Thursday, April 26, 2018

I'll take it

Kintala has her anchor set in the waters of Gasparilla Sound, two days of ICW travel south of Tampa Bay. So I think it safe to say that we are on the way without tempting the fates too much. It took a couple of tries but, maybe, anchoring just outside of Snead was too much of a temptation for Mr. Murphy and his law? This time we pushed off the dock, turned the stern to Snead, and proceeded directly out of sight. We decided to stay "inside" for the start since the boat is recently repaired and we are, likely, a bit more rusty than we would like to admit.

A little sailing on Sarasota Bay
At the end of the first day the anchor dropped in Little Sarasota Bay. We had planned on anchoring off Sarasota but blustery west winds made that look uncomfortable. We will spend many a night in rumbled up anchorages, no use starting out in one if it can be helped. Little Sarasota was an easy reach before night fell.

It was the first night spent out of sight of Snead Island in a little more than a year. It was glorious though, early in the ‘O dark thirty, I had a bit of a scare. The first meal on the hook out of sight of Snead was meatloaf, one of my personal favorites. (Cold meatloaf sandwiches being a close second.) Deb had added some Worchestershire sauce to the recipe for flavoring, gifted by a crew putting their boat up on the hard for the season. It turns out this Worcestershire sauce was made with anchovies. Anchovies are a close relative to shell fish. Shell fish and I are not mates. All is well as it was a subdued reaction, but being anchored out and knowing that something is going wrong isn’t a lot of fun.

I’ll pass on the cold meatloaf sandwiches for now.

We did get some really nice sailing the first day out on Sarasota Bay, (the big one), though we did manage to get tangled up in yet another sailboat race. But, for the most part, ICW sailing is trawler motoring so Kintala has been making like a trawler-with-a-really-tall-antenna. The WesterBeast has been happily thumping along, temps hovering a couple of degrees cooler than they used to while pushing our squeaky clean hull along at better than six knots. ICW travel, true. But really good ICW travel, which isn't half bad at all.

Particularly after slightly more than a year spent at a dock.

Thirteen bridges in two days, but the west coast tenders are awesome and we flew through them.

Finally some pretty water

There were a few butterflies on departure, which I find a bit embarrassing. Back in my old life we could be sitting at the departure end of 28R, 60 some odd people in the back of the jet, snow falling out of a coal black sky being strobed by lightning flashes, wind blowing…and it was just another day in the office. In fact it was better than just another day at the office. Anyone can fly when the sun is shining and the sky is friendly. Based out of Chicago’s O’Hare during the winter? Nervous types need not apply, they will not last long.

But after a year at the dock getting Kintala underway once again didn’t feel like just another day in the office. (Well, shop.) And someday I’m going to figure out why that is. Maybe it’s because we have a history of false starts, getting going only to come limping back in with one kind of wonk or another. We always get it straightened out and, eventually, get on our way. But it never seems to be a smooth departure, and this last one was no exception.

Maybe it’s because the jet didn’t belong to me. Should something break we were well trained to handle the problem and limp back to earth with whatever was still working. At that point it became someone else’s problem. Should it be a slow news day with someone taking a video and loading it up on youtube, one might even be hailed as heroic for doing the job one is supposed to be doing, (and saving one’s own skin in the process). Back when I taught a class in high altitude turbine operations, I used to tell the students that, if they had to have a problem with an airplane, landing gear was the system of choice. Only an absolute klutz could get hurt by failed landing gear. But the videos of sliding one in on its belly will make the crew famous…so long as that didn't happen because they forgot to put the little handle in the “DOWN” position.

In any case, if the jet proved to be a disappointment (a pilot should never be surprised by an airplane) it wasn’t going to cost me any money to get it fixed, nor would it likely be me doing the fixing.

But Kintala? Should (when) something breaks we will likely limp (or be towed) back to shore with nothing more than some minor drama but, once in, she remains my problem. We plan on being at this for a while yet. There will be lots of opportunities for “problems." Depending on a boat as one’s home and primary mode of travel is a bit more problematic than I ever anticipated.

But not today. Today we have been on our way for two whole days. Today the weather has been perfect. Right now there are dolphins playing around our boat and the sailboat anchored nearby answered our conch horn as the sun touched the horizon. Today future has the promise of some very good times.

I’ll take today.


Phil Gow said...

Great to see you on your way again!

s/v Sionna said...

Hurray, you’ve made it off the dock!
Fair winds to you, and thanks for the brunch and gam!