Our time in St Petersburg is getting short. We are slightly giddy with excitement about our first passage as cruisers. Although, we are not sure where we will go first. As it stands right now, we will hop to the Dry Tortugas, sail around Key West (been there, done that), and hit some stops up the east coast to the Cheasapeake Bay. We plan to summer in the Chesapeake Bay. We will use our time there to better adjust to sailing life and hone our anchoring techniques. Then, we will head down to the Caribbean Islands in the fall after hurricane season ends in October/November. That is about as firm of a plan we have, right now. Of course, all of this could change tomorrow. And, we’re okay with that.
We have taken the time to smell the roses this past couple of weeks. Our lives were crazy madness. The selling of the house, moving our stuff to storage, the big clean out and massive charity donations wore us out. It was a harsh reminder we are not young chickens anymore. Our brains still think we are youngsters. Our bodies tell us differently. It has been really nice to slow down, even if it is just a little bit.
Marina life is a pleasant adjustment. I do not miss the house at all. Cindy will add her 2 cents about this later. I am a bit of a needing company type of person. I like being around other people and the marina environment appeals to this necessity. When I resigned from my job in sales for sails, I knew being away from people was going to be a challenge for my mental well being. Living in Atlanta with about 6 million neighbors, one would think this a frivolous concern. Nevertheless, once I resigned, I would often go for days without a candid conversation with someone other than Cindy. On trips to the boat we both found this is not true in the marina. Here, I meet new people all the time. I recently met another Mark. We started our conversation dockside watching a manatee eat floating grass by the marina office. It wasn’t long when we both discovered we share the same name, we both had at one point kept boats in Corpus Christi, Texas. And believe it or not, at the same marina but at different times. I don’t know Mark’s last name or what he “does” for a living. I just know he is a friendly chap and a fellow sailor who also lives on his boat. We often run into each other walking down the dock and it is always enjoyable stopping to have a casual chat.
Our Marina has donut days twice a week. They purchase donuts and put them in the lounge for tenants to enjoy. The best part of donut days is not the donuts; it is quite simply we meet new people all the time when enjoying a fattening sugary deep fried sticky treat. I love it when I walk to the car that is only a three minute walk. It sometimes takes me half an hour because I ran into someone I know. I can never be working on anything topside on Cream Puff without someone striking up a conversation. Marina living is wonderful.
This transitional juncture is a welcomed change. Our first few weeks living on a boat found us many new friends. No, they are not like the deep long lasting friendships we cherished in Atlanta that will be dearly missed. But they are new friends, and who knows where these go and if we will ever see them again once we untie our dock lines. I hope so. We know enough about the cruising lifestyle to understand many people will come in and out of our lives. We know sometimes we will meet people we like so much it will be difficult to pull up the anchor and leave port. We hope the excitement we feel right now lasts. We hope it always lasts. I can already see it will be necessary to have this desire and excitement so we continue to seek the next port and its people. Our giddiness and lust for adventure needs to outweigh our yearning to settle down and plant roots. I hope it lasts a long time.