Alabama Gulf Coast · divorce · dogs · Fairhope, AL · Gulf Coast · Pets · Sailboats · Sailing · Travel · Uncategorized

Final May Day

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Well here we are, the end of May and the celebration of a year of Wayfaring Tail Wagger. May turned out to be a rather interesting month. We had our first named Tropical Storm, Alberto, who didn’t make much of a fuss but did however, get me on my game as far as prepping for the storm season. I was able to get the Rialto Zephyr cleaned, began working on the sails to get them in proper order, and my Dad and I got the engine started! That’s something to be excited about.

In other news, I was promoted at my job and now it seems all I do is work. I haven’t had time for writing much, which is always a downside to “adulting.”

It occurred to me that I don’t have nearly as many adventures as I had originally planned. I think I miss that the most about my previous life, the adventure. I feel stale sometimes, like that heel of bread that no one ever eats. They just leave it in the bag on top of the fridge for weeks before it becomes dried out and crusty, tossed in the trash for lack of use. I’m not feeling sorry for myself, just an observation. I decided that I would at least find a local adventure and stumbled upon Blakely State Park in Spanish Fort, AL, just a 20 minute car ride from here. I think I’ll be hiking tomorrow as soon as I’m off work.

This month I discovered an amazing restaurant right here in Daphne AL called Bangkok Thai. They have the BEST green curry I have had in AGES!

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I always order the medium spicy and it’s just hot enough to cure what ails you! The staff is extremely friendly and welcoming. I’ve been twice this month alone.

May has really been a month of reflection. It was the anniversary of everything that happened that changed my life. It caused me to see how far I’ve come and how much further I have to go. It was a reminder that I am a survivor, independent, creative, and best of all resilient. Not all of it was a pleasant memory. I miss my life still, at least the life I had before. The pain has dulled a bit and I’m able to make it through the day without tears now. I heard something on a podcast today that I’ve decided to make my mantra. “I am defective, but I am healing. I am broken, but I am rediscovering myself.” I have also learned that I need to have a little grace and mercy for myself. I have accepted that I can’t change what happened. Now I’m allowing myself to move on from it. I am rediscovering who I am and who I want to be and realigning my life.

I am so thankful to those of you who have traveled with me on this journey. I hope you will continue to follow along as I chart out new adventures for Ava and I. Thank you for all the love and support. Your comments have encouraged me over this year in more ways than you’ll ever know!

Here’s to another year!

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Alabama Gulf Coast · dogs · Fairhope, AL · Gulf Coast · Pets · Sailboats · Sailing · Travel · Uncategorized

Happy Anniversary! Reflecting on a Year

 

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Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

It’s here! The anniversary date of Wayfaring Tail Wagger. What a year it has been! There’s been some incredibly HIGH highs and LOWS that made me believe I was drowning while on the surface, but here we are. I survived.

I wanted to take some time to update and reflect on the past year. One of the most amazing things that has happened in this year is that you, yes you, my readers have followed along. When I started this blog, I really didn’t expect much from it. I thought it would just be a great way for me to release in print what I felt in my soul. I never dreamed that I’d have followers who devotedly read my blog and shared their own lives with me as well. You will never know how this encouraged me not just to write more, but keep my head up and believe that things would get better. Thank you!

This blog started with heartbreak and life change. While I am still recovering from the heartbreak, I can happily say that life is moving forward again. It’s not always easy. Some days it’s like trudging through calf deep mud as I try to make my way, but I am moving forward. This year saw me lose my husband, my home, my family structure that I cherished, and ultimately lead me to the realization that I had lost myself over the years. It saw happier times like the day I stepped foot on the Rialto Zephyr and knew that she was mine. It was the day my dad, Brian, and I sailed her from Perdido to Fairhope. An adventure! It’s now filled with memories of Ava happily sitting on the bow with Kaitlyn, Brandon and Kendall being home for the summer from college, and time with my parents that I may have never had. And while it’s intermingled with sadness and deep sorrow, I’ve come to the realization that while I was broken I was filled with a courage that I didn’t know I had. Courage to continue when I didn’t want to live. Courage to take a chance.

