The Long Run, by Capt. Bill Pike (continued)
BJ and I departed Spirit of Zopilote the day after our arrival in Camden. And because Bruce is ever the Hollywood director and dislikes prolonged goodbyes, he made sure our parting was carefully orchestrated and short, although he exacted a promise we’d return for anothercruise this upcoming summer.
“Bye-bye,” he said, a bit wistfully perhaps.
“You and I have to do more traveling together,” Joan added, giving BJ a hug. “I mean it. We do.”
Funny. But now, these many months later, I continue to recall one particular vignette from the trip that is especially meaningful. It begins with Joan, BJ, Bruce, and I finishing lunch out on the porch at the Bucks Harbor Market, just a stone’s throw from the green depths of Bucks Harbor.
We decide to take a walk, it being such a lovely day. And pretty soon we’re venturing down this narrow little street overhung with lime-green trees—Joan and Bruce ahead, BJ and I behind.
Then, just as we’re passing the Brooksville United Methodist Church, I happen to look away from the trees and the sky and the church and notice that our two hosts, out there ahead of us, are holding hands. And what’s more, they’re almost identically dressed. You know—faded blue jeans, faded T-shirt, scuffed deck shoes, and a couple of worn baseball caps emblazoned: Spirit of Zopilote.
It’s a subtle, yet significant vision. Joan (75 years old) and Bruce (80 years old) have been married for more than four and a half decades. Together, they’ve put more nautical miles behind them than perhaps any other power boating couple in the world today. And, in doing that (as well as many other things), they’ve achieved a level of communication and trust that borders on the mystical.
“Each one knows what the other’s thinking,” BJ observes as I snap a photo. “It’s almost like they don’t need words.”
“Yup,” I reply, with admiration, “I think they must love each other very much.”