Once ashore, I had some trouble finding the shower
and then a long wait till I could use it. I was so boiled over
that I did not even notice the wait time. The shower felt good, though, with the hot, steaming water
pouring out of every inch of my skin. I even washed my hair, risking soap in my eyes. When I rinsed the soap off my body and got the soap out of my eyes, I changed to my gala
attire. It was a new outfit which I had saved to wear on this occasion. It consisted of dark blue shorts with a top of blue butterflies
cascading down on a light blue background. The knitted
material fitted comfortably around my body except for my protruding belly.
The anger returned full force when I looked at my watch. It was almost time for the cocktail party to start and I had done nothing about finding a place to sleep. I certainly would not go back to Id.
My first task was to find a place to stow my knapsack. It contained the dirty clothes I had worn on the long night which I had spent moving from one side of the boat to the other as we came about. The anger I felt gave me plenty of go-power.
Well, I did not want to miss the cocktail party so I decided to locate that and then find a place nearby to hide my knapsack. It could also to serve as my sleeping place. Most people would sleep on the boat they crewed on during the race, but I certainly would not go back to Id to sleep.
Good fortune finally found me. The cocktail party was at the top of a hill looking down at the enormous tent which would serve us all at the banquet this evening. The size of the tent was shocking. It looked to me like it was covering an entire acre of ground. The awards ceremonies would be there in addition to the food.
Even higher than the cocktail party was a cemetery. What a great place to sleep! I would dance with ghosts all night long. It was an old graveyard that smelled like the pine trees that grew in many spots. I looked around until I found an ancient looking grave that looked lonely. The headstone was missing and I thought the body below might like some company. I put my knapsack on it and hurried down to the cocktail party.
I should have known better, but I did not. By the time I indulged in two of my buddy Jim Beam drinks I was in happy time I had not eaten all day. I did look for and found the snack table and made the most of it.It was full of sweet aand sour chicken wings, stuffed cherry tomatoes, and lots of dips with potato chips and crackers to dip them with. I kept on drinking, though, as I found many of the Tartan 27 sailors ready to share their experiences on the night race down. By the time we went to dinner. I sailed down the hill to the banquet table with my imaginary mainsail catching the wind as I floated down.
Fortunately I got there still on my feet and chose the middle area for my table so I would be able to hear. I sought a middle seat of the long table thinking I would not be in the way if someone wanted to move. I was sober enough that I did not want people to know how drunk I was. I drank the water at my table and settled back in my chair. I closed my eyes to rest a bit till the food was served.
When I looked up who was sitting across from me none other than John! My anger returned full force and flung me into a spasm. “Are you civilized enough to behave yourself at a banquet?” I asked.
“Well,” he replied, “I might be hungry enough to eat the plates if they do not put enough food on them.” As I looked around I saw the “lady” at his right and the boys at his left I knew that I would have to to try to be civilized myself.
It was easy with the boys. We talked about the race and whether or not they got any bites from the fish when they put their lines out after I left. It was fairly easy with John because he kept asking me questions about my trip on Aquarius. I gloated! I guess I got even with him! I showed him I was a super sailor!
I made up the answers as fast as he asked them. "When are you leaving?
"I'm not sure," I replied. "It depends on how much time it will take to get ready."
By the time we finished dinner I had invented enough information for me to make the whole trip. We quieted down when the program started. We had no glory to receive ourselves, but we applauded lustily when the Tartan sailors received their awards. Right after the program ended, John left with the “lady” to take her to the bus. She was going home because John was going on with his vacation sail.
I kidded around with the boys a bit and then they left to go back to Id. I headed for the hills to look for my private grave. It was very dark up there and I could not find my knapsack. Finally I just sat down on the ground and tried to review the direction I took when I was deciding where I would sleep. I almost gave up, thinking it would be easy in the daylight next morning. I did give one more look around and saw it just two graveyards away. I settled down quickly and was soon sound asleep. I was certainly ready for rest having not caught up from my sleeplessness the night before.
Sometime during the night I awoke. It did not take me long to realize why. It was raining! It was gentle at first but I was sure it was going to get hard fast. I grabbed my knapsack and ran down the hill with no idea of where I could find shelter. There was activity around the huge banquet tent. I ducked in there and looked around for a place to sleep. The workers were there cleaning up the tables and taking them down. I took one of the tables for my bed, climbed up on it and, using my knapsack for a pillow, I went back to sleep. By the time they were ready for my table it was daylight.
I left it to them and went outside. The rain had stopped but there was little evidence of people stirring around. My destination was the boat I would be returning on. Phil and Marion had agreed to use me as crew, but they did not really need me. Their married daughter and her husband had come out for this very popular event.
I located it out in the harbor but I had no way to get out to it. I took another shower to kill some time and then went down to the beach to see if I could find a ride. People began moving around in their dinghies, but I did not see anyone I knew. I was not desperate enough to ask a stranger to give me a ride. Finally, I saw a little boy with red hair just sort of playing around. I hailed him. “Could you give me a ride out to a boat?” I asked him.
He could and he did although it was not easy. He had more gumption than skill. When we arrived at Seaworld,I moved over to their dingy, gave the redhead a dollar tip and sent him on his way. I did not know if the people on board were up or not. They did not notice me at first, but when I heard them moving around I hailed them. They were surprised to see me so early. I did not tell them why.
My friends were quite hospitable. They fed me a pancake breakfast and we soon departed for the race back which was to start a few miles north of where we were. We motored past Id so I could say goodbye. I felt like thumbing my nose at John, but I just yelled at the boys instead.
This series begins with Scream of the Butterfly.
Next: Scream of the Butterfly 7.