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Don’t Set Schedules

03/21/2012

We still haven’t learned yet.

Don’t set “Schedules” for yourself when you are “Cruising”. If you want to have an enjoyable trip, you don’t want to be heading out into the sea when the waves are big and coming at you every 3-5 seconds. It will be a rough ride and you will wish you would have waited before “rushing off”.

We look at buoyweather.com for a seven (7) day forecast. It gives us the wind direction in the morning and the sea conditions and then the same for the evening. In the past week we have relied on the forecast and have either taken a boat ride and realized there is no wind, or we rely on the forescast that it’s going to blow out of the north/hard for the next 3 days and we decide to “stay put”. As I am writing, this is one of the evenings we decided to “stay put”. It’s blowing like 20knots out there and it’s dark so it feels like its blowing harder.

It’s not like there is nothing to do while you wait for a weather window. We have issues, just like everyone else. Yesterday was Monday and I like to use Monday’s as an excuse to do nothing. I spent most of the day sitting on the deck reading a book and chatting with the tourists in kayaks as they paddeled by the boat.

The weather looked ominous on the horizon last Sunday. Then today the wind blew and the waves coming into the anchorage grew larger and larger. I didn’t sleep well due to the boat thrashing back and forth from side to side.

A wave so large came thru and almost crested at the bow of my boat. It shook the boat so much that Michael started talking about going into the Old Harbor to anchor for the night. He started the engine and started to head out when he noticed the transmission slipping. After he checked it out, he found it was low on oil and topped it off. It wasn’t until 45 minutes before sunset that he decided to try it again. So we pulled up the anchor, headed out of the anchorage and motored into the channel over to the Old Harbor.

The wind was howling by that point. Once we got the boat into the area, we realized there wasn’t much room in this anchorage. People started coming out of the boats and pointing and yelling over the wind “go over there, not here, don’t anchor here.” We motored passed and attempted to drop the anchor 3 different times and each time the anchor dragged on the bottom, just wouldn’t take a bight. The bottom was mud. With the wind blowing like it was, we couldn’t take a chance on dragging.

Michael turned around and headed back to the Stone Island Anchorage. As he exited the Harbor he announced on the VHF Channel 22 “All the Boaters in the Old Harbor Anchorage can go back to bed now. Halcyon has left the area and is headed back to the Stone Island Anchorage.” One lady with a soft voice responded ” Thank you.”. We had a good laugh.

We returned to our previous spot and dropped the anchor again. Our Bruce anchor likes to hold in the sand, so sand it is! The waves were calm now as the wind blew from the opposit direction flattening them out. I slept real good last night.

Tonight we had visitors over from another sailboat anchored here in the anchorage. It was a nice diversion to have a conversation with someone other than the crew on my boat. This couple was from Washington State. They told us a little about themselves and the places they had visited south of here. I would have loved to have asked them more questions about their trip, but the guys on this boat were trying to get in some “chat” time as well. So the competition was on.

For the last several days Michael has said how he’d like to take the walk up the mountain to the lighthouse. And each day he has something else to do first and then we never go. Today he says “We will go tomorrow.”

Buoyweather.com shows that the seas will be lying down on Thursday. We are talking about heading out then.

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Happy New Year

12/31/2011

May this new year be a start of putting away old fears and moving forward with new dreams. There is no time like the present.

Holiday Season

12/21/2011

 

Groups of boats arrived in La Paz over Thanks Giving everyone hurried to their destinations.  They filled up the anchorages and dropped their anchors almost on top of other boaters anchors.  The weather got cooler and the boats eventually left to head south for warmer climates.  The quiet takes over.

Four days before Christmas.  No television commercials and no pressures.  The Sanctuary bells ring in succession during the day and night.  The sound drifts across the water to where we are anchored and is only a faint but sweet sound.  Peace.  A delight full time.  Being able to spend time as chosen and not as dictated is a real blessing.  If these days were my last, they were so well spent.

 

The Seasons End

06/21/2010

It had been an adventurous season, to say the least. We had many more exciting moments heading north that spring, but the one that stands out the most in my mind was  the marriage proposal from Michael. Over all, this trip took us two weeks to get to Marco Island, FL  and  six weeks to get back home to the Outer Banks in North Carolina, thanks to the spring storms.  It was an adventure I would never forget. 

 Michael and I were married the following September in 1991.  We continued to live aboard even after our son was born in 1993 and didn’t move back onshore until 1997. In many ways we regretted not staying on board. We knew that one day, we would return.

