We didn't ask the gods for much. Just a following sea, following wind, no fog, and wide berth from the big guys--like this tug coming up behind us (it's worth looking over your shoulder now and then). You could get complacent in this busy, busy part of the ocean, off the Jersey coast, especially on a nice day after days of fog when everything seems very sweet.
But that was last week. It was a different world. We're home now. The boat is out of the water, halfway up the Delaware Bay (more than halfway home) and I've left two messages with the fix-it guy whose boys are supposed to make repairs.
Truth be known, after three weeks on the boat in the rain/fog, setting our schedule by tide tables, corkscrewing down standing waves at harbor entrances, it's great to be home for a break (see below). I'm tending the yard, worrying about the greenness of my grass, the thickness of my mulch, the health of my cats. I love waking up in the morning and not worrying about the anchor/mooring/tides/currents/fog/bilge pumps/schedule.
Still, they say the true test of a yachtie is this: After getting the hell beat out of you at sea, after having been scared to death for days, after swearing you'll sell the damned boat as soon as you get it tied up at the dock, after cursing the whole bloody idea of boats, after all that---three days later you start thinking--"well, maybe it wasn't so bad after all..." and off you go again. I'll be off to finish getting the boat home as soon as things are tightened up and the bilge is dry. With luck, we'll make it from the upper Delaware Bay down to Onancock in five days...but this is a boat.
Meanwhile, Sunday, we're off to San Diego for a conference (Terry) a visit with son Eli, and a train trip up the coast of California to see friends. Hope my laptop is fixed today.
Here's a pic of our back yard, a work in progress. Feels good hanging here for now.
Douglas Arvidson is a past winner of the WICE/Paris Transcontinental International Short Story competition. His short fiction has been published in Paris, Prague, and in literary magazines in the United States and he was recently invited to be a staff writer for the Prague Revue, a cutting-edge, online literary journal (http://bit.ly/1mMT6ZC). The novels in his fantasy series, The Eye of the Eye of Stallion, include The Face in Amber, The Mirrors of Castaway Time, and A Drop of Wizard's Blood. His new novel, Brothers of the Fire Star, was selected as a finalist in the ForeWord Reviews 2012 Book of the Year national awards and as a finalist in three categories in the 2013 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards: Action Adventure Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Young Adult Fiction. It has become part of the pantheon of Pacific literature and is now included in school literature programs. Brothers of the Fire Star is an adventure story set in the Pacific during World War II and concerns two boys of different races and cultures who escape the island of Guam in a small sailboat when the Japanese army invades. They must then struggle to survive as they master the secrets of the ancient Pacific navigators. Appropriate for young adults as well as adult readers, Brothers of the Fire Star is available on Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com (http://amzn.to/1j3axVk) and Crossquarter.com. Visit the author's website: douglasarvidson.com