Somedays I still feel like the poet in Psalms 23 says “Yay though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I will feel no evil. Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me”. There are times when I am in that “Valley of Death” when everything around me feels lifeless and fear sucks the breath from my chest. I recently recalled a night from when I lived in New Hampshire and Kenny and I were working on the farm. It was pitch black outside and the goats had not been brought in. They bleated from outside in the far field. It was dangerous out there at night. Predators could end their lives in a second. I walked out into the field with a stick and kept the herd together as we made our way to the barn. My rod and staff comforted them and guided them to safety. Guess what that’s what the Psalmist is talking about! Although I’ve been in this valley, God has been leading me, even through the blackest of moments when I couldn’t see. He was there guiding me to safety.

Ok so updates! My Dad and I were able to get the engine running on the Rialto Zephyr. It was a moment of pure joy. I jumped up and down like a little kid, laughing. My Dad did a little jig and a whistle. We ran her for awhile, cleaned the bilge, and the cabin. Brian joined me the next day and we started a list of projects, large and small. The first I sat out to accomplish was to re wrap the mast inside the cabin. It’s currently wrapped with a dinghy, brown rope like material. It sheds a brown itchy mess every time I touch it. So off it goes. I decided to go with braided line. We started wrapping it and OMG it takes FOREVER. After only getting a quarter of the pole done in an hour, I decided to take it down and cut off the old material. I’ll let you know how it works out. I’m putting pictures below of what it looks like right now. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know! Brian helped me lift the sails and she’s definitely going to have to be re-rigged. That’s quite the project. I may enlist the help of a fellow sailor, David, who lives in the marina next door. He has become my walking encyclopedia of sailing knowledge. I highly suggest becoming friends with someone like David in your marina!

Brandon started working at a new restaurant that has just opened in Spanish Fort. If you like Italian food, you will LOVE La Dolce Vita in Spanish Fort. It’s traditional southern Italian food and the chef, Diego, is an amazing guy from Italy creating things I never even dreamed of. You really have to try this place out if you are local! Tell them Rebecca sent you!

Ava had her yearly check up and I am HAPPY to report that she is a healthy, happy dog.

We survived this year.

Thanks for following along on our adventures. I love you all!

 

Fair winds and Following Seas!

 

Rebecca

 

Alabama Gulf Coast · divorce · dogs · Fairhope, AL · Government · Gulf Coast · Sailboats · Sailing · Travel · Uncategorized

Happy Anniversary! 1 Year of Blogging and Giveaways!

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Happy Anniversary to Wayfaring Tail Wagger! It has been one year since I began this journey. A HUGE thank you to everyone who has followed along and been such an encouragement to me. So much has changed in the last year. Good and not so good, but I am grateful to be here 365 days later.

May is going to be exciting here on the blog! Get ready for a month long celebration of this past year and the amazing years to look forward to. I’ll be hosting guest bloggers, giveaways and a VERY BIG SURPRISE at the end of the month so STAY TUNED.

This year has taught me so much about resilience, the love of a family, the kindness of friends, the inner warrior princess that I am, and the “it’s ok to not be ok” attitude. I’ve learned about navigating through fear and heartbreak. Faced some of my biggest demons head on, and I’ve come out with a fierce love for the broken, a better understand of those who suffer mental illness, not to mention a new acceptance of the person I am becoming today.

So to kick off the month long celebration, I’m announcing my first giveaway! Anyone who comments on a post in the month of May will be entered for a drawing to win a T-shirt! Drawing will be held on June 1st via a live Periscope posting.

Thank you to everyone who has made me feel so accepted as I started this adventure a year ago. I am forever grateful to those of you who partnered along side of me, encouraged me, and sometimes gave me a shoulder to cry on. You are amazing!

Here’s to another year!

Happy Days!

Alabama Gulf Coast · divorce · dogs · Fairhope, AL · Gulf Coast · Pets · Sailboats · Sailing · Travel · Uncategorized

Friday Favorites: Sharing Tips and Products that will change your life!

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Good morning everyone! It’s Friday! So many of you are winding down the work week and heading into the weekend! For me, Friday is my actual Sunday. My “weekends” consist of two weekdays off. I really don’t mind it because I feel as if I’m often able to accomplish more during the week than on a weekend. So as you are off and running in the race for relaxation, I want to share my FRIDAY FAVORITES list. These favorites are in no particular order of importance or use! Just some really great things I’ve come across and used this week.

