Saturday, March 31, 2012


Since I started sailing and became aware of the incredible feat of passing Cape Horn, I have dreamed of the same .
Today, Team Puma passed the Horn on their way to Brazil in the Volvo Ocean Race. Here is todays post from on board Puma.

Leg 5, Day 13
31 March 2012 
Amory Ross, MCM, PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG 

LOCATION: 100 miles E of Tierra Del Fuego
HEADING: 287-degrees
DISTANCE TO FINISH: 1,785 miles 

Cape Horn looked like any other rugged seaside outcropping on the horizon, jagged and torn from years of constant battering much like the kind we just spent 12 days enduring. As we approached though, sailing past snow-capped mountains and a brilliant red sunrise, I began to realize that the Horn’s spectacle is not in its beauty but its significance. This is Cape Horn, the southernmost tip of South America, and the southernmost point of land on earth. It is cold, dark, and raw, and the living is tough. And as impressive as the rock stood, it stands for so much more: it represents total challenge and rewards those who accept it responsibly.

I would guess there are fewer people who have sailed around Cape Horn the way we have, suffering what we did, than who have climbed Mount Everest. And looking at that ominous island today, I realized that I pushed myself and my limits well beyond the point I ever thought possible...not even close. Odds are, most everyone who first journey’s around that point feels a similar prick of pride.

So yes, today we sailed by a big black rock with green stuff growing on the side. But today we also accomplished something great. That Southern Ocean leg was one for the ages, and we made it here together. We did it the right way, the safe way, and we had fun doing it. Handshakes, smiles, cigars, and a swig of rum confirmed that there was something to celebrate – something very different for everyone – and then we were on our merry way again, eyes aimed north towards Brazil.

But after all the revelry, when I put my camera down below to start on lunch, I realized I never really took the time to remember, to look with my eyes. So I walked up on deck, stood by the back rail, and watched Cape Horn fade into the distance.


I Will sail past the Horn.
It has been a dream and is my goal.
I showed Laure this picture tonight. She thought it was scary. It is. But she is  game, that's why I love her

Thursday, October 20, 2011

high school reunion

I'm so excited about going home to California for my 30th high school reunion with Schyler! I can't believe it's been 30 years that I graduated from high school. I have so many fun memories with my friend Mara, my moped, and the B52's concert before they became a hit. can't wait to see everyone and show Schyler where I am from!

Monday, August 15, 2011

We got out of the fishbowl!

Woo Hoo! It has so great being up at Fair Point Marina with Blue 30 and great friends, old and new. A couple of weeks ago the marina had it's annual Summer Bash and we were so excited to be there. I was beyond excited that my wedding was the night before and I could be a pirate and have fun with Schyler and everyone else. Here's a few photos I took of the party that was super fun. We LOVE being up there, and I love that I can just walk up to the boat and not row out to it in a dinghy. 

And here is photo of us taken by Arline! I also included the photos of where the boat is now.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Blue 30's big splash!

Finally, after all of Schyler's hard work, Blue 30 is in the water and on Lake Ontario snuggled in her own slip! Here's a peek at her "splash" with our very good friend Jon guiding her in. It was so exciting to see this finally happen, and to start enjoying the summer. 

More photos of the first weekend at Fair Point Marina to come soon! 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

california fun | part one

I just got back from taking Kinsey and Keefe to California for vacation. Being that this will be the last summer Kinsey will spend at home, I thought it was time to take a vacation and really show them where I am from.  

We started in the Bay Area where I showed them where I grew up, where I went to school, and where I used to play as a child. I really do love San Mateo. It felt good to be back home, and it was so special to be with my kids. I really did have a wonderful childhood with all my friends from Susie, Lori, Bobby, Angie, Joe, Mara and countless others.

Here are a few photos from our second day. After we visited Palo Alto, we drove to Half Moon Bay and walked along Dunes Beach. A favorite high school hang out...

More to follow!

