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Thursday, February 17, 2011

A day on the water

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.

-Sixbears

7 comments:

  1. So happy to hear you two are having the time of your lives. Look forward to pictures. Sweetie was online tonight looking at waterfront homes in his old Hudson, FL neighborhood. He still longs for Florida. Meanwhile it was a refreshing 58 degrees here today. Soaked it in every chance we had.

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  2. Cool! Glad y'all had a good day on the water. Heh, rocks are no big deal. Around here it's the sand bars and flats that will get you. Stray out of the channel, and it's get out and push. Fortunately the wind usually blows from the SE, which makes sailing "the ditch" easy from either direction. Corpus bay averages 12 foot, but gets rather snotty when the wind is up. I'd rather be offshore! Almost pitch-poled my 26' Chris Craft in Corpus Bay once, "seas" were 5 feet plus, close and steep, and coming from astern. First and only time I got wet up on the flybridge!

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  3. Six,
    Glad to hear both of you are having a great time. At least the weather has been a lot better than a few weeks ago. Enjoy all you can! Looking forward to the pictures.

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  4. Sounds like both of you had an awesome time - way cool! Looks like buying that boat was a wise investment, like you said, you have a home AND a vehicle that does not require much gasoline to operate.

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  5. Glad to hear it all worked so well. Now, when are you going to trade it in on a 40 footer and travel the world? I knew a fellow who sold his business and he and his wife sailed around the world at their leisure. Have fun, wish I were there.

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  6. Sounds like you did good on the boat, my friend! Sorta gets into the blood, from what I understand!

    Enjoy the sun and warmth!

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