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Boat People/Street People

We were eager to go ashore today since we stayed on the boat all day yesterday. The wind was fierce and it would have been a rough, wet dinghy ride to shore.  What a difference a day makes,  Today’s calm anchorage gave both of us the desire to ride our bikes back to the John D. MacArthur Beach State Park, so Gary loaded our bikes into the dinghy to accompany us to shore.  It’s always an exerting task getting the foldable bikes out of the sail locker at the bow of the boat, and awkwardly carrying them to the stern of the boat to load them onto the bouncing dinghy while balancing himself and not losing the bikes overboard.
 The first thing we wanted to do at the park, was go to the beach to see what the ocean looked like with the reported 14 to 17 mph ENE (East/Northeast) winds. Now that my leg is 99 percent healed, we’ve been checking the weather reports to see when we can “go outside” (i.e., the ocean, not the ICW) to resume our trip south, first to Ft. Lauderdale and then another hop out to go to Crandon Park Marina at Key Biscayne. If the weather looks favorable, we will leave Lake Worth tomorrow and head south as the wind is to be lighter, 10 to 15 mph, still ENE. That’s why we wanted to see the state of the ocean. Today, it looked rougher than what we would want to handle with White Swan. However, if the wind does lessen by tomorrow, as predicted, we should be okay. The worse that can happen is we go out the inlet to the ocean and turn around and come back in. There are sixteen bridges between Lake Worth and Ft. Lauderdale on the ICW and that is why boaters prefer to go outside if possible.  Also, tomorrow is Saturday, bringing with it an over abundance of power boaters traveling down the ICW mindlessly tormenting the sail boaters with their huge motors and even larger wakes. (That was a very generalized statement. Some power boaters show sympathy to the plight of the sailors by slowing down as they pass by, minimizing their wakes that toss the sailboats about.)

Gumbo Limbo Tree, aka Tourist Tree

The main reason we wanted to go back to the park was to walk the nature trails. There are two trails in the park, each winding through hammocks (raised areas of land, densely overgrown with various vegetation). Our self-guided tour introduced us to a variety of bushes and trees that were well marked and equally well described on a paper leaflet given to us at the Nature Center. A tree that always fascinates us is the Gumbo Limbo, commonly called the “tourist tree”. It has reddish bark that sloughs off like the tourists’ sunburned skin.

Boston ferns growing wild in hammock at John D. MacArthur Beach State Park


I have to give my mother credit for my love of nature. When I and my four siblings were youngsters, mother would take us on nature walks. It seemed she knew the name of every native plant and tree. Now, I wish I’d paid closer attention to her tutorage. At the time, I was more interested in tormenting my younger sister, and avoiding the torment of my three older brothers. Our poor mother…
After another wonderful day at the John D. MacArthur Beach State Park, we rode our bikes back to the dinghy landing and locked them to the road’s guardrail so we could walk on into town to go to the grocery store. White Swan is fully stocked with enough non-perishables to last three months, but since we are limited with refrigerator space, we are continually in need of fresh fruits, veggies and meat. Re-provisioning before leaving an anchorage after an extended stay, is a must. We have plenty of fuel and enough water to last a couple more days, so those tasks can wait.
We purchased more groceries than what would fit in our two backpacks, so Gary thought we should just push the grocery cart back to the dinghy landing. He decided he wanted to make one last trip to the French Café and Bakery to get some more fresh bread and pastries, so I was left with the cart. We agreed to meet back at the dinghy landing. I have a fresh perspective on ladies pushing grocery carts (outside the grocery store parking lots). Who would suspect the lady pushing the cart down the sidewalk beside the street in Palm Gardens Beach is none other than the wife of a once prominent optometrist? What was it my mother taught me eons of time ago, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.”??? Also, something I learned while pushing that cart is, it’s not an easy thing to do…maneuvering it up and over curbs, through mulched landscape, loose gravel. The next time I see a poor lady pushing her cart on the streets of a city, my empathy for her will abound!!!


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