For the last few weeks, we have been working our way towards Pensacola, where Silver Lining will be loaded onto a semi truck for her long land voyage home to Washington.
Without really meaning to, we stayed in Destin for over a week. The weather wasn’t cooperating, and having finally made a deal to truck the boat home on May 20, we weren’t in a hurry anyway. We found a great beach to pass the windy days, where we spent several hours collecting the biggest olive shells I’ve ever seen.
We anchored inside Perdido Key just before sunset, and BBQ’d a nice goodbye dinner with Night Music. They left the next morning in the fog for Mobile where they begin their up-river trek home to Nashville, Tennessee. Sure felt like we knew those guys a lot longer than a few weeks, we’re going to miss them!
I don’t think this whole ‘going home’ thing really hit me until we pulled the boat out of the water. For so long, our plan of attack has been to simply take the next step in the direction we wanted to go, and now suddenly, 5 billion steps later, we are here, hauling the boat out of the water. I must say, I am proud of how far we have come. Geographically, personally, in our relationship together.
We have been so blessed with health, safety, weather, friendships, and a boat that did everything we asked her to. When you think about the fact that we rebuilt her ourselves, that last one is quite a feat. We had absolutely no clue what we were getting into that night Élan picked her up at midnight. We figured we’d slap a lil’ paint on her and have a bay boat within a few months, but instead spent 5 years learning to be diesel mechanics, fiberglass technicians, etc, until we had our ideal blue water cruising boat, just begging us to put her to the ultimate test. Roughly 10,000 nautical miles later, I think we can say we did.
I guess we’ve gotten the hang of things, because we wrapped up two days early, which is a good thing because we are already raring for the next adventure….
A 3,000 Mile Road Trip in This Beauty!We had been playing with the idea of doing a little cross-country road trip home, but as we worked out the details with the trucker, we figured we’d have to make it from Florida to Bellingham, Washington in five days… I changed my vote to flying home as soon as I realized it would be a break-neck, no stopping at every National Park kind of a trip, but Élan kept car shopping anyway. I vetoed every one he showed me. Until this one… I think my first words were something like “Heck no… Well, maybe.” Something about this ol’ car just screamed road-trip. About 15 years older than anything else we’d considered, a little loud and rattle-y, and completely impractical for the cold wet northwest we are returning to… How could I say no? My dad summed it up pretty well when he asked “Would it be as fun of an adventure in a Ford Taurus?” No offense to the Taurus, but no.
A 1988 VW Cabriolet, with about 90,000 original miles hauling us and the dog across the country on a time limit… What could possibly go wrong? Well, a few things in just the first few days we’ve owned it, including my favorite, the fact that the horn doesn’t work, EXCEPT that it occasionally voluntarily honks when you turn the steering wheel hard to the left. Eh, I’ll just smile and wave when people look at us funny. So far, all the important stuff still works, so we splurged on a AAA premium membership, and we managed to get out of Florida a few extra days ahead of the boat. We are really Bellingham bound!
On to the next adventure!