Monday, February 05, 2007


Vero Beach

The last few days have been cold and uncomfortable. At least by Florida standards. The daytime temperatures have been in the 50s, they sky is gray and rainy and it has been windy. Therefore we have been doing more indoor activities.

We had dinner with Bob from the vessel Wing and A Prayer. Bob is an arborist from New Hampshire. Bob and his friend Rodney sailed down to Vero from Portland Maine on a Bristol 26. They left Main more than two months later than we did, so they had a cold and stormy trip down, but they managed OK. Rodney had to return north and we hear that the temperature was below zero when his plane landed.

I never met an arborist before. I love the sound of that word -- arborist. Bob works for outfits like Davy Tree Services, pruning or removing trees. It sounds like the perfect job for someone who wants to work outdoors. In any case, Bob is the only sailor I know who carries a fifteen foot pruning saw, and a chain saw on a 26 foot sailboat. He is hoping to pick up short term arborist jobs in Florida to help fill his kitty.

This trip was Bob and Rodney's first voyage in the open sea. Bob said that he talked with his father by phone. Bob's father is a long term sailor, and he asked, "So what have you learned?" That sounds like a fatherly kind of question. Bob's answer was a good one. He said, "I learned humility and respect for nature. When you are alone out at sea you understand what an insignificant little spec you are.

We also had dinner on Blue Topaz with our new friends Terry and Reggie. The four of us are enjoying each other's company. After dinner I started a debate about Googlezon, whether or not that is the future destiny of news in the western world. (Googlezon is a startlingly prescient visions of the future. At least some people think so here. and here.)

Terry is a professional photographer, so she has a vested interest in such topics. We had a lively debate on the topic for a couple of hours. I played the role of spokesman for the younger generations who would embrace Googlezon even though the idea upsets me as it would anyone of our age. After, Reggie treated us to an oral recitation of a short story he wrote. My first instinct was correct, Reggie not only writes well but his voice is like Garrison Keillor's, and it is a treat to sit back and listen to him tell stories.

We also met Charles on the vessel Seawoof. Charles lives on board with his (very small) dog. He has been stuck in Vero for almost two years repairing what he says was extensive damage from the hurricaines. His dog barks whenever he sees dolphins swimming nearby and the dog jumps out of the dinghy to chase dolphins in the water whenever he sees them. Luckily for the dog, he doesn't jump off Seawoof to chase dolphins. If he did he wouldn't be able to get back on board.

Tomorrow, we are flying my sister Marilyn down here and we are taking her to Disney world. Therefore, from Tuesday to Saturday we are going to be sleeping on the hard. It has been a long time since we did that.

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