Fast forward to four days later. We had settled into a routine. We got up and had a hearty breakfast of eggs and bacon and toast and coffee and oranges (to ward off scurvy). Then we’d pull up anchor or leave the dock we’d tied up to overnight. We started our motors and puttered further up the coast, past scenery that was surprising exactly like we’d seen every day so far. Then we stopped and had a nice lunch of sandwiches, chips, apples, and pop before starting our engines back up and going further up the coast. Late afternoon we arrived at a new dock or place to anchor and prepared a feast of barbecued oysters or something Esso had prepared like marinated steaks with grilled toast, salad, and dessert. The wonderful meal was accompanied by beer and wine, with Spanish coffees as after dinner drinks that took us all the way to bedtime.
Sometimes, if we were lucky, there would be interesting rock features or little secret coves along the way that Esso and Pat knew about because they’d been sailing up this way before, but the sites didn’t last very long. We’d sit all day long, and then sit all evening. Out of boredom, I gorged on potato chips, candy, fruit, pretzels, cream cheese, string cheese, pork rinds, licorice rope, Tootsie Roll Pops, leftover bacon, trail mix, cashews, and the occasional carrot or celery stalk.
Boredom was making my clothes too tight, which made sitting around even less pleasant. The rest of the gang was delighted with the R and R they were getting. I was going nuts. About the third day I started taking the little dinghy out that was tied to the back of our boat. I’d row it around and around the cove just to get my circulation going and check stuff out. No one else had any interest in exploring.
I had how many more days of this? On the 5th day we went to a secret place Esso and Pat knew about that was full of oysters. We anchored about 500 yards away from the rocks and rowed our dinghy’s close in. Everyone got on the little rock islands and started filling bags with oysters. I didn’t have the heart to do it, so I rowed around in the dinghy. After awhile Eric needed to go back to the boat, I guess to use the facilities, and so I sat on the rocks and talked to Sue as they collected potato sacks full of oysters. Erick got back to the boat and neglected to properly tie up the dinghy. Oh boy, what excitement that was! We all yelled and screamed at him as the dinghy started drifting away, but he didn’t hear us. Finally he appeared on deck, gave us that “What?” look, and just kept raising his arms like he was trying to understand what we wanted. He held up a bag of potato chips and we all screamed and shook our heads frantically. The dinghy had floated past the front of the boat so he couldn’t see it from the back where he was facing us. He picked up a beer and pointed to it. We screamed some more. Finally he went to the front of the boat, probably to pick up the bag of pretzels, and noticed the dinghy, which was becoming a small speck on the horizon. He stared the sailboat up and drove it to the dinghy, where he jumped into the water to snag it. We were terrified he’d let the sailboat get away while he was fetching the dinghy, but he managed to retrieve the one without losing the other. I so appreciated the diversion and entertainment of that half hour of distraction.
I’m not saying that there weren’t good times. Evenings together were full of laughter and fun. But this was not what my vision of a sailing trip had been. We did try to put the sails up one day, but there wasn’t enough wind to get us going and we gave up quickly.
Pat and Sue were only with us for five days, then they headed back. We said our goodbyes and continued on. The first night alone with just Esso, Eric, and me, we decided to play Scrabble because it was the only game on the boat. Esso turned out to be the best Scrabble player in the world. He’d hold onto a bunch of X’s and Z’s until he could make a word on a triple word space, and then score 90 points.
In stark contrast, Eric would stare at the board for a solid ten minutes, until we’d lost all patience and told him he had to go or else, and then he’d spell the word “on.” Next time, same thing, and then he’d put down, “it.” You think I’m joking? If he got a three-letter word like “the” he was ecstatic. In any other situation I would have grabbed the board and flung it across the room, but I was desperate for any stimulation – even the most aggravating kind.
Lest you think Eric was a numbskull, he’s really quite charming and a handsome, 6 foot, slim guy who was a golf star in college and a successful architect. I think the Spanish coffees and who knows what else were fogging his brain.
I began wishing I’d brought a mu-mu, because waiting for Eric to move upped my appetite. I was wearing one pair of fat shorts pretty regularly – all the cute stuff I brought was still folded neatly in my duffle bag because I couldn’t get anything else to zip up. I knew I looked like a fat cow, and that made me want to eat out of depression.
I’ve got a couple more stories to tell, so this will again be continued. Hope you can stand all this excitement.
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