Surprise Surprise!

Nobody is more surprised than I am at the number of people who follow our blog. We really enjoy doing the updates and hope we can bring a smile to a reader’s face every once and a while. We do the blog mostly for selfish purposes. It is a way for us to look back on our adventure and reminisce about the fun times. The blog is fairly new but we already find ourselves re-reading some of our older post. It is nice to be able to share our experience and plans. Our dream has been a long time in the making and our lives are currently on the verge of transition from land to sea.

When I was a rat in the race, on bad days I would turn to the computer for a dose of unreality. I would look at pictures of boats anchored in isolated tranquil bays with turquoise clear water and white sand beaches.  I would close my eyes and go off to these faraway places. I gained a sense of peace and a smile would always come to my face as I dreamed of the day it would be us. Then, the darn cell phone would ring and I was shocked back to reality. We have learned so much from other sailors who blogged. They have made our preparation easier and our expectations reasonable. Since we have benefited from others, we feel a sense of responsibility to pay it forward.

What I did not expect from the blog was long lost friends finding us and making contact. This is an added bonus. I was recently dumbfounded by a surprise visit from a long lost friend. Well technically, it was my mother’s lifelong childhood friend. Cindy and I were lazing about this Sunday when these two lovely ladies showed up at Cream Puff. They are sisters, Audrey and Daphne. Audrey lives in England and has been a friend of my mother since they were little girls. I haven’t seen Audrey in over 30 years. Unbeknownst to us, Daphne now lives near St. Petersburg. Audrey, who found our blog, was in town visiting her sister when the plan was hatched to come and visit us. They made our day.

Left to right: Daphne, Mark and Audrey

Left to right: Daphne, Mark and Audrey

When I was in school, Audrey’s son Robert and I were friends. My last memory of them: I was staying over at their house. Robert and I were causing trouble. Well, as usual it was mostly me causing the trouble. Robert and I were about 13 years old, or so. We were coming home from Kesgrave School. When we got to his parents house we were racing to the front door. I ran down the steep driveway and opened the door. Not thinking, as kids normally don’t do, I slammed the door behind me. The next thing I knew, Robert came crashing hands first through the plate glass window of the door. This must have been before safety glass as the glass didn’t shatter into little squares. Instead, it broke into deadly large jagged shards. Robert received cuts to his hands and arms and blood went everywhere. We went to a neighbor’s house for help. I remember Robert dripping blood onto the neighbor’s black and white tiled kitchen floor and the look of fear on this dear lady’s face. She took one look at him and whisked him off to the doctor’s office. Luckily, no life sustaining arteries were damaged and all was fixed with a few stitches.

In the mean time, poor Audrey arrived home to find her front door smashed and open with blood all over it and blood on the floor. Of course there was no sign of the kids. Poor Audrey. I cannot imagine how she must have felt at that moment. The rascally imp known as Mark had struck again! It’s nice we can joke about this some 30+ years later but menacing behavior like this was sort of normal for me as a child. I was an absolute terror. Cindy and I were afraid if we ever had kids they would turn out like me. I could never wish that on anyone. Hence: no kids! It’s better for everyone this way.


Categories: About Us, Funny Stuff, Pre-sailing Preparation

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