Sunday, February 5, 2017

Hanging on a hook

Hanging out in No Name Harbor over a weekend means just one thing, watching the party. We like this  place, though I'm not sure I can explain why. Power boats apparently have a lot of wattage in their electrical systems to spare. They can drive massive sound systems capable of many decibels. When four of them raft together, each crowded with enthusiastic young people, things can get near to being out of hand, and very loud. But that can be kind of fun. Around 2300 hours last Saturday one such raft up started pumping out “Paradise By the Dashboard Lights” of Meat Loaf's “Bat out of Hell” album. It is an okay song, I didn't usually reach to turn it off when it popped up on the radio in the Z car. (Unlike anything from Ted Nugget, which immediately got the ax.) But I have to say, when a boat load of young people starting singing the lyrics back and forth, guys v gals, it was just hilarious. This old guy sat on his old boat, smiling at the energy and just pure fun that was radiating across the harbor.

It was good to hear a bunch of younger people just having a raucous good time. Life on Kintala is not normally raucous. When it is, when sails are flapping and the boat is pounding away while we try to figure out what to do next, we don't normally think of it as “good”. Nor are we (more me than Deb) much for bigger groups. I can take a crowd at some kind of event, but a “gathering” of more than eight or ten isn't much my thing. The impromptu mini musical echoing across No Name was pretty unique in my experience.

No Name has changed a little in the year since we were here last. There are new garbage bins to keep the raccoons from trashing the place every night, a nice touch. They installed an outside faucet just so boaters could have access to water. Another nice touch.

The latches and locks on the bathroom doors don't work. In fact the guts are completely missing. Who steals the guts out of latches and locks on bathroom doors? (Apparently someone does.) We bumped into some park employees fixing things in the laundry this morning, and they assure us the new parts are on the way. When asked about the inoperative pump out they assured us that new parts were on the way for that as well. It seems that someone broke the fitting off of the hose so they could use the pump out to vacuum their boat. That is one seriously deranged person there. No wonder land dwellers have a somewhat negative view of full time cruisers. It seems a few real twitches in our tribe are giving all of us a bad name.

Not that such things deter people from coming to No Name, but that group seems to have changed a little. Though there are a couple of cruiser type sail boats nearby, Kintala is surrounded by more big power yachts than I ever remember seeing in here. There was always one or two, but now they are the majority of the boats along the wall and anchored off either side. There was also an Antares 44i anchored nearby for a few days. We haven't seen one of those things “in the wild” for ages. I had forgotten how much I liked them even though they are multiples of times outside our price range.
Boats that draw approval from Kintala's crew share one characteristic that always draw the comment, “We could fit a lot of grand babies on that one.”

Frankly, such musing on the boats in No Name are simply based on the thrashing we took getting here the other day. Kintala is an old IROC racing boat with a tiny cockpit. No matter how hard we try she will always be potential hand-full under sail; easy to over canvas, cockpit always full of running rigging, and heeled pretty hard in anything but light, or off the stern, winds. Her auto pilot will always be far less capable than even the most basic units now available. She will always be a salad bowl sitting at anchor and storage is always going to be a problem.

And we will never be able to fit very many grand babies on board.

There are boats shorter than this one with two usable cabins, two heads, and much more space below. They also have much more room to work the sails, and a big cockpit, and an auto pilot that is a true "third crew member." It probably can't happen. We are, after all, pretty deep into “budget cruiser” territory when in comes to money we have to spend just living, let alone buying another boat. Hence the need to work. (A quick look uncovered a 44i for sale at ¾ of a million dollars. Yikes!)

But it is a nice thought.

In the mean time we are working toward launching for the Islands. There is no hurry. In some ways I am still getting back to my “normal” after the summer of work. Reading is a big part of the day. “Quantum Enigma: Physics Encounters Consciousness” and “Spooky Action at a Distance: The Phenomenon that Reimagines Space and Time” have been thought provoking and enjoyable. Heidegger's “Being and Time (recommended by my Philosophy Major Daughter Eldest) is proving to be slow going.

That's okay though, “slow going” fits life on a sailboat.

So we are still in No Name. The furling system is fixed; the head sail restitched in a couple of places. No real damage was done to the boat, or to me. We did some work on the auto pilot, attempts to smooth out the rough edges on its backyard engineering. I suspect it will get tested out in a day, or two, or maybe three. Coconut grove is next, a mooring ball in Dinner Key. For now we are on the hook, in a pretty place, with no time pressure to do anything, and even spent an evening having sundowners with two other full time gypsy couples. (Including the crew of the 44i.) All some of the best parts of cruising, and we are just enjoying being back, while not pressing too hard to move on.


Donald Strong said...

Envy your freedom and enjoyment of sailing. Regards, Don

Deb said...

@Don - I don't take a single day for granted out here. We are very, very fortunate to be here and are always grateful for the opportunity.