Jeff has always been good at bartering – exchanging goods or services without using cash. He’s also a mechanical whiz. Now, Many Moons has a new “room” and Beachfront has a more mechanically-sound boat. Everyone’s happy with the transaction.
As I give this update, Jeff is anchored out alone near Fort Myers, Fla., in heavy winds, while he awaits the arrival of his son. When we talked an hour ago, it sounded pretty hairy. I’m trying not to worry, so will write the recent good news here, hoping for more good news later as the winds die down and his newest First Mate arrives.
So. Here’s the story. While Many Moons remained in port these recent weeks at the J.P. Franklin Lock, a familiar Looping boat arrived at Fort Myers, some 15 miles west. We met Sonny and Linda from Beachfront at a quirky marina in Tennessee more than two months ago. (See “Into Tennessee.”) Sonny and Jeff immediately began discussing ways to enclose the exposed parts of a boat. Jeff had been considering this for months, and it turned out that Sonny is something of an expert on the subject. They reconnected in southern Florida, arranged the barter, and now Many Moons has a semi-enclosed stern. (The material is called eisenglass, which translates to “iron glass” in German. Think of it as a kind of vinyl alternative.)
But, wait, there’s more! News, that is. Jeff finally did it. He suggested he would, and he did. Took Many Moons out alone, I mean. Through a lock, no less. He’s taken her out alone in Michigan, so knew that he could. We’ve met others who are doing the entire Loop by themselves, so it’s not that crazy — but they probably have a 2nd engine or thruster (making it easier to steer in close quarters) and a more convenient physical set-up of the boat (making it easier to put one’s hand on the lock or pier). And they probably don’t have Type-1 diabetes (making stress of any sort an extra risk).
I’m glad I didn’t know about this until it was done!
You may have noticed, from previous posts, that Jeff is more of a risk-taker than me, at least when it comes to boating. (I prefer solo risks and once loved to skydive, rock-climb, things like that.) He says he didn’t have a choice, in order to get back to Fort Myers in time to meet his son. I’ll have to accept that. 😉 During four months under way, I learned to accept a lot of things about Jeff, as he no doubt did about me. Many of my friends wonder how a relationship survives such long-duration close quarters. That’s one way: simple acceptance. This doesn’t necessarily mean agreement, of course — but it does mean more harmony. Our society could take a lesson from that!
So let’s congratulate Jeff on his latest adventure as we await news that he rode out the winds and his son is safely on board. Photos and captions below.