29 March 2010
Today (Saturday, March 27) was a fun day for Sea Sharp here in Stuart. I have mentioned our friends Sandi and Peter a number of times in our blog as Frederictonions who have a winter home here in Stuart. They have extended us much hospitality and companionship in our several stays in Stuart. They are interesting people with interesting hobbies; Sandi is as expert quilter and she has shown us some of her amazing works. I'm particularly impressed with one of her current works; a portrait of their cat Angus assembled from all kinds of scraps of cloth (I'm sure there's a more appropriate name for this particular technique but suffice it to say that it is both artistic and technically impressive).
Peter is a car aficionado and accomplished racer. I love to talk cars with Peter; he is so knowledgeable and enthusiastic.
Anyway, I had shown an interest in watching Peter race and he and Sandi invited me to be pit crew today at Palm Beach International Raceway where they are racing. I was delighted and following their directions made my way the 30 miles or so this this Raceway. Actually it's a racing complex with a drag strip, two mile, state-of-the-art road course, go-kart track and mud bog track(?). So, I get signed in as crew for car 35 (Peter's race car) and work my way through the maze of cars, people, trailers, etc, looking for Peter and Sandi, I'm following some other vehicles, including race cars obviously making their way on to the track, and the next thing you know, I'm almost on the race track with Judy's Jeep Grand Cherokee. Imagine the scorn I would attract and the embarrassment to Peter and Sandi had I kept going and made a few laps along with these flat out race cars?
Anyway, I make a u-turn and soon locate Peter and Sandi. I will spare the details, but this turns out to be a very heady day. It is a veritable orgy of sensual bombardment. It is loud almost to the point of pain; smelly, gritty, gaudy and just great fun.
This type of racing is class racing and there is an almost weird collection of cars on the track at one time. I saw a Fiero (I used to own one and it was cute but asthmatic), a Volvo sedan, an old AMC Gremlin, a vintage Austin Mini and a Dodge Neon, dukeing it out with late-model mustangs, formula one style cars and all kinds of other cars. Peter's run group of 23 cars consisted mostly of Porsche, Corvettes, BMWs, and Mazda RX8s. Fascinating!
I spent a bit of time over at the drag strip and while I have often watched drag racing on TV I have only occasionally seen it live; it was quite a spectacle. To watch these fire-belching, ear-splitting beasts hurtle down a quarter of a mile track, reaching speeds of over 200 miles an hour in 5 seconds is impressive!
Anyway, thanks Pete and Sandi for a really fun day.
Returning to Sea Sharp, Judy and I decide to treat ourselves to dinner at the restaurant on the same site as the Marina. It's called Sailor's Return and it's a very popular place, with reason. It's very busy but we get preferential treatment from the maitre d' as we are residents of the marina, and we are provided a table outside under the warm Florida sunset and close to the band. We have a nice meal but the band is great playing lots of our old jazz favourites. We "cut a rug" so to speak and leave way past our bedtime and cruisers' midnight (cruisers' midnight is nine o'clock).
All in all, a great Florida day or as Jimmy calls it Floriday.