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Date: 13 March 2017. Gulfport, FL weekend dockmaster Tom.


Last 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.


Now for 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 life.

My last trip to Gulfport was relaxing. I is only three hours from the home dock too.


I had 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!


In the 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.

*Michelob 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!

Daddy was 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.

A smaller quantity of something fabulous is better than a lot of something mediocre.

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.

The Racor 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 territory.

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 Do List.


The To-Do List:


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 tank.

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. Sigh.

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 pier.

Going back to Gulfport aboard Seaweed is a priority. It will be a fun stop on my way south.

It is 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.

Gulfport is 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 great job.

Although I 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 am getting anxious to be underway again. There are places to go and things to see.

Thanks for 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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