We decide to spend another day and night in Sandusky as the dock spaces are available and there’s no good reason to leave. It’s already hot at 8:30 but I take an hour long solo walk to the closest state liquor store to pick up some cheap US booze while the ladies and kids Uber to a shopping mall and Tony gets to work on boat projects.
Back at the boat I get to work on my own projects, changing out a shower sump, cleaning up 14 years worth out dirt from the top hatch which I have to completely disassemble to access, as well as washing down the boat, which hasn’t been properly cleaned in quite a few days. Tony has taken over the dock DJ role and is playing some fine tunes for us as we work. We are so busy that we don’t even have our first beer until 3pm, but we enjoy a Black & Mild cigar to make it extra special.
I’ve been telling Tony about this great fish sandwich shop called the Sandusky Fish Company, so we take the short walk there and order up a couple of perch meals. The inside of the small shop is blazing hot, fishy, and full of people either ordering or waiting for their food. The staff behind the counter are literally melting from the heat and much of the brow sweat is dripping into the fries, providing extra salt. We soon get our orders and sit down at the lakeside picnic tables, surrounded by copious amounts of Canada goose shit, but otherwise pleasant.
We unwrap our food and the crackling of the aluminum lined wrappers attract the attention of three of the resident scavenger geese, who are obviously used to getting handouts. The geese walk right up to our table, and one starts hissing at me with his dirty red tongue sticking out and beady black eyes full of anger. I try to shoo him away with my hand but he doesn’t even flinch. His little buddy has actually crawled under the table and is within striking distance of our nut sacks and that’s when I lose it. I roll up the towel I brought with me and slap that goose right across the face, which gets his attention and he recoils backwards. They all back off, and Tony and I return to eating our perch sandwiches and fries.
The bold Canada geese once again make their move, slinking forward, hissing, beady eying up our food. I do another mighty swing with the towel, but they are staying back just far enough. Just then Tony has a brilliant idea. “Let’s scare them away with music,” he says.
“Oh, that’s a good idea. What have you got?”
Tony plays a song from his phone speaker, and it’s a Journey tune but has no effect.
“Try something else, but just make sure it’s not Bryan Adams,” I say. “Hit them with some Led Zeppelin.”
“Okay, I’ll put on Greta Van Fleet,” he replies triumphantly as he points the iPhone at the grimy geese like a Star Trek phaser set to stun and hits the play button, letting the Led Zeppelinesque sounds ring out across the park.
“It’s working!” I scream as the geese recoil backwards, all dazed and confused, and Tony advances on them with the sonic weapon, pushing them back even farther. It is a remarkable scene and after getting the upper hand on the geese we sit back down to finish our meal in peace. Unfortunately, the geese villains have set upon a young couple sitting at a table near us, and now there are seven geese surrounding them.
“Put on some music, right now, that will stop them!” Tony yells over to them.
“OK,” the girl says, “But all I have is Drake!”
“For God’s sake, don’t play that bird music,” Tony says as he comes to the rescue and scatters the geese with more Greta Van Fleet, driving them back to the waters edge. Before they can regroup and launch a counter attack, we roll up our wrappers, toss them in the bin, and skedaddle out of there back to the marina, leaving the nice couple to fend for themselves.
By the time we return, the skies have darkened and there’s a bit of sheet lightening bouncing around so the pool is cleared of people - perfect time for a swim. We take a refreshing and electricity-free dip and then return to the boat, and the ladies and kids arrive shortly after that to show off their purchased treasures - clothes, iPhone case, Sushi-Go card game, and a jar of honey. There is even something for me - new shaving lotion, which I think may be a hint that it’s time for a shave, as that hasn’t happened for several days.
Ana made a shepherds pie at home before the trip so we pull it out of the freezer and get it cooking while we have an Holrique happy hour. Ana uses my mom’s recipe for this dish, but this time she added in a bunch of Portuguese hot pepper sauce to liven it up. Over dinner we discuss the Saskatchewan palate, and how typical prairie food doesn’t offer much in the way of spice.
“The food is plain, just like the Saskatchewan topography,” chimes in Magnus, the grade 9 geography expert.
We spend a lovely evening huddled in Bella Blue’s air conditioned salon, having drinks, laughing, enjoying our last evening in Sandusky.