I had a long and tiresome wait in Miami, but luckily I was able to get a seat on the early flight, which was a little MD-80 jet that was packed full. Coming into Baltimore, the weather was cloudy with a lot of building cumulus and small cumulonimbus. The pilot was able to skirt everything nasty looking, and looking out the window the tiers of clouds were quite impressive. It was a bumpy and unstable approach, with frequent throttle changes, but we finally landed safely and taxied to the terminal. I claimed my baggage, caught a taxi, and headed back to Harborview Marina in Baltimore, where I live on my boat.
In Miami, I had used my cell phone for the first time in over three months to see if I had any messages. There was one message, with no time or date available, that went on for a couple of minutes. No one actually spoke to me; it sounded like a cell phone call was made by accident and the phone just picked up background sounds. I could hear the sound of people sloshing through water and discussing things, including at one point saying "somehow this is getting below deck". Hearing the message, I became really concerned that there had been a serious problem with my boat. However I really didn't feel like calling anyone from Miami. If there had been a problem, it had been dealt with, and I would find out all I needed to know when I arrived at the marina later in the day. Frankly, after more than 24 hours without sleep, I was just too tired to deal with any potential problems.
After the taxi deposited me at the marina, I quickly scanned the marina and located my boat. Well, at least it was still afloat. I went to my boat and saw that the waterline looked to be correct. I climbed aboard, unlocked the hatch, and went below. Everything was exactly as I had left it. There was no trace of water, there had been no problem. What a relief! In fact I got a chuckle seeing that my snow shovel was still propped up in the cockpit, right where I left it back in early March, and now we were into the heat of summer.
That day, I spoke to several people at the marina and gave them a quick rundown of my trip. They were really interested and amazed by all the details. Clearly, I had been on a world-class sailing adventure, the kind a lot of people only get to dream about. It was a real privilege and a treat to go on such a great trip with Marcie and David, and to have it come out so well. My story ends in the next section as I draw a few conclusions.
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