Splashed! Riverside Marina, Ft Pierce, FL, April 4, 2017
04 April 2017 | Ft Pierce
Beth/ windblown and on the water
We met some interesting folks on Tuesday. We launched successfully. We slept our first sleep in a year feeling the gentle rocking of our bed. We are filled with gratitude.
We had just reached the corner where the Riverside Marina meets the Old Dixie Road, when a car pulled up and the woman, spying our Publix shopping bag, said, " Are you going to the grocery store? Hop in." Last night, someone also tooted and asked if we wanted a ride when we walked to Harborfront Marina for dinner. We declined because we wanted the exercise in the cooling evening, but today ... we hopped in! We laughed when she said, "You never know who you are going to see coming out of Riverside, but you two look OK." We thought she looked OK too, and she drove us right to the door. Not so far - just a kilometre or so, but it was during the heat of the day and we were grateful.
Later, as we watched Jason manoeuvre the travel lift over Madcap and pick her up, I chatted with Gail, who is just starting on her sailing journey. She and her husband are having a catamaran surveyed tomorrow; if they buy it, they may bring it here to Riverside for a couple of weeks of work, and will then try out the cruising life. She asked, " What's it like here? The place kind of freaks me out! Have you had anything stolen? Are people friendly? Are you afraid of some of them?"
Riverside Marina is a little rough around the edges. It's dusty; there are a number of derelict boats; the washrooms are horrid. But they sure know how to handle boats. The price is right; they can do work we need and they allow us to do our own work. And they did everything we asked them to do over the year Madcap was on the hard here - checking it monthly, making sure the dehumidifier was working, replacing hoses in the head, painting the bottom just before we arrived. Jim did discover one leak when he came in October, and they fixed it. I was able to say to Gail, " Yes, it looks a little rough, but they know what they are doing. Items stolen? No not really - we are missing an extension cord. That's all. Friendly folks? Some are curious and conversational; some offer help and advice, some just nod. Pretty much like life anywhere. Afraid? I have never met a person I was afraid of in a boatyard. There are always "characters", often long haired, long bearded, wiry bodied, living and working on boats that are long past their best before dates. And most of them have wonderful stories and colourful lives; some like to keep to themselves, and some engage with the likes of us. We feel no fear.
One young man has been here a whole year, rebuilding his boat from top to bottom, and when he saw me crouched down scrubbing the dinghy chaps on the sidewalk by the bathroom, he said, "Oh ma'am! Bring them down to the haul-out. There is a picnic table where you can spread them out, and use my hose! iI will be so much easier for you."
An 87 year old man who plans to take his "New to him" catamaran to Honduras stopped by to chat and admire the new shine on the hull. Jim handed him our bottle of Collinette Fleetwax, and he said," No! I want her!!" Haha! He says a woman crew member will make life easier. Jim is not planning to lose his partner, nor am I interested in jumping ship, but ... he's 87! And readying a boat for Honduras snorkelling! How wonderful!
Another neighbour stops to chat most days. Michael bought a wreck and is rebuilding it; he will know every single inch of that boat. He has owned a 100 ft schooner, and now this is his project, and it will be finished ... some day.
Fellow Bluenosers, (Nova Scotians) Diane and Warren, stopped by one day to say hello. They have been leaving boats here for years, as have many other Canadians.v
Tonight, as Madcap was lowered into the water, the captain of Inukshuk stopped to say, " Nice boat." He has sailed in Rio Dulce and Belize, and in Nova Scotia. His engine started and then failed and he is back to get a fix here. Dave, who helped us with our lines and planning for our departure tomorrow, sailed with his wife on their trimaran, "Faith" in the Caribbean, in the Rio Dulce, and continues to do missionary work wherever he is. And will show up at 6:45 tomorrow morning to help us cast off our lines.
Nancy and Sylvia came by with a curtain panel I had left behind as I draped my laundry all over their courtyard. We stayed there two whole weeks and she didn't kick us out! We took pictures and exchanged one more hug and said, "See you up north in June." Although we didn't meet Nancy in a boatyard - it was in an anchorage in the Bahamas.
So here we are, floating. Feeling the tiniest of movements as Madcap shifts with the current. Feeling grateful that the wind has dropped tonight, and looking forward to whatever tomorrow will bring as we point north, ready for more of the experiences and friendships this cruising life has sent our way. It's not the right adventure for everyone, but it sure is for us.