So, Phillip heads out one day to grab us some fish at Joe Patti’s here in Pensacola. If you have not been to this place … My God! It is like the fish mecca of the southeast. I’m serious, there are at least 30 different types of fish splayed out. Many I have never heard of and some I can’t properly pronounce (although that doesn’t really stretch things), but they also have oysters, lobster, crab, scallops, squid, lizards eyeballs (probably, if you asked them), and the whole process of getting a number, being called in order, often by Frank Patti himself (and often with a little quip about your appearance that rhymes with your number: “Seventy-Four for the gal by the door” and which get more inappropriate the ‘purdier’ you are) is mesmerizing. There are so many walks of life milling about, polished businessmen, bumbling little old ladies, loudmouthed redneck couples, big jovial black folks. There are about as many different types of people as seafood. The workers all tromp around in big white rain boots and if you peek in the back you’ll see an army of skilled Vietnamese women hacking up huge seventy-pound tunas like they were conducting an orchestra. Honestly, you just never know what exactly you’re going to see when you walk in the door. Lucky for you, I had GoPro with me one day. Here’s a glimpse:
So this is the melting pot of people that Phillip dove into one fine day to pick us up some salmon to cook for dinner. He’s milling about in what I call the “pantry” area, where they keep an impressive stock of spices, seasonings, sauces and such to doctor up all those fish, and he gets a tap on the shoulder. Phillip turns around to face a total stranger, seemingly harmless but a stranger all the same. He looks to be about mid-fifties, curling his hat in his hand and looking curiously at Phillip.
“‘Scuse me, are … are you a lawyer?” the man asks Phillip.
Phillip laughingly told me when he relayed this story back to me at home that he was in no way wearing “lawyer clothes” (whatever those are) so he wasn’t sure what tipped this guy off other than perhaps the bag he was carrying. Phillip is an attorney and, in an effort to help locals shop a little greener, his firm had some insulated re-usable grocery bags made up that we often use when we’re out shopping. Phillip thought maybe the law firm logo on his bag made the guy guess at his occupation.
“Yes,” he said, wondering where this was going.
“Do you have a sailboat?” the man asks.
Now Phillip is really intrigued. While his lawyer bag may have been a clue as to his occupation, what on his person screamed “I have a sailboat” he really could not say. That I’m buying fish?, Phillip thought. But so is everyone else here, his mind bantered back to him.
“Yes, I have a sailboat,” Phillip answered slowly, debating whether to ask “Why?” or just to let this play out.
“Is it called Plaintiff’s Rest?” the man asks, offering yet no explanation for how he knows Phillip has a sailboat and now how he knows it’s called Plaintiff’s Rest.
“Yes,” Phillip replied, leaving a bit of an awkward silence between the two men.
“Well,” the man starts in, a slow grin finally starting the melt through, “you’re famous!” His hand lands firmly on Phillip’s shoulder as he tells him he’s been following my blog and now the videos for a while and that he recognized Phillip the minute he walked through Joe Patti’s door as the esteemed Captain of s/v Plaintiff’s Rest and he just couldn’t let him leave without telling Phillip how much he’s been enjoying our adventures. “That Annie. She’s a hoot,” he says. Phillip and I got a hearty laugh out of the exchange when he came home and told me about it. Turns out, I’m not the famous one. Phillip is.
But, while that story is fun, I share it to tell you this: fame is not at all what we’re after. However, because it seems we have, by sharing our journey, built an audience, we want to use it to help bring more people into the simpler, more meaningful lifestyle of cruising. That’s right. We want to help people who want to cruise toss the lines and get out there, and we have BIG PLANS we will be announcing soon on the videos to do just that.
One of the things we have found most rewarding about cruising, writing and sharing our adventures is the connections we have made and continue to make with other cruisers. It is the sharing of knowledge, similar experiences and lessons learned that has really enriched this adventure for us and has motivated us to continue to share our journey. We have had so many fellow cruisers help us, by lending a tool at the anchorage, referring us to a trusted marine vendor, sharing a learned-the-hard-way work-around when we’re facing a difficult boat project, or even just inviting us over for sundowners and sea stories. Phillip and I have found the cruising community to be one of the most welcoming, helpful, rich bodies of people we have ever met and we want to use those connections and our audience to help more people follow their dream of cruising, even if it’s just one person at a time. To all those who have lent us a dinghy pump, referred us to a great marine repair guy, shared a hard-learned modification, had us over for cocktails and the hundreds of others who have helped us along the way, know that we are incredibly grateful and that we plan to pay it forward. For those of you dreaming of cruising, get ready.
Big news will be splashing soon kids. Stay tuned!
Thanks to my Patrons who help me share the journey. Get inspired. Get on board.