Upon docking in the shipyard in Gloucester in the morning, the Wanderbird crew was given the day to explore the town after a few chores, like spraying off the deck, reattaching the water, etc. During this, the captains had heard a rumor of my consideration to leave. Captain Rick called me to the wheelhouse during some of the duties and I confirmed this with him.
I still promised him that I wasn’t abandoning the second we hit shore, and would help him get the boat in order for the shipyard. But, I would likely be leaving within a day or two, not staying for the week of boat maintenance and restoration they were planning on.
I ended up meeting up with Jesse and Chris at the Crow’s Nest, a famed sailor bar in Gloucester and featured in A Perfect Storm. It turned out they were a motel as well, so I ended up just getting a room there for $45 while sitting next to my (soon to be former) crewmates.
After a discussion of whether or not they could use my room’s shower (none of us had had a real shower in well over a week), and whether or not I should just walk away or should come to the dinner the captains had invited us to, the three of us parted ways to walk around the town.
I returned to the Wanderbird to begin repacking my backpack and bring it to the hotel room. The boat was empty when I got there, less the dogs, and I went below deck to get my things.
Once everything was packed, and I managed to squeeze my oversized backpack through the series of narrow holes and doors to the main deck, I found Pitsik, one of the captains’ dogs standing on the dock, which is a good distance higher than the main deck of the boat. She was wet and shook herself off before running down the dock into the shipyard.
After my initial shock of seeing her off the ship, I called the captain’s cell phone and left a voicemail to say that she was wet and had somehow gotten off the boat. By the time that call was over, she had disappeared from sight.
After putting Paolo, the other dog, inside, I spent the next half hour scanning every inch of the shipyard for her, calling for her, whistling, and calling the captains a couple more times. Eventually Kyle, the first mate, returned and we both set out into the greater area calling for her.
When the captains got there, Karen was visibly worried. She began asking anyone in sight if they had seen her husky, while Rick drove all the nearby streets looking for her.
Finally, we did find her at the shipyard. Where she went to evade all of us for all that time is still a mystery to me. We got her back on the ship and made sure she and Paulo were secured inside before departing the Wanderbird again.
I was glad that I was able to help them find Pitsik and leave on a better note than simply walking away from them. Rick and Karen invited me to join them for the crew dinner. Unfortunately there was not quite enough room in their rental car and Jesse ended up riding though town in the closed trunk with my backpack taking up most of the space.
After a cheerful and chatty dinner, Rick and Karen brought me back to the Crow’s Nest where we parted ways. And I wish the best to them and their Wanderbird crew for their further voyages.