I have said before that our lives became more social than ever once we became sailors. Granted, our cruising career is still young, however, we have overwhelmingly found that since we moved aboard our boat we have met tons of people and had a relatively full social calender to spend time with all these great people we were meeting. It has been one of our favorite aspects of the boating lifestyle. People have more time for each other, and are more open. Spontaneous encounters become the norm.
But we are sadly not finding that type of situation here in St. Augustine. As great of a town as this is, we are becoming weary of feeling like loners here. Most of the sailors who come through here stay for only a few days, stopping to re-provision, sightsee a little, and then head out. There are a few other liveaboards here, and most of them either live at one of the marinas (that we have so far deemed too expensive for our wee budget), or they are even more marginal than we are, leading an “on the edge” lifestyle that we don’t really aspire to.
The “locals” of St. Augustine are friendly enough, and we are starting to recognize a few people that we can say hi to on the street, but we have not yet found a group of people to hang out with or do things with. We have no one here to call if we need help. Interacting with the landlubber social scene seems to usually involve a motorized wheeled vehicle of some sort, which has prevented us from attending some things that may have helped us make friends.
We did, however, just get ourselves some wheels. Capt K needed a way to get to his new temp job, which is 20 miles away. He found a used scooter on Craigslist, and so we scraped together some money and got it, figuring that it would not only be transportation for him to get to work, it would expand our social horizons! And, when we do decide to leave St. Augustine, we can just sell it and get our money back. But so far we have just been going to work and coming back to the boat, too tired at the end of the day to rev up the energy for going out. Now that he is working full time in a cubicle during the day, and I work an erratic restaurant schedule that involves lots of nights and weekends, it is becoming tougher and tougher for us to even find the time to go out together and do things so that we can meet people.
We are finding this situation quite depressing. We are social people, and we need a social life! We miss our friends, and are missing many of the things (hobbies, space, etc) we let go of in order to be on this boat. We are starting to feel a bit like “slaves to the system” again now that we are both working full time. It’s not that we don’t want to work, but we want to find a way to do it that doesn’t completely sap the life out of us. I guess the quest goes on to find the right combination of variables for the Way Happy life.