Audios to the Keys

05/22/2010

 

Audios to the Keys

The visit to Marathon couldn’t be compared to anywhere else we had been. My heart was heavy with having to say goodbye to everyone at the marina. What a fun place to visit. Once we left Marathon Key, we were ready to defrag.  It was time to focus on the trip north and get the boat ready for the charter for the following week. Michael’s mother, whom I had not met, lived in Juno Beach and the plan was to stop and visit with her before heading up to St. Augustine.  So we sailed a little ways north and found a nice quiet place to drop the anchor.  We tucked the boat up behind a little island just in case the wind decided to blow during the night. It was a great place to relax.

 Michael and I worked around the boat putting things back in order. Later that afternoon, I fixed a couple of vodka tonics with lime while Michael stretched the new hammock from the mast over to the boom vang.  Then he invited me to come lay down in the hammock with him and watch the sun go down.  But before I climbed in, he laughed and said “better close this hatch, wouldn’t want to fall thru the companion way should it give way”.  Good thing he did, not too long after we got comfortable, the hammock broke.  Both of us crashed onto the deck with our drinks in hand and vodka tonics all over us, laughing hysterically.  Had he not shut that hatch, one or both of us would have been in some serious pain.

Later on, the wind did pick up as predicted and a piece of needlework that I had been working on got caught up in a gust and went right over the side.  Michael being the nice guy that he was threw off his ball cap and shoes and dove over the side to get it.  Frustrated that the work that I had put into this piece of needlepoint had just blown away, I dove in as well.  But the sun was on its way down and the water wasn’t as clear as before.  The color of the water was a mild light green/grey and the fish weren’t very identifiable.  I was able to make out the huge areas of brain coral.  While swimming around and looking at the coral, I forgot why I was in the water in the first place. No…., never did find my needlepoint.  I chalked it off as payment to the sea for allowing me this tremendous experience.

Later that night after we had settled down, a big wind storm kicked up swinging the boat back and forth.  When at anchor, we always got a fix on something stationary on land to get an idea of whether the boats anchor was dragging.  Michael and I took turns looking out the hatch to make sure we were in the same spot.

 It was 3AM; Michael was out on the deck starting the engine.  The Boston Whaler, our dingy, had broken loose of its line and he could see it sailing off on its own.  It was pitch black dark and from time to time the white sides of the boat would come into view. He instructed me to steer in the direction of the boat. At the approach, he jumped into the runaway Boston Whaler.  The wind blew a constant 30 for 40 knots, as the boat continued on its south west track.

  Me being inexperienced at the wheel wasn’t able to keep up with the Boston Whaler in the complete darkness. Eventually Michael made way back to the motor and started it up.  He steered his way back to the sailboat and secured the Boston Whaler to an aft cleat. Every time he had ever left me to “man” the boat alone, my heart would rush with anxiety.   

 The smell of the salt air and fish was so strong.  It felt a bit eerie out there, with the wind blowing and not being able to see anything. As soon as Michael was back on board he went down below and back to bed.  It was hard for me to go back to sleep after an incident like that.

The next morning we sailed back up towards Miami.  As we exited Florida Bay and headed out into the Atlantic Ocean, we headed north up the east coast, only to have injector problems again.  The engine cut off right as we were offshore of Biscayne Bay.  We had to tack “again”, back and forth to get closer to land. It was becoming dark and our electronics had stopped working as well. We had to rely on the charts as to our position. This was a time I was thankful that Michael had always insisted on plotting a course manually and electronically. When plan A falls thru, you always have plan B to tell you where you were on the water.

 The wind wasn’t always on our side and the hours kept passing by. Flashes of another “all nighter” came to mind, just dreading the thought of the two of us pulling shifts dodging rocks. I definitely didn’t want to be the one who hit the reef and sunk the boat. Keeping my thoughts to myself, Michael spoke up and said “you know, I’ll just keep on the wheel. You let me know the number of the next buoy”. Delighted as I was, I continued to study the chart with my mini mag light.

  As darkness fell, navigating became a different animal. A world of stimuli in every direction turned into a world of red and green lights varied in direction, some fixed (not blinking) and some not fixed and pitch black darkness all around us. It was imperative that we stay in the channel at all times

 The lights from shore of Miami were bright and far enough away; I knew I wouldn’t be able to swim that distance should we get a hole in the boat due to hitting a coral bed.  It was a stress full time.  Eventually, we made it to shore.  Dropped the anchor once again, got a fix on the shoreline and went down below to get some rest.   The next morning Michael would assess the problem.

