Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing with you an epic tale of high adventure and stormy seas. A tale of men who answered the siren song of the sea. A tale of Mr. H. and son, Brad (with a cameo appearance by son, Jeff).
A little background, before I begin this tale.
Son, Jeff, has a boat that needs to get from Chicago to Florida.
There are a couple of ways to achieve this. One way to is to pay for a service to trailer the boat (not very much fun). Another way is to pay someone to Captain the boat down the rivers that lead to Florida (not very much fun).
The best way, I am told, is to have an adventure and take the boat yourself. (Now we’re talking. This just might be fun).
Some time ago, Jeff asked Brad to Captain his boat. To this effort, Brad took classes and spent time with Jeff to make sure this was something he could handle. Mr. H. was asked to join the crew and he happily accepted.
The Odyssey begins.
If you remember Homer’s classic, Odysseus left his wife, Penelope, to go to sea for a period of time (the Trojan War, if you are interested). No one (certainly not Penelope) thought that he would be gone for ten years. In fact, before he left, I’m sure he said something like, “I’ll be back soon, honey. Don’t forget to take out the garbage on Monday”.
Mr. H. appears to have these same …let’s call them quirks… when it comes to determining how much time he might be on this boat. Let’s listen in….
Mr. H.: “Honey, the boys are going to drive the boat down to Florida. If it works out, I think I’ll join them for a few days”.
Me: “Sure, that sounds like fun”. (In my head I thought….oh boy, I can clean out my closets)!
A week later, Mr. H. said he was worried about pulling our dock out of the water. Since we are generally the last dock out of the water, and since it was still September, I didn’t see the problem.
Me: “Can’t you take the dock out when you return?”
Mr. H.: “Well, I hate to take the chance. I won’t be back until late in October and it might be too cold to pull the dock out then.”
Me: “What? Late in October? I thought you were only going for a few days?” (Wow. I can clean out my closets and iron my tablecloths)!
Mr. H.: “Well, I’m not really sure, but it MIGHT be late in October.”
At this point in our saga, “late in October” became the new target date…(as much as “late in October” can be a date).
Some time later, I overheard Mr. H. on the phone with son, Brad. “I need to be back by November. We are going to be visiting Aunt M.”
Once he got off the phone…….
Mr. H.: “So … it looks like there might be stretches of river where barges will slow us down.”
Me: “Wow” (I’ll let him sweat this one out).
Mr. H.: “And … there are a number of locks we will need to go through.”
Me: “Wow” (Seriously, do you think I don’t know what you are trying to do)?
Mr. H.: “Well … I was just thinking…”
Me: (I’ll just bet you were)
Mr. H.: “It might be easier to have you meet me down in Florida. We can leave from there to visit Aunt M.”
Me: “How thoughtful of you to make this easier”. (Did you pick up any sarcasm? I was trying NOT to sound sarcastic, but I don’t think I was very successful).
Mr. H.: “You don’t need to be sarcastic”.
(Oops, he picked up the sarcasm).
Me: “Just let me know what you plan to do.” (Seriously? A month? Why, I can … cleanmyclosetsorganizemysockdraweroverwintermymarigoldsprunemyhydrangeas learnadanceonWiidance3startmydietormaybewaituntilIdon’thaveabunchofstuffinmy refrigeratorthatIjustmightwanttoeatfileallmyW3DTideasmakeTshirtsfortheboystrip makecandycornandtrytofigureoutthebestwaytosliceitcelebratesusie’s60th andmy60thand noSusieIamnotgoingtotellyouwhatthesurpriseisyou’llhavetofindoutyourself cleanmyofficegetridofallthecookbooksidon’twantanymoremakeseveralbatches of mom’schocolatechipcookiesforThanksgivinggetanewclosetorganizerformyclosetand theninstallitirontableclothsmovemywinterclothestomyclosetandmovemysummercloths outsendpicturestomycousinsinIndianafindmyGedcomfilestosendtoDickgetcaughtupon birthdaysanniversariesandallothercelebrationscleanallmygaragecupboardsandputnew shelfpaper(thankstowww.chicshelfpaper.com)getridofpansIhaven’tusedin10yearsorganizemy junkdrawergetmywirelessprinterworkingfinallycleanalltherefrigerators finishLuci’stoothpillowfinishtheboyschivalryplaquesohIhavesomeprojectsIneedtofinish forworkstartcleaningupmyblogfromwhenIupdatedthewebsitesendthankyounotestothe worldformy60thbirthdaysendPenziestogoodfriendsTomandGregforbeingsuchawesome hostsbecauseSOMEONEwasunabletogetmetoSt.HelenasoIcouldshopandgetcutestuff callCathyandlaughaboutthepurplestuffshesentmeformynonpurplebirthdayget HomeworkHelperactivewiththekidsspendtimewithfamilyseeafootballgamesoccergame baseballgamehockeygameorwhatevergameIcancatchwashmysummerpillowcoversonthe couchandgetmywinterpillowsoutandmaybegetnewones’causeIthinkImightbeboredwith theoldonesormaybeI’llmakenewpillowcoverssinceI’llhavethesewingmachineoutanyway cleanandorganizethestorageroomwithalltherightstufftoorganizewithunpackethe4casesof stufffrommyoldofficeandtrytofigureoutwhereitwillgoandwhatneedstobeshippedback goodgriefmaybeI’llredothelightsinthecrabappletreesbeforeitgetstoocoldandIneedtoprune mypeonieslliatrissageandrosesandIneedtoharvestthebasilandmakesomepestoforthefreezer butnotusechinesepinenutsastheyaren’tgoodforyoualthoughIdon’trememberwhysoI’d betterlookthatup).
[by the way, if you think that was hard to read, you should try typing without any spaces….]
Wait…back to the Odyssey.
Mr. H. left yesterday, and while it’s doubtful that he’ll meet sea serpents, cyclops or King Neptune, I suspect he (and Brad) will have an amazing time.
For those of you who are interested, here is their route.
This is actually a bona fide route as sanctioned by the America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association. They are a real bona fide association. How do I know this? They sell hats, magnets, books and have a web site that provides gobs of information for the people who are
silly adventurous enough to undertake part or all of the the loop. That sounds bona fide to me. To top it off, Mr. H. and Brad are bona fide members of the AGLCA (members talk in acronyms). How do I know this? I signed them up. I wanted them to have a flag. And cups. And a magnet.
Mr. H. and Brad will be doing about 1,500 miles of this loop over the next
few days, er week, er couple of weeks, er month…ish. (Jeff will join them for a few days at the beginning of their adventure).
Am I worried?
Well. First of all. Here is a picture of Brad.
I may be over-stating it a bit, but this is how he appears in my mind. (He DOES have a sailor suit on, though).
This is Brad now. (Still such a cutey pie)
He is pretty proficient in all things navigational and then took a week long captain’s course. Jeff will be with them for the first few days to make sure everything goes smoothly…and then off they go.
I made sure I put labels on all of Mr. H.’s things (it’s just like sending a kid to summer camp I tell ya’).
I made sure he took things like band-aids, batteries and balsamic vinegar.
(This is just one page of Mr.H.’s list. I think there were eight all together…)
I kissed him good-bye and watched him go towards his new adventure.
Well, there you have it. Be sure to check in. Mr. H. and Brad have promised that they will regale us with stories and pictures and I am going to ask them to tweet, so you might want to click on the twitter badge over there to the right so you can keep up with their trip.