The Id and The Odyssey; Episode 120
From Rich’s Jeep as he drove into the marina parking lot he saw the cabin lights of the Sea Odyssey were on. He walked down the dock and tapped on the hull.
"Ahoy," he said. "Anyone awake in there?"
The cabin door opened and Leo's head popped out. "Breakfast?" He asked.
"Is it ready?" Rich asked.
"Not quite," Leo said.
"Let's shove off now and by the time we're in the middle of the bay we'll all have a morning appetite," Rich said.
Leo and the boys received their first lessons in sailing on the ‘high seas’ and Loretta had her first experience of preparing pancakes in a bobbing boat.
With the sails hoisted and a steady heading Rich went below and ate with the Brinkman's.
"Where do you plan on taking us?" Loretta asked.
"A place I know you will like," Rich said. "Mohegan Island. We should be there before noon. We may even see whales today."
"Really?" Rocky said.
"Sometimes they come so close you can see them looking at you," Rich said.
"We saw Moby Dick," Dusty said.
"Me too," Rich said, "and it's noting like that. Whales are friendly, cautious, and sometimes curious."
They did see a whale. He came within twenty yards and blew from his blow hole. The Brinkman's appeared dubious. Rich got Leo's attention. He motioned for him to go below and get the camera. He got it and took shots of the boys curiously leaning forward peering at the whale. Leo handed the camera to the boys so they could take pictures. Rich steered away and the whale curled on out to sea.
"We should name him, you know," Rich said.
"What does Moby Dick mean," Dusty asked.
"There once was a whale named Mocha Dick that lived around the South Seas Island of Mocha. He was an albino and was difficult to catch. Herman Melville changed it to Moby Dick for fear that Mocha Dick might hunt him down or worse yet sue him for using his name without permission."
"That's not true," Rocky said. "Isn't it."
"The Mocha Dick is true and that's about it," I said. "But let's get back to the name."
"How about Mopey Blue because he looks so sad," Rocky suggested.
"I don't think we can do better than that," Rich said looking at the boys. "Mopey Blue it is."
They spent a day on Monhegan Island, and another on Manana Island. They stayed a night on the waters between the two islands. Rich slept on a bench in the cockpit and gave them the cabin. The boys slept on the births in the main cabin and Leo and Loretta in the V birth.
It was exhilarating for Rich sleeping under the stars on the water.
After a day of walking every square foot of Manana Island they sailed back to Penobscot Bay. Night quickly sprang upon The Odyssey and Rich sailed with the running lights. The Brinkman's were in the cabin playing cards. The waters were cold and They sailed into a chilly northern breeze. Rich was at the helm tacking closer toward the bay. The night was clear. Nights like these give rise to speculation of life beyond the earth. When one is alone the desire for companionship is so intense life elsewhere on another planet seems plausible. Rich thought, “My vessel someday will take me to distant lands that will be like distant planets beyond our solar system and people there will find me as intriguing as I will find them. What I will open is a grand book, experience and possibility - brothers born from hope and opportunity.”
Leo brought a mug of tea to Rich.
"Thanks," Rich said.
"I figured you might be needing it," Leo said and sat. "Thought I'd give you a little company."
"I can use that as well," Rich said.
"I don't think we could have dreamed of a better vacation," Leo said. "You have sure showed us a good time. Sleeping on the ocean in a small sailboat - that's something."
"Leo, we were really sandwiched between two islands," Rich said. "That made the water's calm, but I know what you mean, those boys will make a real story out of it."
"They said they want to sail around the world someday," Leo said. "You know kids. They'll probably end up stamping out bumpers like their ole man."
"Those bumpers got them from Cleveland to a night on the treacherous of the North Atlantic. It puts food on the table, a roof over their heads, cloths on their backs, and shoes on their feet - just to mention a few." Rich said. "Are you home every night Leo? Do you spend the weekends at the bars? Do you go to games and tell those boys they did good no matter what? Do you plan a family vacation that you would have liked to have spent the money on something you wanted, like a little sports car or motorcycle? Those bumpers look mighty important to me. If your boys decided to make bumpers I'd be damned proud of them.” Rich pressed his lips. “I‘m sorry, I get carried away when I think too long. It‘s just that I‘ve been thinking about your family a lot. You got everything in the world. Those boys have everything in the world. There‘s no need to sail around the world."
Leo stuck his head outside the canopy and looked out over the water. The breeze caught his thin hair and blew it back. "What makes a man want to go by himself around the world in a sailboat?"
"I suppose adventure for one thing," Rich said looking at the compass, then beyond the bow, and then making a slight adjustment with the wheel.
"This vacation is enough adventure for me," Leo said.
"If I had what happened to you happen to me I would think so too," Rich said.
"I thought the boys were gone," Leo said. "I don't ever want to have anything like that happen again. I don't know what some people do who lose a child. I suppose they go on."
They were quiet. The words resonated. Rich could not shake them loose. Rich stood for a moment in some sort of a vain way thinking that the breeze might catch hold of those words in my head and blow them beyond the stern and out to sea.