So far, we are still Cruisers at heart and have been able to share some of our stories with excellent boat guest, Mike, former Grenada Cruiser, Lee, and a number of Cruisers who are passing through on their way south to warmer temperatures and adventure.
While we envy them, we know we are incredibly fortunate to have had five excellent years At Sea.
And while we look forward to cruising in the future, we are happy to be here, closer to friends and family, where EW can work on the boat with the expectation of easily finding parts and help, and where I can earn money to fund our projects and future adventures.
We wish it were warmer. Somehow we missed the memo that stated the winter weather pattern includes temperatures from 37 to 80, in cycles frequently book-ended by rain or heavy winds. I was talking to one of the marina staff who discussed the recent heavy winds from the north and the expect not-quite-so heavy winds from the south. “The south winds can be easier on the boats,” he said, “but when the winds are north at least the bridge acts as a strainer to keep loose boats from crashing into the docks.”
I immediately imagined a giant strainer, letting water and wind through but preventing boats. It was not a comfortable image, but I appreciated his colorful word choice.
EW has put new chafe guard on the mooring lines, we have two separate lines—not one line used on two sides of the boat, and we check for chafe every day.
We’ve lived on the boat for 13 years and I’ve not yet tired of it. We’ve lived mostly at anchor for the past five, and I’ve not yet tired of that either. So, getting ashore in the dinghy isn’t a problem for me.
For the past five years, we’ve shopped for parts and provisions by walking and riding in a a variety of local buses, so riding the clean, warm, local bus or the Port of Call Cruisers’ Bus is a joy.
We have found an excellent farm stand just a one mile walk away, so I have good quality fruits and veggies at very reasonable (if not Grenada) prices.
The locals are friendly, even if many are nonplussed by our cheerful “Good morning/afternoon/evening!” We were taught well by friends and strangers in the Eastern Caribbean, and still greet nearly everyone with whom we make eye contact. (OK. I admit it. Sometimes I just do it to be different or perverse. It’s kind of fun.)
So, it’s been a month. How is our transition going?
- We are finding our way around.
- We are learning (with help from former Grenada cruiser Lee) where the best music venues are.
- We like the marina and its staff.
- EW is taking a guitar class on Monday evenings, and has started on the boat projects. that can be accomplished in cold weather.
- EW also wins the “Attaboy” award for finding two extra blankets at the Animal Shelter consignment store. One is brown fleece, and the other is a Jacksonville Jaguars quilt. (As long as their luck or lack of it doesn’t rub off on us, I’m OK with it. I also cover it during the day with a blue fleece that matches our décor.)
- I am still looking for a job. If you know a small to medium company who wants remote help in hiring key personnel, let me know. We don’t want to move to Jacksonville, and we don’t really want to get a car, but there are many fewer jobs here than we anticipated. I’m applying for retail work, registering with agencies, and networking my socks off (not really, it’s too cold to go without socks). I have to remind myself that it’s only been a month and that nearly two weeks were during the holidays. Evidently transitions require patience too.
We are good. We are still cruisers, but are currently staying in one location.
I’m OK with that, and I know I will be warm again.