Dream Away Update 30-Mar-2006


So sorry to be so long in getting this out, but our cruising plans have taken a decided turn in another direction. I will start back when we arrived in the Rio Dulce in December of 2005.

As you know from the last WEB page update, we arrived in the Rio Dulce, and were happily settled at Tortugal Marina. We were really enjoying getting into the cruising life. Near the end of December, we called our daughter and she did not sound good. She had been dropped from graduate school because of incompletes in her course work. The University of Texas needed the seat in he r program. That left her in Austin, Texas, no longer attending school, having no real job, and, as we found out, not feeling well and very much in debt. She was very depressed and we were very concerned. We decided that Kitty would fly to Austin, and give Judy a big hug and get things back on the road to recovery.

When Kitty got to Austin, she told me that the situation with Judy was actually very serious. We had a family conference and we decided that it would be best to move Judy from Austin to Atlanta. It is her old home town, and where her brother and his lady live. Her best friend also lives there. We decid ed to bite the bullet and do it. I found a babysitter for the cat, left the Rio, and arrived into Austin, Texas, on the 14th of January. We got a U-Haul truck loaded with Judys stuff, and arrived in Atlanta on the 18th of January. We were in the process of getting the truck unloaded when we got word that the rat_catcher had jumped off of the boat and was lost in the jungle around the marina. This caused Kitty to head back to the Rio and look for the cat. The cat was eventually found after two weeks, none the worse for wear.

In the meantime, I was in Atlanta getting Judy settled. This was working out and I was getting ready to return to the Rio, myself. On Monday, the 30th of January, Judy said she had no energy and was not able to walk from her apartment to her car without a rest or two. This was not good, so we made an a ppointment with our old family doctor whom we had had when we lived in Atlanta years ago. The appointment was for the next day, and Judy asked me to drive her to the appointment since she was feeling really weak. When I went to pick her up for the 1600 appointment, I was really worried, as I had never seen anyone look so white. She had no color whatsoever. We went in to see the doctor, and he talked to Judy for about 10 minutes. He put her into a wheel chair and told me to take her across the street to the St. Josephs hospital emergency room. This we did.

As it turned out, Judy was critically anemic, and was immediately checked into the hospital. She was in the hospital for three days and required five units of blood. The cause of the blood loss was diagnosed as bleeding ulcers of which she was entirely unaware. The suspected cause of the ulcers was the numerous heavy-duty medications that had been prescribed for Judy for her migraine headaches by her doctor in Austin. Judy was released from the hospital on Thursday night the 2nd of February. Our doctor had warned us that Judy would not be feeling good, because he had taken her off of all the medications she had been taking for so long, and there were a bunch. We all felt that getting rid of those meds was a good idea.

Friday, the 3rd of February, I took Judy some new medications that the doctor had prescribed to help her with her headaches. She complained that her head hurt and that her neck hurt. I told her that this was to be expected, and that I would come back on Saturday morning to check on her. When I checked on her Saturday morning she did not look good, and I was concerned. I went back to my sons condo and asked if I could bring Judy over there so that I could watch her. This we did after Shabbat was over. She still was not looking all that great.

The next morning, Sunday the 5th of February, when I checked in on her, she was basically comatose. We called 911 and took her by ambulance to St Josephs emergency room. She was not there 30 minutes when they told me that she had bacterial meningitis. I didn't know that much about the disease, I thought that if it had a name, it could be fixed. What I learned during the remainder of that day, and the next, is that this disease is a life threatening disease, and Judy was in bad shape. For a few days there, they were giving us a 50/50 chance of survival for her. We were scared. I was in contact with Kitty, and she was getting on a plane in Guatemala to fly to Atlanta. The bottom line was that when Kitty left Guatemala, she was not sure if she was coming to the hospital or a funeral.

It was not good for a while. Judy was in Intensive care for 10 days and in the hospital for another five days. She was released from the hospital on the 21st of February and checked into a rehabilitation hospital to continue the physical and occupational therapies. The swelling in her brain had interrupted some of her motor skills, and she was not able to walk for awhile. Judy was in the Roosevelt Warm Springs Rehabilitation Hospital for 15 days. When she was released, she was able to walk with just a cane, and she should be able to walk without that in a couple of months. She is doing very well now . She is driving and actively looking for a teaching position in the Atlanta area.

In the meantime, I returned to the Rio Dulce on the 25th of February. I had to take over babysitting the cat, and there were a few boat projects that had to be handled. This whole episode has been a major financial hit on us and has depleted the cruising kitty. The debt load is such that we have changed our near term cruising plans again, and will be returning to Houston to work some time in June.

Our plan is to cruise the reefs of Belize for the month of April. Judy is doing well, so Kitty will be coming back to the Rio Dulce on the 4th of April. We will be cruising in the company of our English friends who have sailed down from Houston. They are now in Isla Mujeres and plan to be in San Pedro, Belize, around the 10th of April. We are heading north into Belize, checking into Punta Gorda around the 8th of April. Our plan (guideline :- ) is to meet them somewhere around Belize City, in the drowned cays. Then we will cruise in company back down towards Punta Gorda, arriving there near the end of April. We will check into Guatemala and head back up the Rio Dulce, and be there for about two weeks. Our English friends are going to leave their boat in the Rio for the 2006 hurricane season. About mid-May, we will head back out the Rio and to Mexico, specifically Isla Mujeres, with our English friends as crew. We will also have our friend, Al, as crew for the trip. He accompanied us on the original Gulf crossing back in December of 2004. Our English friends will fly out of Cancun so that they can get back to Houston and make a flight back to the UK by the end of the month. On the next favorable weather window, we will sail back across the Gulf of Mexico to Galveston, and then on into Clear Lake. We hope to be back at Watergate Marina by the middle of June, at the latest.

We are going back home because both Kitty and I have to find jobs so that we can pay off this debt and build the cruising kitty back up. It was not what we foresaw for this year, but you have to take whatever life has in store for you. So, if any of our friends in the Clear Lake area know of any jobs that might be available, please let us know via email. Kitty and I will try to get jobs in the IT industry, but if that does not work, I have a USCG 100 ton masters license, and we are also considering retail positions. Working at West Marine would be fun, especially since I almost own the League City store! We will also be looking for transportation when we return. If any of our friends in the Clear Lake area know of any vehicles that would be available for a very inexpensive price, please let us know via email.

I do not know if I will be able to get any WEB page updates done and posted on the WEB page before we get back to Houston. But, if I do, I will let you know.



WEB page http://www.dreamaway.net