Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Reflecting on Swiss Time

Hiking with the kids and Presley.

Long before I found the boat, long before I found the Florida job, my brother and his family invited me to visit them in Switzerland. It was great fun to hang out with them and hike around the Alps. Of course, going from sea level to hiking at 6000 feet can almost kill a crusty old truck driver. Besides hiking, we went to a water park in the Italian part of Switzerland, went to a park with rope bridges and various swinging things on a trail through the trees, went to a concert, and I ate more cheese and chocolate in a week than I had in the previous couple years. Thanks, DT’s!!

It was also good to finally be able to take a deep breath and evaluate what was going on in my life. Nine hours each way in a plane will help you do that. When I came to Florida I had a new-to-me boat in Miami, a storage unit and a seasonal job hauling sod in Fort Pierce, where I wanted to eventually keep the boat. It all seemed to fit together so well.  

Crewing on Alex’s W42 down the East Coast last spring, we ended up at the Riverside Marina in Fort Pierce. Ironically, I had picked out that very marina on the web. My original plan with the Michigan boat was to sail out and down the coast to spend a few months in the Bahamas, and then backtrack to Florida and Riverside Marina(!) to find a job and do some boatwork. Riverside Marina is where I hope to keep Emma, my Westsail 32; as soon as I can get her there.

So, I’ve been here since mid February, hip deep in ‘sod season’ and running so hard that I’ve only seen my boat a few times. I bought new batteries, an inflatable dinghy and an outboard engine. The batteries finally made it to Emma - just two weekends ago. Hopefully, they haven’t completely self discharged. Twice I drove more than two hours to Miami just to pay for my mooring ball and peak at the boat from the bayfront.

Truthfully, I always have a Plan B. And even though the sod company might have kept me on, I had been keeping track of employment opportunities in Fort Pierce, and in Miami where the boat still lies. When I found a trucking gig that was 7 days on and 7 off, I simply had to take the opportunity.  Staying true to my boat project occasionally means making tough decisions. I was working for a good little company, but I never intended to get pulled into a six days a week schedule. There was no malice and I have no hard feelings but, just the same, it is an unforgivable sin that I haven’t been able to work on my boat.  

I started the new gig last Monday.

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