Thursday, May 22, 2008

It's Worth Repeating

May 10-23, Deltaville, VA
When we left on this voyage, our plan was to return to Lake Superior in June. But we did say, “Maybe…just maybe…we’ll leave the boat on the Chesapeake for the summer and return to The Bahamas in the fall.”

Let’s see…a brutal winter in Minnesota confined indoors or a balmy winter in the sun-kissed islands of The Bahamas. The decision was more complicated than that. With a house and friends and family back home, we did have to think about it. And as we tallied up the pros and cons, somehow the appeal of balmy won out over brutal.

There are so many reasons it’s a trip worth repeating. To say it was a fun, exciting adventure doesn’t say enough. We explored new islands and places seldom visited, anchored in deserted coves, and caught our own lobster for dinner. We learned new skills, dealt with unpredictable weather, and navigated through confusing waterways. (Kudos to Keith: although we’ve grazed the bottom a couple times in 15,000 miles, we’ve never been stuck or needed a tow. Not bad for three transits of the ICW and two of The Bahamas.)

To say we enjoyed picturesque scenery doesn’t begin to describe the flight of a heron, a pod of dancing dolphins, or a powdery crescent of white sand dividing a cloudless sky and crystalline waters. There was renewal in being surrounded by breathtaking echoes of God’s nature everywhere.

To say that this trip was a gift of God’s grace doesn’t begin to express our gratitude. We’re humbled by the undeserved opportunity. And to me, it’s no small miracle that after 43 years of diabetes, I’m extraordinarily healthy and can comfortably set sail to places far from medical care.

The journey would not have been nearly as memorable without the relationships that gave a warm glow to times spent together. Welcome visits from Sean, Loren and Clairice, and Marty and Barb brought us a touch of home. New friends we met along the way added color and interest to the itinerary. Traveling with Claus and Rachael, laughing and sharing our days, doubled the joy of discovering new shores, cooking gourmet meals, and talking about the meaning of life. As for Keith and me, being partners in such a venture and living in a small space for so long has made us, well…closer. We still love being together.

On Saturday Pelican will be hauled out of the water and stored on the hard in Deltaville, Virginia. While she’s here, the damage from April 15 will be repaired. (To read an excellent account of that night on Rachael's blog, click ; scroll down to the section titled “Pandemonium.”)
For now, this is goodbye. To all of our Minnesota friends and family, we’ll see you soon! And we invite you all to check this site in October and come along with us for the encore trip.

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