Great Loop Ch. 08

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This set of stories are meant to be read as chapters in a book. If you haven’t read the previous chapters of the Great Loop, I recommend you do to better understand the characters.

All characters are fictional. Obviously, many of the place locations are real.

*****

Amber showed up at 9:00 sharp.

“Morning Amber. Looks like a nice day for cruising. You already for the trip?”

“Yup, got cameras, memory cards, batteries, a change of clothes, my computer and a thumb drive.”

I showed Amber the guest room and how to use the head, started the engine, released the lines and we were off. Again travel was slow, but we only had two locks to get thru first thing and then it was a long slow ride to Lockport where two more locks would lift us to the Niagara River and then one more lock to Lake Erie.

Amber joined me on the fly bridge. She was wearing a nice pair of shorts, a sleeveless blouse, and a fashionable pair of sunglasses.

“I got some awesome pictures from our photo shoot the other night. I’m looking forward to showing them to you tonight after we are docked.”

“I’m looking forward to seeing them. Do I have to wait until tonight?”

“Yup”

We came to the first lock. Amber started taking pictures as soon as the gates started opening. She put the camera down long enough to give me a hand and then it was back to taking pictures. Pictures of the other boats in the lock, the lock keeper, the closed gates, me and anything else that caught her eye. She had two cameras with her, one with a wide angle zoom lens, the other with a telephoto zoom lens. An awful lot of money tied up in camera gear.

After locking thru both locks, we had gained 50 ft in elevation. We passed Rochester, spent some time on the Genesee River and then continued towards Spencerport. I noticed a park that had a small sea wall and there appeared to be a Farmers Market in the park. I parked the boat so Amber and I could go exploring. I wanted to get some fresh vegetables for dinner that evening and to see what else was available. Amber had her camera and was busy taking pictures. At one farmers tent, I bought some sweet corn. Since we were near the NY wine country, a couple of wineries had tents and I bought some wine. Apparently, there are some Amish in the area because there were two young Amish women with young children selling breads, pies, cheeses, jams, jellies and some produce. Both women were dressed in standard Amish clothing with the bonnets on their heads. The little girls were dressed in a similar manner and the little boys wore dark pants, blue shirts and straw hats. The children were playing games, running around laughing and behaving like all little children. Amber asked if she could take some photos. The older of the two women said “Yes, but you can’t photograph our faces.” Something about their religion. Amber took pictures from the side and rear and also took some photos of their buggy and horse tied in the shade a few yards away. I bought some bread and cheese from them. The pies looked very tempting, put I didn’t buy any. Ben would have been proud of me.

I picked up some green beans, and one tent was selling wild game meat, so I bought some elk steaks and some wild boar pork chops. It took two trips to the boat to get everything on board and stowed.

Back on the canal, it was as though we were in a wilderness. Sometimes we could hear cars and trucks, but mostly it was the boat, trees that lined the banks, birds and other wildlife that used the water. Amber would go thru a flurry of photo taking as something showed up along the bank and then there would be nothing for a while.

As we motored along, we talked about photography. She was extremely knowledgeable about all elements of photography going back to early film days to the present digital systems. Again, she tried to persuade me to buy a better camera than my phone camera and document my trip with photos as well as the blog. I finally promised her I would give it some thought.

After the Farmers Market, we passed Brockport, Holley, Albion where we stopped and had a light lunch. From there we continued east to Medina and tied off at a sea wall near Middleport. We found a great restaurant called The Basket Factory. Its history went back to the beginning of the canal. We ate there instead of cooking on the boat. The food was excellent. The next day we would get to Lockport and go thru two more locks.

Back at the boat, I was eager to see the pictures of our photo shoot. Amber finally relented and we went inside to my computer. Before she put the thumb drive in, she looked at the photos I had taken, the selfies with the people I had met as well as scenery shots.

“You seem to have met a lot of very attractive ladies on this trip. Are they all close friends?”

“Yup, most of them have become very close friends.” I smiled.

“You must have a girl or two in every port!”

“Well, not in every port, but I have been fortunate to meet a lot of bostancı escort bayan interesting people that have a lot in common with me.”

