kelly put the last stroke of clear-coat on my toes and patted my leg with a smile, 'just a few minutes to dry, hon, and you'll be good to go. i smiled back but did not answer. as kelly picked up her things and went on to her next client, i looked down at my mermaid green sparkling toes (a special color in honor of my impending voyage) and assessed my legs; more sun than i typically liked, but they looked fit and pretty. i knew i was as strong as i needed to be for the adventure ahead and the satisfaction and pride i felt about all my hard work made me smile again. i sat for a few minutes more and then gingerly slipped my toes into my (dedicated) leather pedi flip-flops being careful not to dent the uncured polish. through he window, my friend and i spotted her father coming out of the market with a mother-load of supplies. 'does he know how small the boat is?' i asked my friend. she nodded 'yes' and rolled her eyes in exasperation. we slipped out of our chairs, paid kelly and then headed toward the car. i beeped open the back door from across the lot and as the tailgate 'mysteriously' yawned open before him, i could see that my friend's father seemed annoyed that he could not be annoyed that he'd been left waiting by a locked car. we both laughed as he shook his head and started to load the groceries. as we walked toward the car, i caught a glimpse of myself in the reflection of a window and laughed out loud. i looked so girly! i had on my favorite 'johnny was' summer shorts and top (again, emerald green in honor of my journey), my hair was down in piece-y, beach-y waves and with my delicate leather flip-flops definitely looked more like i was about to go on a high-end shopping spree than spending the next 3 months climbing over the rigging of a sailboat like a monkey. when we reached the vehicle, my friend's father aggressively took the shotgun spot as i crawled up into the drivers seat of the giant tahoe (a vehicle that always made me feel like it was using the blood of baby fur seals to propel itself). as we pulled out of the parking lot, i spotted 3 older women trying desperately to wrangle 3 stray dogs out of traffic. as i put my car in park, my friend's father barked, 'just leave them!'. ignoring him, i opened the doors and whistled to the dogs. immediately they all came running and with a little help on both ends (grabbing collars/ pushing butts) jumped up into the truck. the ladies were nearly in tears with relief. my friend wrangled the happy, panting, stinky dogs into the back of the tahoe to sit with the groceries. my friend's father was fuming. at that moment i decided we would sail to catalina first and put him ashore with a ticket back to the mainland. there was no way he would be agreeable to helping any distressed sea life we encountered along the way (fully half of the reason we were going...). later, when i shared my intention with my friend, she enthusiastically agreed. my friend and i discussed the best place for the dogs and made a detour to drop them into safe hands.
when we arrived at the dock, our small, beautiful boat was waiting. she seemed happy i thought. we began to load supplies and it really took forever. by the time we finished, most of the day had gone and the waters were choppy. my friend's father insisted we start sail right then and there. after some discussion back and forth, we reluctantly agreed. after we cast off, almost immediately we were getting drenched from the waves. i realized that even if we were in ideal conditions, my friend's father just added too much weight to my spry little boat. we headed back to the slip and told my friend's father we would try again the next day if the water was calm.
when we reached the dock, my friend's father stepped off the boat without a word or a look back and headed to his car. my friend and i stood on our now buoyant little vessel and watched as he drove aggressively out of the lot. i looked down at my drenched outfit and started to laugh. my friend assessed herself and did the same. we laughed until tears fell from our eyes. we happily secured our little boat and agreed that we would leave just before dawn the next day- without her father.