Past posts:

Previous blog posts from last year can be found.... HERE.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Why is navigating a boat a lot like dealing with Parkinson's?

     Here is a photo of our chart plotter from a week ago, it is suppose to show the correct course for safe water.  The white areas are suppose to have enough water for safe passage, the light blue is marginal water depth at best and the darker blue is water too shallow to float the boat. The light magenta colored line running down the middle of the white to the left of the boat is supposedly the NOAA charted safe route and what we are suppose to follow; and the dark red line is the computer telling me I am driving into danger and to turn left quick. Last, the black dotted line is our actual course. As you can see it appears we are way off course heading towards the marsh and/or running aground on lighter green island.  What the plotter did NOT show was a very thin 30-40' wide sliver of just-deep-enough water between the far red marker and the marsh directly above it - right where there is suppose to be no water at all. So we SLOWLY eased past that last red marker to the edge of the marsh and did a hard left turn.  Had we navigated solely by this supposedly state-of-the-art system and NOAA guidance we would have been high and dry and damaged by running aground.  Oh, and the white area that is suppose to have plenty of water, it had sea gulls standing in the middle of it.   Most important and for the record, The Admiral navigated this one while I drove during heavy rain, she earned her pay that day.  



What's my point in all this and what the heck does this have to do with Parkinson's?  This navigation hazard has been a boon for local tow boat and salvage companies but to me this poorly marked shoal is like fighting Parkinsons. You must ADAPT!
  •  Keep your wits about you and take control of the issue, not visa-versa; I guarantee you the tail does not wag this dog.
  • Look for every opportunity to keep moving forward. We certainly could not stay where we were on that river.  Push on!  Kinda like doing physical therapy or yoga if you have PD.
  • Don't believe everything you read on a chart plotter or the doom and gloom you read on the web about Parkinson's.  Surround yourself with positive energy and think optimistically.  
  • Opportunities to overcome a challenge may exist but they are often well hidden, you have to work hard and look hard.  Just like volunteering for drug studies for Parkie's, exercise, physical therapy.  
  • Don't be afraid to push yourself and take that calculated risk.  I did not know if the water was deep enough at the last turn, but my confidence in Becky with her watching the plotter, color and speed of the water, shape of the waves, etc. all lead to a good decision. It worked.  

Oh, while we navigated this little challenge did I think about Parkinson's?  NOPE.
I encourage all Parkinson patients out there to take a swing at the disease today, if only today and maybe, just maybe, you will surprise yourself and bloody Parkinson's nose.  Trust me, it feels good. REAL GOOD.  

To close.  It has been a very hectic 2 weeks home for the holidays.  I return to the boat on 12/31 as friends and brother Bill join me for some segments.  I promise more updates.  

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

THIS IS A GUEST ARTICLE WRITTEN BY A COLLEAGUE OF BOB PRESTON:

My name is Ed Dias. I am 51 years old and have had PD since 1996. By July, 2003, my symptoms were now a real problem and I became a ‘victim/patient’. Around Christmas 2009, I changed my mind – I decided to live again. I learned how to live in the now and make the most out of each moment of time. If you give it a chance, you will find that life can still be quite satisfying.

This is a state of mind I developed long ago. I remember sitting in the waiting room at my dentist’s office. He was running late and I was just sitting, looking around the room. I noticed this huge clock on the wall. It was your basic white with black numbers and dials. The second hand was red. I’m watching it and suddenly the clearest thought enters my head. “Time is always moving whether you like it or not. Regardless of your health, state of mind, or mood, it’s moving. So figure out a way to enjoy it”.

See, we are presented with decisions every day. Daily choices are the building blocks of our future. The positions we find ourselves in are a direct result of the choices we made in the past. Some choices are made based on prior experiences, motivation for a future goal, our mood of the moment, or that ‘funny’ feeling.

For me, I choose to enjoy the ride. I have learned that along with good faith and good intentions all disappointments are opportunities in disguise. Have you ever been late for an appointment and met someone fascinating who arrived early for their appointment?

Everyone with PD has their own customized version. So what, who cares? Hearing about someone else’s agony doesn’t make any one of us any better. So why give the disease any attention? It’s like feeding oxygen to a fire. Eliminate the oxygen and the fire cannot exist. Hmm, maybe I’m on to something.

