Posts Tagged ‘Cruising’

Spring Season

07/30/2012

It is July and much has transpired. It looks as tho my last entry featured Bandares Bay on the west side of the mainland of Mexico. We cruised over to the far south end of the Bay to stay the night in Yelappa (http://www.yelapa.info/). Such a unique place.  Very small fishing village that looks like a picture you’d see of Switzerland.  We were told by locals that we would be helping to support the small village if we paid to use their moorings instead of using our own anchor.  The bottom was close to 100′ deep very close to the beach.  Unfortunately the moorings were very close together and I spent the night “on watch” due to “fending off” with the boats around us.

Yellapa has an interesting history that is worth checking out. The morning we exited the Bay we got an early start so to get around the point at Cabo Correntes before the afternoon winds picked up and made cruising rough.  As we passed the point we spotted as many as nine different whales heading north.  The seas were a bit bouncy but with Michael at the wheel I was able to wrap my arm around a “stay” and hold the camera as steady as possible. One whale in particular took a large leap out of the water far enough away for me to get the shot of a lifetime.  It was one of the most spectacular events I had ever witnessed and I got a picture of it too.

Wind and seas were perfect for a while.  We actually did some sailing.  But as the afternoon wore on the seas picked up and it got a bit rough. Michael was at the wheel and instructed Mike, the First Mate to go forward and take down the sails.

As he turned into the wind, the direction of the seas were on our nose. The boat was heaving up and down in the tall seas with white water crashing across the bow.  He was working on a sheet that had gotten tangled due to the wind and was focused on freeing it up. Holding on with one arm wrapped around the mast while the other hand worked on the knot. I remember vividly the grin on Mikes face as he returned to the wheel house.  He enjoyed the excitement of the energy of the wind and the seas.

Michael was on the wheel way passed his shift.  Somedays we felt like steering longer than our set schedules.  That day was one of them for Michael.  I went below and took advantage of the free time to catch up on some sleep. Around midnight Mike woke me up and told me to go on deck for look out, we were pulling into an anchorage.  Mike had gone up forward with the new night vision scope scanning the area for boats, rocks and beach and was reporting back to Michael at the wheel.  It was pitch black dark. I kept trying to clear my eyes to see but wasn’t having much luck.  The air was cool and the smell of salt was heavy in the air.

As the boat moved forward I could hear a school of fish swimming to get out-of-the-way.  As they swam a large circle of phosphorus lit up their way giving me a little light to see around the boat.  We could hear the surf but it was difficult to determine just how close it was to the beach.  While Michael watched the depth finder he decided to drop the anchor in 30′ of water.  He gave Mike the “go ahead” to drop the anchor and let out the chain slowly as he backed the engine down in reverse.  A tug on the bow with a swing to right was indicative that the anchor had grabbed.

Michael shut off the engine and once again our ears rang with the sound of silence.  We sat on deck awhile to take in our bearings, making sure the anchor didn’t drag and that it was a safe place to stop for the night. Caelin our labrador got in her bed in the wheel house while we went down below and got in our bunks. Being exhausted, Michael went right to sleep.  As usual I lay there for some time listening and re-assuring myself that we were in a safe place to rest.  Caelin was our alarm should anyone or anything come close to the boat.  Unfortunately dolphins and birds were no exception.

When we awoke the next morning we grabbed a cup of coffee and out onto the deck to take in the unfamiliar surroundings.  We were amazed to see that we had crossed over a long span of nets entering the channel the previous night. Our boat doesn’t have a fin keel so luckily we didn’t disturb the nets….that we know of.

Chamela was were we had landed the night before.  It was another gorgeous beach.  The place where we anchored was in the top part of the picture (north end) on the other side of the last island.

Underway

03/25/2012

Thursday

“Up and at em” Michael said, early this morning. SURE!  He went to bed a 5:30 last night.  I should have figured this would happen.  For some reason I didn’t get much sleep.  Perhaps a little anxiety about getting “underway”. I got out of bed, fixed my tea and didn’t quite have it finished when Michael gives the word for Mike to pull up the anchor.  Things ran through my mind that I wanted to get done first.

Things like: Put the harness on the dog, Stowe anything that might become a missel. Wash my face and put my hair up. Things that were going to be done “on the fly”.