 As the night wore on, we were able to navigate our way up into a sleepy little anchorage. We were both exhausted from the tension and were ready for a stiff drink to tell our nerves it was ok for them to relax. Setting the anchor took some time to do. We slept out on the deck that night only to keep a good “look out” just in case our anchor slipped.

Short Stories ~ Dry Tortugas Run I

11/17/2009

Christmas was three days away. People were making plans and talking about what they were going to be doing for Christmas.  One of our friends spoke up and said “We ought to sail over to the Dry Tortugas.  We have some time off, shouldn’t be too many people there.  Come on lets do it!”  Michael looked over at Doug, looked down at his feet, looked over at me and said “You’ve never been to the Dry Tortugas, have you?” Feeling a bit embarrassed I shook my head, not really knowing what or where he was talking about.  He said “Fort Jefferson. It’s located in the Dry Tortugas where the Doctor, (who treated John Wilkes Booth’s broken leg), was sent after Booth shot President Lincoln, remember? Doctor Mudd?”  Again, a bit embarrassed now because my history had “holes” in it. I could remember bits and pieces of history, but didn’t store much if it didn’t pertain to current events. (That was then.)   Doug spoke up “We can take our dive tanks, do some diving.” Michael piped in and said ” Yea, we can get a case of cheap beer, some butter, and a loaf a bread.”  I was thinking “What?”.  But thankfully Michael had something else in mind.

The next day, we started the morning “in the manner that we had become a custom to”, which was anchored out in the Marco River sitting on the deck with the teak table set up for coffee and warm blueberry muffins fresh out of the oven.  It was so nice to smell the morning salt air, while watching  the birds work over the mangroves and pick fish out of the salt water.  The breeze was always warm as it blew across the boat, stimulating your senses to wake up.  After the caffeine had filled our viens we began making plans for our trip. Once I had my “orders” and Michael had his plan, we started our day.  We spent the morning setting the boat up for the 15 hour cruise.  The boat had three double staterooms and two heads. It was amazing how much stuff two people can scatter around a boat of that size.  We had stuff everywhere.  I organized and put things away while Michael organized the Navigation Table and set up the charts and his plotting tools.  He had chart books, Rope books, Tide & Current tables, Light list, Chapmans Piloting and Seaman Ship ( of which he asked me to read. y. a .w. n.),  The Coast Pilot,  and Boat Building Books. Then there was a series of Jack Londons  Books. You name it, he had it.   And it all seemed to be on top of the Navigation Table.  Getting the Flying Dutchman ready for company and charters was like maintaining a floating hotel.  Once we got everything in order it was time for lunch.

We set up the lines in stations along the center of the topsides, not knowing which side we were going to have to tie up to, once we came ashore.  Michael started the motor, went to the bow, gave me the go ahead to put the motor into forward gear for him to pull the anchor up, then back to the wheel.  We made way down the river and over to the Snook Inn Docks, tied up on the starboard side. This is where we had decided to have lunch and meet our friends for departure.  The Snook Inn was this neat restaurant with views of the Marco River.  One could sit there, eat and drink while watching the boats go up and down the river or catch the sunset.  They also had a Tiki Hut/Bar where one could go for  cold drinks and eat, watch the game or weather channel from the televisions’ set up in each of the corners of the hut. It was a fun place to go. Being a tourist area, The Snook Inn always felt like a party. The people were always friendly and the service was professional.

Kim and Doug were to meet us at 2 pm.  After lunch Michael and I went back to the boat turned on the VHF Marine Weather to get the latest update.  For the afternoon North winds were predicted 5 to 10 knotts (1 knott being slightly faster than 1 mile per hour), Seas 2 feet or less, Bay and Inland Waters a light chop.  At night SE Winds 5 to 10 knotts, Seas 2 feet or less, a light chop. And for the next morning more of the same, just a little more wind 10 to 15 knots at the most.  It was ideal cruising weather.  Our friends showed up as scheduled carrying more gear than I imagined.  They had dive tanks, dive bags, snorkel gear, large stuff sacks, coolers, a tool box (Doug was a marine mechanic), and Kim’s Banjo.  From the looks of their gear, I knew we were going to have some fun.

