Pedal Another Mile

Bicycling, death, life after death.

Filtering by Tag: Florida

The Reef Placement.

Eternal Reefs said they'd take pics, and they delivered. Billy Jo is at home, and as a friend said on Facebook, she's the prettiest house on the block...

Here's a slideshow of the day, along with some of the ones that have been down there a while, to give you an idea. Also, I spotted what looks like and eel and some fish as well. Again, mobile users click here to go to gallery.

I'll see you in a year or so, after I get certified. I love you. Protect those fishies!

Now I am home

Thanks to Brian for the company and doing half the driving, we made it back in 17 1/2 hours yesterday. North Florida had about 100 miles of fog for me, and south Georgia had about 30 miles of light rain for Brian. Rest of the ride was cloudy and dry.

I froze my ass off emptying the truck. I hate cold even more now than I did. My blood has been thinned out.

Anyway, I'm home safe. Now the reality begins. Stay tuned...

Oh, I am still waiting for Eternal Reefs to provide the pics and video (they called me and told me they have some, and that the drop went perfectly).

However, her dad (who only had his cell phone (understandably he had no idea he was going to be right there when he went to work) managed to get this one as they lowered her:

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I went to sleep at 12:45 and it's 6:30 and I've been up an hour. I have no idea why. I am going to try and go back to sleep now :)

She is home

We are in Georgia headed back home. Billy Jo's dad's girlfriend and then he himself called me. He is a captain of a charter fishing boat. By chance, his clients today happened to want to fish in the area of the reef drop spot.

He was there and was able to snap pics on his cell phone of her being lowered. He's going to send them to me later. He had to go because there were fish on the lines :) - I bet she had something to do with that.

Anyway, she is now at home, and new life begins.

Plan B

Billy Jo was always good at improvising when something happened that fucked up our plans. Well, I think she'd be proud of the improvisation we did today because of the cancellation.

We visited her one last time at Florida Atlantic University (where the flat bed was parked), then drove as far north from there as we could, parked, and walked out onto the jetty of Port Everglades.

Billy Jo has passed through this port entrance hundreds of times. Every single time she went out on a boat fishing while down here, it was through this way. And during her lifetime she did a LOT of fishing.

So, this is where we decided to have our own ceremony, tossing flowers out to sea. As luck would have it, tide started going out almost right when we got there, so instead of being pushed into the inter-coastal waterways, they were taken out to sea :). RIght as we were leaving a giant wave hit the rocks and got quite a few of us wet. I think she did that :).

I really wish we could have seen her lowered, but it just wasn't meant to be. Still, at least personally, I feel closure. That doesn't mean this is easy by any means or that I don't miss her and love her. Of course I do. But she wanted me to lead a long, "normal" and happy life after she was gone, and now I shall try to do just that.

Pics (slideshow takes a while to load), mobile users click here for gallery.

Saying goodbye...

Throwing the flowers out to sea.

The flowers I threw, headed out to sea.

I am not driving back alone... Brian is joining me. The ride looks a little less "wet" tomorrow than Wednesday with no chances of ice or snow, so we are leaving at about 5am. If we make it back tomorrow night, great. If not, we are still home Wednesday, giving me a few days to compose myself, get re-acclimated to home and the shitty weather, and relax before going back to work on Monday. Hopefully by the time I get home there's pics and video and Billy Jo is finally at rest.

The back of the program for today's boat ride had this quote by JFK:

"I really don't know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea, except I think it's because in addition to the fact that the sea changes, and the light changes, and ships change, it's because we all came from the sea. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, our sweat, and in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch it, we are going back from whence we came."

No Go

Well, Mother Nature did not cooperate. Reef placement and the boat ride to view it are cancelled due to rough seas.

They say tomorrow looks likely but the forecast is identical to today (which means it's likely to be wrong again).

Wednesday looks like rain only for the drive home. No ice or snow the whole way. No telling what pushing it back a day would cause. I certainly do not
want to be stuck in a hotel for days because it's too dangerous to drive. I need a few days home before I get back to work.

Soooo we have improvised. We are currently about 15 miles north where she is back on the flatbed. We are saying our "see you laters" and will go a mile further north and throw flowers into the ocean from the jetty at Port Everglades- the port she went in and out of hundreds of times in her life.

They've promised plenty of pics and hopefully some video of the placement. I'll share those when I get them.

I'm not going to lie- I'm a bit disappointed but again- it's out of anyone's control.

Transient
Transient

The viewing/memorial day

Whew. Tough day. It was very cool to have this on her birthday, but it was also very very hard. I was a mess this morning.

I've been told the milestone dates are hard the first few times. Christmas and New Year I handled no problem. Today I did not.

I surprised myself how much trouble I had today and how many tears I spilled. But, family, friends, and a few Xanax (my first in a month) helped me out tremendously.

After lunch I took a much needed two hour nap and tonight is much better than this morning was, emotion-wise.

There is a chance that if the winds cause too high of waves that they will not do the actual lowering of the reefs tomorrow. It is up to the county and the Coast Guard. We will know by the time we get there tomorrow morning. We can still take the boat out to the drop site, and Eternal Reefs will remain here until conditions allow them to lower them. They promised pics and video. Hopefully it doesn't come to that, but if it does, it does. It, like much of life, is out of our control.

I also learned she will only be in 30-35 feet of water, not 60-65 feet. If the lighting is right and the sea is calm enough, they're actually visible from the surface.

Billy Jo - if you have any pull with mother nature, keep the winds SE and under 10 tomorrow morning please and thank you - I really want to see this :)

Here's today's pics (same as usual - slideshow will load in a minute or so), mobile users click here for the SmugMug link.