Here's a list of a few of our hobbies,
projects and interests.
Cruising & Sailing - We travel a lot, mostly for work but
sometimes for pleasure. A lot of the trips have been
cruises on Holland America, Princess, or Cunard ships, or more often lately,
running our own boats or sailboat charters. Here's a summary of our cruises
and sails so far:
Alaska on Holland America's Veendam
in 2003 for our honeymoon, with Heidi's Aunt Kay and Uncle Dick.
Alaska on Holland America's
in 2005 with Heidi's parents.
Canada and New England on the Princess' Star
Princess in 2006 with Heidi's parents.
Transatlantic, New York to Southampton, in 2007 on Cunard's
Mary 2 with Karl's Mom for her birthday.
Transatlantic, Southampton to New York, in 2009, again
on Cunard's Queen
Mary 2. There is just no ship and no trip like a transatlantic
crossing on the Queen Mary. Here's a scan of the hymn sheet for
the Sunday morning service on the Queen Mary. Very British, and
very moving to sing some of these on an ocean liner in the middle of the
Caribbean cruise to Key West and Cozumel, Carnival's
in March 2011 for our shared birthday, with Heidi's parents.
Transatlantic, Southampton to New York,
Mary 2 yet again, with Karl's Dad and his wife Jordan, August 2011.
We had a fantastic time again, and Dad and Jordan are now good friends
with our Britannia tablemates who happen to split their time between UK
and Orlando, FL.
- In March 2012 we took a sailing course at
Colgate Offshore Sailing
School off Captiva Island in Florida at the South Seas Resort.
Captiva Island is beautiful, and shockingly expensive. It was
a pretty serious sailing course, no goofing around. We had a
British sailing instructor who must have been descended from Captain
Bligh -- "Karl, what point of sail are we?" "I don't know
Captain, please don't flog me!" "Heidi, move the tiller,
you're luffing!!" We sailed a Colgate 26, a small
boat but it still taught us a lot.
In July 2012 we chartered a 32 foot sloop, a Catalina
320, out of Harbor Island Yacht Club in Long Beach, California with our
friends Peter and Janet Kiefer. However, for the first time in 192 years there was a
freak cold thunderstorm off Long Beach, lightning, freezing rain,
and horizontal sleet and hail. We sailed back to Long Beach
for lunch at the Hotel Maya hoping the weather would break, tried
sailing out again, and got smacked by the storm again. We finally
aborted the sail -- no fun being soaked and cold.
Penobscot Bay, Atlantic Coast of Maine, on the
Schooner Heritage for our
10th wedding anniversary in August/September 2013. You can't
really call it a cruise in the typical sense. It was a great
sailing adventure with our friends Peter and Janet Kiefer from Arizona
We hauled sails, slept in the bunks, rowed the shoreboats, got soaked
with two days of heavy rain and fog, learned sail-hauling songs -- and
we would do it again in a second. The Maine coast is
spectacular and SchoonerFest in Camden was just icing on the cake.
The Maine Windjammer
Savannah/Tybee Island, on the charter vessel Zingara, a
38 foot Morgan sloop with Captain Steve Horton and his son, sailing with
our good friends Bob and Kathy Caldwell on a visit with them for New
Year's weekend in 2013/2014. The weather was awful, rained
constantly, but any days on the water are good days. We expected to
sail the Zingara again with Peter Kiefer and his wife in February 2014
but then Savannah was hit with yet another storm.
July 2014, sailing from Long Beach to Catalina
(California), on the charter boat Coconut Telegraph, a 37 foot Beneteau
(373), from the Harbor Island Yacht Club
www.harboryc.com, with our friends Peter and Janet Kiefer again.
It was a pretty easy sail (and motor) over and back over a long weekend,
although we got sunburned pretty badly. Grabbing a mooring ball on
a stick was a pretty new experience for us, and they pack the
mooring field so tightly it was good practice. We hired an instructor for the first day to
help us fill out our sailing resumes, Captain Frank Dixon,
September 2014, sailing the San Juan Islands off the
coast of Washington State and British Columbia, with our friends Peter
and Janet Kiefer again, and our new friend (and Janet's sister) Valerie
Eve. It was a week long charter on the 45 foot Jenneau, Misty
Blue Yonder from San Juan Sailing.
It was a spectacular week on the water, sailing from Bellingham to Sucia
Island, Friday Harbor, Pender Island/Poet's Cove, Tod Inlet, Rosario,
and a last night in Chuckanut Bay. We took 600 photos, and even
though we came prepared with very serious foul weather gear, we never
used it. Beautiful weather and beautiful sailing every single day.
We also hired an instructor for the first couple days of the sail to
continue our sailing training, but also to make sure we had a good feel
for the boat and didn't do something awful like smack the rocks in the
San Juans. Learning to sail with charts, tide tables and current
maps was a new experience and very interesting.
May and June, 2015, we sailed our new boat, Xanadu, from its home marina
in Somerset, Massachusetts to near Albany, New York on the Hudson River,
a 300-mile trip -- but that's a whole story in itself so we'll give that
trip its own page elsewhere on this website.
