Dec 22 – Jan 19.
I punched “grocery store” in Google maps and we started down Caroline St. on our hunt. We were searching for provisions, fresh fruits and veggies. Moving slowly west, we stopped in one little shop after another only to find beer, candy bars, cans of spaghetti Os – foods that would be there long after civilization succumbs to a radioactive holocaust. Back on the street we passed bars, restaurants, gift shops. We were heading to the thick of it. At the corner we turned onto Duval Street. This is where it was happening. Tourists abounded. Restaurants were packed. Live music blared out of every door.
Outside a beauty shop a couple stood on the sidewalk asking women to come in to try a free sample of something. The second time we passed by and the second time I said no, the man asked me “where are you from?” “From the boat anchored in the harbor,” I replied, thinking, “Do you have a pineapple in there?”
All we wanted was some fruit, limes, bananas, spinach, something to make a green smoothie. But it was all too much. There was no fruit, so we succumbed, and found a couple of bar stools and a couple of cold beers.
After two and a half weeks in Key West this was our first leisurely trip ashore. Our stay here so far has for the most part been a tough one. Our first week was spent confined to the boat out in no-ones-land while Greg’s injured foot recovered enough to walk. Then our computer broke. Next we moved to an anchorage closer to shore, but that anchorage ended up being really weird. We had to move the boat in the middle of the night, then move her again the next morning where we got into a little tangle with another boat. Then the weather got bad. And then we got completely drenched by waves on the way back from a laundry trip ashore (luckily we had wrapped the clean, dry laundry in plastic bags). After all that things got much, much worse.
Blue Wing started doing her dancing by herself routine during the day, moving from side to side, spinning in circles, basically ignoring the rules of order that make living on the hook a slightly less tenuous experience. This would have been fine since the last time she did this we ended up moving to a spot part way into the prominade channel away from everyone else, except another boat, named Fire Fly flying a Norwegian flag, came and anchored close by. Then Fire Fly’s owners left for the day and our new neighbor boat started dancing by herself also. So here we were with Fire Fly and Blue Wing like stoned flower children dancing to the music only each of them could hear in their own sailboat heads. This was when Greg decided it was time that someone took the lead and spent a whole afternoon steering Blue Wing away from a possible collision with Fire Fly. The day was pretty exhausting, but not nearly as exhausting as a couple of nights later when the wind turned south.
We woke with Blue Wing rocking from side to side. The wind was howling as it opposed the current. I looked out a window and saw our Norwegian neighbor standing on Fire Fly’s deck in the dark, steering her as she danced around the anchorage. Blue Wing twisted and turned back and forth. I went back to bed.
Not that I wasn’t concerned. I was just spent. Que sera, sera and all that.
Blue Wing rocked from side to side the entire night. Starting with a slow roll, building to more of a vigorous rock, leading up to a jarring lurch back and forth, back and forth, followed by a brief pause, a short respite, a nanosecond of hope…before it started again. Toiletries left out in the bathroom flew from the counter and crashed to the floor. I got up, stuffed everything in a cabinet and went about securing other potential flyers all over the boat. But then a cabinet door that wasn’t locked flung open and crackers and taco shells sprung from their confinement for a brief aerial trip to the other side of the cabin.
By morning things had settled down. Outside we saw the Norwegians weighing anchor. They motored by to tell us that we had both dragged about a hundred feet in the night. We decided it was time to move again.
We pulled the anchor and motored up the prominade to the other side of the channel, but first I called Terry. Terry? Oh yeah, I haven’t told you about Terry yet, have I?
Let’s back the story up a little to when Greg’s foot was still in bad shape, but doing well enough for us to move closer to shore. I was busy downloading bus routes that could take us to a big grocery store when my phone dinged telling us we had a comment on the blog from Terry:
“Hey guys…Im staying here in Key West … in my RV. I have a Honda fit toad, and if you need a lift to get supplies or want to go somewhere…..just let me know, be happy to help. Love your blog and life style…hoping to do the sailboat thing someday as well…cheers…”
“Wow, cool!” we thought, “Who’s Terry?”
I wrote Terry back, Terry called us, and a couple of days later we were going to the grocery store with Terry in his Fit.
Terry is a nomad like us, except on land. He travels in comfy little camper, towing his Honda Fit. He is also a sailor wannabe and has taken all the classes, read all the blogs, and watched all the videos. (He probably knows more about sailing than us.) He is just waiting for his moment and the right partner to make the jump into the water. Meanwhile, he travels and helps out friends and strangers (new friends) like us.
Terry discovered our story and our blog through the video interview we did with Where’s My Office Now. 9 (If you haven’t seen the video, here is a link.) He is our first blog follower we have met that we didn’t know already. Meeting him has not only been fortuitous, but inspiring to think that someone we didn’t know already would be interested in us. And his generosity, that’s inspiring too.
I am actually a little overwhelmed with inspiring generosity as I put on the finishing touches of this new blog post with my new computer. When hearing of our computer woes, my friend Cyndi started a Go Fund Me Account and raised over $900 for us to buy a new one. People we haven’t seen for years, people I’ve only met few times, one person who may only know me from the multiple emails he was CCed on this past summer, another person who I had a pretty unpleasant run in with in the past, as well as good friends, and close friends all chipped in to get us back computing. We are totally undeserving.
We have finally found a good anchorage, although it is quite a dink ride from town and the weather has only gotten colder. Never-the-less, this little purgatory we have been living in has been brightened by the big heartedness of others. It has made it all worth it. We really like doing things ourselves, but when we can’t find our own fruits and vegetables, it is nice to know there are people out their who want to give us a hand.