Walt the wharf rat
17 January 2012 | Pine island, Florida
70 degrees, mostly sunny, wind 10-15 S
Northwest Florida shows signs of recession. The strip malls have large vacancies. The grocery stores carry 15 kinds of bread crumbs and no protein bars. After not having seen a store at all and the wine locker getting low, it was good to at least be in port and have something. I am happy to help the local economy.
We had finished our 65 mile offshore run and tucked into st.johns's river (near Jacksonville Florida). We spent a few hours at Mayfield wharf (from 4am to 9 am) and upon awakening discovered that there were no showers on the premise. What kind of marina is that? So, we continued our sojourn down the intracoastal waterway. We ended up at the palm cove marina which had all the amenities we were looking for-power, laundry, showers and even a Starbucks within walking distance (and oddly, their sign indicates that they now have the Christmas blend).
While Amy and I were doing the laundry we met a local guy named Walt. He was in his 30's or 50's but who can really tell. Walt carried what seemed to be a weight of desperation upon his shoulders. His face was leathery, his hair reminiscent of Rod Stewart and he lived aboard a small sailboat. "How do you make the cruising life happen?" he asked us, "it seems like every year I just can't scrape together enough to leave. I have a job as a waiter, bar tender, I make stand up paddle board paddles, and work in a surf shop". He asks what we do...."ah corporate stuff", we answer. Then he follows with "AND where do I find a women like you that will do my laundry and go cruising?". Our answer of course, "find the 'younger' ones and make sure they are low maintenance". That will give him something to stew on. Fortunately we have a cat on board to keep the wharf rats at bay.