Date Night

Last week I touched on balance, and a large part of that is family. On Friday I took sometime to focus on family and my lovely wife, ILOVEYOUMEANIT, planned a date night.

H’s childcare provider does date nights every few weeks, and we always take advantage of them. So at around 5:30 I dropped off the kid and went home to pick up my wife. She spent much of the day prepping food and making sure everything was perfect. When I got home she handed me a large tote bag, hopped in the car and we drove off.

Feeling pressed for time, I drove a little fast, and tried to make it to NAS Pensacola before they closed the back gate. I made It as the guard was pulling the gate shut, and he kindly checked my ID and let us in. Em instructed me to head for Barrancas beach. We pulled up, found a section away from the other family there, and parked the car. We hopped out, grabbed the bag, kicked off our shoes, and headed for the water. About 3 feet from the surf is a steep slope and so we put our blanket down on top of the slope and admired the great location.

Start of sunset

After getting situated, Emily presented me with a menu. She had made and prepped the entire dinner, and she printed a menu to show me the 3 courses planned. We started with shrimp cocktails and sweet potato soup. This was accompanied by Sophia Champagne- in a can! And to make it even better, Em used the little straw it came with.

After our appetizers, we had the main dish. It was one of my favorites. Grilled Caesar Salad, with a vegan Caesar dressing. No eggs and no anchovies. I don’t like anchovies and it is just a good recipe that is healthier than original Caesar dressing.

Following the main dish, we finished with a little dessert. Homemade chocolate covered strawberries. None of that shell or hershey’s sauce; actual melted and cooled chocolate.

The meal was wonderful and the quiet serenity of the beach made for an incredible night. It was intimate and romantic, and was a slice of heaven on earth. The surroundings just seemed to wash away the stress of life and school and Em looking for a job. There was nothing but calm and love.

And the sunset helped as well!

Photo Oct 26, 6 37 12 PM

DON’T FORGET: Today is Monday and Day 10 of 30 and we have 60 pushups and situps today.
Also being Monday it is chest, tri’s and abs day. Perform 3 sets of 6 reps.
I-Must-Go.-My-Gym-Needs-Me.

Don’t Tell My Wife (part 2)

So quick recap-

Went on a three hour cruise, hahaha, and got ship wrecked; well just stuck in waist deep water.

OK, so at this point Craig and I are floating in the middle of the Chesapeake day and we have no clue why or how to get out. After the initial call to the coast guard we began to discuss our situation with the operator on the other end of the radio. After ensuring them that no one was hurt, we began trying to piece together a possible location. Based on our description of the night and the location of our radio single, they believed that they knew where we were.

It was going to take a while for them to get out to us, and as we prepared to sign off we were asked if there was anything they could do for us. There was. We had missed calling my wife and now it had been about an hour since we should have called. I asked the operator if they could call Emily and let her know I was alive and uninjured. At this request I received a slight chuckle and the man said “don’t worry sir, she has already called and we have her on the phone now!” Well atleast she followed through on the safety instructions I asked of her.

After about an hour we received a radio call and were told the coast guard ship was in our area and was looking for us. We were instructed to grab our flash light and begin flashing the light on and off. After a few attempts, and no sign of the ship, the coast guard decided to try and flash us. Within the first few minutes we spotted the flashlight and informed the ship we could see them. Again we were asked to reply and after 30 minutes they still couldn’t find us. A few attempts later they located us! Finally we could get out of here.

Not so fast. Because of where we were they were unable to come in and get us. Had the ship approached us, they too would have been stuck and unable to pull us out. We now had two options: first we could wait out the night and get a tow from Tow Boat US, or we could get a helicopter ride off our boat and home. Haha- so you mean the coast guard who couldn’t find me, was now going to fly a helicopter in and pick me up? Since Craig and I were not hurt, and we didn’t trust the guard at this point, we opted to sleep the rest of the night and get out of the predicament in the morning.

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Craig wrapped himself in a sleeping bag, and I in a tent, and we slept until about 7 am. When we woke up, we noticed the tide had come in and gone back out, and we had now moved from our original spot up against the bank of a beach. After having a meal replacement shake, we hadn’t eaten in 14 hours, I hopped out and took a little walk around the bank. Soon we received a call from the Tow Boat and within minutes saw him coming our way.

After arriving on scene, the captain let us know that he was as close as he could get and we were going to have to float a tow line down the current and attach it to our boat. We tried and we tried, and it wasn’t going to work out. No problem, just hop in the water and swim to the tow line, in April! The water was COLD. Craig let me know he would “Jump on this grenade” since I jumped in the night before.

