Like Phillip told me, apparently watching others dock is highly entertaining, particularly couples and particularly mouthy ones. It’s now a favorite past-time for Phillip and I. If Phillip and I are kicked back in the cockpit at the marina and we see some big troller coming in and hear the Captain shout “Now Linda, I need you to tie the springer line first this time!” (emphasis on first) our ears perk and we elbow each other and silently nod toward the troller because we know we’re about to get a show.
First off, trollers are huge. They need lines running from every direction to hold them in place.
Second, we know we’ve got a couple, a highly vocal Captain and a poor ‘Linda’ somewhere who’s scrambling for lines. We also know this is not the first time they’ve docked together because apparently old Linda didn’t tie the right line first last time and the Captain was displeased. He then shouted “And make sure to do a cleat hitch, remember!” (emphasis on MEM). Poor, poor Linda. A cleat hitch isn’t hard. It’s just around a couple of times, some swoop loops on each end and pull tight (or that’s how I’ve programmed it into my mind anyway – real technical Annie speak for you), but here ‘tis:
Sadly, though, it seems our dear friend Linda had been struggling with it. Poor, poor Linda. Phillip and I smiled slyly at each other. Oh yeah, this scenario is fraught with potential. We are definitely watching and standing ready to hop up and grab a line if Linda botches it.
It seems the good folks of Panama City felt the same about Phillip and I that day, and they, too, were definitely watching. Thankfully, they were also ready and willing to lend a hand. As the boat lurched into the slip, an old salt came running down the other side of the dock (apparently the side I should have jumped off on) and had Phillip throw him the stern line. He told me to jump back on the boat and toss him the bow line, which I did. I then jumped off, this time with a springer line in hand, and got us nice and secure. Whew! No crashed boat, no dock wreckage, and Phillip’s eyes finally returned to normal after an hour or so. Well, technically after a drink or three.
Having played the role of Let-Down Linda for the day and justifiably displeasing the Captain, as soon as we were showered up and back on the boat, I promptly threw him together a stiff drink. That always helps!
Here you go Cap’n.
Whew. He smiles. All better.
And yes, people, I was wearing a dress. You can see a little white fluffy sliver of it in the first pic. I mean, I only jumped off the boat without a line – no damage was done – it warranted a remorseful drink only, not a full-frontal apology, okay?
After drinks on the boat, we set off and and started foraging for drinks on the street.
Downtown PC was quaint and lively with fun little quirky bars scattered about. We decided on a place , that being The Place (http://www.theplacerestaurant.net/4543.html), and popped in for a swig.
The old-timey bar was great (and well-stocked!). Our bellies full of fine liquor and our “spirits” high, we stumbled on back to the marina to stock up on transmission fluid and hunker down for the night. Phillip played the domestic role this time and whipped us up an amazing batch of shrimp feta pasta.
Don’t crowd the onions!
This dish has definitely become a favorite for us on the boat. The ingredients are fresh and easy:
Onion, parsley, garlic and shrimp.
Oh, and butter of course. That salty, yellow bounty of the gods. Butter just makes everything better.
Tossed with fresh tomatoes and pasta. Super simple and easy to throw together at sea. (Recipe here: http://havewindwilltravel.com/2013/06/04/april-17-23-2013-the-crossing-chapter-two-sailors-delight/).
And, as it always seems is the case at marinas, we had some front-row seating to some real entertainment while we were making dinner. While we definitely prefer to anchor out as opposed to docking at a marina (for one, it’s cheaper – the nightly rate on the boat is … ummm … FREE) it is fun sometimes to stay at the marina and watch all the “crazies.” They’re everywhere. And, marinas seem to attract a very unique breed of them. Drifters, so to speak.
While Phillip and I were putting the finishing touches on dinner and setting the table up in the cockpit, we noticed the guy next to us was working on a real project boat. It was dusty and chalky with tools and buckets and hammers lying everywhere. A real mess of a boat. It looked something like this:
And he was coated with dirt and paint splatters, sweating and sanding away on the deck. Then, out of nowhere, we see this woman walking toward his boat. Well, I take that back we heard her first, very distinct heel clicks coming all the way down the dock. And, these were some serious heels, wedges I guess you would call them, about yay high:
Yeah, the crazy kind, that crazy people wear.
And when she finally came into view and we could take her in, she looked something like this:
Yeah … a real fox. And, paint-splatter guy looked something like this:
I know, right? This scenario was fraught with potential. We were definitely watching. Phillip and I slouched down a bit in our cockpit and eyed them furiously over the rims of our rum drinks. Miss Fox walked right up to his boat, gave him a knowing nod and held her hand out for assistance. Dirty Dude helped her into the cockpit, no words having been exchanged yet that we could tell, and she turned around and made her way backwards down the steps in the companionway. Granted, I think that’s the only way you can take steps like that
in heels like those.
Once she was down below, Dude put his hand in his pocket, pulled out something that I can only describe as “folding money,” fondled it for a minute, then shoved it back in his pocket and followed her down. Phillip and I shared an excited “inquiring minds want to know” look and kept our eyes on them. They stayed down for all of 3.5 minutes, give or take, and then she came back up solo (not a smudge of makeup out of place) stepped off his boat and clicked her heels right on down the dock. Dirty Dude came back up about a minute after, big grin on his face, chugging down some Gatorade and then he set back to work on this boat, like nothing ever happened. Phillip and I poured over the possibilities. Was she a hooker, a prostitute? His dealer, his daughter? Who the heck knows. Marinas are so entertaining. Hell, sailors are entertaining. This one, in particular, was not very PC.
Phillip and I could not stop chuckling about it as we plated up dinner.
Table for two please?
This place was super fancy. We had to make reservations well in advance. I mean, it was dinner
AND a foxy show.
We were ready for a relaxing evening after the passage from Carrabelle and we knew we needed a good night’s sleep before we made the last 24-hour run to Pensacola. We settled into the cockpit, devoured the shrimp pasta and toasted the sunset before calling it a night.