The Value of Making Friends
Updated: Jan 16, 2019
I have to admit that there is one good thing about being stuck at a marina – you see a lot of people, and if you’re lucky, make great friends. We met our first ‘cruiser friends’ back in Atlantic City. Sharon and Mike travel aboard Monarch and they had spent the summer in Maine and at the time, were heading back to their home port in Selby Bay, Maryland to spend some time before heading south to Florida for the winter. They pulled in ahead of us at the marina to wait out the weather and invited us aboard for some coffee and a chat. They have done a lot of cruising around the East Coast, and had even lived for a few years in The Bahamas and the Caribbean so they were full of awesome stories. Due to our engine issues, they ended up leaving a couple days sooner than we could depart Atlantic City, but when we pulled up to the anchorage in Cape May, we saw them again. Since the next day was poor weather again, we had a wonderful dinner aboard Monarch and they offered that once we got near Selby Bay, they would be happy to take us around. As with everyone, their boat surpassed ours in speed once we got going again but we did take them up on their offer as we cruised down the Chesapeake and had one final dinner in Selby Bay. We still text back and forth periodically, hoping to meet up again at some further port down the line.
While here in Beaufort, we were lucky enough to meet a bunch of new people who are pretty awesome. First of all, we met Sara and Nick aboard Borealis and although we didn’t get the chance to hang out, we have been messaging a bit in Instagram and we have been following their journey closely as they hop outside a lot. We met Tony, a liveaboard at Town Creek Marina who runs a charter business in the summer. He’s been down to the Bahamas a lot so was telling us what to keep an eye out for, and what to expect. He even drove me in to town one day so I could send some paperwork through UPS.
With an upcoming storm, two catamarans came in for shelter as well; one was captained by Wil and Kayla and the other by DJ and Tenika and their friend and kids. Kayla and Wil are based in Key West but are delivery captains so they were taking this brand new Fountaine Pajot from Annapolis to Florida for a boat show. They were really cool and had great advice. We hung out with them quite a bit and they even called us while in the middle of their 4 night passage to offer assistance with our transmission.
DJ and Tenika are a young couple with two small kids and they are travelling with a friend aboard their catamaran, Island Girl, from New Hampshire to the Bahamas. DJ actually spent a couple of years down there aboard the same model cat as a kid so he gave us tons of good info about the Bahamas, fishing, and boating in general. Before they left, they gave us an ipad and a spare heater, both of which have been lifesavers! He has been a continual help to us, even video chatting with us to troubleshoot our outboard issues.
The last people we met in Beaufort were Tom and Cynthia aboard Sparidae. To confirm that this world is so small, Tom lived on and off at Constitution Marina for years, but not overlapping with our stay there. He actually moved his boat back to CM on September 1st, the day before we began our trip from there! We had followed each other on Instagram and so when they pulled in to Town Creek to anchor, they saw us and reached out. They dinghyed over and we went for dinner with them the next night. They are another couple we have been in close contact with as they are a bit ahead of us and have been willing to share their experiences about the places we are coming up to.
Meeting other people (especially ones our age) is so invigorating and cool to see. We have a different perspective than the retirement cruisers and a fresh sense of adventure. All the cruisers we meet have been enormously helpful, very friendly, and have some pretty cool stories. It is easy to spend an hour or two just listening to them and gleaning their knowledge. We hope that one day we’ll be the old salts telling the youngins all our stories!