We just got back from Gig Harbor - one of our favorite, close in cruising destinations. It seems that, with our trip to Africa this summer, we really haven't gotten out on the boat much this summer. The weather wasn't supposed to be very good but we ventured out anyway. The water was calm and deserted for the 90 minute cruise. Providence ran like a champion. There were just a few sprinkles of rain and there was plenty of room to maneuver and tie up at Arabella's Landing.
It is amazing that we can be so close to home but feel like we are far away - far away from phones, from yard work, from responsibilities, from our respective jobs, from our normal routines. But that is exactly how it feels.
After getting our lines secured, power hooked up and giving the boat a quick scrub down, we began to settle in for a relaxing evening. Our tradition is to pour a glass of wine, have some chips and salsa, listen to some jazz and just let the cares of life begin to wash away. While we were settling down, a beautiful 50 ft. Symbol Pilot House pulled in next to us. We always are so grateful when someone is on the dock to grab a line and help us in. We like to "pay it forward" so we went out and met our "new neighbors for the night."
Steve and BJ Hull (yes, that is actually the last name of some avid boaters - crazy huh?) looked familiar to us when we were making introductions. They told us they were from Yakima but keep their boat on Lake Union. They were curious about good locations in the South Sound so we filled them in on some of our favorite places - Fair Harbor and Long Branch - and how to locate them on the charts. Then we headed off to dinner at the world famous (well not maybe world famous but certainly famous in these parts) TIDES TAVERN. Great meal. Great atmosphere. Great choice.
We always sleep well on the boat. The gentle rocking caused by incoming tide and gentle breezes lulls a person to sleep - sound, deep sleep. I slept in til 8:00 which is a real odd thing for me. Judy slept til 9:00. We always feel like time moves in slow motion when you're on a boat.
This morning, we re-connected with Steve and BJ and found out they are active in their Presbyterian Church in Yakima. Westminster Presbyterian is a church that I once had been asked to interview for. It is also a church where a friend has been the Associate Pastor for several years. We compared notes on churches - theirs also is struggling to reach generation next. Their church also is active in sending its members on Mission Trips. They told us of their experiences in Haiti and we got to share some of our memories of Zambia. Great fellowship and an even greater surprise to meet people who know people you know (if that makes sense).
Some people say that there is a factor called "six degrees of separation." That is, you only have to go six levels of relationships before you realize that there are common acquaintances among you. My experience is that, because of being a Christian, you don't even have to go that far. What a privilege it is to be a part of the Body of Christ and to know that wherever you go, there are Christians who share your faith and passion for Christ. And, they most likely know someone you know or at least someone who knows someone you know.
Well, we had a great cruise. We were just gone for one night but we came back feeling like we had been away from it all for much much longer than that. Tomorrow, Judy has the day off for Veteran's Day but has to work on report cards. I will be back to my normal Tuesday duties - early Bible Study, staff meeting, annual year-end personnel reviews. But in the short period between the close of worship yesterday and now (8:00 pm Monday) we have been physically refreshed and spiritually blessed by the fellowship of God's people in an unexpected place. We are undeservedly blessed.