I made a comment to Kenny last week about our struggles to paint between spells of wind and rain. “Better hurry,” he said, “pollen’s coming.”
We didn’t finish in time. Amazing amounts of pollen drifted over everything, tinting boats and vehicles and ground yellow. When it rained, there were strange pollen patterns on our hatches, and yellow rings on the ground when the puddles evaporated. We put our painting aside.
The pollen is just another sign of North Carolina spring, along with a tiny white flower blooming under our boat. At night, we hear the sound of peeping frogs, and the birdsong at dusk is like an orchestra. There have even been a few early mosquitoes, no-see-ums, and dolphins.
There’s another sign of spring, up on the high bridge that soars over the boatyard. We are so used to the sound of bridge traffic, we hardly notice cars and trucks as they pass by. But a motorcycle makes a different sound — and when I heard several of them crossing the bridge, I looked up. They just kept coming, and I counted 26 in all, out to enjoy the beautiful weather.
Last week, we had our first northbound cruising boat, Lady Simcoe. Gordon and Susan had been out cruising the Bahamas for the winter, and now it was time to lay the boat up and go back to work in Canada. They invited us aboard, and we sat in their cockpit, drinking Fire in de Hole Erotic Rum and hearing their stories. Barry hadn’t seen the label, and he asked me, “Don’t you mean exotic?” But there is nothing exotic about rum in the Bahamas — and the dancing lady on the label is definitely erotic.
Gordon and Susan told us one disquieting thing about cruising in the Bahamas. In order to get crucial weather information, all the cruisers listen to a daily radio “net.” The net’s at the ungodly hour of 6:30 am, which keeps the cruisers on an early-morning schedule. “Parties would break up at 8 o’clock, and we’d all be in bed by 9.” They laughed, but it doesn’t sound like much fun to this pair of night-owls.
Soon, we’ll be seeing more tanned northbound cruisers like them on the waterway. Which ones will stop for a haulout? We can only wait and see, and look forward to meeting them.
There is one thing I’m not looking forward to. A couple of our cruising friends left their vehicles here while they are in the Caribbean. Any day now, they’ll be back, and I’m a little embarrassed that we’re not gone yet. “What? Are you still here?” Then they’ll tell us about their cruising adventures, and we’ll tell them about epoxy-squirting disasters and paint jobs with stigmata and tiny white flowers growing under our boat.
And then we’ll all laugh and go out to dinner. I’m looking forward to that.