Docking –

Next time you walk down the dock or stare over the rail at the pretty boats nestled

Grand Banks at rest
Shangri-La safely at the dock

snugly in their their berths, consider how it all came about.  In the past that 18′ open bow was a snap to bring in.  She’d slide right up to the dock and hug the rub rail.  Toss a few lines to the cleats and day is done.  Go get the truck and trailer and get on down the road.  In bigger marinas where we launched I always had to linger and look at the ‘big boats.’  Those 30 footers with fly bridges and big wide sterns.  Not once did I ever give any thought to how they got there.

Docking is one of the top 3 topics around docktails at the end of the day.  Maybe #1 unless someone brings up what kind of anchor to use.  We talk about marinas we like, tides and currents.  Dock hands that help, and places you are all alone.  We talk about slip widths and water depth.  We discuss approaches in detail and how the wind will “walk yer boat back out into the channel before you can say “ahh crap.”  We trade stories about this nick and that gouge, those props with the polished edges and that stain on the stern. . . Continue reading “Docking –”

It’s the People II

Been a while.  We’ve been here and there making waves and making friends.  For the second time I am driven to note what an amazing journey this has been.  Over 1,800 nautical miles, more than 30 marinas and the love just keeps coming.  We thought this adventure would be about destinations.  Awesome pictures of quaint towns and sunsets.  It’s not.

The small towns and cities along the waterways are indeed a treat.  Eye candy mixed with Southern charm that surrounds us as we walk the streets, duck into mom and pop restaurants and visit with folks along the way.  But it’s not just the scenery.  In fact, the scenery is only a backdrop for a personal drama so full of gracious welcome it sometimes actually hurts to leave.

In Captiva, when Jan got hurt.  We were surrounded, not in the novel way surrounded is used.  But literally surrounded physically by men and women who focused on us and our challenge to make things happen.  When we needed a dock RIGHT NOW and they were there.  The names I wish I remembered. Those five men who met us at the dock and insisted “Go, be with your wife, we got this.” It gave me chills to think about leaving Shangri-La with perfect strangers.  Barely nudged against the dock in raging winds and heavy seas.  But we did.  We left.  And when we returned our home was safe and secure.  Tied in by professionals who knew what they were doing.  Many of whom we never saw again. Continue reading “It’s the People II”