This is not a story about Dock and Dine – although we did. It’s not a story about visiting Sandwich (we did), or getting takeout at The Pilot House (which we also did).
It’s a story about strength, courage, and the soothing power of the sea...
If you’ve been following My Buzzards Bay for any time at all, you’ll recognize Peter and Mary Lee.
Peter, Mrs. Horne, and I met 44 years ago when we worked together at Data Terminal Systems. Peter married Mary Lee in 1980 – the same year Mrs. Horne and I wed.
The four of us were best friends for decades, but drifted apart when we moved to California.
In 2008, I emailed everyone I knew to tell them my book had been published. Mary Lee wrote back to tell me Peter had cancer. And just like that our friendship picked up right where it left off. By the way, Peter is fully recovered.
Later, as we took the deep dive into the cruising life Peter and Mary Lee came along with us every step of the way.
Shortly after our cruise in September 2019 we discovered that Mary Lee had contracted cancer as well. I’ll spare you the details, but it’s similar to the cancer that took her sister. Mary Lee was her sister’s caretaker as well as Peter’s when he was sick.
Suffice it to say this woman is a living saint.
Then Came 2020…
Mary Lee had surgery in late 2019 and was recovering with Peter’s help in early 2020 when the pandemic hit. Like everyone without Covid, Mary Lee was cut off from meeting with her doctor and as “a person at risk” she went months without seeing her kids and grandkids.
For months Peter cared for ML “all by his lonesome” demonstrating the strength he’s always exhibited.
Finally, after nearly 3 months of isolation, they decided to get out and visit us this past weekend.
Like Old Times…
On Friday Mary Lee was expecting a new chemo treatment from UPS that she’d need to sign for and it arrived a day late so they they didn’t get down until Saturday.
They arrived at 3:00 and after hugs and stowing their luggage we dove into deep conversation – just like old times. By the way, Mary Lee looks marvelous despite being run through the wringer for over 6 months.
I had planned a traditional lobster dinner with Turks doing the cooking.
Around 5:45 I headed out to pick up the lobster and when got back Mary Lee had gone to sleep. Three hours of lively conversation had knocked her out.
Sunday’s Dock and Dine
Five years ago we introduced Peter and Mary Lee to The Pilot House in Sandwich so that was our destination Sunday – provided Mary Lee was up for it.
Never lacking for courage Mary Lee woke up and said “I’m up for anything!”
Despite the beautiful morning, by the time we departed the skies were gray and the wind had kicked up. The forecast said “sunny and 65 degrees” in Sandwich by 1:00 so off we went.
Vigilant’s best attribute may be the salon and all her huge windows. It makes even bad weather enjoyable. We just latch the massive rear door and turn on the heat or A/C as needed.
Although we saw bright sun peaking through the clouds a few times in the canal, it was 62 and gray when tied up in Sandwich.
Mrs. Horne quickly reconfigured the salon and we all spread out inside to enjoy more conversation, lunch, and watching all the sights in the bustling little boat basin.
At one point the massive tanker New England passed by and I shot a video for our grandkids…
Mrs. Horne asked me how long it was and I said “About 600 feet.” According to Baltic Shipping, it’s 183 meters long, which is exactly 600 feet!
By the way, the Adirondack chairs were gone in front of the Pilot House and replaced by a white tent and picnic tables. I suspect they’ll be serving outside stating Monday.
We pretty much ordered “the usual”…
I decided to try the Crab Cake BLT and it was spectacular…
The Soothing Sea
As we headed home, it was clear that Mary Lee was getting tired, but still relishing our day at sea. The sea is so big and we’re just a bunch of tiny blips on her waves. Perhaps that’s what makes her the great equalizer.
Thank God for the sea, our good boat, and the wonderful weekend He gave us.
Most of all thank God for continuing to answer our prayers and help Mary Lee heal.
If you have a boat, you’re truly blessed. If you have friends who are sick, broken, or just hurting from being isolated for months, share the soothing powers of the sea and welcome them aboard.
You’ll all be well rewarded!