Day 1: Thursday, October 10, 2013
Port to Port: Watergate Marina to Home
Underway: 7:01 am Motor Off: 0:00 pm Miles Traveled: 185 Stayed At: Home
Mile to Mile: We traveled farther today (by car) than we normally traveled in 5 days on the trip – most of it at 60 mph with thousands of cars whizzing by. We are definitely back in the real world. And just yesterday, we were worried about passing one or two tows a day (at 5 mph).
Sarah met us at the marina with our car and we drove her 30 miles west to her morning meeting with a client before going further west to pick up a van and the trailer. Cindy turned around and headed back to pick up Sarah and drop her off at work while I drove the trailer to the marina and started unloading hundreds of pounds of stuff off of Aurora. It’s amazing how much junk is hidden away in all her storage compartments. After packing everything we could fit into plastic bins and trash bags, we motored Aurora to the boat landing and unloaded as much as we could to lighten the load. Thankfully, we had a wonderful, sunny and cool day to work. We pulled Aurora out without incident and soon had everything tied down and secure for the long trip back home.
Less than an hour after leaving the marina, we pulled up the driveway to Aurora’s winter home and had her parked till next spring. Her topsides look great but her bottom needs a good power washing and some new bottom paint. Her centerboard has some stories to tell and will need a little epoxy to fill in the dings and chips from her untimely meetings with wing dams and other unseen obstacles. But, all in all, she is still beautiful.
We spent the next several hours unloading bins from the van and bags full of stuff from the boat. It was really weird being home again. Our house was super clean since we were trying to sell her before we left and everything was in “show” condition. Except for some overgrown weeds in the garden areas, she is just as we left her 400 days ago. We were greeted by a nice surprise too. My brother Gary (who has been kindly taking care of the yard and house while we were gone) had left a wonderful note congratulating us on our Great Loop and stocked the fridge with a take-and-bake pizza, some beer and fresh fish for dinner. What a great homecoming. (Thank you for everything Gary).
We dropped off the van, picked up a second car and returned to St. Paul (again) to pick Sarah up at work and go out to dinner with her and Jake. We were exhausted after a long and busy day but had a great time visiting before heading home for the last time. Even though we won’t be rocked to sleep or serenaded by the gentle slap of water on the hull, we will probably sleep like babies again.