Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Thanks for the Memories

Crossing the Bank and Heading Home, Steadfast rushes ahead, doing 16 knots over a flat sea.  The autopilot keeps a course of 297 degrees, unwavering.  I sit at the helm, "keeping-an-eye-out", unneeded for the boat to continue.  The thought comes that the vessel is a mindless machine on a programmed course, pressing on for as long as there is fuel to feed the engines.  Other boats pass at a distance, and then there is nothing at all on the horizon for hours.  Birds are fishing.  The sky is entirely clear.  We left the hustle and bustle of Chubb Cay at 8 am, heading for Bimini.  Although a stopover in Alice Town is always a treat, we won't be stopping this time.  This is THE MOST PERFECT day to cross the 40 mile Gulf Stream to Fort Lauderdale.

Captain B's suntanned legs stick out the forward locker door, under the helm station.  He is using this time warp to clean up and paint the propane locker.  Paint fumes and overspray billow out around his ankles and I wonder at the possibility of his asphixication in that small space.  The boat motors on.

 I'm trying not to focus on the pizza waiting in the galley for lunch time.  Knowing it would be a long day at sea, while I was cleaning up breakfast,  I crafted a homemade treat for later in the day.   The delicious aromas teased us for the first hour underway.  It will be cold but yummy when the time comes.  What will we have for supper?  Perhaps a take-out stateside, or a dock'n dine at our marina when we get there.....  My mind wanders.

****

Our last time underway aboard Steadfast was bitter sweet.  We'd saved the smoothest, easiest crossing for the very last. No, we won't miss the boat chores, maintenance and expenses.  However, the lifestyle afforded by having our very own home-away-from-home wherever we ended up on any excursion will be missed grieviously!  I will cherish memories of:

-  spotting a Manta Ray off our stern while we did some night fishing in Georgetown,

-  rocking to sleep in our aft cabin as the boat moved with the tides,

-  the jumping, splashing, fishing rays while I lounged in my hammock on the aft deckhouse in Normans Cay,

-  our grown kids playing like tykes, jumping off the swim platform and frolicking in the sea in any given anchorage,

-  the sea turtles that came to see us off in Red Shanks that one time....,

-  the dolphin named Nicki, who showed us the way thru the shallows in Georgetown,

-  the many delightful cocktail and dinner parties hosted in our salon over the years,

-  crossing the Delaware against the tide, in 7 foot seas (not a happy memory, but one seared into my brain nonetheless),

-  and the fishing!!!!  Yup, the ocean fed us bountifully.  We got good at reeling them in, catching, not just fishing.

*****

We have accepted an offer.  A respectable offer.  It's time to say goodbye to our lovely boat.

Steadfast, we will miss you and your quirky ways.  We will treasure all you've taught us and apply it for the rest of our lives, perhaps even in another boat.  You've made us fuller people for having known you.

Thank you for the memories.




ps.  This is not the end of my blog.  It will be different in many ways, but still the same in others.  Stay tuned for tales of adventure aboard our go-fast Pescatora in Maine, exploits with our Grands in the mountains, trips around the world and the odd story crafted from strange experiences.  We'll chat again soon.  RN



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