Lions and Forts and Boats Oh My

“A dream written down with a date becomes a goal…”

When I was just a lad I went on my very first canoe/camping trip. I was 24 at the time. No, not 24 years, 24 months. In the spring of 1969 I was already canoe/camping in Algonquin park in central Ontario. So little but already being influenced by the great outdoors. This,I believe, is when my love for the water began.

When I was barely 84 months old we moved to a little town in northern Wisconsin right on lake Green Bay called Oconto. This was an amazing place to grow up loving the outdoors, as I now did. This is also the place where I had my very first sailing experiences. My parental units at the time had friends with a beautiful old 1950s something or other 36 ft. sailboat, and when the weather looked really rough and non conducive for sailing, we would go out into stormy Lake Green Bay and unfurl the sails. Whoo hoo….12 foot seas, 50 degrees, and 30 knot winds!!! Apparently if it was wet and stupid, I’m in.
Now at 156 months old I find myself in northern Georgia. A long ways away from my beloved Lake Green Bay.
Phooey. But…

Do I hear banjo music?

By about the ripening age of 360 months I discovered whitewater. A rafting trip down the wild and scenic Chattooga river strattling Georgia and South Carolina had me totally hooked. 

If that river doesn’t ring a bell, think Burt Reynolds and.. “You sure got a perty mouth boy.” 

Time to get a canoe and do this shit solo! Within a few short years I had paddled nearly every bubbling, gurgling, churning, eject you out off your ass and into a frothy whitewater river in the southeast. Water and this young buck made for one happy combination for a lonnnngggg time.

But, age happens and approximately 240 months later my bent knees had had enough. Kneeling hours a day in a boat was getting just too painful. Nevermind carting the damn canoe and all my smelly gear from the river to the Jeep uphill for miles. Well, yards but whatever. So, some 3000 miles later it was time to hang up my trusty paddle and find a new watery habit.

“A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan.”

When I was about 480 months old, Jana and I visited St. Augustine,Florida together for the very first time of many. It was early in our dating career and we had decided to visit the country’s oldest city for a new year’s eve celebration welcoming in 2008.

Downtown St. Augustine has a beautiful draw bridge in the historical district and featuring the Bridge of Lions. Immediately to the southwest of the bridge is the St. Augustine Municiple Marina. It’s not a particularly fancy marina nor very big. Three floating docks hosting about 120 boats large and small.

On this first trip together Jana and I walked the marina docks looking at all the lovely boats. There were expensive yachts, smelly fishing boats, crowded charter boats, and most importantly, lovely sailboats. Back in 2007 the idea of living on a boat had never even been discussed. While it was always in my head as something I wanted to do, but never something I had put any great thought into. Just a dream.

Saint Augustine Municipal Marina, 2007

“A plan backed by action becomes reality.”

148 months later and we’re back!!!

Back to St. Augustine. Back to the same marina and dock we walked many many months ago. Only this time, we’ve arrived by our own lovely sailboat. I can’t even begin to tell you how big the check mark is to tick this one off the bucket list. Pulling into the marina on Marionettes Revenge felt fucking amazing.

Saint Augustine Municipal Marina, July 2022

“A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams a reality.”

No finer words ever spoken for those of us who wish to dream.

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