It was Byard Miller aboard his Sea Pearl "Bygone." He had left Palatka, Fla 23 days ago, headed north on the ICW. The York River, his final destination, is just up the Chesapeake Bay. Byard is from Arkansas. He had bought the Sea Pearl a year ago for sailing on the lakes of near his home, but had always wanted to make the journey up the ICW. He looked happy and healthy, smiling as he talked about strong winds, heavy rainfall and the beauty of the waterway. The boat looked in great shape (I could use some tips from him on how to keep a boat organized). He laughed about traveling in the company of million dollar boats, wondering why everybody wanted to take a photograph of his boat, the smallest one in the group.
He didn't have the exact distances for his trip, but as he added up the numbers it sounded like somewhere around 800 miles along the coastline. He had slept aboard his boat the entire trip (what do you think of that, Bruce?), save for a two hour nap in a marina locker room during a stormy night. As he talked about the trip he used the word "we" so often that I glanced down in to the canvas convertible cabin to see if he had a crew member catching up on some sleep down there. But I realized "we" included him and his Sea Pearl.
What a great trip, the kind of adventure I would like to do some day. I'm glad he took a minute to motor over to the shore so we could talk. Then he backed Bygone's bow off of the marsh and continued north toward Norfolk and then the York River.
PS - as I am posting this the thunderstorms have arrived, heavy rains and thunder rumbling in the grey clouds. Byard should be close to downtown Norfolk, hope has has found some shelter.