Re: Finger Lakes,NY to Key West,Fl.
We have internet ! For the last couple days we've had no internet and very limited celular service. But Today we have both, go figure.
Sunday I checked the weather and Decided to motor sail to Smith Island,MD. I don't care for motoring at all, particularly in any body of water larger than a canal as the motion of the vessel when motoring is unpleasant, particularly when in any chop or waves.
We made this decision to motor sail due in large part to the fact that there didn't seem to be anything in particular in Solomons Is. that grabbed our attention.Essentially, there wasn't anything to do there.
We'd seen the calverton Museum and that seems to have been the highlight of the area. Apparently the oter 3-4 sailboats that came into the anchorage felt the same way as they all departed early sunday morning, even though the forcast was for an opposing wind.
We had an uneventful motorsail to Smith Island,MD. A place we have come to in years past. Upon arrival , due to the recent Storm Sandy, we were not certain what we would find and presumed we would anchor in one of the many cuts within the Island if dockage was not available or taken up.
We found that the docks and many of the crab shacks and homes had suffered varying degrees of damage.
So we pulled into the smith Island Marina and promptly knocked on the door of the bed and breakfast that ajoins it and were initially welcomed with warm greetings and open arms. As it was about sunset and we were weary from the trip we retired early and had a nice rest dockside.
The next morning we spoke w/ the proprietors "Pauli and Steven" and caught up on the happenings at the island and the extent of the damage they had, which was minimal, alot of scattered shingles and debris ; water intrusion was fortunately the extent of it, how fortunate.
She "Pauli" asked us if we were planning on staying for a while or moving on quickly, we said we had an open schedule and were in "No Hurry" to which she said maybe we could stay for a few weeks in exchange for helping w/ clean-up around the Marina and re-roofing the back roof which had been leaking for some time and was further damaged by the storm.
We said that could work for us ,as we enjoyed the Island and it would be nice to be able to spend some time here.
This day was Veterans day and everyone on the Island was even more laid back than usual, if that's possible, so we got blue crabs and enjoyed ourselves.
That evening we saw "Pauli" again and she seemed distressed , said it was due to the storm and dealing w/ Mema/Fema and they were going to claim damages and try to get a low interest lone due to the storm, and that paperwork was not her thing and it was troublesome. She seemed not herself , but we attributed it to the storm and stress.
We didn't give it a second thought and went on visiting aquaintences on the Island and sightseeing.
The next day , However, we checked in with "pauli" , as "Steve" was no where to be found. And she was acting quite odd, That's when she told us that we could no longer stay at the Marina as they were going to make a claim w/ Mema/Fema for total loss of bussiness (her words) and that if they came and saw anyone at the dock then they couldn't claim the extent of loss they wanted to. And that we weren't being thown out, we just had to leave (Huh?).
Wow, what a suprise. Oddly that day I had visited a former aquaintence and life long resident of the Island . When I told him where we were docked he commented that I needed to "get out of there" and we needed to find another dock.
I laughed and said no, we were fine what's the problem? that's when he told me that they have done this to sailors/boaters in the past. even taking there money , or having them perform maintenence or repairs at there facility promising to rent them dockage then throwing them out. I have to admit I thought it untrue. Until that night when "Pauli" did just that to us!
Then as I looked around for another dock and talked to other people on the Island they all were well aware of the practice and even introduced us to others that had been "evicted" after paying for dockage or performing repair services in exchange for dockage. She even posted on her facebook sight that we told her we wouldn't pay for dockage, a blatent lie. As I would never refuse to pay for services recieved in cash or kind. Although always willing to barter I also am prepared and capable of paying CASH.
It's not like we're Homeless, we're just cruising.
A wild and strange turn of events. The good part is we easily found dockage thanks in large part to the assistence and caring of the community and the local Pastor (thanks Paster Rick) and are happily docked and enjoying the Island.
I even have met many new friends here and we still think it is a great place to visit.
onward and upward.