  1. If you are looking for a GREAT and I mean G..R..E..A..T (in my best Tony the Tiger voice) blog about sailing, please check out my friends over at http://www.youngandsalty.com. This week they shared a blog from Ryan and Sheena about not giving up on your boat and to be honest I needed to read that this week. Several times over the last few weeks I’ve asked myself if it were really worth it, AND I’M NOT EVEN ON THE BOAT FULL TIME RIGHT NOW! So go over and visit Fiona and Robin at http://www.youngandsalty.com.
  2. Kiehl’s Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Mask. THIS STUFF IS AMAZING! After being in the sun on the boat, my skin can become very dry and dull. This great mask is perfect for brightening my skin. I use it 3 times a week and I’ve definitely seen improvement in my skins appearance.
  3. Audible.com- Ok so maybe I’m behind on the times but I just recently discovered Audible.com. I love books! Unfortunately, there’s not a great deal of space on a sailboat to be lugging tons of books around. With Audible, I can download books and listen to them on the boat! Sure it’s not the same as opening a book, but trust me you’ll be glad you saved that cabinet space for something other than books.
  4. The “Buddy Bowl”. Ava is the absolute WORST about being a messy drinker. She sloshes water all over the place, especially on the boat. While it’s not a big deal for the most part at home, on the boat having water all in the cockpit is not fun. It’s hard to clean up, creates a slipping hazard, etc etc. I read about the Buddy Bowl in another blog and ordered one for Ava. It’s FANTASTIC! It’s practically spill proof. Ava also loves it because the water doesn’t touch her nose. She will now go to this bowl over her traditional water bowl at home. It’s great for keeping insect out and other pests. Go purchase a Buddy Bowl at http://www.greatamericanspillproof.com
  5. The Boston Warehouse Bottle Cover with Life Preserver. Ok this is so CUTE! What a great gift idea for sailors or those who love them. I had a friend bring over a bottle of wine to share in honor of the new galley floor being installed and it was an instant hit! http://www.amazon.com

 

Those are my five Friday Favs for this week. I hope you’ll check out these great products and let me know how they worked for you.

 

In other news, things around the Wayfaring Tail Wagger have been really changing at breakneck pace. For those that have followed along for the last year and know how this whole story started, I finally received closure in the form of divorce papers from Ken. I never spoke to him again. Not a phone call, text, or even an email, but I realized several weeks ago that there was no explanation that would ever be good enough to justify how our family was destroyed. It’s enough to know that I did everything I could and that I still love him even after all that was done.  My son Brandon finished his first year of college and will be moving home for the summer. I’m so excited to have him here again. He has volunteered to help out with the boat refit and I can never have too many hands with that.

Life is slowly but surely taking shape once more and moving forward. There are still days when the sting of the abandonment is so painful that I cry. There are days when I miss Kenny, my best friend, and there are days when I’m still so angry and confused that I have to literally busy myself with something to get my mind away from it. Sometimes I feel like there has been no progress, that my life has been stagnant like the inlets and swamps here on the coast. Then a little breeze of happiness will lift me like my sails and I realize that I can’t change the wind that blew my life into this new direction. I can however, adjust my sails, and realize that life in every form is an adventure. Adventure isn’t always safe. It’s a risk, a chance. Adventure doesn’t always have a happily ever after. It often involves loss and fear. It can be scary, lonely, even discouraging at times, but even in those moments, it is filled with wonder, excitement, and hope. I don’t have to love the dark moments on this adventure of life, but I will continue on this path with the hope that one day the fog will clear and the paradise I am searching for in the form of happiness will appear.

Fair winds and following seas everyone!

Alabama Gulf Coast · Friday the 13th · Sailboats · Sailing · Travel · Uncategorized

Friday the 13th: Sailing Superstitions

If you are superstitious, today might be an important date for you. It’s April 13, 2018, Friday the 13th. Friday the 13th has a long history of being a vilified. It’s origins come from several different stories such as Eve taking the Apple from Satan on Friday the 13th to pop culture further denigrating it in 1907 when Thomas Larson wrote a book about a broker attempting to take down Wall Street on Friday the 13th. It was later sealed in stone as a day of fear when the “Friday the 13th” film franchise released in the 1980’s.

Sailors have MANY superstitions associated with their lifestyles. I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of those today so here’s a list of Sailing Superstitions:

  • Renaming a boat: It is bad luck to change the name of the boat. If you do, you must have a de-naming ceremony and officially christen the boat again. To have a Purging or Denaming ceremony you must wipe out EVERY trace of the old boat’s identity. Remove the name or white it out in any ledger or logs. Gather your friends and Invoke the Ruler of the Deep by reciting this:Oh mighty and great ruler of the seas and oceans, to whom all ships and we who venture upon your vast domain are required to pay homage, implore you in your graciousness to expunge for all time from your records and recollection the name (here insert the old name of your vessel) which has ceased to be an entity in your kingdom. As proof thereof, we submit this ingot bearing her name to be corrupted through your powers and forever be purged from the sea. (At this point, the prepared metal tag is dropped from the bow of the boat into the sea.)

