The Reason There Was No Friday Funny Last Week.
There was just no time. We woke up early Friday morning before sunrise, and quickly jumped into the car and hit the 101 to the 10 and down the 85 to the Gila Bend McDonalds for a quick Egg McMuffin, it’s an awesome McDonalds, by the way, and we blasted our way west on the 8 to San Diego. (I hate the drive, but I never go more than 5 miles over the speed limit!)
A quick pit-stop in El Centro, the McDonalds there is horrendous! We stood in line for a Coke, and the lady behind the counter asked if I ordered an ice-cream cone, I said, “No, I haven’t ordered yet.” And she walked away, another counter clerk ignored me, so I said to Ruth, “Let’s get the hell out of here.” We drove on, after the grueling six and half hour trip, we arrive in my little paradise of my world, Harbor Island, San Diego.
I check in at the marina office, they love me there and I love them. “I need to rent a storage locker, we’re moving everything off our boat.”
And then it began, what I thought would take a few hours, lasted the rest of that day and half of the next. The storage locker was full, our car trunk was full, the back seat was full of all our stuff that accumulated on our boat “Airtime” for the last 11 years.
Our next-door neighbors Marshall and Bobby from Scottsdale weren’t there, but Tom from down on the dock came over to talk, he’s also from Scottsdale. And I had a fine visit with Tony who lives’ on his sailboat across the dock from us with his wife Marsha. Jim the marina manager stopped by for chat. He always talks about me being a “media star!” and I tell him it was just a job and heck now I’m retired!
We ran over to Pizza Nova for a quick lunch, retuned to “Airtime” for more unloading.
The next morning, it was left over pizza for breakfast, more unloading, packing everything in our car.
Then back to say good-bye to “Airtime.” She’s been our little “condo” on the water for last 11 years. We sailed mostly on San Diego Bay, sometimes venturing past Point Loma out on the Pacific, sometimes going up the coast to anchor out behind Mission Bay, enjoying dinner in the cockpit while the skies lit up with fireworks from Sea World.
Memories include the time I was sailing by myself, it’s called single handing, I was just past Point Loma, and I could feel the swells of the Pacific rolling the boat gently, I looked down below into the cabin and I was in shock, water was filling the boat! It was sloshing above the floorboards! I was in a panic, I grabbed the VHF radio and was about to call the Coast Guard, thinking, ‘now how do you call in a May Day?’ So instead, I called Ruth. She panicked, “What can I do here in Phoenix? Call the Coast Guard!”
I went down below, to make sure the bilge pump was running, but the water was not going down. So I grabbed the manual bilge pump, and started pumping frantically, turned the boat around, and with one hand on the radio was about to call the Coast Guard, when I checked below again and noticed while the water was still there, it was not getting higher. I powered up the engine, pulled in the sails and full throttle, made it back to the marina, checking the water level below every few seconds. If only I can make it back, I was thinking, I hope I can. How embarrassing to call a May Day! I came in site of the Marina and one of my neighbors, Dr. Ron, a plastic surgeon from Yuma, was out on his dinghy, and I yelled at him that I was taking on water. He climbed aboard, went down below, put his hand in the water and tasted it. “It’s not salty!” he exclaimed. I tasted it, it was water from the fresh water tank! So I gently motored back to the marina and parked “Airtime” in its slip and spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning up and pumping the water out of the boat. What memories!
So Sunday afternoon, Serena, Ruth and I said good-bye to “Airtime.” She was our refuge, my little cocoon where I could think clearly, relax, and enjoy a connection to mother nature, and just forget about the high-tension atmosphere of my career.
But we knew it was time for a change. And that change will be coming up in June. Tell you more about that soon.