Rebel Marina – by Marike

Close your eyes.


Now open them.

We’re hurrying down the dock in the light of the late-rising sun and you can really feel the cold in the air. I’m carrying a bag stuffed with shower things and Franci has her towel over her shoulder. I’m wearing the white hoody we got in Cape Breton. It has now become one of my most basic clothing items.

As we reach the ramp connecting the floating dock with the fixed dock, we start racing each other, running with our bare feet over the metal. At the top of the ramp the material underfoot changes back to wooden boards. I curl my toes to get more grip, trying to stay ahead of Franci.

As we come closer to the building we slack down, out of breath from the sprint and laughing. After coming to a complete stop we continue at a more sedate pace. We turn to our right, walking past the big freezer where the ice is kept. On top there is a little metal box with a paper arrow stuck on the side, pointing to a slit. It reads ‘Ice Money’, reminding us that Rebel Marina uses the Honour System for lot of things. (Leave money when you use the service.)

My nose is still tingling from the cold air but as I’m pushing open the door, warm air from the room wash over me in welcome. I keep on being surprised by the big temperature change. In South Africa, houses aren’t as well insulated as in the countries where good insulation is a ‘do-or-die’ factor.

The room we are entering is rather large. I think it used to be a patio, but it is now closed in and fitted out with a complete kitchen on one side. There are three other doors leading out of the room – two go to bathrooms and the third is the door connected to the office.

There are stories hanging on all the walls, waiting to be told. Pictures of the tugboat/schooner, a sign telling you ‘It’s in the barge’, maps of the Chesapeake Bay and environs. There is a big cupboard standing in one corner with a nook in it for games. A few keys hang on the key-rack on the wall next to it. The gas heater, with its little black legs and imitation logs, is keeping everything warm and comfortable. The morning light is slanting through the windows as I’m closing the door behind us.

Franci opts to take the first shower, so I head over to the wooden table dominating the left side of the room. Today’s newspaper is lying on the table, just as I was expecting. I put my bag on the table and start flipping through the pages, looking for the comics.

Close your eyes.


*     *      *      *      *      *


Rebel Marina was awesome. B)

We stayed longer than we intended, (what’s new?), and enjoyed it a lot!

One of the reasons for going to the Marina at all, was to get some repairs done. (Again, what’s new?). If that hadn’t been the case, we probably would have just bought Andy and been on our way again. As it was, salt water had invaded the “winch in” button. (This is what went wrong in NY, although we didn’t know it at the time.) It was corroded from the inside! My dad didn’t trust himself to replace the button and he was looking for someone to check our Garmin autopilot controller anyway, so we visited the Marina in search of help.

At first we anchored out. People wouldn’t work on the boat while we were anchored out, but it was cheaper and we could still use the shower and laundry facilities of the marina for a “dinghy in” fee. This fee even covered the use of a car! When my Dad and Sophia first brought back report about the whole car thing, I was sure I’d heard wrong. But no, we were really allowed to drive around in the Marina’s cars. That was SO COOL. B)

The main thing that made it so easy to stay longer, was the super friendly people! The marina is basically a family business, with everyone involved somehow. Every Monday night they have a potluck to which everybody is invited and most nights they have a theme. (For example “Italian”, or “Anything that starts with an E”.)

When I think back on Norfolk, many images come to mind. We did quite a lot of chip’n’painting, we went on walks, we visited two museums. Most of the time it was really cold! 😉 For the first time, I needed warm paint clothes! It was way too cold for my normal dirty T-shirt and ski-pants. XD But I think the cold only accentuated how warm and friendly our welcome at Rebel Marina was.

The climax of our stay in Rebel Marina was Thanksgiving. I personally don’t know of anyone in South Africa who celebrates Thanksgiving, so the whole idea was kind of story-bookish.

Me, helping to set the tables for the Thanksgiving meal while the two cooks in the background are hard at work finishing up preperations.

For our hosts at Rebel Marina, Thanksgiving is a ‘feast of food’. I don’t know why turkey gets to be the centre of attention, because there is plenty of other food that was just as traditional and tastes better. ^_^

One of my favourites was the corn . . . something (right) and the stuffing balls. =) (The stuffing usually goes into the turkey, but I think this way is better!)

Sophia with her turkey-drumstick. 😉

(Last photo). Just the awesomeness of walk-on moorings! Whoo-hoo!

That pretty much sums up Rebel Marina – cold weather and warm welcome. =)

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