It’s a dreary, rainy day with temperatures in the 50s, a real test of whether we like the boat life or not. We do. The only problem is that while we were in Florida I packed up most of Jack’s warm clothing and all of mine and sent it to my sister in NJ. Now I’m sorry about that. Jack has a couple of turtlenecks and some long sleeved shirts, but I have nothing but t-shirts and a fleece hoodie. Luckily we have blankets, so we’re nice and toasty in bed.
This morning was very chilly and I lit the oven right away and decided to make baked French toast to warm up the saloon. It worked great and we had a good breakfast to boot. We tossed around the possibility of doing a little shopping but thought better of it when we realized we’d have to dinghy everything back to the boat in the rain. Another day.
Monday we’re going back to the boat show with the express purpose of exploring our future chartplotter and radar possibilities. As with any technology, things change and improve all the time. We want to wait as long as possible before we jump into a new system, and we can’t replace everything at once so we want to make sure some elements are backwards compatible and at the same time don’t keep us from upgrading to the next best thing. It will be a challenge.
This past week has been a whirlwind. Our previous boat show visits were generally one-day surgical strikes. We mostly looked at boats, weighing the pros and cons of this feature and that. We always visited the tents full of vendors, too, but only as information gathering and to keep up with where various technology systems were headed.
This time around we are boat owners. We’ve been on the boat five months and have some ideas of what would improve life aboard. First, of course, was the dinghy outboard and we took care of that right away. We’re delighted with the results, even if it put a serious unexpected crimp in our budget.
Everything else was little stuff. Specific cleaners for stainless steel and aluminum; fender hangers/adjusters to make docking easier. We hoped for a good price on replacement dock lines because ours are a mess but there weren’t any vendors at the show. We took advantage of having a friend who lives here to order online and have them sent to his address. Likewise the repair parts for our broken cockpit table mount. We were lost without that table and happy to have it back.
Outside the show we’re enjoying an actual social life, something that comes and goes when you’re cruising fulltime. As soon as we got to Back Creek we had the crew of What If as neighbors and it was great to get to know them. Our resident friend Jim lent us his dinghy, of course, but we’re also enjoying having an old friend nearby to drop in on. We had a potluck birthday party for Craig on Anything Goes and we ran into people we met there several times around town and at the show.
On Friday we were walking back to Eastport for our new outboard delivery when we heard, “Hey! Are you Marce and Jack from Escape Velocity?” It was Clark, a fellow Manta owner and blog reader who recognized us from the photos we post. Not only was it great to meet him and Michelle, but Clark was the organizer for a dinner gathering of Manta owners that evening.
With only 128 Mantas made, it’s a small community and many are east coast based. There were three Mantas in Spa Creek and three in Back Creek during the show. What If was the first to leave, and Anything Goes is headed out Monday. The girls on Anything Goes wanted to see Izzy so we took her on a field trip to Truxton Park, a 30-minute dinghy ride from where we’re anchored. Izzy rode in her carrier in the bow.
Once we got there she was set upon by Olivia, who patiently walked with her all over the park, even into poison ivy. I hope disaster was averted by some quick handi-wipe action.
Izzy had so many kids wanting to pet her that for the first time she voluntarily got back into her carrier, but that didn’t quell the attention.
Because our outboard is new and we’re not supposed to run it full out during the break-in period, the trip back to Escape Velocity is a slow one, so we left the park early in order to return home by dark. It was a beautiful magic hour ride through Spa Creek.