Alone? Not Quite! (Day 135)


Where is Many Moons now? People want to know! When we last checked in with Skipper Jeff, he was saying good-bye to Tom, who spent more than a week on board. Since then, Jeff has been alone at a small marina/campground on the Caloosahatchee River, Florida.

Well, not quite alone! Jeff has a way of meeting people easily. You know the type…those who interact effortlessly with passers-by. (That’s not me, by the way.) In the style of our rural upbringing, this is called “visiting.” It’s a thing. A goal, even. When I was young, we “went visiting” in homes — but in the boating society, it usually happens on docks. Jeff’s visitors at this marina are other boaters, and nearby campers. They drive him to stores and join him on walks around the campground. When I call for a check-in, he’s usually talking to someone.

So don’t worry about Skipper Jeff being left alone. Besides, he’s the man who built an off-the-grid cabin in the woods. He can handle being alone, if it comes to that.

Quick recap: I left the boat on Thanksgiving Day. On that same day, Tom and Jeff made a 90-mile crossing of the Gulf of Mexico – and we are thankful that went well, though they first endured about five hours of rough seas. They then sprinted (practically) hundreds of miles south, down the west coast of Florida to Fort Myers, then east about 15 miles to a small inland campground at the W.P. Franklin Lock. That’s where Jeff remains, now entering his 2nd week alone in port. When not “visiting,” he’s immersing himself in boat maintenance. Checking the impellers. Staining the woodwork again. Cleaning the engine water strainers. Etc.

It’s not all work and visiting. He’s taken out the dinghy for fun, too. It was his first time on this trip doing so with the oars, not the motor, which pleased me since that was “my thing” during four months on board. (There’s something about rowing a little dinghy. It’s “old-school.” Satisfying. And for some reason, it makes people laugh.) He explored the shoreline and saw a few alligators, though not the nine-footer that others reported.

Now he awaits the arrival of his son Josh, scheduled to fly into Fort Myers on Dec. 21. A father-son reunion, just in time for Christmas! How fun that will be for them. This makes me feel better about not being there for the holidays, as I make my own plans for my Mom’s 100th Christmas-Birthday in Montana. Meanwhile, at my townhouse near Washington D.C., I’ve just said good-bye to a Looper couple who spent almost a month here. I met them at a marina in Illinois and learned that they were soon to finish The Loop and sell their boat, with no immediate plans except a desire to spend time in the Nation’s Capitol. I offered my vacant home and they accepted. After leaving the boat, I joined them in my home for a week or so before they headed west toward their next adventure. This is what happens on The Great Loop. You really do make lifelong friends, as I had heard — though it happened faster than I expected.

Josh will spend a month or so on the boat. It will be great father-son time, as they knit together their own under-way team. Each team is different, because relationships and styles are different … but I assume Dad will always be “the boss” in this case! 😉

Reminder: This post is under “The Boat” on the blog menu. For other categories, see “Menu.” Photos and captions below.

Many Moons (on right) at Franklin Lock marina
From Franklin Lock fishing pier, looking at campground
Jeff took this photo while standing on the Franklin Lock fishing pier near the marina.
Many Moons decked out for Christmas. We got the white lights from Amazon and had them shipped to a marina. They are snowflakes, though you can’t tell it here–an acknowledgement of what we’re missing in the far north!

4 thoughts on “Alone? Not Quite! (Day 135)

    1. Yes, but not sure exactly when or where for how long. I have an OAT trip to Egypt planned for April–it’s been delayed by COVID–and trying to decide whether to put it off, again. (And lose the deposit.) So many interests, so little time. 😉

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  1. Hi Mary, Merry Christmas to you and Jeff and your families! Please revisit your blog posted on July 9, I couldn’t resist responding to your moon article. Safe travels!

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