First Day of our Cruise
01 September 2008
Mike and Judy
Well, we're finally under way. Friday, August 29 was my last day of work. Hoped to get off work early so as to get down to the boat Friday evening. Wishful thinking! I needed a new cell phone and wanted to keep my work number as it is known by our friends. I also wanted to get a phone and plans that would work both in Canada and US. I also wanted a data plan. So I opted for the new iPhone but turned out to be a terrible schmozzle getting the number ported over. Finally got home close to 4:00.
Judy had been working frantically to get our clothing as well as other provisions together so it really was not at all feasible to get to the boat. So we worked away at packing as well as getting our house in order.
Our niece, Laura and her husband Nick are taking over our house in our absence. Laura is completing her degree at St. Thomas University and will be attending graduate school somewhere in the US next year. So, an interim place to live for the fall/winter worked out great for them and for us.
For those of you who don't know us, Laura is our niece twice over; she is the daughter of my brother John and Judy's sister Carol. They have another daughter Colleen; Colleen and Laura are like our own children.
So, Saturday morning, we get up with lots of anticipation and load two vans chock-a-block with enough clothes, food and other supplies to take us twice around the globe! We get down to Douglas Harbour where we keep our boat around 1:00 and our boating friend help us unload and do chores. Thanks folks!
It was quite overwhelming the amount of stuff we had to stow. I hate clutter and even moreso on the boat as when the boat heels (slants over with the wind) stuff goes flying. This can be annoying at best and even dangerous; simple things can become projectiles!
Judy worked frantically to get stuff put away and we made great progress. Later in the afternoon, my colleague (I guess former colleague now) Brent and his wife Sonya and two children Eric and Luke came to visit. It was a great distraction. Their children are smart and interested and I answered many questions about life at sea.
A little later another "former" colleague, Charles McAllister and his talented son Scott came. I commissioned Scott to do a video of our farewell wishes. We had a lot of fun doing this. I hope to put the result on this blog but it may be a while.
A number of our great Fredericton Yacht Club friends including Bob and Carolyn, Jeff and Wandie, Ellis and Karen, Sterling and Joanne and others were on the wharf with us and we had a bonfire; our last for a while. We have such wonderful memories of our life at Grand Lake with these and other great folks. There was champagne and stories and Jeff and I traded some last barbs. We're surely going to miss this community but Judy and I want to live this dream.
To bed relatively early and up early to get the remainder of our departure preparations done. Charles (mentioned earlier in this post) came down around 8:30 to bring the video they had done the night before. We understand that he and his son Scott had been up until the wee hours producing it. What great results (if we do say so ourselves). Thanks so much Charles and Scott!
A bit of history on the video thing. I have just retired as the President of Service New Brunswick and last Christmas decided to do a different Christmas message to SNB employees. Against the advice of some folks (Brent this means you) I dressed up Christmassy and filmed an SNB version of T'was the Night Before Christmas sitting in the Santa chair at the local shopping mall. Turned out to be a great hit with folks (at least I got lots of positive feedback; others probably thought it was infantile). I announced my retirement by video. So I thought it only fitting to do a last one saying goodbye.
So, we continue packing Sunday morning and about mid morning, realize we simply cannot stow all the stuff we brought, so we start off-loading. Thanks Bob and Carolyn for taking our stuff back home. A last quick celebration with the folks and we're underway. Surprisingly for both of us it was not as emotional as we thought. Feels more like leaving for our normal summer cruise/holiday. I think it'll hit home later. We motored 35 miles to Caton Island, two thirds of the distance from Douglas Harbour to Saint John. Just picked up a guest mooring. Judy brought our cat, Chopin to shore for a walk (or drag - Chopin doesn't like the leash too much). Not sure where we'll get to tomorrow. Depending on weather and tides we may try to make it through the Reversing Falls (I'll explain this phenomenon in a subsequent blog) and get to Dipper Harbour. We'll see!