April 15, 2010

Never Done... (Chapter Six)

Dad and I were alike in many ways (he passed in 1979)... I think one of the reasons I got along with him so well during my younger years, and then later in my early 20's was that he was an engineer, very analytical, and a "prove it" kind of person. I, without really realizing it, am a mirror of that philosophy... I think Dad really hated it when I got into my mid teens... Without sounding too wicked, I couldn't stand being around him. I felt he could read my mind and knew all my pent up teenage feelings, and I hated that. Fortunately we had my early years, including those first years on "Firebird", and then the later years as I got married and started having a family... Again, I move off the point of these posts, but felt it necessary to mention the man that made the life I experienced, what it was...

After many months of living on land, in a 66' sailboat, Firebird was re-launched. We spent a couple of more months at Summerfield's before the masts were finished and re-installed... I do have a funny recollection of us cruising down the New River, in Ft. Lauderdale, on Firebird under diesel power, with no masts or booms. I can imagine what other people thought, but it was a thrill for us.

During that time, Mom was busy trying to get "sponsors" for our soon to happen around-the-world voyage. She wrote letters* to companies trying to get them to "use us" as an example of a family with a totally different lifestyle. I'm sorry that she didn't have more success than she did, but I have to say, Lawry's Spices took the bait and the idea seemed great to them. As a result, we had all the spices we could possibly use, in return they got the story and the rights to include us in commercials if they so chose. As a side note, Lawry's is still my favorite Seasoned Salt and Garlic Salt, and we were never in any commercial.

* Letters = handwritten or typed, no such thing as emails in the early 70's.

The (rebuilt) maiden cruise of the Sailing Vessel Firebird was more than memorable... Dad had switched jobs and had been working with a company manufacturing pre-fabricated fiberglass homes. One of the potential business partners wanted to construct one of these homes on Andros Island, in the Bahamas. Lucky for us, we could move our home much closer so that Dad could be a part of the construction/assembly, still make some money, and start the journey. Home for the next couple of months was Morgan’s Bluff at the very northern end of Andros. Named after the pirate Henry Morgan, there were hundreds of things that required exploring by us four boys. These things included reefs that needed to be dived upon, wilderness areas that at some point in time were the home to real Pirates, not to mention the caves that cris-crossed the hollows of the bluff itself. We never found any pirates treasure there, but I'm guessing my mom can still smell the bat dung on our clothes after several thorough investigations we had of those caves.

Ok, I am trying to limit these "Never Done" posts to a couple or three paragraphs so that no-one (including me) gets bored...

Over and "Out" once again, from Portsmouth, VA

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