The same night that storms raged across Michigan, including the one that tossed a baby out with the rain water, Dad and I were driving up to Bay City to cover up my boat.
We headed to the marina towing Mom and Dad's 24' Jayco Trailer. We pulled around behind the building closest to S/V "In A Mist," set up the camper and plugged it in. Mom had us all stocked up with grub. Chili Friday Night and Waffles Saturday Morning. The chili hit the spot, along with some Suisse Mocha later in the evening. It was windy and spitting a bit of rain, so we hunkered down. Two geeks in a trailer back in the bone yard of a marina; each with a nose in a book.
The night was windy enough that it was like a Harbor Simulator. Around my boat are 10 or 12 other sailboats "on the hard." I fell asleep listening to the halyards rattling on the masts and a bit of wind in the rigging. It was as if I was already in some quaint harbor somewhere surrounded by vagabond neighbors and other boats swinging from their moorings. I'm sure I appreciated it more than Dad did.
Saturday morning we were up before 7:00. Dad started the coffee and made the waffles. We measured up the boat and went into to town. At Home Depot, I bought a couple tarps, some 2x4's, cinderblocks and rope [a real sailor would say 'line']. While I scoped around and checked the boat, Dad pumped the bilge. We wrapped the big tarp around the mast and spread it aft; the smaller one forward. My two main leak sources are the main hatch and the cockpit floor. Each will be replaced next summer. There may be some leaking from the deck hardware. I will know in the spring. :o)
Seeing the boat again was like a lovers' reunion. It was so important to rejuvenate my hopes and dreams for next summer and beyond. Occasionally, because I am so far removed from the boat, I just grind through my days on the road. I felt refreshed. I really am moving forward. I talked with a friend about "steerage." A boat, especially a sailboat, cannot turn [change course] unless it is moving forward first. An analogy for life. In a similar way, sometimes sailing is so peaceful that you have to look at the water gently gurgling past the rudder to make sure that you are actually moving. I can't wait to have that peace again. "Staring at the full moon like a lover . . . " Everybody sing! "Time for . . . a Cool Change!"
We made short work of covering the boat and then checked on my storage unit; sails, cushions, docklines and other junk. By early afternoon, we were headed back to Hudsonville.
In Hudsonville, we had a Mini Family Reunion. We are actually all full size but there weren't very many of us there. My cousins Steve and Kelly, Sister Amy and her Todd and their girls were there with Mom and Dad and I. Mom stuffed us all with a big brunch spread. Feta and Spinach Cheese Strata to die for!
Chuck and Deb have graciously stored my truck for a lot longer than they imagined; I'm sure. They are great and put me up in the school bus at the beginning and the end of my weekend home. Chuck and I managed to have a beer Sunday evening. Monday AM things fell apart. I got sent back on the road a day sooner than I had planned. Thanks again for the ride, Deb!! I missed several important people. Shout out to Jimbo, Emily and my adopted family in Dowagiac. Jim is ready to hit the WWF Circuit with his new move the Half K[censored]y. I can't wait to see him in a unitard and tights crashing down on his opponents like the Mighty Sword of Crom! OK, the last two sentences are a delicious inside joke and a literary allusion. Wherever Jim is, he just laughed out loud while the rest of you just furroughed your brow. See, he just did it again.
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