with the family. #Gratitude.
Below is a short video-clip of our recent excursion to Caladesi Island State Park, a little slice of paradise about an hour south of our home port in Tarpon Springs, FL. Randy’s sister Patti joined us on our sojourn, making the trip even more special.
The swaying palms, pristine white sand beaches, and crystal clear aqua-marine waters rivaled many of the beaches we have visited in the Caribbean.
The island is also home to scenic nature and hiking trails. We were fortunate enough to get a personal guided tour of the island with the park ranger and a nature trail guide.
Nature trail hike, Caladesi Island State Park (Nov. 2019)
Ryan on the nature trail hike, Caladesi Island State Park (Nov. 2019)
Patti, Park Ranger & Nature hike guide (Nov. 2019)
We all enjoyed he beauty of the island and continue to love being out on the water.
In an ironic twist of fate, as we were departing Caladesi Island, we passed the incoming ferry. Later in the day, we received an email from friends of ours, Gail and Jason (S/V Two Fish) who were our boat marina neighbors in Grenada in 2015. It turns out they were on the ferry headed to Caladesi Island and snapped a photo of Pilots’ Discretion in the channel departing the island.
It is a very small world indeed that our bows have passed in this fashion!
We have more boating adventures on the horizon. Details to follow.