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January 9th, 2010:

Hail, hail, the gangs all here.

The Captain and I are enjoying our stay in Telemar Bay Marina.  We’ve met new friends and are enjoying old ones.  Last night we had an intimate dinner party of seven, which is the maximum amount of people White Swan can host for a  sit-down-at-the-table dinner.  When I say “intimate” I’m referring to the bodily proximity of the guests sitting around the table as it was a tight squeeze.  The food seemed to be enjoyed by all and the company was excellent.  Laughter filled the cabin as we entertained ourselves with lively conversations of remembrances of exploits at sea.  Every sailor has his/her stories to share and it’s always better retold than lived.

Dolphin in the marina

Yesterday, a dolphin came through the marina searching for his lunch.  He must have found plenty to eat because he stayed quite a while, putting on a splendid show for us.  I find it funny that I grabbed my camera and hurriedly unzipped the cockpit enclosure to get out on the deck of the boat every time we spotted a dolphin on the ICW, only to be dubbed a failure by not capturing a single good picture.  And then yesterday one appears in our marina making circles around our boat just begging me to take it’s picture.

Miles of sandy beach and ocean

We have been riding our bikes to the beach every day since we’ve been here.  Yesterday, we packed a lunch and took our beach blanket and had a delightful picnic on the beach as we watched the antics of the shorebirds as they pecked at the beach for their lunch.  They are so much fun to watch as they evade the waves that continually chase them, yet narrowly miss catching them.  The birds know exactly when to retreat to avoid the rushing water coming toward them.

Today was a different story, in that there was no bike ride to the beach or a lovely picnic, as the temperature barely reached the high 30’s.  In fact, when I came back from doing the laundry (YEAH!!! I got to do laundry!) it was hailing.  Very small in diameter, but nonetheless, hail.  The people who live in Florida are really complaining about the cold weather.  When I hear their complaints, I tell them to blame us because we brought it all the way down the coast with us.  People seem to feel better about their adversities if they can blame someone, so they can blame us.  As far as we are concerned, we feel blessed that we are not having to shovel snow.

The day after we arrived at this marina, we got an e-mail from a fellow Gemini owner (“Gemini” is the model of our boat).  He had been watching our travel on SPOT, and he said we were close to the marina where he keeps his boat.   We all had a good laugh when we realized his boat is the boat that is in the slip right next to ours.  We were close alright, any closer and we would have been right on top of his boat.  After Gary called him, he came the next day to the marina and we met him in person.  A delightful man, who very generously offered us the use of his car if we need it.  Any “cruiser” knows the value of having access to a vehicle ( whether it is a car, pick-up truck or even a golf cart), and this gentlesailor (i.e., gentleman who sails) has had vast experience cruising for many years.  He also invited us to visit him and his wife in their home, which is 20 minutes from the marina.  Gary would like to watch the next Colts game and this man’s wife’s friend used to babysit for the Manning boys.  He said she would be delighted to watch the Colts game with us.  Such a small world, isn’t it???