Saturday afternoon, I’m sitting out at the tiki bar like I normally do just getting everything opened up for another night of enjoyment. The bar itself opens around 4pm each afternoon, but I usually head out there around 3:30 just to get everything set up.
Today had been a crummy day weather wise with dense fog hovering around the Cedar Keys keeping our visibility to about 100′ for most of the day. There would be times when the fog would clear up and bright blue skies would appear, only to have another layer roll in and blanket those views with a nice, gloomy shade of gray.
Boating in weather like this isn’t really advised and my phone had kept vibrating all day long telling me there was a boating advisory to stay off the water due to the thick fog. That same advisory that was telling me not to go out in the fog is what kept some fellow adventurers stuck in the harbor for a chance encounter that would turn into something really cool.
While I was setting up the tiki bar, in walks a bubbly young lady that had been sitting out in one of our hanging chairs on the end of the dock. Jessie introduces herself saying her and her friend Katie have been sitting on the end of the dock for some time now waiting for the tiki to open. She walks around wide-eyed just looking at all my funky artwork that people have donated and I’ve created into something really unique.
I soon learn that Jessie went to an art college in California which explains a lot. I’ve found that many people that walk into the tiki bar will have a few different takes on it. If this person looking around is a left brained person that is seeing it for the first time, they usually make some sort of comment questioning how I got this passed through the building officials and they question the craziness of who came up with this.
If this person is one of those right brained people, the more artistic and creative side of the brain, then I can see right away that they understand what direction I was headed. They look around all wide-eyed and instantly start taking photos or asking questions about what material I’ve used to hold the bottles together.
I could tell within seconds that Jessie was one of those fellow Right Brained thinkers and I could see her cogs turning with excitement.
We spent the next few minutes just talking and introducing ourselves. While she was questioning me about the tiki bar and the motel, I was trying to get her to talk more about their adventure…..Let Me Explain this better.
When I asked where they were staying, I was floored when she replied very innocently “We’re on our sailboat and we got stuck here due to the fog.” She went on to explain “Since we’re stuck on this little island, we’ve been wandering around all day just checking things out and when we jogged past the motel and the tiki bar, we had to stop and find out more info.“
Now we all know my love and lust of sailing. We all know my absolute dream of completing the Great Loop via sailboat. So you might be able to understand how totally blown away I was when in walks two very young, beautiful ladies (Katie and Jessie are both only 23 years old) and they tell me they’re in the process of their Great Loop adventure.
I instantly tell them they have to sit down and tell me all about their last few months on the water. Oh, did I mention they’re both from Michigan too! So I basically keep them captive for the next few hours while I poured them drinks to try my hardest to keep them from leaving.
I’m sure they were thinking “Who is this crazy man, and why is he asking us questions faster than we can answer them?“
Each new person that would walk in the bar and sit down would ask the same thing. “Where are you girls from?“
When the girls would reply and I’d let the new patron know that they’ve sailed here via Michigan, each would be as blown away as I was.
So the evening turned into a great night of wonderful stories being shared by all and a new found respect for young adventurers that I put up on a pedestal.
Katie and Jessie have a outstanding blog called amazingly enough, katieandjessieonaboat.com. Do yourself a favor and check it out. Send these young explorers a note encouraging their story and if you see so inclined, drop them a dollar or two to keep them going.
Katie on the left with Jessie on the right –
Enjoying some Cedar Key lemonade’s at the Tiki Bar