Sunday, September 28, 2008

Off Boat Weekends and favorite places

Our schedule of making it to the boat every other weekend continues, this past one spent in Indy. We spent the time visiting Kristin and Brain and helping them do a few projects on the house to get it ready for the colder temperatures of winter. The ride out Friday night was much better then our last ride between St. Louis and Indy though it was a little cool after the sun disappeared from our mirrors. The time spent visiting was great (as always) and the ride home today was a blast. Instead of yet another run on Rt 70 we took the back road (Rt 40) and enjoyed some two lane wanderings. The visit, and in particular the work, reminded me that there are some things to do around here as well. The house doesn't need any winter prep but there are a couple of other projects still incomplete.

Nomad (our other house) needs both winter prep and has several projects still incomplete. We are going to leave her in the water this year in hopes of getting in as many sailing days as we can. Friends from the marina have told stories of how the best sailing of last year came in November. We would hate to miss some good days. But as usual timing is everything. Winterize too soon and one will find one's self dock bound when the breeze is stirring and the halyards are banging away impatient to lift sails. Part of winterizing the boat is treating the engine cooling system, (yes that engine cooling system) which makes the engine inoperable. Well not exactly inoperable, but after operating it would need treated yet again.

Winterize too late and bad things can happen, up to and including burst lines which can then put little Nomad on the bottom. Clearly erring on the side of caution is the better part of valor. Still, we are pretty safe through the end of November and are looking forward to a few more weekends where we can take to the lake.

Like next weekend. Last week was recurrent training for me. Not my favorite thing even when it goes well which, this trip to Dallas, it didn't. Classroom time was a disappointment and the simulator we used was tired. In addition to a continuous string of minor glitches it suffer a major failure on each of my "flights." Not a good thing given the amount of $$ such training costs these days. Next week, (starting first thing in the morning actually) we get the airplane from maintenance and head out for a couple of days of flying. (Finally! Deb loves me but will be glad to get me out of the house and back in the air for a couple of days. She says I get crabby when I'm on the ground this long, which I claim is a slight exaggeration.) Even then by the end of the week I'll be pretty glad to be back on Nomad for a day or so.

It seems a little odd how our little boat, in it's remote slip at an out-of-the-way marina tucked away on a land locked lake, has so quickly become one of my favorite places. I'm sure part of the charm is that it is all pretty new. The forest of masts along the docks, the noises and the smells, the things we need to do and the people we meet, all fall far outside of my normal routine. The definition of routine in my life is sitting in the jet at 41,000 feet doing 550 mph. I know exactly what to expect, know pretty much what I am going to see (which is still pretty cool stuff) and as my coffee cup at work claims, "I love the smell of jet fuel in the morning." Yet somehow that is also one of my favorite places.

Come to think of it, hustling down Rt 40 with Deb in the lead is a favorite place, as is Cape Cod and Indy, Monroeville, St. Louis, just about anyplace that has an ocean lapping at its shores, or has mountains or a desert. I wonder if there is a limit to how many "favorite places" a person can have before they are not "favorite places" any more? Anyway, Nomad has become another one of mine.

1 comment:

Steve said...

My boating season ran from April Fools' Day until Thanksgiving, but I pushed it a bit. You can always throw a light bulb in the engine compartment if you get worried. There's also a little gizmo you can plug in and drop in the water under your boat to keep the water stirred up so it won't freeze.