Friday, July 22, 2011

mamma's garden

When Schyler and I bought our little house last March, I thought it would be nice to bring something of his childhood home to him. A few weeks ago, I stopped by Mamma's house and left a note for the new owners about possibly pulling some of the wild blackberry's and rhubard from the garden to give to Schyler as a surprise to plant in our own backyard.  I was so happy when when Robyn called me back and loved the idea.  So,  a couple of weeks ago I spent the afternoon with Robyn and her daughter pulling the plants for Schyler.  They love the house and Robyn's daughter has made the backyard her little wonderland complete with a teepee, birdhouses all over the place, and a new vegetable garden. The house is adorable and well loved by them. 

We now have a little of Mamma's garden in ours. I love you Schyler.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

blue 30 | a makeover

On a warm spring day when I found Schyler under Blue 30 grinding all the old surface off the bottom, I asked him how much all this work he was doing would cost a customer if it was a client's boat. He stopped grinding, looked up, and simply told me through his mask "I would tell them to buy a new boat". Oh, I thought, and continued up the ladder to do my little part of sanding wood for new varnish. I was later stung by a wasp on my rear end for asking such a stupid question. 

When Schyler starting working on Blue 30 back in April when we became the proud sole owners, I had absolutely NO IDEA the amount of work involved in giving her a facelift.  He has been working endlessly almost every night after work, and every Sunday to get her ready for her big splash in Lake Ontario at Fairpoint Marina, her new home. Me, being the newbie at all of this, I simply thought we would just sand the bottom, fix what ever little holes we found and slap a new coat of paint on her. Please, just give me the dunce hat and send me to the corner. Schyler is amazing in all that he has done so far on her. Granted, she may still look a little rough to you in the photos, but she is beautiful to us. 

Just a little list of what he has done so far:
  • Tore out the cockpit floor and replaced the rotting balsa wood. Re-glassed the floor.
  • Fixed the end of the keel that broke off a few years ago when Blue 30 broke loose from her mooring during a bad October storm.
  • Grinded the entire bottom to get off all the old tar so that we could paint the bottom. 
  • Drilled holes into the keel once we realized it was leaking. :-( It took him several weeks to dry the keel out.
  • Re-glassed all the holes in the keel and a new one we found in the hull most likely from a lightning strike. That's a little scary.
  • Faired all the small imperfections with epoxy fairing.
This has been, and still is an overwhelming project, but it also has been very rewarding at the same time. Friends who stop by to say hello find some sort of tool in their hands to help out. The beer at the end is their reward.  No "just watching" allowed. We even got Miller to sand! 
Here are a few shots!

Left,cockpit floor without all the rotten balsa, Right, with new balsa sandwiched between seven layers of fiberglass mat

Here she is in the north bay. We are about to start sanding off the old waterline.

The first coat of epoxy primer.

The waterline all gone after 2 days, and now Schyler is taping the hull for the new waterline.

Pulling off the tape after the new waterline is done!

Yes, Miller sanding. He was allowed to have a beer while doing this. It kept him quiet 

Schyler says I did a nice job on the teak cockpit coamings

More to come...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

2004 | kinsey

My personal mission the past several months has been to organize all of my personal photographs into one location.  Going back to 2003 when I first went digital with my Nikon D100, I am amazed at how many photographs I have taken over the years.  I’m also shocked at how many remain tucked away in folders either on my studio hard drives, laptop, or my G4 tower at home.  They are all waiting to say hello again.

2004 brings me to a folder titled Shamrock B/W Series.  Inside I find the series of studio light portraits I did with my children when I lived on Shamrock Road here in Skaneateles.  Kinsey was only 12 when we took these, and now at 20 I still see these emotions in her.

Kinsey will be coming home next week after finishing her second year of college.  I think I will try to convince her to do a second series of black and white photographs.  I’m sure she’ll agree it’s time.
I love you McGrew, and I can’t wait to see that little beat up Saab come flying into the driveway.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

newport | part three

Just a little continuation of my graveyard stroll.  What completed amazed me was this little abandoned church within the cemetery that is obviously abandoned and something out of a Tim Burton movie. What a perfect place for the wedding of his Corpse Bride!  This is so up my alley!

my little nieces | sophie | part two

And then there is Sophie.  I'm not quite sure where to start with Miss Sophie other than to say that everytime I turned around, there she was.  She also kept a keen eye on  Keefe as well. I think she liked having us there. I cannot imagine what she would have done if Kinsey had been there too.  I can't wait to see them again!!!