Fandango’s FOWC is power, the Word of the Day Challenge is justice, Paula’s 3 Things Challenge Words are nose, Alabama, sailboat, and Teresa’s Story Starter Challenge prompt is: “That really did not help.”
Herman was a man who had a nose for adventure. A sailor from the age of ten, many generations before him in his family had sailed the Great Lakes. Herman would be the first in his family to travel down the Mississippi River from Chicago to the Gulf of Mexico, where he would then sail the Gulf to Alabama. It took months of planning but finally, in the fall, he and his sailboat were ready.
As the Mississippi is primarily a shipping course, with mostly barges and locks, Herman would not be using the sails but would power his way down with an outboard motor. The motor was adequate for the river, but the locks were not designed for a sailboat. Each lock was an exercise in danger and adrenalin as Herman lashed the boat to the side of the lock and avoided being crushed by any barges sharing the space with him.
Then the storms came. Hurricane-level winds that he watched rip the roofs off of buildings. At the same time, autumn water levels in the river were at their lowest, which made the six foot keel impossible for the marinas along the way and spending the night in the canal itself.
Three weeks into the adventure, Herman decided to turn back. Although he had planned for so much, there was so much more he needed to know for the trip. He wanted to be successful at his goal but he was unable to do it justice at that time, all things considered.
Herman found an older gentleman who agreed to navigate with him on his journey north, back up the Mississippi, until they reached the Calumet River, which was a much easier route back to Lake MI.
When Herman finally got home, his wife, children, parents, and friends had a million questions for him. His mother in-law, who was sometimes painfully blunt, asked why he didn’t plan better.
Herman, exhausted, disappointed, and feeling like a failure, could only say, “That really did not help.” He excused himself from the crowd and left the house.
The following week, Herman began looking over the notes he took. He’d be better prepared next time.