Subject: Update from the First Mate
I’ve taken it upon myself to write this issue of "Windigo’s Travels". It seems that Kevin has ‘another’ job writing that takes a bit of his spare time, so the Travelogue composition has befallen on me this time. [o.k., so Kevin helped a bit . . . got to put his 2-cents worth in at least the editing]
Kevin is having a great time at his job as Facilities Maintenance Manager at Spring Hill College [www.SHC.edu]. He puts in some long days but really derives a lot of satisfaction from it. He definitely has found the right job for him. I am so proud of him and always those "hidden" talents. I’m kind of envious of the many perks that come with the job such as the free lunch (remember he is a growing boy), asked to golf in tournaments, has his own cell phone & golf cart (lazy), access to the college gym for workouts & shower, and the list goes on & on! Yes, my job as security guard at the chemical plant has it’s perks too like… like…; yeah, breathing in that great air that is filled with toxins from the plant; searching those "lived in" semi’s for weapons and meeting new people like the drivers that haven’t left their trucks in over a week; and then working outside in the 90 degree weather in that GREAT dark blue polyester uniform. Sometimes things just aren’t fair! But I do have to say that he does suffer a little by riding his bicycle 12 miles each way to work everyday and I ride 7 miles each way 3 days a week. Ha Ha. [This kind of suffering I love! KL]
Well, we’ve moved our home to yet another marina. This one is called the Sundowner and is brand new and a lot cheaper than the other two. Not many people here yet but we got to pick the slip we wanted and it seems quieter and there’s a bit more security in place which of course is important to me. There are a couple of alligators that live in the tidal marsh right next to the boat – if that doesn’t keep the undesirables away at least it’ll reduce the stray cat population.
We have had a very busy schedule in March & April but totally enjoyable. First, my son Adam came for his birthday and spring break from college. He only had one request and that was to get some sun so he could impress the girls when he returned to school. Well we only had one day of sun, which meant he had to sunbathe all that day so he looked like a lobster with a big smile on his face when he left. During the same time the "Men in Gray" (Mark, Brian & Eric Genisee) came to visit which is always a good time. Then a week later the Weigels from West Allis came [they used pre-recorded "Beerman" episodes for a couple weeks]. We took everyone sailing and hopefully they had as much fun as we did. We finally got to do the tourist thing like visiting the battleship and submarine museum, eating Po-boy sandwiches and a visit to Fort Walton Beach, FL. This is just something I noticed while sailing with little ones; the younger they are the better they can sail/steer the boat! Never thought that I could be intimidated by a five year old (good job Carley!).
We have been going out 3 to 4 times a month with friends we have acquired locally, too. The weather is starting to really warm up into the 90’s with intense sun & humidity, much different than Wisconsin even on it’s hottest days. I hate to see when summer gets here! For now we sail in long sleeves and wear big straw hats to keep the sun off ears & face.
Speaking of sailing, I succumbed to ‘male’ peer pressure and let Kevin race our home in another sailboat race. This one was sort of neat – it is the largest sailboat race in North America. This year the Dauphin Island Race had 250 entries. We had steady 15-knot winds for both the big race on Saturday and the ‘Return Race’ on Sunday. Very pretty Return Race with spinnakers flying all around. Kevin is getting pretty good at hitting the starting line at EXACTLY the right moment. Good thing Windigo weighs 24,000 pounds and is not really competitive (I really do not want to race it) – it is certainly seaworthy in high winds and rough seas, but NOT a spry racer. And racing with just the two of us means Kevin is the spinnaker-man, the mainsail-man, the jib-man, and tactician. I can help out at the helm and performing specific tasks, but Kevin needs to tweak the sail trim to get every tenth of a knot out of the wind. Seeing he concentrates hard on the task at hand, he only does one at a time. It takes a bit longer than the six-man racing crews, but by the finish line we are at maximum efficiency! [He also manages to get another knot of speed at the helm. Whatever.]
Oh yeah, the "other" writing job: Kevin is working a steady gig for Sailnet.net, an online sailing web center with a store, discussion groups, monthly articles on every aspect of sailing, and a ‘Ask the Experts’ section. He has written a series on the mysteries of "Bonding & Grounding Revealed" or some such dramatic crap. I guess it is a rather controversial and deep technical subject – PERFECT for Kevin! The first ‘episode’ is at:
so everybody has to go read it. [Kevin ‘edited’ that in here.]
Well I guess I saved the BIG NEWS ‘til last. Kevin went to New Orleans last week and successfully completed the seven modules of testing for his 50-ton Master’s USCG Captain’s license. He is a card-carrying Documented Merchant Marine now. With sailboat and towing/salvage endorsements. This is absolutely the last straw – his ego is LARGER THAN EVER! Actually I’m very proud of my Captain, and will obey his every command . . . right after he takes out the trash and puts his stinky shoes out in the cockpit . . .
So we are here in Mobile for quite a spell now, y’all should come & visit to go sailing!
Our address is:
Capt. KL & Karin Hughes
4910 Dauphin Island Parkway
Mobile, AL 36605
Capt. Kevin L. Hughes
Facilities Maintenance Manager
Spring Hill College
4000 Dauphin Street
Mobile, AL 36608
Cell phone number:
big shot article on internet:
and of course, the Windigo Travelogue Catalogue: