The last week has been a mad dash to get Calypso ready to go.
Rick’s poor hands are banged up from inserting themselves into tight, dark spots like the engine compartment. All of those pesky little problems that we either endured (scalding water from the shower head) or “fixed” inelegantly (when in doubt, take a hammer to the starter), when the longest we were staying on the boat was a week, had to be dealt with. At least the week’s torrential downpours have shown us that the boat is mostly watertight.
Meanwhile, I scrambled to stock the lockers and fridge with a mammoth run to Giant; it was fun to look at everyone else’s shopping carts and identify from the contents or quantity who else was heading south. I filled the boat freezer with food that can be eaten underway — jambalaya, pasta, almond butter chicken. I feel like I have one foot still in the working world, while the rest of me is picturing the coming weeks. My spreadsheet sits open on my office computer, while the open items have slowly been checked off, with the remaining tasks to be taken care of in Florida or just before final departure.
The weather has been proving to us that we’re right to leave. With cold, rain, and wind, it feels more like November, when we haul the boat and store it on land, rather than the beginning of a new adventure. The boat has been rocking and rolling, making those last few nights of sleeping aboard in Annapolis a challenge.
Friday night, Rick picked up Skip (ex-Moondance) from the airport, and Bob and Phyllis (Comocean — who have been going down to Florida and more recently Charleston for their boat winters) joined us aboard for happy hour (the boys drinking straight Ron Zacapa, and the ladies a bit more civilized with white wine) and a chart review session.
Rick already looks like he’s adapting to the cruising lifestyle. Shorts on, regardless of the weather; super-short hair; and the scruffy beard. However, he did put on pants and a shirt that didn’t have any “been-there-done-that” sailing references on it before we headed to Ruth’s Chris for a final crew and advisor dinner. Luckily, we had our own little alcove, which contained our enthusiasm.
Michael (Running on MT), Skip and Rick, and Bob and Phyllis, at Ruth’s Chris.
The weather was no less pleasant on Saturday morning, when we headed to the boat show for those last errands. Despite the rain and high water and the legitimate need to wear foul weather gear, there were a lot of people at the show. We finished our business by lunchtime, but not before running into many friends. Saturday afternoon, we visited with Rick’s family; the gathering coincided with 3 nephews’ birthdays and a visit from Rick’s aunt from Montana and his niece from Norfolk.
Lots of wind this morning, but it was blowing from the right direction.
As little as sailors love cold and rain, they kind of like getting into foul weather gear. Promptly at 9 a.m., I saw the gang off the dock along with TJ (Samba!) and Joyce (ex-Watermark). They are headed for Norfolk in one straight shot, and then plan to go down the Intracoastal Waterway down to Beaufort, North Carolina, so as to avoid passing through some rugged waters off the North Carolina coast. How they go beyond that will be determined by the weather.
It’s a boy’s club now aboard Calypso. Will they tell dirty jokes and belch all day and night? Will they eat nothing but Pop-Tarts and Halloween candy without adult (read: female) supervision? Will they leave their beds unmade? We may never know….