Friday, March 16, 2018

At last...

After way too many days, weeks really…well, to be honest, months, Kintala is riding to her anchor rode once again. We got off the dock a couple of days ago, went out into Tampa Bay flying the jib, tacked up toward the bridge then back to the mouth of the Manatee River. Once there, it was a sail change and an easy, 4 knot deep run on just the staysail up the river and to the anchorage not too far off the boatyard. The kids can wave at us from the shore which is really kind of fun. Setting the hook must be one of those things that you don’t forget since the Mantus went down and dug in with little ado.

Though friends up north will laugh at this, a brisk north wind and temperatures in the low 50’s made it a chilly evening of sitting in the cockpit. Hot buttered rum was the perfect celebration of being out on the water once again. Though it isn’t the usual practice around here, Kintala’s conch horn echoed across the wavelets as the sun touched the horizon.

Though the water was pretty calm, stutter steps and grasping at hand holds was clear evidence that legs can forget what it means to live on open water. I kept bumping into things that were suddenly in my way, door jams, walls, and cabinet bits. And, truth to tell, I think my inner ear might have forgotten some things as well, like how to ignore being in a moving, swinging, bouncing house. Settling into the v-berth came with a slight sigh of relief though, within minutes it was clear that another thing that had been forgotten was the symphony of noises that a boat at anchor makes bow into winds gusting to twenty plus knots.

Which I am going to use as the excuse for doing absolutely nothing since the hook went down. Some stuff gets read, other stuff gets written, music fills the headsets and naps appear out of nowhere.. And yes, that is our new hammock strung between the mast and stay. 

Another delight has been the appearance of wildlife. Even though we live closer to the natural world than most even when in the marina, just a few hundred feet off shore it feels like the cosmos ignores the fact that humans are around. Yesterday evening a gaggle of a dozen or more pelicans went into a feeding frenzy just off the starboard side. It was a parade of the big birds all but hovering 10 to 20 feet off the water, then twisting and bending their wings for a kind of feathered cannon ball crash into the water. Some kind of tern were also in on the action, landing on the heads and backs of the pelicans hoping (apparently) to make off with a meal. I haven’t seen that happen before; it seemed kind of a bold move to me. The pelicans didn't seem to mind, which didn't surprise me. Pelicans are the stoics of the Aves family of animals; unruffled, capable, content, and completely at home in their environment.

In the next day or two we will be heading back to the dock for one more short stint. There is nothing major needing done to the boat, but we are going to help with the little ones as Son-in-Law needs to be away for a couple of days. 

Back to cruising. At last.


Phil Gow said...


Hartley Gardner said...

Well, you beat us back in (low bar) - mebbe we should have tried FL for our tank replacement, but VA won out on the estimate sweepstakes. But the cold & nasty weather has slowed them down (not to mention UPS living up to their "United Crush" rep) - right now we're hoping on the end of April. On the plus side, Hartley's had so many minor surgeries this winter he shouldn't need another one 'til 2025 or so.

Thinking about past days in the sun makes the Winter go easier, though.

Hartley & Lesley
S/V Atsa

TJ said...

We are in, but not on the way just yet. After a week back on the dock to help with grand kids while Papa was away, we are back out on the anchor. Plans are changing a bit so we will be here for another week or so getting some details worked out, then start a pretty good push to get north. Even though we are bouncing around in gusts to 30 at the moment, it is still good to be away from the land again.