26 January 2010 | Fort Lauderdale, FL
Beth /high 70's daytime and high 60's in evening after front went through
We've had some wonderful gatherings over the last few days. Marc (Ma Muse) a Quebec sailor arrived Friday and we had a lively happy hour on Princess. We had seen the boat in Vero but didn't meet him there. On Saturday, Ben (Loon) with Gemma on board for a week, came up the river to tie up here at Cooley's Landing. Both single handers, Ben and Marc have been travelling together off and on for the last few hundred miles. Once again, Sandra and Steve played host. They have known Ben for many years from their Zahniser days. He left just before we got there and we didn't connect in Vero so it took until now for us to cross paths. Ben's story of his close encounter with the Jungle Queen (the big paddle wheel tourboat) down the river was a good reminder that it is essential to keep the VHF on 09 around here. That's the working channel for bridges and boat traffic. Fortunately no harm was done, but he would have preferred a less stressful meeting. The menu that night included delicious pulled pork, rice, broccoli salad and a fruit topped tart served with Sauterne - a dessert wine that Marc decided we needed to be introduced to. What a feast!
On Sunday, we invited our neighbour, Shel (Rainbow) over for happy hour. Sandra is fighting a cold so she stayed home, but Steve joined us as well. Shel is one of those really interesting characters that we have the pleasure of meeting from time to time. I'm pretty sure he is well into his 80's, has lived on his boat for over 25 years - sailing all over the place until he tied up permanently here at the marina. His wife passed on last year and he says he'd rather be here on his boat than anywhere else. The two of them retired from their jobs and set sail back in the 1980s. What stories he had to tell - of celestial navigation on naval ships and passage making with his wife. What a tease he is too. Every morning he asks Jim, "What are you going to louse up today?" Fortunately nothing yet!! I wonder if we will still be sailing in another 30 years? Imagine the places we could go!
We had a good bit of wind Sunday night and another blow with rain on Monday afternoon as a northerly front moved through. Although it wasn't overly fierce, with gusts of 10 - 15 kn, we felt very pleased to be on a dock. This luxury will end soon, but it is very nice as long as it lasts! The temperature has dropped considerably tonight - although it cannot be considered cold - and the air is clearer since the rain.
Tomorrow we are off to visit Sailorman - the local marine consignment store. I'm expecting a UPS delivery from home, and Avatar is on at the Imax theatre. We really need to do a little boat cleanup too. We packed away several bags of cold weather clothing (Thanks for those Eagle Creek vacuum bags, Liam) and I'm still stuffing every available spot with bags of crackers and nuts and chips and chocolate. Jim knocks a few maintenance jobs off his list every day just so we don't feel like total sloths.
The wind isn't coming from the right direction for a crossing for the next few days so we will continue our snail's pace and stay here for a few more days.