May 102014

Here in this marina, over between the parking lot and the shipstore sits a couple of picnic tables.  I paid little attention to said tables, seeing as how I don’t picnic much these days and figgered they were there for people to use for whatever.  But I noticed on many occasions as I walked by that there was stuff on one of the tables.  Nothing specific, just odd ball things.  One day there was a microwave oven, another a box of clothes, another a pair of speakers.  The stuff would sit there for a day or so and then be gone.  I thought perhaps people just put things there in the course of moving or throwing out the trash but I come to find out the table is what is known in the marina as the, “Free Table”.

Basically, the free table is where you put stuff that you just want to get rid of instead of throwing it out.  Rather than try to get money for it, you just put said stuff on the table and anyone who wants and walks by can pick and chose whatever they like.  Kind of a cool little trading post.  I haven’t seen anything that I would want nor need but there is always someone looking for a free bargain.   It’s one of those things that sets this marina apart from the, “other place”, although that hell hole had something similar, it was called the trash.  Many a time I saw people, in particular a thieving, scumbag of a security guard, rooting through the trash for whatever the little bastard could find.  Here, at least, the table is handy, and clean.

Meanwhile, as summer comes to the Keys, the marina is starting to clear out a bit.  Many of the snowbirds have sailed back north leaving a lot of empty slips and a somewhat quieter marina.  Our dock continues to have a little get-together once or twice a week.  One resident has a nice big grill and we all chip in with some donation of food.  A big difference between the parties on this dock and those at the, “other place”, is that this crowd is much more mature.  There are no drunken brawls, no couples having a fight in the middle of the night, no excessively loud music.  Even the manager comes down and joins us now and then, something that would never happen before.  It’s a nice change of pace.

I have yet to find anything here that I dislike about the marina other than the issue with the pump outs but it’s really very minor and something we all work around.  I’m in a real comfy spot right now and hope things remain as is for a while.

Capt. Fritter

  8 Responses to “Living Aboard: The Free Table…”

  1. what a tiny slice of heaven.
    some lovely pictures wouldn’t be wasted on us here. or… i guess i can just scroll back to the ones you posted already. they were great.
    you do know don’t you… that a lot of your fans… US… or is it WE… live vicariously through you. LOLOL. now don’t lecture me. you know the story. still… i enjoy your life by the sea.
    cheers from landlocked in tornado alley!

    • Now that is scary, me as a role model. I’d rather people use my experiences as inspiration to guide their own journey.
      C. F.

  2. I told you this new marina is changing your demeanor! I thought I actually saw a smile the other day at lunch!

  3. Free tables are common at RV gatherings. Those of us who live in small spaces tend to curate our belongings on a regular basis. Want something new? What are you going to get rid of to make space for it? Paperback book exchanges are common, too, although those are becoming less used with eBooks so popular now.

  4. My neighborhood needs a Free Table for me to pile up about 2000lbs of stuff as I downsize, haha. Sounds much easier than the ebay / yardsale route!

    Speaking of things you struggle to find that you don’t like about the new place: sorry if I missed it, but did you ever find out how they handle big storms/hurricanes, with you being tied up to the T instead of a slip?

    • As far as I know, unless it’s a really big storm, I stay put. I could probably quickly move into a more sheltered slip for the duration but I haven’t spoken to the manager about it yet. i could also easily drop the mast and head into the mangroves and tie off if needed.
      I’m not too concerned if I lost the boat as it’s monetary value is not that much. As long as I got the cats and computer off, the rest could sink. What I don’t want is for the boat to break loose and hit another boat of more value. Currently, without insurance, I could little afford to sink some million dollar yacht.
      For now, I will do like all the others, stick my head in the sand, and worry about the storms when they come.
      C. F.