It’s a cliche, but it’s said the best part of cruising is the people you meet. This has 100% been true of our travels. People often ask what places we loved the most and after 50 harbours (I counted them all) I have to say, it’s a blur. Yes, some stand out more than others, if I think about it hard enough, but mostly when I think back over our travels through the US it’s the awesome new friends we have made.
We were having outboard engine trouble (yet again) and decided to have the dinghy engine looked at by a pro while we were in St. Augustine, Florida. So we made plans to spend 4 nights or more in the harbour while the engine was serviced.
St. Augustine is a very Cruiser friendly place and has a Cruisers Shuttle which runs two shifts a day. For $5 it will take you almost anywhere you need to go. Walmart, Target, Ace Hardware, Home Depot, West Marine, grocery shopping, Marshalls, Sailors Exchange and more… I took the shuttle three days in a row as I started to stock the boat with the things we’d need in the Bahamas that would be very expensive or hard to find.
The shuttle is a great place to meet other cruisers and I met many lovely people over the three days. On my first day on the shuttle I met a nice couple from Maine and we chatted a little bit, I did not get their names nor their boat name. I’m not that used to talking to strangers on a bus. Back home we don’t do that much. Later as we headed back to our boat in the north mooring field, I noticed the couple on their boat and the boat name… So Far So Good. It took me a moment, but I realized we had “met” this couple before; on the New Jersey Coast. You can read about it here. Jersey Coast Part Deux.
The next day we headed back to shore and found the crew of So Far So Good scrubbing their dinghy clean at the dock. We introduced ourselves and thanked them for their assistance and kindness way back on the Jersey shore. We chatted some more and Tim and I went off to have showers. When we came out again, Jane and Dave invited us to Happy Hour on their boat that evening! Yea! We accepted very happily.
Ten minutes later we were sitting on the shuttle when Jane got on and started talking with another woman – she turned to us and introduced us all. Jane said she thought we’d all get along really well and this other couple would be coming to their boat that evening as well.
As the ride went on, we discovered we’d actually met Deb and Ron before. We’d seen their boat (Scheherazade) come into the Fernandina mooring field at the height of the bad weather there and struggle to pickup a mooring ball. The current and wind were pushing their boat so fast, it was flying by Grace, at a speed we couldn’t believe! It actually only took two tries to get the mooring, but due to the weather, it did not look like fun. Deb also told me they were anchored next to us in Spa Creek in Annapolis and had seen us taking Poppy ashore to the nearby park. But the really crazy thing was when she said we’d been introduced by Tim’s mother on the seawall in Oswego!! We were sitting on the deck of Grand Caper back in Oswego and Marilyn was on the shore chatting to another boating couple. She brought them over and introduced us. Deb & Ron. It’s crazy how we travelled the canals over the following week and never ran into them again. Only to be re-introduced three months later in Florida.
We ended up travelling together, with Scheherazade and So Far So Good for the next couple of weeks!