2014 - Outdoor Resorts - Part A - Mom's Final Cruise

The trip to Mom’s final cruise actually started in Liverpool. We divided her ashes into two and put half in a biodegradable urn. The other half was placed in a beautiful box which Chris made and will be taken sometime in the future to San Diego for burial in Holy Cross Cemetery near our son Michael.

I took Mom in the biodegradable urn to Melbourne Beach for burial at sea in “Mom’s ocean” off her favorite beach at Outdoor Resorts RV Park. The EPA requires the ashes to be placed a minimum of three miles off shore. Using a program I located on the internet, I estimated where Mom usually set her chair on the beach and then moved east along that latitude for 3.1 miles and identified the coordinates where she should be buried. With Iris’ help, I contacted several boat captains and asked if they were available on April 12th for a burial at sea and gave them the coordinates.

I made arrangements with Captain Bob of Sebastian, Florida. Captain Bob’s boat ‘The Mary Fisher’ is an old Maine lobster boat. Many years ago our family, while in Acadia National Park on vacation, went on a tour on a lobster boat to watch the lobster trapping process. When Captain Bob mentioned that his boat was an old Maine lobster boat it seemed to the perfect boat to transport Mom.

Iris came down from Savannah to attend the burial. We arrived at the Captain Hiram’s Marina in Sebastian, Florida, at 7:20 in the morning. The sunrise was about 1 hour earlier and clouds were moving in. Captain Bob told us that he was out at sea the day before and the east wind caused the sea to be very rough. He was worried if Iris and I could handle the rough seas. The wind was forecast to be almost the same and if we decided to return before we reached the burial spot he would take the ashes out another day. We told him that we felt we had to try. After we left port we had to head north. This put us sideways to the wind and the ocean swells. It made for a rocky ride. As we headed north I was talking to Captain Bob and reviewed the coordinates. Then I noticed his compass and realized that the GPS uses true north coordinates. I wanted the ashes buried at magnet north coordinates so we could use a compass on the beach to point due east to where Mom was buried. So as we arrived near the spot we used the boats magnetic compass to alter the coordinates.

Our good friends at ORA, Jimmy, Emma, and Carol watched from the beach. They said aftwards that they were waving, but we could not see them.

Father Smith gave us a short sequence of prayers to to say before and after we lowered Mom into the ocean. He really made it personal and it brought tears to my eyes as I read them.

Iris had a video camera and made short videos most of the mornimg. I hope to learn how to put them on mekkerfest in the future.

Mom's ashes divided into two. The biodegradable urn has palm trees and sunset.
We put a few drops of her perfume in with her and its aroma filled the kitchen.

All her children were present to witness the dividing. From left to right
First row: Terri is holding the cell phone so Iris can watch, then Sue, Grace, Heidi.
Second row: Chris, Me, Mark, Luke, Frank, and Zachary.

We just got onboard and are waiting for Captain Bob to give us his safety talk.

Iris stood on the side for most of the trip.
She had to change sides when we turned north due to the ocean spray!

Leaving the Indian River through Sebastian Inlet and the A1A bridge over the inlet.

Heading north at 16 knots.

Captain Bob checking the coordinate inputs. He uses a different format than what I gave him.

Iris enjoying the ride.
The winds were not as bad as the day before and the sun kept trying to poke through the coulds.

Heading magnetic east from ORA. The Ebb Tide is the tallest building.
ORA is on the south side of the Ebb Tide. Jimmy, Emma, and Carol are on the beach but we cannot see them.

Almost at the 3.2 mile point. The boat was rocking so Iris was holding Mom steady.
We can still see the Ebb Tide.

Holding Mom for one last time. We have two pink roses and a small bag of rose petals.
In the bottom of the urn is a small pile of "perfecto" sea shells Mom collected and a rock from Yosemite NP.

Iris spreading the rose petals. The wind was blowing the boat over the petals.

April 12, 2014 - 9:18 AM - I lowered Mom into Her Ocean.

It was hard to let her go.

Watching her drop out of sight.

As we dropped the two roses they landed in the water and formed a cross.
One rose from me; Iris added one rose from Mom's children.
The captain is starting to circle the area. He made two large circles and we headed back to the marina.

This is a telephoto shot from a rocking boat as we circled.

The 17 mile path we took from Sebastian to the burial site.

The boat had a black flag at half staff.

I synchronized my camera with the boats satellite clock. - The time tags on the pictures are accurate.
This picture was taken after we were heading back and to verify the camera time tag.

Getting ready to leave the Mary Fisher.
I'm sure Mom loved the day. - She and Mike parted the clouds and lowered the wind for us.

Thank You Captain Bob for a safe trip.

Our last look at the Mary Fisher and Captain Bob.

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