Thursday, September 9, 2010

City Mouse and Country Mouse

Sunset on the back porch in St Michaels

I have been traveling around a bit more since I last wrote. I just got back from Maryland and Washington DC. I flew out to visit my great aunt and uncle for a few days. It was a lot of fun there kayaking along the river, boating with my uncle and seeing the sights in the small local towns. I also got to meet two of my second cousins once removed and their parents.

Monoprint of the southern ocean made in my aunt's studio

I did my first little talk at the Tred Avon Yacht Club there and it went very well. I started out a little bit terrified and kind of shaky, but by the end even I was having fun! All the members of the yacht club were extremely nice and they had some pretty good questions. It was a really good place to do my first talk.

At the Tred Avon Yacht Club in Oxford

After awhile in St Michael's, Maryland we went into Washington DC where my aunt and uncle have an apartment. It was another great time walking around there. I also got to go talk to the Georgetown University sailing team. I was surprised by what a big sailing team they had and while a lot of them haven't sailed much other then small racing boats, it was pretty fun answering all of their questions and seeing the
beautiful campus.

I wish I could write a big, long blog with all the little details of my last trip, but I've got to go now. I'm leaving for Detroit tomorrow to speak at the Port Huron Yacht Club and try my hand at a little racing.

I'll try to post more photos and such from the airport.



  1. You are a brave young lady taking on public speaking. I'm so glad you got over those butterflies and you enjoyed the moment.
    It helps when folks are so friendly too.
    Jeanie In The Lakes

  2. Glad you had fun. No offense, but Washington and Maryland are hundreds of miles away from New England, which runs from Connecticut to Maine.

  3. Good luck to you & the crew Abby! I'm excited to hear the results. God bless you and fair winds Skipper!

  4. I know you'll do a great job. Good luck Abs!

  5. Thanks Abby.
    Richard ♥

  6. Hey you got to visit my native Maryland. Wish I had seen you. I would ask you out to an Orioles game.


  7. Hi Abby,
    What fun you're having on your trips!! You're going to be a pro at public speaking before you know it. And, obviously, your audiences are so interested & excited to hear what you have to say. Just keep remembering that! Good luck with racing on the Great Lakes. Let us know how you like it, especially compared to ocean cruising. Have big fun!!!
    --Sue McGah
    Laguna Niguel, CA

  8. Glad to see that you're having fun, Abby. Good luck in the race.


  9. wow! I hope you are being compensated for these speaking engagements! What great experience, even if you aren't.

  10. Hey Abby, if you see a big blue Werner truck on your travels, might be me. I'm glad you are getting to see some of this big beautiful country of ours. Keep on truckin' girl. Gus

  11. If nothing else, I have to love the title!

  12. Looking forward to meeting you @ PHYC!

  13. Bravo Zulu! Just saw your blog while getting ready for today's "Race to Oxford" One of our favorite bay races of the summer. You missed it by only a few days. I'm sure many of the racers and their families would have like to see you after the race or on the water. Fair winds and following seas!

  14. Abby,

    I am so sorry I missed your visit to Georgetown University. I would have loved to have met you while you were here. I work for Georgetown University's business school in fundraisng and live in Georgetown. I have been a supporter of yours and am so disappointed as I did not even realize you were here. Totally bummed. Hopefully your time in our beautiful city was enjoyed. All the best.


  15. Hard to imagine that you still get jitters with that remarkable nervous system of yours. Still, it is a glorious thrill reading every word you have to say about it. Oh, and the pictures count as 1k words, as we know. Good golly, you are a go-getter. Thanks for keeping us all in the loop, and regularly refreshing it.

  16. Abby,
    You're doing so well out there, with the puplic and getting to see all the interesting places and historic as well. Getting a lot of experience in your speach is wonderful. Proud of you. Loving your posts, always.
    Dee from Santa Clarita, Ca.

  17. Hi Abby,

    Happy to read that you are having a good time. That you have been able to held speach in front of people who are familiar with sailing. To hear what you have to tell them being out by yourself in the Ocean's, must become exciting for them. I love to see your photo's. When I was in your age I had a wish to see the statue of Abraham Lincoln in Wash.DC. It took me 40 years before I stood in front of him. it was a special moment for me.
    I wish you all the best with the tour, and I will continue to take a look in your blog twice a week. Have fun young lady.
    Best regards,
    Ingrid Petersson, Tyreso Sweden

  18. Dear Capt. Abby:

    Public Speaking in One Easy Lesson

    Talking to a group can be scary. All those faces can overwhelm your senses. So, pick ONE person, look them in the eye, and say one sentence to them. Then, calmly -- because you are in charge, and they are glad YOU are up there talking and not them -- calmly shift to another person, and say a sentence, or complete part of a sentence to them. Then pick another person. It's easy to talk to one person; we all do it all the time.

    SILENCE -- pausing -- is your FRIEND. Don't feel that you have to constantly fill up the air with words. You don't. Watch Leno, or the network news people. Watch how often they pause. These little silences are a sign of STRENGTH, not weakness. When you pause, NO ONE is thinking "OMG, she's forgotten her talk!!!" They are feeling that you are confident. A chatterbox does NOT look confident.

