Round and round I go trying to settle on a marina. I have toured several marinas, gathered information about slip rates, liveaboard fees, pump-out facilities, winter water, cable television, laundry, shower/head facilities, dog-friendliness, et cetera. One marina I likely would have gone to took 72 hours to get back to me and still hadn't answered all the clear and simple questions I posed. In general, I could pay about the same amount and either have very nice amenities and facilities and large liveaboard communities, but be a little longer drive from nightlife than I am now, or I could forgo the amenities, have far fewer faciltities, but be walking distance to almost any nightlife in Annapolis (though I still frequently face driving to Baltimore for music). I would very much enjoy not having to drive when I go out, not having the worries about drinking and driving (though drinking and walking down docks is a very dangerous matter, too).
Heard from an acquaintance living aboard that his marina is nice, has facilities. Called the marina Tuesday to see about a slip and rates. Price and location are good, but no liveaboard spots available. I tried pleading my case that I know someone there who will be sailing off to the islands, so shouldn't that spot come open soon... Was told lots of folks say they are heading to the islands and we will have to wait and see; the owner takes my number to get back to me if something changes. I head to the local watering hole to meet up with a liveaboard for advice. Also hoping I might see the acquaintance and find out his travel plans and what I might do to get in the marina. Upon arriving at the pub I learn the acquaintance, a young and seemingly fit guy, had had a fatal heart attack Sunday. So young, so many dreams of sailing off to the islands; life is too short to waste, indeed. The next day the marina calls back; yes, a liveaboard slot is open--he had not wanted to break the bad news to me not knowing if we had been close or not. And so I have a sought-after liveaboard slip only due to the untimely death of another liveaboard. What dark happenstance. I hope he is resting peacefully and we will give him a special toast when we tie up there.