Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Salvation at Palm Beach Marina

I've discovered that nine consecutive days at anchor is my limit, at least until my coping skills improve.

After several days in our wonderful anchorage near the Publix grocery and my brother's home, we had moved to a less protected anchorage about a mile south on Friday afternoon in order to be closer to Cameron, our electrician, who was now scheduled to show up on Saturday.

Friday evening, Cam invited us to join his family and his other clients Mike and Rana for dinner at the Palm Beach Sailing Club. Turns out Mike had graduated from IU Law School at Bloomington just a few years after Phil. Mike's career had been with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, while Rana had produced and directed documentaries all over the world. Of course, they were also IU basketball fans. We liked them immediately and found a lot to talk about.

Saturday was windy and the boat was rocking and rolling all day. I stared at our huge pile of dirty laundry and our bare cupboards and contemplated how I was going to get that much laundry to shore in the dinghy, locate a laundromat and grocery store within walking distance, then transport the clean clothes and groceries back to the boat in such choppy water.

Cam finished up the electrical work on the boat about 5:00 p.m. on Saturday. That evening, we dinghied ashore to meet Mike and Rana at a local sports bar to watch IU beat Michigan State. By the time we returned to the boat it was almost midnight. The wind was beginning to pick up and the dinghy ride was bouncy and damp. That night the boat was pitching so much I couldn't sleep. About 3:00 a.m., I moved to the settee, where I could see out the back of the boat and at least know that we weren't dragging the anchor.

Sunday morning, the lack of sleep and the daunting domestic tasks were getting the best of me. I got out my journal and that's when I realized we had been at anchor for nine straight days. Phil sensed my distress and said, "Why don't we check into a marina for a day or two."

Of course! That was the answer! I jumped at the suggestion. We pulled the anchor before noon and traveled about a mile south to Palm Harbor Marina, where Mike and Rana had already been docked for a couple of months while Cam worked on major problems on their boat.

Palm Harbor Marina is in the heart of West Palm Beach. The beautiful downtown area is just a short walk away, with wonderful restaurants, shops, museums, and galleries. The marina has four washers and six dryers, plus hot showers with unlimited water. It's a little pricey, but a marina every nine days is within our budget.

My spirit is revived. The clothes have been washed and put away. Our electrical problems have been fixed. Tonight, we'll meet Mike and Rana at a local pub to watch IU take on Purdue. Tomorrow morning, I'll walk across the Flagler Memorial Bridge to the Publix Supermarket and replenish the cupboards.

I plan to work toward gaining the skills I need to be less "marina-dependent," but for now, I need a marina fix every week or so.

The first two pictures are Sunshine in her berth at the marina and the view from the marina of beautiful downtown West Palm Beach.

The third picture is one of the two splices I made today in our anchor line. Splicing line is an ancient art that involves re-weaving rope around a loop or a metal thimble to make a strong connection. I have been studying line splicing and this was my first completed splice. May not look that difficult, but I practiced a long time to figure out how to do it and was very proud of my new skill.


Michael Nolan said...

A “marina fix” sounds good about now. It’s 20 degrees tonight in Southernmost Illinois and an ice storm is forecast for tomorrow. Aah, Florida!

carleigh said...

Always a pleasure reading you blog. We should be there soon. How long will ya'll be there? So glad you are enjoying cruising so much. We'll continue to have some good times together.
Keep on Cruising, RK & Clay

carleigh said...

Sounds like ya'll are really into the boating now!!! We'll be in West Palm soon and catch up. how long do you think you'll be there?We are really enjoying reading your posts. Did you get to the Boat Show?