Chapter 2: Drop anchor.
E had been thinking all week long of potentially "going boating" yesterday. Saturday, he would go down and tinker about things that didn't run perfectly on his several day with kayaks outing with his visiting sister, et al. I even called him Saturday afternoon, but his cell phone was in his car, and he was stuck on the houseboat, for a few hours straight, while it stormed hard. Sunday, yesterday, would have light winds in directions that'd work for us, and perhaps an occasional scattered shower.
It'd be a day trip. "You're bringing Daisy along, right?" She's gotten a lot more comfortable about going to E's house, and with us together. We opted to have dinner on the boat this time, stopping at a farmer's market for fresh tomatos and ears of corn, and then a fish market for steamed blue crabs, with an Old Bay-like spice, of course. (I am so not up for dumping live creatures into pots of boiling water. Even if I suggested eating them, being in season and all, and I know that's how they're, well, boiled and steamed.)
Daisy seemed excited to go with me and even to see the boat and the marina there, "Boat, Daisy, want to go to the BOAT?" Daisy does learn words, so I try to repeat them. She learned "bacon" quite quickly at E's house one morning and yes, E fed her.
Anyway, at the boat, E lifted Daisy onto the deck, and she was a lot less anxious, hanging out primarily with me but not necessarily. She looked out the windows and figured out, wait, this time, we're moving. A tentative okay, then a more assured this is okay, sniff sniff, the estaurine air still smells good. Sometimes she'd settle onto the couch, even almost sleeping, sometimes she'd come out on deck with me, sniffing through the door at the water and air. It was really beautiful marshy waterlines, occasionally drizzling a bit, occasionally sunny. I had my legs up, contemplating a pink summer (I decided that pink is my toenail color this summer), as if I don't have a trillion critical things to worry about, and watching the osprey through E's excellent binoculars. The osprey prefer to nest on the pilings. One had a large piling area, but scant nesting materials of twigs and such. We figured it may have blown away some in Saturdays heavy storm, while the other pilings had nests slightly more protected from the wind.
A speedboat went by, and we rocked slightly in its wake. Daisy was always on alert, and came up to peek out the doors on the front deck, watching the very mild waves, and went back warily to the safety of the couch inside.
After a while, E got things ready for anchoring, having me steer now that we were long out of a channel and it was easy going. Then, he dropped anchor. I watched the chain go overboard with it.
"Oh, damn." Pause. "That's the stupidest thing I've ever done." He seemed incredulous. "That's a four-hundred dollar anchor." Which wasn't the point and even he knew that.
"Did you not tie it to something?"
At the time, E's mind was racing through alternatives to us finding the now-lost anchor (such as landing on the sandy shore not too far away, etc.). Later, he teased me that I must have distracted him, explaining how it's so very basic to tie the anchor to something (the line, the boat? something, anyway), that he'd never forgotten to do so, previously.
This time, he stripped down to his underwear before diving in. I used the depth gauge to help us figure out where he dropped the anchor compared with where the houseboat may have drifted. E could stand easily in the shallow water yet not see a thing, especially without his eyeglasses. The tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay are almost always murky with low visibility, and we'd just stirred them up further as had the storms Saturday. He found it! E found the anchor! Relief as he held it up for me, then E climbed up the ladder in the back (after I turned off the idling engine of course).
Daisy seemed entirely unaffected by the lost and found anchor, and was simply pleased we were pleased and were starting dinner. Then the storm came, a scattered thunderstorm having us bring in all chairs but not the table up top that sounded like an upstairs neighbor. Somehow, Daisy didn't comment, not even vocally yet at home, she'd bark and bark at such noises.
Calm. Shiny waters, pink in the cleared air. We moved the rest of our dinner upstairs. Delicious. There is nothing quite like fresh blue crab. Birds returning, frogs or something speaking loudly in the marsh. Daisy enjoyed that.
One set of birds seemed to be in a bit of a tither. "Look, E, that one'sturning its head away from the other." "Must be the female," he says with a smirk. The markings could indicate that it is a female. "She" then slid further down the railing, away from her mate. He didn't visually take notice. Then she flew off, and he followed, in parallel.
Daisy did once ask to be let out the door, as if to go for a walk. I'd timed things, and knew she could last longer. Worst case, such as if the anchor stayed lost and we really had drifted, we'd put out a towel upstairs for her to use. Daisy didn't quite get the concept that a traveling boat moves across water; there was no land outside that door like there would be if we were in a car. I picked her up, and let her see over the edge at all the water. She stopped asking to "go out," and was fine when we got back into dock along with a beautiful pink evening sky.
I still joked with E that perhaps he should just bring an extra change of clothing with him every time he goes boating with us. He knows I'd brought a bathing suit, just in case, and joked that maybe I should have gone in instead of him. Laughing, "I don't feel badly any longer for having lost your car keys (and boat key)." Pause. "You're never going to let me live this down, are you?" Ha. "No." :)
We both agreed that Daisy is doing a lot better, and how she was bodes well for any upcoming multi-day boating trips we may take. While we were all tired, Daisy was the one snoring the loudest this morning, on a bed that doesn't move about with the water.