I still pretty much do whatever I want, despite my new limitations. I play roller hockey every week with longtime friends and burn out after 60 to 90 minutes. Sure, I used to be able to play longer but now on hockey nights, I get home early enough to say goodnight to my kids and have a late dinner with my wife. By the way, the so called “friends” I play with, give me zero slack. I am treated like everybody else and for 90 minutes I feel like everybody else – just want to put more pucks in their net than they put in ours.

Hope you enjoyed reading this and maybe I’ll write again soon.

Ed





Edward Dias
Investment Adviser Representative

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thankful on Thanksgiving



FULL SPEED AHEAD, DAMN THE PARKINSON'S AND PASS THE STUFFING,

Got Parkinson's Disease (PD)?  I do! I am a 55 year old male that received that difficult diagnosis at age 49 after displaying symptoms for many many months. Yes, it is a tough diagnosis to receive.  But you know what, especially to all the newly diagnosed, I WOULD NOT CHANGE PLACES WITH ANYONE IN THE WORLD. NOBODY. PERIOD! How can I say that with such conviction and certainty? Because I mean it! First and foremost is family, then friends. They have not changed, their support continues to grow.  That is what I am thankful for.  Everything else in life is just details.

Let's face it, PD is an insidious disease, it stinks, but I refuse to let it get the better of me. In fact, I fight back. 6 1/2 years into this disease I am not just surviving, I am thriving, living with the belief that I DON'T HAVE PD, IT HAS ME, AND IT SHOULD BE VERY AFRAID.  Why? Because we are AT SEA again, and this voyage is a big one - From RI to Canada and down the Eastern seaboard to the Florida Keys. Then we cross the Bermuda Triangle to the Bahamas, Abacos, Exumas, all the way down to the Turks and Caicos. Where's that exactly?  On a map just to the right of Cuba and 11 months and 9000 nautical miles by the time we return to RI next June.

And you are doing this despite having PD?  NO, I'm doing this because it is fun and to SPITE PD!  I am the captain and I fondly call my wife Becky, "The Admiral", We have no crew.  I call this "walking the walk".  I am not simply talking a good story about my fight against PD, but displaying it, all the while promoting awareness of PD.

This is the link to a very short video of me sponsored by the APDA.  This 4 minute film further explains my mission to spread awareness of the disease and the power of OPTIMISM in fighting this insidious disease affecting 1.6 million Americans.

https://vimeo.com/user4066563/review/67474915/2563535280  

Yes, a long link, but you can also get to the video from my blog: Optimismtour.blogspot.com

To close, 6 1/2 years after Dr. F gave me the diagnosis I remain convinced that part of my well!-being is embracing my current thought of the day:

NOBODY EVER WENT BLIND LOOKING ON THE BRIGHT SIDE!





Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Here's reminder of what we are doing and why... THANK YOU!


     A big thank you to all that have helped us cross the $250,000 raised to date for Parkinson's disease research and patient support.  100% of all donations go directly Patient Services, as we pay 100% of our campaign expenses out of our own pocket.



video

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Featured Article with Sabre Yachts - Wasabi Green with Envy






     Recreational boating has evolved in last few generations.  In my parents era it was the “men against the sea” generation.  My mother pretended to enjoy boating but we all knew she was more comfortable with both feet firmly planted on shore. On the surface she put on her game face and somehow managed to survive our annual summer cruises along the foggy coast of Maine in our early 1960’s 29′ wooden Pacemaker.  She was a saint to put up with all of us, my father, two sisters, a brother, and Crystal our Dalmatian.
  
     Times and attitudes have changed for the better.  Couples’ who are deciding if boating is a lifestyle they are committed to, are now doing so as partners.  Are they looking for a canoe to quietly paddle around small pond and enjoy the sun sets in the western sky?  Are they competitive sailors immersed into the sport of one design racing?  Maybe they enjoy picnics with the children and grandchildren on a Saturday afternoon in a power boat which is comfortable enough to be cruised after the grand kids are safely buckled into their car seats and heading back home. 

