Sunday April 30 Back in Florida

Written by Jack van Ommen on April 30th, 2017

This was one of the longest days and I am beat. Probably one of my worst travelling days. I wrote about the fan belt problem I had on Sunday afternoon, four weeks ago. Just north of Ft. Lauderdale I pulled off to the side of the ICW and anchored there until Tuesday morning. The owner of a nearby anchored power boat came to my rescue and ordered a new belt but it would not have arrived until between April 4 and 10. Greg Clark managed to deliver two belts to a close by address on Monday, but it barely fit and I wanted to replace it with the slightly longer belt my new friend, Herly, has received by now. I was on standby with a buddy pass to arrive this late afternoon at the FLL (Ft. Lauderdale) airport. Herly graciously offered for me to stay with his family overnight and then I would be on my way to the boat on Monday, tomorrow. But when I checked the space available for the Sunday morning departure I decided to take the Saturday red eye flight. I managed to get a premium seat with decent legroom and manage to sleep a few hours of the 5 1/2 hour flight. I had reserved a $35 one way rental car at the FLL airport because public transportation is very sketchy. I went up to the Enterprise Rental desk at 7.30 a.m. and inquired if I could leave my backpack there. No, and I was told there is no short time storage facility at the airport.  What to do? Herly would not come back from a weekend in Miami until the evening. I wanted to attend the 8.30 am mass at Saint Sebastian, where I had such a warm reception on April 2nd. I swung the heavy pack, filled with books, back on my back. I did not want the car any earlier than the late afternoon to avoid paying an extra day. At the airport information desk I learned that there was indeed a storage possibility, but it did not open until 9 am. That done I took a local bus and attended the 11 am service at St. Sebastian church. It was their confirmation service. I counted twelve confirmandi, mostly young adults. It was such a treat to see these young men and women become full members. The bishop officiated and I would have liked to show you a few pictures of the ceremony and the bishop’s miter. But my battery went dead after this test picture. DSC_5631

This coming June 4th, on Pentecost Sunday, my youngest daughter, Jeannine, will be one of the confirmandi in her parish, Sacred Heart, in Norfolk, Va. and I am super proud and blessed that she chose me as her sponsor. This date fits right in with my schedule for my planned summer trip up the Atlantic Coast. Her older sisters were confirmed in 8th grade when they attended St. Patrick school in Tacoma, Wa.

Just before the service I received a text from Herly that something had come up that retains him in Miami until Monday evening. So, we arranged that I would swing by his home and pick up the belt on my way directly to the boat in Vero Beach. But when I cam back to Enterprise car rental I had an unpleasant surprise. I needed to have them swipe my credit card. My credit card is in my wallet which I forgot to bring with me when I flew to the NW on April 8th. I had cashed extra cash to use in Cuba and I had my checkbook and any online purchases did not necessitate a card in those three weeks in the NW. I had given my credit card details when I reserved the car. Another search on the internet did not come up with a way to get to Vero Beach to day by public transport. I spent $25 on a taxi ride from the airport to the Tri-Line rail station. The rail ticket was only $5 to West Palm Beach. This got me a lot closer to Vero Beach and I was hoping that there would be an airporter or local public transportation to get me closer to my boat. I was told by the train and local bus drivers, no but when I asked one more uniformed man, he pointed across the tracks to a Greyhound bus. I yelled to the driver if he was going north which he confirmed. I yelled back: “I am coming”. Swung the heavy pack on my shoulders again and rushed up over the overhead bridge to the other side. When I got to the ticket counter I was told that they had closed the computer. This bus would have brought me to within an affordable taxi ride from either Fort Pierce or Melbourne. Now I had to take a $25 taxi to a $79 motel to get with another $25 taxi ride on a $30 Greyhound to Vero Beach to morrow morning. I am not yet in the mood to use my cliché: “God must have not wanted me to rent that car”.   But the lesson learned is: Get a second or third answer to questions like the existence of the baggage storage and the available bus services.

Now on a much better day this last week: I spent a very enjoyable evening giving a presentation at the Seattle Yacht Club on Thursday. The turnout was very good and I managed to sell a good number of both “SoloMan” and “The Mastmakers’ Daughters”. It was done on short notice but very well organized and promoted.

 

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