As Mike pulled up the anchor I was there to assist. Tangled tight around the chain came a fishermans net. Everything came to a hault as Mike put the inflatable dingy back in the water to remove the net with a knife in hand.  He worked maybe 30 minutes on this thing, eventually freeing it up from our chain and then we were off!

It was a beautiful day with light winds.  As the day progressed so did the winds making a nice sail south. We spotted whales all day. While Michael went below to take a nap, I spotted a whale off our port bow.  It was so close all I could say was “wo wo wo”.  It came up and checked out the boat as if to determine who had the right of way.  I was so excited my steering was off 20 degrees in either direction.  Mike had come up top and said “Mom don’t head straight for it.” I knew that.! 🙂  Michael was able to get up on deck with his camera and take a few shots. You can see a shot of the wale on Michaels blog “Halcyonpassages.wordpress.com”.

Thursday night was totally awsome on the water.  There was absolutely no moon and the sky was brilliantly lit up with stars that reflected off of the water.  By 7:30pm Mike was tired and asleep on the lazzerette. His shift was to start at 8pm.   I told him to go to bed and I’d take his shift. The autopilot was on and all I had to do was keep a watch for other boats, rocks and whales of course.  I turned on the tunes listening to Sara McGlaughlin, Stevie Ray Vaughn, some old Eagles and Sting. I sat on the deck and watched the sky for hours.  The milkyway covered a large expanse of the sky for north to south.  Two planets were so bright that I watched each one sink into the western horizon one by one as the colorschanged from a bright white to a reddish orange. On the south  horizon I spotted lights moving in a northerlydirection.

A call on the quiet VHS radio was hailing the sailboat headed southbound.  I knew they were calling us.  The boats name was El Tiburon, another sailboat and they had just left Bandaris Bay and was headed back to La Paz.  They mentioned they had transmission issues and had to get a part/repair in La Cruz and recommended a good mechanic.  We exchanged fairwells and continued on our ways.  I was surprised he could tell what kind of boat I was considering the distance between us.

By 12am I was ready to sleep.  I woke up Mike and he was ready to go.  Hopped out of bed and on deck within minutes. He did the 12-4am shift. Michael did 4-6 as I appeared on deck once again and told him to get some sleep.  Each time we saw boats or had a question, we would wake him to check it out. (As per his request.) So he didn’t get much sleep.

All day Friday was truely a dream.  The wind was gradual and the sun was warmer than what we experienced in Mazatlan.  I took the oportunity to sunbathe most of the day while the guys worked the sails and kept the boat moving south.

At 6pm we arrived at the outside channel marker of Bandaris Bay.  Michael navigated in the dark, the boat all the way to the anchorage at Punta De Mita.  We all were asleep by 9:30pm.  Woke up this morning around 6am to look around and see what this place looked like in the daylight. Wow! Absolutely breath taking.  Tall, tall mountains surrounding a huge bay with white sandy beaches and rock cliffs.  Mexico still takes my breath away.

By 7:30 Am  the VHF Radio Channel 22 broadcasts. Local cruisers report who’s in the area along with local weather and tides.  We laughed as we recognized many boats from La Paz over 300 nautical miles away visting the area.  In the cruising community it is a small world.

Wednesday/Hump Day

03/22/2012

Would you believe that we finally did the climb to the top of Cerro Creston, to the lighthouse. We climbed 515 Feet straight up to the top.   We saw beautiful views of the City of Mazatlan, the stretch of the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains and plenty of wild life.  We saw iguannas running rampid, birds of beautiful colors such as bright orange with black stripes across their wings and others that were aqua blue-green.  There were at least 4 different Friget birds riding the air currents.

The first quarter of the way, it was a dirt road which quickly turned to steps that zig zagged to the hill top. Steps of many shapes and sizes.  I think when they built them they told the general public when they’d be pouring the concrete because many of the steps have peoples names and initials written in them.  My favorite was a heart with initials in the middle and flames coming out of the top.

Michaels pace was quicker than my own and we stopped maybe 4 times for a look around and to slow down our hearts a little.  Our plan was to climb to the lighthouse then come back down and walk 6 blocks to the Tienda/Store for groceries. Needless to say we didn’t have the energy to do so.  We ended up going back to the boat and picking up Mike and then headed over to Bengi’s Restaurante for some of the best breaded shrimp we’d ever eaten.