    If you have any visual aids, TOUCH, TURN, TALK.
    Pause, turn toward the chart, or whatever it is, point to and TOUCH whatever you want to talk about. Then, TURN back toward your audience, and TALK about it. Then repeat for the next point. Do NOT talk toward the visual. Always toward your audience.

    As for organizing it…

    Tell 'em what you're going to tell 'em.
    Tell 'em.
    Tell 'em what you told 'em.

    That way you only have to have 1/3 the material you thought you'd need! Seriously, though, three times is magic with an oral presentation.


    Always repeat back the question in some form. This will help those who didn't hear it, AND it will give YOU time to think of an answer. Your brain can think about 10X faster than you can talk, so take advantage of that. Always take this time even if you know the answer, because eventually you may need it. It also makes you look confident, and thoughtful.

    There. That's it.

    Talk to ONE PERSON at a time.
    Tell 'em, Tell 'em, Tell 'em.
    REPEAT questions.

    Practice this by describing your house, or something else you know well. If you have a problem with verbal twerks like UM, ER, WELL, etc. enlist friends to throw things at you, or make the quiz show buzzer sound really LOUD every single time you say one of those empty words. Remember, PAUSING is POWER. Saying "um" is saying you can't think what to say.

    You can also have a group of friends hold their hands up UNTIL you look each one of them in the eye for one sentence. No looking away. One WHOLE sentence. Then they can put their hand down. Keep talking and pausing until you make ALL the hands go down by looking each one in his/her eyes.

    It's a sport, and you will learn it quickly.

    God Bless,

    Bill Smith

  19. Bonjour Abby,

    "I'm leaving for Detroit tomorrow to speak at the Port Huron Yacht Club and try my hand at a little racing."


    Well, did you or didn't you!?!?!:-D


    Origin of your blog title: Jean de LaFontaine:

    "Le rat de ville et le rat des champs

    Autrefois le rat de ville
    Invita le rat des champs,
    D'une façon fort civile,
    A des reliefs d'ortolans.

    Sur un tapis de Turquie
    Le couvert se trouva mis.
    Je laisse à penser la vie
    Que firent ces deux amis.

    Le régal fut fort honnête,
    Rien ne manquait au festin ;
    Mais quelqu'un troubla la fête
    Pendant qu'ils étaient en train.

    A la porte de la salle
    Ils entendirent du bruit :
    Le rat de ville détale ;
    Son camarade le suit.

    Le bruit cesse, on se retire :
    Rats en campagne aussitôt ;
    Et le citadin de dire :
    « Achevons tout notre rôt.

    - C'est assez, dit le rustique ;
    Demain vous viendrez chez moi :
    Ce n'est pas que je me pique
    De tous vos festins de Roi ;

    Mais rien ne vient m'interrompre :
    Je mange tout à loisir.
    Adieu donc. Fi du plaisir
    Que la crainte peut corrompre ! »

    The moral of the story as you know is:

    Never mind the fun that fear can corrupt!

    Go Abby, Go!

  20. Dear Abby
    It Is very exciting to read of your exploits I hope one day soon I'll be able to sit and hear your wonderful stories also but my goal at this late period In my life Is that Sailboat that I've been wanting since I was your age I hope one day soon I will be doing business with Sunyachts right now I don't even have a chance to go down to the marina as you do.

    Cheers to you and your family
    William K. Hass

  21. Interesting comparison between city mouse and country mouse. Washington DC and St Micheal's Maryland couldn't be more extreems so close together.

    Will you be back in Maryland in early October?

  22. Good to hear from you again! Congratulations on your first talk at the yacht club Captain Abby!!! Glad to hear it went well. Look forward to hearing from you soon. Love to you and your family.
    Virginia from Miami,Fla.


    I don't want to spoil the forthcoming story from you but that's two days in a row I've had to uncork the good stuff and toast the crews of HOPE then LIBERTY with you on board at PHYC.
    Can't wait to hear Abs how you hopefully liked our kind of sailing here on The Great Lakes.
    john, Bay of Quinte on Lake Ontario

  24. Great talk Abby and even better the chance to meet you.

  25. Abby - we'd like to read about your sailing trip in real detail. We can all be tourists. How about serializing it ?

  26. Hi Abby,
    We were at the Tall Ships exhibition in Erie, PA this week and I wondered if you have ever worked on one of those ships?

  27. 09-14-10 @ 09:54
    Hi Abby,
    Now that you’ve got your first presentation under wraps and all the jitters out of the way I’m sure you’ll feel more confident with your next one. Enjoy the sights as much as you can, that’s quite an opportunity to be able to travel. Good luck to you on the racing, I think you’ll do well.

    Loads of love and hugs, and remember God is always with you.
    Your faithful friend, fan and follower.
    Michael (75) from Kingwood

  28. Interesting Post!
    I feel very happy to read your blog.Glad to see that you're having fun.
    Good luck Abby.