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Cruising With The Chilbergs: Space Cowboys and the Shakedown (BLOG) - PassageMaker

Cruising With The Chilbergs: Space Cowboys and the Shakedown (BLOG)

Each year, prior to a cruise to the Bahamas, I take my “Shakedown Cruise.” It is a 3 to 7 day trip, when I operate and test every component of the boat. Well, this year it was no different except the crew.
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ChilbergSlide

“Initially dreams appear impossible … then they seem improbable

… finally they become inevitable.”

— Unknown Bahamas Cruiser, probably

Each year, prior to a cruise to the Bahamas, I take my “Shakedown Cruise.” It is a 3 to 7 day trip, when I operate and test every component of the boat. Well, this year it was no different except the crew.

Years ago, Hollywood came out with a movie called “Space Cowboys” with Clint Eastwood, James Garner, Donald Sutherland, and Tommy Lee Jones. Four over the hill guys going into space. This time it was the same except I utilized three over the hill guys going to sea and a woman in better shape than all of us.

Let me set the stage: Scott Roley is a 25-year friend with a grey beard and living on this planet as a musician and minister. He has two new hips and a new knee. With these props, Scott is the “6 Million Dollar Man” except he has the flexibility of a steel pipe. Then there is, Rick Peabody, a pilot turned insurance agent with a recent heart condition that requires the Energizer Bunny being taped to his chest. Did I also mention that Rick has the positive outlook of Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh? Every time Rick asked what we were going to say at his funeral next month Scott and I reminded him that it would be a roast not a eulogy! Then there is me, two back operations, neuropathy that allows me to feel virtually nothing in my feet and have the balance of a drunken sailor without a single beer!

The whole shakedown crew, in all our glory.

The shakedown crew, in all our glory.

My tombstone will probably quote Motorboat and Sailings's Dick Bradley, “Anybody who loves boating and hates normalcy can’t be all bad.” Lastly, Space Cowboys aside, there was Lee Lawler, a beautiful retired 4th grade teacher who rode a Harley to work. All of her joints were original and her heart was in good shape. She can walk without numb feet and she is neither negative nor a drama queen. As we disembarked from the dinghy at Gulfport, with no balance, no flexibility and a bad heart we won America’s Funniest Home Videos going away! Surprise we all made it ashore without falling in the water and rewarded ourselves at the local bar.

The good thing is nothing broke down but a joint or two and Mud Puddle Rose is ready for the Bahamas. Geritol anyone?

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