Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Wilbur goes AWOL

We motored into Palm Cove Marina in Jacksonville, FL on Sunday, got cleaned up and headed out to dinner with our departing guests. Unfortunately I forgot to take my camera and didn't get any pictures. Craig (who lives in Jacksonville) had already arranged to take Monday off from his job and came back to the marina in order to give Hans a hand with replacing a piece of brass plumbing that burst this winter due to freezing. We had paid to have the boat winterized and were a little concerned when upon getting back aboard we didn't see any 'pink' (anti freeze) in our lines. Long story short, a pipe burst and we were finally able to take time to repair it. Hans emailed the boat yard that performed the winterization, and they agreed to reimburse us for the materials and the extra day we had to spend at the marina in Jacksonville. They (and we!) are lucky that Craig is very handy and was able to help Hans replace things properly.

Wilbur loves to check his Facebook account whenever he can. Although after his shenanigans of this morning I think he's going to find that a lot of his privileges are going to be revoked.

"A little privacy please!"

We decided that in order to catch the right tides for our trek to St. Augustine, we should get out bright and early this morning.

Easier said than done when you wake up to pea soup!
This is the marina as I observed it from our stern.

The boat next to us finally decided to venture out at around 10:30 AM.

Here he is crossing our stern.

And just a little way past us. You can see how foggy it still was.

He was back in about 15 minutes and said that it was like a curtain of white in the ICW. I told him that in the 15 minutes he was gone that he'd missed some huge drama at our dock.

So this is what happened.
Hans and I had started the engines and were trying to remove our cooking grill on the port side of the cockpit. Wilbur thinks he has to help with everything every step of the way so I wasn't surprised to hear the tags jingle on his collar as he came up to join us in the cockpit.
Hans was getting ready to cast off our lines when I wondered where Wilbur was. Like I said, he's normally underfoot. However, a quick check of the salon area and our berth told me that Wilbur was not down below.
Hans insisted he was in our berth as he'd seen him there right before we tried taking the grill down. I went back to our berth again and pounded the covers to make sure he wasn't hiding.

No dog!

Hans ran down below to check it out for himself and I started looking over the sides and into the water. When he came up and confirmed that there was no way Wilbur was on the boat I went into panic mode and we shut off the engines. Off the boat I went screaming out Wilbur's name as I ran around to the stern and bow trying to see if he might be trapped by the dinghy lines or heaven forbid had been caught in the propellers.

By now I was sick with fear and then I heard someone way up at the end of the dock yell, "Up here!" That's all I needed to hear and I have to tell you I don't think an Olympic sprinter could have out ran me as flew up the dock.

And then I saw Wilbur coming out of the parking lot in order to approach the men who'd been beckoning to him. Luckily he didn't run away when he saw me and came right to me. By then I was shaking so bad I could hardly stand up and one man with wildly unkempt hair and ratty clothes stared at me like I might actually be crazier than him.

We now know that when I heard his tags jingle when we were in the cockpit, he actually scooted over the starboard side and jumped down onto the floating dock. It was a very long drop and I can't believe he did it as he's not overly fond of getting on and off the boat.
I think what happened was this; when I walked Wilbur yesterday he found a very delectable smell in the parking lot and nearly sucked the pavement up his big pitty nose he sniffed so hard. I think he still had that smell in mind and just had to get back to it as soon as our backs were turned.

Time out for Wilbur.

I don't think he looks sorry enough for what he did to me.
This has gotten me to wondering though. It would appear that the men in my life will do anything, including going overboard (even in freezing temperatures), in order to get away from me.
Perhaps I should be putting our shower to use more often.


  1. Well at least this one didn't turn to disaster.

    My best friend from high school had a German Sheppard back in the 70's. They they gave it no training or discipline. One day it got loose (it got out all the time) and ran in front of couple riding bikes. The man missed the dog but the woman was knocked over and a car hit and killed her.

    My friends family was sued and the homeowners insurance eventually paid the claim. The insurance company then cancelled their insurance and they could not get new insurance due to having the huge claim from the wrongful death suit.

    Without insurance the bank forclosed the loan and they had to move to an apartment. The dog was sent to the pound and I won't bother to mention where that went.

    So you see... it was a GOOD day!


  2. Too funny! Wilbur looks like he just got caught with his paw in the cookie jar! Aren't dogs a trip? They think they're human, and they kind of are! Glad he was okay.

  3. Wow, that is some thick fog! And I can just imagine how frantic you were when you couldn't find Wilbur on the boat! I am just so glad that he wasn't "dognapped"!!! And I do think he should have a much, much more contrite look on that adorable face! Hope he doesn't try that again!



  4. Glad to know Wilbur was OK. I certainly know that feeling of panic when your dog is AWOL!


  5. Thank you everyone. It indeed could have been a lot worse and I'm just glad to have my baby back!