April 18 – 23.
Glasses full of red wine are raised up in the air. “Here’s to Rich and Amy!” We are in the salon of Teresa and Wade’s boat, our next-door neighbors at Brown’s Marina. The table is set with real china, real glassware, placemats, and cloth napkins. I look around and see a tiled galley, flower arrangements in ceramic bowls and other accoutrements of home. The light is dim and it feels like being in someone’s living room, not the belly of a boat. Greg and I and Dave and Trish (other neighbors in the marina) have been invited over for Sunday dinner. The food looks wonderful. I have a plate full of steamed carrots and green beans, rice pilaf, and salad. Everyone else has a stuffed chicken breast instead of salad. There is homemade bread on the table and a Nova Scoctian dipping sauce to dip it in. We dig in — but wait…. Who are Rich and Amy?
Wade lifts the bottle cover off of the wine and we see a sticker with Rich and Amy written on it. He tells us before the start of his and Teresa’s big sailing adventure their community back home threw them a going away party and each of their friends got them a bottle of wine for the journey. Whenever there is a special occasion one of those bottles is uncorked, a toast is made for the gift givers, and then an email is later sent to their friends with a story about when and where the wine was enjoyed. What a stellar idea!
It is a wonderful dinner. There is too much to eat and the company is great. We get to know a little about our marina neighbors.
Wade and Teresa are from a small town on the snowy island Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada. They are both retired teachers. Wade was a hockey coach. Teresa loves to cook and fish. They are both down to earth and very community orientated.
Dave and Trish are from Sarasota. They are both in the health care field. They haven’t retired yet and do contract work when they aren’t sailing. Dave loves to play pool and guitar. Trish likes to shop and dance. They have an adorable dog, named Gidget.
We are all in the marina for 5 ½ days and spend a good bit of time with sailing neighbors. This is unusual for us. Although we have met lots of people, we are usually not in any one place for very long and definitely not in such close proximity to other people as one is in a marina. Meeting other cruisers is a bit like speed dating. A little chat at a happy hour, the exchange of boat cards, and then we row back to Blue Wing and move on to the next port.
But here we saw our new friends every day, we had happy hours on each other’s boats, Greg played guitar with Wade and Dave, and we did an outing to South Bimini with Dave and Trish.
Back in the states we ran into Teresa and Wade in Lake Worth and then again at Sunset Bay Marina. Dave and Trish called us once they hit Vero Beach back in Florida. A band was playing that night in Vero. They were only little over an hour away from Stuart, so we drove up and meet them. We spent the evening hoisting a few cold ones, telling stories, and dancing.
Bimini was so much more than what we expected. The festival, the Biminians, the Dolphin House, and like icing on the cake, the camaraderie of new friends.