This Little Bar
This is a photo from the docks at Maximo Marina in St. Petersburg, Florida which will be torn down in a month or so to make room for newer ones, a normal life cycle for marinas.
As I walked by this particular vacated slip, I noticed a bar and stools that someone had built between the two finger piers many years ago.
Knowing boaters as I do, I can imagine the total joy that the builders of this little gathering place must have experienced as they sat for drinks and snacks with friends who would have heaped compliments on the bar, its creators and its atmosphere.
For me, this little watering hole among the boats is symbolic of the camaraderie we enjoy in the boating community around the world. Instant friends are made, long-lasting relationships are forged and we support one another with our time, energy and sometimes, our money.
What would a video camera have captured at this bar during the decades it served as a haven from the world of work and the mundane? News of boating adventures, new equipment installed, fabulous places to go, and the standard bar talk we all love to engage in.
"Come on over for a drink!" Words we love to hear. "We have some snacks"
"What can we bring?"
"Some ice and whatever you drink".
There are times when all I can think about while working hard during my day is that cold beer or strong drink I'm going to have when I stop working for the day. You see, I never drink while working on my boat or working for someone else. I've always wanted to keep a distinct line between drinking and working, one is fun, the other is a necessary evil.
Meeting good friends at a little cozy place like this would have made the reward just that much better. Then, after a few rounds of drinks and several hours of enjoyable conversation, we endeavor to navigate home from the little bar, hopefully not driving a car or a boat. Nudge nudge, wink wink. Some things are valuable for their story-telling later on.
My hope is that before the first sledge hammer falls on this little sanctuary at Maximo and it is turned into scrap, someone will pause and give thanks for the great times we all have together at places like this in our short lives.
Some History First
While on the hard in Oasis Boat Yard in St. Augustine, around January 20th of this year (2016) we received a demand letter from a law firm in Las Vegas, NV relating to my ex-wife and her claims to my Nevada State (PERS) retirement.
Abundance Anchored in New Smyrna near Daytona
Yvonne and I decided we needed to go to St. Petersburg so we could get back to work and meet our obligations related to this legal case. We had been in St. Augustine painting the bottom and topsides. We launched Abundance on March 16th and headed for St. Pete by way of Daytona Beach, and the Kennedy Space Center.
Yvonne at Kennedy Space Center
We had quite the experience when we went through the lock in the barge canal on the way to get a slip at the marina in Port Canaveral. High winds made getting through the lock tricky and docking was a challenge - I hit the finger pier hard but the new paint held up. Yay!!
We met my cousin John Dumbaugh in Key West on April 4th and he cruised with us to Sarasota where Yvonne started working at NeuroInternational shortly after. We arrived in St. Pete on April 17th and berthed at Maximo, where we had been before.
David started working for Jim Gilmour at Farmer Mold and Machine Works on May 2nd as their Environmental, Health and Safety Officer and also filled in as a tech in the Assembly area.
Farmer Mold and Machine Works in St. Pete
As of October 5th, we are anticipating Hurricane Matthew to pass along the east coast of Florida at the same time we are involved with settling the legal case we came here to deal with. We are very pleased with the outcome.
Hurricane Matthew After Pounding Haiti and Cuba
We now have a plan to complete all our necessary boat tasks and provision for a March 4th departure. We are so excited and eager to get sailing again and hoist the various country flags as we progress southward then westward to the South Pacific.