August 2, 2019. Jeff is the captain of the Mainship Many Moons. For her maiden voyage, he chose a night-crossing of Lake Superior, to the remote national park called Isle Royal. I’m uneasy about this but trust his judgment and his knowledge of the boat. I know the sea is calmer at night, and lots of people do it. I’m eager to visit Isle Royal (one of my favorite places) again. But I also know that Lake Superior can act like an ocean and can be even more unpredictable. As we pull into the town dock at Houghton a few hours into our trip, I’m thinking about the 50 or so miles of open sea ahead of us. The trip will be about 100 miles each way from our home base, which will test both the boat and its crew. I’m glad to have my oldest sister along, since she is an M.D., and, well, you never know! Jeff’s son is along too, and the four of us will take turns at the helm overnight. I try to silence my inner doubts. I’m a Navy captain, for pete’s sake! And a boater! But I expect a challenge, navigating a single-screw boat that is new to me, on open seas on a moonless night, with a quirky compass and unfamiliar navigation equipment. I wish we had done more short cruises. But I remember my professional promise to myself: when I disagree with “the boss,” object twice (to make sure you’re heard), state my reasoning, and then shut up. I did that. So I do shut up, and enjoy the ever-changing sky and the sound of water passing under the hull.
As Scarlett O’Hara said, “tomorrow is another day!” And tonight will come soon enough.