Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The best 24 hours I've had in at least 10 years

The past 24 hours have been that is.

They began with my wife and I waking up from a nap; and to be completely blunt, making love; undisturbed by children, dogs, work, or any other distractions of life.

We had a lovely light meal at the cabin, watched a good movie ("Taken", extended cut, on DVD. No TV yet on this vacation), and finished the night listening to our audio books (the S.M. Stirling "change" series at the moment. I've read them, but Mel hasn't).

After a full nights sleep we got an early start on the morning, and went out to the marina for an off season early bird speed boat rental. With discounts, a Sea Ray 22, with a 300hp (6.2mpi dual prop bravo 3) Mercruiser, was only $80 an hour.

Yeah the thought of $80 an hour baing "only" is a bit odd, but it's better than the $120 to $140 that is normally the case these days (or $190 in some of the marinas on the California side... insurance and taxes).

We cruised around the lake at about 3/4 throttle for a while; during which time Mel discovered that she too thinks powerboats are fun for an hour or two, but get boring after a while.

Even WOT in a lightly laden and overpowered boat (300hp is a lot of power for a 22ft boat) wasn't all that interesting to her, and she thought her time at the helm was less interesting than driving fast in a car.

What was nice, was getting out there and shutting down in the middle of the lake, when there was NO-ONE in sight. Three days ago that would have been impossible; but at 10am on the Wednesday after labor day, we were in absolute silence, and complete solitude in the center of the lake.

We just sat there and enjoyed it for about 10 minutes, before moving on.

We were going to do the full circle, but up around Carnelian bay the engine started running a bit rough; so we headed straight back to the marina across the lake.

Honestly, I didn't want a refund or anything. We got a good 90 minutes out of the boat, and we were really ready to come home anyway; but they insisted that we only had to pay for gas.

By the by, good people at the Zephyr Cove Marina.

We had a decent lunch at the marinas out door restaurant... Which makes it sound like more than it really is. I think everyone who has ever spent a summer on a lake knows the kind of place I'm talking about.. two windows where you can order beach and diner style food and soft serve ice cream, and a bunch of benches? That kind of place.

I LOVE that kind of place. That's the kind of place I grew up with.

Even better, we were able to find the repair supplies I needed for the sailboat; so after lunch we went out to the mooring. It was the work of half an hour to re-slug the sail, rebend it on the mast, and tape the torn leech seam; and then we were off sailing again.

This time, Mel spent most of her time at the helm, and I mostly worked the sheets; and she discovered something: She really truly loves sailing, whether she's at the helm, on the lines, or just laying on the deck, she loves it.

She insists that we need a sailboat (and preferably a bigger one than the 30 footer we'd been sailing) as soon as is reasonably possible.

Have I mentioned recently how lucky a man I am?

We had about four hours out on the most gorgeous possible day; 5-7 knot winds letting us make around 3-4 knots, as we chose. Not quite as quiet as earlier in the day, but still on a completely uncrowded lake.

We sailed up to a bit north of cave rock, out over to the state line, then down the line to elk point, and back to the marina.

It was picking up a bit as we were sailing back in, and I was able to make five knots on the final reach up to Zephyr Cove; but we'd already been out for four hours, and there was no need to stretch it out any more.

I was happy to note, though I'm a few years out of practice, I still know how to maneuver a sailboat with an inboard motor (outboards are WAY easier in tight spaces) into a tight, restricted depth dock (6 foot keel, 7 foot depth), and out to a tight mooring thankyouverymuch.

We were pretty well exhausted by then (sailing, even in light weather, is not exactly sedentary), so we went home for another nap, and ...enjoyed each others company undisturbed once again.

Finally, we're about to head out for a nice casual meal at a local microbrewery, that the wife picked out, specifically for the quality of their beer, and the inventiveness they show in using that beer in their food.

Yet again let me say, I'm the luckiest man on earth.

Oh and we figured out what we're going to name our first sailboat together.