Saturday, June 2, 2012

We Didn't Rescue Jack Sparrow. Nor Did He Commandeer our Ship.

Today was my birthday. Happy BDay to meeee.
I SHOULD have slept in today.
(Drew was away on his overnight dry grad river rafting adventure, so there was no reason to get up at 8 to deliver him to school.)
However, I had someone coming over to help me clean my house in anticipation of selling it, so I left my alarm set for 8 am.
(I didn't go to bed last night til 3 because THERE WERE PHOTOS to look at! And crop! And post to facebook! And I LOVE doing that... so it was late. And I didn't fall asleep til 3:30 because I needed to relive the day. The rain. The alternate photoshoot locations. The wrong tie. {Drew had ordered a teal tie. Which, obviously was going to be a hot mess next to Danica's blue dress. So I zipped down to the tux rental place and borrowed something more appropriate. Yay. Mom to the rescue.} The actual locations. The dinner/dance. Dancing with Drew for the parent/child dance. SO. Many. Things. To. Treaure. In. My. Heart. And THEN, at 4:30 am - my bedroom door SLAMMED SHUT, for no reason other than someone must have been in the house who intended to do bad things to me and my possessions. I was freaked. Because sometimes I AM a freak. And it took A LONGGG time to relax after that. Maybe an hour or two. So when my alarm went off, I was still tired. Especially in my face. My face was exhausted.

I looked one year older because overnight? I had become one year older.)

ANYway, my house got cleaned.
And by 2 pm all I wanted to do was nap.
I so didn't. Who naps on their birthday? 2 year old and 102 years olds, that's who. I am neither.

By 4:20 Marj and I were at Maxine's house, ready for our ride to the border. We were going to meet Terry at the Campbell Valley store and give her a ride too. Brian was planning on dropping us off at 0 Ave - Shelly was going to pick us up on the US side, after we'd walked through customs. Rose and Val were going to meet us there.

"There" was Al and Shelly's yacht.
My friends were taking me on a dinner cruise along the coast. They had brought all the fixin's for a BBQed steak and salmon dinner.

Oh you bet I know I'm spoiled. And lucky. And blessed.

Our first snag of the evening?
Terry forgot her passport at home. So she had to go back to Cloverdale to retrieve it.

Second snafu?
We miscalculated how long it would take to drive through the crossing ... the lineup started at the Duty Free shop. Ten minutes, we assumed. So Brian decided to drive us right down to the boat, allowing Al and Shelly to stay at the Marina, getting things ready.

Third unfortunate incident?
It took an hour to get through customs.
We didn't make it to the Marina til after 6.
Val, who doesn't have a cell phone, and who knew that plan was to set sail by 5, left at 5:40 pm (with her contributions for the dinner - the salmon for the BBQ) and drove 2 hours to get back home, because she had no way of getting in touch with us, didn't know where the boat was, and thought we'd left without her.
(Rose decided not to join us at the last moment, so that was sad too.)

My cruise-iversary was off to a rocky start. The waters were slightly rougher than expected. A bit of a chop to them.

We boated past Semiahmoo and headed out towards the BC Coast, while staying in American waters...

And looked at White Rock from the water:

Can you see the "white rock" on the beach?

Shelly found a few chicken breasts in the freezer, left over from last fall. After scraping off the freezer burn we cooked those up. Maxine BBQed the three steaks she brought:

... and assembled a mega salad with 100 different ingredients in it. (Thank you pinterest.)
Marj had brought baked potatoes and Cobb's bread. A meal fit for a princess. So delish :)

We all found our groove, sitting either in the bridge, or the living room, or on the roof:

Just as the sun was setting ...(it looked awesome through the galley window)

... Al interrupted our very meaningful, deep conversations by saying, "Jane? In honor of your birthday, we're going to make this cruise extra memorable. I've been in touch with the Coast Guard, and we need to respond to a distressed mayday call placed by a pleasure craft two miles ahead. There are six passengers onboard; we will take on five of the passengers, leaving the captain to stay on his boat while we tow him in to the Semiahmoo fueling dock."

Alrightly then. This is a new experience. 

It had started to rain and the ride was getting bumpy. Al and Shelly searched the horizon looking for the powerless motor boat, but they (the stranded folk) must've misguessed how far away from shore they were. So we went further and further out. The sky was getting greyer, it was getting hard to see through the rain-splattered windshield and my lack of sleep was causing me to get some bad vibes about this whole search-and-rescue expedition. 

I made the assumption that there would be no women on board. No woman would allow her family to be out this late, in a small craft, on rough waters. So. Six men, then. We were inviting five of them onboard. 

Is pirating a vocation option these days?
What would happen if this whole thing was a ruse to get onboard the yacht? To slit our throats and take our purses? To rip our jewels off our dainty necks? To take the yacht and sail it to Mexico. To eat my birthday cake? 

