Dog Days of Summer

For all the dogs in our lives. Priceless.

We left Exhale docked in Alton, Illinois to make another side trip to California. A visit with special friends and family began with Craig and Maureen (former and future Exhale crew members).

Moorpark, CA

Continuously vying for attention, Maddie and Murphy, a 95 lb young English Labrador Retriever, eventually found a balance.

First Class MoorparkThanks for the first class treatment, and, for the healthy diet plan. We’ll report back later on our progress.

Poolside in Moorpark
Poolside in Moorpark

Los Angeles – A CareGiver Lesson from Mija

Have you ever seen a dog running along the road, at risk of being hit by a car?  What did you do?  Would you watch closely to make sure it stays away from the traffic, until you pass by? Not if you are my daughter, Alisha.  First, pull ahead, jump out and try to catch the dog.  Now, what if you see someone else trying to do the same thing?  Would you let them take over and continue on to your original destiny?  No again.  Work together, position both cars farther ahead and try again, about 5 times, coax the dog towards you with some kind of food (cheese crackers).  Okay, what if that dog has bloody feet?  Engage volunteer car driver #2, and your mom; gently lift the dog into the back of your SUV and transport it to the nearest dog hospital.  But wait, what if the dog hospital says you can’t leave the dog there?  Ask for expert help to find the owner, noting it is wearing a tag.  When they identify the owner and dog, Kopi Tart, but can’t reach the family, you generously offer to pay to bandage up the dog (the hospital did it for free), and agree to transport the dog to its home, only a few blocks away.  If no one answers the door, do you leave the bandaged dog inside the fenced yard?  No, you take it to the nearby shelter, to make sure Kopi Tart is safe until the owners can retrieve the beautiful dog.  Sarah O, I know you are listening; I believe you would have done the same.

Rescued, one truly beautiful Akita German Sheppard.




Proud Mama, Thanks Mija

I firmly believe the dedication of roughly an hour of time by my daughter, Alisha, saved the life of Kopi Tart; Mija was given the chance to exit the task every step of the way, but she never gave up.  She was determined to make sure Kopi Tart was safe.  That’s how Alisha lives her life, every day; she goes the extra mile, with human kindness.  My baby cannot, and will not, be stopped, undeterred by any obstacle.  And by now, I am confident, Kopi Tart has been reunited with her family.  BTW, Alisha’s last infusion is Sept 24.  Take a permanent hike, Big C!   

Long Beach, and then there were three.

On our last day in CA we had a delicious new age Rosh Hashanah meal with Danielle, Sandra, Leo and Abby. Maddie had a play date with her high energy buddies, Garbanzo and ArtichokeAre you sure you want a third dog, Sandra?

Welcome to the world, Mason Casella

Congrats to grandparents, MaureenCraig; mom and dad, Alexis & Patrick; and siblings, Tyler & Reagan.

Little Mason was born on 9-18-18 at exactly 7 lbs.  Good start for the future numbers dude.

Life is Good – Man and his Dog

After another long plane ride, Maddie and Rick were happy to get back to the boat.


Alton, Illinois


The numbers are growing! Forgive me if you are not listed, Loopers at Alton include – Back Row:  Exhale, SeaTrek, Antonia, Second Wave, and Sabbatical. Front Row: Let’s Go, Hayley Rose, Sea Jamm, Island Girl, Unfettered, Misty Pearl, and others (30 loopy loopers).

St. Louis

A shout out to Chelsea and Brad Bishop as we drifted past St. Louis. An early Happy Anniversary.




More Locks

Our final two locks on the Mississippi River were really easy.  This one is for you, Gypsy.  Nothing for the worry journal here :-).



Kimmswick, Missouri

An overnight at the legendary Hoppie’s Barge includes invaluable guidance from river experts Fern and her daughter (Get well soon Fern!).  It’s a MUST stop.



Fall is in the air. Our favorite season.

A Wall

This historic wall and gate, facing south, stands strong.


A closer look:  reveals the eastern wall is either gone, or invisible.


Given the enchanted tower, you can decide if there is magic involved at this site,


or, if the gate is tightly locked to keep the Zombies out (they won’t go around…)


Blue Owl – Home of the Levee High Apple Pie

If you ever make it to Kimmswick, Missouri, Blue Owl is infamous for its magnificent desserts.  Get there early, they only serve breakfast and lunch (close at 3). Here’s the website:  go ahead, take a look!



Diet Tomorrow (sorry, Maureen, we will keep trying)


My beloved BEST friend. Love you to the moon and back.
Ooops, almost left that priceless Belmont Shore hat behind.

Little Diversion, Missouri

After a 98 nautical mile run (114 statute miles), we stopped at a well known anchorage. Along the way, the banks of the Mississippi River fall colors began to show.


Celebrating the first day of fall.

Raining Cats and Dogs on the Ohio River

That’s right, we made it to the Ohio River!  Since March 1, 2018 we have traveled 3,751 nautical miles (4,321 statute miles).  Total gallons of fuel burned:  2,081.


Once again we are very thankful for our pilot house, with steady rain and wind.  We felt sincerely sorry for Unfettered, who is running from the fly bridge with only partial cover.  HOT drinks will be popular at the end of this day.

Meet Bear, boat dog from Unfettered


Say hello to Bear, Maddie’s newest friend, who we hope is staying dry in the cabin below.

Thanks, For the Dogs

For all of you who have dogs on your boats and in your homes, you know the extra work required to take care of the critters, and, you know the reward of never ending loyalty and affection. While they ask for very little, they never stop giving.

Next up:  Paducah, Kentucky

Where Have We Been So Far? Thanks for asking 🙂

Total Locks completed = 134 plus 2 dams, includes:

  • Florida – Lake Okeechobee area: 7
  • Virginia – Great Dismal Swamp: 2
  • New York – Troy & Champlain Canal: 12
  • CANADA – Chambly Canal/Quebec: 9
  • CANADA – Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway: 5
  • CANADA – Rideau Canal/Ontario: 47
  • CANADA – Trent-Severn Waterway: 44
  • Illinois – Calumet and Illinois River: 8 plus 2 dams

States and Provinces traversed on the water, commencing March 1, 2018:

U.S (March 1- June 10). Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Vermont. (August 10 – tbd): Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri

Canada Provinces (June 10 – August 9): Quebec, Ontario.

Side trips (via auto or plane):

Los Angeles (MS [3 – April, May & Sept], Rick [4 – May, June, July, Sept] & Maddie [2 – May, Sept], Cleveland (RMG, MS & Maddie [2- April and July], Craig [April]), St. Louis and St. Charles by car (thanks, B and B)

Author: Exhale49

North Pacific Trawler euro style

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