Friday, April 5, 2013
Back, in the USSA!
But now we are back in Florida. We made a pretty good crossing from Cat Cay to Lake Worth and were able to check in with the border protection folks by phone. This is always an adventure, as they have so many personnel and so many programs and such a wild variety of knowledge and people skills. It's often very frustrating to deal with them about any of this. Some of them take advanced courses in arrogance.
We are now in the municipal marina Vero Beach, where some collection of government has really gotten it right. This place is so user friendly, with laundry, free buses, free internet, a nearby West Marine and cheap mooring rates. It's almost like they are thinking people will stay awhile and spend money. Many do, and for more than a few days as they have richly deserved the moniker "Velcro Beach."
A big storm came through yesterday, big enough for us to hide on the big mooring ball behind the trees. They predicted high winds, hail, tornadoes and all sorts of nasty stuff. We are fresh from the Bahamas, where it seemed pretty benign with only wind to contend with. So we stayed put.
Yesterday I made a run to the West Marine to pick up some line and a new horn. I made it out for the bus in plenty of time, but there was no bus. I then recalled the driver telling me they sometimes pulled the buses in bad weather, and it looked pretty bad to me. I envisioned myself standing out in the street with a very wet paper bag waiting for a bus that wasn't coming. I went into the local Publix grocery store and called a cab. Can you believe it? I was desperate enough to pay for a taxi! The taxi company told me they were on shift change and couldn't get to me for 40 - 45 minutes. This was not good and it was raining. And I still had to dinghy back to the boat in the storm.
I stood there for a while and decided to use the last tool in my bag. A lady pushed a cart full of groceries out and didn't look like she would mug me. I asked her if she would give me a ride to the marina for $20, twice the cab fee. She wouldn't take any money, but said I would have to share the car with her kids. Imagine that? She wouldn't dump her kids out in the rain to give a total stranger a ride to the marina which she had no idea where it was. (That's a bad sentence, but I'm sticking with it.) So she did. And they were from New York City, and lived in Vero Beach in the winter. People are great. Capt. Jeff