The next day after arriving back home, we returned to Madge to unload all the items we would need during our extended stay ashore, or which we didn’t want to leave on the boat. We knew we would not be cruising again until at least the end of February. In the meantime, our schedule included Mom’s funeral, a trip to visit family in Arizona, the Saint Marys Cruisers Thanksgiving event, and a number of family visits around Christmas. After our experiences earlier this year, we knew we didn’t want to spend January and February trying to cruise — the weather was too uncomfortable. So, if we were going out again in the spring, it would be around the first of March. It took half a dozen trips from the boat to the dock to unload our clothes, linens, and food items, which while not technically “perishable,” would go stale in the interim. By the time we were finished, we had a nice pile of stuff in the guest room of our house. We won’t be hosting any overnight visitors for a while.
We had arranged with Matt and Jan of Checked Out to meet them for lunch on Saturday in Fernandina Beach. We took them to the Salty Pelican, just across the street from the Fernandina Harbor Marina, and one of our favorite places to eat in Fernandina. We had a leisurely lunch, then walked several blocks down Centre Street, checking out the shops and galleries along the way. As we walked, we talked, and shared each other’s histories, getting to know each other better. We talked about the places they would pass on their way south to Palm Beach, and gave them our impressions of the route from our passage earlier this year. By the time the sun started to approach the horizon, we were about talked out. It was time for Suzy and me to head back to Saint Marys. We traded blog addresses and contact info. Matt and Jan are the last of the cruisers we’ve met on the water during our first year. We’ve been told by other cruisers that your first year friends will always be special. Hopefully, we’ll get a chance to see each other again, sometime, somewhere.