We got back to the boat around 4pm.  Now it is 5:30 and Michael has layed down for the night. All in all, not a bad day for a Wednesday.

Crossing The Sea of Cortez

03/17/2012

March 13th, Tuesday, 2012

Today marks one week ago that we pulled up anchor in La Paz and headed out of the bay. We stopped for the night at the nearest anchorage to finish up a few jobs. The following morning we put Mike up the mast to run the SSB Antenna, pulled up the anchor and headed out into the bay once again. The day was beautiful. The wind and the water were calm as we rounded the point passing Ballandra Beach and familiar places we visited during our stay in La Paz. The water was a dark turquoise blue. The shallow areas of light blue lined the beaches. The huge brown mountains and their jagged edges were easier to look at in full view from the water. It was hard to believe that after 21 months we were actually leaving.

About five miles out into the Sea of Cortez we spotted well over 100 fins in the water.  Michael asked me to grab his camera and go out to the bow of the boat and start filming. Caelin, our dog, was starting to growl and run back and forth. She knew something was going on. As I approached the bow rail it was like a dream. Dolphin were everywhere, jumping out of the water and darting quickly from side to side of the boat. They were bumping into each other and competing to keep up with the boat, squeaking and squealing as they do. It was the coolest thing I’d ever seen. I took it as an omen that the trip ahead was going to be good one.

Being that there are three of us on board, it was decided that we would take turns at the wheel so that no one got “overworked”. Michaels shifts were 4-8 AM & PM, Mikes were 8-12 AM & PM, and mine were 12-4 AM & PM. ( I must say the toughest time was from 2-4 AM.) I chose that shift because I rarely sleep the whole night and sometimes take advantage of everyone being asleep to enjoy some quiet time.

As it got dark Michael requested that we all clip into our jacklines so that no one slipped over board during their shift. What a horror that would be. Around 9PM, Mikes shift, I went up into the wheel house to check and see if he needed anything. He Said he was fine but was getting sleepy so I fixed him some extra chocolaty hot chocolate and brought him my MP3 player that had the Car Talk show on audio books. The combination seemed to give him what he needed to complete his shift.

My shift was uneventful. The moon was full and the sky was filled with stars. There was some light cloud cover that reflected the moon, making it easy to see for a long ways. My eyes shifted from the compass to the GPS, to our track across the water. I was trying to keep within “feet” of our chartered course. (For a lack of better things to do.) I listened to a few Garrison Kealers , Lake Woebegone. Laughed out loud at times and then wondered if I’d woken Michael who was sleeping in the cabin right below the hatch that was next to the wheel. He had instructed me “ If you see a boat or the depth go 100’ or below, wake me.”

I tried not to think about the depth because my knees would grow week when I thought about us being in 2-4 thousand feet of water. I just got use to focusing on my job. As I grew sleepy I turned on my tunes. Michael said he peeked out the hatch at one point and saw me dancing and jumping up and down. He knew I was trying to stay awake.

The following morning when Mike was back on watch he rang the bell for us to come up on deck. He said he turned his head to look behind the boat because he heard a noise only to find a whale exhaling directly behind the boat. He said it was a least 40’ long and close enough to throw something at it. We missed it.  As I think of it now, I cringe to think had the whale  surfaced any closer to the boat we could have taken on some damage. Sheesh!

The rest of the day went on without an event. The seas had gotten large swells and keeping on course had gotten to be more of a challenge. I was tired of fighting the wheel. Michael relieved me for an hour as well as Mike. I was frustrated with myself and felt “whiney”. Later that afternoon Michael ran down the wiring for the autopilot. He hooked it up and it did the work for us.

Around 11pm Mike was looking forward to his shift ending. He was tired and ready to crash. The buoy light at Mazatlan on the mainland had started to come into view, giving us more steam to continue on. When he heard an exhaust sound that was different. He woke Michael to look at the engine, who pulled up the floor boards in the salon to find water and oil floating all around the engine. The engine was shut off as he evaluated the situation. The seas were on our beam (side) making it hard to stand in one place. As a wave would hit the boat, the boat would roll from side to side. Making it a bit uncomfortable. Being as resourceful as Michael is, he was able to put a “band aid” on the situation and sail us into Mazatlan.