     Whatever the decision,  today more couples are making them together, as a team.  Sabre and Back Cove have been lucky to have found such a team in Becky and Bob Preston. We were introduced to them when they fell in love with the Back Cove 33 and Petzold’s Yacht Sales in Portland, CT.  Shortly thereafter, they teamed up once again with Back Cove and commissioned a Back Cove 37.  Both boats are very distinctive.  If by chance you find a Wasabi Green Back Cove 33 or a 37 running along the east coast you have found one of the Preston’s formerly loved boats.  Becky and Bob commissioned their first Sabre late this summer.  FAMILY TIES III, is a Sabre 48 (hull #038) and she is ….Wasabi Green.  This fall they are heading to the Sunshine state for the winter and plan to spend most of their time on board.



     Bob and Sabre are very fortunate to have Becky Preston in our lives. For Bob, she is relatively new to boating compared to him and she is passionate about it. She plays an active role in all aspects of the boat and their cruising.  Her belief is that “it is important for the mate to know how to handle the boat”.  I didn’t dare ask who the captain is and who the mate is, but I believe it is safe to assume they share those roles.  For Sabre, we are fortunate to have Becky as part of the family.  She commented, “All along the Sabre 48 was my favorite boat and I helped push Bob along to reach that same conclusion”.  Now that is a solid partnership that works for the Prestons’ and Sabre!

     Most of the time while running Becky and Bob support one another to ensure safe passage and enjoying their time on board.  You will find them sitting next to each other with one of them at the helm while the other is navigating.  In bad weather Becky typically finds herself as the helms person and Bob is the navigator.
Whenever possible the Prestons’ will anchor while cruising.  Becky is as comfortable at anchor as she is in a slip.  She loves ducking into Seal Bay on Vinalhaven Island, in Maine, for its unique peaceful nights where the stars are bright in the sky above to anchoring in the Bahamas where the water is so clear that you can spend hours looking over the rail at the star fish below.

     The Sabre 48, her “favorite boat”, has creature comforts that help her therapeutically in a sense. She has her sanctuary, in of all places, the crew quarters. As Becky says, “that’s my part of the boat”.  Other Sabre 48 owners have made similar comments about the crew quarters. It is a unique space that is fun to show off at boat shows.  For Becky she has customized the space for her sewing machine and equipment.  They also have the washer and drier and a television in there as well. 

     The Prestons’ have two grown children, no grandchildren yet, but their daughter and her husband have a foster child.  Her name is Hannah.  While on a weekend cruise to Nantucket earlier this fall, Hannah proudly proclaimed the crew quarters as “her room”. 

     Recreational boating has changed in so many ways in such a short period of time.  The days with the attitude of “men against the sea” are giving way to couples, families, and friends actually getting pleasure from pleasure boating.  Advances in on board systems have made boating safer.  Couples such as Becky and Bob Preston work together to learn these systems that are changing the way we boat.  Thank you Becky for having faith in the Sabre family and being passionate about a lifestyle you and Bob share.

You can follow Becky and Bob’s adventures by visiting http://optimismtour.blogspot.com/

"No Wake Zone"

I ignore one lousy "5mph No Wake" speed zone and they send out the 7th fleet????

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Got Milk?

 
 
Wanna know what's the most dangerous portion of our trip?
Would it be crossing the Bermuda Triangle? Nope;
Ferocious storms, hurricanes or striking something in the water? Not even close, last guess.....Pirates and other nit-wits? Nah, Mr's Smith and Wesson are aboard.

The answer, hopping on your bike and going out for milk! Yup, the grocery store is usually couple of miles down the road, no bike lane, unfamiliar roads, cars wizzing by 2-3' away. Plus they sense I'm a Yankee, and the locals think Savannah is still burning. Think of it as driving down Rt 2, near the malls, it's dusk and you have a Red Sox Stink sticker on you bike. Get the idea?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Where's Bob?!







     Of all the stops we make between Rhode Island Florida this is one of my very most favorite.  Beaufort, North Carolina.  It is a quintessential waterfront town and it is impeccable where southern hospitality abounds.  Today is October 30th the weather today was perfectly clear sunny 75 degrees.  I know you were Islanders hate us right about now!  

