My lovely wife and I drove over to the boat launch again today. While we were setting up the sailboat, a Florida Park Ranger came over to chat.
He opened with, "I really tried sailing. Really tried to make it work." The guy moved down with his family from Maryland. He had a 23 foot sailboat. Eventually sold it. He went on and on about how western Florida isn't a good place to sail. It's too shallow. There are too many rocks. His wife always wanted to know when they were stopping to eat, or when they could head back.
Not really encouraging words.
In spite of that, we launched anyway. Once again, we had a long motor out of the narrow channel, straight into the wind. Eventually. the channel came to an end. We raised the sails and we were off.
Haven't had this much fun in years. Everything worked. We went where we wanted to go -up the coast, down the coast, out deeper into the gulf. Successfully tacked back and forth. At the end of the day, we even sailed down the narrow channel to the boat ramp. Raised the swing keel and never hit bottom. Yes, there were rocks, but well marked.
Soon after we raised the sails, things were going so well we had some lunch while sailing. Had coffee later. Even gave the sanitary facilities a field test. The sailboat isn't just transportation, or recreation. It's a place to live -even my small boat.
Did some navigation with compass, chart, and GPS, and a good pair of binoculars. Hooked up the antenna to the top of the mast and had great reception. While we were having a great time, we listened to the Coast Guard on the radio. Someone was out in the Gulf with a disabled boat.
My lovely wife said, "We are not disabled."
Indeed, we were not.
Forgot the camera on the boat, so the photos will have to wait until later.
Really really really happy with this sailboat. My lovely wife said it was like 40 years just dropped away.
Can't be much better than that.
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