The wind was light and the boat didn’t move more than 1-2 knots an hour. It took us 9 hours to go 20 miles. Mike was so tired he was falling asleep on his feet, so Michael send him to his bunk. Michael and I weren’t much better, but we pushed on. The sun began to rise which made it a little easier to function. Several hours had passed before Michael asked me to wake Mike. They started the engine to take the boat into the channel at Mazatlan.

I was instructed to stay by the engine and report if any oil started to leak out or if the “band aid” came apart. I sat for an hour or so and watched the engine, trying to stay awake. My head kept falling over and short dreams kept running in and out of my mind. Once we realized the engine would be ok, I told Michael I was going to crash for 30 minutes. I layed down only to get up an hour later as we were navigating thru the anchorage. Michael instructed Mike where to drop the anchor. He backed down on it to be sure it would hold and turned off the engine and we all went to bed. We slept all day Thursday and all night, only to get up to eat. Well…me anyway. 🙂

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A Look Around

07/18/2010

So here are a few shots of  Halcyon.  As you can see, she needs a bit of bright work done and some tlc. But it won’t take long to get her in shape.  I know I said I didn’t want  a boat that I had to do much work to, but I’m learning that in order to have exactly what you want, sometimes you have to work for it.  In the end it will be exactly what we were looking for.

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.

Time to Go

03/28/2010

The first full day in Marathon was spent as a tourist.  We walked up and down the busy main drag, stopping in to the different shops along  the way.  We came across a large macramé hammock that would work great on the deck while we anchored out, so we had to buy it. As our minds went back to the boat,  we remembered our stowaways and headed for the hardware store to buy a few Raid Bug Smokers.  Those guys had to go!  Once we were back on the boat, we set off the bombs.  A neighbor had stopped over and invited us to dinner which was great.  That gave us enough time to let the smokers do their work.

The neighbors lived on a 26′ power boat that had a carpet of growth on the bottom that surely had roots to the bottom of the water.  These people never took their boat out.  They only stayed there to enjoy to the atmosphere of the marina and to feel the gentle motion of the boat.  The gentlemen that was cooking shared his desire to one day be a chef.  He served us his famous stuffed jalapenos that were out of this world. We later walked down to the end of the point with pina coladas in hand and watched the sun go down. Which was the highlight of the day.

Upon our return to the boat, we opened all of the ports and hatches and let the boat air out. It was a great feeling to be back home and have the boat to ourselves once again, ……….. so we thought.

The next day we were off again to head north.  The marina in Marathon was some what small. As we dropped the lines and proceeded to turn the boat around to head out, many of the residents were standing on the docks waving and yelling good byes. It was the first place we had left where we had so a big farewell that I had tears in my eyes.  The people were all so friendly.

Memorial Day Weekend

02/28/2010

Sailing on  Florida Bay, in May, was the best sailing I had ever experienced.  The wind was perfect as we made  14 knots.  The sky was deep blue in color, the clouds scattered, not organized as in previous days and the sun was in full force.  While towing the Aruban Queen, both boats were able to throw up our sails, throw off our lines and plow our own paths thru the bay. Each boat tacked back and forth, passing each other, going in opposite directions, waving and yelling at each other as we got closer to Marathon Key. It was the last time that the Aruban Queen would be sailed by her long time companion, Aruba Jim. It was an emotional yet gorgeous day!

For the sake of homage, Jim felt he couldn’t be seen being towed into his home port. Arrangements were made that we would meet up just outside of the waterway leading to the marina. Since Jim knew the area, he led the way in and dropped the anchor.  Followed up by the Flying Dutchman, we came in somewhat close and dropped anchor as well.  

Lucia, the French passenger aboard the Aruban Queen, jumped off of the boat and swam over to the Flying Dutchman.  She climbed up the swim platform and onto the boat, wearing only her thong bathing suit.  She couldn’t wait any longer to tell us about how our water balloon had wiped out Jim’s lunch. I couldn’t help watching Michael’s face as he stood there listening to Lucia, standing there with only her bathing suit bottoms on.  He seemed to keep eye contact with her, all the while his face was beet red. Between listening to her story and watching Michael, my stomach hurt from laughing.