     We are getting accustomed to the new boat in all its systems.  Becky has been doing a ton driving, in fact she saved our bacon 2 days ago by providing a quick course correction at a very confusion intersection.  We are getting into the routine of being under way enjoying our trip and once again saying, "Parkinson, you will not rob me of my spirit today and your chances do not look any better for tomorrow!"


(Click to Enlarge)
   


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

This is what Becky and I are striving for.......

 


Yesterday, we could have taken the easier route and continued on the intercostal waterway. Instead we took a route that had more challenges and we were rewarded by two things, missing traveling in bad weather for for 35 miles and finding a tiny island called Ocracoke.  This island, located 15 nautical miles south of Cape Hatteras, which is part of the outer barrier islands. Has a population of 900 residents and has a beach that stretches 9 miles. As we were traveling south suprisingly none of the other boats we saw took the left towards the outerbanks. This little island is what Beck and I are striving for, not another soul can be found......I'm glad the other boats kept going!
 


 
 
 
 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

World Series......


 
 
World Series game 1, 2013 Red Sox vs. Cardinals
 


World Series bound.....
 
Talk about not letting a chance to make memories for grandsons and grandma, go by. My Mom is a huge Red Sox fan and has been for years. Attending tonight’s game is a once in a lifetime opportunity!  It is all my Dad’s idea, not being up for the trip himself he enlisted two of his grandsons to escort their grandma to the game. He hired a limo to drive them up and back, they packed roast beef sandwiches, warm jackets, cameras and fake beards to cheer on the boys!

 

I was asked if I was bummed that I wasn’t going to the game, nope was my answer! I’m thrilled that my dad saw an opportunity to see that his wife got to the game and will make memories that will stay with Mom, Bryce and Sam for the rest of their lives! Go Sox , Go grandpa # So alive!!!!

 Sandi MacLeod

Optimism won't help you with those tugboats!



People that have been with me on the boat know I have a extreme dislike for tugboats.  Check out this picture we are in a lock, do you think I can get any closer?  I'll probably get nightmares from this! 



Saturday, October 19, 2013

Sorry......



I have often said "even if given the opportunity, I would not change places with a soul in the world!" Part of the reason is so many new friends have come into my life through PD events.
I was with one of those new friends a few weeks ago wh6en a new friend relayed to me that after many, many years of denial he was just now telling his friends, associates, clients, etc that he was "sorry" to have to tell them he had Parkinson's. I was shocked, my mouth dropped open as I quickly brought up my mental dictionary:
sor·ry 1. Feeling or expressing sympathy, pity. 2. Worthless or inferior; paltry. 3. Causing sorrow, grief, or misfortune; grievous.
I tried to prepare my words carefully (didn't work) and said in a loud firm tone, "what the (heck) are you sorry about!!!" No, I did not use the word 'heck'. But I guess I caught him off guard as he was speachless, so I asked him again, what was he sorry about? What did he do wrong? The way he used the word "sorry" implied he was guilty or at least culpable of some bad deed. Unfortunately, I hear this a lot.
It's not just that they say it apologetically, to me it is deeper than that. By saying anything like "I am sorry to say I have PD", that lessens me. It suppresses the spirit. As for me, I am looking to empower myself, and others, in the fight against this insidious disease. So while I am sorry for many stupid things I have done in my 55 years, I am neither sorry nor guilty of contracting Parkinson's. Though, I almost feel sorry FOR Parkinson for I intend to beat it, cheat it or do anything necessary to deny it the ability to live. But that is a whole different article.

As for where we are today? ROAD TRIP! to a family reunion 100 mi inland. The voyage resumes from Hampton VA ON Tuesday. Next week, Cape Hatteras. Going to see what the fuss is all about. (Just kidding Poseidon)

Friday, October 18, 2013

"Virginia is for repairs"

 
Well, we made it through the gales of last weekend, while at anchor, not at a dock.  Next we found our way to the first repair dock to fix a our magnetic compass as well as our 2 electronic compasses. They were definitely not right, one would show a heading of 290, the other two would show 301 and 309 respectfully. You simply cannot have that . If you're off by more one degree, that is a big deal and very dangerous, so they're all fixed.
 
