Saturday, October 13, 2007

You get what you pay for in Newport Beach

Today we learned that you can’t expect much in the way of facilities when you only pay $5/night for a mooring buoy. This is the first time that we’ve paid for mooring in a town. Otherwise, we’ve anchored out (as we did in Gig Harbor, WA) or we’ve been at the dock. Our only other mooring buoys were in parks in Washington State. So when we asked about public showers at the harbor patrol office when we checked in, we kind of assumed that there would be marina-like or park-like facilities. Today we discovered that wasn’t the case.

This morning we took the dinghy and our shower gear back to the harbor patrol offices, where the showers are. Our first difficulty was determining where we were supposed to tie the dinghy. What we thought was the guest dinghy dock was full of dinghies that looked like they’d been there for months. We tied up at an area that was marked for sheriff’s impound, and I ran into the office to check. We were right the first time, so we squeezed our dinghy up against the derelicts and headed for the showers.

Only one door was marked “shower,” and it was occupied. John discovered an unmarked shower, and we decided we could share it. No, it wasn’t romantic. It was all concrete with no hooks to hang clothes or towels. John gallantly spread his foully jacket over the sink to give me a place to set my stuff. (Oh yes, I forgot to mention that we had rain this morning, and it was cold enough that we needed jackets when we set out.) There wasn’t much water pressure, but at least the water was warm. John noted that it was our worst shower so far. I can’t disagree.

On the fun side, John’s cousin Sheri and her husband, Pete, visited us this afternoon. They live in Irvine. Sheri’s daughter, Katrina, and her friend Pat also came along. We had a nice visit, and then Katrina and Pat had to leave. Sheri and Pete took us to find an amplifier for John’s wi-fi antenna, and then the four of us had some really good sushi. Tomorrow they’re going to take us to their house, and I can do laundry there. Tonight we had to get home to give Märzen the last of her antibiotics.

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