Kraken Up

Sunday March 3, 2013

I know I said a few weeks ago that if we were still here for March’s First Friday Art Walk, that I would burn the boat down. In my defense though, I had not thought through that the first day of the month would be a Friday. So here it is on March 3rd, and Serendipity is still standing. I guess I will just have to eat my words and keep her structurally standing. But with how cold it has been this past weekend, highs hovering around 50, low’s just entering freezing, and winds howling outside, we probably could have used the heat from a good fire. Luckily our little heater managed to keep us just warm enough, and we realized we were still far better off than our days down the ICW with the same kinds of temperatures, sleeping as close as we could get to each other and wearing four layers of clothes, just to keep warm. Even now though, when temperatures drop below freezing and I can see the cloud of my breath in the air, I will always wear flip flops while traipsing the few hundred yards to the bathroom and back. Maybe the sight of the few lone palm trees buried in with the deciduous ones across the street that remind me that I’m in Florida and not Michigan, because in Florida it’s never too cold to wear flip flops.

Today was still one of those days where the temperature was just a little too low and the winds were just a little too high to get any productive work out of us. Instead we each settled into our own settee dressed in sweatpants and fleeces, taking advantage of the Internet access that we won’t be having for much longer. Being a Sunday there were no workers in the yard, and since we seem to be the only people on our side of the yard living aboard, we usually have the run of the place on weekends. Which is why it was strange, while perusing Cruiser’s Forum and other blogs, that we should hear a few voices that sounded like they were just outside our boat. Sometimes the woman with a small day sailor behind ours will come out to work on it on the weekend, so for a moment we thought it might be her, although it seemed strange that she’d want to come out during such blustery conditions.

The voices continued to grow and begin sounding like they were coming from directly next to our boat. Again, it seemed like something we could brush off since sometimes owners that had their boat at the marine center would stroll the yard and admire other boats. We had done it when we first arrived, and we had met a few other boaters in the yard when they’d come to check out our boat. The strange part came when we heard a ruckus outside that sounded very near our boat. Like someone was climbing up a ladder near our stern. It’s fine when people walk around the boat to give it a look, but if they were about to climb aboard to check it out, that’s another story. Really curious about this noise now, I got up off the settee and tentatively climbed up the steps, slightly pulling back at the sliding glass on the companionway and just letting my eyes peer out. Sure enough, there was a woman that looked to be my age, teetering on a step ladder right off our stern.

Still thinking it was a curious wanderer that did not know the etiquette that you never step aboard someone’s boat without their permission*, I was all set to give her a mouthful, but lost my nerve. Having her not see me yet, I slid back down below and whispered to Matt, “There’s someone climbing up our stern.”. I expected him to pick up the slack where I had dropped it, going out and yelling for them to get off our property, since he’s much better at being an authoritative person than I am. (Remember our anchor dispute back in Beaufort?) He climbed the steps and stuck his head out as well, but instead of yelling, he issued a polite greeting. Some conversation ensued after this, and left me still below, scratching my head. What was going on out there? For the second time in one week, I had to go check out these strange new visitors for myself.

Climbing out in sweats and unwashed hair, not how I normally look when I’m expecting visitors, I found out that the stranger was actually a friend of a very good friend of ours, sent on a courrier mission. Angie was the girlfriend of Jeremie, who is best friends with our friends Jackie and Ron back home. When they found out that she’d be passing through St. Augustine on business, they called in a huge favor to her to stop by our boat with a little present: Kraken spiced rum and Skittles. The first time I had ever been introduced to Kraken was on Jackie & Ron’s boat last summer, and their going away present to us was a bottle to take with us on our travels. Having gone through most of it during our Frankenstorm party with the invention of the Frankenstorm drink, I had always kept enough left in the bottle for when they were to come visit us in the Bahamas. But our unfortunate accident not only kept us from meeting up with Jackie & Ron in the Bahamas, but had actually tipped over our bottle of Kraken and drained out the remaining few shots. Although there had been lots of offers by them to have a new bottle sent to us in the yard, I said I would not accept a new bottle unless it was handed to me personally. I was intending this to mean that they either needed to make a spur of the moment sixteen hour drive across the country to see us in St. Augustine, or that they made sure to book tickets (much closer to the visit date this time) in whatever tropical location we happened to be in the next winter.

I was not expecting it to be hand delivered by a friend passing through town, but I still wasn’t about to turn down the gift. We chatted with Angie and her friend for a few minutes and thanked her profusely for making the side trip over to visit us, before the cold had everyone running back to their warm shelters, her the rental car, and us the salon. It wasn’t until I was talking to Jackie online shortly after Angie left, to also thank her profusely for the gift, that I found out the whole thing was orchestrated just that morning. Just to bring a smile to our faces and with no expectation of anything in return. Can I just say that we have the best friends in the world?


*Angie, it’s completely fine for you to step on our boat, especially if you’re bringing us booze or candy.

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