She just looked at me over the top of her glasses and gave a brief laugh.

Inserting the thumb drive she brought up a file with the photos from our night together.

“As I expected, I had to run some of these thru Photoshop to make them more interesting.”

She started a slide show of the photos. They were awesome, some showed her mouth wrapped around my cock with my cock buried deep in her throat, others showed her mouth just covering the tip of my cock, or my cock just fractions of an inch away from her face. Almost all of them were in black & white. One came up in color that had me laughing so hard I almost fell out of the chair. It was me at the moment of orgasm. My eyes were almost fully closed, my forehead was all wrinkled, my mouth was askew with my tongue hanging partially out, my nose was out of focus as if it was vibrating, and I thought that was the ugliest looking orgasm I’d ever seen! I looked to be in severe pain instead of the throes of extreme pleasure. Amber joined me in my laughter.

“I have to admit Jim, that is the most unusual look of pleasure I have ever photographed. If I were you, I wouldn’t show it to anyone. You’d never live it down!”

“Are there any more?”

“Now we get to the really good stuff. The next photo showed cum shooting out of the head of my cock at the instant that it started. That was an interesting perspective. The next couple showed cum splashing on her tongue and nose. The final picture blew me away. Amber said, “This is my dream shot.”

The black & white photo had my cock on the left and Ambers face on the right. In between was my cum in mid-flight. It looked like a strange shaped football, or maybe a comet, with a tail going back to the tip of my cock. Her mouth was open, her tongue out in anticipation of my cum. The photo was heavily Photoshopped for contrast, but it was awesome.

Amber turned to me, gave me a big hug, a toe curling kiss and said, “Thank you. I have had dreams about this photo and to actually pull it off is so rewarding. I couldn’t have done it without your help. Would you consider signing a release in the event I should ever want to publish it?”

“Huh, whoa, I’ll have to think about that. I’m not sure I want my cock in a book or anywhere on the internet. I’ll let you know before you leave. Ok?”

“I hope you will. I’m going to have an enlargement made for my apartment wall though.”

We went back and looked at all the pictures again. My orgasm photo started me laughing again and Amber joined me again.

When we finished, she asked, “Do you want to leave the file on the thumb drive or do you want me to down load it to your computer? We can do both also.”

“Lets do both.”

“Ok, hey, would you like me to set up a screen saver file for you that shows all your friends? As you meet more, you could add their photos to the file and eventually your screen saver would be a file of all your friends.”

“You can do that? That would really be cool. I’d appreciate it. Thank you.”

It took her about 5 minutes to set it all up and test it. It was cool.

“Well, I’m done and headed to bed. I really enjoyed today. See ya in the morning. Good night”

“Good night”

No sex tonight. Amber sure is a strange woman.

The next day we passed thru two locks at Lockport and headed for Lake Erie. Amber was busy with her cameras. When we entered the Niagara River, it occurred to me that I had been very near here when I visited the falls 10 days previously. Should have my head examined because I seem to be going in circles. I laughed to myself.

The final lock loomed ahead. Our timing wasn’t very good as we just missed the closing of the gate. Now we would have to circle around until the next opening which was scheduled in another hour. Another hour of going in circles, yup, should have my head examined.

“Hey Amber, you want to take a turn running the boat?”

“Really, you’d let me? Hell yes!”

I showed her how simple it was and she took the wheel. At first she was trying to correct for every little change of direction, but once she got used to it, she did fine. I stayed close by in case there were any problems. I did take a picture of her at the helm with her camera. I also took one with my phone for my file of friends.

The gate finally opened, I took the helm, moved us into the lock and when the other gate opened, into Lake Erie. It dawned on me that it had taken me two months to travel the length of NY State. A trip that should have taken 7-10 days. At this rate, the Loop was going to take me 10 or more years!

There is a Frank Lloyd Wright house in Buffalo that I wanted to visit. I asked Amber if she wanted to go and she said, “Sure, I would love to photograph it.”

I had to explain that they don’t allow photos to be taken inside ümraniye escort on the general tour, only on a special tour that wasn’t being offered at this time. She was disappointed, but went with me, photographed the outside of the house and the lawns.