It was decided that we would break the trip down into shifts and each of us would take a turn at the wheel.  Although the guys were so eager and excited to get there, as the night wore on the two of them were almost fighting over the wheel. We had motored most of the way with the assistance of the sails, as to pick up an extra knott or so.   As we got closer to the Dry Tortugas, Doug shook my shoulder and told me to look over the side of the boat as he shined the spot light into the water.  As I peered over the side, I had a falling sensation in my stomach.  The water was a pale light green and I could literally see the white sandy bottom.  He said the water was 35-40′ deep. At that point I felt like the boat and us were very small in the scheme of things. Cruising along in the dark was beautiful with all of the stars out. All that you could see was darkness, stars and an occasional lights from the riggings of large fishing boats way off in a distance.   I tried not to let my imagination run, because it was a bit creepy at the same time.  The feeling of the “Unknown”, what you couldn’t see.   It didn’t seem very much later  that the guys were studying the chart, looking for markers to navigate into the area of the Dry Tortugas National Park.  The sun was coming up as we approached the anchorage.  There weren’t many boats there, mostly commercial fishing boats.  We dropped our anchor far enough away  to keep from disturbing the other boats. Once the motor was turned off,  my body was vibrating and my ears were ringing.  The sun was coming up fast and my eyes were tired from being up all night.  Part of me wanted to jump in the dingy and explore, the other half of me wanted to go below and take a nap.  The latter part won.

Short Stories ~ Chartering

11/14/2009

Great FeelingThe Booking Agent had scheduled a large booking that would involve several boats.  A large corporation was having a seminar on Marco Island and to break up the monotony they scheduled for all of their employees to have some “Down Time” by either Sailing or Fishing.  We were notified of the place and time to meet the charters.  Upon arrival we were greeted by the Booking Agent who started off by handing over coolers of all shapes and sizes and large bags of  provisions.  Michael had explained earlier that in these circumstances my job was to unload everything.  Put the coolers where they wouldn’t get turned over and to play the part of Hostess by making sure everyone had a cold drink or something to eat. But he really didn’t think that I would need to offer more than once because  “once we start sailing, no one wants anything.”  And he was right.

We had a fun time sailing.  Our group seemed very anxious to let their “hair down”, so to speak.  After a couple of days stranded at the hotel listening to one speaker  after the next, it was enough for anyone to want to break away.  As we headed out the Marco River, everyone was talking,  laughing and bitching about this person or that situation.  Then as we passed thru the inlet, entering the Gulf of Mexico, the chatter started to die down.  The day was hot and in the high 80’s.  There wasn’t much wind until we got out into the Gulf of Mexico.  Michael instructed people sitting in the cockpit area to move  one direction or the other (front or back) and he began the show.  He pulled out the sails, got them set where he wanted them and then began putting people on the wheel.  As soon as they would grab the wheel and feel the wind, you could see a large grin begin to spread across their face.    Once he knew the wheel was manned, he would mingle with the others. Sometimes he would show you how to really have a good time and would sit on the bow-rail, lock his feet underneath the lower rain, lean back and stretch out his arms.  He would say that they feeling of looking at the water and the sky upside down, was great.  The defragging had begun and so did Michael’s’ stories.  He was an entertainer and people would love to hear him talk about his experiences as a Sailboat Captain.  And even tho I had heard these stories many times, I still couldn’t help but laugh, because they were funny.

The Charter was for two hours and it was a productive two hours for this group.  Several other Sailboat Charters were carrying other groups from their corporation and as we were heading back into the channel, into the Marco River, our group got excited, started yelling, laughing and waving at the other sailboats.  Then several members in the group stood up, turned around, dropped their pants midway and mooned all the other boats passing by.  The laughter and stomping of feet  was so loud that you could tell that their time on the water had done it’s job.  As we returned to the docks, people were grabbing their shoes and gear. Each of them took a turn at shaking the Captains hand. Each person expressed what a great time they had.  Then the last few off the boat  introduced themselves as the CEO’s of the  corporation.  They also said their associates probably thought they had had too many beers. And were surprised that they didn’t even finish one.  They were curious how the rest of the seminar would go.  Matter of fact, we were too.

Shortly after the docks had cleared of all of the people, the other Boat Captains from the Sailing and Fishing Boats started gathering at the Tiki Bar Hut.  Then after everyone had a drink at the bar, they started to visit the Sailboats and sit on their decks and drink up the beers that were left behind.  They knew to go to the sailboats because hardly any one wants to drink once they go sailing, it is usually when they get back to the dock and reflect on the day.

