Things might be getting serious.
Di and I said "yes" 30 years ago. We decided to mark the occasion with a nice down river cruise, and of course a simple champagne celebration.
It's been a great 30 years, and we simply hope for the chance of another 30!
We went to Sand Island, opposite St Helens. It's a beautiful place and at this time of the year we had the whole island to ourselves. It snowed overnight and we woke up to a magnificent scenery, to Princess' complete delight.
The island is home to many wild animals, including a couple bald eagles that have a nest not far from the docks, deers, raccoons, otters and so many more. And of course, in this below freezing weather Princess wants to do nothing else than stay out and snuggle in the snow.
We alternated cocooning on the boat with long walks ashore. We let Princess free once, and of course she disappeared in the thick brush in the middle of the island. It took us a good 30 minutes of tracking her and shouting her name before she decided to grace us with her company again. At least, being on a small island we knew she'd be safe, but we're not used to having her roam away freely, so the following walks were done using a long rope instead.
For our safety we'd bought Di a flotation jacket to match my old one. These are not only very warm, but have a full life jacket inside and provide plenty of flotation should we fall overboard during a maneuver or a walk on the slippery icy docks.
I had won my flotation jacket a long time ago -over 40 years to be exact- during a regatta. It still performs perfectly, but is obviously starting to look its age.
We'd decided that my complete remission present would be a matching flotation jacket for me. The new technology compared to my old one is just amazing. Nice, warm, comfortable and better flotation than my old one. Both USCG and Transport Canada approved too.
Over the next few days the weather kept getting colder and nastier. Really cold nights, snow blizzards and high gusts of wind.
That's when we appreciate our boat even more. Clearly Enfin was made for rough weather and tough conditions, keeping us nice and warm inside. Safe.
There is something magical in having all the comforts of a real home in a beautiful place like this. We all enjoyed it tremendously.
I hate cold weather, but I must admit that there is something magical about walking on "our" deserted island in the eery muffled silence, with Princess just enjoying every minute of it.
Di, despite being a Caribbean girl, also thoroughly enjoyed the experience, leaving me very much under-voted when it comes to choosing our winter weather.
Still, next year I hope we'll be in a sunnier spot? Mexico maybe?
We decided to head back to our marina as the end of a front was passing over us. The beauty of cruising a river with an ocean capable boat is that weather doesn't matter much. The river is wide in some places, and the wind funnels down the valleys so we've seen some choppy waves and strong gusts. Neither are a problem for Enfin obviously.
Temperatures were well below freezing when we decided to cast off, and that presented us with a new to us problem: The deck lines were frozen in place and couldn't be undone! After much effort, and engine use we managed to let the lines go and headed back up river from the comfort of the heated pilothouse.
It was a great way to celebrate our 30 years.
We'll see what our friends want to do over New Year, and we'll probably join them for another cruise in a few days.