Sunday, June 10, 2018

Just because they can

Kintala, now riding to a mooring ball in St. Augustine, is slowly catching up to Blowin' In the Wind. The Florida Peninsula’s fascination with afternoon thunderstorms has kept us on our toes.  With careful planning and a good dose of luck, we have managed to avoid getting blasted while working our way through the narrow, winding, and sometimes shallow channels that make up parts of the ICW around here. Today, and not for the first time this trip, we settled onto the mooring ball with thunder rumbling, rain shafts dropping near by, and lighting flashing. The storms responsible had already sparked a weather warning from the Coast Guard, with tales of heavy rain, hail, water spouts, and damaging winds. They rolled right up to St. Augustine, paused, then went past slightly to the south. We barely got wet.

St. Augustine in the twilight

The folks at the St. Augustine Municipal Marina have been nothing but helpful and friendly. The facility took a pretty good beating from Irma and is still recovering. Docks are trashed and the building that (I think) used to be a restaurant looks damaged beyond repair. The staff is working hard to get back up to speed while providing the best service they can to the cruising clan. The pump out boat is up and running, as is the shuttle. They even have a water boat running. The fuel dock is open with pretty easy access, and there is a small store. Nothing but good for those wandering along the way.

The crew of Blowin' In the Wind, now working their way through Georgia, hasn’t always had the same experience. While looking to find a place to provision Daughter Eldest called the St. Simons Boating and Fishing Club to see if they could rent some dock space for a few hours, or even the night. According to Active Captain the facility, though mostly private, will - and has - (according to the reviews) rented space to transient boats. The customer service person who answered the phone informed Daughter Eldest, in a churlish and hostile voice, that St. Simons Boating and Fishing Club did not care for transients and would not even consider letting them touch down for a while.

The crew of Blowin' in the Wind had had a tough night. The current change at 0300 in the morning had swung them too near another boat. It turned out the other boat was laying to 250 feet of rode. It is Georgia so the tidal range is about 7 feet, and they were in 17 feet of water; 250 feet of rode isn’t outrageous. Still, that is a monster swing circle in a small anchorage, and it is likely that, had Kintala dropped an anchor in that place, we would had banged into him as well. In any case, when they called looking for a spot they were tired, a bit stressed, and the little ones on the boat could have used a break. A touch of aid would have been welcome. At the very least just a polite, “We don’t offer that service any longer” would have been okay. But no, they got handed a raft of lip from someone whom they had never even met, let alone harmed in any way.

The crew of Blowin' In The Wind is a resilient bunch. Since it was getting later in the day and they had their own storms to watch, they dropped the hook back where they started while the St. Simons Boating and Fishing Club will become a minor part of the family lore...

..."Remember that time in Georgia, the nice guy with all the rode out, and the witch on the phone?"

We live in a mean spirited age, one where people often do harm just because they can. There is no rhyme or reason to it, no ultimate purpose, no real goal. Just a mean spirit loose in the world, pretending to be tough. Fortunately, there are still many untouched by this international malady, those who offer a kind word or a lending hand…just because they can.

Though it sometimes seems contrary to the evidence, I think the later are still the majority in our little world. After another restless night on the hook Blowin' In The Wind moved to the Morningstar Marina at St Simons Island. There they were greeted as long lost friends. The facility is first rate, though the pool may make it difficult to get the little ones to leave. There is a loaner car for provisioning. Do yourself a favor should you ever be passing through the St. Simons area and avoid the St. Simons Boating and Fishing Club like the plague that they are. The Morningstar Marina will treat you like family.

1 comment:

Neal Birch said...

write a review!