 Jim had called the marina  ahead of time and had arranged for a boat slip for us for several days.  His last request was that Michael use his dingy boat, with a motor and escort the Aruban Queen into her boat slip.  Side to, Michael threw his arm up on the side rails as tho he were having a casual conversation with Jim and pushed the Queen right into her slip. No one knew or even suspected that there was engine trouble.

As the Flying Dutchman moved up the waterway into the marina, it looked like a fun place to visit.  The water was clear blue-green and schools of fish could be spotted in almost every direction. Large rocks lined the entrance way into the marina and on the right side was a long inlet and on the point were several living room chairs, a sofa and a small refrigerator.  It was obvious this was the gathering point to catch the sunset.  As we entered the marina the boat slips were filled with every type of boat imaginable.  People were standing  along the docks watching, waving and ready to take a line.  Once the Flying Dutchman was secured in a slip and the engine motor was shut off, people came over to chat and visit.  It was a true party atmosphere.

Later that day, in came Gin from Alabama and Tom. As the sun set, we were all able to sit on the Flying Dutchman while having a cold one and reflect on the last 24 hours.

 Picture taken in the Flying Dutchman cockpit, seated left to right; Tom, Miss Boston, Gin and Aruba Jim.  We were all “salty”  looking to say the least.

Lucia on board the Flying Dutchman the night we rafted up in Shark River.  Didn’t take any shots of her while sunbathing, she probably wouldn’t have minded.

Next Time!

End of the Season

01/26/2010

The winter charter season was coming to an end. Living aboard and on the anchor in the Marco River, had become our lifestyle and a pleasurable one at that.  Plans were being made for the cruise north, back to the Outer Banks.  This time it was only the Captain and myself making the trip.  There was a bit of anxiety on my part, even tho it had been just the two of us, all winter doing charters.  My mind wandered with “what if’s”, but I kept coming back to remembering how well Michael handled the boat.  The maintenance schedule had picked up as we counted down the weeks for the trip north.  During the charter season, the injectors on the diesel engine had been a problem and Michael continued to tweak them to give us a little more time before replacing them.  Then there was the issue with the fuel tank, which also was connected to the injector problem.  The tank was old and rust deposits were getting in the fuel system. With the fact that money was tight, we kept our fingers crossed that we’d get back up north before replacing anything major. Michael was very resource-full and seemed to be able to get anything to work when he needed it to.

We  offered friends and family a free cruise for any who cared to come along.  Funny, most people had schedules and couldn’t except the offer.  The middle of May was our planned time to leave.  Thunderstorms had become more frequent each day as the time got closer.  All of our friends made it out to the boat the night before we left.  We all exchanged addresses, toasted to good times and a safe voyage, with Captain Morgans Rum and Cold Beers.  The thought of leaving behind many of these people was a sad one.  We had made many good friends. The following morning we left at sunrise.  The sky was a deep dark blue with even darker patches on the horizon.  The plan was Everglades City, first stop.  As the day progressed, so did the rain and thunderstorms.

The sail to Everglades City was a touchy one.  The thunder roared, the wind blew hard and  frequent lightning hit all around us.  Then there was the rain. At times visibility was down to zero.  We just set our compass and stayed on course.  We took turns going down below to get some reprieve from the weather, while the other stayed at the wheel.  Neither of us were very eager to have hold of a stainless wheel while the lightning was all around us. Often times we’d sit, place our deck shoes on the bottom of the wheel and steer.

As we approached Everglades City, we spotted boats all along the waterway tucked into the mangroves, anchored to get out of the weather.  We continued on to the Rod and Gun Club, found one empty slip and pulled in starboard side to the dock and tied our lines to the pilings.  The Rod and Gun Club was a large Victorian Style House with the classic pillar porch with wooden floors on the front, then off to the right side was a long screened in porch with tables for the visitors to sit and relax, dine or just have drinks.  

The first thing we wanted to do was get off the boat.  We didn’t have air conditioning and down below was wet and steamy.  As we walked down the docks, the fresh smell of a hard rain and earth filled the air. We noticed a group of people sitting on the porch who raised their drinks, as if to toast us, called out to us “Ahoy, Come and join us!”.  Little did we know, this encounter would be an adventure we’d always remember.

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.


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