There are so many changes we’ve had to adjust to in the past three weeks, and one of the biggest is the lack of wheels. Many of the small towns along the ICW have a restaurant near a dinghy dock or marina, and maybe a convenience store. But that’s like doing all your grocery shopping at a 7-11. Not only does it get expensive but the selections are very slim, especially healthy choices.
So imagine how excited we were when Wilmington friends Gail and Ron dropped off one of their cars at our marina on Sunday morning.
And not only that, they invited us to stay with them at their condo for a few days thinking that perhaps the wind and the incessant rain would make for wet living at the dock versus cozy living at the condo. We decided it was certainly time for some shore leave. I had been their house guest in Central NC many times from 2004-2006 when Gail and I worked together designing the headquarters for HanesBrands in Winston-Salem, so I knew what gracious hosts they were. Dudley was in for a real treat.
First, we took advantage of that SUV. The shopping list was expanded from mere groceries to shopping for wood to make a sign, hence a trip to Home Depot.
We have been concerned on the ICW that our boat name is not visible enough from the back due to the position of the dinghy and the height of the helm on some of the larger powerboats. So we plan to paint our boat’s name on a piece of wood that will be mounted on the dinghy davits. Yet one more boat project.
Wilmington does not lack for shopping opportunities. Wow! After an afternoon of provisioning, we met Gail and Ron at their condo with our duffel bags in hand. We caught up over dinner at Osteria Cicchetti and ice cream at the local favorite Boombalattis.
Weather predictions for the next day looked even wetter, with up to two inches of rain forecasted. On Monday morning, I texted our sailing buddies who were moored at Carolina Beach and learned they were staying put. So Gail and Ron offered to be Sea Chauffeurs and while Dudley tended to some boat projects, the three of us drove to Carolina Beach in the SUV to provide provisioning mercies to Tyler and Doug.
With wheels, they could get a cell phone fixed, buy healthy food, and answer some yearnings at an ABC store. It was great fun to connect new and old friends, and share some tales over lunch.
We helped the two very appreciative single-handers load up their dinghies, and we bid them farewell.
I wonder when we’ll see them again. But our sails keep crossing, on land and on sea, so who knows?
Once back at the condo, we enjoyed an amazing home-cooked meal and warm friendship.
We are indeed sailors savoring sea chauffeurs at the sea shore! Say that five times fast!