Short Stories of the Season

11/11/2009

Michael Wiring Mastlight

     The idea was to go to Marco Island and do charters since The Flying Dutchman had established a winter business there.  The Gulf War was started that winter and the tourist industry had taken a hit.  No one was doing any business which gave us alot of time to play.  It was a double edge sword.  Rarely time and money ever jive.  So we lived on the edge financially.  Living on the anchor had its’ advantages. There was no dockage to pay.  When we needed water we would pull in to a marina for the night, fill our water  and fuel tanks and we’d be set for another week.  Groceries got to be an issue during one of our dry spells and I learned of another side of my travel companion, Michael.

  In order to get provisions we had to take our small boat to shore and tie it up along the docks and walk to the store.  We also had large D Cell batteries that needed maintenance and we were taking them to the nearby  boat shop.  A few items were purchased at the store such as peanut butter  ( because it sticks to your ribs) and crackers.  As we were headed back out into the river,  Michael gunned the outboard on this little Boston Whaler.  The batteries (which weigh as much as a dead cow) slid off the nose of the boat and down into the area where the groceries were, crushing the box of crackers.  I remember shooting Michael a look of discust.  He had a side that liked speed and I was amazed after listening to him talk about how much sailing slowed him down.  Until we had our next charter, we had to eat peanutbutter and crackers, this time is was with a knife, dipped into the jar and then back into the crushed bag of crackers.  We made a joke about how we were eating peanutbutter and crackers, corn dog style. Even tho times were difficult, we made the best of it. 

     The boat didn’t care that money was scarce and it still required its usual maintenance.  This was another opportunity for Michael to display his knowledge in electronics.  I had taken on a job at a near by boat repair facility and had received a call on the VHF from Michael, that we had a charter scheduled in an hour.  He had been working on the electronics all morning and was unable to use the starter to start the boat.  When he called,  he advised me of the time of the charter and the manner of which  I was to meet him and the charter on the docks.  He said he would be approaching undersail and that he was to throw me a line and I was to take a wrap on the piling, to slow him down enough to pick us up.  My heart sunk at his plan, but thought  “If he thinks I can do this, then I’ll  attempt to give it a try”.  Sure enough, I arrive at O’Sheays docks at 11AM.  Standing on the docks were 6 people ready to go for a sail. 

As I look across the river I see Michaels head pop up out of the interior of the sailboat as if to start the motor, shake his head, then back down below, then back up top.  He moved quickly to the bow, hauls up the anchor and chain. Moves quickly to the back of the boat, reaches the starboard sheet and pulls out the Jenoa Sail.  Reaches over to the Main Sheet and pulls out the Main Sail as well.  Jumps down into the cockpit, grabs the wheel and begins to tack up and down the river until he makes his way over to where we were standing on the dock.  The wind was on his side for his plan to work.  Only I wasn’t counting on the wind to be blowing so hard.  My adrenaline was pumping.  The people in the charter were commenting on how pretty the boat was, sailing up and down the river and I didn’t have the heart to tell them that was their boat.  Michael threw me the line.  I had one chance to chatch it.  If  I missed, he was going to have to tack around again and wouldn’t be very happy about it.  Luckily I caught the line, wrapped it around the piling as he made a wrap on the deck cleat.  The boat moved forward, on the length of line, and then began to slide, side to, to the dock.  We were ready to board.  Michael greeted the charter with his big smile and “Hi How Is Every One Doing?”  He helped all of us on board, we untied the lines and went sailing.  Everyone had a fun time and they never knew that we were having mechanical problems.  At the end of the “two hour tour”, once again,  he tacked in the river until he could approach the dock , side to.  I tossed a loop around the piling, pulled the boat in and tied her off. We collected our fee and went to lunch.   Just another perfect day:)

