Swing Set

Jul 11, 201308:48 AM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

A Sigh Of Relief In Stella Maris

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This is not the view from the deck and "pool," but you can see the fuel dock and the bay beyond. The view is naturally better from the deck, but I didn't have my camera, and now it's raining. Use your imagination. Also, take note of the center console fishing boat with the four outboard motors.

The Driftwood Cafe is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch everyday. They close for two hours and then re-open from 5 to 9. The two-hour break is necessary at the moment because Ian's bartender has gone on an extended vacation, and his wife has gone back to Europe to visit their grown daughters and take some much needed R&R after training new kitchen staff and opening the restaurant just three weeks ago. We didn't visit the cafe for lunch, but had lunch on the boat. I checked on Chantal, and she was history. NOAA discontinued tracking her. Some wind and rain is to be expected for the next couple of days, but the storm threat is gone. Our moods improved considerably.

We spent a couple of hours "at the pool." Ian came by numerous times and at once remarked how he liked to see the guests "enjoying it." We were very happy to be enjoying it. Quite a few patrons came by and took lunch orders out with them. The cafe seems to be catching on.

We took showers in the bathroom just off of the deck and retired to the boat to relax in the air conditioning. I took a nap with my buddy Holly, and Rosie read. At 5 p.m., we put some clean duds on and made our way to the cafe. There were a few locals having a beer and waiting on "to go" orders. We wished them a happy Independence Day and took a seat near the bar, where Ian was freshened up. We took possession of the first of two ice cold Kalik beers, enjoying some sporadic conversation with the locals and Ian, who were held captive by our close proximity with no escape from my many questions.

We were joined by the guys on the center console fishing boat with the four outboards. Lightening had destroyed the electronics on all four motors, and they'd replaced the control boards at considerable cost. The test run they'd taken that afternoon had checked out, and they were headed back to Jupiter on Friday. I told them that Saturday might be a better day. After a couple more beers, they tended to agree with my weather prediction for the rest of the week.

The fishermen ordered off the small but delightfully different menu, and we did the same. We largely enjoyed our conversation with the three of them while we waited a short time for our food to arrive from the kitchen. Rosie and I ordered a large beef nacho plate and a beef burrito to share. The prices are very fair, and we stuffed ourselves, plus brought half of the large burrito back to the boat when we finally left at 9 p.m.

We had an early wake-up call after sleeping like babies. A nice, cooled down cabin and the calm sanctuary of a protected harbor makes for great sleeping conditions, something that's somewhat of a luxury for us. But this morning I wanted to be up early to meet Joe, the boatyard manager. He's reported to have been working here for 43 years. A person can get set in his ways after working at a place for 43 years, and Ian apparently recognizes the dynamics of dealing with Joe, with Ian being the "new guy" and all.

Joe and I are currently undergoing negotiations to have the crack on our dinghy davit welded. Our initial meeting was less than productive, but he's been to the boat three times now, and I think he's warming up to me. The issue is having enough power at the dock to use a welder, plus the availability of the stainless material is an issue, too. He does have some plastic board material that I'll use to fabricate a brace to allow us to continue on without the davit failing. After discussing my plan at length, he told me to hold off making anything just yet. He's going to see if he can get what we need to do the job right. I think he sees my desire to not do a cheesy job, and he appreciates such things. Some people just like to help you do the right thing.

The owner of a new Boston Whaler Conquest came over and asked to borrow my drill. When I took it over to him, I saw this friendly manatee laying on his back and getting a drink from the air conditioning cooling water on his boat. I went back to get my camera, and he was still at it. Naturally, the picture doesn't do the scene justice.

Rosie is busy defrosting the freezer and waiting for the rain to stop to take laundry across the Queen's Highway to the laundromat. Before starting the blog, I polished some rust from our air generator towers and our anchor light pole. I like writing the blog better, and I started when the rain did.

I suspect some more conversations with Joe are in my future, but mostly this afternoon will be spent reading. I'll hit the ground running tomorrow if I have to fabricate some braces for the davit. We originally had designs of renting a car and seeing the island, but it's supposed to rain again tomorrow anyway. Tonight we'll visit the Driftwood Cafe again. I have designs on one of their delicious looking cheeseburgers.

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