Bon voyage to former Roanoke newspaperman Mike Ives, who on Election Day was making final preparations for his annual autumnal cruise down the west coast of Florida bound for balmier ports.
The weather was of concern to him. Another hurricane was loose in the Gulf of Mexico, then menacing the Yucatan and threatening to boomerang on a northeast trajectory to the already battered U.S. Gulf Coast.
Ives, who has lived in and sailed offshore of Florida for years now, was undeterred by potentially choppy seas ahead. He’s crested his share of whitecaps aboard boat and elsewhere and always returned to port.
As usual when he hoists sail, he’ll be unburdened by the folly of others. Ives is precise in his seamanship as he was with his writing. Second class first mates he will not tolerate.
“Boat’s too small,” he said by phone last week while still in port.
Thoughts of his old running buddy and fellow ink-stained colossus Chris Gladden go with him. The news of man of letters Gladden’s death had reached Ives a few days before.
With Sunshine State polls still open that Tuesday, the soon-to-be solo skipper had no complimentary words for the incumbent at the national helm. Before taking his saltwatery leave, Ives took umbrage at anyone’s suggestion he may have forgotten to cast a vote before setting sail.