Archives for posts with tag: Bekah Tunnicliffe

Written Friday, 16 September from home.


Watching for the next wave

That’s correct; the season is almost finished. Our vacation is over, we are home, came home yesterday, and the boat will be hauled out in less than two weeks.. The weather forecast which had seemed OK at the beginning of our final two weeks, crapped out on us again with winds blowing well into the high 20 kt. Still we had fun. And so did the dogs.

After our first day playing in AbFab, we continued the practice Wednesday-Sunday. We didn’t use San Graal to go anywhere as the forecast couldn’t string together two days in a row where the wind would be favorable for anchoring or passage-making; but the beginning of the second week looked promising.


This is where they ran. Was covered with water at the beginning of the season

We explored harbors and beaches we hadn’t got to/couldn’t get to with the big boat. There is something to be said for stepping off the boat into knee deep water and walking the anchor in to set it. We took picnic lunches and treats for the dogs. We met other dogs and their owners and the dogs had wonderful puppy play dates. And they got to run. And run. And run. Probably ruined them as hunting dogs now because they spent most of their time flushing and chasing after seagulls and sandpipers.

We tied the RIB to the dock across from the big boat and every time the dogs would come back from shore to San Graal, Ebba would invariably jump into AbFab and look at us expectantly, like, “Come on, let’s go play.” And she just loved the speed and trying to eat the bow waves.

On one occasion, we came back from a burn around the bay and obviously both dogs were desperate to potty because as we came close to the dock, even before we had had time to wrap a rope around a cleat, both dogs jump off on to the dock and side-by-side, they trotted down towards shore, pee’d, and together, trotted back to the boat. And neither Paul nor I had to call them once. It was very funny and rather cute to watch.


Long tether

As I mentioned, Ebba loves to lean over the side and try to eat the waves. Or at least she barks very loudly at them. I, obviously, have to keep a very tight leash on her otherwise she would be over the side and in the water in her excitement. Initially, I let her have enough slack so that she was able to put her head almost in the water. But then I got to thinking that that was probably not such a good idea. If she fell overboard whilst we were doing 20+kt, the drag would probably rip off her head. So I shortened her leash, much to her annoyance, and reasoned that if she did slip over then at least it would only be her back legs that got dragged.


Shorter tether

And as if to vilify my reasoning and actions, Paul shared an article published in a boating magazine, Practical Boat Owner, that had done a study on tethers – long vs short – and concluded that although the short tether is more bothersome in that it has to be continually clipped, unclipped and reclipped, it was more likely to prevent you from drowning and/or being bashed against the hull of the boat.

This week, our last week of vacation, we managed to get across to Canada and visited Colchester Harbor – a new port for us. Very tiny, lovely people, dog friendly, a rather weedy beach (but that was probably because they had had strong onshore winds) and town is closed on Mondays – when we were there. The plan was to spend the night there and then mosey on eastwards to Leamington, spend the night there and then come back across to Sandusky. But the wind decided to switch direction and strength earlier than predicted so we left Colchester in an increasing SW wind – bad direction for Colchester’s harbor. Narrow entrance + big waves made for some nerve-wracking moments. We ended up at Middle Bass Island State Park Marina.

On my soap box: all Canadian marinas monitor, I think, CH 16 and 68. US marinas have no consistency in channels monitored. So calling MBISPM on CH 9, then 16, and 68 was met with utter silence. I ended up calling on the phone to make sure there was room for us. When I registered, I asked if they had heard my calling – I always wonder if the radio has malfunctioned – and they said, “No”. Hmm … “don’t you monitor CH 16?” “No, only CH 71.” I thought it was unwritten boating law that everyone listening to marine radio would listen to/dual watch with CH 16, the international distress calling channel because you never know, you might just be the one to pick up the Mayday distress call and need to pass it on to the Coast Guard.  Off my soap box.

I have always had mixed feelings about MBI marina, mainly because of the amount of goose poop that was always lying on the ground. I knew it wouldn’t be a good match for the dogs because if there is one delicacy that my dogs love, it is goose poop. Fresh or old, doesn’t make a difference. However, I was pleasantly surprised this time; there was very little around. Made walking the dogs so much more fun without having to constantly tell them to, “Leave it”. And because the place was virtually empty, they were very lenient about me not putting the dogs on their leashes. I know the staff must have seen the dogs running but they didn’t cause any trouble, the dogs or the staff. And we found a new path through the trees to explore with squirrels and chipmunks and a few geese and lots of ducks. Dog heaven.

