12 October, 2016
That was a quick 4 months. With our teeny weeny SUV packed to the roof, and the cooler loaded with dry ice, we headed on back to Michigan, with stops in Greensboro, NC, and Ann Arbor, MI. The Admiral’s family gathered in NC to celebrate her Aunt’s 95th. Then it was off to the home of the Maize and Blue to visit our daughter and son-in-law at their new digs. After a quick stop at our home in northern Michigan, it was off to Europe for a cruise down the Danube (can’t get enough of boats) with Suz’s sibs ‘n spouses to celebrate her Mom’s 90th.
Back at the ranch, we started working through the list of dirtchores, of which there was no shortage. We didn’t fret about the work, as it was interspersed by reconnections with our landfriends and family. We took a timeout in mid-summer for a road trip and week at the beach in Charleston. Before we knew it, it was time to haul and winterize the mini-fleet and move on down the road to rejoin The Girl in Chesapeake, VA. Leaving Michigan was bittersweet, as we realized just how many great friends we have there. On the way out, we got a chance to go to a game in The Big House to watch my beloved Wolverines do their thing. Living in Ann Arbor, our daughter is the beneficiary of our 48-yard line tickets, so we all enjoyed the game together, celebrating Ben and her anniversary at the same time.
After getting Alizann cleaned up, we kicked the tires and lit the fires, heading up to Solomon’s, MD ahead of then-forming Hurricane Matthew. Not sure if I had mentioned it before, but in a weak (and possibly ethanol-soaked) moment a few years back, we volunteered to chair our annual Kadey Krogen owners rendezvous in 2016. After a years’ work in planning this 4-day event, which included educational seminars, catered meals, and social gatherings, culminating in a party with live music, we had to consider the possibility of cancelling everything as Matthew roared through the Bahamas, heading our way. Besides the monetary loss, we had to weigh the safety of the crews of the 51 vessels and 139 people attending the event. From day to day, we all were on pins and needles, monitoring the National Hurricane Centers’ website on an hourly basis, and getting haul outs scheduled for 24 boats locally, and others’ elsewhere. At literally the eleventh hour, Matthew turned East and headed out to sea after battering the Southeast. Party On! The wave of relief spreading through our group was palpable. Haul outs were cancelled, crews that had bagged out earlier called to tell us that they were coming, and the good times rolled. When the party was over on Saturday night, the weather hemmed us in for another two days. Finally breaking up on Monday, I’m pretty sure that many of us realized that we weren’t the partiers that we used to be (but we all did our very best).
Suz and I stayed until Tuesday to recoup and regroup, getting ready to head over to Deltaville, VA for a one-day course in hydraulics, followed by a two-day seminar in trawler maintenance.