Happy New Year everyone!!
Even though we have adventurous lives as travelers, as far as New Year’s parties go, we are pretty boring. We didn’t really do much for New Year’s Eve, although the town’s festivities were all around us and we could see some of the fireworks displays from our boat. We strolled downtown and had a drink at our favorite bar, the Taverna del Gallo, and then enjoyed some romantic time together on our boat. Life is good.
I did, however, do one quite unusual thing yesterday. I mentioned awhile back that I have been scheming a costume in order to perform in the streets as a human statue. This is something I’ve done over the last few years for events and parties, but this is the first time I’ve done it on my own as a street performer. St. Augustine seemed like a great place to try it out, as it is teeming with tourists, so I had a costume made by some great people I met at the Farmer’s Market, and went out in it for the first time yesterday. I was very well received and people loved it. And the money wasn’t bad either, so I was pleased with it. People are so amazed that I can just stand still and not move, but compared to a lot of other things, standing still seems pretty easy to me.
Over the last month, we have been moving around to various places in the harbor trying to find the best place to anchor. This isn’t a really great anchorage, and the best places to be have all been taken up by the mooring fields that were installed by the City Marina a few years ago in an effort to discourage people from anchoring. We have spent a few weeks paying for a mooring ball, but since we are still really short on cash, we have opted at least for now to be on our own ground tackle. We just pay the marina a small fee to use the dinghy dock and facilities.
Aside from the relentless 4 knot current that reverses 4 times every 24 hours, and the cannons shooting in the direction of our boat several times a day, we have settled into a fairly calm routine here in the anchorage, with Way Happy being our wee floating home rather than traveling adventure vessel. We are working folks now, after all, with jobs and schedules just like all the landlubbers. There is still some minor excitement, though, that differs a bit from what you might experience in a house on land. For example, a few days ago Capt K and I were relaxing in the cabin with a glass of wine when the boat lurched so violently and suddenly that I honestly thought we had just been hit by a speedboat. I jumped up and looked out the companionway to see the mast of Wee Wee Delilah, my new sailing dinghy, lurch up and almost into the cockpit of Way Happy. The only boat we could see was a large fishing boat roaring off under the bridge. It had created a tidal wave sized wake that was similar in effect to an earthquake. Since we are anchored near the edge of the channel where there is a lot of boat traffic, we have been rocked by passing boats on a regular basis and are pretty used to it now, but this was an entirely new magnitude of power. Capt K got on the radio and scolded the guy, who seemed oblivious to his effect on us.
One of the much more charming aspects of living on a boat in an anchorage is the fact that we have an ever changing cast of international travelers for neighbors. A few days ago we woke up to find to our great shock a fabulously gorgeous 130 foot long schooner style tall ship with 3 huge masts right next to our boat. This is not the kind of boat you normally see around here, or anywhere for that matter. It was anchored right in the middle of the channel, where boats normally wait for the Bridge of Lions to open so they can continue south. We initially thought they must be waiting for the bridge opening, but on studying the size of the ship closer, we decided it looked too wide to pass through the bridge. And indeed, the bridge opened and closed while the schooner continued to just sit there in the middle of the channel. What was it doing there? Who on Earth owns a marvelous boat like this? We speculated and wondered and gawked until finally we consulted the knowledge guru who we call the Google- gi, who informed us that this boat (called the Peacemaker) is owned by the religious group known as the Twelve Tribes. We have been introduced to this group before, as they have communities all over the world and one of them happened to be right down the road from where we used to live. This group owned and operated our favorite cafe and we went there often and were always impressed with how nice the Twelve Tribe members were. Apparently they use their magnificent ship to transport members of the Twelve Tribes to and from their different communities, and as education program for the youth. Capt’n K overheard some discussion in the marina lounge and found out they stopped in St. Augustine because of engine problems. They anchored right in the middle of the channel because the boat is so huge there was no where else nearby that is deep enough for them to go. They were here for a day, and then disappeared in the night. Darn, we were hoping for a tour of the boat!
In other news, Capt K has found work. Volunteer work, at least. He is spending time with a sailmaker helping out with sail repairs and learning about the art of sailmaking. I guess you could say he is apprenticing with him, although it is not quite that official. The man he is working with is a super nice guy and a really good person to know, as he is very well plugged into the sailing community here and is already starting to make all kinds of helpful connections for Capt K. It is a great place for him to be hanging out, and he is learning some valuable skills.
My waitressing job at the Cuban restaurant is going well. They are super happy to have me around, as the last few weeks have been so busy they can barely keep up. The other night the restaurant was so packed we ran out of food and had to close early! I love the people I work with, and even though waitressing is hard work, I enjoy being there. But I have been so busy working this week that I haven’t even had time to take my new toy boat out!
That’s the news for now, and in closing, I would like to share with you a random weird photo of a fish we saw in the Lightner Museum goldfish pond. 10 points to anyone who knows what kind of strange fish this is.