” You’re the strangest person I ever met she said and I said you too and we decided we’d known each other a long time “.
Tuesday , 9-19-1972 , Chris’ journal
The alarm was set for 5:30 and we got up at six to discover a fine offshore breeze , east , shifting to southeast later in the day . A remarkable breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon really set the world straight . Dave and Dale woke with a heavy dew soaking their bags . Dale looked completely miserable ; he got in around 3:30 a.m. We cleaned up the cabin and cast off with amazing proficiency . The stiff easterly breeze pulled us along handsomely as we left Manistee at 7:00 a.m.
Last night I had found out from a neighbor on board the ” A-lur-ing ” who in town could help us with our radio problem . So I called a Mr. Bob Cederhouse who told me the part would have to be ordered . We didn’t want to stay in Manistee for the rest of the week so he suggested Fairport in Charlevoix . Dale hadn’t gotten around to fixing the gear shift yet , so we still have troubles with it . Just as we were crossing the mouth of the Platte River , the wind increased in speed and three times I was obliged to turn into the wind ; the third time almost being knocked down . We called all hands , Dave and Dale being below , to take down the small genie . Buzz suggested I jibe to come about but failed to loosen the small genie sheet which almost caused another knockdown . By the time he finally loosed the sheet , Dave and Dale were pulling down the small genie while the boat bucked on two to three foot seas . Holding it into the wind , the sail was secured and we turned on the engine in order to come about . Another sailboat , also bound for Florida , had been sailing under power with her main up . She took her main down and headed for the Platte River mouth . Around 9:30 a.m. We took down our main and powered through a grey morning . ( later that day we discovered it was Arcadia , not the Platte ). I took a nap shortly thereafter and woke up in Frankfort . We began sailing again off Point Betsie .
We anchored in Sleeping Bear Bay , out first anchorage , and ate grilled hamburgers ashore . We cut our three-hundred-foot anchor line into three one-hundred-foot lengths , and whipped the ends above while Dave and Dale went fishing in the dinghy . Everyone is tired ; Dave is meeting Kristy Z. on shore and I’m going to sleep outside . Buzz is plotting the course for Charlevoix . We heard the registrations on the way . We’re missing the charts for Huron and Georgian Bay . We are also in need of a light list , crystals for channel 12 or 14 and a pair of field glasses .
Sleeping Bear Bay : love interlude
She remembers him . His eyes clear , he doesn’t hide , she likes him , she remembers him from the Glen Lake church both their families attend in the summer . She is surprised at his bold phone call , they’ve never spoken before . She now walks toward the fire on the beach , he stands alone , his hair still wavy thick and long with a look intense and youthful . So much has yet to happen .
” Hey Kristie “! He yells as she approaches , hoping she doesn’t notice the little struggle in his throat .
Kristie is gazing about as she approaches close now and with the wind diagnosing her hair , releasing in front of him a sweet scent of perfume as she raises her arms to put her sweatshirt hood up .
” Here … I brought a blanket to sit on “. She sits , her long bare legs glistening from the firelight as she pulls her skirt over them . The shoreline waves break and retreat .
” Is that your boat ?” , looking out at the moon lit bay .
” Yeh , and the dinghy here on the beach “.
” Where did you call me from “?
” I walked into town to the Standard Gas Station “, Dave responds remembering the neon sign on Glen Arbors deserted Main Street . And as they slowly begin to talk there exists suddenly a consoling rhythm to their words as if the earth was new once more and the sea comforting , and hours drift by and tranquility and excitement merge at the ease of their conversation , the eastward orbit of the earth propelling them towards the night at a faithful one thousand miles an hour . They embrace , the kiss enticing . She will always remember him and this horizon , a horizon indistinct with possibilities .
The morning is about to dawn .
” Kristie ? … write me “.
” Yes Dave , yes “.
The dinghy is loosing it’s hold on the deserted beach , the surf howls it’s laughter across the smooth stones and they wave , Dave and Kristie , they smile , they wave again , they hope .
Dave climbs aboard the ” Venture ” , his mates asleep , he hears music wafting in the twilight zone on the new morn breeze crowded with flying seagulls …music from Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose , …
” Too Late To Turn Back Now ”
I found myself wanting her
At least ten times a day
You know it’s so unusual for me
To carry on this way .
I’m telling you I can’t sleep at night
Wanting to hold her tight
I’ve tried so hard to convince myself
That this feeling just can’t be right
And I’m telling you .
It’s too late to turn back now
I believe , I believe , I believe , I’m falling in love
It’s too late to turn back now
I believe , I believe , I believe , I’m falling in love .
I wouldn’t mind it
If I knew she really loved me too
But I hate to think that I’m in love alone
And nothing that I can do .
Photo of girl with seagulls by Lara Zarkoul Photography