One thing that did come out of this forced in-harbor stay was that I managed to get both dogs to run with me while on their leashes. Ebba was already a master at it but Bella was rather a loose cannon when squirrels were darting about. Ebba did a good job of setting the example and Bella is a fast learner and a good mimicker.


Hard to take a selfie when bouncing along at 20kt

So here we are, at the end of another season, one that was rather shorter than usual due to one thing or another, David and Bekah had a baby and we had to of and visit, we opened our own gym, Anna and Brad got married, Anna qualified for the 2016 Reebok CrossFit Games … But it was a good one particularly with respect to the learning curve for both us, Paul and me, and the dogs. Last year, we had Ebba, one dog on board; we really were quite apprehensive at the start of this season as to how the dogs would cope together in such a confined space. And we had similar issues. Ultimately though, all’s well that ends well except we never got them to pee or poop on the boat. But most importantly, the dogs like boating and, we like Boating with Dogs!


Image Not the most flattering photo of me in recent years but definitely the most emotional. I got to spend the weekend with all of my family. David and Bekah drove up from Virginia Beach last night to spend quality time with Paul and me and to watch Anna today as she competed in the final 2 WODs of the CrossFit Regionals trying to secure a spot in the 2014 CrossFit Games at the end of July.

Image After yesterday, day 2 of Regionals, Anna was lying in 5th overall and 7 points out of 3rd. Looked like a tall order but nobody gave up hope. However, I was so emotionally drained at the end of yesterday, I literally fell into bed and passed out.

This morning I managed a short traveling WOD I made up just to try to settle my nervous tension (it didn’t work). And then we headed to the Patriot Centre where Jordan, Eric and Rob, who I think camped out at the Centre last night, managed to save 2 full rows of seats. Not sure how they did it but we were very grateful for their tenacity because the seats were just perfect.

I won’t go into details of the workouts, Anna will do that tomorrow. But suffice to say, she went out there with grit and determination and was obviously on a mission. She was going to do all within her power to improve her score and just hope that others would do their bit to make it happen. She blasted the field on event 6. OMG. She drove it into the ground. And then event 7, she didn’t panic, kept her cool and nailed it too. She owes me another trip to the hair stylist to cover up my latest shock of grey hairs.

It was a fantastic weekend all round, made even sweeter because David and Bekah came up and we were able to celebrate his last weekend’s attempt at the 100 mile race. And Paul, forever my rock. Thank you Paul. Love you.



Potentially going to do something really relaxing tomorrow, like stand-up paddle boarding.

Never doubt yourself



I shared this picture on Facebook yesterday because I am awesome! Haha. That is probably the least humble statement I have ever made about myself.

But today I am dedicating it to my son, David Tunnicliffe. He is awesome. And not just because of his Mum, he is awesome in his own right. And just to prove how awesome he is (again), tomorrow at 6:20am, he and his friend Drew Webb, will be setting off to run 100 miles from Key Largo to Key West. http://www.keys100.comImage

Their support team Bekah and Robin Brewer will be waiting at mile 10, the first of many stops along the way. Bekah and Robin are driving, carrying all the supplies David and Drew will need to complete this mega feat. The forecast, at last look, seems fairly reasonable for the next 36 hours – fairly cloudy, humidity not too high (in the low 60’s) and windy (but it should be on their back quarter for most of the way).

I wish them good luck and every success. It’s good to have dreams and challenge ourselves. If we say we can, we will; if we say we can’t, we won’t. I know they can and so do they.

ImageI had the opportunity today to see my hubby, Paul, in his work element. We visited one of his sites on our way to the boat and the plant manager, Brian, gave me a site tour. Paul came along just keep Brian on his toes. It was good to see Paul with a gleam in his eye and a smile on his face (even though he looks as though he is scowling in the photo) as he scrutinized the updates and work that had been accomplished at the site, quizzing and complimenting when necessary.

