We anchored in West Palm Beach for several months, enjoying being in a place that is so welcoming to boaters, yet not overrun by them. There was always a place for us at the dinghy dock and we never had to worry about people anchoring too close. We made full use of the city library, went for walks on both sides of Lake Worth, spent cold days wrapped in foulies sitting on a bench in the sun at the beach (how old are we anyway...), dancing at the free concerts at Clematis By Night and Sunday afternoons, enjoying all the Palm Beaches had to offer. We were anchored in that place so long we started to appear in real estate ads advertising the waterfront life! Thanks to Donavon at Sotheby's for sending us the photos. We found out how much of a fixture we had become when we left. The Royal Park bridge tender said goodbye, saying he enjoyed watching us all these months, and wished us luck.
MV and Shane on Gem came for a couple of weeks (and stayed a bit longer) so we ran around town together, introducing them to Irv & Renee and American Thanksgiving. We had many wonderful evenings aboard Gem (dinner and a movie!) including the record-breaking night when 22" of rain fell in Palm Beach County. Boy were we surprised when we went out and found the dinghy absolutely full of water. Shane sprung into action and bailed us out with a bucket. Luckily the engine started and we were on our way. MV and Shane helped us out in multiple ways, not the least of which was to design a set of dinghy straps to use when hoisting the dinghy, and instilling in us the dedicated practice of lifting it every night. Of course we were sorry to see them go, but luckily their final departure was not in handcuffs (inside joke...)
Jay and Lauren visited for a week and we got to show them around and show them off! They were game to try it all, dinghying, kayaking, hiking, circus night, alligator sighting, and visiting Delray and the grandparents (Lauren wanted to see Jay's baby pictures...aww...) We had the wettest dinghy ride ever getting back from the dock to Anhinga; I don't think we ever laughed so hard. The week went by too quickly, looking forward to another one.
Galen came to Florida, spending time with us on the boat, and then resettled in the sunny south. We became experts on rental real estate and he got an apartment, not too far from the beach. We wrapped up our time in WPB with a haul out -- bottom paint, minor repairs, insurance survey. It's always something. That's life on a boat!