(or how to move onto a sailboat)
With the advent of our 50th birthdays came the usual sorts of life evaluations that one goes through. At what have I succeeded? What contributions have I made? What do I have left that I want to do before I die? Living on the water was high on both our lists.
For any who share the dream, and for our family members who might not understand, this is our story. We don't know where it will take us, but welcome along for the ride!
had an alarm set for this morning, woke up just before it went off,
and went about getting Kintala ready to be under way. Hearing her
being busy was enough to get me to groan my way out of the v-berth,
clutch a cup of coffee, and go about getting the deck ready to be
under way. Coffee helps, as does the knowledge that the summer-work-on-the-boat is officially over. For months the working on the
boat has taken place in Rock Creek. After today working on the boat
will happen wherever the boat happens to be.
all by itself, should have been enough to have me near hopping for
joy. But it has been ugly hot since we left the dock and we have
managed to tangle with a couple of pretty tough projects where the
sweat poured off us in little sticky rivers. Part of yesterday was
spent cleaning the gross fuzz off the dink, no one's idea of a cheese
burger in paradise. And we had pulled the anchor yesterday. It, and
the chain, came up choked with a stinky, sticky, black mud the
likes of which we haven't seen in 4000 miles of sailing. Fortunately
we were just going in for a pump-out and water, offering the chance
to wash the black goo off the fore deck with unlimited dock water.
But it was still a mess, and the hook was sunk deep in the mud.
Waking up to the thought of a second go at mud wrestling with Rock
Creek, with only a bucket and brush to wash away the post battle
debris, was not a happy thought.
I think all human hearts have a bit of Velcro in them. The crew at
Oak Harbor Marina, dock friends Carol and Dave, Judy and Dick, Susan
and Wayne...cruising compatriots Nancy and David, Mizzy and
Brian...Family Tiff, Matt, and girls, how do you not get attached,
not feel a little heart lurch, at the thought of leaving them behind?
the other hand, how can a cruiser not leave when the boat is working
and the days are getting shorter? There are places to be seen,
people to meet (and meet again) along the way. There are friends in
the Bay and places south that will be a part of our lives again.
This is what we do. This is who we are.
anchor didn't come off the bottom easy but it, and the chain, did
come off the bottom clean. I have no clue how that happened, but it was sure nice that it did. The Beast rumbled away and Kintala moved down Rock
Creek with no plans of returning soon. Wind forecasts for the day
included gusts to 25 knots, so the main was preset to go up with a
reef while the staysail would go out before the big jib. First
though, we motored around in a few circles to try out the auto-helm
upgrade. The little ST1000 did okay. It is pretty basic and there
will be a bit of a learning curve. But Kintala will hold a heading
under motor and (some) sailing conditions. And that is a huge
improvement to life under way.
The ST1000 set up on the stern
that test done, the bow swung south and east. At day's end
we found ourselves on the other side of the Bay, on a dock in Kent Narrows, tied up next to good friend Stephen and his
Tartan 42, Zephyr. It isn't often that our old Tartan finds herself next to
a sister ship, Stephen and I figured about 5% of all the Tartan 42s
in the world are parked right here in these two slips. We first met
Stephen in Oriental nearly two years ago. The last time we saw him
was in Ft. Lauderdale a year ago. Since then, we have been to the
Islands and he sailed up the East Coast in one mad, 10 day rush.
Soon he, us, and many of those we left in Rock Creek, will be working
our way toward the Islands.
can a cruiser not leave when the boat is working and the days are
getting shorter? There are places to be seen, people to meet (and
meet again) along the way. This is what we do.