This is continued from yesterday’s post. If you missed it, click here. Living in a marina is similar to living in a very small town. You run into your neighbors all the time, so going to the store or showers may take an extra hour or so as you solve all the world’s problems together. Several of the marina facilities encourage this social atmosphere.
For instance, Regatta Pointe Marina has a boater’s lounge where we can escape to air conditioning or heating (whatever the weather calls for), watch TV (which we don’t), relax while doing laundry, use the computer, or trade books in the library. There is a kitchen with a fridge, microwave, sink, and dining table for those who may not have the ability to cook or keep cold drinks on their boat or for having a gathering. You’re bound to run into somebody in the lounge.
Our slip is located right next to the marina restaurant, the Riverhouse Reef and Grill, which serves excellent food at reasonable prices. The restaurant also has a pub for the more casual dining and drinking by the marina folks. You are even more likely to run into other boaters at the bar than the lounge! The food at the bar is the same, but it doesn’t require reservations or wearing your Sunday best. Every Saturday night there is a wedding reception in the Eagle’s Nest event hall above the restaurant. We can see all the goings on and sometimes hear the music. We have the best location if we decided to become wedding crashers!
There is a ship’s store at the fuel dock just a short walk past the restaurant. As residents, we are entitled to a free bag of ice per day! Yes! We have taken advantage of this perk from time to time, but now I make all my own ice. The store offers fishing bait, snacks, drinks, souvenirs, and lots of miscellaneous items. Although it is more convenient than running to the grocery or drug store, the ship’s store is small and limited. However, they do offer free coffee every morning and free coffee and doughnuts every Saturday morning! Great now the secret is out and this place will be swamped with people wanting to move in.
Believe it or not, the marina even has a floating chapel. It is so adorable. The chapel is located between the restaurant and the ship’s store. I think the chapel is very picturesque and I love looking at it, even though I have not perused it. Too bad we’re already married; it looks like a neat place to tie the knot.
Regatta Pointe Marina also hosts various events for residents and customers – yep, in addition to coffee and doughnuts. The timing has only worked out for us to attend the Christmas party, although we have seen Fourth of July and St Patrick’s Day parties posted. The day before the marina party, the holiday boat parade took place on the Manatee River and we had front row seats from our end slip, pictured at the top. We invited over our neighbor and his date and enjoyed a nice evening of wine and cocktails while watching the lighted boats strut their stuff. Our neighbors are all great people. Boat people are so much more friendly and laid back than city people. Living in a house or apartment, we rarely saw or met our neighbors. I really like the boating community and look forward to meeting all kinds of people in the island anchorages and marinas! One more part in the marina life series coming tomorrow.