We arrived at the municipal dock at Fort Walton Beach on Sunday morning. There is only one slip with enough depth for us according to reports. However, there was a dinghy tied in it so we had to tie up at the end of the dock temporarily. The wind and current on the nose required more throttle than we usually use, but it was OK. We moved the dinghy to the next slip and decided to hand line Submit around into the slip. We needed to add a much longer line to the bow because we would have to throw it around the rather large sign at the end of the dock. The wind and current did what we expected and pushed her straight back. Reggie played cowboy and threw the line around the sign while I held her with the shorter dock line. He then started pulling her into the slip, but the long line came off the cleat! Submit is trying to escape to crash into anchored boats astern and I can’t hold her! I had about 6 inches left of the line in my hand and Submit is pulling hard. Reggie ran over and grabbed my line and saved the day. He pulled her back in enough to take a dally around a piling. Next he tied the two lines together and tossed the long one around the signage. I unwrapped the dock line from the piling and Submit was lead into her stall. Whew. Disaster averted.
It was a busy day at the park. Several families came to fish, but we never say anyone catch anything. One little guy, Junior, was so excited and friendly and quite a chatterbox.
The local medieval club spent the afternoon in costume playing their war games. Two lines approached each other and attacked the opposition with their “swords”. I never figured out what the rules were, as sometimes someone would just walk away and then at some point they would line up again and there would be a replay. Several people stopped by to look at Submit and chat. One of the club members wandered out, but he wasn’t a ‘fighter’ and didn’t understand the ‘games’ either.
On Monday we went in search of the Chamber of Commerce to get information about the town and see if there was anything that we just had to visit. We asked several people where the Chamber office was and were given several different directions. Most pointed west and said it was on the right. A sign pointed basically nowhere. We finally found it and had a delightful time! They have a small museum with a conference table where we were invited to sit and peruse the brochures and sip on their bottled water. The museum featured Pirate Billy Bowlegs, of whom I’d never heard, but I’d come back in June for the Bowlegs Festival!
We went to a BBQ place recommended by Chamber people. We decided to be brave and order fried okra. I liked it better than Reggie. (actually that should say she liked it more than I liked it, not that she prefers fried okra to me!) I ordered red beans and rice. When my meal arrived, there was hardly room on the table for Reggie’s meatloaf lunch. As I write this he is using my leftovers to create our dinner.
We thought we would pick up a few groceries and head out to an anchorage. However, when we returned to the boat, the wind was howling from the stern and it didn’t seem like it would be any fun to try to back into that gale, so we read and napped. The wind has not died down, but is suppose to ease early tomorrow morning.
But wait! There was still more excitement to come. Reggie was out in the cockpit and called to me to come out. There are a couple of sailboats anchored behind us. There are several young men who come and go from them, usually in a little dinghy with one paddle. Two men and a dog were headed back to shore, but with a fairly large motor on the dinghy this time. Apparently It and they and their dog and their recently acquired lunches were too much for the dinghy and it flipped. Reggie grabbed our boat pole and I grabbed our deck brush. I know, but it was all I had with a long handle and within easy reach. A lot of stuff was floating past our dinghy, so I jumped in it and started fishing stuff into the dinghy. Reggie fished from the dock. One of the guys was worried about his dog and almost drowned trying to swim with the dog in his arms climbing up his face and neck. They made it to our dinghy. I hauled his dog into the dinghy and then he followed. He struggled onto the dock and lay gasping for breath. In the meantime Reggie had snagged their dinghy painter. I handed Reggie a longer line and it was pulled ashore. Most of the important items were captured under the overturned boat, but the motor hasn’t started again hours later. They are back to a single paddle