Getting to know you
30 January 2010 | Pete/Pokey/Al/Martha (photo)
On of the most wonderful things about cruising has been all the friends we have made. We didn't anticipate that. We felt that we would resent the intrusion of a bunch of strangers knocking on our hull at all hours, wanting to thrust themselves upon our good time. Boy, were we wrong about that!
I had begun blogging and joined a couple of social networks for sailors before we even left. It was amazing how these cyber-friendships blossomed and the way we were able to keep in touch as we all made our way towards the Bahamas.
I remember Veranda (boat name) hailing us as we passed through Beaufort, SC. Saw our yellow canvas and knew it was us. Later, it was Prim hailing in St. Augustine, as we passed through. Saw our yellow canvas and knew it was us. After a few more of these incidents from boats who had not commented on the blog, but knew Journey by her canvas, Al realized we were sailing around and among friends all the way to the islands.
After we arrived in the Bahamas, we made friends with other sailors in every anchorage, on every island as we went along. And still, we kept running into people off the internet sites. There was a memorable few days with Linda and Duane as well as Gigi and Vic who all hailed from our area of NC. We made new friends Shirley and Mac, Robert and Debi, and Guy, Steve and Sue. Too many new friends to mention them all. One of the special experiences was meeting my friend from SeaKnots: Suky.
One the way back, the story continued, as we came across a friend still going south, Seeker, from Oriental NC. As always on these occasions, a short VHF radio conversation had to suffice to share all the news and best wishes for our friends. And then Synergy, a couple which we had meet and traveled with at the start of the trip, and then left as they had to wait on their own issues, headed toward Journey, knowing her by the bright yellow canvas. Karen hollered her name, as I waved, then ducked below to grab the mic and hail Chris for the cheerful reunion conversation. Once again, it was too short.
The next afternoon, we were passing alongside A1A near Mananzas Inlet, FL. It's one of the few areas where the ICW channel and the road can share a view of each other. Al was steering, I was reading aloud. He interrupted," Our picture is being taken again." "A boat?" I ask. This has been a common happening since starting our cruise, and no longer a reason to jump up and wave. Must be the yellow canvas. "Maude, yer never gonna believe the gaudy boat I saw today! Looky here, I got Pictures!" Al goes, "Do we KNOW these folks?" "Why hon?" I ask. " You should look at these people, they're jumping up and down and waving like mad crazy." I turn around and look. He's right. I wave. These folks are too far away to identify, and they are hopping and waving like a couple of kooks. If we don't know them, they are defiantly certifiable.
That evening I get on the computer, and see that in fact this was Prim waving like a couple of loons ( their words!) and they are still in St. Augustine. They had recognized the boat by her yellow canvas. Calls were made, plans were laid, and we were able to meet and have dinner with Pete and Pokey that night. You know that feeling you get when you meet someone and feel as though you have known them all your life, and in fact just rejoined an ongoing conversation with them. It was just like this for us with Pete and Pokey. As it was also with everyone we met. No matter what turns our life takes, these are friendships that we will cherish forever.