Sunday, July 14, 2013

Taking a guess

Eight boats spent last night at Coles Creek but Kintala wasn't one of them. The aft cabin is pretty much disassembled. A pile of wood lurks in the main cabin requiring care when getting to the head or the V-berth. I'm sure the nav station still exists under the pile of hats and parts, notes and assorted debris, but I haven't seen it in a couple of days. Leaving the dock in our current state of disarray would be silly, and only slow our progress toward the ocean. The steering vane is due in next Tuesday and it would be nice to have the aft cabin finished by then. It will not work that way. The box will sit a day or two unopened but that isn't too bad a slip in the schedule.

Such schedule is still a lot of guess work, but at the moment it looks like Kintala will be lifted from the lake on or around a week from next Thursday. That will make next weekend our last one here. I would like to have the boat under control enough to spend a last night coved out. It seems kind of silly really, since "coving out" will soon be our permanent address. And though it will be a several weeks (at least) the next "cove" will be filled with salt water. So one last night out on Carlyle isn't that important.

But I would like to do it once more anyway.

Getting as close as we are has people asking if I'm excited and, generally, I claim that I am. But "excitement" really isn't the right word. Once in a while something will jar my my focus away from juggling the next detail or concentrating on the current project, and my mind will jump ahead to what life might be in a few months. Yesterday, for example, as I approached the stern to board Kintala I could see the top of our rudder down there under the boat. (For some reason the lake has almost a foot of visibility right now, something never seen in the 6+ years we have been here.) "How bizarre is this," I thought. Then I realized that people who travel to and live on clear water must see the stuff under their boats all the time. What a silly thing to think, yet it reminded me just how unfamiliar everything will soon be. Moments like that take on a surreal haze; on the one hand this thing really is about to happen, on the other it's hard to believe we have gotten this far.

It isn't the "big stuff" I wonder about, those things that seem the concern of many. Navigation, weather, plotting, route planning, charts, GPS; all are (or were) everyday tasks in my old life. Those skills should transfer pretty easily to this new one. It is the stuff not important enough for most people to worry about that puzzle me. Will we go weeks or months without being on a dock? (The budget suggests this had better be so.) How does that work for food and water and boat projects - which always seem to require at least two trips to the store? A dingy as the "family car"? Okay, but I have never driven a dingy and only ridden in one once. Where does one park that thing when wandering around the shore? What is fuel dock etiquette? (Six plus years of sailing on Carlyle and we haven't ever drained a fuel tank. I think I put about 3 gallons in Nomad once just because it seemed like a good thing to do.)

All of this will get worked out. It isn't like I stay awake at night worried about the string of Harbor Masters who, over the next several months, are going to rue the day Kintala's mast poked its way over the horizon and into their well-oiled marina machine. I don't figure on being the worst they have ever seen. And if I am? Well, they will get over it. The nautical charts for the Annapolis area don't look any worse than the SIDs, STARs, approach and airport charts at BWI. My boat is only 42 foot long so there is probably room for me in there somewhere. I don't mind asking questions or seeking advice. And at this stage in my life two things are absolutely true; I've got nothing to prove to anyone, and I don't really mind people being "unhappy" with me. They will get over it, or they won't. Makes no difference to me.

Excited? Not really. Curious maybe, curious as to how all it will all work out. But I am guessing it will somehow ... just like the schedule.


Latitude 43 said...

You sound just like me when we left. Deb was calling me Captain P, the P was for Pessimist. It usually meant Paranoid, and only on rare occasions meant Paul. It most certainly never ever means Positive. :)

I look back on my blog posts and I think "Wow, I was really sweating the small stuff so much that I forgot to enjoy the trip!"


S/V Veranda said...

All your fears seem to be the same as we all had. Once you're floating in eastern waters it will get easier. Maybe not the first day or two but it will come....

Robert Salnick said...

Next year at this time, you will be an old hand. Don't sweat it - enjoy the ride.

I remember the first time we sailed into Annapolis... all was OK until a launch filled with Navy guys dressed in white hailed me, shouting, "Captain! Captain!" I looked around to see the captain they were seeking, and then sheepishly realized it was me. Apparently I had wandered into waters that the Navy regarded as their own. I was embarrassed.

But now I realize that that must be some kind of punishment duty - keeping the civilians away. They must hail 100 boats a day.

I really liked your description of the moment where the vision of the top of your rudder opened your awareness. Those moments are one of the reasons we are all out here - keep looking for them!

s/v Eolian