Mr. E., Mr. B., Pirate Princess and Dan the Man arrived at about 4:30 a.m. Or so I believe. I slept through the arrival and it was only as I stumbled out of my cabin to see Princess and Mr. B on the living room sofa bed that I realised they had arrived.
Now the crew was complete. It was time to head off into the unknown – or at least into a two day journey with an overnight beached on some shore.
With the Captain keeping a close watch on Mr. E (and the rest of us), we set off. First downstream into the open river.
We had to watch for islands and wing dams. The navigation channel would weave from one bank to the other. Always well marked with buoys and day markers, but you had to stay alert.
My wife and her sister proved to be among the best pilots, but by the end we were all doing well. I spent much of the time on the top deck looking for birds, most of which stayed well away.
After a few miles downstream we turned, and reversed our course.
This took us past the S&S Rentals and under the Lansing bridge. I could see and hear cars going over the steel lattice of the bridge deck.
A striking sight.
We continued onward, searching for a clear spot to beach the boat. This was Saturday and there were a lot of people on the river. We had to travel quite far before we spotted a small beach on what looked like a narrow island.
The Captain turned the boat and brought us in as if he had been doing this all his life. After this flawless landing, we settled in to drink and eat.
The evening was cool and completely free of biting insects, so it was a pleasure to sit outside and watch the night draw in. A gentle breeze brushed the trees and the birds – persisently staying out of view – serenaded us. It was hard not feel seduced by such a naturally beautiful spot.