The Motor Vessel "Once Around"

The Motor Vessel "Once Around"
The Motor Vessel "Once Around" in the Florida Keys

Saturday, January 21, 2012

That Girl's a Keeper!

More years ago than I like to remember, when I was courting my First Mate, my friend Bobby and I swung by her apartment at around 8:00 AM one Saturday morning, unannounced.  We were off to the river for a day of water skiing and decided at the last minute to stop by and see if she would like to come along.  She awoke to a ringing doorbell and the two of us pounding on her front door.  Still bleary eyed from sleep, she peered through the cracked opening and said, “What the heck are you two up to this early?”  Being the suave and sophisticated guy that I am I replied, “If you want to go water skiing with us today, you’ve got ten minutes to be in the truck!”
Now I think a lot of girls would have just slammed the door and gone back to bed.  But Care, who wore her hair in a tight curled perm in those days, showered, threw on her swimsuit and bounced into the cab of my Chevy pickup in about nine minutes with that huge smile of hers brightening the morning.   Bobby just looked over at me and said, “Dude, that girl’s a keeper!”  The rest, as they say, is history.
Why do I bring this up now?
Well, Thursday morning at Esplanade Marina in Marco Island, I woke up around 6:45, and as is my usual practice, went in to the galley, started to make a cup of coffee and check the weather report.  Before I even had the coffee going, I decided that our planned crossing for Friday (the next day) was going to have a miserable 2-4 foot beam sea, for at least eight hours.  For you non-boaters, that means waves hitting you from the side, which rocks your world, and although the boat would handle it fine, would be miserable for the crew.
I immediately got on the phone to Garth on Algonquin, who told me he had just left the dock.  I asked him if he could give me ten minutes and Once Around would join him on his ten hour trip to Marathon in the Keys.  He was glad to have the company and said he would idle in the bay there until we could be ready.
Now, the Admiral doesn’t wear her hair in a perm anymore.  She also loves that I bring her a cup of coffee in bed every morning when I hear her stirring, which is usually an hour or so after I am up.  But on this day, I started the engines on Once Around and hollered down to her, “LET’S GO, THE WEATHER CHANGED, WE’RE LEAVING IN TEN MINUTES!!!”   I began untying lines, disconnected the shore power, fired up the electronics and checked around the boat for anything else needing attention.  Within minutes my First Mate was dressed, donned her baseball cap, and we were off.
In the fifteen minutes or so it took me to guide Once Around through the harbor and out the inlet into the Gulf, my First Mate stowed the fenders, coiled the lines, sea-proofed the cabin and joined me on the fly bridge with my first hot cup of coffee of the day.
She probably was wondering why her captain was smiling so broadly when she handed me the warm mug of coffee.  All I could think of at the time was, Boy, that girl’s a keeper!

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