You know how a few times in your life you meet someone and you know they will be one of your best friends for the rest of your life? One of those people that even if you don’t live in the same town or state and may not see each other for a few years, it just doesn’t matter. You are friends for life.
In our time here living on the boat, we’ve met many amazing people who we will for sure keep in touch with and even go visit. But there are 3 people that are so special to our family that I had to write a blog post about them.
The first is Chip Lumb. We met Chip right when we moved aboard the boat in Fort Lauderdale. Chip’s trawler was docked next to Adagio and we hit it off with him from the start. He became like a dad to us, giving us pointers about the best places to visit in the Bahamas, teaching us about fishing, and having us over to his home. Twice he’s visited us in Miami. Then he decided to come all the way to the Exumas a year ago to be with Maria at her birthday party. Now that is a friend! Throughout these past two years, Chip and I are always emailing each other and he is always checking weather for us and giving us weather updates. Oh, and Chip let Camden borrow his whompin’ trolling rod this past year! We brought many Mahi aboard this year, including that 60 pounder thanks to Chip. Chip has become our Sea Dad.
And our other two “Friends Forever” from our cruising journey are Bob and Stephanie on M/V September Song. We mentioned them on our last blog post. We met Bob and Stephanie over a year ago in Staniel Cay at a small beach. We pulled our dinghy up to the beach and Bob and Stephanie immediately introduced themselves to us and introduced us to all their friends. Bob and Stephanie are two of the friendliest people I’ve ever met. Everywhere we sail to, it’s amazing how many other cruisers have met Bob and Stephanie. And everyone always says, “Oh, Bob and Stephanie on September Song. They are so nice and fun.” Last year we spent time in both the Exumas and in the Abacos with Bob and Stephanie. They even babysat the kids on Mother’s Day so Marc and I could go on a date. It had been a looooong time since we’d been on a date so it was much appreciated. This year we spent time together again in the Exumas. Bob and Stephanie were hoping to make it to Georgetown for the Family Regatta, but did not end up going because the regatta was at the same time Maria and I had our 4th/40th birthday party at Staniel Cay. They said Maria and my birthday party was more important. Wow. Those are good friends.
Bob and Stephanie live aboard September Song full-time. The kids LOVE Bob and Stephanie’s boat. How could you not? Look at that beauty! The kids love it that they can watch tv there (they have satellite tv!). And they love it that Stephanie spoils them with her famous grilled cheese sandwiches, orange juice, and Hershey kisses. One day Bob and Stephanie took Cam and Joellen out fishing. Cam loved this type of fishing…the kids would sit on the big comfy couch inside watching cartoons and then when Bob yelled “Fish On!”, Cam would run out and help Bob reel it in while Joellen watched. Now that’s livin’ for an 8 and 10 year old!
My parents were lucky enough to get to meet Bob and Stephanie and even got a tour of September Song. It’s no surprise that my parents said Bob and Stephanie were one of the friendliest couples they’d ever met. I also think my parents appreciate how Bob and Stephanie have taken our family under their wing. Like Chip, Bob and Stephanie are always checking in with us to make sure we are okay. Bob regularly sends me emails and Facebook messages, asking how the kids are. He always asks, “How are our babies?” He actually just sent me an email an hour ago telling me to please check in with them when we get back to the US tomorrow to let them know we arrived safe and sound. Bob and Stephanie aren’t just friends anymore. They are family.
Our cruising journey has been amazing and it’s hard to believe this is our last night in the Bahamas and we are heading home tomorrow morning. The main reason this trip has been so spectacular is not because of the beautiful islands we have visited, but because of the friendships we’ve made. Chip, Bob, and Stephanie are so special to us and it has been so comforting knowing that the three of them are always watching out for us even if they are not right there beside us.Update: We currently are in Bimini. We cast off at 6 am tomorrow and sail 9 hours back to Fort Lauderdale. And no surprise, Chip, our Sea Dad, will meet us at the marina to catch our dock lines.