(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!
One of the surprises of living
life on a small sailboat is how often we are pinned someplace just
because of the wind. I'm not talking nasty weather, hurricanes, or
nor'easter; just wind. Windy days, days that passed unnoticed as a
land dweller. It isn't the kind of wind that can hurt or do damage to
the boat, it just makes any attempt to get anywhere really uncomfortable. Or, if we are trying to sail directly into it, even
impossible. Since Kintala is everything we own, bashing it around unnecessarily isn't
something we do.
We have been anchored in Boot
Key for more than a week now, It looks like a couple of more days
will pass before we can be on our way again, comfortably that is. If
pressed we could have thumped our way north but, like I said, that
isn't something we like to do. So far as sitting in howling east
winds go, Boot Key has been more comfortable than, say, Dinner Key.
At least there hasn't been breaking waves washing past the boat this
last week. And yet...
There are a lot of people who
like Boot Key. We have friends who have been here for two years now,
and are not planning to leave until next fall. There are hundreds of
other boats here as well and it hasn't been bad, Kintala being one of
them. But it hasn't made our list of places we have to see again
I do appreciate the fact that
they haven't moored over the entire bay, leaving a good amount of
space for wanderers to drop a hook. There is a pump out boat that,
with 24 hours notice, will relieve a relief tank for a $5 fee. For those so
inclined there are bars and restaurants, several with their own dink
docks where one can stay for free, if stopping in for lunch.
Otherwise, shore access is a bit of a bitch; and moderately to
outrageously expensive. As is access to water. We have yet to find a
good place for walking. And trash, well, clandestine trash runs are
back in vogue on the good ship Kintala.
We judge places by how easy they
make it to just go about living. Boot Key has been, for us, neutral
at best. It seems geared more toward extracting the maximum amount of
dollars from those passing through than it is offering services in
return for those dollars. (An exception would be Burdines Water Front Cafe, where modest dollars can be exchanged for an honest heap of excellent french fries.)
Burdines Waterfront Cafe makes the best seasoned fries. this huuuge basket that's too much even for 2 people is only $4.50
I really shouldn't be disappointed. This is
America after all, a whole society geared toward extracting maximum
dollars for minimum services. It works, sort of, much of the time,
for enough people to keep it all going. But it isn't very inspiring, or
uplifting, or enjoyable, or even all that attractive. It is just sort of a place.
Like Boot Key.
One of the really great things about this stay is that we got to play with our two adopted grandkids from S/V Kaltara. We spent a whole day making playdough pizza, cookies, and...