Chapter 1 (excerpt)

… It’s good we had a hearty breakfast. We made our way back to the boat, it was still a fair distance to get home and the weather wasn’t getting any better. We left the town dock, once again calling for the draw bridge to open and we were on our way down the Kennebec River. While that sounds all well and fine, we were still low on diesel and looking for a marina down river to get fuel. Not only that, we were traveling against the tide. The gray weather turned into drizzle. It was time to break out the rain jackets. I used an app on my phone to try and locate fuel. There were a couple of marinas, but they all had gasoline for the predominant outboards that cruise the Kennebec, not diesel.

Were it not for the lack of fuel and the rainy weather it would have been a great route. As usual, my camera at the ready, I took pictures along the way. I hoped to someday see it all on a sunny day but knowing that may never happen I wanted to capture all the views that were so striking, even on a rainy day. There were little lighthouses on private docks, crisp white church steeples; houses with multiple out buildings stacked up along the river banks, in all colors shapes and sizes.  Nature competed for my attention, osprey nests with their occupants were perched upon channel markers and seals popped their heads out of the water, just long enough to be seen but not photographed.

The rain grew steadier and I tried to stay positive. Traveling against the tide was sucking up what fuel we had faster than usual, and cutting down on our speed considerably. The needle on the gas gage was bouncing around, as though at a loss for how to display this small amount of fuel. Casco Bay was just ahead, but navigating this section of the river was precarious. There were multiple warnings in the cruising guide but Tim was familiar with these waters so I tried not be concerned. The narrow channel funneled the tidal water up into the river with more velocity than we’d already been fighting. Ledges and small islands turned the route into an obstacle course as the rain continued to increase. Regardless, there was a sigh of relief when we were past all the danger areas.

It was then that Tim said, “We’re going to have to be a sailboat for a while”, concerned we didn’t have enough fuel to make it home.

My optimism was now on the decline. The rain was steady now and it was chilly. We raised the sails and were moving along well, for a while. I stayed in the cockpit with Tim, though the dry space below was calling. It seemed the least I could do, keeping him company, given my lack of ability to do anything more helpful. From time to time I did duck below for a reprieve from the rain, each time bumping my head on the semi-closed hatch. Before long, the wind died and it was very slow going. As we moved haltingly along, getting wetter by the minute, I watched a motor boat go by traveling in the opposite direction, farther out in the bay. I longingly stared at the enclosed cabin and the brisk speed at which they were traveling. It was in that moment, with rain dripping off the visor of my hood, that the charm and beauty of sailing began to fade. …

9 thoughts on “Chapter 1 (excerpt)

  1. Melissa

    This is fabulous Barb & I want to read MORE! I found one typo, first paragraph, last sentence …but the(y)? all had gasoline…”
    How can I read more?????

    Reply
    1. Barbara Busenbark – Bradenton, FL – A painter, writer, and photographer still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, although the growing up part seems pretty hopeless at this point.
      Barbara Busenbark Post author

      Thanks Mel, I’ll go fix it. You’ll have to wait until next month for the next segment. What do you think, should the excerpt be a bit longer?

      Reply
  2. Shelley Parish
    Shelley Parish

    I love it Barbara, I could feel the rain!!
    You’ll have to do a book signing for us, along with corresponding Color Notes coordinating cards, posters & paintings. 🙂 Do you have a working title yet?

    Reply
    1. Barbara Busenbark – Bradenton, FL – A painter, writer, and photographer still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, although the growing up part seems pretty hopeless at this point.
      Barbara Busenbark Post author

      Thanks so much.. “The Shakedown Cruise” is my working title but I want to get further along, and maybe ask for suggestions before I decide.

      Reply

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