We decided to make the 15 mile trek off the ICW to Jacksonville. You can dock right downtown for three nights! We are poor. There is no way we could pass up three free nights!
After getting cleaned up we went to the Mexican restaurant right behind our boat at the downtown docks. While we were shoveling chips and salsa into our mouths like a Saint Bernard that hasn’t seen a meal in three days a homeless man walked by. He was wearing scrubs and socks, but no shoes. We couldn’t figure out if he was just homeless, or if he had actually escaped from a mental institution. Why would he be in scrubs and socks but no shoes?? And his scrubs looked pretty clean for a homeless man… But I digress.
After we finished eating we went back to the boat and put in a movie. We were so exhausted that neither of us made it more than fifteen minutes in before falling asleep. About two in the morning Allison shook me awake freaking out a little bit. I was a bit disoriented at first. After a second I heard why she was freaking out. At these free downtown docks there is a lower level with the actual floating docks and right behind is a boardwalk about 5 feet above them. Standing on that boardwalk directly above our boat was a homeless man singing. Singing a song about our boat. Opera Style.
HERE THEY SIT
SLEEPING IN THEIR BOAT
WHERE WILL THEY GO
DON’T NOBODY KNOW
SOUTH OR NORTH
WHICH WAY WILL THEY GO
NO BODY KNOW
The song went on for about 10 minutes. But those are all the lyrics I can remember.
Then when his song was finished he says, “Good night” as if he was talking to a crowd at a concert, “I love you”.
Then around four in the morning. We hear a woman yelling into her phone, “I’ll cut your head off!”
She continued to yell for about ten minutes before moving further down the boardwalk. In case you are wondering- No, we don’t have a gun on the boat. We do however have a spearfishing gun and throwing stars. Why do we have throwing stars?? I’m really not sure… I think I bought them in Gatlinburg one time.
That night we were meeting up with an old friend and planned on going on a “Short evening sail”.
We sailed for about an hour and then decided to head back to the dock and go grab some food. On the way back my friend Kevin was driving while Allison and I put up the sails. We didn’t really give him any directions such as “stay inside the buoys” so we ended up running aground. Really hard aground. No big deal, I mean we paid for a Boat US membership which includes free tows whenever you need it. We called them and they said they would send someone. We had just seen a Boat US tow boat go by minutes earlier. A few minutes later they called and informed us that it would be an hour and a half before someone could get there. Then about fifteen minutes later the tow captain that was supposed to be on his way called us and said “High tide will probably get you unstuck before I get there. Just call back if you don’t get unstuck.” High tide was not until 11:30pm. About 10:00 it became obvious that high tide was not going to do anything to help us. We called him back and he finally headed out to get us.
As a side note- I know that if your an old salt out there reading this you are probably thinking “I was once stuck aground for 3 days off the coast of the Azores in gale force winds while pirate cannons were splashing all around us.” Well… My friends had to be at work at 7:00 AM and I might as well use the Boat US as much as possible to make sure I get my moneys worth.
Needless to say out “Short evening sail” turned into the pilot episode of Gilligan’s Island. We were out there for a total of six hours. And we never got dinner…