postcards from the road
It’s almost time to go. In the morning the Melonseed will get stuffed with gear, leaving a little room to skootch back and forth, tacking upwind all the way back. The tide will be out. Lots of short tacking. Another front is coming through, bringing rain. I’ll try to slip out ahead of it.
Most will wait another day to squeeze out the last few hours they can before heading back. A few plan to leave soon after I do. Beating my way out into the headwind, I see Wesley in his skiff on his way to the island to pick them up. He nods approval as he goes by.
I made some things. Did you find them?
Terri had to go back early. We sailed over in the Melonseed and dropped her at the marina. When I got back, she texted clues to find things she’d hidden around the island.
It wasn’t that hard. I found her trail a few steps from the kitchen door, and easily followed her meandering path for a quarter mile through the dunes. With so few people on the island, a single series of footprints is like a story written in large print. Here she stopped to ponder a pile of bones, here at a clearing to take in the view of the marsh, enticed from here to wander in a grove of pines.
7 Down: Where Leonardo da Vinci is buried.
Oh yes, I know that one. Leonardo da Vinci is buried in the chapel at Amboise. A chateau in the Loire.
How did you know that, without even reading a New Yorker?
I always remember, because it reminds me of the night I met that charming blind woman in the middle of a snow storm.
Was that when you were in France?
No, not in France. In Fluvanna County. I was house sitting for a friend at Christmas. A big snow storm came through. I let the dog out before bed, and it did not return. I got into her four wheel drive car to go looking for him. Down the road, I suddenly came upon a woman wading through the snow. She was wearing Long Johns and a sort of antique broach.
Excuse me, ma’am, but can I give you a ride?
Oh please, I hope you can help. (She looked a little sideways as she talked. I thought from the glare of the headlights, but realized she was blind.) My husband has rearranged the whole library, and we can’t find the one book to settle this argument. Do you happen to know where Leonardo da Vinci is buried?
Strangely enough, I knew the answer. When I studied painting in Paris, I was invited to visit the Loire Valley where a chapel was built around his tomb. A beautiful chapel.
Why yes, in fact I do. He’s buried at the Chateau d’Amboise, in the Loire Valley.
Oh thank god. Will you please take me back down the road and tell my husband? He will not sleep until we know. Oh, and we have your dog. He’s been quite well-behaved. Hasn’t peed or nothin.
Overheard after dinner conversation.