We slowly ease up to the docks, but the numbers on them are tiny so we can’t see if we are at the right slip until we are practically on top of it. Both Ana and Magnus hop from our boat to the dock, but it’s a floating dock, and extremely wobbly, and they both stumble and nearly fall in. In the mayhem I am coming in too fast and slam the boat into reverse just in time to avoid smashing into the dock, and the young couple who are sitting there quietly on a dock bench, totally oblivious to the impending disaster.
Cabin Fever arrives shortly after us and we help them with docking. Since they can travel much faster than us, they opted for the later start and the faster passage. Once we are all settled, we take a walk into town along the main street. I am looking for a barber shop and since it is Saturday I’m expecting to find somebody open, but no luck – Picton barbers do not work on the weekends.
Tony and break off from the main pack to check something out and end up getting separated. I send Ana text to find out where she is. She sends back a photo of herself with my aunt Linda. Perplexed, I am. We walk up the street and find a whole gaggle of Olsons – my aunt Linda, cousins Katie, Megan, Mark, Melanie, Tio, and husbands of cousins Adam and Greg. Sadly, my uncle Mark is not there as he’s working on a contract in Mexico, but he’s going to be real pissed when he hears about missing this. The Olsons are there for a party for a grandma on the other side of the family, so they aren’t able to stay long, but the husbands stay behind and we join them in some heavy duty beer drinking on a local patio, while Ana and Angela hit the shops.
Megan stops by the pub for a quick visit with her son Tio, who is the cutest little man ever. She re-invites us for dinner this coming Friday at their place in St. Catherine’s, which will be our launching off point for the return trip through the Welland. I’ve also recruited Adam to help us out with the passage, but that was way before he was drunk on the patio, so it still counts.
We get the call from the ladies to come and join them for early dinner at a restaurant down the way, so we say goodbye to the lads (and good luck) and pour ourselves from the patio onto the street and we flow right down the main street, with the help of Magnus and Stella directing the stream, onto the patio of Vic’s café where we did our best to play it sober with the ladies, even ordering up carbonated water, and I think Tony might have ordered a salad, which may have been overdoing it a bit, but nonetheless, we fooled them completely, as far as I could tell.
“This must be it,” he says. “But I was expecting the store to be bigger from what he described.” He took a few pictures while Magnus and I gave him some creative ideas on what sort of sign to build. Then it hit me – this is a perfect way for Tony to write off all of his gas, docking, and other expenses for the trip! Do a sign quote and then it’s all business expense. That made me sad for a moment, knowing we no longer have a company to write things off against. In fact, the only thing I’ll be writing off after this trip is my credit score.It would turn out later that Tony actually took photos of the wrong place – the actual one was a few blocks away. Damn, that was good craft beer!
Giant Tiger was calling so we headed back to meet the ladies, but came across an actual Bell phone booth along the way so Magnus felt compelled to go in and see what it was like to experience using such a rare artifact. We met the ladies and together carried the groceries back to the boats. The Picton configuration is odd – walking up and down the classic main street, you’d never know there was a beautiful harbour just blocks away, because you have to walk to the north end of the main street and then take a small, uninteresting side road down to the harbour, which isn’t immediately visible.
Happy hour is called and we assemble around one of the picnic tables and grill up some sausages and spring rolls for snacks, but which is promoted to dinner. All is good in the world and this Picton is a fine place.