Sunday, July 31, 2011

2011 Sailing Trip - Day 10 - Mentor to Geneva-On-The-Lake

Miles by boat – 23.5
Miles by foot - 3

We wake up to a grey, cloudy, rainy day after an evening downpour which has cleaned off our boats nicely. We check the weather forecast and see that there looks to be a break in the storm around noon so we spend the morning hanging around the marina and grounds, exploring some of the parts we hadn’t yet seen. Around 11 we decide to make a move and the Bella Blue crew is rounded up and sailed away. Andrew has to wait for this toilet to arrive so they stay back and spend the rest of the day there.

With a nice west wind we have a lovely sail over to Geneva, and since it’s only 20 some miles it makes it one of the shorter runs we’ve done. Along the way, I begin to regret teaching Stella the “devil horn” hand sign as she’s now incorporated it into this disturbing routine where she puts on a slinky sundress and her fancy shoes and dances around the cockpit pole and table, sticking out her butt and giving everybody the horns. This girl is going to do me in by the time she’s eighteen – of that I am sure.

We pull into the Geneva marina around 2 pm and find a massive, impressive complex, much nicer than what we’d anticipated. We check in at the Ship’s Store, which is probably the best marina store we’ve seen – they have a nice little food counter and a store with clothing, other merchandise, marine supplies and fishing supplies. We ask for directions to town and are told to simply walk along the lake for a mile or so, so we return to the boat (which feels like a mile long walk as it’s all the way around the marina on the sea wall), grab our stuff and begin the walk along the lake. The scenery is absolutely stunning as the paved pathway is on higher ground overlooking the lake, and to the right is a farmer’s field, then later on a nice hotel with a kids park and outdoor pool.

With a name like “Geneva-on-the-Lake” one would expect a quaint, fancy little town with air conditioned shops run by ladies who lunch, selling items such as handmade candles, expensive antiques, fine books, exquisite pastries, ceramic elephants, custom jewelry - all with small, neatly written price tags which have a “-“ instead of a “.99” at the end of the price. Instead, we came across a tacky house of horrors, a “carnival turned town” with hot and sweaty little shops, all smelling similarly of old moldy wood, selling Grateful Dead tapestries, crappy costume jewelry, biker pendants, incense infused hemp sweaters, hash bongs and funnel cakes. There was even a fortune teller promising insight into your past, present and future. Being pretty happy with our past, present and futures, we just passed on by, but did find the “Times Square” restaurant which served up pretty good French fried and tremendously good lemonade. We got the half order of fries which was actually half a serving tray full with enough fries for a family of four.

We walked back to the marina and took the boat over for a pump out, diesel fill up and to do some laundry up at the store. As we waited for the dryer to finish, tied up at the fuel dock, we sat on the back of the boat and enjoyed a drink on a lovely afternoon. We then took the boat back to our slip, returning just in time to meet Andrew and Michelle as they arrived. As we hadn’t yet had dinner, we decided to have a wiener roast on the beach, which was just on the other side of the marina, a very short walk away from the boats. This little spot was perfect - bordered on the west side by a long stone breakwater and pier, several hundred feet long, leading out to a lighthouse at the end, on the backside by a lush grove of trees and on the east by a grassy hill, over which was the marina. It felt like our own private, secluded beach, and we treated it as such, having a marvelous roast, some glasses of wine then a dip in the water to cool off, under a perfectly clear sky lit with constellations of stars and the warm, yellow glow of the marina lights. I must say, this was probably the best moment of the trip and one of those times that everything in your life seems very right.

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