My former blogs will tell you that I was tossed around a lot as a kid. Thankfully, I ended up where I started out, with my grandparents. However, for a time, I had to live with The Evil One, my birth father, and his wife. We lived in a river town in Virginia. My grandfather had an old boat in his garage which he never used, as he had purchased a new one. I asked him one winter if I could have it. He agreed, as long as I cleaned the barnacles off it and painted it, and took care of it, and Listened to him as he taught me to drive it. I agreed. Barnacles are gross. They cut your hands as you clean them too. Yuck.
The following summer I owned a 14′ wooden Thompson. I was 13. I kept it docked for free, at a friend’s house who was a summer person. I lived there year round. My grandfather, (who raised me and I consider my Dad) showed me how to run the motor, work on it, drive the boat, even in storms, go crabbing, fishing, and be safe. He had a summer house in the same town. I had a day job, working at a little beach place that made ‘dispsy dogs’ which were really corn dogs. Very yummy! My earnings paid for whatever I needed, and allowed me to put gas in my boat and maintain it.
I spent many summer days just cruising around the bay, sometimes with friends, mostly by myself. I was a very Weird Girl. One day, a group of friends and unfortunately The Evil One, wanted to go out for a spin on the river, so I agreed to take them, but I was nervous because there was a storm brewing. I stressed a very short ride. Most of my friends were guys for some reason. The girls that I hung around with were scared to go out on my boat, and I kind of put my nose up at them. The guys brought coolers, and I was not even paying attention to what was in them.
We had gone as far as the Maryland 301 Bridge, when I looked behind us and I saw lightning on the horizon. I did have a lightning rod on my boat (of course), but did not think it wise to stay out, so turned around. The waves were getting choppy and whitecaps were everywhere and my tummy was churning. The Evil One was on the back of the boat, far away from me, as he and I DID NOT GET ALONG. I felt safe with my friends, but Not Him.
One of my friends shouted at me above the wind to turn around; that the Evil One had fallen overboard. I have no idea how deep the water was; we were in the middle of the Potomac River….How tempting to let him drown….Bad thoughts for a daughter to have, but you don’t know why this man was So Bad and I will never blog about it. He just was. I can remember thinking how nice it would be just to let him fall beneath the waves….It was probably just a second I had these Bad Thoughts, but they were oh so tempting….However, my friends snapped me out of my reverie and I turned around reluctantly. The guys threw him a life jacket as well as a float device and they roped him back aboard. Then they covered him up with blankets and took care him. I would have given them an eye roll but I was too busy navigating the nasty waves, spraying all over the place, including my face. Visibility was horrible.
What I did not know is that he packed a cooler full of beer and was peeing off the back of the boat when a wave slammed into us. I handled it like a trooper but certainly was not looking behind watching that Idiot. He was and is still Gross.
We made it back to the marina safe and sound and I prayed a silent prayer of thanks. The waves were so high that they were bursting over the bow and that was much stress for a young girl like me. Then having to turn around get that Idiot Man in those choppy waves was even scarier. I had Killer, my German Shepherd with me, and even he was scared.
I got them all off the boat, tied it up myself and cleaned the boat, even though it was storming, it matched my mood. I wandered into the marina and treated myself to a delicious Chesapeake Bay crab cake. I grabbed a doggie bag for Killer who was waiting for me patiently outside. I was so mad.
I never took the Evil One out again, (he had his own boat anyway, although he never took it out he was so Dumb) and always checked everyone’s cooler before they were allowed on my boat. No drinking on my boat!
The storm passed quickly, as are apt to do in Virginia summers. I always had extra clothes in my water proof bag. I spent the night on the boat with Killer.
More boating tales to come…