Dinghy Woes

We've been moving anchorages a lot and not really going anywhere. The wind kicked up overnight and came out of the north, making our position north of the bridge and protective land spit no longer protective. When another boat here broke free and came too close for comfort, we decided it was time to move. We are now south of the bridge and the boat is riding much better.

Yet again, it's a day for the library. Thomas went over to the SSCA conference (Seven Seas Cruising Association) for a minute, as we had heard there was a parking lot flea market. Nothing in the parking lot; the vendors are inside (perhaps due to rain). You need a ticket to get in, and neither of us have any interest in this conference. We've seen the people around and heard some of the seminar topics, and not to say that we know it all by any means, but it doesn't sound like there's much to glean from "classroom" sessions. After last night at West Marine, I am even more determined that Thomas and I are not made for these types of events.

The only disappointing thing is that all the cruisers we've seen here (there are a LOT of boats) are decades older than us. We haven't seen a single younger couple here. Perhaps all young people shun the SSCA like we do, perhaps there will be more people from our generation down the way...but we are starting to worry that all of our friends will be 50+. Not a bad thing, but it is more of a stretch to find things in common with people who have raised kids, finished out a career, and have the comfort of a normal pension/retirement, which allows most of these folks to go to marinas, rent cars, and do stuff like that more often than we can (unless we want to go back to work sooner and for longer than we'd hoped!).

It's rainy and cool, so we will spend the day at the library, happy hour at Conchy Joes I'm sure, then back to the boat to prepare to leave in the morning. Even waterfront libraries can't hold my attention forever.


Thomas abandoned me at the library before noon and I happily plunked away on the computer, intermittent with reading short stories by Alice Munro. I love her. We agreed he would come back at 3 PM and we'd head over to happy hour. At 2 PM a very grouchy Thomas arrived. Apparently the clocks on the boat confused him and he thought it was 3...but that still didn't explain the grouchiness.

He proceeded to West Marine and I stayed at the library. When I got to the bar at 3 PM, I found out why he was so glum. Apparently we had major dinghy disaster in my absence. The engine had cut out just as we reached the dock at Conchy Joe's. That was from sucking in the rope we use to hoist the engine. Thomas had to single-handedly get the engine off the dinghy, trying not to drop it in the drink. Once he freed the engine, another guy came along and helped him get it back down.

That would have been bad enough, but the connector piece for the gas line to the engine, which had been acting up for some time, decided to go into full-scale revolt. Thomas had it disconnected trying to fix it, but that left the gas line loose. Of course, a large power boat went by, waked him badly, and knocked the line down...dumping 2 gallons of gas into the dinghy. Yet again, we are the Exxon Valdez.

No luck yet on a replacement. We are simply limping along with the dinghy as is.

Fortunately, the night looked up when we got to Conchy Joe's. Yet again, there was the happy hour buffet free, and the food was pretty good. All the SSCA people showed up, and we continued to be disappointed that they were all really old. Not a single young person in the bunch. There was one couple with kids, but the kids were wearing matching sweatshirts proclaiming something about Jesus, so we figured they weren't our type either.

Finally we met a couple vendors who do sails and rigging and got into a good conversation with them. A band set up, and they turned out to be excellent. So it wound up being a lot of red wine for me and a good deal of dancing. A good time was had by all...except for the geriatrics, who went home as soon as the music started, leaving the dance floor to younger locals.

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