The Darwin D. Martin House is in the Parkside neighborhood of Buffalo. We got a cab and took it to the house. Actually, the house is more a collection of six buildings that were designed and built between 1903 – 1906. It was in the process of being restored to its original design. I found the details and wood work fascinating. The house and buildings are all huge. The principal structure is 167 feet long and covers the equivalent of 5 or 6 city lots. I had been reading about Wright since Toronto, but this was the first house I had visited. He also designed and built most of the furniture in the house and even designated the location of each piece of furniture. But what amazed me the most was the windows and the way he used light. Even Amber was amazed, which surprised me because she was always talking about light in terms of photography. I couldn’t imagine what building a house like that in todays economy would cost, but it would most definitely be in the millions.

We spent about 3 hours at the house and then headed back to the boat. While on the way, Amber called her friend and arranged to be picked up at the marina. Back at the boat, Amber gave me a hug and said, “Thanks, Jim. I really enjoyed the ride. I’ll email you a file with the photos I took so you can post them to your blog if you want. I hope you sign that release and send it to me. My friend should be here in about 10 minutes so I’m going to get my stuff together so I’ll be ready when she gets here.” With that she went below to pack her bag and get her gear together. I handed her the signed release as her friend pulled up in the parking lot and Amber walked up the dock, turned to wave and was gone.

I was going to have to leave in the morning. I wanted to spend a few days in Cleveland and visit the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and then I would have to make tracks for Mackinaw Island. I had a reservation there for Labor Day. Following that, Ben and his wife, Shirley, were going to join me for a few days and then I would head for Chicago where the boat would be hauled and stored for the winter.

Lake Erie is the smallest and shallowest of the Great Lakes. It is 241 miles long and would probably take me 6 days to travel, plus the time I spent in Cleveland.

I spent the first night near Dunkirk, NY. I arrived later than usual, so docked right at dusk. I fixed a lite dinner, had some bourbon, took a shower and then went to bed. The next day I was up early and headed for Erie, PA.

The Great Lakes have shipping lanes that large Great Lake Freighters and ocean going freighters use to transit the Great Lakes. I try to avoid them by staying closer to shore and having shore in sight. The Great Lakes are so large that it is possible to be out of sight of land for long periods of time. As I was cruising towards Erie, I saw a white spot on the horizon. As I got closer, or I should say as we got closer, I realized that it was a Great Lakes Freighter. Those suckers are HUGE. Even though we passed at least 5 miles apart, I felt I could reach out and rub my hand on the hull. I briefly wondered if the captain of that ship could even see my boat!

I got to Erie in late afternoon and got squared away at the dock and studied the chart to determine where I would be the next night. I happened to look up and the most beautiful boat I had ever seen was coming into the marina. It was smaller than mine and wooden. They docked in the slip next to mine and made short work of getting tied up and everything orderly. The couple was older, he was thin and she was plump and liked to laugh. As they were tying up, she waved at me and when they were done, she came over to me.

“Nice boat. My name in Marg and my husband there is Hans. We’re from Pittsburg.”

“You have a beautiful boat. I’m Jim and from Long Island.”

Hans came over carrying 3 beers and I invited them aboard. I commented to him about his boat.

“I’m proud of it. I bought it 10 years ago and it was a wreck. I built a shed to put it in so I could work on it year round. The first two years were spent replacing rotten wood. Then I found an engine and totally rebuilt it. All the brass fittings I made and I redid the whole interior, making all the cabinets.”

“Hans is retired and it took him 6 years to get that boat done. Now we spend my vacation every year trailering to different places on the Great Loop. We’ve been doing it for 4 years now and next year after I retire, we’re going to do the whole thing.”

Hans asked if he could look at my boat and I gave him the tour. As we stepped into the engine room, he said, “Smell that?” I couldn’t smell anything. “You’ve got a diesel leak. Marg, get my tool bag and that plastic box labeled ‘Fittings’. We’ll find the leak. It’s probably kartal escort a loose or cracked fitting. Don’t want diesel fuel all over your floor.”

Marg returned with his tool bag and parts and he went to work. While we watched, Marg said, “He’s a master machinist and lives for fixing things. I’ve never known him to not be able to fix something. He is very handy to have around.”

