Best Marina By Far With Best New Friends Ever
Updated: Nov 12, 2022
After reaching the confluence of the Illinois Waterways and the Mississippi River at Grafton, having been "sailing" for about 8hours, we had just a couple more hours to go to reach our next stop for the day, Alton Marina. We had super strong winds all day, head on, 50 mph gust! and it wasn't going to lie down for about a day or so, so we needed to have a safe place to stay until the weather allowed us to safely continue. Our friend Mick's guidance and expertise hasn't disappointed yet, and he had friends at that Marina and we were told we were very welcome there!
So here we go, go get diesel and water and are safely tie up for the night!
As we go get acquainted with the manager, Karen, Mick's friend, we find out she used to be a flight attendant too, just like me!
What an awesome lady! Must be in the "family!?" 😜
She not only welcomed us with open arms, she took care of everything! A complimentary stay for as long as we needed for the weather to pass, and she even took all three of us out to dinner! Have I already said, what an awesome lady she is!!
We spent a wonderful night, a bit rocking and rolling as the winds increased, but, we were tied up pretty well and we were safe!
If meeting all these wonderful people so far on our trip wasn't enough, the generosity and kindness and simple willingness to help, takes this to another level completely.
I'm not talking about our special friends that we've had throughout the years, friends and colleagues that came and drove to us while we were anchored at the dock in Sturgeon Bay and brought us firewood and goodies to eat, taking us to dinner, Ed and Margie.
Or Eike and Mark who drove all the way down to spend couple hours with us, with great laughs and tears for goodby.
Or even one of my best friends Kerstin, her hubby Paul and sweet Madelyn who drove to downtown Chicago to take a short, sorry too short of a ride with us through the lock and spend oh so precious time with us, bringing us homemade yummies and groceries to get us by for the next week or so, and doing soooo much more for us by just being there for us, like all other loved ones, no, those aren't the special people in our lives I'm talking about.
There are other kind of special people that just pop into our lives for reasons unknown to us, at that moment, like our new found friends, Mick, Karen, Gary and a few others, those that just happen to cross our paths for whatever reasons and leave a huge impact!
Those are very special people too!
Mick also did something extraordinary.
He gifted us with an AIS tracker! (Automatic Identification System)
One thing that we debated about whether or not to get, but financially couldn't justify it, was an AIS tracker. It tracks the position of vessels that have AIS installed too, making river traffic so much easier and safer to spot and maneuver around.
WHAT a blessing it has been to have met these special people, that have become friends!