|You don't want to hear what I had to say at this moment!|
So, a few funny things happened to me on my way to the boat show. I set my iPhone, which has awakened me many times in the past to many wonderful early mornings (!), at 6 pm. I knew the oyster boat beside me would fire up at quarter to, so it was like a snooze alarm when I heard the boat move off. However - at 7:41, my eyes snapped open. The iPhone hadn't sounded. I had 19 minutes to get ready for my ride to the airport to pick up my car rental. I hate being rushed in the mornings - far more enjoyable to take your time awakening, I'm sure you agree, right? Then, rush to the office!
Cindy, Doc's wife, takes me to the airport where I have a rental booked and paid for via Hotwire. Great rate - $11.95 a day. However, the clerk informs me, I need a return ticket to get a car from them. Huh?
No return ticket? No problem Sir, you can rent a car from our sister company, Enterprise, for just $44.95 a day. All you need is a Virginia driver's license.
Auggghhhh - now what? Who on earth flies into an airport from the same state they are in? No wonder Enterprise wasn't busy.
There was only one solution here, after it became clear that no amount of cajoling was going to change things. I marched over to the United Airlines booth - it was the nearest - and purchased a refundable ticket. The look on the guy's face when I told him I wanted a ticket to anywhere, didn't matter, as long as it was refundable, was priceless. After getting his manager's approval to do this, he sold me the ticket and I marched it over to National. The manager there told me no one had ever done what I'd just done, bought a ticket to get their rental. She was impressed, I was frustrated, as it cost me $35 for the privilege. My $11.95 Hotwire rental was getting expensive.
Back to United, refund the ticket, get my car, Cindy and I head to Walmart so I can help her choose a piece of equipment for their boat. While there, her husband phones - apparently, my dinghy has sunk from the rain and the waves.
This is not good. I have an expensive and nearly new outboard on it. I head back to the boat, hoping against hope - and nope, the dinghy is sunk, the engine is underwater. Rob, another boater and I drag the dinghy up, I tear the motor apart, dry it, spray it with WD-40 and hey! It fires up. Whew! Dodged that bullet.
So I'm about to leave when Rob tells me the dockmaster wants me to move my boat to another slip. Like, I have time for this? But, being the nice guy I am, I move the boat. You have to realize, there were 15 - 20 knot winds that day, and the bay was about three or four feet higher due to tide and rainfall. Moving to a new slip was a pain to say the least.
Then I go to get off the boat at the bow, which is now a good six or so feet off the dock. I reach for the post...and the boat starts to slide backwards away from it. I'm hanging on, the gap is getting wider....do I push back and hope to grab the forestay? No, if I miss, I'll fall and get hurt. Do I leap for the piling and hang on like a demented squirrel, ten feet from the dock, and slowly slide down the piling, getting splinters in very private places before sliding down onto razor sharp barnacles? Or, do I wait until the boat is far enough back from the pole and gracefully (and safely) fall into the water?
Decision made, and about two feet from the water, I remember that in addition to my computer in its waterproof case around my neck, my iPhone is in my pocket.
Fortunately for the tender minds of anyone within about a quarter mile, the inrush of chilly salt water stifled the comments I was making. Let's just say they weren't anything my mom would have approved of - or your mom either!
So, I swim to shore, have another shower while my clothes tumble in the dryer, and head on out to Annapolis. There, my good friends Dr. Dave and his lovely wife Suzie, greet me at the door with a handshake, a hug, and an ice cold drink.
Life is good again. Tomorrow, the boat show.