Time, Flies

The time has come to finally get away. We have spent the last several years preparing for our journey to salt water, palm treed islands and warm winter weather. At times we have even counted the days. Our old calendars are filled with crossed off tasks, some epic and some mundane, but all of which have had one singular goal. Those years, those months, those days have come down to this one ultimate point of untying the lines and heading out on our adventure.

We’ve had time with family and time with friends to say our goodbyes. Parties and dinners and hugs from loved ones and co-workers and sailing friends to send us on our way.

What we haven’t had is time to think, time to relax or time to take it all in. We’ve spent an enormous amount of time preparing and putting every little thing in its place. We had to take time to move every single thing we had in storage and find other arrangements. We got the boat in the water in May and spent every moment we had in preparation. The solar panels and boat rewiring alone took us a month to complete, and the process of moving out of our tiny apartment and getting everything into storage, the RV and our boat took all the time we had. In the end we just packed everything we thought we could ever need into the boat and imagined that we will figure the rest out along the way, when we have time.

Time to go! Time to get away from the dock! Hugs for family, friends and well-wishers and get the engine running. When the time you’ve arduously planned and prepared for finally arrives it washes over you and keeps on moving as if your years of hopes and dreams are unimportant. You are completely insignificant and time doesn’t care if you act on your dreams or sit idly by. This time we made it to the starting line, which it really is. This goal of our goals was not the end of our adventure, but the beginning.

And so we start. We start to have time to relax, time to explore, time together for Marge and I to live our lives and see and do things together that we have always wanted. I hope to have time to write, time to share our journey with family and friends, time to see new things and meet new people along the way, and time to learn and grow further as a person as we have time to explore everything we hope to see along the way. Marge wants to have time to read, time to see things and time to be creative in her own ways.

At 5pm on Wednesday, July 18th, 2018 we backed away from our dock at Siskiwit Bay Marina as time moved on and we moved forward.
So! Here we are, motoring across a calm Lake Superior on a perfectly clear day. Leaving our home waters of the Apostle Islands towards Houghton in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It was going to be a long 15 hour day for us and no wind to help move us along. For those unfamiliar with a typical July on Lake Superior, no wind means Black Flies and boy did we have them. It still astounds us how those little buggers can find you when you’re 25 miles offshore, but they do. This time they weren’t biting us, they weren’t even fast movers, but there were so many of them we didn’t want to start smashing them because of the mess it would make. That being said, we could hardly move without getting them underfoot. Just sitting down meant shooshing them away and several times I smashed a few just moving around. Then, out of the clear blue sky, while we were about 10 miles off the coast of Michigan near the Porcupine Mountains, in flew 4 little birds all in unison and landing on our boat. It appeared to be one lucky female with 3 eager suitors and she was in the process of defending herself or at least tiring them out a bit. Within about 2 minutes she flew away back towards land with two of the little birds following her. But one had supposedly had enough and he stayed with us on Wandering Toes… For 4 hours. At first we thought it was neat to be able to give a ride to the little guy given that he was so far from shore. We took pictures and made to not make any sudden movements when he was near us. But before too long the two sailing monkeys figured out that he was eating the flies. A lot of them. About 10 flies a minute he ate, pretty consistently for about 4 hours. Doing the math he must have ate in the neighborhood of 2500 flies and it was very evident that he was making a significant difference in the fly population aboard Wandering Toes. We were so happy to have him aboard having his fill of the micro-delicacies that we even moved to the bow of the boat giving him complete access to the cockpit area and leaving him to do his important work. Now we had wished that the other 3 birds had stayed too. Our one little bird ate almost 95% of the flies we had in about 4 hours before finally looking back towards the Porcupine Mountains, now almost 25 miles further away than when he landed on us, giving us one little chirp of thanks for the meal and taking off in a straight line in the direction from which he had first arrived. Fly problem greatly diminished by this one little bird who shared our ride with us, we were in many ways enriched by his presence on this fine day.

Thanks for spending your time with us!

Dave and Marge Back
s/v Wandering Toes and Verne!

13 thoughts on “Time, Flies”

  1. Catching up on yuor posts. Wonderful
    ecperience and cute story to start off your journey. Looking forward to reading more!


  2. Sorry we didn’t see you off, but. Our sons wedding and receptions kept us away. Fair winds, and we’ll follow your journey here….


  3. Nice to actually see folks who are living their dream. New concept / spin on the phrase I hear around the office: How’s it going ……living the dream 🙂
    Totally enjoy yourselves !!!


  4. So good to see you two actually doing it. In my experience, it’s not one in a hundred planners, talkers and dreamers who actually do it. Carry on.


  5. Awesome story! So glad to share in your journey. And thank goodness for that cute little bird! Miss you at the office, but again…so happy for you and Marge! Smooth sailings.


  6. Happy to read your first blog post from your next chapter. It will be quite a book! Wishing you safe sailing.


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