Monday, October 11, 2010


Annapolis, MD -- As we stood at the gate of the Annapolis sailboat show this morning, I felt overwhelmed by how very far we've come in one year. When we entered the show last year, sad and wistful, Isabella, our old boat, was back in the Outer Banks having her belly repaired. We were living in a small apartment with no viable prospects for the business, wondering if the waiting would ever end.

Last year, we watched with aching hearts as a long line of sailboats headed south from Annapolis, their bows pointing toward the Bahamas.

This year, we enter the show triumphant, no longer dreamers but cruisers, inexperienced, yes, but ready to take our place in line heading south as soon as we return to the Outer Banks.

Our shopping list for the boat show was titled "Mission Critical." This was not intended to be melodramatic but rather was descriptive of the contents:
  1. Life Raft
  2. Life Jackets
  3. Foul Weather Gear
  4. Anchor
We were waiting at the gate at opening time with our friend John, who came along as part moral support, part sherpa, part tempering agent and part court jester, all well served.

We were among the first 20 people to enter the show (nerds) and were escorted out at closing (nerds). In the meantime, we snagged an amazing deal on a Revere life raft and two Mustang harness life jackets, all the while trying on every major brand of foul weather gear.

Mission accomplished.

One amazing year. One amazing shopping trip.

One happy toast to good times -- despite the fact that the bartender was pissed at the world as embodied by Chip, and dumped half a bottle of nutmeg in his painkiller. Look at that!

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