Wednesday, August 24, 2016


It started at 7:52 am: the slog down the front stairs with five bags; the rush to Metro; transfer at L'Enfant; airport security. Finally, Portland, Maine--home of Lenny, the world's only life-size chocolate moose.
But this is only the beginning. Right now we are on a long-distance coach headed for Lincolnville. Haven't heard if it? Why, I'm so surprised! It's a thriving coastal metropolis of 1,264.
From there it's a long night slouching in the corner of the bus station waiting for tomorrow's ferry to the island of Islesboro. Unless by some amazingly fortuitous circumstance we make it across town and onto the last ferry tonight, scheduled to depart 15 minutes after the bus is scheduled to arrive. (NO ONE here has encouraged us to think positively about making it. There's a hand gesture that three times, from three different people, has accompanied their ambivalence--roughly comparable to the French gesture for "comme ci, comme ca.")

Three years ago, same season, Pope and I sailed around Vancouver Island with Dave, Joanne and Mark of Denver, Colorado (3 1/2 weeks). We didn't get drowned, depressed, or  disabled. So a short time later, we boarded Echo II in Chesapeake Bay and sailed to the Bahamas (8 weeks). 
Those of you who followed my blog back then know it wasn't all peachy keen. The company was excellent on both trips. But there were also tides, currents, fog, logjams, freezing cold, and later shoals, coral heads, and breakdowns.

In fact, for me, there were moments of extreme distress interspersed with weeks of mild-to-moderate anxiety. For Pope, there were only minor hiccups. We agreed on one thing, though: next time, stay home and watch the travel channel!

One would think that one would not only learn one's lessons, but act smartly on that enhanced knowledge. But no, we are wired as human machines (of the un-thinking variety, much of the time) to repeat long-ingrained patterns of forgetting the past and continuing to make comparable decisions of questionable intelligence.

So when Dave, Joanne, and Mark asked,  "Do you want to sail around some islands in Maine?" we smiled and said "Of course." And when Pope asked, "Do you want to sail to the Bahamas again?" I looked at him, frowned, and responded only with "Are you out of your f**king mind?" before I said "yes."

So here we are, side by side on the bus-- Pope reading calmly and quietly, nodding off, and me fretting and frowning, wringing my hands, over the tight connection. Just a momentary blip in a lifetime of self-induced travel stress.

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