American Southwest Family Vacation

We followed historic Route 66 on our way to see the Grand Canyon, the Petrified Forest, the Painted Desert, plus much more in New Mexico and Arizona.

End of Tour Summary: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Here are our stories from two and a half years of living in Saudi Arabia while exploring the region.

Excursions to Oman

On two different trips, we strolled Muscat, hiked Wadi Shab, and sailed a dhow through the fjords of Musandam.

Our Expedition to Jordan

Highlights included tracing the steps of Indiana Jones into Petra, following Lawrence of Arabia into Wadi Rum, and floating in the Dead Sea.

Our Adventures in Sri Lanka

Safaris to spot leopards and elephants, swimming in the Indian Ocean, sipping tea in the mountains, and several more!

Sunday, March 31, 1996

SEA March 31: Leaving Bimini, Bahamas

Wow! Busy Day. In the galley with Eric as assistant steward. Learned a lot. We set the Course and Raffee today. I understand -- finally -- how they work, the lines make much more sense. There was a great lightning storm off our stem (east, I think). It was really relaxing to sit up there after my shower and watch the clouds and water light up.

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Thursday, March 28, 1996

SEA March 28: The Florida Straits, rounding Florida

I am eager for a time that I am comfortable enough with this ship to really enjoy sailing her. I am eager for a time when I am comfortable enough with myself to really trust me (my intuition and instincts) ...

This ship, she moves with power, with knowledge -- with ocean and wind. But she is not part of them, she only reacts to them and we to her. I feel she separates me -- with steel and wood from the elements I love most. She wants me to love her more than I love the ocean.

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Wednesday, March 27, 1996

SEA March 27: Stymied in the Florida Straits, north of Cuba

Wet. Everything is wet. There is a squall approaching and that can only make matters worse . In the hopes that we can catch the Gulf Stream, we've turned on the main engine. We struck the fisherman, the JT and the Jib. Bimini is still over 300 nm away and we're scheduled to be there Friday about 1200. Yeah Right...

I am overwhelmed at times by the fact that I am here. I am enthralled by the rolling of the waves, entranced by the color of the water and excited by the life in, on and above the water. I am sometimes scared, but more because I fear lack of knowledge, not lack of safety.

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Monday, March 25, 1996

SEA March 25 (Day 4): Somewhere in the Gulf Loop Current

Yesterday I was sick, I was wet, I was cold, I was tired. I questioned my wisdom in choosing this program.

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Saturday, March 23, 1996

SEA March 23 (Day 2): Leaving Tampa Bay

2nd day out, leaving Tampa Bay.

Saxophone notes sink down from the deck. Water sloshes against the starboard side, echoing in my bunk. My hands smell of salt, lines and tar. My clothes of sun dried work.

The sails are set. The helm, the bow and the galley are manned. My face radiates the heat of the 0700-1300 watch. We are out of sight of land. All seems well. Fear has dissipated…

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End Of Tour Summary: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

We spent two and a half years in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on our second tour in the Foreign Service with the US Department of State. As you migh...

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