"I hope it doesn't stink."
"I hope it's not covered in mildew."
"I hope it didn't sink."
I looked over at Riley in the driver's seat and said, "Maybe Gidget and I should have just let you come by yourself this first time."
He gave me a knowing look. "Yeah," he said, "maybe."
The six hour car ride to the marina where we had left our boat three months ago had us both on edge. Emotions ran from anxious to excited, and mostly somewhere in between. After struggling to make it into that marina on that last day of our journey three months ago, we left poor Winbrandt in kind of a hurry. And we certainly hadn't planned on waiting so long to come back and check on her. But it was so nice to be back on land, with all the conveniences of home, and there was always something else to do. The drive to North Carolina was so long, and really, I think we were needing to put a little time and space behind us. We needed to find our footing on solid ground again.
As the hours ticked by and we got closer and closer to seeing her again for the first time, the clouds were rolling in and the sky outside of our windows was growing darker. We didn't need to say it out loud, we both knew what the other one was thinking.
"I hope it doesn't rain the whole time."
You know, we haven't always had the best track record when it comes to boats and weather.
Our collective sighs of relief when we finally did make it to the boat could have probably been heard around the world. She was still floating, she only smelled as bad as a closed up boat ought to, and the mildew was minimal. She looked pretty darn good to us after all.
If living on a boat for five months taught us one thing, it was that we're not nearly as fond of "roughing it" as maybe we (he) once were. After giving her a good once-over, our first step was heading out to the store to pick up a window unit air conditioner. We had braved just about every kind of weather condition on this boat, and that was enough of that.
All said and done, we had a really productive (we had left her in need of a few repairs), really enjoyable weekend visit. And I have to say, as disappointed as I was to not make it back to New Bern initially, I think I'm really going to enjoy being able to explore Southport just a little bit longer.
It was so good to see you, Winbrandt. Thanks for the hospitality. We'll see you again real soon old friend.