Sunday, February 8, 2015

Too, too long ...

Bye Bye Dinner Key Mooring Field
Bye Bye Coconut Grove
Kintala is anchored outside of No Name Harbor this evening. As expected No Name itself is completely full of boats getting ready to cross to the Islands. Word has it they are looking at an early morning start time, around 0200 in the dark early. Outside and around us sit more than a dozen additional boats aiming for the same start time. Most are sail with a few power sprinkled around here and there. (Including one gorgeous Nordic Tug 42). Tomorrow is forecast to be a perfect day for crossing in a power boat, with fading winds, mild seas, and rain. If Kintala was a power boat with an inside steering station, muchas motor, full time heat, a snoot full of gee-wiz navigational systems, and an auto-helm, we would probably be going as well. But she isn't. And we aren't. Motoring through rain with nasty weather breathing down the stern is not why we came this way. Though, truth to tell, the window appears a bit larger than it looked yesterday.

Also, this looks like a huge herd of boats heading to Bimini. I get twitchy around herds, and Bimini isn't all that huge. I'm not sure where all these boats think they are going to end up. But whereever it is, it better be a place to sit out a 30+ knot blow, because that's what's reported to be chasing them across the Gulf Stream. I have visions of being the last in to find all slots taken, the only place left outside and exposed to the rollers coming off the Gulf Stream in 30 knot north winds.

Bye Bye Floating Bear

Even with enough slots, once there it looks like everyone will get to sit for a couple of days. Not that pretty much anywhere in the Bahamas is a bad place to sit, but Kintala is going to sit out the ugly in No Name. There should be plenty of room come morning. And for people like us, who spent a good many of their winters in the frozen Mid-West, pretty much anywhere in Biscayne Bay is a good place to sit as well. Not the Islands, but not bad. I'm pretty sure any of our old friends on Carlyle would trade places with us in a heartbeat, and the Islands will be there in a week or two. No one is keeping score on when we go where, or why, or how. We are completely content with just being on the move once again.
Maybe the new marina building will finally be done the next time we're back...

And it was time to be on the move again. After 60+ stationary days, this morning saw Kintala's crew going through the pre-launch routine with a certain deliberation. Getting underway again always feels awkward after sitting for a while. At 1300 the WesterBeast shuddered to life, the mooring lines were untangled, un-rigged, untangled some more, and stowed away. Several friends called on the radio to wish us “fair winds” as we made our way out the channel. There we joined in a parade of boats reminiscent of our first brush with the ICW. (There are a lot of boats moving around these parts this weekend.) As is our want when the sailing is good, we missed the turn toward No Name heading down the bay on a close reach instead. It was just too good a day to go straight to a destination barely 5 miles away. The head sail flew solo at first. Later we added the main. Then – after the turn around – the staysail joined the show. Kintala, close-hauled with all her canvas pulling, is a sight to see.
What in the world are those white thingies?

The day was full of unexpected delights. After months of absence we had dolphins swimming nearby once again, always a nice surprise. We hoisted, trimmed, and flew the entire rig with nary a mishap or fouled line. Not a single “oops”. Not sails going up. Not sails coming down. Not getting off the mooring. Not setting the hook. Which was also a nice surprise. And the cockpit, with the revamped Bimini frame? Nothing short of “WOW”. I would never have believed that a few inches added here and there would have made such a huge difference. Moving into, out of, and around the cockpit is noticeably easier. Sitting is more comfortable. Sight lines are better. It is like someone cut the aft end of the boat away and grafted on a whole new one.

So pronounced was the difference, so easy the sailing (remember, this is only the third time we worked the staysail with a furler), and so perfect was the day that – just for a moment - I thought to myself …

“If I'm not careful, this boat may turn into a well founded, perfectly serviceable, live-aboard sailboat. I might even (wait for it) actually learn to LIKE this thing.”

I know, I can't believe it either.

Clearly we were on the mooring ball way, way, too long.

Our friends Nate and Jen's one of a kind junk-rigged schooner custom built from an Allied Princess

Our friends Paul and Deb on Kelly Nicole getting chased out of town by a gaggle of power boaters
They escaped fast!
Lots of sailing going on in Biscayne Bay this lovely Sunday afternoon.

Anybody know what this is?

A very happy Captain

The end of a very good day.


Richard Klyce said...

Isn't that unknown boat a Macgregor? 65' or thereabouts.

Ken and Deb said...

Correct, a MacGregor.

S/V Island Bound said...

Good to see you escaped the grasp of the mooring field, and especially that everything worked so well. It's a little unnerving after staying in one place so long. I am always "looking over my shoulder" for the next thing to fail! Good move on waiting for a better window...this last front was a but kicker.

Our best to you!

Bill and Tricia

Hugh Manatee said...

Great pictures! S/V Star