Vero Beach FL, ICW
Posted by Bill
Yesterday we met a young lady on the bus that is on an Island Packet sailboat like ours, named Simple Life. Different model, but for the most part the same. Being an Island Packet owner helps make a connection right away with other owners. Some say it is a cult, but it is just a common bond that sparks new relationships. After exchanging contact information, Joe and Michele invited us over for “sundowners” on their boat. This is the first invitation we have received since we left our old home port on Lake Erie. For those who don’t know, “sundowners” is a common term to enjoy the sunset while enjoying cocktails and Hors d’Oeuvres, whether by yourself or with others. It is a common cruiser practice, but we haven’t met anyone yet who invited us and we were not sure of the correct protocol for initiating it.
Proper protocol also suggests that you bring your own cocktails and an appetizer or Hors d’Oeuvre, with your own glasses and ice. We get that, because it is so much more difficult to prepare food, wash dishes and make ice on a boat, that you don’t want to add a burden to your gracious host. We went prepared and spent a few hours getting to know them. We REALLY enjoyed it. They have been cruising for several years and we learned a lot from our conversations, as well as laughing about the challenges we all face in this this lifestyle. We hope to have many more sundowners with Joe and Michele.
This morning we got on shore early to catch the bus to the grocery and liquor store. Yesterday’s experience in the grocery store was crazy…Christmas rush and all, and we cut it short to spare our sanity. Today we kicked ass by getting up early and finishing our shopping. Then we came back to the boat and waited for the pump out boat.
The pump out boat comes to your boat and pumps out your holding tank. Normally you have to do this at the fuel dock. We signed up as the boat only comes on Tuesday and Thursday, and Thursday being Christmas Day, they are not operating. The pump out boat starts at 1:00 PM in the south mooring field and works it’s way north. They don’t specify a time and if you are not at your boat, you get skipped. We needed a pump out so we were at the boat all afternoon. It came at the last minute before leaving for our get together with Joe and Michele, but we are waste free.
This year we are planning to attend the Christmas cruisers potluck here at the marina, which will be fun, but we are missing the normal get togethers that we traditionally had each year with friends and family. It is very different.