It's kind of funny how when people find out we live on a boat in a marina, you just know they get the impression that we're living a glamorous kind of life style, when in reality, we basically live in a trailer park.
For the most part almost everyone in our marina is middle aged or older and God only knows how truly seaworthy a lot of these vessels are, but for now they are home. A lot of the men have jobs and head off to work everyday and those who don't have jobs, tinker. There's an outside workshop area and I have no idea what they're doing but I've never seen or heard so much sawing and sanding and hammering in my life. Some men work on their cars for hours at a time, and some seem obsessed with keeping their boats clean.
I appear to be a bit of an oddity as I'm one of the only people here who actually walks all the way from our boat to the main office for our mail, ice, and to do laundry.
Everyone else drives.
Needless to say Wilbur always accompanies me on these jaunts and even though he's a pistol in that he needs to sniff every blade of grass and prove to all that he's a big boy now by marking everything in his way, he stoically ignores all the yappers that live on the other boats.
Wilbur is the only pit bull in the marina. And also the quietest dog.
On one side of us is a disabled veteran who adores his cats and parrots (who sleep in the same big cage by the way!). When he cleans his birds' cages they sit in the cockpit and cheerfully call out hello when they aren't wolf whistling at everyone who walks by.
On our other side is a charter fishing boat and I met the original owner shortly after we arrived here. Bob (also a veteran) was dying of cancer and knew he only had a couple of months to live. I was struck by how pleasant and cheerful Bob was despite his prognosis and his brother would bring him to his boat daily so he could sit in the cockpit and enjoy the day. When he found out I liked to read he gave me an old paperback book (actually a Pulitzer Prize winner) from his home and I was moved that he would even think to do this.
Bob died a couple of weeks ago but his boat is still in operation. He gave it to a friend and it's now back in business.
A couple of days ago I awoke to a loud engine, diesel smoke, and shouts of laughter right outside my berth hatch. Did the fact that it was 7AM bother me?
Not at all. Hearing people having a good time just can't upset me.
Before they set out, I managed to get a look at the charter group which consisted of four well over 7o something men. They had to be friends of long standing because they were so easy with each other, talking, laughing, interrupting, and even though they were in no way spring chickens I felt like I was watching a bunch of little boys lined up on a bench and getting ready for a big day at sea.
I have a feeling that if they hadn't been able to go out, they still would have had a blast just sitting in the slip all day.
In the end they came back with some good sized fish and over 60 snapper.
I told Hans I was having a hard time finding a retractable clothes line and he told me to just use Wilbur's retractable leash.
What a smart guy.
I was a bit concerned that I might get in trouble for airing our laundry in public and looking like we live in a tenement (some snobby subdivisions forbid clothes lines you know) but I soon realized we were probably safe when I noticed that a newly arrived live aboard couple were airing out their port a potty on their foredeck (I would have taken a picture, but remember? we live here!).
I made a huge mistake today when I left the boat to go shopping and forgot to remove our garbage.
I arrived home to find chewed up foil, coffee grounds, filthy paper towels, and a very guilty pitty. What bothered me the most is that I've been doing a tremendous amount of sewing these days and in that very same garbage was discarded needles and a rotary cutting blade.
Bad Dog!! I told Wilbur it's time he started pulling his own weight on this boat and he can just start planning some menus.
"Awe!! C'mon Mom! Do I have to?"
"Wow! I had no idea there were so many tasty recipes out there!"
"Mmmmm, bird poop, smelly clam shell, and rotten conch broth!! I love it! May I please have the keys to the car? I need to go shopping at the beach."
I think I need to come up with a better form of punishment.