If you have ever owned a boat, you know that there are always projects waiting to be done. They generally fall into 3 categories: Urgent (completion needed before launching), Important (completion would enhance the journey, but may be done along the way), and Cosmetic (completion would make the first mate happy). Mike works on or prepares for all three categories during our 8-month off season at home. But then there are things that can only be done while physically at the boat, so he’s begun the practice of arriving at the boat a couple of weeks early to work and get things ready to go. Lest you think that work is a four-letter word of the unwelcome variety, Mike enjoys this work for the most part. He is mechanically minded and enjoys a challenge. He’s not under great pressure to hurry because I’m not there waiting around. It is a workable system.
In the meantime, our Granddaughter and I were enjoying a whirlwind tour of Washington DC with a group of graduating 8th graders and their parents. Then we flew from the east coast to Seattle, where Mike picked us up at the end of his project time. It was time to go on a shakedown cruise.
It is important to try out all the systems on the boat before leaving on a big adventure. It is particularly important to make sure all the newly completed projects are functioning as needed. A shakedown cruise is the trial run that allows for working out any bugs. It was also a slow-paced time for enjoying one another and “getting away from it all.” Here are some highlights from boating with a teenager:
When the week ended and our sweet granddaughter returned home, we had worked out some small operational bugs and felt confident that we were ready to embark on a more substantial trip. This year we are taking the leap, and making the trek north to our 49th state – Alaska!