Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

The morning was filled with the usual boat chores. The sun came out during the later morning hours and things were shaping up into a gorgeous day. When we finally stopped to have our lunch, we decided to take our salads out to the front dock where the marina had provided several nice wooden gliders with attached picnic tables. The day was so lovely and we were feeling so good about getting things done, we each took a glass of wine to our little picnic. We’d been relaxing for about fifteen minutes when Chip Lucas, the recently “retired” facility manager, came by in his golf cart and said he was going to test drive a customer’s $3 million Carver Marquis 65. He takes care of several motor yachts like this in the marina. When asked if we’d like to go along for the ride, we looked at each other, jumped up, put our bowls and glasses of wine in the cockpit of our boat, and hopped on the golf cart with Chip!

We met the engine technician aboard the yacht and were soon out of the harbor. Talk about luxury! And power – Could that thing go! We buzzed around for about an hour until Chip and his technician came to some conclusions about the way the engine was running. During our ride, we passed by the waterfall anchorage that we had been told about the other day. We saw three boats rafted up together there. Chip said he thought the same boats would probably be there tomorrow, too, but don’t hesitate to join them. Once the yacht was safely tied up in its slip again, Chip gave us a tour of the interior. Everything was so rich looking. The lower level contained the state rooms. The main stateroom included His and Hers heads which adjoined a beautiful shared Jacuzzi. The engine room was probably cleaner than most hospital rooms.

After our ride, Chip delivered us back to our own boat where we found a cruising card left by our friends on Barefoot Shoes, Steve and Rae from Ontario. We hadn’t spent any time with them since Little Current, Ontario; however, we did have a brief exchange of greetings as we left Chicago’s DuSable Harbor and they pulled into our vacated slip. Other than that, we had emailed occasionally and always seemed to just miss each other. Their note said they were anchored nearby and to give them a call on the VHF radio which we promptly did. We invited them to our boat for happy hour and gave them the option to join us for dinner at Freddy T’s. They declined the dinner invitation but said they would be over in about an hour for cocktails.

At 4:30 pm, we saw Steve and Rae approaching in their dinghy. It was so great to finally meet up with them again! We shared some snacks and a couple of drinks and learned about their adventures since we last talked. They were in the first group to pass through the fish barrier back in Illinois so they did some trailblazing for those that followed. Their first stop after the fish barrier was the free city dock in Joliet. The night they arrived in Joliet, one of the main bridges caught on fire and caused them to have to wait in Joliet a day or two for bridge repairs. If that weren’t enough, the next day someone tried to commit suicide by jumping off one of the bridges into the river. Not to mention their harrowing experience while at Green Turtle Bay when a boat at the fuel dock exploded with the captain inside. The first mate was outside screaming for help as parts of her body and clothing caught fire! Steve was the one who dove in to save the woman. Sadly, there was no saving the captain.

Earlier in the day we had made arrangements to meet the shuttle at 6 pm for a ride to the local hotspot, Freddy T’s. We said goodbye to Rae and Steve with the hope of meeting up again soon and hopped aboard the shuttle with another couple that had just come into the marina aboard Glory Be II, a 36-foot Monk trawler, Barbara and Marty Christ of Maryland. We shared a table at the restaurant and everyone ordered the prime rib special. Afterwards, the shuttle driver returned us safely to the marina.

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