Maybe the lack of sleep was making me punchy and ridiculous. But maybe not. Who knew what we were inviting to my floating birthday party? 

The longer we looked for them, the worse things got in my head. It was getting darker and more ominous out on the water. We would be outnumbered. THEY, whoever they were, were going to be sharing couch space with us. Be part of our conversations. 

I needed air.
I was getting sea sick. The pounding motion was getting to me. 

And all of a sudden there they were. 
WAAAAAAY off shore. 
It felt like a Deliverance moment; their boat was bare bones, stripped. I don't even know if there were seats on it. 

A few young men were visible.
Al hollered out what the plan was. 
We were going to come alongside them. 
"Do you have a rope?"
They didn't. 
"Do you have life jackets for everyone onboard?"
They did.
"Are there more of you?"
Yes, there was.
"Please all come up on deck so we can see you all."
Two more young men came out from somewhere.
"Everyone must have their life jacket on before we try transferring you from your boat to ours."
They listened. And everyone put on those oh-so-stylish orange life jackets with the price tags still dangling.

Al (and his deckhand, Ken) tied up the boat, and welcomed five passengers onto The Royal C, graciously and with authority. This was Al's boat, and he was the Captain. He made the rules. They all complied.

This is the boat's owner. He stayed with his vessel. The rest of them joined us in the living room.

I got a decent look at them once they settled onto the leather couches and predicted that they could be our sons. (Everyone of us women has sons between the ages of 27 and 17.) 
"How old are you all?" I asked.

"I thought so. You could be our sons. I can totally imagine them in this situation."

Turns out they were planning on just going out for a 3 hour 'drink and fish' boat ride. They had fishing rods, a case of beer and a 5 gallon drum of Vodka. And maybe half a brain between them all. They've known each other for years and years; and three of them work together at the refinery down there. 

They had a number of issues with their boat, and were completely unable to move by 4 pm. We 'rescued' them at 8 pm. They had no water, no food, no extra clothing, no nothing on board. 'cept the booze. 

Shelly made a pot of coffee, they (everyone, including the latest additions to this party) sang happy birthday to me (with gusto) we shared my cake(s), (thanks, Terry) then gave them our left overs (which they hoovered.)

(Which is kinda funny, because when it turned out that Val wasn't coming, we were somewhat short of a main ingredient for our supper. We also had no one bringing a vegetable plate. While sitting in the border lineup, Shelly and I talked on the phone, "Well, we have two loaves of bread and 5 frozen chicken breasts. Jesus can do miracles and would be able to feed 5000 people with that. Let's see how far this will go. Who knows, we might have leftovers too." And we did. Did have leftovers. And were able to feed them to our 5 last minute, unexpected guests.)

It was dark by the time we got to the fueling dock. 

Our appreciative guests were sobered up, fed and extremely appreciative. And very helpful.

They each made a point of personally thanking Al and Shelly for their help. Al said, "In the future, if you ever get the opportunity, please pay this forward and help someone else who may be in trouble."

These guys? Did not have happy/impressed wives and girlfriends. Only one guy was getting a ride home. And she was NOT going to let the rest of them get in her vehicle. 

Ahhh, growing up. It's so hard for some people.

And the kid (kid? He's at least 25 years old) has some 'splaining to do tomorrow to the Coast Guard. No way should his boat have been out there.

So. No pirates. No purse snatchers. No Johnny Depp. Just a bunch of guys who coulda bin our kids. Thanks, Al. For doing the right thing, even though it was inconvenient. Thanks Shelly, for modelling hospitality and graciousness. Thanks, Terry, Maxine and Marj for being friendly and welcoming to those yahoos; for enjoying their company and engaging with them in conversation. I am honored to be your friend. 
This? Is the reason I love having friends in my life. I love watching the way you live. I always learn something.

 Thanks, Al and Shelly, for hosting my birthday adventure on the high seas. Your generosity has blessed me over and over again. So thankful for your friendship and love.

Three things I'm thankful for:
1.Our new friends, Travis, Dean, Dusty, Brandon and Calvin. I'm praying for you guys, and the impact tonight's rescue had on you. Trusting that God will use this whole adventure for His purposes in your lives.

2. Drew is home from his adventure too. There were a few snafu's on his trip as well. Ah, this is what life is made of. 

3. PENNIES. Thanks, friends. I think I have a THIRD jar/jug filled now. Keep bringing them. ALL. MONTH. LONG. 


1 comment:

Unknown said...

THIS is the grandest birthday adventure EVER! Wow! So glad everyone's safe. You guys are good people.

Uh-oh, Drew had snafus? But these snafus are sorta funny. (Sorry.) You should blog about it. :o)

Happy birthday again ... love you, Janey-O!