That takes us to where we are now, Bluewater Yachts in Hampton, VA. for depth finder repairs, one went bad. Your thinking what's up with this Bob? You bought a lousy boat! Nope, not at all, think of it as a punch list on a new house, lots of little things to get done, it is par for the course and in fact the boat is running very strong. So far we have traveled about 659 nautical miles and burned but 1100 gallons of fuel.
 
They will work on the boat all weekend and hopefully we get underway Tuesday late morning.
That's it from the bridge, I'll leave you with this......
 
Sunset......Hampton, VA.

THE THINGS I HAVE LEARNED FROM SPIKE THE WONDER DOG

1.  WHEN POOP HAPPENS SOMETIMES YOU JUST GOTTA ROLL WITH IT.

2. THE HEART OF A LION COMES IN ALL SIZES

3. IF YOU MUST DANCE FOR YOUR MEAL (OR COOKIE) AT LEAST DO IT WITH ENTHUSIASM. 

4.  WHEN OTHERS DO EVIL UNTO YOU, REMEMBER THE FIRST FUNDAMENTAL LAW OF THE UNIVERSE: WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND - BAD KARMA FOLLOWS BAD KARMA

5. ALWAYS LOOK WHERE YOU ARE GOING - SCREEN DOORS ARE FULL OF HOLES BUT THEY'RE STILL VERY EFFECTIVE.  

6. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH RUNNING FLAT OUT IN CIRCLES IF THAT'S QTHE ONLY EXERCISE YOU CAN GET.  

7. IT'S NOT ABOUT  THE SIZE OF THE DOG IN THE FIGHT  - WHAT'S IMPORTANT IS THE AMOUNT OF FIGHT IN THE DOG.  

8. EVERYONE NEEDS THEIR OWN SPACE, DONT PUSH THEM

9. DONT SWEAT THE SMALL MESSES, LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO WORRY ABOUT A LITTLE STUFFING 

10.  WHEN THINGS ARE REALLY BLEAK AND ALL LOOKS LOST, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP - MIRACLES CAN HAPPEN!

11. ALWAYS PROTECT THE ONES YOU LOVE

12. IF YOU CAN HAVE LIFE OF FUN, BEING ADVENTUROUS, LAUGHING AND SMILING AT YOUR OWN GOOF-UPS WHILE NOT FORGETTING TO SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE YOU LOVE AND WHO LOVE YOU, THEN YOU ARE THE TOP DOG!!!!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Ships Log - Kind of like "Stardate Log"!!

Stardate Log number 29827 - 

> Seas are anything but calm.  Yesterday was a steady mid 20's with gusts to 35 which is gale force, rode it out for 3 days at anchor but needed to get to a marina for water as i cant use watermaker in muddy areas, and the Chesapeake is certainly muddy.  We had out about 120' of chain and the bottom is so soft as it came out of the water the chain looked like a 2" thick rope, that is how thick the mud is. THANK GOD I went for the high volume sea water wash down pump on the bow, that much mud would have stopped the windlass cold. So we got underway stayed in the lee of the land, had the wind behind us, and just surfed the boat for 30 miles.  As I type this I am about 1/2 way down the Chesapeake and now on the Eastern shore in St Michaels wind blowing about 15 and rain.  Ditto for tomorrow.

> The electronics are a big problem so I have a meeting with the top tech in the area for Monday a m.  While I know how to navigate well, and I have learned the new electronics better than most, I have no faith or confidence in them.  To wit:  Left display is showing a heading of 351deg magnetic; right display is showing 006 deg; the compass, which had been swung and was dead-balls-on 5 weeks ago, is now showing 359.  I guess what I gotta do is add them up and divide by 3???  Needless to say, I can't go far, travel at night, forget about fog, and crossing the Gulf Stream is a no-go until I am confident in the equipment.

Cheers,
Bob

Friday, October 11, 2013

Maryland

Well, we found a good place to test our anchoring skills, we are in a narrow creek off the Chester River near Rock Hall, MD. While as nice as the weather was last week, 80 degrees and sunny, today it is miserable. Heavy rain and wind sustained at 26mph, gusting to 35 which is gale force. We picked this spot for a reason, we are in a narrow winding creek with high sides so the waves can't build on us and the land mass protects us from much of the wind - bottom line we are safe. We are also very alone, no boats in sight anywhere and that's the way I like it. As soon as the weather clears we are heading south to explore the Chesapeake Bay and it's rivers and islands.

Sunday, October 6, 2013


My New Normal

By David R. Slone

I’m out of the closet. What a relief it is. Yes, I’ve told the world my dirty little secret. I have Parkinson Disease. Bob Preston made me feel good I did. Forget trying to hide my symptoms, sticking my quivering left hand in my pocket, behind my back, or crossing my arms. Or growing a goatee so that my Niagra-sized flow of drool is partially hidden in facial hair. Let it shake; let it flow.

Bob Preston was referred to me by several friends we have in common. I tried evasive action for a few days, but Bob saw through my cover. If nothing else, Bob is persistent. We met out on my deck. It had been the first meaningful time I’ve spent with someone who has PD in my seven years since diagnosis. No support groups, no “buddy talks”; hell, I even avoided my mother who has PD. I guess I was still in denial – still trying to play the “maybe they won’t notice card”.

We met a half-dozen times. Each time I learned a little more about him. He took me out on his boat to shoot photos of lighthouses on Narragansett Bay. I thought, what is this guy up to, what does he want from me? And, then I thought, what is HE doing? He has enough money to hop in his boat, go where he wants, enjoy his remaining days. He could have forgotten all this other nonsense and no one would have criticized him – but he is not built that way.

 I don’t know what it was:  his honesty; his passion; his transparency; his optimism. He talks about his PD-induced weaknesses and through some kind of linguistic alchemy they become his strengths. Part of it is what he believes:  if you are going to “talk the talk, then you need to “walk the walk”.

In an odd way, he made to feel like I had come home. There is a comfort level when I am among people like me. I don’t feel as though I need to hide anything or to pretend “normalcy”. To my surprise, my symptoms seemed to lessen.

I used to laugh when Michael J. Fox talked about how PD “was the best thing that ever happened to him.” What are you, nuts? I would have paid nearly any price to get my life back to normal.

Then I realized something. I would never have experienced the joy I received in writing my two novels. And, because of my PD, my friendships and my marriage are stronger. Having PD I have learned to be more patient, to persevere, to allow myself to be vulnerable and to be humble.

This summer I published a novel, Rose Beach, in which one of the main characters, 79-year-old Zeke Barton, has Parkinson Disease. Zeke comes back to Plum Breach with his wife to spend their last summer in their beloved cottage, which they intend to sell at summers end and move to Florida. Over the course of the next four days, they reveal secrets about their hidden lives, which neither had been privy to. Will they end up selling? Will their marriage survive the revelations of deceit?

My second book, A Man Left Behind, is in the action/thriller genre. A Vietnam veteran (with PD) tries to resolve the circumstances of the death of all his Ranger teammates in a helicopter crash. My PD was attributed by the VA to Agent Orange exposure when I was in combat in Vietnam. The story of my survival is the essence of this “what if” book.

So I decided to follow Bob’s course and I have dedicated the profits from the sale of my two books till th6e end of 2013 to RIAPDA.  That amount is about 60-70% of the digital eBooks retail price and about 40-50% of the printed version.

Go to Amazon.com and look for Rose Beach and A Man Left Behind. I think you will find them to be good reads and you will be helping yourself and other PD “beneficiaries” as a result.

Press Release from American Parkinson's Disease Association






“Optimism Can Take You Anywhere Tour” to end Parkinson’s disease launches!


New York, New York - Congratulations to Bob and Becky Preston on the launch of the Second “Optimism Can Take You Anywhere Tour.”  

The Preston’s, of Rhode Island pushed off their 48-foot custom built Sabre motor boat from Narragansett Bay on September 28, for an eight-month journey to Turks and Caicos.  The goal of the journey is to raise funds and awareness for the American Parkinson Disease Association.
After Bob was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD) in 2007, he launched the first “Optimism Tour,” a 5,000-mile round trip excursion from northern Maine to the Florida Keys. 

