Monday, November 23, 2009

Surprise! Unexpected Guests

Vero Beach

Yesterday I wrote about my dismay for Tarwathie's appearance on top and my unpreparedness for the fact that Libby invited guests for dinner. Ha! That was only the beginning.

Just after I posted yesterday's blog in the sailor's lounge, someone interrupted me. I looked up. It wasn't another cruiser, it was Mary Ann, a family friend from Grand Isle Vermont. I was really caught by surprise. It turns out that Mary Ann was traveling from Vermont to Key West. She was in touch with our daughter Jenny, and Jenny told her how to find us. What a nice surprise. I rowed Mary Ann out to Tarwathie to see Libby. We had a nice time chatting for two hours. Libby kept up her part of the conversation while she cleaned house, and also made lasagna for dinner. "Would Mary Ann like to join us for dinner too?" "No," she said, "I need to drive to Miami before dark."

The next event was to meet for drinks on Waves of Grace, the new Catalina 42 that belongs to friends Walt and Pat. We met Walt and Pat in the Bahamas two years ago. Also coming was Derek from Y-knot, the boat we are rafted with. Pat and Walt and Derek were to be our dinner guests. Libby rode in Derek's dinghy, as I took Mary Ann back to the dock to see her off.

Waves of Grace is a beautiful boat. We all Oh'd and Ah'd over it. Also joining us was Frank from another boat rafted up with Waves of Grace. Of course we invited Frank to join us for dinner too. He said, "Yes." I began to worry about having enough space in the boat and enough food to eat, but Libby assured me that it would be OK.

I took Libby back to Tarwathie. The others would join us in a few minutes. Just then double surprise, who should show up to say hello? It was Al Hatch and Tonya. They are the former owners of Tarwathie. We last saw them in 2005 when we took possession of the boat and they moved to Wyoming. We thought we'd never see them again. Their darling little girl, Madeline was with them. I think Madeline is about 4 years old, and cute as can be. We wanted very much to spend time with Al and Tonya but they were leaving Vero in the morning. Libby said, "Would you like to join us for dinner?" They said, "Yes." I was dumbfounded, 9 people for dinner!!! With only 5 minutes warning???!!! We've never had more than 6 on board before!!! I feared that we would run out of food or that people would be too crowded or uncomfortable. But Libby was unruffled. "It'll work," she said.

Well it did work. The lasagna dinner was delicious. There was plenty to go around. Pat even brought some delicious home made brownies for desert. I cranked up the fans so that the cabin didn't get too warm. Everybody had a good time, the conversation was fantastic, and Madeline was very well behaved. After dinner Al and Tonya and Madeline had to leave, but the rest stayed to play games until midnight (sailor's midnight that is, 9 o'clock).

Amazing. It really did work. Libby was right all along that she could make it work. Kudos to Libby for her skill and bravery.

This morning, I'm working to repair the only casualty of the day. In her scramble, Libby put back the companionway step that I had just varnished. The varnish was dry to the touch but still soft. All the foot traffic embedded grit into the soft varnish. Today, I'm sanding it down again to start afresh with the varnishing. Not a bad price to pay for all the fun we had yesterday.

Surprise surprise surprise.

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