Road Tour -
September 12, 2002
Eileen and the tour truck in front of Little Gidding
every job crossed off my list
(E. Quinn, The Hard)
You would think that we would learn. Without exception, whenever we've hauled the boat to do maintenance or repair work, we've ended up on the hard for much longer than we'd planned. But hope springs eternal. We always start our boatyard sojourns assuming everything will go smoothly, despite the fact we've yet to be so blessed. Last spring, we told our friends Karen and Ron Sobon on Sea Dancer that we'd attend the Southbound Cruiser's Reunion they were organizing for September 10th to 12th in Baltimore. "We plan to haul the boat in the Coan River at the end of July," we said. "That's only a hundred miles south of Baltimore as the crow flies. No problem getting up there in time for Eileen to perform some music at the reunion."
The Cruiser's Reunion just ended. It was a great success with over 200 boats registered. Where was Little Gidding? You guessed it. The Coan River boatyard.
Right up to the point that David decided to re-insulate the refrigerator (see last week's log entry), it was theoretically possible that we could have made it to the event in our boat. The fridge operation did not go smoothly. David called it a valuable learning experience. Eileen preferred the term Armageddon. We both agreed that Little Gidding wasn't going anywhere with its galley resembling a war zone. "How are we going to make it to Baltimore for you to play at the cruiser's reunion?" David asked. Revealing her remarkable foresight (and total lack of faith in David's retrofitting skills), Eileen replied, "I booked a rental car the day you decided to tackle the fridge."
Last Monday afternoon, the biggest pickup truck we'd ever seen wheeled into the boatyard and parked next to Little Gidding. Sean, the manager of the local car rental outfit, jumped out. "Where's our economy car?" Eileen gulped. All smiles, Sean said, "We ran out of small cars, so we've upgraded you to this vehicle at no extra charge. She's a beauty, isn't she?" Eileen stared at the great expanse of gleaming metal. Her eyes turned misty. "This must be what it's like to tour with a real big rock band," she whispered. David asked nervously, "Do you need a special highway permit or anything to drive this thing?"
Down island, we usually pile all our sound equipment into our nine foot inflatable when we go ashore. We had no problem packing everything into the crew cab of the truck. The flat bed remained empty. "If we encounter a travelling circus that's broken down on the way to Baltimore, we can give them a lift," David suggested.
The next morning we drove to Baltimore. It took three hours and we didn't wipe out anything on the highway. The reunion was being held at the Anchorage Marina in the inner harbour. The surrounding streets were packed with cars. David dropped Eileen and the equipment off at the marina and said, "I'll see you in a few days after I find a spot big enough to park this baby."
As it turned out, David snagged
a parking space only a few blocks from the marina. The crowd at the reunion
was enthusiastic and Eileen had a good time performing. The cruising kitty
got a major boost from all of her CD sales. We saw a lot of old friends
and made some new ones. When it was all over, we brought the truck around
and loaded the equipment. It was around midnight when we got back to the
Coan River boatyard. The boat was just as we had left it - a total mess.
David said, "You know, I think I like being a roadie better than
being a boat repair guy."
Cheers, David & Eileen