I worked Saturday till four with the plan to head out on the water as close to 6:00PM as possible. Although I stayed up late the night before doing prep, boiling potatoes and eggs for salad and simmering my ham to tenderize and reduce the saltiness, I still needed to shop and gather all the other items and pack them in the most condensed version possible. I cooked the pups liver at breakfast and put the ham in the oven with instructions for hubby to baste every half hour until noon with the mustard and maple glaze I’d prepared. After work we would buy the extras, bread, English muffins for the breakfast sunrise sandwiches, chocolate and snacks to satisfy any peckishness.
The boat hadn’t yet been equipped with dishes, cutlery and sheets or towels so that needed packing. I went through the three large Rubbermaid containers of things taken off the boat in the fall and downsized to what we needed for this weekend into the one container. The rest can be taken out later. All in all we had one large and one small cooler with chilled items, one large Sobey’s recycled grocery bag filled with dry items such as the bread, coffee grinds, treats etc, a duffle bag of clothing and toiletries, kettle and Bodum to make coffee, and the large Rubbermaid containing dishes and cutlery and galley items, and a plastic bag with blankets, sheets and towels. We packed mostly prepared food, Greek salad, potato salad and ham that would serve triple duty for a cold cut dinner, breakfast sunrise sandwiches with English muffins, cheese and egg, and then bread sandwiches for lunch. We had a Save Easy roasted chicken, pepperoni, cheese, crackers and a veggie tray. We wanted the option to stay out again on Sunday even if we were only on our Mahone Bay mooring for the night. Once we’re on the boat it’s difficult to get us off so we left it open, no time constraints, just total relaxation, go with the flow kind of attitude. It’s amazing how much stress we build from day to day, working, rushing from post to pillar, conforming to time limits and getting things done on the list that grows like an exuberant weed. Out on the water there is none of that, nothing to rush to or panic over. There is an old saying, power boaters are always trying to get somewhere fast while sail boaters are where they want to be. That pretty much sums it up.
Because we have four pups that need bathroom breaks, we haul our rubber zodiac behind the boat. We anchor somewhere near an island and row them out whenever nature calls. We do have a pee pad I bought a couple of years ago but except for Fiz squatting on it once, we’ve never been able to get them to use it.
So hubby filled up the dingy with all our necessities so the Mahone Bay Civic Marina tender would tow it out to the boat with us. We had a few problems, it was hot as Hades once again and the pups were jumping with excitement like fleas at a dog and cat convention. I watched over them while hubby loaded up the dingy. It was a lot of lugging and loading in shirt soaking temperatures. I smiled at him sweetly, knowing how I would feel having to lug all our stuff on my own. His mood screamed how much fun he was having and at one point we misplaced his car keys. Great! The driver’s side window was down so there was a scramble to find them in the bags. I think that was when the confusion began but we wouldn’t know anything happened until much later in the evening.
So we all piled into the tender and were taxied out to the boat, dragging our dingy behind it filled to the gunnels with our weekend supplies. I spent an hour putting everything away and by then the wind died a bit as it always seems to do in the early evening, so we motored out to Covey Island where another Nonsuch boat with friends were waiting to raft up with us for the night. We were late arriving and they had just finished their dinner which we could smell as we approached. They have a nifty boat BBQ that fastens to the rail, something on our list for next year.
So we tied up and chatted a bit, then we made up the beds and I prepared dinner. That’s when I noticed there were things missing. The entire bag with coffee and bread, chocolate and snacks wasn’t below deck. We searched everywhere, several times in the same place hoping for a different result. We built scenarios for what might have happened. Did it fall overboard being hauled behind the tender or was it left in the car, or on the floating dock? Perhaps left on the port side of the boat were it tumbled into the sea as we motored? We finally had to quit wondering and moved on with our evening. We were thankful all the main food was with us so we wouldn’t starve. I made a joke that perhaps the wise universe didn’t want me eating chocolate. Ha!
Of course the menu changed. Instead of sunrise sandwiches we would have fried ham and eggs for breakfast, not a difficult substitute to live with. And there wouldn’t be any sandwiches for lunch the following day but once again nothing life threatening or immoral.
After we rafted up, the air was beginning to cool and I thought it was time to change from my sleeveless shirt to put on something warmer. I looked for the duffle bag that contained our essentials; dental floss, tooth brush, hair brush, eye drops, prescription reading glasses, pajamas, clean underwear, changes of clothing and jackets but that bag was also among the missing. Once again we searched the boat top to bottom. This was more of a loss than the bag of food and now it was dark, the wind had died and we really didn’t want to motor back. Now we were roughing it.
Losing two bags seemed a bit much so we figured they were never taken out of the car, at least that’s what we hoped. I’m not one to sleep in the nude but wearing soiled and damp clothing from the moist night air wasn’t an option. Not brushing my teeth before bed was difficult; it felt like fuzz was growing in my mouth. I like them smooth and squeaky clean so I rubbed them with paper towel and that seemed to help but that fresh scent of wintergreen that lulls me into a restful night was missing.
