Monday, May 27, 2019

Reboot the Blog

Emma where I found her
I am working on restarting my blogging. My current plan is to stay in Michigan until the fall, helping Dad get his bearings after we lost Mom in April. I have a small sailboat on Muskegon Lake as a part of my own reboot and recovery.

First, before I start sailing, I need to thank some amazing friends - two couples in Florida and a friend in Michigan who made my day - nay, my month - a couple months ago.

Emma waiting for me
All the way back before the first of the year, between the holidays and within a week of each other, Brenda and Gary as well as Carla and Tim, bothered to stop in at Riverside Marina, trudge back to where Emma lies and snap a few photos just to reassure me. It was a wonderful relief to see her sitting where I left her, waiting for my return, with tarps that were still in pretty good shape. Thanks all of y’all, you’re the best.

Despite my plan to stay in Michigan, I am taking a trip down to see Emma and all those special people in July or so. I can assess how the boat is doing, perhaps clean her up a little, and replace the tarps.

Not a good picture, but I was moved
A couple months ago, I visited a friend at his new office. Another friend and I actually used his conference space to touch up my vagabond, handpoke tattoos. Dave has renovated a beautiful, old building in Grand Rapids. His new office is open and spacious with a new wood floor, a cluster of desks in the front with a conference table toward the back in a corner full of windows. Out front, a couple of his degrees were hung with a small pile of other professional stuff in frames ready to hang. Dave was eager to show me a large frame hung on its own in the conference area.

Bella rounding the Muskegon Channel jetty
You see, Dave had been my crew bringing a sailboat, Bella, across Lake Michigan from Milwaukee, Wi to Muskegon, Mi, without a working engine. I could never have pulled it off without his help or that of my ground crew, Nancy. I had brought them both a crew certificate in appreciation of their help - mostly on a lark.  Nodding to the frame, he said that’s a better story than all those frames up front. It was humbling but also so good for my vagabond sailor heart to feel how special the trip, and therefore the certificate, was for Dave. It was an incredible trip for me too. Read about it in three parts starting here.

I realized immediately I needed to purchase another certificate. Pete, another sailing buddy, had helped me move my current big boat, Emma, from Miami to Fort Pierce -- with no engine (apparently that’s a thing of mine). Back when we did that second trip, I was pretty broke with a pickup truck that was falling apart; and that was broken into the night Pete and I sailed north. I got online right away and ordered a crew certificate for Pete. The story of that trip starts here.

Pete at the helm on Emma

Dave and I will have a reunion cruise sometime this summer. I’ll have to let Pete know that if he’s near Lake Michigan, we could go sailing too. I am keeping Lola, the Gulf Coast 18 I bought, at a dock in the same marina where Dave and I arrived five years ago next week aboard Bella, an Albin Vega. As for Brenda and Gary or Carla and Tim, I will be bringing Lola with me when I return to Florida in the fall. We’ll definitely do some sailing down there before Emma, my Westsail 32, is back in the water.

Thanks, Dave. Thanks, Pete.

Cheers everybody. Life is OK. 

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