The day finally came. May 23rd, and we were headed back to Apalachicola to finally bring our boat home. We hitched a ride again with our sail groupies – you remember these guys – Phillip’s fabulous folks:
We loaded up the truck again with all the tools, supplies and food (aka, the “provisions”) we would need to make another passage.
I also had the pleasure of opening a few little gifts on the drive over as it seemed yours truly had a big “day” coming up.
That’s right, I saw fit to grace this world with my presence during the early morning hours of May 28, 1982.
“Delivers only the best … ” You’re damn right they do!
The gifts were great. I certainly do enjoy birthdays. I couldn’t help but notice, though, they were all different versions of soaps, scrubbers and other self-cleaning products. Perhaps Mary was trying to tell me something?? She’ll be glad to know I put them to good use on that trip. For five minutes after each of the 1.5 showers I took during that 5-day passage, I was fresh as a daisy!
We stopped back in Apalachicola before making our way over to Carrabelle to check on the boat and spent a delightful afternoon walking around downtown, poking our heads in quaint little shops and, basically, just smelling the roses.
We came across some neat old relics:
Some creative artwork:
And some fitting words of wisdom:
That Ben Franklin sure was a smart guy. Alcohol always makes me happy!
But, we had a lot to do to get the boat ready for the last leg of The Crossing, so it was off to Carrabelle to check on her and get her all packed up.
How’s that cockpit looking Mary? “It’s ready to go!”
How about the crew Paul? “I don’t want this one to go!”
As I look back through these photos, it seems Phillip did most of the “checking” while me and the groupies just engaged in a fun photo op. Sorry Phillip!
Yeah, that’s me, doing wildly inappropriate things behind Phillip. Very mature …
We did meet with Mechan-Eric to take a look at the transmission he had put in and saddle up, of course. Funny thing how they want to get paid after doing work. I mean … Eric was great, though. He had done a good job for us and had finished up the job just in time for us to sail her home. He walked us through what all he had done and cranked the engine. It was the first time we had heard her turn over in a month. She grumbled and sputtered and started purring! I don’t think I’ve ever heard a more glorious sound. She was running! Eric showed us the transmission, which he had painted a bright, cherry red to match the signature color of the engine, and shifted her through the gears (drive, neutral and reverse) so we could see the transmission at work. Everything looked great. We gave it the old Roger Ebert and we were ready to go!
We decided to celebrate and polish the evening off with some oysters and beer (is there any better way?) at Eric’s family’s salty sea bar across the river – Fathoms. And, I tell you, I’m not really an oyster fan. I mean, they look like snot rockets in a shell, but I have to say, these were the best darn oysters I’ve ever slurped down.
Not snotty at all!
The oysters, that is. These two here are pretty snotty!
We ate our fill and admired our boat across the river.
Yep – that’s her!
I swear I could see her little stern wagging. Like a sad-eyed puppy at the pound that had finally been picked! We were going to scoop her up and take her home with us! First thing in the morning, too. And, I do mean first thing. Phillip and I were planning to get up and going before sunrise, so we needed some rest. We bid our sail groupies adieu, enjoyed one last Carrabelle sunset in the cockpit and shut her down for the night.