11 May 2012

Thanks for the Memory

Just another spot on the ICW?  Not so much.
Our friend Michel
Yesterday, our friend Michel emailed us a photo.  The email had one line: "What's missing from this picture?"

It's May and he's taking his boat, Gatito, back up the ICW to Lake Champlain, her summer home.  We knew immediately what he'd been so kind as to take a picture of and what was missing from it.  It was at this spot that we first spent quality time together, Michel and us, though not the first time we met.

Waiting at the Great Bridge Lock
The first time we met was earlier that same day when we were lined up at the Great Bridge Lock. It was cold and gray and rainy.  We had been miserably cold for days on end even though we wore all the foul weather gear we owned.  Joy was in short supply.

Michel, in line behind us admired our hats.  "Well, at least we'll have met some nice people by the time we freeze to death," I thought to myself.

Smile?  What (aside from my awesome hat)
do I have to smile about?
Not just a piwate, a sock-monkey piwate, yar.
A little while later, Jane asked me to take over the helm.  DUMB idea, but alas, how were we to know?  Within minutes, ten of them at most, I drove JOY hard--and I mean hard--aground while edging over to allow a power boat to pass  Glumly did we watch as the six or seven boats that had been behind cruised serenely past.  Meanwhile, we tried in vain in the rain to pull ourselves off.  We were in the process of readying an anchor to kedge when we saw Michel (known to us only as Gatito at the time) coming back up the canal.  Later, he told us he'd seen us go aground (being right behind us still) and had kept a watch to see if we'd gotten free.  When there was still no sign us of after what he thought should have been enough time, he decided to come back to see if we needed help--the only one in the line nice enough to care.  (Canadian, wouldn'tcha know.)  Yes, he emailed us a remembrance of the spot, the very same spot and what was "missing" from the picture was us, hard aground.

We were so grateful he'd come to rescue us.  It took him awhile to pull us off and we probably didn't help much because we could barely understand a word he was saying, what with his really thick French Canadian accent.  But we tried our best to be polite because we didn't want him to regret having come back for a couple of Americans.  We wanted to be good ambassadors for our country.  I guess it was lucky for him that we don't speak with an accent.

TowBoat U.S.: for those who don't know Michel.
It wasn't the last time I put us aground on the ICW, but by the next time we were prepared. We'd bought a TowBoat U.S. membership, so even without our friend, we were ok.  

Wow.  Hey, thanks, mon ami.  We'd almost put that whole ICW experience out of our minds.

Hope you have a great trip back.

No comments:

Post a Comment