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Oh, everyone's a comedian. A visit from Jackson

In mid January we had a special visitor to Cygnet. Colette's brother Jackson came in from San Francisco to stay with us and see Chicago. He's visited before, once for our wedding reception, and another time just for fun, but this is the first time he's been here with us living on Cygnet. Jackson and Colette had the same mother but different fathers and they didn't grow up together beyond the first few years but we've visited him in San Francisco and he's been here so we aren't strangers. This time he came for just under two weeks and while in town he spent a lot of time going to and performing at local comedy clubs. Jackson has been working as a comedian for years in San Francisco and we in Chicago were lucky to experience his entertaining and slightly askew show a few times. Unfortunately his late night stand up comedy and our regular hour jobs don't mix all that well so he ventured out without us a few nights and killed it without us as witnesses.

Jackson doing "Stand-up"
If you read the last blog post you know that Kevin built a bridge from the concrete walkway behind our slip to Cygnet to make it easier for Jackson to climb aboard. Our previous setup was a small set of steps that are on the dock next to the boat and we figured they wouldn't be easy for him since he uses a wheelchair to get around most of the time. He seemed to do fine on the bridge but it was a little bit of a challenge to get to and from the marina. Our dock (the area with all the boats in our section of the marina) has seven steps up, a 90 degree turn, a gate, and two steps down to access - not at all ADA compatible like most modern marinas. We worked out a deal with the security in the River City building to allow the chair to sit in a small room behind the security desk and Jackson made the trek through (or around) the building to the marina. It wasn't the most convenient situation but it worked and allowed him to have the flexibility to come and go as he pleased when we weren't around. When we were there we kept the chair on the dock behind Cygnet and locked it to a post. Wheelchairs are very expensive and we didn't want this one rolling away.

Cold and Snowy Chair
Jackson's mobility allowed him to go up and down the stairs on the boat with relative ease. One thing we all noticed is that boats have handles EVERYWHERE and that helped him a lot with getting around. It's convenient on a vessel that pitches and rolls constantly to have handles all around and Carver did a great job of making sure the handles are in exactly the place they need to be to allow safe movement around this boat.

Speaking of safety, we got an email from David Buddingh from MTI Industries, the makers of Safe-T-Alert CO detectors recently. If you remember THIS blog about them sending us new CO detectors last year you might wonder how they work after this time. David mentioned that they tested all three of the original CO detectors that we sent to them and that none of them detected CO anymore. They were original to Cygnet as far as we can tell, so after 25 years they were no longer keeping us safe. Now we have three new Safe-T-Alert detectors that we know work (they went off while we were moored to a wall and running our generator on New Years Eve) and feel much better about sleeping aboard a vessel that has the potential to kill us. Thanks again MTI!

Reflecting on life
So What Are We Thinking about our visitor in January? Well, January isn't the ideal time to visit a boat in Chicago, but it was fun seeing Jackson and enjoying his great and quirky sense of humor. We had decent weather with a bit of snow but not enough to slow his wheelchair down. He's promised to return in summertime to get a real sense of what it's like to live aboard a boat in this wonderful city and we look forward to it.


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