One month without driving did not calm Dave's road rage. He thinks it is his job to let every idiot driver know they are an idiot. I strongly believe living on a sailboat is going to prolong his life.
We hit the water running this morning with a list of places to go and things to do with a 24 hour car rental. The rental company did not have the same enthusiasm about an early start. We chose Enterprise because they offer to pick you up. Dave called them shortly after 8:00 and they told him they were headed to Ft Myers Beach right now. I go shower, thinking he would finalize paperwork and be back in no time. After my shower, he was still waiting. They ended up with a car load, then forgot him. So it ended up being about 10:00 before we signed the dotted line.
When he returned with the car, he had to dinghy back to the boat to get some things we wanted to put in storage for now and a propane tank to fill. Dave dropped me off at Walmart for an adjustment on my glasses while he filled the propane tank.
After lunch we were off to Tampa. It was about a 90 minute drive, but took us 3 days by boat. We needed to pick up an anchor at Island Nautical, formerly JSI. We thought we were going to have them do our canvas work, so Dave ordered the anchor through them to save shipping. And now we spent money on a car rental and gas. Who knew. Island Nautical had a small retail shop with their company. So we picked up a few other boat items while we were there. Everyone was very friendly and wanted to shake our hands. They were confused about whether our anchor had arrived, but Dave had been told it was there. Then they proceeded to tell us that everyone in the place has been sick with the flu or cold over the past 2 weeks and filling in for each other where needed. So we immediately used their restroom to wash our hands. They gave us a tour of their facility and someone was even wearing a mask.
It was pretty cool to see a sail loft, where they actually make sails. There was a huge floor space where material can be laid out. They showed us where they make masts, rigging and do upholstery. Quite the operation. Luckily, we didn't run into the guy that ignored us about our canvas work. I didn't want to tell him face to face that we were going with a different company. They have contracts with about 3 major boat companies to do all their sails, so maybe the little person like us gets lost in the shuffle.
No time to explore Tampa. We're back on the Interstate and heading to Cape Coral. It's now after 4:00 and we are invited to dinner at the Killion's. We get to Cape Coral, go by our storage unit to drop off some things and make room in the car to pick up packages that have been sent to the Killion's.
We had a lovely dinner and always enjoy their friendship. Jackie asked us if we were hungry for anything. Dave said "just some of her great home cooking." She made a spaghetti pie, which Dave tried to eat half of. We'll definitely try that at home. It is a simple version of lasagna or manicotti. After dinner, it was like Christmas. We opened about 8 packages of boat parts, got rid of the excess packaging, loaded up and headed back to the boat about 9:00. We stopped at Publix to pick up some heavier and bulkier items that we didn't want to carry on the bus. So it was about 10:30 when we got back to the dock. We loaded up the dinghy with half the things and decided to get the rest in morning. But once we were at the boat, Dave decided to go back for the rest so we wouldn't be rushed in the morning. I sent garbage bags for him to put the paper towels and toilet paper in. I could just see them getting wet on the floor of the dingy. Things we had never thought of before. What a full day!
The car was parked in a lot that started charging $2.00/hour at 9:00. So about 8:30 Friday morning, we hopped in the dinghy to take the car back. We made one more trip to Walmart for one more adjustment with my glasses and to pick up a few things we didn't have time to shop for yesterday. It takes 3 buses to get to Walmart without a car. I'm sure that would be an all day adventure if one bus took me 3 hours of travel and waiting time to go to church. We also stopped by Top Stitch, the company that is giving us an estimate for our canvas work. It was in the area of the car rental, so we thought it might be nice to put some faces to names, theirs and ours.
We were glad to be back to the boat and back to a slower pace to life (for awhile). Dave was anxious to get started on some boat projects with all the new parts he received. We happened to pick up a local newspaper. So later that afternoon, I read through the paper and found some fun things happening in the area. We have been in the Ft Myers area for a week and I was anxious to do something off of the boat besides laundry, groceries and church. I figured working on the boat can happen Monday through Friday. I have always been the more social one. I just don't have my girlfriends here to play with.
Dave happened to talk to our friend Richard around 6:00pm. He said they are the same way. He could just spend forever at anchor, but Tracy wants to see what's happening on shore. Richard told Dave that I should fly to SD to help with Ski for Light, which is starting Sunday. I have been a SFL volunteer for most of the past 24 years guiding a visually impaired person cross country skiing for a week. So he hung up, we talked it over. I called my sister who recently moved to Oklahoma and has also been volunteering for about 10 years. And within a couple hours, 4 girlfriends have called to try to talk us into going, and we both have flights booked. Now do you think I'll be able to sleep?
It will probably be 2-3 weeks before I post another blog page. Then I will update people on what Dave accomplishes while I am gone. And I will post one blog about Ski for Light. I am looking forward to seeing my friends in Rapid City and especially our son, Pete.
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