Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Bernie Goes to Charlevoix

Ok, so in our last post we were leaving East Jordan for Charlevoix.

We had planned to stay in East Jordan for two nights, but suddenly Bernie asked to cut that to one night. She claimed it was because we had seen everything there was to see in East Jordan and she wanted to see the new marina and park in Charlevoix.

Phil didn't quite understand that. Sure, we'd seen all of East Jordan in about an hour or so, but that's the case with a number of these small harbor towns. What was so special about Charlevoix that caused her to suddenly want to drop her new hobby of photographing wildlife through the binocular lenses and rush out of town like a traveling salesman chased by the farmer who's unhappy about that little "sales meeting" with his daughter?

Like always, Phil just shrugged and said "sure, let's go."

And it was a nice cruise up Lake Charlevoix. The Labor Day traffic was gone now, so we mostly had the lake to ourselves. We made our way up the lake past all the unusual, quaint, pretty and, sometimes, grotesquely huge, boathouses. This is Lake Charlevoix after all.

All along, though, it just felt different. Bernie seemed almost giddy with expectation (and I don't think I've ever used the words "Bernie" and "giddy" in the same sentence before), as though she was REALLY looking forward to Charlevoix, and kept urging Phil to "hurry up, we'll never get there". Which is a bit unusual because, what with current gas prices, she's usually telling him to slow down. And she really unnerved him when she reached over and goosed the throttle. He would have pulled out his "I'm the captain" speech but she'd have just laughed at him (loudly and in a humiliatingly mocking manner) like she always does when he tries that.

So, anyway, we made it to Round Lake and the Charlevoix Marina in record time. Before Phil could reach for the VHF mike, she pulled out the little handheld radio and was calling the marina. Upon receiving the slip number, she looked at Phil and asked "Got that?"

Without actually receiving confirmation, she said "Good" then mumbled something about getting money and went below. She reappeared as we were easing down the fairway to the slip. Phil was busy manuevering Meridian into the slip and didn't really pay attention as she dashed out to the bow to handle the lines.

That's when it got a little weird. As we moved into the slip, she grabbed the bow line and tossed it to the dock hand. Then, in one lighting-fast motion, she vaulted over the bow railing onto the dock with a display of agility and athleticism Phil had never witnessed before. Thinking she was going for the stern line or maybe the spring line, he smiled to himself and said "Now she's really becoming a boat person".

But apparently she had other plans. Instead of getting the other lines, she just yelled over her shoulder to the dock hand as she sprinted up the dock "Don't forget the stern line! And, Phil, please try not to hit other boats this time."

Then she disappeared into town.

As Phil and the dock hand looked at each other with puzzled expressions on their faces, she returned, strolling down the dock with a big smile and a Woolly Bugger Lake Effect (white chocolate mocha coffee drink) in her hand.

She REALLY likes her Lake Effects.

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