Thursday, February 19, 2009
This is the first time we've been in a "real" active marina with lots of other people living aboard - I love it! Some people are here for weeks or even months but many come for a few days and then head off. Our starboard neighbor, Richard, is here for 2 months. He's an avid fisherman and has been boating in the area for years. We've had a nice time hanging out and going to dinner together. He's been boating in southern FL and the Bahamas for years (fishing) and has been really helpful to us in planning the next leg of the trip. He took us out deep sea fishing today - a first time for both Martin and me. Unfortunately the seas were rolly and we didn't take our seasick pills. Mart ended up chumming a bit for fish *ick* poor guy. So we came back in and will remember the meds next time out fishing!! But I must say - I had a good time - with Mart out of commission and Richard handling the lines, I got to drive a 45 foot powerboat. Oh yeah...
It's really social on the dock even though our little area is pretty empty. (We're in the 40-50 foot boat section - there are areas for the under 40 and then over 50 from what I can tell.) It's easy to socialize because you kind of live outside. The weather has been in the 70s during the day for the past week or so, so we spend most of our time in the helm/back area. As people walk by, doing their thing, you end up chatting. Martin has a semi-permanent perch in the helm area where he can watch the goings on - comings and goings of the marina. I never knew he was so nosey :)
There is also a nice sense of community because whether trawler, power or sailboats, you are all living aboard and traveling. There is a nice give and take that occurs and it was great to learn we had lots to offer too. Even though we are really new to boating, Martin is an engineer and knows the boat and her systems better than most. So we learn about marinas, anchorages, how and where to go in FL and the Bahamas from others and Martin has been able to help people fix water pumps, locate vacuum pumps, figure out radar/gps issues, etc.
I'm also amazed at the all pets living on boats! A trawler moved in next to us with a lovely calico cat, Lily, who hangs out and patrols the boat in the evening (she doesn't jump off - amazing). Another neighbor has 3 golden retrievers living aboard. A sailboat down the way has 2 golden retrievers. I've also seen daschunds, terriers and a corgy all living aboard. As much as I miss my "kids" I'm glad I didn't try to take them on the trip. From what I understand a lot of cats do get sea sick and at their age (11/12 yrs) I think it would have been brutal on them. (And besides, it sounds like they love Ghislaine and have a very happy routine at home without us!) Oh, and I can't forget the local wildlife - several 3-7 foot tarpin live in the water under the docks. And we had a tiny visitor on our water hose the other day - a Seahorse! It floated by on a stick, swam over to our water line and then swam off under the dock. I hope the tarpin didn't notice him (maybe he's too small to tempt them).
We're way behind and have lots to write - a cold front is coming in this weekend so we'll catch up while we cuddle up in the boat!