Saturday, July 26, 2008

Pre-Mac Prep.

I had decided that my relatively long hair was going to be a hassle for the race to Mackinac. So I asked my sister Ginette if she would mind using the trimmer she has to buzz cut it for me. I wanted it to have time to grow out just a bit so I arranged for her to cut it about 2 weeks ahead of time.

I had this “great” idea that since my hair is so short and buzzed in the back, I could get the team logo shaved into the hair on the back of my head. I talked to a hair stylist and she said to make a copy of the logo, enlarge it on a copier and then cut it out to be used as a stencil. So, Thursday night, I stayed up most of the night cutting stencils into plastic transparency sheets to be used to shave the boat logo into the hair on the back of my head.

I stopped off after work with my stencils to get the boat logo shaved into the hair on the back of my head. The person who did the work didn’t realize that the connecting pieces of the stencil weren’t part of the logo and that they were just there to hold the letters together, so I had what really looked like a stencil on the back of my head. When I got home, Lisa cleaned up the logo so it would stand out better, and shaved the hair all the way down to the bare skin. Then she used a red Sharpie permanent marker to color the skin and hair to match the boat logo.

I went to sleep and when I woke up the next morning, I found the pillow case stained with red permanent marker.

I took a shower and discovered the “permanent” marker wasn’t so permanent on scalp skin and hair. I was left with a slight pink color on the skin, and no color in the hair at all.

I overslept and got ready to go as quickly as possible. The schedule called for everyone to meet at the dock by the boat at 8:00AM. In order to make it to the boat by then, those who were leaving a car at Capt. John’s house needed to meet at his house by 7:30. Since Lisa needed to be at work by 8:00am, there wasn’t time for her to drop me off at the boat or at John’s house, so I made arrangements to ride to John’s house with another crew member, Holly, who lives in Orland Park. To make it to John’s house on time we needed to leave Orland Park by 6:30am. Lisa said she could drop me off in Orland before she got ready for work, so I needed to leave home by 5:45am. I was supposed to wake up at 5:00am. This did not happen.

After waking at 5:28am, I quickly took a shower and finished up some last minute packing. There were a pair of sailing gloves I really wanted to bring with me, that I had to search the house for before they finally turned up. Then Lisa offered to quickly touch up the logo in my hair with the red “permanent” marker again so it would at least stand out until the race started. I’d need to wash it out before my first sleep shift so I wouldn’t stain my sleeping bag or anything on the boat. It didn’t look as good as it had the night before, but it was better than nothing. Everytime I thought I was ready to walk out the door I thought of something else that I needed/wanted. As we backed down the driveway, I realized that I had never printed out the directions to Holly’s house and I didn’t know where she lived. I ran back into the house to look up her address on the team website and write it down along with her phone number. By the time we were actually on the road, it was a few minutes after 6:00am.

I called Holly to let her know that we were running later than expected, and that I wouldn’t be there early like I had originally intended, but that I should still make it there by 6:30. I asked for directions to her house and as she explained, I realized that with all the stoplights on LaGrange Ave by the mall, we’d need to get pretty lucky and catch all the green lights to get to her house by 6:30.

After catching the eighth stoplight in a row, I called Holly again to explain that we were going to be a little late, and to ask if there is somewhere along the way that we could meet up to reduce the delay in getting to John’s house on time. Holy suggested a gas station on LaGrange avenue a bit north of the mall, and we agreed to meet up with her there.

When we got to the gas station, Holly wasn’t there yet, and I noticed it was a convenience store as well. I took a look inside and found they had red permanent markers. Since we had a bit of time while we waited for Holly to arrive, and since Lisa was disappointed with how the logo looked this morning when she quickly traced over it with the marker we had at home, and since I had already committed to washing it out after the start of the race, I purchased the marker and brought it out for Lisa to touch up the logo and make it look better.

Holly showed up shortly after, and the rest of the morning was relatively uneventful. We got to John’s house on time, where we met up with Scott, and John. Then we headed down to the pier where we met up with Wally and Nora. Wally’s family came with him to see us off, as did John’s girlfriend. Nancy, a member of the usual Cyclone crew, was originally slated to be a member of the crew for the race to Mackinac, however due to an injury she had to withdraw a few weeks before the race, and Scott took her place. Capt. John Madey has a friend John Frendreiss who is a hobby photographer and maintains the Cyclone website for him. Nancy and John F. agreed to be our “shore crew” to carry equipment not needed for the race, but that would be needed after the race up to Mackinac for us. They both showed up at the pier to see us off. John F. got a few good pictures, and then everyone who came to see us off headed to Navy Pier to see us in the boat parade. We fired up the diesel and cast off, in the dreary gray drizzle and the barely there breeze to head out to the pre-race boat parade at Navy Pier.