How Julia and I Got Hitched at the Town Dock
Sixteen years ago I sailed back in to Oriental, NC after spending 5 years sailing alone around the world. Hours after tying up a mooring line’s length from the town dock, a reporter asked me, “what do you fear most”. I said, “growing old alone on a sailboat”.
Flash forward to last Saturday, February 23. I stood on the same town dock with my fiancee Julia. My dear friend Keith Smith, who was marrying us, asked, “Bernie, do you have the rings?”. I patted my tuxedo pocket and said, “uugggghhhhh…..”. Then I jumped in to my mule cart and raced away for the hardware.
Okay, first some sailboat photos (by Will and Deni McIntyre).
In the decade and half since I came ashore, I’ve kept traveling. One year after returning to the Oriental, I set out from the town dock again. This time, I set off with a mule named Woody.
From Oriental, I rode across North Carolina, where, along the way, I picked up a pack pony named Maggie. Thirteen months later, the 3 of us ended up in San Diego.
After my voyage, I had to find a new home for Woody and Maggie. That’s how I met Julia. She agreed to take take my faithful mounts with the promise she would take care of them to the end. You can read her version of how we met right here at her ConsideringAnimals.com blog
So that brings us to last weekend.
Since Julia, mules and the town of Oriental have wound themselves corkscrew like to the center of my heart, it only made sense that our wedding would be in the Sailing Capital of North Carolina. So in to the old horse trailer we piled mule Polly, loaded her cart in to the back of the Tacoma and headed back to sea level.
There, between late winter rains and shrimp boats, standing on the town dock, I started my newest adventure. I married Julia.
Here are the photos. Photos by Ben Casey unless otherwise noted. Enjoy.
Here’s the dialogue that’s going on in the photo above.
Keith: “Bernie, hand me the rings.”
Bernie: “I don’t have the rings. Christian has the rings.
Christian: “I don’t have the rings. Bernie has the rings.”
Keith: “Bernie, we need the rings.”
Bernie: “I’ll be right back”
I had forgotten the rings back in the hotel room.
I ran down the town dock, through the crowd and jumped in to the mule cart. I did a burnout in the puddle in front of the Bean coffee shop and galloped off in search of my home made wedding rings. Keith explained to the gathered crowd that I was off in search of some “hardware”.
The last they saw of me was my top hat shooting up in the air as I raced out of sight. Ten minutes later, I galloped Polly back on the scene and sprayed the crowd as I came to a halt by the town dock.
I strode back on to the town dock, rings in my pocket. The wedding was back on track.
I’m older since that reporter asked me what scared me. I’m not afraid of growing old alone any more.
Great big thanks to Keith and Melinda of TownDock.net for hitchin’ and mule lodging services. Also a tip o’ the top hat to Ben Casey, Nick and Carolyn Parker, David and Jean White and Allison DeWeese (also of TownDock.net) for the wonderful wedding photos.
For Julia’s take on the wedding, be sure to visit her ConsideringAnimals.com blog
I love these pictures and posts , would love to have a copy of the last one ! Keep us posted if possible of your new adventure! blessings !
You got it! Bernie
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