February is the heart of “season” here in SWFL. So, this means a lot more traffic both on land and on the water. Fishermen say that the fish patterns change this time of year, because of the water temperature. But, I secretly think the fish are hiding from all the water-bound snowbirds and rental pontoon captains (whom we call rent-a-captains).
I must say, the rent-a-captains provided great fun and entertainment everyday around 4 o’clock, as we sat on the top deck and watched them try to dock the boat after a day of drinking on the water.
African Love Story
February also brought about some pretty fun parties at the marina. One fellow liveaboard at the marina turned 70-years-old, and his wife threw a big party up at the marina’s pool. We had a blast meeting a few other boaters that we didn’t yet know, and getting to know some of the marina staff better.
In fact, one of the marina’s dockhands, Lenny, showed up in an African dashiki, which of course prompted conversation about Tiff’s visit to Ghana, Africa when she was in college.
Apparently, it also confused a few of the people we met that night, which started a rumor that Tiff and I had met in Africa, and had some romantic, safari love story.
(Face-Palm) Yes, there was alcohol involved in the creation of that rumor, however, we have happily adopted that love-story as our own!
At the party, we were also introduced to a new game, “butt darts.” Apparently it’s a Tennessee thing… all the rage, we’ll play when you come visit us. Don’t worry it’s not as painful as it sounds.
Small Boat Things
As if living on the water wasn’t enough… I decided to get a part-time job with Freedom Boat Club, fueling their boats in the mornings. No, I’m serious, that’s my job.
I know, it’s crazy to think that a company hires a person to simply drive boats back and forth to the fuel dock for a couple hours, but that’s exactly what I do.
Hey, it’s counting towards my “sea-time” for when I decide to get my Captain’s license. And, the best part is I get a discounted membership to the boat club as an employee – score!
So, during the first month of membership, Tiff and I took a boat out damn-near every weekend! It was nice to take out smaller boats without the stress and maintenance of even thinking about moving our 26 ton monstrosity of a boat.
We visited Cabbage Key again… had a picnic date by the water tower, talked to the island tortoises, and took in the beautiful scenery, despite the cold weather spell that came mid-February.
Boating Is Life
As if my new job didn’t sound horrible enough, I also made the transition from being a vacation property manager, to being a yacht broker, which means spending even more time on the water. You’d almost begin to think that waking up and going to bed on the water was no longer good enough… I thought boating was supposed to be a hobby, not an entire way of life!?
But it’s true, by February we had gotten used to the boating lifestyle, and the in’s and out’s of quirky boat-life living. For instance, every other Sunday you’ll find our boat in chaotic fashion, as we have laundry hang drying from the hand-rails both inside and outside of the boat.
Overall, we love our crazy, laid-back, yet adventurous way of life… and wouldn’t trade it for anything!