The roar of the waves awaken my desire for exploration. The pull of the tides draw me to the sea’s beckoning vastness. Well, it’s more like Captain Snoresalotandloudly awakens me and the pull of bacon in the fridge beckons to my vastness. We are back on Marco Island working on our sailboat, Echoes, in preparation to head to the Bahamas. I’ve missed you, my muses. You commiserate my bellyaching and encourage me to call Captain Awealthofmaterial snarky names. I must suffer for my art!
Each prior trip leaves us with new knowledge, new challenges and an expensive list of desired boat improvements. We spend the summers researching and planning for the repairs and purchases. We also spent ten days in December working on the boat. We have a new water heater, tedious parts and doohickies have been replaced, tweaked and pampered. We removed the forestay (rigging that holds up the jib sail on the front of the boat) to replace a bushing on the roller furler. In other words, we spent a week learning how to loosen all of the rigging on the boat, remove the front huge wire thingy that’s connected to other wire thingys that hold up the mast, all to replace a simple five inch plastic tube that cost seventy dollars. It would have cost over three hundred if we (and I use we very lightly) did not do it ourselves.
We (princesses who fetch tools have value, you know) have also been working on replacing the radar. The old radar worked perfectly during sunny weather when we would diligently test equipment. However, in the fog and at night it would get sleepy and confused not unlike myself. Fortunately, our oldest son, Jackson, works for Garmin and so our new, shiny Garmin radar was a great price. However, there was a disconnect between the connections of the twenty three year old radar and the new, as well as in the software. It took six trips up and down the mast and countless hours to replace. But now we have a new radar love….🎵 I’ve been sailing all night, my hand’s wet on the helm 🎵.
We are wrapping up projects, provisioning the boat and waiting for the last few purchases to be delivered. One of these purchases are T Shirts with our new logo on them. Check out the awesome artwork at the top of this page. Captain Hasgoodideassometimes asked our friends’ very talented son, Zach Filipek, to design a logo for us. John gave him a list of things that mean something to us: a link to the Pink Floyd song Echoes, a compass, a saying that Captain Repeatshimselfalot has almost worn out, and the infamous kraken. Zach put it all together in a way we couldn’t have even dreamed of. I love the compass rose as the reflecting setting sun. Artists amaze me.
My parents are not with us in their condo this year. It is not the same without them here. When we returned to Marco last year my dad had just been admitted to the hospital with a host of serious complications. We ended up flying him back to the Chicago area in medical transport. At one point in the Hinsdale hospital, all five of his doctors concurred that end was upon him. Family flew in and friends gathered to say goodbye. He opened one eye, saw all of us and couldn’t miss the party. Against all odds, he rallied. He worked very hard, kept a wonderful attitude and regained his independence. He is now at my parent’s home in Burr Ridge making big breakfasts, sipping wine at cocktail hour and watching football. If only the Bears could have pulled it off for him. My parents are unsure if they will get to Marco this season and the condo will most likely be sold this year. It doesn’t make sense to bring Echoes back to Marco. We are hoping to leave her in the Bahamas but don’t know if the stars and our budget will align. When we untie the dock lines, Echoes will be homeless.
Our goal is to leave at the end of this week. We will make a couple stops in the Everglades to look at plants and birds and rocks and things. And then on to the keys to eventually position ourselves to cross the gulf stream to the Bahamas. We plan to go to the islands of the Abacos first where we will hopefully meet up with our friends on Soul Divers, if they will wait patiently.
Last night I asked Captain Inhisdreams what was our plan was for today. Aha! he said enthusiastically pointing a finger at me. Tomorrow! he continued while waggling his finger. I’m so happy you ask! Tomorrow we will wake up and engage in (insert a certain intimate act here.) Then we will go to West Marine and pick up our autohelm part. Then we will go to every hardware store on the island only to be left wanting. Then we will go to the boat where I will fabricate the needed part to install the autohelm. Then we will (insert another variety of intimacy.) Then we will put the autohelm back together and start on the freezer project. Then we will go home where you will make me a scrumptious shrimp dinner while I sip on a gin rickey. After you finish with the dishes and rubbing my feet we will (revisit the morning act.) To which I replied, You must be feeling quite youthful in your delusions, Captain. Indeed! he yelled with the waggling finger, But I will need my rest so we should go to bed now and (insert a creative varietal here.) What a long, strange trip this will be.