By Boomer Jack Boardman
“Plenty of time for this after we get under way!” Captain Molly said in her outdoor voice, but with a big smile as well, “Lets finish up, and meet at the Sparrow in the morning!”
And after another hour of tying up loose ends, and, in spite of Molly’s admonishment, the AR colleagues managed to continue to get to know one-another in person, their friendships forged on the ‘net, and cemented in Danger Bay.
The full moon struggled to peek through the predawn fog the following morning. The villagers, guests, Sparrow officers and crew, still sleepy from the late night of planning, found their way to Hiram Silverthorn’s café. Hiram is known for laying out a fine & hearty North Woods breakfast, and this morning was no exception! Eggs (all styles), thick sliced and crisp bacon, sausage (links & patties), hashed browns, grits, pancakes, waffles, and several complete vegetarian entrées were ready, not to mention organically & shade-grown, fair-trade, Danger Bay Blend coffee (tastes just like your favorite coffee—only better!).
After breakfast, still dark & foggy, everyone worked together to load the luggage and personal effects to last the nine or so months of this voyage. Sarah offered the use of her pick-up, and Medlar Farkleberry helped out with his old truck.
Soon, all was ready for the departure of the Motor Vessel Sparrow. The village was vacant, Mayor Gamboge went quickly through and found all secure. He the threw the switch on the Internet Search Confusticator—in the back room of Farkleberry’s Star Service Station (Full Service Only, Thank You Very Much)—to prevent any search from finding the village while the Sparrow is gone.
With Mac at the helm, the Sparrow was skillfully launched on her journey. She slowly pulled away from the pier making hardly a ripple in the still fog enshrouded water of the Big Lake. With little to see that they hadn’t seen before, the villagers set about exploring the Sparrow.
The “Real World” people, Ines, Sarah, Bob, Lysa, Fred, and Maggie were on the upper deck, marveling at the eerie beauty of the foggy lake and shoreline. The only thing intruding on their quiet thoughts as they slowly made there way towards the breakwater was the deep rumble of the two powerful biodiesel engines.
“I’m glad we have the Search Confusticator,” Sarah said quietly, as if not to disturb the fog, “I’d worry about my store and not be able to enjoy all this—it is beautiful.”
“It is beautiful,” Ines replied, “This Big Lake is remarkable, just a lake, but it so resembles the northern seas. I too, am glad the village is protected.”
Is it? Is it REALLY? TO BE CONTINUED…