Bob tells his story.I enjoyed a very successful 33-year career building a large insurance organization before retiring in 2011, at age 53, the very top of my career, due to the effects of Parkinson's disease.”  Bob found irony in the fact that while his career was ending, he unwittingly discovered a new life's calling, to support Parkinson’s patients and help fund a cure.

This passion, drive and focus have lead Bob to a multi-year odyssey calledthe “Optimism Can Take You 

Anywhere Tour,” which has three guiding principles:
To PROMOTE awareness of Parkinson's disease and its effect on 1.5 million Americans.
To DEMONSTRATE in words and actions the importance of a positive outlook and positive health benefits in fighting any chronic illness. In fact, Bob doesn't say, “I have PD,” instead he says, “PD has me, and it should be very afraid.”
To FUND a cure!  To date, Bob’s optimism and determination have raised more than $250,000 for the American Parkinson Disease Association to “ease the burden – find the cure.”

The Optimism Tour will take Bob and Becky to Annapolis, MD through the month of October.  From there they will head down the coast to North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, arriving mid-December in Stuart, Florida where they will remain through the holiday season.  Through January 2014, they will traverse Florida on the water way canal and Lake Okeechobee arriving in Sarasota mid-January for a one month stay.  February and March will take Bob and Becky to Marco Island and for an exploration of the Everglades.  From there they will travel to Little Bahamas and Grand Cayman with the final leg of the trip rounded out navigating Alturas, and Turks and Caicos through April and May.

To learn more about the Optimism Tour or meet Bob and Becky on their journey, contact Kathy Whitford, Vice President of Communications for the American Parkinson Disease Association.  Donations to support the “Optimism Tour,” can be made at http://tinyurl.com/OptimismBobPreston


To Read Bob's story and track his travels......
Blog: OptimismTour.blogspot.com
Facebook: Facebook.com/OptimismTour
Twitter:
Twitter.com/OptimismTour

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


To All:

 

The new boat was positioned in central CT undergoing last minute checks, re-checks, and triple checks. We did everything possible to exceed safety and preparedness standards. We left early Sunday morning for points south taking our time having no agenda or schedule, just 2 reservations. First,, we leave the boat in Charlestown for a few days at Thanksgiving and then again in St Augustine during Christmas while we return home for visits. NO other reservations for 180 days, now that is the way to travel!

 

After Christmas (you don't really think I would use "the holidays", do you?), we cross Florida via the Okeechobee Canal and will spend January in Sarasota before heading south towards the Keys. Starting about March 1 we sit and wait for a 3 day weather window (you need perfect weather) to make the jump to the Bahamas, Abacos, Exumas, and then possibly down to the Turks and Caicos. The Turks is a place of high interest but not a must-see goal. We have lots of objectives to hit on this trip but only two rules: DON'T TAKE UNQUALIFIED RISKS & DON'T DO ANYTHING STUPID. While always remembering "IT'S FAR BETTER TO BE IN HERE WISHING YOU WERE OUT THERE, THAN OUT THERE WISHING YOU WERE IN HERE."

 

For the remainder of the year and into 2014 please DONT let the PD tail wag the dog, instead consider the writings of poet Hensley: "I AM THE MASTER OF MY DESTINY, I AM THE CAPTAIN OF MY SOUL." Beck and I hope you all have a fabulous fall. With that, Happy Thanksgiving, and a very early Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Happy Kwanza, "Merry Festivus"' plus a HAPPY NEW YEAR, whatever floats your boat.

 

To all my boating friends, boat guests, and even the friends who don't like boats, God willing we will see you upon our return in June 2014.

FAIR WIND AND CALM SEAS.

 

Beck and Bob Preston

Motor Vessel - Family Ties

 



 

 

Ps: When we started this whole OPTIMISM CAN TAKE YOU ANYWHERE! thing, Mary Jean, the force behind this project, had me set an ambitious goal of raising $10,000 in 45 days. Last week the APDA announced we have hit the $250,000 mark. If your tax planning for year end includes charitable donations please keep our mission in mind. 100%, every dime you donate goes to Patient Support Services helping the 1900 Rhode Island families, our neighbors who are fighting this insidious disease. On their behalf, I thank you.