    In grateful acknowledgment of your munificence and dispensation, we offer these libations to your majesty and your court. (Pour at least half of the bottle of Champagne into the sea from East to West.) Your guests may finish the rest of the Champagne. Immediately complete the process by having your Renaming ceremony or Christening. Gather a branch of green leaves and a pre-scored christening bottle (https://www.westmarine.com/buy/galleyware–christening-bottle–6775217) Have red wine, champagne or sparkling cider on hand to pass to guests as you toast the new boat. Read a small poem or few words and then set out on your maiden voyage with your branches on board!

  • Tattoos: When tattooing became popular at sea a rooster and a pig were often tattooed onto sailors’ feet. It was believed these animals would prevent the sailors from drowning by showing them the way to shore. Today many sailors pay homage to their boats or the sailing lifestyles with nautical tattoos. I personal love my anchor tattoo, sparrows and compass.
  • Blood: It is unlucky to set off at the start of the fishing season without having first shed some blood in a fight or in an accident.
  • Caul: Having the caul of a new-born child on board a ship was meant to prevent anyone from drowning. This meant that cauls were often purchased by sailors before a voyage. (A caul is a harmless membrane that covers the face and head of a newborn baby. It is very rare). It also sounds disgusting!
  • Women: Women were bad luck on board because they distracted the crew, which would anger the sea, causing treacherous conditions as revenge. However, conveniently for the male crew, naked women calmed the sea, which is why so many figureheads were women with bare breasts. Hmm nope, not going to sail around bare breasted! Sorry Poseidon….
  • Non-sailing Days:It was bad luck to sail on Thursdays (God of Storms, Thor’s day) or Fridays (the day Jesus was executed), the first Monday in April (the day Cain killed Abel), the second Monday in August (the day Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed), and 31 December (the day on which Judas Iscariot hanged himself).
  • Watch your Mouth: Some words and sayings brought about bad luck on board, including “drowned”, “goodbye” and “good luck”. Things to do with the land were believed to be bad luck if mentioned, such as the church,  pigs, foxes, cats, and rabbits. Funny thing though, a goat, was usually kept below.
  • No whistling or singing:Whistling or singing into the wind was forbidden as it would “whistle up a storm”
  • Red Heads: Like flat-footed people, red heads were believed to bring bad luck to a ship. If you met one before boarding, the only way to mitigate the bad luck was to speak to them before they could speak to you. Poor Gingers!
  • Bananas: No bananas on board. They were believed to be so unlucky they would cause the ship to be lost. Whole cargoes of bananas were especially frightening for sailors.

So armed with this knowledge I realize the deck is stack against me in the luck department. I’ll just raise the sails and head off in search of fair winds leaving my luck up to chance.

Fair Winds and Following Seas!

 

What’s your favorite superstition? Boating or non boating related: SHARE!sunset-boat-sea-ship-37730.jpeg

 

Alabama Gulf Coast · Gulf Coast · Sailboats · Sailing · Travel · Uncategorized

The Healing Power of the Ocean’s Song

via Daily Prompt: Quartet

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When I first moved back to the Gulf Coast, I spent hours sitting on the beach listening to the sound of the waves and the call of the seagulls. It was, for a time, the only semblance of peace I had. The only moment of the day when I could quiet my mind from all of the screaming voices. After I bought the Rialto Zephyr and moved aboard it was these sounds mixed with the tinkling of the tide rigging that became the lullaby soothing me to sleep.

Today’s writing prompt is the word Quartet. A quartet is a set of four people or things, often singing or making music together. There is no greater music than that made my Mother Nature herself. Time and time again as I sail out into the bay I hear her song. It’s in the birds that circle the boat, the lapping of the waves against the hull, the wind as it lifts the sails causing them to snap, the rigging as is jingles like bells. All of these come together to create the most beautiful song I’ve ever heard.

I’ve often wondered what sounds the ocean holds beneath her. I’ve been diving and with the exception of the bubbles and some times sounds of the waves, I’ve always considered it to be quiet. According to NOAA, however, the ocean is alive with sounds. Sound travels much faster underwater and can be heard much farther away than on land. Sound is how many marine animals communicate with each other. They listen for food, for other marine life and for the topography of the ocean itself. Think of dolphins and their use of echolocation, the clicking of crab claws as they shuffle across the ocean floor, or the water as a it is pushed by a school of fish.

