Date: 13 March 2017. Gulfport, FL weekend
weekend a couple of the canal neighbors and I drove over to
Gulfport. I had anchored there back in mid-October when Island Time
organized a Full Moon celebration there. It was a great spot then
and has gotten even better. Here is why:
Meet Tom ↑ the
weekend dockmaster at the courtesy dock in Gulfport.
Gulfport, FL is a little
town with a waterfront that reminds me of Key West back in the days
before cruise ships arrived. There are bars and restaurants in
Gulfport, funky little shops and boutiques, plus lots of real nice
folks. It is not fancy and it is friendly.
They have a dock for visitors to use. I can easily imagine Seaweed
at the floating docks in Gulfport.
those of us underway, there are rules regarding the courtesy dock.
The dinghy dock is on the shore side of the pier. It is tucked
around back and has cleats and pilings to tie off to. It was not too
busy on Saturday. There was lots of room for more dinks. It made me
wish I had visited by boat instead of land.
The tide was especially low. Folks were enjoying the beach.
As for me, I walk the docks wherever possible. A couple of the
fellows who reside on the canal where I am rafted are actively seeking
their Last Boat. I look for them as a matter of course. Mostly
marina docks are locked up tighter than a drum. Too many nefarious
types I suppose... Such is
My last trip to Gulfport was relaxing. I is only
three hours from the home dock too.
planned to spend the weekend in Gulfport. But first on Thursday
morning I was taking a trip over to McDonald's and Publix. I had a
hankering for coffee and a parfait from MickeyD's aka McDonald's.
Then I was going to walk across the parking lot to the Publix
grocery store for Nabisco brand Ginger Snaps.
Yes, I know
Nabisco ginger snaps are $$. They are worth it. I have tried
discount versions and they just are not my thing. For me, I'd rather
pay more and eat less than go for quantity.
This is the
McDonald's dock. I usually have coffee and a McD's breakfast
burrito. McDonald's is next to Publix.
At this stage
of my life I'm into
Quality. Decadence is Delightful!
final week of Daddy's battle with lung cancer he told me something
that profoundly effected my outlook. He said "I wish I'd drunk more
*Michelob." Since 2001 I have made it a point to Live the Good Life
as per Daddy's words of wisdom.
is a higher priced beer. Generally Daddy drank Busch which is less
expensive. No, I'm not a beer drinker. I suspect beer is an acquired
taste. I have never felt the need to acquire it!
telling me to enjoy life and the things in it and not to always
conserve for a rainy day.
Seaweed is not large however
she is perfectly suited for me.
quantity of something fabulous is better than a lot of something
So I was on
my way to McDonald's when the engine conked out. She stalled. I
restarted and Seaweed stalled again. I had switched fuel tanks on
Thursday so immediately checked the Racor filter. It was fine. There
was no water contamination and the fuel was perfect. Still, my
engine would not run off her starboard tank.
fuel filter was filled with diesel. I saw no reason for the stall.
Rather than proceed to McDonald's for my parfait and the ginger
snaps I opted to return to the home pier.
It is always easiest to figure things out in familiar
Before departure (to cruise versus
playing around in local waters) I intended to have the mechanic
check over my girl. I had not gotten to that as of yet which is
entirely my fault. I have been having so much fun with Seaweed that
making the time had not been a priority. It is now.
Having the freedom to take Seaweed
out for McDonald's or to a nearby cove to anchor and read my Kindle
is such a treat. This unexpected glitch has shattered my
complacency. The engine check-up has now moved to the top of my To
I would like a fellow who knows what
he is doing to give Betsy (the Kubota 18hp diesel that powers my
boat) a once over. She runs beautifully, at least on the starboard
This is what needs attention:
The original alternator is mounted
and not wired into the system. It's functioning as a pulley/belt
holder. I would like that unit to actually charge my batteries.
The stuffing box needs tweaking.
It drips too much.
There is an issue with the port
tank and that must be resolved.
I did have the fuel lines from the
tank to the engine changed. I should have had the vent lines
replaced then too. That was a Penny Wise/Pound Foolish decision.
I'm always smarter
after an event and this one should not be too costly. I hope!
I so look forward to going
back to Gulfport, and next time by boat. They have lovely swings for
grown-ups overlooking the bay. It is quite nice and very relaxing.
After resting on the swing I walked out to the end of the fishing
Going back to Gulfport aboard Seaweed is a priority. It will be a
fun stop on my way south.
always disappointing to have goals postponed. My intention is not to
spend my life in a rocking chair or on a swing either, even if
swinging is most excellent!
Gulfport's dockmaster Tom
invited us to come visit again. Skipper and I intend to do so.
I asked dockmaster Tom how he got the dockmaster-gig. He told me he
had retired to Gulfport. He noticed an ad in the local newspaper for
the part-time job. That suits him and his life to a tee. Tom is on
the dock each weekend assisting boaters.
fortunate to have such a fine representative. Tom is friendly and
courteous. I saw him carefully assist a go-fast boater. He
helped secure a boat to the dock in a rip-roaring wind. Tom did a
did not make it to Gulfport this weekend, I intend to return there
soon. It is a pet-friendly town and definitely worth visiting again.
Perhaps I will see you there too, eh?
Happy cruising. Wish me luck in securing the mechanic ASAP. I
getting anxious to be underway again. There are places to go and
things to see.
reading. Believe it or not I shortened this article. Twice!!!
Have you ever been to Gulfport, FL?
And, what's your favorite restaurant along the waterfront?
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