Every crew member of sailing vessel Meander experienced big changes in 2017. But none more than Honey the boat dog who even learned to fly.
Here’s what happened aboard Meander in 2017.
We Became More Confident
We traveled over 1600 miles by boat last year. It’s hard to remember everywhere we’ve been.
Luckily, we keep log books of our travels. And we took tons of pictures.
But the biggest change over the year is hard to see in a log book or photos. It’s how much more confident everyone feels.
We share the water with huge vessels. But somehow they’ve become far less scary than they used to be.
Many of the greatest challenges this year involved taking Honey to shore in the dinghy.
We had to battle currents.
And inexperience as Pam learned to run the outboard and fly Honey into the boat on the block and tackle.
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Honey has become so confident in her Ruffwear Doubleback Safety Harness that we have to stop her from leaping into the dinghy by making her wait until we’re ready for her.
Apparently Honey thinks she can fly.
Other challenges arose because we are now anchoring more.
Adding solar panels to the boat means we can stay at anchor longer. Of course, anchoring has its own challenges.
With only batteries being charged by solar panels, we don’t have unlimited heat or cooling.
We rely on Honey to track the temperature.
When the Honey thermometer tells us its warm enough, we swim off the side of the boat.
And of course, there are always boat chores to do.
I finally got confident enough to attempt varnishing our teak. Brave? Or stupid? Because there is no more horrifying task than varnishing teak near a shedding dog.
Feeling more confident on board made everything easier.
Of course, there are always plenty of reminders to keep us from becoming too cocky.
But most of the sites we saw in our travels were far less horrifying.
Visiting Interesting Places
We traveled at a slow pace, trying to take time to see things along the way.
Many cruisers transit the Intracoastal Waterway as quickly as possible to reach warmer weather. We stopped for weeks and even a month at a time.
We enjoyed seeing St Augustine, Florida…
And we spent a month in Marineland, Florida where the beach was across the street from our marina.
Honey made the most of going to the beach every day.
We anchored several days near St Mary’s, Georgia. Visiting at the same time were replicas of Columbus’s Nina and Pinta.
When we got to Annapolis to work the boat show, we did a few touristy things. Although the Maryland state house grounds are not pet-friendly, we found plenty of other places that welcomed Honey.
My favorite historical site of the year was visiting Fort Monroe at Old Point Comfort.
The fort has been significant since the colonial era and served as a major stop along the Underground Railroad for people escaping slavery during the Civil War.
The lighthouse is still in use.
We also really enjoyed being in Belhaven, North Carolina in time to see their annual train show.
Of course not every interesting site is a tourist attraction. We also enjoyed watching this jetty being built near the Savannah River.
And we always enjoy seeing watermen out on the water. This one looks like a hobbyist with a few traps near his home.
If you ask Honey for her favorite places to stop, she’d tell you…
…the beach at Little Bay off the Chesapeake, and…
…the beach off Hughlett Point, and…
…the beach off the Little River Inlet in South Carolina.
If it’s a beach, Honey loves it! Probably the only thing she loves more is making new friends.
In some remote areas, we meet more wildlife than we do people.
Some are hitchhikers.
Some are friendly neighbors.
And some are so shy that if we got too close, they’d go flying.
Sometimes we’ll travel with other boats for a short while.
Little Vic was waiting for us at one of our favorite anchorages after we told its captain it was a good spot to take a dog off.
Twice we took trips off the boat. We traveled back to Ithaca for Honey’s vet appointment and to let her see two of her favorite people again.
And I took advantage of BlogPaws coming to South Carolina. Honey got to briefly meet the crew from the blog thek9harperlee. But Honey was back on the boat by the time I snapped this pic of Harper Lee, Tallulah, and their people.
We meet quite a few cruising dogs in our travels. Every so often, one of them is a good play mate for Honey.
Here’s Lily, a puppy Honey played with in a South Carolina park on Christmas day.
And a few days later, Honey got to meet MacKenzie who visited the boat with her people.
We love meeting new friends. You can see where we are in the map on the sidebar. If we’re coming close to where you live, get in touch. We’d love to invite you aboard.
What To Expect in 2018
For now, we’re still on board and looking forward to new experiences.
Honey is so confident, she even knows how to fly. Who knows what she’ll learn to do next year.
I guess you’ll just have to follow us to find out.
Your Turn: Do you have any questions about Honey’s life as a boat dog? Ask in the comments so we know what to write about in 2018.
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