Sunday, November 2, 2014

Not too bad ...

This morning's inside boat temperature was hovering around 50 degrees. Jeans and sweatshirt to go with the morning coffee, the wind hasn't picked up yet, the sky is brilliant blue and reflects off sparkling water. Boats are leaving Middle River with others stopping by for a day or a week, the insurance company thinks that the hurricane season is over, and Deb's book has been published. This past summer has finally receded into memory. Most of what we recall now is the good stuff (so long as we don't look at the bank account); having Daughter Eldest and family close at hand, boat chores with little helping hands, singing "BOOM" back at the sky. We made many good friends we hope to run across in time yet to come and places far away, as cruisers are wont to do.

In a week or so Kintala will be heading south to Biscayne bay for no other reason than to play around for a couple of weeks. Come December the plan is to pick up a mooring ball, close up the boat, and head to St. Louis for the arrival of baby girl grand-kidlet latest. It has been a long time since Daughter Middle, Daughter Youngest, and Families were within hugs reach...too long. Then it will be time to wait for a weather window and follow friends east, across the Gulf Stream and back to the Islands.

Even though we are still in the States this, right here, right now, is what we worked so long to achieve. While not the first time we have found it, during our first year of cruising the "finds" were glorious but fleeting. There was a day here, a couple of days there, a few weeks in the Islands. But when I factor out the nearly four months spent tied to a pier working on broken boats, the ratio doesn't seem too bad for beginners. We knew the first year out would expose gaps in our boat prep, and sometimes things like The Bear just happen. Which has me wondering.

We know, and have heard, of people pulling the plug on their cruising life after a year or so. I will admit, during our first year, to having a bunch of thoughts of "this is not fun" myself. And while I have no doubt that they are doing the right thing for themselves, I also have little doubt that our second year is going to be noticeably different from our first. The outside jump to Miami is a day sail now, having done it enough times to know what to expect. The jump to the Island the same. We will wait for a weather window we like with little thought as to how long it takes or who else might go when we don't, or doesn't go when we do. The most pressing thought right now is looking forward to trying out the new furler rig for the staysail. In the mean time, we will explore the southeast coast of Florida with a bit of ease and confidence we did not know last year.

Not a lot more, as we are still newbies who have also learned that the ocean is big and sometimes plays a little too rough for us tiny human beings and our itty-bitty boats. (Think Pee-Wee players in the Super Bowl.) Still, it is pretty nice to be in a good place, looking forward to the next year.  And it only took us (roughly) 2,649 days to get here.


Richard Klyce said...

Last spring I told you guys about a website "" which had a very nice representation of wind patterns. You seemed to like it at the time but I am wondering if you found it at all usefull/accurate in planning routes , departures etc?
BTW following your blog has been most instructive. My wife and I plan on spending winters in FL/Bahamas starting this January and have found your experiences interesting. Maybe we will meet up sometime.

Deb said...

Richard I'd totally forgotten about that. Thanks so much for bringing it up again. I added it to our weather helps sidebar under Wind Map. Thanks again!

Richard Klyce said...

OK. I was just wondering if it was a help when you were trying to decide when to cross over to the Bahamas. I guess we will see.

Latitude 43 said...

Congratulations on the book Deb! Good work. You guys have come a long way since the first few posts of your cruising life. We wish you continued success and fun out here. See you in a week or two.
Paul and Debra