Very few of us enjoy our time on the hard, when bathroom visits require a walk up and down a fifteen foot ladder off the boat, refrigeration is "offline", and you are working your tail off (the usual reason for being pulled out of the water and placed, suspended, on some metal fabrication that you can't believe can possibly support your 39,000 pounds of boat). And of course, it is usually in the mid or upper 90's when all of this occurs. So, just after being pulled, we decided to go for a vacation over the weekend, and invited ourselves to our friends' and future neighbors, the Tillmans. While their house construction is underway, Vickie and Len have parked their boat at their dock, and now that electricity and water are available, we can classify their accommodations as deluxe.
While waiting for them to arrive we visited our other-side neighbors, Lou and Cindy and joined them for dinner at nearby Horn Harbor. They have been on Mill Creek almost ten years now, but only as part-timers. We have a good group congealing down there and hopefully retirement is not that far away for them.
We also noticed that our upper tree neighbor appeared to be busy renovating.
Our visit also gave us the chance to see the large trees being removed from our building site. This time we were smart enough to spray copious amounts of "Off" on all exposed body parts, with nary a care about the high Deet content. The lot looks great! We also interviewed another builder who was recommended by Terry and Bob Hood of Kismet, also Hylas owners, whom we met at Block Island. They just blew into town yesterday after cruising Maine over the summer.
While the guys played golf, Vickie and I shopped around town and enjoyed the crisp, gorgeous weather reading in the cockpit. Occasionally Vickie would get up and check her crab lines, but it really wasn't until Len got back that the bucket started to fill up.
There is a book by Kenneth Grahame, Wind in the Willows, that we gave our granddaughter on the occasion of her birth. It contains a dialogue that captures the essence of why we are doing what we are doing:
"This has been a wonderful day! said he, as the Rat shoved off and took to the sculls again.
"Do you know, I've never been in a boat before in all my life."
"What? cried the Rat, open-mouthed: "Never been in a-you never-well I-what have you been doing, then?"
"Is it so nice as all that? asked the Mole shyly, though he was quite prepared to believe it as he leant back in his seat and surveyed the cushions, the oars, the rowlocks, and all the fascinating fittings, and felt the boat sway lightly under him.
"Nice? It's the ONLY thing" said the Water Rat solemnly,as he leant forward for his stroke.
"Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING--absolutely nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats."
We consider ourselves fortunate that we "get" the Water Rat.