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During the very short time we have been living aboard Seas the Day, we have already made very good friends with fellow cruisers.  We have always heard that cruisers were friendly, due in part to all being in the “same boat” and have found this to be true.  We also knew going in that we would meet people and then have to move on, maybe never seeing them again.  However, the friends we have met so far are, like us, under no real time or travel constraints and therefore we are certain we will meet up with many of them again.  In The Bahamas on our 2010 cruise, we learned that those we cross from Florida at about the same time constantly see each other traveling south in the Exumas all the way to Georgetown and back north again in the Exumas and Eleuthera.  Cruisers trade boatcards and that helps us remember when are where we met people, and also their names if we didn’t spend much time with them.  Part of the fun of cruising is the people we meet, and I think almost all cruisers feel this way.  Whether it’s a one or two day interaction, or many months as boat buddies, we never say “Goodbye.”  It’s always, “See you again.”

The first cruisers we met were Philip and Alison when they were in the slip next to us on Pascana at Las Olas Marina in Ft. Lauderdale shortly after we moved aboard Seas the Day.  Both were very friendly and extremely helpful to two new cruisers.  Philip is a very experienced sailor from England and taught us many helpful skills.  In addition, they assisted us with our christening ceremony.   We have kept in touch via e-mail and connected again while we were going north and they were going south the following year.  Since they keep Pascana in Ft. Lauderdale, and we seem to pass through there every time we sail north or south, we have no doubt that we’ll continue to see them from time to time.

Alice and Gavin were also at Las Olas Marina when we were there, living aboard a Manta sailboat they had just purchased, Salty Dawg.  Shortly after, we moved to New River Marina and they were docked two slips away.  We spent numerous days and evenings with them, eating at a variety of local restaurants, playing Mexican Train (domino game), watching TV together, playing cards, taking walks, and shopping.  Well, Alice and I spent time shopping.  They spent their first winter/spring in The Bahamas while we went to Corpus Christi.  We met up with them again in the summer on the East Coast and sailed north together. We stayed in Charleston and they went on to the Chesapeake.  They sold Salty Dawg and moved back to Portland, Oregon but we keep in touch via e-mail and follow the onshore activities they write about on  their website.  We hope to see them again, maybe even aboard Seas the Day.

We met Hal and Cheryl in Carrabelle, FL as we spent nine days together there waiting for good weather to cross the Gulf.  They are from Tennessee and are both recently retired.  Hal worked with autistic children and adults, and Cheryl was a Spanish teacher.  Their trawler is Mas Bueno.   We spent time with them again as we came up the East Coast several months later.  We saw them in Fernandina Beach, FL and then a few days later in Jekyll Island.  Our last Mas Bueno visit was in Charleston.  They kept going north and are doing the Great Loop during the spring and summer of 2010.  We follow their travels with Hal’s monthly e-mail letter, and are sure we’ll meet up with this fantastic couple again.

When we arrived in Bimini on New Years’ Eve, 2009, we had no idea we would meet two couples who were ideal traveling companions.  Mark and Joanne live aboard Trawler Avalon for about half the year.  The rest of the year they are home in Portland, Maine.  Joanne gives music lessons and is a member of the Portland Symphony.  Bill owned a construction company.  They love to snorkel, hike, and fish and are great cooks.  We enjoyed many meals with them.  We traveled together for about a month, from Bimini to Black Point.  Then, they left to pick up friends in Georgetown.  We saw them again in Georgetown. 

JoAnne and Bill from trimaran Ultra were our boat buddies for the majority of the months we were in The Bahamas on our first cruise there.  We traveled the length of the Exumas with them and then crossed over to Eleuthera.  Like Joanne and Mark, they love to snorkel, hike and catch conch.   We last saw them in Spanish Wells when we stayed on and they moved up to Abaco.

We spent a month in Georgetown during our 2010 cruise and met many, many cruisers.  Since there are hundreds of boats there and many planned activities, it was easy to get to know other cruisers.  Constant onshore sundowners also helped, as we didn’t really get involved in many of the activities.  We met many cruisers whom we hope we see again, including Vince and Linda on Fortnight, David and Deb on Lilliputian, Bill and Margie on Tortuga, Bob and Diane on Two of a Kind, and George and Lynn on Sunspot Baby.

We spent almost a month in Spanish Wells and met many more cruisers as they came and left.  At one point, we met some fellow Minnesotans, Kathy and Gene from Front Page (White Bear Lake, MN), and Judy and Bill on Jubilee (New Brighton, MN).  In addition, a couple who are cruisers but also own a house in Spanish Wells, Jean and Tom aboard Amadon Light, welcome cruisers for sundowners on their front porch.  In the mooring field, we saw Peter and Diane aboard Pearl, who had befriended us in a grocery store a few weeks earlier in Governor’s Harbour.  Diane gave me a great recipe for smoked salmon spread, a perfect sundowner treat to share.  We also had fun adventures with boat buddies of Jubilee, Bruce and Susan on Andiamo 35.  Tom and Jodi, aboard Precious Lady,  were very friendly, gave us fresh fish they had caught and invited us to take Daisy to an island to play with their Labradoodle Laker.