Sunday, November 4, 2012



They said it was going to be a vacation for me.  No trip up the east coast.  No fifteen foot waves slamming against my bow.  No unstepping and restepping my masts.  Just lots of r & r hanging out in Glades Boat Yard near Moore Haven, Florida.  “Tessa could use a break” Captain Gary admitted.

Hah!  It didn’t start out well last April when they both cried as they patted my hull in farewell.  I’d overheard conversations about new jobs and not enough time to make it all the way back to Put-In-Bay with me, but it didn’t seem real until they drove away in the little Jeep. The dust settled, all got quiet in the boat yard, and for the first time since the spring of 2008, I was alone.

First I tried to relate to the other boats in the yard but most of them had lost hope of ever seeing their owners again after being abandoned for so long.  What a downer!

I heard Gary and Lori tell the yard guys to have happy hour out by me so I’d feel at home, but none of them drink beer, so that idea bombed.

When Hurricane Debby blew through it was really scary.  I mean, I can handle anything in the water where I belong.  But up on these skinny little stands?  Come on people, give me something to work with here!  I watched for some act of preparedness from the other boats, but none of them made any effort.
Thankfully all we got was high winds and rain.  Twelve inches of rain!  Now I am totally drenched down below, as “someone” didn’t re-bed the leaking forward hatch before they left me here.  Oh, and did I mention the stinking bowls of MOTH BALLS everywhere?? We will NEVER get rid of that smell.  Supposedly they deter bugs, but that idea bombed worse than the happy hour one.  Spiders appeared, and without Lori there to chase them away with bug bombs, the adults and eventually their offspring just took over the place.  Creepy!

Then came the mold.  Just imagine getting covered with mold and slime and having no one around to clean you up for five months.  It was totally disgusting and I was helpless to do anything about it myself.  It grew on my teak, upholstery, (new) window shades, headliner, sole, their bedding, and all their clothes.  The dirtier everything got, the angrier I got.  This has never happened before.  Why now?  Why me?  I became seriously depressed and almost joined the rest of the abandoned boats at their pity parties. But I kept hearing my Captain’s voice telling me to stay proud and be strong, and so I did. 

The days dragged by and the mold continued to prosper. I passed the time remembering past summers at Put-In-Bay.  Wonder where they are having happy hour, if not on me?  How are Myassis Dragon, Sane Asylum, Kokomo, and Janie B?  Where did Chas, Greggie Boy, David and Sandy, and Mark and Carole stay when they came to visit? How did Lori make breakfast for Captain Don and the Boardwalk Water Taxi crew? Who was on my H ball all summer? I even missed A dock at the Boardwalk….except during a strong northeast or west wind.  Even then, I had my Captain to look out for me.

Wait a minute!  I recognize that little black Jeep bouncing along the road!  It has to be them coming back for me!  I listened for their familiar voices and sure enough I felt a pat on my hull and heard Captain Gary say “We’re back Baby!”  If I had any way to shed my own tears, I would have at that moment.  

I was still angry at them for leaving me though, and felt a bit of satisfaction when Gary climbed up the ladder and saw the green slime all over my topsides. I was totally vindicated when Lori came down below and ran right back up the companionway steps screaming “EVERYTHING IS RUINED!”  Serves her right!  Now I’m starting to feel sorry for her as she lovingly wipes every inch of my surface clean of the nasty dirty mold and empties bucket after bucket of black water down the drain. It also sounds like I grew over the summer, because they keep saying the bottom paint and waxing the hull is taking twice as long as it did last time.
 While Lori was pressure washing algae off my topsides, I told her it was good to be together again.  Later, I overheard her telling Gary “Tessa spoke to me again.”  DUH!  I had to send her some kind of message that I was OK with everything that happened. She needed to know that it’s over and everything is going to be just fine. Gary knew it all along.

I have to tell you, it was a relief to overhear them saying they would never leave me again.  The three of us really do belong together.  And that was certainly no vacation!

P.S.  It’s a good thing they have that RV to stay in while they are cleaning me up.  RV??? What the?!?!