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The Perfect Holiday

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Here’s hoping that, this year, Christmas will be as wonderful as Thanksgiving’s just turned out to be for my wife BJ and myself. The T-Day dinner that highlighted our recent long-weekend festivities onboard Betty Jane took place on the lofty top floor of our North Florida marina’s clubhouse (see photo below, taken by my friend Kate Hallock, editor of The Resident Community News) and featured a big ol’ turkey (courtesy of the kind people who run the marina) and a host of side dishes (you know, mashed potatoes, gravy, butternut squash, cranberry sauce, stuffing [some of it gluten free, in keeping with current gastronomical trends], salads, rolls, etc.), all provided by us boatfolks, some who live aboard and others who are non-residents or just passing through. Conversation around the tables was excellent, often both nautical and humorous, as well as geographically, philosophically, and experientially far-ranging. But what made the whole show so much more fun than it might have otherwise been was the fact that the annual refurbishment of Betty’s varnish had just been completed by my Panama City Beach-based friends Bryan Hicks and Alison Bailey. I mean, heck, I could darn near look up from my plate during dinner and see the teak caprails gleaming down there in the sun.

Thanksgiving dinner

Of course, the annual varnishing extravaganza always leaves a residue of dust dunes backed up here and there on Betty’s decks. So I fired up the Doodlebug (see below) as well as the rest of my cleanliness arsenal and went to work on Friday morning, adding a bit of spit and polish to the Petit Flagship gleam.

Capt. Bill Pike aboard Betty Jane

But Thanksgiving was on Thursday, you say. And dinner was over by about 4 o’clock on that lovely Thanksgiving afternoon, leaving a resourceful soul plenty of time to do a reasonable wash-down prior to the descent of darkness.

Why put off the inevitable? Until the day after?

Oh my friend, there is nothing, absolutely nothing, quite so worth doing as taking a long nap onboard your very own boat. Especially if her varnish is visibly scintillating in a warm solar glow and she’s comfortably tied up to a dock! And you’ve just polished off a wonderful meal.