Chance Meetings Make the Day
11 March 2012 | Elizabeth Harbour, George Town
This quiet Sunday turned into a really fascinating day. We had been just hanging around and were getting ready to go ashore to Volleyball Beach to see if anyone we know was there. I had started to come into the cockpit when a couple in an open, center cockpit powerboat came by. They seemed to be circling our boat. I waved and called hello and they asked me if this was a Norseman (I'm sure they knew it was) and then they asked me if this was by chance Hull Number 40. I said it was, and they said they used to own this boat! So I immediately invited them on board. We tied their boat off the stern and chatted with them for an hour or so.
Their names are Paul and Melanie Wagner, from Falmouth, Massachusetts. They bought the boat (which was manufactured in 1984) from a dealer in Texas in 1986. He'd bought it on speculation and then the bottom dropped out of the Texas oil economy and he'd had the boat for over a year. Paul flew down to see it and they bought it. They named her Flight of Fancy and took her home to Massachusetts. For fourteen years they and their two children sailed her every weekend all summer long and for two week long cruises whenever they could. They had their family and three other people on board for one long cruise back from Bermuda. Finally they decided to move to a trawler and sold her to the man we bought her from. When they found out he was going to rename the boat Fox Sea they were tempted to call off the sale, but they already had their next boat, so Flight of Fancy had to go.
We invited them below and showed them around. We felt bad that we have done nothing for the cosmetics but they seemed to appreciate all we'd done for the systems. They said they were glad to see she was owned by folks who loved her and were using her, and they were definitely glad we'd changed the name again! We talked about the things we'd upgraded and about the things that were still original and still working fine. They now own a house down here, just down the harbor on Elizabeth Island. Like a lot of people in houses, their house has a name, "Top of the World" and they monitor VHF 16 when they're home. We gave them a boat card and they offered to have us come by and they'd give us their card. They still have a boat, it's a power cat and so I'm not sure if the card is for the boat or the house or both, but we'll try to take them up on the invitation and we'll find out.
It was now late enough we decided to try to feed Fuzzy and then go ashore for an hour or so, combining our trip to Volleyball Beach with his last shore visit for the day. While there, Fuzzy made the acquaintance of a Jack Russell Terrier named Bones. Bones was with two young women, Karen and Tori. We got to talking and it turns out that Tori is an administrator at the Perry Marine Research Center on Lee Stocking Island, and Karen is the step-daughter of the man who owned the island and started the research center. Her mother now owns the island and is trying to keep the research center going. They invited us to come up there and stay, they've installed mooring balls and are happy to have cruisers come and visit. We told them we'd been reluctant to come there because we had the dog and didn't know if dogs would be welcome. Karen laughed and said they loved dogs, and with Bones there, of course dogs were allowed.
So now we have two places on the islands to visit ashore! What an interesting day and what nice people we continue to meet. I forgot to take the camera ashore, so while I did remember to ask Paul and Melanie for their picture back aboard their old boat, I didn't get a picture of Karen and Tori and Bones. I do think we'll try to get to Lee Stocking Island, and if so, I'll get a picture of them then.