Friday, December 27, 2013

Dolphins and pelicans

Much as we prefer ocean sailing to ICW motoring, we are learning to use the ICW to our advantage. It turns out a winter passage in a small boat down the east coast of the US is not a trivial thing. That is still the North Atlantic out there and, as our friend John puts it in his new book, it is a serious ocean. Cold front after cold front has hammered over us in the past two months. Boats have been damaged off shore during passage and inland on the dock. When the nasties blow out of the north east this entire coast is one, long, lee shore. Picking the wrong weather window with a plan of staying close in to go inlet to inlet is a sure way to get taught a scary lesson. So far Kintala is undamaged and her crew unscathed. We have dipped into the jar of luck, but mostly we have been cautious, conservative, and tried hard to have every decision be the safest one we could find. It is working so far. I think we’ll stick to it.

The anchorage here in Daytona is reported as “4 Star”. Kintala is the only boat here and we just got rolled on our ear by a big power yacht busting down the ICW at full honk. I’m not sure we are going to like this place enough to spend more than one night here. I’d like to visit Daytona a little, but maybe Bike Week in March, northbound, would be better timing.

Pictures of Bike Week always include cute little things walking around nearly naked … that means it must be warm then, right? Tomorrow is supposed to be warm. If it works out that way we might use the day to try and chase the sunshine south a bit further. Florida It might be. Daytona it might be as well. But today was another watch cap and heavy coat day. A long, luxurious, hot shower after the hook was set in a cold drizzle was a treat. (You know you are getting to be a sailor when a “long hot shower” happens in about half the time it takes for Mick Jagger to sing his Sympathy for the Devil.) And though we are using the ICW as it should be used, it is still the ICW. About all we saw today was an endless line of really big houses. A lone dolphin did drop by, startling both of us by snorting “hello” just off the starboard cockpit without giving notice. (I think they do that on purpose, getting a giggle when the silly humans jump.) The water was too murky to see him coming, but he tagged along for a few minutes, keeping easy station with Kintala’s placid 6 knot pace. And there were pelicans as well.

Dolphins and pelicans … no day can be too bad a day when there are dolphins and pelicans about, and you are watching them from the cockpit of a sailboat.

No way to capture the whole back yard. It looked like the water feature at some zoo

I kid you not, custom matched lawn furniture and boat cover


Judy Ray said...

We have been following your posts since you left Maryland and rooting for you as you race south to catch 85 degrees daytime highs. If it's any consolation, you are about two days sail from what is currently the only place in the country that is showing temps above 75. As you said, a bad day sailing is better than the best day working and that's what we're all doing. We're about four years behind you, with our boat in a lake and us staring in stunned disbelief at all the projects to do. When our turn comes we'll do the same trip down the west side. Really love your comment about the shower taking half of Jagger's "Devil". My husband likes to limit my showers by keeping the sump pump off. When the water reaches my toes, he says I'm done!

Enjoy every minute,

Warm regards,
Judy and Dave

S/V Veranda said...

All those fantastic waterfront backyards and yet you never see anyone sitting out just havin' a beer

Judy Ray said...

It's too cold for Floridians to sit outside. I can relate completely - 62 degrees here in the Southwest and I'm freezing my rear end off and dreaming of 90s. They're all inside cranking their heat pumps up to 78.

- also sitting inside cranking my heat pump,