Wednesday, May 2, 2018

So good to be back

Kintala is holed up in Factory Bay at Marco Island for a few days. We would like to be on our way, moving toward meeting up with Blowin' In The Wind on the other side of the state. Daughter Eldest and Family dropped the dock line yesterday, their first day of being a cruising family. They are taking the short cut to the East side while Kintala makes her way around the Keys. The weather, however, suggests that we not be in a hurry to make the corner. Seas out that way are in the 5 to 8 foot range, right on the beam, and forecast to be that way for the rest of the week.

Factory Bay seems a much more enjoyable option. It is also a good place to get back into the gypsy live style of wandering around on a boat. Rose Marina has a very reasonable $5/day Ding parking fee, the staff open and friendly every time we have stopped by. There is a fabulous ice cream shop just a short jaunt away. A couple of blocks further is a West Marine and a Publix. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Heading into town also reminded me of just how much of our society is built to accommodate cars. Most of the time at Snead Island we had access to a car. Joining in with the flow of traffic while heading off to do errands was so natural as to go unnoticed. But cars aren’t really natural. And walking among them into town was a reminder of just how unnatural they are. An unnaturalness that, sometimes, seems to seep into their operators. Though we had a benign and enjoyable foray, it was hard to miss the hostile looks that some of the drivers shot our way, apparently just because we were walking. 

Walkers push the little button at a busy intersection and all car traffic gets delayed for a few seconds to give those not traveling in an armored vehicle a chance to get across the street without getting squished. Some of those vehicle operators appear to take offense at the few moments extracted from their day, nosing as close to the “walking lane” as possible while firing looks of contempt at those backward enough to be relying on their feet for transportation. When the looks come from inside a hulking black pickup truck standing tall and gleaming with chrome “bling”, it seems best to pick up the pace a little.

I have a tendency to be a slow walker.

And sometime, given the right incentive, I tend to walk even slower.

“Best” is, sometimes, a matter of opinion.

Traffic jam in the anchorage

West Marine lay on the other side of the intersection, and we stopped by to get a new safety lanyard for the Merc. It is a thing that stops the engine should one fall off the Ding while underway. This prevents it from motoring off into the sunset while the erstwhile helmsman splashes about in the water or, worse, tries to get out of the way as the Ding makes an uncontrolled circle. (For those who haven’t replaced their car with a Ding.) A bit of plastic on a string for 20 bucks. Apparently the safety switch on outboards is, in no way, a standard item. The one we bought from West Marine has about 7 different little plastic bits to fit an assortment of different safety switches. Which is why it costs 20 bucks. There was one at the Marina store that costs $8, but it only had one little plastic bit, and that one didn’t fit the Merc.

Ah well, it beats splashing about in the water.

Come evening we sat in the cockpit watching the sun set, admiring the skill of the pelicans as they ghosted across the water in ground effect. At the same time a huge flock of some kind of terns wheeled in concert high above the bay. Noise from work happening on shore had died away, and all was well in our cruising world.

It is good to be back.


Phil Gow said...

One interesting tidbit: While looking at threaded stainless inserts at West Marine ($11 each, and I needed 20 of them(!)) a sales associate asked if I needed help, and I quipped something like, "yes help finding a cheaper version of these". Turns out West Marine has a new policy of matching online prices for same make and model. A quick internet search on my phone saved me 50%.....this could convert WM into a reasonable place to shop....

Deb said...

Phil I've used the price match twice now and saved $20. No question that I go to WM more now than before. Bad for Defender, but you gotta admire the business savvy of the new owners of WM.