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Abby’s Going Sailing

Near the end of July, we’re going to take a trip to Florida to visit our 40-foot sailboat, Dream SeQuel. For a variety of reasons, we’ve decided that we’re going to drive! It’s “only” 2400 or 2500 miles :) The major reason we’re driving is that renting a car for three weeks while we’re there begins to approach a thousand dollars, and that’s a bunch of money every time we go. So we’re going to leave the car there and fly home. We’ve found a safe place to leave the car — at the home of a friend-of-a-friend, who will start the car and drive it around the block about once a week, to ensure the battery doesn’t run down, the fuel doesn’t gel, and the tires don’t get flat spots on them — at a very reasonable cost. The secondary reason for driving is that my mother, who lives in southwest Louisiana, is 95 years old and probably won’t be around a lot longer. We’re going to stop and visit her for three days, which might be the last time we get to do so.

All in all, we’ll spend two days driving to Louisiana, three days there, and another day driving the rest of the way to Clearwater Beach. MapQuest.com, maps.google.com, and our portable GPS all claim the driving should take about 41 hours, plus or minus. Splitting that over three days of driving means an average of 14 hours each day, which is just fine by me…I love road trips and love driving for hours at a stretch.

Because we’re driving, it occurred to us that we might take Abby with us to see whether she likes the idea of being on a boat. She’s not the first of our personally-adopted Shelties (that would be Star, but Star’s got a lot of anxiety about too many things and we think she would be miserable) or the most active (Jodee is into everything all the time, but she’s too puppyish and insufficiently trained). But Abby is brave, adventurous, and trusting. And we’re going to buy her a life vest just her size, so she’ll be safe in case she does fall into the water.

I’m really excited to see how she does on the boat itself, but also to take her into the water with me and teach her to swim (both with and without her life vest). It’s also going to be interesting to fly her home with us. We are hopeful that we can take her inside the cabin with us rather than check her as baggage, especially because of temperature problems (the airlines can…or are supposed to…refuse to fly a dog if the local temperature is above 80°F, and we can’t risk having her left behind at Tampa or some intermediate airport). But we don’t know if she’s small enough to qualify…plus we’ll have to get an appropriate crate for inside the plane.

We’ll let you all know how everything goes, just as soon as it happens!

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5 comments to Abby’s Going Sailing

  • Sounds like an adventure for sure!  14 hours a day is about 2x the amount of driving I can do in a day.   Stay safe and get out and walk around every couple of hours. 
     
    You know you need to contact the airline you’re flying on to make reservations early if you’ve got a dog and want it to stay with you.  They only allow one or two on each flight so you want to get your reservation in early!  Hopefully that works out!
     
    Can’t wait to read all about it!

  • oh…forgot to say, Have a GREAT visit with your Mother!!!!!

  • It does sound like it’s going to be a great trip!  I hope Abby enjoys sailing.  She’s such an fun girl, I bet she’ll love it.  :-)  

  • I am trying to decide if Abby being gone is going to make Tanner sad or if it will be a good thing.  I think a little bit of both.  Poor Tanner loves Abby but he can only play in little spurts and gets tired so easily and Abby sometimes just doesn’t know when to stop lol.  I hope you guys have a safe and fun trip.  Give your mom my best.

  • Career In Accounting

    Interesting plan.. Sounds like a wonderful adventure – driving and sailing. Abby would certainly enjoy those activities plus the swimming-plan with and without vest. Hope you could post some photos from your trip.

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