Twenty minutes later, he was done and the leak was clean. I offered to pay him, but he wouldn’t take anything. In stead, they invited me to dinner. Dinner was stew, home made bread, and wine that I brought over. Talk turned to kids and grandkids. I explained that I didn’t have any kids, let alone grandkids. Marge pulled out her phone and showed me photos of their daughter and her 3 kids.

“You should meet our daughter. You’d like her and she’d like you. She’ll be here with the kids in a couple of days and we’re going to the water park and out on the lake with the kids.”

She looked at me and said, “She likes to make babies and I like lots of grandkids.”

I laughed and said I was leaving in the morning and wouldn’t be able to meet the family. She looked disappointed.

Hans said, “Let me show you my boat.” It was a master piece of craftsmanship. All the mahogany, teak, cherry, and other woods were polished and buffed to a high shine. I probably could have shaved in the brass it was so highly polished. Even the engine was spotless. I was in awe. He said he usually spent over 500 hours each year polishing, varnishing and cleaning it.

I took some photos of the boat and of Hans and Marg with the boat before returning to my boat and going to bed.

The next day was another day of cruising. Fortunately, Second Chance had an autopilot so I could get up from the helm and move around. I was going to have to get a more comfortable helm chair because I didn’t realize how much time I would be sitting in one. I spent the night in Conneaut, OH. I would have to get an early start the next morning. The weather forecast called for winds increasing to 30-40 mph with gust to 60 mph in the afternoon. I thought I could get to Cleveland before the weather got too bad.

I left Conneaut at first light, but didn’t make it to Cleveland before the winds picked up. They were directly out of the west and soon the seas were running 4-6 ft. The boat was handling everything ok, but I was being tossed and bounced all around the bridge. Waves would break over the bow and water would run the length of the boat. For four hours I battled the lake. I was really glad to see the breakwater at the marina in Cleveland with its calmer water. I got tied up and poured myself a drink. I was shaking and realized what a serious mistake I’d made to try and make that run with a storm coming in. I won’t make that mistake again.

I was tired, bruised, and my muscles started to stiffen up. I crawled into bed and crashed. The next morning I went up to the marina to take a hot shower. The showers were unisex. You open the door, step into a changing area, then step into the shower. Someone was in another shower. I let hot water cascade over me for 15 minutes. After drying myself and getting dressed, I opened the door just as someone was walking past. Thump.

“Excuse me, are you all right? I should’ve been more cautious. I’m sorry.”

The woman that had walked into my door looked at me and smiled. “I’m fine. Just kicked the door with my foot. You’re new here. I’ve not seen you before. I’m MJ. I live on the boat Romance Writer, or at least I live on it during the summer. I also have a townhouse in the city.”

“Hi, I’m Jim. I came in late yesterday on Second Chance.”

“Oh, that was YOU? I saw you coming in and wondered why anyone would be out on the lake in weather like that. I bet it was really rough.”

“It was, won’t make that mistake again.”

“I take it you’re not from here.”

“No, I left Long Island back in May, headed for Chicago.”

“I think there’s a story here. Would you like to join me for breakfast and you can tell me about your adventure.”

“Thank you. I’ll need a few minutes to change and get ready. Where’s your boat?”

“Oh, we’re not eating on the boat, we’ll go to a little diner I like. It’s a bit of a drive, but unless you like doing your own cooking, there is no good place to eat around here.”

We walked up the dock together and she stopped at her boat. It was just a few slips from mine and said, “Lets meet here in 15 minutes.”

Fifteen minutes later we were headed to the parking lot and her car. The diner was a typical diner. Lots of good food at a cheap price and great coffee.

MJ turned out to be an author. I guessed that from the name on her boat, but she was a well known author of romance novels. She said she had just finished writing her first mystery and it was with an editor and publisher. She was going to New York the following week to wrap up the book for printing and to approve the cover design. She was in her late 30’s, never married, no kids, and thinking about moving south to escape the cold and snow of winter in Cleveland. As she talked, I studied her. She was probably 5-6 or 5-7, had dirty blonde hair and green eyes. She wore stylish glasses and had a nice shape to her.

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