Sailing South for the Winter Part III

11/06/2009

As we left Fort Lauderdale, it was down to three of us,  Michael, Linda and myself.  It felt like a new start.  We didn’t realize the tension we were under  and were relieved that we were back on the ICW. Next stop was a place to eat dinner.  We weren’t under way for long when I decided to get a quick shower to clean up.  Thinking that it would be awhile before we stopped, I stepped into the shower.  I could here people talking and laughing, lots of people.  I was very disoriented and looked out the port to find that we had docked the boat right up against a restaurant dock where people were sitting outside having dinner. We had arrived at Le Tub, near Hollywood Beach.  As I worked my way up on deck I could see the lights that lit up the water which were a clear lime green.  And in the water were these huge Catfish.  They looked to be 3-4′ long.  The people sitting on the dock were throwing pieces of bread into the water and the fish were as if “in a frenzy”.  I would not have liked to have fallen in the water at that time.  The restaurant was open to the outside . It wasn’t fancy.  Just the kind of place where you wouldn’t mind spending some time.  The music was great, as well as the food.  There were pool tables, dart boards and if I remember correctly, sofas and soft chairs arranged in a living room order.  We had dinner,while enjoying the warm breezes blowing across the place. Drank beer, played pool and darts until it got late.  Afterwards we got back onto the boat, untied the lines, motored across the lake, dropped anchor and made plans for the following day.

M on HmmckFlngDtchmn

The sun was up early, and so was Michael.  Linda and I had heavy heads and were moving slow. After we all had our coffees, we got underway.  We still had a few hours  before we got south of Miami.  It was a Saturday morning and the ICW was rocking.  I had never seen so many Cigarette boats with so many tanned bodies all in one place.  When we headed out the inlet at Miami,  a submarine had surfaced and was tooling along above the water.  It was a British Sub and  was lined with Sailors standing side by side along the entire deck(manning the rail).  They were wearing white shorts that went to their knees, with white knee socks  and hats that went flat across the top of their heads. They all looked like Gopher on the Love Boat.  And they were waving to everyone.  Linda and I couldn’t wave enough at these guys.  They were a sight to see, so was their boat!  Boats were zooming past us, coming from every direction.  How anyone kept from hitting each other I’ll never know.  It was early for a Saturday and the Marine Patrol was running people down and giving them tickets.  As we continued south, the traffice died down.  At the north end of Biscayne Bay you could see a tiny island with houses built on stilts.  The island had no roads or electricity.  It was too small.  It looked like a great place to “getaway” to.  I learned years later that the houses were distroyed in hurricane Andrew.

The water was a crystal blue, green color.  It was so pretty.  There was no way to gauge just how deep the water was.  Looking over the side of the boat, you could see fish and coral.  Linda and Michael put me in a Bosuns Chair and with help of the wench, ran me up the 60′ mast.  The view was great!  From up there I could see large turtles. I couldn’t stay up there for long.  The rocking back and forth motion of the boat going over the small waves, was very abusive up top.  I had to wrap my leg around the mast and each time the boat hit a wave, my body was slammed into the mast.  Can only do that so many times.  I remember Linda got tired winding the wench, running me up to the top and Michael had to run me up the rest of the way.  Coming down was a sinch.  It was just like repelling.

As we sailed passed Matecumbe in the Keys, we turned starboard which was a short cut through Florida Bay.  This way we didn’t have to go around to Key West.  We had put in a full day and dropped anchor on the west side of the Keys, near Duck Key.  We stopped early enough to fix a great dinner, have a cold beer and watch the sunset.  I knew then that I was going to love spending time on the water here.  I felt like I should  pinch myself to see if I was awake.  Michael had set up the hammock earlier. Then pulled out his guitar and played us a few tunes.  We were only one day away from our destination, Marco Island, Florida.  The next day was spent in open water most of the time and the highlight of the day was watching the flying fish.  They would pop out of the water, at a good clip, sail thru the air and land a few yards away.  Sometimes the fish would even land in the boat.  We arrived at Marco Island right before sunset.  Michael docked the boat at a restaurant called O’Sheay’s.  He was known here and many people were excited to see him.  It was a shock to be around so many people after spending two weeks on the water.  Linda had a time table she had to stick to.  We all had dinner and a farewell party.  The next day she was headed back to North Carolina.  Thru out the day Michael had friends coming and going from the boat.  My head was still on the water sailing.  While Michael and his friends spent time catching up, I would sneek off down below in the boat, and take a nap.  The year was 1990 and cell phones were not as popular as they are today.  The only way of communication amoung the boaters was to use the VHF radio.  Each person had their own call sign.  Since I was new to boating, I had yet to have a name.  I was deemed “The Sleeper”.

After spending several days at the docks at O’Sheay’s, we decided to take the boat out into the Marco River and drop the anchor.  Life out on the anchor was much more like a vacation than life at the docks.  I had almost forgotten that we were there to do charter work. But that was fine. I would enjoy it anyway.

Go Confidently In The Direction Of Your Dreams! Live The Life You’ve Imagined. Quoted by Henry David Thoreau

11/06/2009

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