August 2016, we chartered a 50 foot Beneteau called the Belle Serena
Yacht Charters in British Columbia. Once again we sailed
with our friends Peter and Janet Kiefer, and their friends John and
Catherine. The Belle
Serena was a beautiful boat but a fifty-footer was by far the
biggest we had ever chartered and it was very intimidating when we
first saw that huge boat at the charter dock. Everything went well
though, we never touched bottom (which is a great accomplishment in
Strait of Georgia and Juan de Fuca), we timed the tide through Dodd
Narrow and didn't get swept away, and it was great fun to sail as you
can see in the video below. During the weeklong charter we sailed --
not in this order -- to Poet's Cove on Pender Island, Telegraph Harbor
off Thetis Island, Ganges on Saltspring Island, Genoa Bay (with a tender
ride to Cowachin Bay), Brentwood Bay Marina near Todd Inlet and Buchart
Gardens, a rough but exhilarating day on the Strait of Georgia itself,
and Mark Bay off Protection Island.
March 31, 2017, after hopping over to Venice for a quick overnight stay,
we took the train to Trieste, Italy, to sail away on the brand new Majestic
Princess with our good friends Kathy and Bob Caldwell. It's a
beautiful ship. Through some lucky timing and accidental web searching,
we were able to grab a balcony room on one of the top decks for a
preview voyage -- kind of like the "soft opening" of a new restaurant
before the actual maiden voyage. The sail away from Trieste was so
memorable -- a band on the balcony of the terminal building, thousands
of people on the wharf, water cannons on fire boats and daytime
fireworks. We stopped in Kotor, Montenegro and then through the Straits
of Messina and on to Rome (Civitavechia). Here's the Martime News video
of the sailaway from the harbor in Trieste. Majestic
Boating at Home - In the spring of 2009 we bought a
19-foot Bayliner Capri and usually took it to Lewis & Clark Lake above Gavins Point Dam on the Missouri River near Yankton, SD. Here's the website for our
Marina, Lewis & Clark, the only "real" marina in South Dakota:
Here's a nice YouTube video of our boat, our dog Peanut, and the cliffs on
the South Dakota side of Lewis & Clark Lake on a fall evening.
Courtship - We had so
much fun on the Bayliner that we started shopping for a bigger boat by the
following summer. In late April 2011 we found a Carver 3207 Aft Cabin for
sale on Craigslist on Lake Texoma, just north of Dallas. We got the
insane idea to fly to Dallas for the weekend and take a look. We made
a deal on the spot (I know, stupid, didn't even take it for a test drive,
a/k/a "sea trial" but we were lucky, the engines ran very well).
A few weeks later the boat arrived on a big tractor
trailer at the Lewis & Clark Marina in Yankton, SD. We renamed the
boat "CourtShip" because our work in the legal system pays for the
boat, and because we struck the purchase deal on the weekend of the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton which seemed like a big deal at
the time. In 2012 we spent our second summer living on the boat almost
every weekend we were free. Marina life on the water is so much fun --
a whole world away from the pressures of daily working life.
Here's a video from launch morning. It was a very
We used a stylized version of the British Royal Navy
crest as the ship's logo. The name and crest on the transom are displayed like
news, in October 2014 we noticed a boat on eBay and various places
online, a 1996 Mainship 37 Motor Yacht, kept at a marina in
Somerset, Massachusetts. We bid on the boat and to our
great surprise, we got it. The following weekend we flew out
to Newport, Rhode Island to take a look. The boat is in
fantastic shape and the previous owner could not have been any nicer
and more helpful -- and he's maintained the boat incredibly well.
We completed the purchase and then between now and the launch in the
Spring 2014 we'll transfer the federal boat documentation with the
Coast Guard, do some upgrades (new radio, add an AIS transceiver,
and a dinghy), arrange shipping, and otherwise get the boat ready
for the Great East Coast Adventure. We're hoping our friends
Peter and Janet Kiefer can join us again. We'll hire Peter to
sail (well, motor) the boat from the marina in Somerset to a marina
in Bristol, Rhode Island, where we'll take formal delivery and
possession. We'll then motor it to Newport, maybe Nantucket,
Martha's Vineyard, Block Island, then Long Island Sound, Mystic,
then up the Connecticut River so I can blow the horn at the Chester
Ferry; down to New York, around past the Statue of Liberty, and then
up the Hudson to have it pulled and trucked for the long trip to
South Dakota. Should be great fun -- but lots and lots of planning
and preparation. We're going to keep the name. Thanks
Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Cooking - Heidi is a great cook. In a cooking
competition she could slap Gordon Ramsay silly until he cried and begged for
mercy. Here she is in the midst of the creative process.
Woodworking - Karl is an avid
woodworker. One of his favorite websites is the woodworker's
forum on www.woodnet.net. In the
summer and fall of 2010 he finally turned an old backyard tree fort into a
Japanese bench or gazebo. You can find a gallery of that project by
clicking here: Japanese Gazebo.
The 2013 Ice Storm - In April 2013 Sioux Falls had a really bad
spring ice storm that did a lot of damage to trees. Here's a gallery
of some of the trees in our yard: Ice
Storm 2013. Beautiful and just awful at the same time.
We could hear trees cracking and falling all over the neighborhood.