Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Since getting an ipad, I am unable to respond in the comment section on my own blog!! So I'm posting this so I can talk to my peeps :-)

I have been asked where I found the poem below. I thought the grammar and typos gave it away

but to be clear, I wrote the poem " I Miss The Ocean" :-) thanks so much for the kind words.

It is funny. Well, no not funny, more like surreal. When I am unable to get the words out properly, whether speaking or writing letters on a page, it had always seemed so easy, but now. Sigh.
I am grateful for the kind comments, it tells me more, more than my poem does really. It tells me that my synapses were firing just right and jumped the many hurdles it must jump and navigated around my mess of a brain and somehow it came to rest in the welcoming arms of a coherent thought. And of course we know what's best for conductivity of the brain..
..salt water :-)

Erika and all her aliases
Ocean Girl
Mrs. Rain Dog

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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Where U At?

Just a reminder we are blogging at Woop Woop Blog,Woop Woop our landlubber site, until the end of hurricane season.

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Friday, June 22, 2012

I Miss The Ocean

I miss the ocean
I feel the distance, the earth between
I'm told the mountains will speak to me.
Maybe they will.
Maybe I will hear that beautiful whisper
That beautiful snap crackle
But I miss the ocean

I can't get those fish out of my mind,
I close my eyes and there they are.
The water is a clear green blue
There are three sandbars running parallel out to sea
One just a little deeper then the next
The fish swim between the sandbars like its a highway.
They zoom on by, all going the same direction, together
Beautiful green blue water
Sagrasso seaweed drifting and dancing about
School and schools of these beautiful fish
Silver with black tips on their tails and fins
And big wide eyes
As I move closer, they continue gliding between the sandbar,
marching together
I know it may sound silly, they are just fish, little silver fish
But I am drawn to them
I stop at the edge of their ocean highway
they slow their busy journey and look at me,
each peer at me as they slowly swim by,
It's as If they see ME, know ME.
but they look right at me,
all these silvery fish meandering by.
I say hello.
My voice quiet and hushed.
I feel silly, standing here on this sandbar
with the sun shining down on me,
the blue green water lapping around my waist.

And I should feel silly
saying hello to a school of fish,
but it seems rude not to
One fish, way far out in the deep jumps out of the water,
Is running from something?
always a bigger fish
I look around but see nothing.
Just the endless march of silver fish
They keep swimming by,
thousands with the same inquisitive eyes
I am drawn to go with them.
I step in closer and they surround me,
I feel like I'm being swept out to sea.

It feels so natural to lose myself.
to lose the land and gain the sea,
so natural.
I look back at my husband
He is sitting on the beach watching me,
he is further that I expected.
My wonderful husband,
Dreamy brown eyes
he should be out here with me
to see the wonderful odd behavior
of me or of the fish, I'm not sure which.
he should be here too.
To be swept out to sea with me,
but he has the dog, she cannot swim in this surf.
I wave at him.
His eyes, even from this distance I can tell they have never left me.
I say goodbye to my friends and slowly make my way to shore, to land,
to my husband and our little dog.

Since then, I just cannot get the fish out of my mind,
I can still see them, they spoke to me,
It was a whisper that reached deep into my soul.
Silly little fish.
Silly little me.
They wanted to remind me where I belong.

It's hard to believe it will be months
till I see my salty friends again, till I see the ocean

I don't belong here, this hard ground,
dusty, no water, no sound.
but maybe that is the point,
something I must learn.. dagnabbit.

God has always sent little creatures to give me messages. Dolphins, a dragonfly, and now these silvery fish. I like his style

And I miss the ocean.

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Ocean Girl ( the boat) is sold

~~OCEAN GIRL~~ Is Sold

I will miss that boat, I think she went to a good home. If the new owner reads this and has any questions, I would be glad to help in any way.

Some leftover issues that may help:
Holding tank, head, and hoses is new, I got the tank from Ronco it is templated from the original version. I have had an odor problem ever since a little six year old boy came aboard and used the head ( don't ask me what he did) if you have odor trouble, check the vent and the pick up tube. I keep the thru hull closed b/c I rigged the vented loop to be able to draw sea water ( I don't trust vented loops!!). On a port tack, if the joker valve dies it may leak into the head. Fair warning :-)

The autopilot works beautifully but was hard wired really weird so I removed it. Once you remount, it's best NOT to store it in the locked(on) position or it may freeze the helm( the belt sticks in position) use the normal edson helm brake. When I bought the boat the autohelm had been sitting for a long time in the locked position it took a good yank to get the belt to get unstuck. I actually removed it the unit always after seeing the wiring set up.

