Day 237, Year 7: Rowing on Eel Pond
Date: Monday, July 2, 2012
Weather: Hot and Sunny
Location: Eel Pond, Woods Hole, Massachusetts

It was a good day. I went into Falmouth in the morning to get a gas can and
gas for the new Honda generator so we could finally try that out. I found a
1.5 gallon can at West Marine. But when I got back to Windbird with fuel
and we tried out the new generator, it just wasn’t charging the batteries.
The generator ran just fine, but the energy just wasn’t getting to our
batteries. Mark then had to trace all of the electrical path to find the
problem. It took most of the afternoon, but he finally got it working for
us. I drove back into town to pick up Sam and Jonah at 1 pm and brought
them back to Woods Hole. Heather had to work this morning, successfully
airing her second Living Lab program, and Jed stayed home with Oliver. He
brought him to Woods Hole around noon so he could nurse and Jed could go to
work. Then Heather helped get all three boys out to Windbird for the
afternoon before going back to work. It all worked out very nicely and
Oliver was very happy that he could have momma’s milk and not from a bottle.
We have not been very successful with the bottle thing. Jonah and Oliver
took naps but Sam was really not sleepy. He read for a long time and then
we told him he could dig into Granddad’s fishing box which is a cooler
located on the aft deck. He has been dying to get into it and take a few
items for his own little fishing box. Granddad’s hadn’t been opened since
last summer, but I told Sam to report to me his findings and to be very
careful of fish hooks. I was in the main cabin with Oliver as he just
wouldn’t settle when I had him in the cockpit and Mark was napping. So Sam
was on his own and he was amazing. He listened so carefully to all
directions and he took no chances. When Heather arrived he showed her some
of the big fish hooks and I think she might have thought we were crazy for
letting him explore the fishing tackle on his own. But Sam is getting older
and is ready for some big boy challenges. Once Heather was onboard and
could hold Oliver, Sam and I took off in the dinghy. He wanted to try
rowing. Rowing a rubber dinghy is never easy, but it is almost impossible
without a seat in place. But Sam stood up and learned quickly how to move
us about the pond. When the dinghy started too much in his direction, he
would give directions to me to row on the other side. Sam is a strong
little boy and it almost brought tears to my eyes to see him rowing. He
really is growing up. We rescued a few beer bottles that someone had thrown
in the pond which Sam thought was quite an adventure and then we rowed to
the town dock to fill up a couple of our five gallon jerry cans with water.
I was once again in awe of Sam’s big boy skills. He hopped out of the
dinghy and onto the dock, brought the hose to me, and then climbed a ladder
and turned the water on for me. And when one can was full, he turned the
water off so I could transfer the hose to the other can without getting
water in the dinghy. I couldn’t have been prouder of him. When we returned
to Windbird to see what was happening there, Jonah was up from his nap and
he hopped in the dinghy to row around with us. He tried rowing for a while
and then he decided that he just wanted to watch. We rowed around until we
found the sailboat that belongs to a friend of Sam and Jonah’s from school
and then we hurried back to Windbird when we saw that our neighboring power
boat was about to jab it’s propellers into our side once again. We pushed
the boat away with the dinghy and both boys thought that was great fun.
There is nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing as simply
messing about in boats . . . especially with your grandchildren.

Tomorrow we go to Boston to meet with an endocrinologist about Mark’s
parathyroid issue. Messing about with doctors is certainly not as much fun
as messing about in boats, but it is one of those activities that you learn
to accept. Mark has had really wonderful experiences with his doctors, so
we will hope tomorrow just adds to that.