02 June 2012

Our best efforts

Packing for a trip is an imprecise science, if it can be termed a science at all.  Our attempts to ensure that we have what we need when we need it while away from home involve what I term a “best effort.”  After taking into account what the travel company has to say about what to expect and consulting the long term weather forecast you do what you can and hope for the best.

So, while sweating – literally – over stacks of folded clothes covering the bed at home nearly two weeks ago, I couldn’t bring myself to invest precious suitcase space in anything fluffy or in long sleeves and or a turtleneck.  Every decision has consequences; I am paying for having not made that investment.

After Cleveland came Wyandotte (Michigan) and an ominous forecast for Lake Huron.  A combination of winds out of the north, five-to-seven foot seas, rain, a cold front were to be expected.  Best case, a hint of a window between two systems.  Worst case, sit it out in Wyandotte.

Ended up, the Grande Mariner slipped away from the dock at 4:00 yesterday morning, two hours ahead of schedule.  Twenty-nine hours and two Dramamine tablets later, we moored at the Arnold Transit dock on Mackinac Island.  A grey, rain-slicked Mackinac Island.

While wishing for warmer clothes, I am ever so grateful that bringing foul weather gear was never in question.  I’d have been vessel-bound if the Gortex had been left behind with the fleece, the long sleeves, the turtleneck.  Cold is one thing.  Cold and wet entirely another.

Next time (oh, and there will be one): at least one warm, versatile layer.  In the meantime, however, I’m here.  So, another foray into the chilly but colorful damp.  I’ll just be brisk about it.