My eyeballs are pressed deeply into black rubber, protruding slightly toward the scene. As if I could perhaps tip right into the launch pad if I pressed the binocs into my face a little harder.
My elbows resting on the cool concrete of this beachfront condo roof, I am a million miles away, consumed by what unfolds before me. The voices of the other ‘observers’ around me fall away, lost in the nip of the evening breeze. For me this has become a personal show. A rocket is about to launch.
And as the cajoling and countdown subside, it takes over the world in a firelit spectacle. Millions of dollars and planning hours burst into the sky and head into space as a curly cloud of smoke lingers behind. A minute later the low rumbling of the take off hits our astounded ears.
We are ‘stuck’ in Cocoa Village Florida. The boat is sick. One of our two well used engines has been deemed dead. Irreparable. A transplant is necessary. And no one seems in too great of a hurry to get the replacement done. Once the reality sunk in that we actually needed a new engine, and choked down the horrendous ‘cruising kitty crushing’ cost, we were ready to have it over with and move on. Move south.
But two days have become two weeks and we have long overstayed our welcome on the free public dock. Our cabin/bedroom/engine room is a workshop of broken engine parts and our mattresses line the hull/hallway while we wait. And wait…
Our buddy boat had to bid us farewell and head further south, to meet up with others and continue the partying and reunions that we had planned. And each day we awake, wondering what this little town will have in store for us.
This morning we hatched a loose plan to catch the bus to the beach, take a nice long walk in the sunshine and take in some live music at an Irish fest.
By the evening we had met some amazing new friends, found ourselves in their gorgeous home sipping wine and eating organic wild boar that he had hunted himself, marinated in a rum barbecue sauce and served to us with some fresh baked Irish soda bread. We listened to music and planned the launch viewing up on their roof.
This is our life. We make plans, things go wrong, then unexpected miracles happen. All the time. It is amazing and I will never take it for granted.
We arrived back on Shiloh after an epic Canadian road trip back in January with a plan to be out of the boatyard and into the Bahamas by the first week of February. But alas we are here, in central Florida in late March, sipping the richest café Americana at Ossorio Café, where the waiters now know our names. In a town we had no plans of spending a day in.
We have met up with a friend we once met in Grenada 4 years ago. His boat is anchored in our bay. He has taken us touring and for Wednesday night drinks with his buddies in town.
People have reached out to us to console us on the break down of our engine. We have spent a moment or two wallowing in self pity over our predicament. But it’s all part of this amazing journey. Whatever we think is a curse becomes an adventure. We’ve got our tans back. The sun shines and there are long sand beaches to walk on.
It takes an open mind and an open calendar. It’s freedom and it’s frustrating at times. But it’s a cruiser’s life and I’ll take it any day, or night for a rocket flight!