Day 32: Thankful
Last night, we enjoyed delicious meal of open-faced shrimp salad sandwiches (with sliced Wabi Sabi tomatoes and mozzarella) and huge shrimp courtesy of Shrimper Extraordinaire John Jackson for which we are very thankful. Our thanks don’t end there as that was early in the evening.
We got a phone call from a friend who had run aground with his family. It was 10:30, but since Jeff knows the water pretty well (about a gazillion times better than I do) we gathered flashlights and towels and loaded up for a new adventure. Luckily, Jeff called a friend who called another friend of Jake’s who showed up at the dock to join us. It was soooo dark, like inside of a coffin dark, with no moon, but some occasional starlight and flashing channel marker lights (which really messes with your night vision).
We navigated to the back side of the island, Josh using a flashlight to identify channel markers while Jeff drove the boat, periodically consulting his GPS. As I was riding in the boat, I came to several realizations: 1) I don’t think I’ve ever ridden in a boat at 11:00 at night – cruise ships do not count 2) faith is required since I couldn’t see and we could have easily driven into a sinkhole/vortex from hell/volcano/fill in your worst fear here, and 3) maybe I’m not my most comfortable in the dark — I did mention it was DARK, didn’t I?
When trying to find a place to beach, we ended up in a shallow surf from which it seemed we could not emerge for hours (or maybe 72 seconds). White caps were the only thing I could see and they were breaking over the stern. At one point, to stop the growing panic that was washing over me, I began digging life jackets out of the dock box. Josh was so kind and said he would put on the life jacket if it would make me feel better. His kindness really brings a tear to my eye as I write about it now and I am truly thankful that he joined us.
Our friends were on the ocean/surf side but we couldn’t get close. After the surf/shallow water incident, Jeff agreed that we couldn’t get to them. After some phone calls with our friends, we called the Coast Guard and told them the situation. We got a 4 a.m. text from our friends saying that our local DNR officer came to their rescue. So glad all are safe and well. Their granddaughter can tell a great story to her friends. The boat is still out there and our friend is working on getting it back, but everyone is home, safe and sound, if a little tired.
Once again, I am in awe of how blessed we are with friends who give us shrimp, call us for help (yes, also very grateful for that) and answer our call for a late-night rescue and even put on a life jacket to make my panicky self feel better. Vacation Bible School with my crew of wiggly little ones was a little more poignant today. I am thankful.