Ocean sounds have been proven to be extremely beneficial to humans. How many of us play ocean waves at night to help us relax or sleep? There is serenity in the sound. Mother Ocean is a beautiful songstress. Like a siren, she has drawn men out upon her and inspired them to write their own music using her as their muse. She has been the background music of my life and she has certainly sang to me when my heart was so burdened I didn’t have a song. The Ocean song in a way, healed my heart.

Fair Winds and Following Seas!

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Alabama Gulf Coast · Gulf Coast · Travel · Uncategorized

Lighthouses: Beacons of Hope

“Stop turning every others battle into yours. Sometimes amidst of all the wars, all you need to become is the lighthouse, not the sword.”
Akshay Vasu

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I’ve always had a fascination with lighthouses. It began early with the abandoned ruins of a lighthouse on Round Island in the Mississippi Sound. My father was a teacher so summers were spent exploring the Gulf in our boat. When the tide was high and we could get close, we would anchor off and wade to the island. I remember peering upwards into the bones of the brick lighthouse with is broken winding staircase. I’ve always had quite the imagination so I would always dream about the people who may have lived near the light house. Once I even wrote a short story about a light keeper’s daughter. The lighthouse stood from 1859-1998. After years of withstanding mother nature’s fury via hurricanes. she succumbed to Hurricane Georges in September of ’98. I remember this because my son Brandon had been born only two months before. The lighthouse was in the process of being rebuilt when in 2005 Hurricane Katrina toppled what was left. The city of Pascagoula eventually moved what remained to the mainland and rebuilt. It now stands in the city center and is registered on the National Historical Society.

Lighthouses have a symbolic meaning to me. I remember a hymn we sang as a child in church “The Lighthouse”

And I thank God for the lighthouse
I owe my life to Him
Jesus is the lighthouse
And from the rocks of sin
He has shown a light around me
That I might clearly see
If it wasn’t for the lighthouse
Tell me where would this ship be

The importance of lighthouses didn’t occur to me until I visited York, Maine and the Nubble Lighthouse. The way the water swirled and rose was incredible. I couldn’t imagine being a sailing vessel from years ago and having the fear of dashing into the large rocks that rose out of the ocean seemingly out of nowhere. The lighthouse is one of the most photographed in the country and it’s easy to see why. It’s incredibly beautiful. It really made the imagery of that old hymn more meaningful.

I returned to the Gulf Coast last summer and discovered to my surprise that there were lighthouses right here that I’d never even knew existed. The Sand Island lighthouse sits on the tip of Dauphin Island. I visited with my daughter Kaitlyn this summer and it was a great day trip. The lighthouse was vital during the Civil War and was a part of a string of light houses along the mouth of the Mobile Bay. My favorite and seemingly most obscure is the Middle Bay Lighthouse. A2D1DA17-75A9-4554-8C38-5ECC55F94365

According to the Alabama Lighthouse Association, the Middle Bay Lighthouse was constructed Dec. 1, 1885. It is one of the most interesting designs I’ve ever come across. There have only been a handful of screw pile lighthouses built in the U.S. with this particular design thought to have been mirrored of a lighthouse of the coast of Maryland. The design allows the lighthouse to sit in the sandy, muddy bottom of Mobile Bay. The keeper lived in the cottage with the light above. In 1905 it was reported that a cow was brought to the lighthouse for a baby that wouldn’t nurse. Could you imagine! A cow living in a lighthouse! The baby and cow were evacuated in 1916 as a hurricane approached. The lighthouse is only accessible by boat and unfortunately due to it’s deterioration, isn’t available for tours.  On a clear day, you can see her from Point Clear, AL and there are several charters in the area if you are interested in a sightseeing tour. In 2007, the Alabama Lighthouse Association began a campaign to renovate the lighthouse. I met with several of the Association Members at the Mobile Boat show. They are eager to jumpstart the process of restoring this beautiful and unique landmark to her former glory.

The last year I’ve really been lost. You could say that I’ve been much like a ship lost at sea. It took me awhile to find my “lighthouse”. It was a blend of faith and family. When it seemed like I was going to be thrown on the rocks, the beacon of love that shined out from them kept me from losing all hope. Now I try to remind myself to be a lighthouse to others. Be the light!