Dinner was beef tri-tip, baked potatoes and a big, fresh from the garden salad for dinner. During our evening meals humminbirds would come to dinner too.
It was an early to bed night with an equally early to rise morning that followed. That day Mr. Mantis and I had a banner day with eight trees short of four rows done before we ran out of gas, including the premixed gas that was in the two gallon can in the shed. I knew I wanted to get all the weed whacking done before we left and that meant some pretty long days, but they were long days by choice. As soon as the whacker was cleaned after a day’s work, it was time to partake of the aquatic center, also known as the stock tank.
After sweating and working in the orchard for three or four hours, the water in the stock tank, which is crystal clear and pumped from a deep well, feels mighty good, even if it does take your breath away when you first immerse body parts that haven’t gotten wet and aren’t used to the water temperature. Birds, rabbits, the two resident dogs, and any other animal that may happen by, were all part of the scene.
Wade had left early that morning to get parts and pieces repaired or bought so we could finish the boat and get it ready for the regatta at Eagle Lake. Our departure was planned for early Friday morning.
Later that afternoon, when we were working on the boat, Wade asked me some more questions about my sailing and at dinner that night, asked if I’d like to crew with him at the next regatta. Regatta is translated: sailboat race. I always felt my best work in a sailboat race was when I was the sail trimmer. Often when you’re the boat owner, you’re expected to be the skipper, many times we had won when I turned the helm over to someone competent, like the crew member who would turn out to be my future daughter-in-law and took over the sail trimming duties. Wade said one of the people who usually crewed with him had hurt his knee, he was also the person who did most of the sail trimming. In order to be able to go sailing, we’d have to stay longer than we’d planned and also move the rest of our schedule around, but getting the chance to sail and race a boat again was enough incentive for me. Celinda told me that she knew how much I loved to sail and she thought we should stay. No one had to ask twice. I’m fortunate to have Celinda as my best friend and wife.
I knew that I wanted to get all the weed whacking done before we left and
had to pick up the pace from a couple of rows a day, to eight. To say that I was tired every night would be an understatement, but it proved to be worthwhile.
The next few days consisted of whacking away in the orchard, repairing a fuel leak in the sailboat’s small Nissan outboard motor, trouble shooting the problem with the trailer lights and finishing various tasks on the boat. Wade had the trailer light connector installed at a trailer service facility but the lights had never worked correctly. We found that the person who installed them hadn’t cleaned any paint off where he’d grounded the connection, plus he’d used a hose clamp instead of screws to hold it in place. It took as long to find and remedy the problem as it would have to do it right in the first place.
Wade had new sails for the boat and we had to customize them to the boat’s rigging. He also had a spinnaker that was too big for the spinnaker pole he had been using and the new pole didn’t fit the attachment on the mast. Even though it wasn’t class legal and we wouldn’t use it during the race, we wanted to take it along so we could go fast if the wind was up before or after the races. Filing, cutting, machining and fitting parts has always been something I’ve liked to do, so time went quickly and it was Wednesday evening before I knew it. Getting enough time and a good Internet connection had been difficult at the farm. In part, the weed whacking schedule had been sped up so we could go to Oroville on Thursday and use the high speed wireless connection at Scoops, the local ice cream, sandwich and cyber cafe.