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The best part of being a liveaboard

What I’ve liked most about being a liveaboard are the visitors — be they friends or fowl.

There’s a family of ducks that pops by regularly.

Egrets? I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention. Just one actually, who, while making croaky-clicky noises from somewhere in that long and winding throat, landed softly on the edge of my boat, then took off the second I started fumbling for my camera.

And then there was this guy (top) – you tell me what he is — who didn’t seem to mind being photographed at all. Perhaps he’s an egret, too, though he was much smaller than the giant croaking one.

They were all welcome on the ark, with the exception of members of the rodent and snake families who I’m happy to report we saw none of at all — for which I thank the feral cats.

In our week living aboard a friend’s 30-foot sailboat in Baltimore, we’ve had a few human visitors, too, and I’ve enjoyed sharing what’s not really mine — the river, the boat, the sunsets … pretty much everything I offered except for Ace’s company, my beer and my now empty box of Cheeze-Its.

While offering little, I received much and thanks go out to the friends we’ve tried, tested, sought favors from and shacked up with. Maybe it is home, after all.

I think I’m actually moved — and it wasn’t just the bobbing of the boat. My return visit and the kindness Ace and I were shown by the friends, former Baltimore Sun colleagues, new liveaboard acquaintances and the occasional sea bird has meant a lot.

Once again, it’s hard to leave. The urge to nest is growing stronger. I’m wondering, how can I go back to a lonely Motel 6 after all  this? Do I have another three months on the road in me? Does Ace?

I guess we’ll see. Because it’s time to go — gotta fly.


Comment from kathryn
Time September 18, 2010 at 2:38 pm

The creature at the top of this post (no matter what his or her label happens to be) is very old and very wise and knows how to make a point. Did he make any kind of impression on you?

Comment from Anne’n'Spencer
Time September 18, 2010 at 3:02 pm

The waters around the Bay are home to a variety of herons and egrets. The two types of birds are cousins. I think the visitor in your photograph is an egret of some sort that doesn’t have the showy headdress of the snowy egret.

Comment from kelly
Time September 19, 2010 at 5:35 am

Buck up, John… do what you’ve got to do. It’s going to make a great book. Finish the journey, then come home… to Baltimore.

Comment from Derek
Time September 20, 2010 at 3:45 pm

“Egrets? I’ve had a few…”

Gold. Solid gold.

This is just a tiny example of what makes the blog of a trained writer (and Pulitzer winner, no less) like yourself leaps and bounds ahead of most mainstream blogs. I love the stories about Ace, but it’s equal parts that and your excellent storytelling ability that make ohmidog! the first link in my RSS that I look to every morning.

I’m very disappointed I missed you guys while you were in town these past few weeks (as I drove over the Hanover Street bridge Saturday night and saw Nick’s Fish House, I caught myself thinking “Ace (and John) was RIGHT THERE!), so I’ll look forward to your next return to B’More. In the meantime though, I can’t wait to read about your continuing adventures. Be safe out there.

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