** Editor’s Note: With my little unexpected “Sick Leave” the blog’s timeline is a bit discombobulated. Grin is going to finish up his thoughts on our time in the storm anchorage, then I will fill you in on my health adventure in Thailand because I know curiosity is threatening to kill many cats. Once that is out of the way, we can get back to the stories and photos from the full tour of Thailand. Hope this keeps things flowing in a sensible manner. Without further ado….here’s Grin:**
The morning after the storm cleared, the deck of Sonrisa starts bustling with intentions to cast off with our next destination when the radio rings out. “Sonrisa, Sonrisa, Sonrisa, this is Steel Sapphire”. There is small talk on Channel 17, and our crews decide to collaborate over one last breakfast chocolate cake before parting ways. I stretch and yawn, readying myself to be unfolded and traverse the anchorage when Steel Steven El Tango Batman arrives at Sonrisa’s hull. His unkempt hair and the pocket protector in his cupholder leads me to the conclusion I am in the company of Steel Steven this morning, not Tango.
“Hey, Grin! Wasn’t that something last night? Did you see when the eye of the storm overtook us? So much fog!”
“He, he. Didn’t I tell you it would be fun? It was fun. ADA-VENNNN-TUUURA!”
Steel Steven tips one corner of his mouth upward, “You’re a crazy one, Grin.”
Just then, Andrew and Leslie hop aboard Steel Steven and Pete drives them away. “Hey! No fair!” I call after them. “I want to go, too!” While napping through the second half of the storm, I realized I could put Steel Steven’s tendency to enjoy mathematical equations to use. He can probably calculate the likely location and depth of buried treasure based upon current drift and rate of tidal silting in hong inlets!
Aboard Steel Sapphire, Andrew and Leslie pull up cushions around the cockpit table and everyone shares a mutual sadness about parting ways. Steely and her crew are heading to Boat Lagoon to begin work on her decks in the hopes of getting everything ready to cross the Indian Ocean this year. Sonrisa and her crew already know that won’t be possible, so we are enjoying the full extent of the Thai adventure season, and only after the monsoons start will we haul out and get to work.
“I guess you guys are used to saying goodbyes,” Pete says.
“Oh, we never say goodbye.” Leslie says, “It’s too hard and it always makes me sad. We say ‘catch you later,’ instead. Besides, we will probably see you again.”
“Bahh.” Andrew says, “you aren’t going to get your boat work done, anyway. You will be crossing the Indian Ocean with us in 2020.”
“Rude! You can’t jinx them like that….” Leslie says, then “But, I for one would be more than happy to have you guys in the Indian Ocean fleet with us. Think about all the fun we could have. Think of all the Mini-Pies.” The four of them stare off into space imagining all the beach parties we could have in the Maldives. They eat the cake and the Sapphire crew bestows the Oddgodfreys with gifts: a second windscoop for Sonrisa’s hatch and a pie plate. Andrew returns to Sonrisa’s deck clutching his pie plate to his heart.
“Catch you later, Grin.” Steel Steven says to me. His usually frizzed out hair has laid down now, the stresses of storm management laid to rest and only a few short miles to go before their cruising season is done.
“Catch you later, Steven.”
Everyone returns to their pre-departure checklists. Within no time Sonrisa is en-route to Railay Beach and Steel Sapphire is turning a course Northward. I watch Steel Steven El Tango Batman swing from his davits as Sonrisa vibrates below me. “I’m going to miss that strange little guy,” I say.
“I knew you’d come around,” Sonrisa says. “You can’t call yourself an Oddgodfrey without appreciating a bit of Odd in your life.” She has a point, all my favorites are a bit odd. This gets me thinking back on Saltie, her old tinny hull and her ratty rope surround used to cushion her and avoid marking up boats she nestles against. I wonder where she is now… I hope she didn’t sink. She just stopped writing, who knows why? I didn’t ever get to really say goodbye to her. Anything could have happened.
This train of thought depresses me. “Catch you later, Saltie,” I think.
Weirdos. Yeah, I’m fond of weirdos, especially those who embrace their strange and enjoy it to its fullest extent. We all know I’m a weirdo. In the entire world we’ve sailed, I’ve only met a handful of other Portabotes. I don’t fit in with all these deflatables around me, they bump me and laugh at my foldy-hull. They accuse me of being *gasp* unstable, and they never believe me when I explain I cannot be punctured or sunk. They always just say, “Sure, Grin, sure thing.” They are just jealous, they don’t know me at all. I am the unsinkable Port-a-Bote! Who’s to say Steel Steven isn’t a spy. Maybe Pete and Jen are under the protection of the Queen. We all know Tango uses too much hair grease. It is then, inspiration strikes. I grab my pen and adventure log, stick my tongue out the right corner of my lip and furrow my brow with all the intensity my poet heart can muster: