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Disconnect. After the frenzy of loading the boat, I showered and crawled into bed, appreciating the feel of bamboo sheets (another story there), flipped the switch and slipped into dreamland, leaving my landlocked life behind with no regrets.

The Intra Coastal is not the Canadian Rideau Canal (a must see on a bucket list) but oh, how I love the wide expanses of water of the ICW and the peace it brings. No cars, no land lines ringing, no TV (yes, we have one, we choose not to turn it on), no newspapers, only pelicans fishing, dolphins frolicking and sea gulls following the wake.

The only upset on Day One was a Yahoo Sports Fisherman that flew past, throwing up a huge wake which caused the 2014 coffee mug with a picture of the grandchildren to go flying and shatter, sending shards and coffee everywhere. The captain took to the radio and told the Yahoo, “All we need on the IntraCoastal are more a…h….s like you.” It was, after all his coffee mug that got destroyed. I own 2015 and now 2016. And some things I don’t share…

Day Two the dolphins, pelicans and assorted sea birds were joined by hundreds of manatees, more than I have ever seen and an incredible sight as these huge mammals played and surfaced to breathe.

Afternoon cocktails on the aft deck and watching the sun go down; waking up at midnight as an unexpected squall blew through, sending small waves thumping against the side; fenders squeaking as they rubbed against the pilings; lines creaking and straining; rain pelting against the canvas enclosure on the fly bridge and I rolled closer to the Captain only to find a fur baby already occupying that prime spot. Such is the boating life and I’m blessed to be part of it.

Many of our friends have switched to motor homes, mostly for health reasons. Boats are treacherous things. And they tell us how much more you can see of inland America. And yes, that’s true, but –

I love the boating lifestyle. I love being on the water. I totally disconnect (there’s that word again!) and I spend my days with the three R’s. Reading, Writing, Research. And napping, playing with the dogs, desultory, nonsensical conversation with the Captain, maybe knitting a little, basking in the sun if it’s not too hot….

When the time comes that we have to hang up the fenders and secure the lines one last time, I’ll have a treasure trove of memories. I will tour inland America but I have my own ideas. It involves lots of train travel.

Hint there: Captain at the helm of the boat is Mr. Hyde, a calm contained man practicing perfect boating etiquette. Captain behind the steering wheel of a vehicle is Dr. Jekyll, a demon driver that has me alternating between praying and clutching the overhead handhold or anything handy.

Until Wednesday.

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