A Chance Encounter With New Friends
26 July 2008 | Front Street anchorage, Beaufort, NC
Keith, beautiful evening
I was hanging out on the boat enjoying the sunset when I noticed the kid with the Catalina 25 trying to push her off the beach to no avail. I got in my dingy to help but it was too late, the little sailboat was careened on its side and wasn't going anywhere until the tide came back up. I was chatting with the guy when his friend was dropped off from a passing boat wearing a backpack and toting a cooler. The three of us sat around talking and wound up becoming friends. I brought the dogs to the beach and they had a ball playing with their new dog friend. It was one of those beach nights where the air is cool and comfortable and the water feels perfect. We wound up having a few beers and watching the sunset while sitting on their grounded, tilted-over sailboat. The beach was all sand and there were no waves, so it the boat was perfectly safe. It felt like when you're all heeled over from sailing hard but frozen in the moment with no movement. Turns out those "kids" are marine fighter pilots 1/2 way through training. They fly harrier jump jets. You wouldn't have known it from their kind demeanor. Later in the evening we took Little Dreamer across the waterway to the Boat House, a waterside bar/restaurant, where a live band was playing along the water. It seemed that all the cruisers and other boat people in town were there. It was really festive. By the time I dropped the marines off at their boat, it was almost floating again. When I awoke at 9:00 a.m. to a sunny morning today, they were gone. Didn't even get an e-mail. It seems we make friends almost everywhere we go while cruising, but then we part to go on with the adventure. I look forward to meeting up with someone I met previously on this or another cruise, like meeting an old friend along the way.