 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

                        
                             This article went out to 500,000 BoatUS readers today.
       It's not about a boat, instead it talks about spreading awareness of Parkinson's Disease!
 
 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Family Ties III

Just because it's been awhile since you have heard from us, it doesn't mean were not still fighting the fight against parkinson's Disease and guess what? I am winning!
 
Becky and I have had a busy summer with motivational type presentations, professional speaking engagements and short trips with new boat. Now, at the top of our list, it's time to get the boat ready for our next adventure as we cruise to the bahamas, Exumas, Turks and Caicos Islands. We have a ton of stuff to get ready on the new boat boat which has lots of moving parts. To give you an idea of the complexity of electronics equipment, they have spent over and 160 hours just to install the equipment. That's a cool 4 weeks worth of work for 1 person nonstop. Actually, we have 39 mechanical and electronic issues to deal with before we leave the dock in 3 weeks, hence I'm not bored. BUT I AM kicking Parkinson's Disease in the butt each and everyday, which brings me great pleasure!
 
Make absolutely no mistake about it, with my tenacious spirit, a belief system that is "refuse to lose" and the support of my friends & family I guarantee I will be cured. I will beat Parkinson's and then dance on it's grave.
 
Fair winds.......Here's a toast to beating even one Parkinson's symptom today and everyday!!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

 
Twice in one month Family Ties is featured in Sabre's on-line magazine and our story is to appear in the country's largest boat magazine, BOATUS, in October.
We are getting our story out slowly but surely and we recently crossed the $200,000 mark in fundraising for Patient Care Support Service. But it is not about me and it's not about the boat. It's about demonstrating that there are so many ways to view life's set-backs. I see challenge as opportunity, the chance to beat whatever is in my way, in my case, BEATING PARKINSON'S. I have set backs, but I stay focused and in shape, ready to take another pop at Parkinson. So my thought of the day: BE BOLD as you battle your own challenges in life, you may surprise yourself.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

On our way back......

We reached lake Champlain and are now on our way back to Rhode Island. We are still on Family Ties 2 and the past few days have continued to be as challenging as the whole month of July was. Below was a close call with a bridge and waterfall......

This is as close as you can get and still fit. Keep in mind we have radar, antennas and a Satellite dome on the roof. Made it by inches !




Above is the waterfall we just traversed, not much scares me, but this freaked me out.  Each lock had one of varying size
We will be saying goodbye to Family Ties 2 and picking up Family Ties 3 in a few days. Arriving in Rhode Island on Tuesday, with the new boat. The next few months will be spent getting acquainted with our new boat before starting the next part of our journey. Stay tuned for updates on the Optimism Tour!


Friday, July 19, 2013

Go Bob, go!


 | Don't Miss This Inspirational Story



Optimism can take you anywhere!

That’s a terrific attitude to adopt, especially when you or a loved one is battling a chronic illness. Bob Preston should know: He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD) seven years ago at age 47.

But Bob won’t let PD stop him from living life to the fullest. He is setting out for the second year in a row for a 5,000-mile round-trip sailing excursion from northern Maine to the Florida Keys, with the goal of raising awareness and funds for Parkinson’s research.



Bob is not just optimistic that the cure for Parkinson’s will be found in his lifetime — he’s confident of it.

You can help make Bob’s dream a reality by donating today to help the American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) ease the burden and find the cure.

If you’d like to follow Bob’s progress on his “Optimism Can Take You Anywhere” tour, please connect with him on Facebook and Twitter. Along his journey, he’ll be meeting with APDA chapters, giving media interviews and inspiring as many people as possible to join the fight against Parkinson’s.

Please send your gift of $25, $35, $50 or more today in honor of Bob’s incredible optimism and spirit!

To embracing life,
Leslie A. Chambers
Leslie A. Chambers, President and CEO
American Parkinson Disease Association
See Where Optimism Can Take Bob — and You!


Join Bob in the fight against Parkinson's disease as you make a gift of $25, $35, $50 or more now!

       



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The American Parkinson Disease Association, Inc. was founded in 1961 "To Ease the Burden - To Find the Cure" for Parkinson's disease. Headquartered in New York, the organization focuses its energies on research, patient support, education and raising public awareness of Parkinson's disease.