I slept in the forward berth with Henri and Jake and hubby was in the aft berth with the Honey and Fiz. Jake is a licker and any time bare flesh is exposed he likes to wash you. Of course I’m talking arms and neck normally, but on this night I had to keep the blankets up around my neck the entire night so he wouldn’t try to wash my chest. It was warm so I wasn’t happy about being so covered up but you do what you have to do to get by.
For the first time out this year, the mattress seemed overly hard against my soft frame so it took time to find the right position. I have feather pillows at home that are firm but they aren’t good with the boat’s propensity for dampness and would get moldy. I like my head propped up and the manmade fiber ones were way too soft and didn’t offer much support. Two of them together and my head sunk almost to the bottom with the sides pushed up to hug my ears. There was a lot of tossing and turning to keep my knee comfortable that sometimes gets twisted and hurts, but I finally drifted off and quite frankly didn’t hear a thing until eight the next morning.
One of the first things I usually do after I rise is brush away the night’s taste in my mouth but that couldn’t happen and even worse, there was no coffee to wash it away either! Hubby is the big java drinker but let me tell you, when I couldn’t have it, I wanted it more than winning the lottery. We borrowed some from our friends but it wasn’t the same although we couldn’t be looking a gift horse in the mouth. We put a bit of Bailey’s in it for extra flavour. We like the darkest blends we can find whereas our friends go for the mediums which didn’t pack the same punch. Our friends were in need of and extra egg so we were more than happy to trade protein for caffeine.
With all the work we’ve been doing on the boat for the launch and then cleaning the interior, I haven’t been doing the coats of varnish on the teak cockpit and cabin tables so we had no surface to eat our breakfast on. We’d packed trays for our laps and the large cooler acted as a table to put our drinks on. I glanced over at our friends fully equipped boat and saw them dining in luxury in the cockpit with their eggs benny and lovely napkins on their beautiful table that he made with a Nonsuch insignia logo inlaid on the top. It looked so bloody comfortable and civilized a bit of envy crept in. I shook it off knowing that ours will come, I can’t begrudge my friends their comfort and it’s not like we’re the poor boat cousins that will never amount to anything, we have the goods, I just need to get cracking on the work.
We took the pups out first thing for their morning ablutions. They loved running up and down the beach and in the waves on the shore. They found sunbaked crabs and muscle shells and all the interesting smells drove them insane with excitement. We let them spend a half hour exploring and stretching their legs. On the way back to the boat Fiz, who is fearless and continually tries to sit on the edge of the pontoon-like sides of the zodiac, fell off into the shallow water. Hubby was still walking us out in his rubber boots until the bottom floated off the sand and grabbed her before she was totally submerged. Her face and legs were wet but her back was still dry. She didn’t seem concerned and jumped immediately back to the spot where she fell off. I think another time when the sun is out we will let them swim a bit. The day was damp which wasn’t good for drying so she was wet quite a while even though I rinsed and toweled her off.
The absolute highlight of the trip was the pups. Before our friends untied and left for home Sunday afternoon, all four of our guys peed on the fake grass pad on the bow of the boat and then their dog came on board and peed there as well. That was a feat for sure as Widget has been sailing for years and they haven’t been able to get her to pee onboard. This is huge for us as it will make our weekend jaunts so much easier if they use the pad instead of being taken to shore all the time, especially the after dark trips before bedtime. All we had to do was get one to go first and then they all piled on to add to the golden stream. Hallelujah!
Despite the lack of clothing change and some of our food, we had a splendid time and didn’t want to come home. Truthfully, if we hadn’t goofed we would have stayed Sunday night off Covey’s as well but it was probably good this happened so early in the season because now we can work the bumps out, know to double check things before boarding. Rushing and getting rattled doesn’t make the job go any easier or faster and we’ve proved that. Unfortunately the person that found the bag of goodies didn’t turn it in at the Marina office. I suppose it was too tempting to give up, with chocolate covered almonds and the Lindt Orange Chocolate bar on the top in full view. I sure hope they had a dog for the food in the bag and enjoy quality bread and expensive chocolate. I hope they appreciate the high end, full bodied coffee beans that we buy and grind although part of me wants you to choke on it, but then again, it was our fault for leaving it for the taking. Not all folks are honest enough to turn it in, I know we would have but then that’s who we are. For the life of me I can’t remember everything I packed into the bag and it was full to the top. I suppose I’ll find things missing in the days to come and it will tweak my memory.
We did find the duffle bag of clothes and toiletries in the backseat of the car which of course would have been a far greater loss. Luckily, I don’t have to think of some gal or perhaps a guy, out there wearing my underwear....and on that note I'll call it THE END.