As we careen down the road toward our BTE (Big Trip East), lots of preparation is going on. Lots of it is stuff we wouldn’t think of if a deadline wasn’t prowling around waiting to slap us in the face in a couple of months, and as a result a long list is developing. We crossed one of those items off the list this week and it coincidentally is also one of my Bucket List items, so a big double GoodOnYa for us!
It’s likely, unless you are our age (or so), you have never seen Gilligan’s Island on TV. It’s a story about a “3-hour cruise” that results in an island shipwreck that went on for many seasons and featured a cast of characters that included First Mate Gilligan (Bob Denver), the Skipper (too), a millionaire and his wife, a movie star, the Professor and Mary Ann, all on Gilligan’s Isle! You can find the music lyrics online to fact-check all of this but be warned it’s a vicious ear worm tune. It was a cute show, and slapstick funny, but the most salient lore that fell out of it was the age-old “Ginger or Mary Ann” question that has vexed many of us, especially guys, for decades. Ginger was the sexy, glamorous Movie Star in the tight long white gown, while Mary Ann was from Kansas, a perky, ponytailed, tight short-shorts Girl Next Door. You get the picture, or if you don’t you can stop reading right here.
I’ve failed to come to grips with an answer to that question all my life. Perhaps I don’t WANT to come to an answer, because that would be the end of it. But I think I have come to a compromise. Several years ago, we took our boat, the Knot Done Yet, up to Canada, staying in the very posh Van Isle Marina near Sidney B.C. because we couldn’t get a space in the much cheaper municipal marina. The space they reserved for us was a “small space”, suitable for a “smaller yacht”. We checked in, and a nice dockmaster in a dinghy escorted us to the slip, which turned out to be 60 feet deep and 20 feet wide, considerably larger than our little 27’ speedboat. Our boat wasn’t quite yet a yacht, although it aspired to be one when it grew up, and we felt slightly self-conscious in the shade of the much, much larger (and taller) True Yachts that surrounded us.
That feeling quickly vanished when a parade of captains of many of these True Yachts started slowly walking by to admire the sleek lines of our “sports boat”. When one, who was very likely voyeuristically reliving his past, asked “How fast is that thing?”, we realized that while his True Yacht was several orders of magnitude larger in tonnage to ours, ours was nearly a full order of magnitude faster than his. Game, set, match. In a world where size obviously matters, we had managed to establish Mariner Equality. We became accepted members of the True Yacht crowd for the rest of the weekend.
We were taking advantage of the Beverly Hills of marinas by walking the gangways and admiring all of our new BFF’s boats, when we came across two slips. One was empty, and the one next to it had a smart True Yacht:
My immediate thought was “Where is Mary Ann?”. I quickly became convinced that this particular Captain was the fanciful owner of TWO True Yachts, obviously, and the missing one just had to be Mary Ann. This genius had solved his Gilligan’s Isle choice crisis by opting for BOTH! And obviously spent half of his time with one, the other half two-timing with the other. Brilliant! And thus, the root of my Bucket List obsession was planted. I resolved myself to one day achieving that same solution. I would own TWO True Yachts, with the same naming convention, and split my time between my marine mistresses.
A few years have passed, and Daddy Warbucks hasn’t yet knocked on my door with the financing for this dream, but I managed to get to a slightly downsized resolution. Way back in the first paragraph, I mention our preparation for the BTE. That preparation involved acquiring 2 kayaks of a specific length such that they could be carried on the rear deck of our travel trailer, exactly 8 feet, giving us the ability to splash about with all of nature in the southern waterways along our BTE path. They are identical, and while not True Yachts, they are boats, they float, and better yet, they have space for a name! So, with help from Wendy’s Cricut (a marvelous little machine that she will soon wear out, I’m sure), we christened them!
I feel a sense of immense accomplishment. True to my expectations, our True Yacht (at least in my head) kayaks have fulfilled a dream for me. These two miraculous adventure machines will, of course, have prominent appearances in future blogs, unless they, along with us, get consumed by a Gator named Gilligan. I’ll be in the market for a guest blogger for THAT installment!
To that end, Tippie has some advice (doesn’t he always?).