You’ve no doubt heard the expression “carpe diem” which translates to “seize the day, put very little trust in tomorrow” – that phrase came into play this week at work.
We’ve been very busy the past few months, and when a big hearing suddenly got rescheduled from June 23rd to August 1st, my boss Robb and I breathed a huge sigh of relief. With most of the prep work already done, the adjournment allowed for a wee bit of down time, so Robb, and his friend Scott, thought they might eke out an impromptu freighter trip around the Great Lakes.
As a management labor attorney, Robb has clients that range from non-profit corporations, to construction companies, and several clients are involved in the maritime industry. One client has a collection of freighters and tug barges, so every Spring, Robb and Scott consult their calendars and block off some time, usually a week, to escape to “sea” and get away from it all – you might even say they “seas” the day! Although the trip can be three to five days long, they have to block off a week on their calendars, because the freighter is often at the mercy of the weather, or even a backlog of other freighters similarly unloading at the same terminals, causing the vessel to arrive or depart later than scheduled. Here’s a picture of the freighter they are on: http://www.boatnerd.com/pictures/fleet/alpena.htm
In the nearly eighteen years I’ve worked for Robb, he’s only missed one Summer without a freighter trip and that was last year. He and Scott, a busy trial attorney, had set aside a week for their annual getaway, and, at the last moment there was a mix-up in scheduling at the boat and they had to forego their trip. This year, they decided to make no plans at all, and just “wing it” when the occasion came up. After our hearing got adjourned and Scott’s calendar miraculously was free, the opportunity to get away appeared to come to fruition. Robb gets a daily e-mail called a “Vessel Position Report” which details the itinerary of each boat in the fleet, so on Monday he discovered the Steamship Alpena would arrive in Detroit on Tuesday night. Talk about a lucky break!
The pair hopped aboard in Southwest Detroit for a multi-port itinerary, where they’ve already stopped in Cleveland, Ohio, then full speed ahead to the Michigan ports of Essexville and Alpena. Friday they will be in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, then back to Alpena, and finally home to Detroit over the weekend.
During this journey, they will cross three major bodies of water: Lake Erie, Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. Here is a map of the Great Lakes that I got online from “World Atlas” to illustrate the journey for my blogging pals who are not familiar with the Great Lakes.
Robb e-mailed me the picture up top of the smokestack, (or “stack”), toward the stern of the S.S. Alpena as they cruised along Lake Erie. You might remember my trip to Lake Erie almost two weeks ago where I walked along that three-mile shoreline with the huge boulders and the heron with the wacky-looking feathers and the big yawn. They are enjoying good weather this trip, so Robb has had a cellphone signal all along and e-mailed they are crossing Lake Huron today.
So, while my boss is logging nautical miles, I have been logging lots of walking miles (and some computer screen time as well since he left me work to do). This past three days have been very enjoyable for walking, and I walked five miles each outing. As of today, I have walked 527 miles this year, so I’ve finally crossed that halfway mark to my final goal, with a couple of miles to spare. Every day while out on my daily trek, I do question the wisdom of trying to match last year’s whopping amount of miles (250 more than my intended goal), and, if we’d had more gorgeous days like these, I would not be questioning my abilities. Mother Nature has challenged me at every turn, but I’m happy to have reached this milestone and at my favorite go-to spot to boot.