Friday, January 30, 2009

Semi-True Stories

Originally Posted January 14, 2009

A dragon, three snakes and a cock go into a bar...sounds like a joke right? But it actually happened the other night in Pompano Beach...

Tammy here.

How so you might ask? We had a mini-cruisers reunion with some good friends of ours, Vicki and Norm from Tide Hiker, whom we haven't seen since our bon voyage party in New Hampshire back at the beginning of September. They have been cruising the East Coast like us but always seemed to be about two weeks behind our schedule - until now! Tide Hiker arrived in Pompano Beach on Sunday along with friends and cruising buddies of theirs, Lynnie and Rick on another DeFever named Rickshaw. After helping them into their slips, not such an easy task with the ripping current and really low tide (Rickshaw hit ground and had to actually go bow into the slip and for anyone who knows powerboats, thats so embarrassing!) and figuring out how to climb off their boats with no finger piers, the reunion began!

Minus two gypsies (Colleen and John were still visiting Colleen's parents), the festivities kicked off that evening with drinks and apps on Tide Hiker at 5:00 pm - soon the wine and the boat stories were flowing wild and freely. We even told the Northport story which we swore we'd never do (albeit late in the evening - wine could have been the culprit) - if you can't tell your cruising friends a good boating disaster story, who can you tell?? As the wine continued to disappear (we think it was gremlins), we sat down to a wonderful dinner Vicki had cooked. We soon felt like we had know Lynnie and Rick forever - that's how good friends are made in this cruising life (over wine and stories!!) Not wanting the night to end, we wound up on the cockpit with yes, you guessed it, more red wine and a truly decadent desert Vicki had made. Everyone got back on their respective boats without anyone falling in, so the night was deemed a resounding success!

I know, I know - what about the dragon, snakes and cock....the next night drinks were on Gypsies, after which we decided to have Chinese food for dinner. Across the street from our marina is a little Chinese restaurant - it had all of two tables which we promptly put together and took control of. Colleen and John were back aboard so the eight of us formed a "lively" party in what was an otherwise very quiet little restaurant where few people spoke english (probably not such a bad thing). Over beers (they didn't sell wine much to Vicki and Colleen's dismay), we all started discussing the Chinese calendar and the animal representations of the years we were born. You all know those paper placemats in dive Chinese restaurants all across the country that describe the animals in the Chinese Calendar - the year of the "Snake" for instance and if you were born in that year, you are supposed to have certain characteristics and be compatible with certain other animals. Much jocularity ensued about the "animals" we were and our supposed characteristics - but the prize went to Rick, who at a particularly quiet moment, beamed and rather boastfully (or so the other gentlemen in the party felt) declared "I'm a cock!" Now it turns out that Lynnie, John and I are snakes and the cock is very compatible with the snake - after several somewhat off color comments, we settled on the fact that John was just out of luck! So anyways that's the story....

Too much fun - but eventually the night had to end as Tide Hiker and Rickshaw were leaving early the next day. They are both heading south so hopefully we will meet up with them again soon - I see lots more wine and maybe even more Chinese food in our future! After helping them off, the gypsies spent the last couple days doing some last minute work on and around the boat since we are hoping to head south ourselves by the end of the week (although at the moment mother nature seems to have other plans for us).

We finally saw a manatee today - right here at the dock!!!!!

After traveling the whole way down here on the ICW in Florida and traversing untold numbers of slow speed manatee zones and not seeing one, we were starting to think they didn't exist but were just some fictional creature made up by the boating authorities to force boaters to go slow (OK I know we don't go real fast, but even we had to slow down in the manatee zones). But they do exist and are actually really cute, in a big, ugly Vince Vaughn sort of way. We actually turned on the hose and had him (or her - tough to tell) drinking from the hose like he was a baby sucking on a bottle - it was unbelievable.

When we had to turn the hose off, he was bummed and swam away off under all the boats but not before we got a couple pictures of him!! We all just waved and watched him go - who knows if or when we'll see another one of these elusive creatures. Maybe in the FL Keys....

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