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Two minutes later we were pulled away from the bank and asked to crank our engine. It started on the very first turn of the key. We followed the Tow Boat to the closest ramp and began to fill out the paperwork. Turns out we were an hour from where we wanted to be. We knew we were about an hour from home, and had we been on the right path we would have made it just fine. Instead we had drifted north and were in Hampton and not near Little Creek at all. We went inside the little bait store and plugged Craig’s phone in. After a little charge I called Emily. First thing I said “Please don’t be mad”.

Well she came and picked us up, took us to lunch, picked up the trailer and drove us back out to get the boat. Craig and Emily talked, and while I am alive and able to write this today, I was not allowed to speak and she was pretty mad. I am happy to say it didn’t last and she is finally no longer mad at me. But they may only be because we sold the boat this year and so I can’t go on any adventures. But hey, I have a few of those without the boat!

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Don’t Tell My Wife (part 1)

Don’t worry, I am not hiding anything from Emily. It’s just that she hates this story. I am not allowed to tell it in her presence and if she hears me start to tell the story; well I might as well make up the couch and sleep out there. But it is an entertaining and being on the blog she can choose to ignore it.

Several years ago one of my best friends and I decided to take a trip from Virginia Beach to Tangier Island. In my boat. You can make the trip by highway and then a ferry, but there is no sense of adventure in that and we always looked for adventure. My boat was a simple 20′ Mako Walk-through bow-rider. The plan was simple- Craig gets the food, we split the alcohol and I paid for gas. We would leave after work Friday, sleep on the beach for the next two nights and return home on Sunday.

Very Similar Boat to Mister Max

Very Similar Boat to Mister Max

We left at 2 on Friday and headed up the Chesapeake bay. I told Em that we would contact her by 530 and let her know that we had made it to the island or were running behind. In the name of safety we wanted to make sure we checked in and in case we didn’t someone would worried and call for help.

After about 2.5 hours we ┬árealized we were a little west of our destination and pulled into a little marina. At that time there was a wedding party showing up at the docks and so we asked them if they could direct us to Tangier. They told us were it was and then stated “You will never make it in that.” We thanked them with a laugh and turned towards the east. An easy 30 minutes later we docked at Tangier and unloaded our gear.

We hiked through the town- 5 building and some houses- and out onto the beach. After a short search we found the right spot and pitched our tents. We dug a hole to shield our fire from the wind and went in search of wood. Using drift wood we built a fire and began to cook.

View from the tents

View from the tents

The next morning we woke up and eat leftovers from the night before. We then decided to walk into town and explore the island. We passed what looked like a one room school house and made our way to the center square. There was a small general store, a post office, a restaurant and small commercial docks for the fishing ships. We decided to eat lunch at the restaurant. At the restaurant the staff was preparing for the prom dinner that evening. There were two boys and two girls at the school we passed who were having prom that night. The restaurant was giving them dinner.

Some of the fishing docks

Some of the fishing docks

At 6 that evening I received a call from a buddy. He wanted to let us know that Sunday was supposed to be stormy and that we should think about heading home. So we called Emily, told her we would be home at 10 and if we didn’t call by 1030, let the coast guard no we were missing.

By the time we got the boat loaded and headed out of the marina, the rain had started. We headed south and used our phones to help guide us. First Craig’s phone lost battery and died on us. Easy fix, just grab my phone. Well the rain had started and phones don’t like rain. After about 30 minutes of getting pounded by rain we lost the phone. Water logged to the point of death.

So now we are int he middle of a storm. 1.5 hours from Tangier and home. No phone with gps and trying to navigate based on the coastline lights. It cant be hard. Head south, we had a compass, and skirt the coast line until we reached the Chesapeake bay bridge. Well after another hour we went flying by something and Craig yelled “What’d that sign say?” Without missing a beat, I turned the boat around to head back to the sign. And we stopped.

The boat just stopped moving. No power to the engine or anything. First thing I did was check the gas. There was plenty. So assuming I had just run aground I hopped over the edge of the boat and was up to my chest in water. So we aren’t onshore, lets just push ourselves back out and get moving again. Well the boat won’t budge and just like that we were stuck and had no clue as to why.

Next move- “PAN PAN PAN” We called the Coast Guard over the radio and began to tell our tale.

 

To be continued…tomorrow