This weekend was our last on the boat for the season. We spent two nights enjoying the cold, clear, and spectacularly starry nights, and the warmth of the cabin by lamplight and the heat from our shipmate stove. When we were not focused on enjoying these last few days on the water we were getting the boat ready for decommissioning and winter storage.

The weekend was bittersweet for several reasons. Saxon, the ship’s wolf, at fourteen years old is showing her age. She is still pretty spry and does not want to be left behind, but she had a couple of falls getting in and out of the boat, which were hard to watch.  We have also missed being on the boat for most of September. Partly due to a month of storms and dangerously high winds, and partly due to the fact that the woman who will voluntarily get up in the middle of a stormy night and stand an anchor watch, and I spent one beautiful and quiet weekend getting married, and another, slightly louder and more social weekend celebrating with family and close friends. So while we missed being on the boat, and we hate to see the ship’s wolf struggle with the onset of old age: she is still with us, and we have so much to celebrate and be grateful for.

Perhaps nothing summarized the weekend as much a rowing ashore each night to give the ship’s wolf her evening walk. We worried about her taking a fall; she worried about missing something good on shore. The first night, we were preoccupied by the events of the last few months and by so much to do that the extraordinary beauty of the night caught us by surprise. The massive expanse of stars reflected in the quiet black water disturbed only by the phosphorescence from our wake and dripping from our oars. We soaked in the beauty and the peace and quiet, and our cares and concerns drained away as the three of us shared this time of literal reflection.

We were sad the season was coming to an end, and we were reminded of why we put so much time and effort into getting out on the water. And we were glad to have this time together and to be able to share it with one another.


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