If it is not too much of an imposition, I ask that you keep David and Drew in your thoughts tomorrow particularly into the night hours and early Sunday morning as they battle the ‘mind over matter’ and make their way towards and across the finish line. Thank you. Here is the link to the website just in case you would like to see more of what they are doing:

Enjoy your weekend. Good luck to everyone who is competing.


Never doubt yourself

Image The Cratchett family after their first successful performance of “Scrooge”. I loved it and of course, am very proud of David for his singing and dancing and acting and also of Bekah for her managing and coordinating the music.

The rest of the photos are a little sketchy. They were taken with my phone but you get the idea.


The idea is to meet up with David tomorrow at 6am at his CrossFit box to workout.          Joanna

ImageThieves are stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of walnuts and almonds from right under the trees’ noses. Seems the crooks find their way into the nut orchards, hook up the trailers which contain the plucked nuts and just drive off. Apparently it is quite a lucrative heist as the price of nuts has more than tripled in recent years. Even so, this is a bit of a disaster because walnuts and almonds are Paul’s and my favorite nuts. I like cashews too but at the moment they seem to be safe.

Tomorrow, WODding at CrossFit Mt Lebanon and then off on my travels to Virginia Beach for my half marathon at the weekend. Excited to see David and Bekah.

ImageOops just realized that the little turny thing in the middle of the medal is the horse’s butt. It is a merry-go-round horse. And it revolves. Quite appropriate considering the event was Rev3.

So how did the day go? Quite well considering. Got to the site early to make sure my tyres hadn’t gone flat overnight. One of my biggest fears going into race day. But all was well. The downer was that the wind had really kicked up and the coastguard had warned of rip currents so the swim was switched to the inner, alternative course. I thought this would be a good thing and it was except I just couldn’t get comfortable with the swim conditions. I ended up taking an extra 10 min to what I had hoped for. But that’s OK.  We then had a half mile run to the bike transition area, which unfortunately wasn’t taken off the overall run distance. This made for a very long transition time but I am good at those.

The bike was fairly brutal with the wind increasing in strength during the morning. Nearly ran over a dead raccoon. Looked up just in time. And I was so glad and excited to be able to take the early turn on the course. And when I got to the point of separation between the full and half ( the full turn left for their second loop, half goes straight towards the finish) I was so excited. 

Felt good on the run though the wind was always an issue. Ended up finishing second in my age group but only just. I had stuck to my race plan all the way through the run but at mile 12 I decided that I would only walk for about 20sec rather than my full minute. As I closed in on about the final half mile I came up on a tall lady walking and she just happened to have 55 on her leg. Oh I have this one, I thought. So I continued running passed her and I heard her pick up her pace to stay with me. Being the ‘competitor’ that I am, I picked up my pace very slightly until I heard her footsteps fall away. Then I knew I had her so long as I maintained my pace.  Managed to sneak a glance at one of the final turns into the finish and saw that she was only about 20metres behind me. Decided that was a good distance for a sprint finish for her so I kicked it in to the finish (well that’s how it felt) and I managed to hold her off. Hence my second overall for age group. The lady who finished first, finished about 30 min ahead of me. No catching her this time.

so thank you Paul for indulging again in my madness. Thank you to Anna, David, Bekah and Brad for their support. Really felt today. And boy was it needed. And to all the volunteers, police, state troopers, EMS, cheerers, families and anyone else who rattled a cow bell today. We couldn’t do it without your support. And of course to Rev3! Cedar Point and Sandusky and area for virtually closing down the area so we are safe.  Thank you.  Next year?        

Going to open my other half bottle now.  Good night.      Joanna

ImageSo I am quite “with drink” after today’s accomplishments. It took me three attempts just to login so this is going to be very short. Had rather a hard day out in the elements, with the swim, bike and run. Am getting horizontal after pizza, beer and champagne. Will write more tomorrow after I get home to Pittsburgh.

Support crew, Bekah, was awesome. As very valuable support crew and despite getting extremely sunburned, she managed to snap some very good pictures from today. Will hopefully share tomorrow.

But to cut a long story short, David and I completed out half Ironman today. We both achieved out goals and actually exceeded mine. More about all of this tomorrow. Sorry, just can’t think and/or type straight.

Today David and I rocked it on the course.             Joanna