Friday December 21, 2012
Although the yard has now shut down until after the new year (not a big deal for us since the insurance company still hasn’t approved our claim yet), they decided to shut down with a celebration. A little cook-out with grilling and drinks that we had just found out about the day before the party, to be held for employees and anyone like us that’s stuck in the yard for the holidays. The party started and noon and went until ‘question mark’, usually once the beer runs out, so we used the morning to run errands since once we get settled in the afternoon it’s hard to force ourselves to do anything. We got back just as the tables were getting set up and waiting on the boat for a few minutes until we could be a few minutes fashionably late we made our way over to the masses. The grill was fired up but the first round of burgers and dogs had already been passed around so we found the beer cooler in the back and made some conversation with a few of the employees that have been helping us along since we’ve been here.
When the next round of food was ready we filled our plates and placed ourselves along the long picnic table between other cruisers in the yard. One of the women sitting next to us we had just met a few minutes earlier as we had scouted out the beer cooler together and then for a bottle opener as both her and I seem to have taste for beers without twist off caps. Sitting at the table we also had the chance to meet her husband who I’m pretty sure is actually Jeff Bridges since he looked and sounded exactly like him, but was just going as another alias to try and lead a life out of the spotlight. (I’m onto you ‘Marshall’, aka ‘The Dude’) As we told them the sob story of how and why we were stuck in the boat yard in the first place they countered it with an even worse story of how their catamaran ended up on some nasty rocks where it stayed for a few days until multiple towing attempts were able to get it off. Their boat survived and after a year of extensive repairs to the hull they were back on their way again. I can’t remember if that was before or after they were de-masted off the coast of North Carolina, but it seems they have worse luck than we do and each time they just pick up the pieces and keep moving on.
One other thing we learned from them was how easy it is to become stuck in a boat yard for long periods of time. Any boater knows that you can expect most projects to take at least three times as long as you originally expect them to. Things never go as smoothly as you wish them to in your mind, they’re more labor intensive than you think, you don’t have the parts you need, and usually one project breeds at least two new ones. We’re hoping that because professionals will be doing the work on Serendipity that we won’t run into some of those issues, but on the flip side, The Dude warned us that when someone else is working on your boat you’re on their schedule. And you may not always be at the top of their list. No one here at the marine center has made us feel yet that this would be the case with us, but let’s just hope that once work starts we get a speedy recovery.
The party was a big hit and while there we gorged ourselves on more hamburgers, hot dogs, oyster, pie and beer than we’d normally eat in a few days. True to my prediction, people started disbanding as soon as the cooler began to empty, and true to our holiday traditions, just like thanksgiving, we closed the place down and continued to sit around with drinks in our hands as the mess around us was cleaned up. This time we did help some things get into the trash though, so I don’t feel quite as bad as last time. Then standing in the hot Florida sun (nicest day we’ve had here so far) we continued our conversation with our new friends until our beers were empty and we parted ways. Getting anything else productive done for the rest of the afternoon was not going to happen so I got online to tell my friends Merry Christmas and I love them (‘Cause if you can’t say it at Christmas, when can you, eh?’) before passing out for a spectacular afternoon nap.
Waking up the next morning I found that the world did not end, but I’m pretty sure hell had frozen over. It had gone from sunny and mid 70′s the day before to overcast and 50. One of the things we had made sure to pick up the day before while out and about was getting a small space heater for the boat. We currently had a camping heater that runs off those little green cans of propane, but a can only lasted a few hours and it could become very expensive keeping ourselves warm over the winter while constantly having to refill them. So instead our new heater plugs in to any AC outlet and has been doing a fantastic job of heating up the boat.
And what does one do on the day the world is supposed to end? Well, if you didn’t know, there’s supposed to be a time that goes along with the date, 11:11 am, so when that came and went I tried to think in terms of time zones, but it wasn’t looking likely that I was going to perish in two hours either. So I sat at my ‘desk’ with cat on lap and tried to get some work done. Coffee was made to stave off the cold, but it was obvious that we weren’t going to be going into the cold that day, just another day hanging around Serendipity in the boat yard. ‘Summer vacation’ continues and each day we keep wishing we’ll get to the point when school will start again. Or that summer vacation will be bathing suit and beach weather and it would be easier to force ourselves outside. Maybe warm weather would also force us to be more productive on the boat as it always seems easier to pick up a project when the sun is shinning and a nice breeze is blowing through the hatch. It looks like we’ll have plenty of time though, to find out what will force us out of our lazy lifestyle and give Serendip all the care and work that she needs. Or we can continue to sit around and wait for the zombie apocalypse to bring us down since the Mayans apparently got it wrong.