We had a beautiful sail on Thursday right before storms starting blowing in to St. Petersburg. The morning started off sunny but, once we turned for home, there was a wall of dark clouds moving this way. Jay, our neighbor, got a number of photos from his boat of Foxtrot with sails flying.
We also finally crashed a St. Petersburg Municipal Marina dock party. Every marina has one dock known for their parties. Way back in Kemah, TX when we started sailing, F Dock in Marina Del Sol was the party dock. We even designed an F Dock party shirt so that when yachty types in their regatta shirts walked by, we no longer felt unaffiliated. We wore our F Dock Party shirts, featuring an icy margarita, with pride. Why race around in your boat when you can drink margaritas all night and discuss cruising destinations?
Unless you do research before hand, you don’t usually know what you are getting when you first secure dockage at a marina. Back in February, I had the choice of three spots. I marched around checking them all out. I saw no visible advantages on which to make a decision. I tried to pry Kim in the office for a little information.
“They look about the same. What do you think? Anything I should know?”
“Well, Dock 1 had a nice family – an older boy and a cute little red haired girl,” she said eying Lily beside me.
“Sign us up for Dock 1,” I said.
Counting Lily, there are actually four little girls running around on Dock 1. Tony, who also works up at the office, has taken to calling Dock 1 the “Princess Dock.” He tells the girls often that Dock 1 has reached princess capacity. Absolutely no more. He is serious enough in this delivery that Lily actually thinks no more girls are allowed here, especially since newcomer Archer, 9, ended up at Dock 5. T. Maru, Archer’s home, would never fit on Dock 1 but Lily is still sure it is the Princess Quota at work.
The Princess Dock is a far cry from being on the Party Dock but it’s the perfect spot for us. Still, it was nice to tag along with Archer’s parents, Floyd and Lauren, to the Dock 4 Party on Friday. Dock 4, we learned, gets together for food and drink every Friday night. Floyd and Lauren were peppered with questions about cruising in the Rio Dulce area since they have been down there for several years. There are a number of liveaboards on Dock 4 so it was fun to hear their plans too although most were as vague as ours’. “Yes. We are going. Sometime. Hopefully soon. Somewhere. To Be Determined.”
Floyd and Lauren came over last night for one last get together before they leave. Both captains and boat brainiacs, they are returning to the working world for a few months. They have some great tales about their Alaskan cruising and about their former deep sea fishing charter business so I’m wishing they had more time here. Since they are leaving the boat for a few months, they cleaned out T. Maru’s food lockers and came bearing pasta, beans, spices and loads of other curious edibles purchased in Guatemala City provisioning trips.
“You are ready. You should go,” they both said.
We are ready but if we stay til November, we can buddy boat with T. Maru. Hmmm. Well, hmmmm. We gotta figure this out. Hurricane season doesn’t wait for slow decision-makers.