Sunday, December 6, 2015

Finally made it to Florida...

The first day here when it was sunny and calm
...where we have been pinned hard against the dock in 30 knot winds, temps in the mid 50s, intermittent rain. It would be better to be in a protected anchorage, but this is a free dock in Jacksonville and we are touching bases with several friends while here. Being on a dock always makes that easier, unless the wind is blowing 30 knots.

It is hard to get comfortable. The wind is broadside to the boat so we are heeled over. Even with every fender we own placed between the dock and the hull, one still worries a bit about the constant grinding motion between the two. Which, usually, ends up with going out to check on things every couple of hours, night or no night. That is okay though, since there is no real way of keeping a boat quiet in this kind of wind. Things flap and bang and creak, and crushed fenders squeal like they are being tortured. There is not much sleeping going on, might as well get up and check on things.

This morning was day number five. The winds fell to the low to mid 20s overnight so it was a little less uncomfortable, a little less noisy, and good for getting a little more sleep. Then, at 0730, someone starting pounding on the side of the boat. That can only mean something is going wrong for someone on the dock and they need help, right?

No. A dweeb of a Park Ranger stood on the dock, wanting to inform us that we had exceeded the 3 day limit for staying and needed to leave.

Are you kidding me?

Today at 22 knots. Too windy yesterday to take pictures
There was 20 knots of wind blowing directly into his face as he stood looking at the boat. At his feet five fenders were being smashed flat as Kintala leaned against the dock. Fortunately for Dudley-Do-Right in his efforts to exercise what (I suspect) he thinks of as an important and necessary duty, he was talking to Deb. She was patient enough to try and enlighten this hopeless wanker as to the realities of boats, docks, winds, and currents. At 0730 in the morning after days of 30 knot winds, woken from the first good sleep since the overnight run, to have someone trying to chase me away from a place where the bathroom doesn't lock and doesn't flush, where the trash cans are overflowing, and where there is nothing within walking distance of any use? Does this idiot actually think we traveled 1000 miles to be squatters here? St. Augustine is a day away. A few days south of that is the promised land of Biscayne Bay, with the Bahama Islands only a day's sail from there. There is nothing I want more than to be on our way from this place.

Obviously the man was suffering some kind of mental episode begging for an "intervention". He would have a much better grasp of reality, might even become a useful member of the human tribe, if somehow he could clear his head of a truck load of stupid.  Had it been me, there might have been a short conversation punctuated by a loud splash. I would have considered tossing him into the water an act of human kindness, a cold bath might be just the thing he needs to snap out of his delusions.

With any luck we will be out of here tomorrow, saving what little is left of my sanity. The Park Ranger will just have to remain deluded and useless, unless someone else takes the time to help him clear his head.

Welcome to Florida.

The Sisters Creek free dock. Beautiful place as long as the wind isn't howling

1 comment:

Matthew Richter said...

I am sorry to say I am a Fl resident and my taxes pay that hapless individual his salary. Your post made me laugh and I'm sure it will get better.