It began with the card file, an ordinary three-ring binder full of cards from boaters and maritime businesses. Each page is a plastic sleeve that holds 20 colorful cards, each set of cards holding its own colorful collection of memories. Over the years the collection has grown so big that it really needs an index. But that's a winter project. The binder spent the past winter tucked away on a bookshelf, out of sight and forgotten as life ashore captured our attention.
Anticipation built as I opened the cover and flipped through the various sections, picturing the faces that accompany each boat name and photo. Boaters might as well not have surnames since we link people with their vessel names. PrimeTime John and PrimeTime Tom are two very different captains with two dissimilar boats that are both named Prime Time.
“Has Jericho rounded Cape Caution yet?… is Pelorus cruising Prince William Sound this year?... have you seen Hocus Pocus IV in Southeast? when will Diane and Lee on Symphony arrive in Petersburg?..."
Many of the cards have comments penciled on them, noting when and where we first met, or maybe a personal notation, something to jog the memory. Notes help when we hear a radio call and know the boat name but can't quite recall the people names.
Skimming through the boat cards recalled so many images of past cruises, some vivid and some a little hazy. It's time to reread boat logs and journals, skim the blog archives, and study the camera manual. The next five months will be filled with amazing scenery, abundant wildlife, wonderful people and long days of enjoyment. We're almost ready to go cruising.