Editor’s Note: The following is based on an actual conversation but has been edited to fit within the confines of a normal attention span. The actual dialog took place over several days.
“So do you want to take the boat out for the Labor Day weekend?” Rhonda asked.
“Sure, that sounds good. It’s been a while since we’ve spent a night out at anchor.”
“Where do you want to go?” she asked.
“How about Big Lagoon this time instead of Little Sabine,” I suggested. “We haven’t spent a night there yet this season.”
“Although on Saturday morning I’d really like to go up the mast and see if I can finish getting the radar installed,” I said. “I think one more day and it will be done.”
“OK, then we can go Saturday afternoon,” Rhonda said.
“Wait, isn’t the Saenger Theater showing Young Frankenstein Saturday night as part of their classic movie series? I asked.
“Yes, and Chris (our oldest son) said he’d like to go see that with us,” Rhonda confirmed. “There’s also fireworks that night at the Blue Wahoo’s stadium. The last ones of the season.”
“Hmmmm,” I thought. “Well, I guess we could go see the show and then come back to the boat and watch the fireworks. Maybe we can get up early Sunday and head out.”
“What time?” Rhonda asked. She’s still punching a clock Monday through Friday, and is no more a fan of early mornings on the weekends than I.
“Oh, 7:30 or 8:00 maybe. We could do a quick breakfast and then head out.”
“I’m pretty sure the bathtub races and anything-that-floats contest is Sunday at the Portofino Boardwalk,” she pointed out.
“We’d need to be there by 1:00 to make sure we don’t miss it again.”
“That will be cutting it a bit close. By the time we sail over to the beach, get anchored, launch the dinghy and put the outboard on, and then motor in, well….”
“We’ve been wanting to see it but we’ve always had something else going on,” Rhonda reminded me.
“OK, well, we can drive out to the beach I guess. By the time we make it back though, it’ll probably be a bit late to be heading out on the water.
“So, a daysail on Monday?”
Which is what we ended up doing. It was a wonderful five hour tour of the bay and we really enjoyed ourselves (and Rhonda caught a fish!), but it was far from the three day weekend at anchor off the national seashore that we first envisioned.
“So, think we can try to spend next weekend out?” I asked.
“Next Saturday is the Dragon Boat Festival. And they’re showing Casablanca at the Saenger. And then Sunday is the Seahawks season opener. You’re supposed to be finding a place for the peeps to get together to watch the game, by the way.”
And so the season has gone. As I mentioned in The Summer Of Taking It All In, since it might be a while before we spend another summer in Pensacola, we’re trying to remedy the fact that we’ve lived here for years but have missed many of the local things to see and do because of other obligations. Which means there isn’t as much sailing occurring as we would have thought.
But I will say this—when we awake every morning to the crackling sound of “little munchers” (what we call the small fish that nibble on our hull’s underwater growth), grill dinner most evenings on our cockpit barbeque, and have the opportunity to toast the sunset from our deck every night, well, maybe there isn’t quite the urgency to get underway that we once felt when boat time was measured in the few precious days we could carve out of our busy dirt dwelling lives.
“Maybe the weekend after that…” I tentatively suggested.
“Gallery Night,” Rhonda replied with a gentle smile.
“Oh yeah. And there’s a show at Pensacola Little Theater that looks interesting…”
And so it goes…