|Our friends are a bit ... different ... and I love that about them all!|
In a neighborhood of gray and beige and off-white houses, our friends are the kind of quirky people who will paint their house a brilliant Florida shade of turquoise. I've written about our friends J and J before, and this was our first chance to see them at home. The directions included letting us know that the house is easy to find because we were looking for the only blue house on their street. I just hate when someone says, "you can't miss it" when giving me references, because invariably, I can miss it. But this time, they were right. I didn't miss it. In contrast to the outside, the neutral colored, calm, interior is beautifully on-trend and magazine worthy, but I was in love with the statement the blue exterior made. But seeing the house that J and J are remodeling was only one part of a jam-packed two-day trip to southwest Florida.
I had been grumbling about our leaky inflatable dinghy and commented that I wanted a hard-sided dinghy again, preferably one that folded for storage. (Yes, such things exist and are totally cool. But a tad out of our price range at the moment.) Then my friend Charles pointed us to a used one that was for sale cheap, and only about 1/2 hour's drive from J and J's house. Lots of things aligned and fell into place, like the rental car company asked if we'd "mind" driving a mini van instead of the small economy car we had rented at no extra charge. (How convenient! No, I don't mind at all!) Anyway, I was in the mood for a road trip.
A bit of back-and-forth messaging with the seller and the deal happened. He even had most of the parts of a sail kit for it, not mentioned in his ad, that he threw in for free. So after the money changed hands and we loaded the dinghy into the minivan, we had time to share a glass of rum with the seller, and trade a few sea stories. That's when we found out that not only was he a fellow pirate, but he was also a tall ship sailor who had been the helmsman on the Pride of Baltimore. I told him the story of having done crew tours aboard Pride 3 years ago, and how we almost lost our cook to them because Pride had a much nicer galley. As we continued to chat we learned that the seller had visited the Galeon while we were in Maine a couple of years ago. Which almost inevitably meant that we had met before, although neither of us remembered the other. So now not only have we got a cool new dinghy, but more excitingly, a new friend as well. Although we cruisers are geographically spread far and wide, we really are a very small group.
|The new dinghy with the sail (photo from Porta Bote's website). Now our challenge is to come up with a good name. In keeping with the Cinderella theme, our present plump inflatable dinghy is named "Pumpkin" and our clear-bottomed kayak is "Glass Slipper." We're thinking the new one will be "Magic Wand." It's kind of magical that it folds down to the size of a surfboard, and anyway, any sail on a mast moving a boat by the power of the wind alone is magical.|