The front loomed over the marina early yesterday, but the laundry had to get done; it was getting aromatic and taking up too much room. So in my normal ‘let’s get it done’ A-type style, I ransacked the cabin, gathering up the accumulated dirty sheets, towels and clothes into our two day glow orange mesh bags and headed out to the marina laundry, pushing my cart down the dock, a sailor determined to get the chore done, rain or no rain. My husband, sighed and rolled his eyes to the very back of his head, then tossed me my foul weather jacket, put on his, and grabbed the tarp, anticipating being rained upon before we could get back to the boat. He was right, of course, much to the consternation of my optimistic hope that we’d beat the rain.
As the dryers dried, it started, a continuous and dense soaker of a rain, the kind that is not going to go away anytime soon. John brandished his iPhone radar app to rub in the accuracy of his prediction, showing me the display, declaring the rain would be with us until the next morning, his birthday, the day he turns 68.
For a second, I lost my perspective, musing to myself, “Why do we do this?” But I came to my senses. “Well, it’s a hell of a lot better than sitting in some overstuffed recliner in front of the TV, watching old NCIS reruns, drinking bourbon, bored out of my mind, and complaining that Donald Trump is off his rocker.” We are where we want to be. It’s raining, that’s all.
This morning, John celebrated his 68th birthday with three new leaks, revealed to us through the rain overnight. The hatch above the galley drips and there are two seepy ones in the aft cabin (yes, just above our bed under the cockpit). They were never discovered before because we had the cockpit was covered with the old Bimini and dodger. Now, the canvas work is being redone and the old stuff is long gone. We unscrewed a couple of panels which, with the next rain, should reveal the source of at least one of the aft leaks. With some expert help, we’ll conquer all of them soon. And, with the new canvas up, the aft will stay dry, leak or no leak.
When you ask John what he did on his birthday, he’ll tell you, “It was so exciting. I finished up repairing the teak panel holder on the companionway, bird dogged the aft cabin leaks, explored our water heater situation as we lost our hot water on Wednesday. Then after a hot shower at the marina, I sat in the cockpit, drank a beer and clipped my toenails.”
“What does your wife have planned to celebrate your big day?” you ask. “Is there a party planned or cake and ice cream in the works?”
“Nah,” he’ll reply. “She barely remembers anybody’s birthday, but she did give me a very lovingly romantic card.” He laughs, then, with a twinkle in his eye, he’ll tell you, “She did give me a charter fishing trip on the Bay next Sunday.”
“That sounds special and fabulous. Why did she do that?” you ask.
“Well, for 25 years I’ve told her about fishing in Jones Beach with my Dad and how much I miss it,” he’ll tell you, then conclude, “I guess she finally listened and heard me.”