I have the original +1 survey( not including the one I already gave you) you are welcome to them. It may take a while to get them to you, I will not be back in Texas till October.

To fill the water tanks on the port side you fill straight onto tanks, the deck fill hose is original and leaked so I capped it. The starboard tank I cleaned but didn't use or get a chance to work on.

The fill for the fuel tank is seized so I fill straight into tank. I had a friend come over and try to un seize it. As you can see from the crazing he put way to much torque on the fitting, I should of just removed the whole fitting and soaked it in PBblaster or something.

The bowsprit is new. The teak I pick out myself with the help of an expert friend. It came from a 9 foot plank 2 3/4 thick. I replaced all ss with silicon bronze carriage bolts. I kept the extra length on the bowsprit incase you wanted to move the forestay forward to increase J measurement and to relieve some weather helm ( through research you will find some cape dory folks did this and were quite happy with the results). Or you can chop the extra 11 inches off the bowsprit and add a nice anchor roller ( Spartan makes a beautiful one). The plank was already well seasoned and did not need a marine finish, you should only see some minor checking but that us all. A nice washing with murphy's oil soap and salt water is the best for bare teak. No bristles should be used, it digs out the soft grain which is bad, 3M pad or sponge only ( I was a varnish lady for ten years) This bowsprit is strong, you can pick the whole boat up with it!!

I hope this didn't come off preachy. This is your boat now. There are projects I'm very proud of and there are some projects aboard that I'm not so proud of, you can probably spot these by the tell tale duct tape :-) Sorry!

There is more just write me if you'd like, if not that is OK.

Cheers and Godspeed to many adventures aboard your fine yacht.

OCEAN GIRL (the girl)

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Monday, April 30, 2012

Moving Rain Dog and Woop Woop

We have decided to move Rain Dog down to Port Aransas. It is prettier there, cheaper rent, still a good jumping off point for Mexico, Florida, etc.

This winter, after we get back from our landlubbering around the US, we will focus on a boat refit. Brian wants to pull the mast and rebuild the Tangs and chainplates. I want to pull all the thru hulls and rebuild or replace where needed.

Rain Dog passing through Rockport on her way to Port Aransas.

Above, our friend Joe who helped Brian bring Rain Dog to Rockport.

We brought Woop Woop onto the island ( Port Aransas). Her first ferry ride :).

Woop Woop is staying at an RV park just a minute bike ride from the marina :-) and right on the beach.

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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Some pictures I found on my iPad.

I keep loosing sailing pictures, so decided to post as many as I can, as I find em.

Offshore, on a rowdy Gulf of Mexico. This is yacht tigger, my parents old boat.

Below, me in the kayak, out on Clear Lake, Texas.

Sunset in the Atlantic, aboard a Little Harbor Yacht.

Leaving Stewart Florida, aboard Yacht Tigger. We were headed for Texas.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Nother Blog?

Here is a link to our summer trip blog, so we don't crowd Rain Dogs blog with a bunch of landlubber stuff, which can be quite eye glazing to some sailors ( no offense to the dirt dwellers ) :-)
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Monday, March 19, 2012

Rain Dog

Brian and I decided that we just can't sell Rain Dog, every boat we looked at
fell short to RDs qualities. Plus the thought of starting over on another boat sends me reeling! So Brian and I pinkie swore not to let our eyes wander to other boats. This winter I will restore her interior wood, new cushions, and paint her bilges, and Brian will do a refit of the mast with new tangs and rigging :-) sweet. Now that we have the RV we can start the boats refit without trying to live aboard, this has been one of our biggest obstacles up to date. Wonder why we hadn't thought of an RV before!

I am getting better, slowing, but surely. I'm pretty good in my home setting and familiar places. But new situations do get me stressed, which is crazy to me. I'm a nurse, I used to thrive on new situations, LOVED to learn and see new things. Brian thinks it is just a matter of time and I hope he is right. Recovery is not as painful now, but it seems just as hard. But don't cry for me Argentina! I live a pretty spoiled life with a very loving husband, family all around. Yep, spoiled rotten.

I wish I could post our itinerary for this summer, as soon as I figure out how to transfer the map I will. Probably no trips in Rain Dog except down to Port Aransas. I'm still not seaworthy :-) but hopefully next year I will be, then it's Caribbean for us!

