Sunday, May 4, 2014

A good day

Vero Beach, FL
There are days where we just have to get off the boat. You may not have anything planned but you think if you stay one more day on this tub you might start doing stupid stuff, like organizing a workshop or folding your clothes pile. When you are moving it's a different story but being on the hook or a mooring gets to you after a while. With insanity in the wings we decide to hop on the bus and head out to the Environmental Learning Center in Sebastian. Why? I don't know. Nature?

Vero has the free bus system so we took advantage and hopped aboard. We had to change to another bus at the hub. The hub we imagined as a busy bus terminal. The hub is actually a lonely stretch of road in the middle of nowhere near the airport. The Hub also did not have our connecting bus. It was missing. I hailed one of the drivers on a bus and asked him where the bus for Sebastian was. "Comes later!" is all he said and then slammed the door shut in my face as I was asking him when later was. Prick. As a side note here I would like to say that although the bus system is free and all, the drivers have the personality of Dick Cheney at a kids birthday party where he's not allowed to shoot the pinata. Miserable jerks. So all the buses pull out and we look at the schedule again and notice that our bus will be here in about an hour. Awesome.

Remember I mentioned the planes constantly flying over the mooring field? Well, now we are at the airport in the eighty five degree sunshine with the constant buzz of planes overhead and the Piper company testing engines, and it's a LOT LOUDER THAN THE MOORING FIELD! We laughed about our situation and the time flew by. Before you know it we were looking at our bus that just pulled in and went to get in and sit down, but the driver would not open the door and went out for a smoke. We laughed some more and thought what's another fifteen minutes. When we finally boarded we sat in seats that were getting spritzed from the leaky air conditioning system. It felt good, but I kept thinking legionnaires disease. The mist reminded me that we didn't bring any water or food on this little adventure. Deb also forgot to wear a hat and nobody packed sun screen.

We get to our last stop and exit the bus only to realize we have to walk another two miles to the nature center. Wow, this is turning into a test of stamina. The sidewalk went all the way to the center and we had a nice breeze, but no shade. We eventually were walking alongside the Intracoastal waterway and the air cooled slightly. Water, mmm water.

We got to the center, fell through the front door and were greeted by four nice ladies who looked like they just saw homeless people invade their lobby. "Can we help you" was the greeting instead of "Welcome!" so we must have looked special. I can say that chest sweats were prominently displayed across the front of my shirt and it matched the salt stains on my cap. Deb apparently doesn't sweat but she does burn. We were in stark contrast to their starched white polos, shorts and jewelry cooling in the dark air conditioned lobby.

We got our map of the place and were told that the touch pool inside was closed, and the only thing open was the nature trail. The hot f@%king nature trail. Oh, and there were two hundred school kids here today. We just smiled a crooked smile, took the map and went to hit the trail in the sun.

On the way we found a drinking fountain with piss warm water in it, but we drank anyway. Now the two burnt idiots are walking along the wooded trail looking at nothing but mangroves and vultures flying overhead. Not seeing any aquatic wildlife we plodded along in a heat stroked shuffle when a huge Blue Heron flew up and out of the marsh about three feet ahead and scared the stupid out of us! After this we sped it up a bit and returned to the lobby thanking them for their hospitality. We then got interviewed about where we are from and how we like the boat and before you know it we were going to be late for the bus back to the marina.

We took off in a quick walk and just made the bus with about a minute or two to spare. Phew. The only thing I had on my mind now was an ice cold beer in a dark air conditioned bar. Low and behold there was Kelly's Irish Pub along the way. We pulled the stop cord and hobbled across the street to the little bar that looked to me like an oasis of green. We took a seat at the bar and were welcomed with a nice smile by the lovely maiden handing out beers. Deb bandaged her blisters and I chugged a brew. After a few beers and a sandwich we felt much better. Water would have been the wiser choice but I didn't see any tap handles for the stuff.

A guy walks into the bar and grabs a seat next to me after returning a moving dolly to the owner. We make some small talk about weather and sports and stuff and it turns out he has a Rochester connection and is from Boston. We talk about Rochester, the Red Sox and the Bruins. We have a few laughs and then shows some interest in our cruising lifestyle. He has many questions about the boat and the life afloat. He explained to us the use of the moving dolly. He was moving, emptying out his place near the beach and downsizing. His wife of forty some years and he had called it quits. We were wide eyed that after forty some years you couldn't make it work but he explained why.

This communications executive with over fifty thousand employees at his command and a pretty good life going for him had lost his son in the first plane to hit the twin towers. He described his son to us, talking about his accomplishments in his short life and how bright his future was. We listened in sadness as he beamed with pride at his Princeton graduate. We marveled at what his son had achieved in life at such an early age and he was indeed someone special with so much promise. He changed the subject and shared a few more laughs about news items and sailing. Somehow we got on the topic of sailing through New York and he asked when we were there. We mentioned we were there on the tenth anniversary of the tragedy. Our description of the twin beams of light shining into the heavens that night, and the single bright star that shined at the end of the beams gave him a watery smile.

He had to return to his packing and we had to catch a bus. We shook hands and wished each other luck. He took a few steps, looked back, smiled, and said we made his day. A little wave and he was gone. We sat in silence for a bit and then bid Kelly's a goodbye.

One of the many positives about this life is the new and interesting people you meet. We hope that our friend at the pub knows how much he made our day special as well.



  1. A great ending to your day!!!

    Love, Robin

  2. Great story! There are good people everywhere with interesting stories to tell when we take the time to listen! I believe you were all meant to be at Kelly's at that moment in time. Had the events of the day gone differently, this "chance" meeting might never had happened and how sad that would have been!

  3. Blue Angels overhead this coming weekend.