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We Love Company


First, I have to share that today is Karen Michelle Allenick’s 33rd birthday. I am very proud of the capable young woman that she is. She has managed more than her share of stress and done it with poise and mostly good humor. She is patient and a good listener and I enjoy spending time with her. She is on her way to Norfolk, VA and then will be here on Sunday and will be with us for a week. I can’t wait to give her a hug.

Since we have been back from St Pete we have had lots of company and we love it. We love sharing the boat and the cruising lifestyle with our dirt dwelling friends.

First, Shelly and Faith Schaefer came up from Naples to spend the day. We enjoyed a perfect sail, boat lunch and a tour of Burnt Store. Dinner at Cass Cay topped off the day.

The next day Rebekah and David Ashpis who we had seen in St Pete came from Ft Myers to spend time with us just prior to their getting on a plane and going back to Cleveland. We had tried to take them for a sail in St Petersburg when we met them there but it was just too windy and cold for a trip out on the Bay. But here, the weather was perfect. The wind was a bit light but proved to be just enough for a nice sail. We got them back in time to catch their plane.

Then yesterday Ellen Zimmer and Stew Nash sailed up from the keys to visit. Ellen and Stew have a Freedom the same model as ours. Bob has been communicating with Ellen over the past few years making suggestions and offering advice as they fit their boat out and made their way south from Erie PA. The day they picked to come into Burnt Store could not have been worse. First we are nearly at a full moon which means the low tide is very low and high tide is very high. They had a very lumpy trip across Charlotte Harbor with winds that reached into the 30s. The wind was coming out of the north east, but enough easterly to dramatically slow their progress and blow water out of an already shallow channel. When they got to the channel to enter the marina the tide was a half foot below datum and the wind had blown at least another half foot of water out of the marina and channel. I had never seen it this low. They tried to get into the channel, ran aground and had to get towed off back into Charlotte Harbor. They waited there anchored for more than two hours for the tide to rise and then tried again. On their third try they did make it in and we greeted them at the F dock with big hugs! This was a meeting a long time coming.

They were exhausted from their trip and this being Valentine’s Day we had been unable to get a reservation for dinner anywhere, so I cooked us a delicious spaghetti and salad dinner on the boat.

The next morning we took them to Aldi’s, Penny Pincher (for propane) and Publix to restore their previsions. We had a great lunch a Cass Cay and enjoyed inspecting each other’s boats. It is amazing the number of small differences between the two boats, theirs being a few years older and purchased by the original owner as a day sailor, with very few upgrades.

We had particularly wanted to see their composting toilet and how it fit inside the head area. They love it, describe it as freeing and there were no smells from it at all. We have a very small holding tank so we were considering this seriously. Their boat also gave me a few storage ideas I am going to think about.

More to come…..



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