Kaela is doing well, she prefers land life. I think she will be even happier in the bigger RV. Though I think we might have to make a ramp to allow her to get in and out without our assistance.

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Kony 2012

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Land life

We are in Georgetown, right next to Brian's parents RV and my parents RV is right next to them. It's great to have them all nearby, one big RVing family :-).

Brian and I have decided to go play in the RV for a few months, go see some mountains and streams, and some deserts too( my favorite!). Having said that, full timing in Buttercup is just too small for us so we are buying a big beast of an RV(29 footer) and we will be selling Buttercup ( actually already sold to friends) and selling both, yes both, boats!

I'm a little nervous about being boatless, I don't do well without the ocean nearby. So as soon as we get back from our land cruise we will start shopping for a trimaran. We really love the dragonfly but they are a little out of our price range, but maybe we will luck out and find a used one at a good price. We will stay in the Caribbean for a few years, then if we decide to go big blue water ( southern ocean, pacific) we may go back to a deep draft monohull.

F-31 trimaran, good sailor, may be a bit too race oriented for us.

I also really really like the Searunners trimarans, though they are fixed wings. I hope to find a vented wing around 34 feet, they are beautiful cruising tris.

So will update ya with our latest coordinates and adventure. My health is getting better and better, the sunlight sensitivity and migraines are still an issues but that too is getting better :-). I can't wait to be a sunshine girl again! Brian is wonderful, he keeps me laughing, and hopefully I keep him laughing too.


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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Johns Hopkins visit, I'll keep it short and sweet.

Baltimore :

After reviewing my case with the top researcher, endocrinologist, and top pathologist in the world on ALH, here is what they concluded:

I DON'T HAVE ALH :-) hooraaay!

I actually had pituitary tumors( we knew that), the tumors were more than likely prolactin secreting ( we didn't know that) Why is that Important? Usually prolactin secreting tumors are treated with medicine first, even radiation, rarely surgery :-(. Mainly because they like to grow back :-(. But these tumors are also the easiest to treat, because they can respond to medicine, they rarely are life threatening. I meet with the local doctors to see what they think of this news, and what the game plan is. If you are a bit confused, join the club!

The bad news is that my recovery is sloooow as molasses ( sorry for the pity party, but Lord is this getting old!)

Brian and I are off to Kemah next week to spend some time on our boats. Kaela and I Ocean Girl. Brian and the boys on Rain Dog. Pray for good weather for the boys! :-).

Brian and I on the plane to Johns Hopkins


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Sunday, January 15, 2012


It's January 15, Kaela's sweet 16th birthday!!

Wake up daddy, it's my big day :-)

Time for hotdog cake, first blow out your candle...

Kaela and her buddy Stormy, enjoying the birthday hotdog cake, yum yum.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Update on Erika : good and exciting news for the little hot potato

Well, after many months of recovery, I started to go down hill this last few weeks. 2 ER trips and countless doctor visits, we still are not sure what is going on in my darn brain.

The good and exciting news!
I am a little hot potato! ( that's not the good news). Let me explain, every Dr I have seen these last 6 months gives me yet another prescription of drugs and then passes me off to the next dr. This game off hot potato is very frustrating, especially when my symptoms are getting worse and the drugs they prescribe are some pretty intense drugs. Now the good and exciting news. Johns Hopkins has agreed to see me! Johns Hopkins pituitary research center in Baltimore is the only place I have found that knows ALH ( autoimmune lyphocytic hypophysitis) right now they have uncovered and studied 233 proven cases. Yesterday, my mom and sister-in-law Brenda sent them a desperate plea (via email) to help me. A doctor from JH, Patrizio Caturegli MD, wrote back to us this morning stating he is going to take up my case, giving me a list of data he wants and instructions to come to Baltimore for a full work up. Yes!!! Finally someone who is not only interested in my ALH but studies It. :-). I think I've even printed up one of his papers to give to the doctors here in Houston to understand my Dx better :-).
Hope this made sense, just giddy with hope that all the work me and my wonderful family has done to get me better is finally paying off.
I can't wait to get better, get back to our beautiful floating life aboard Rain Dog,

and also go on land adventures aboard Buttercup our RV.

Hope all is well with everyone, sorry the "thank you" notes are late, please know that I think of you often and smile over the perfect day you all made our wedding.
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