September 28, 2013

Independence on 33'



"... there is nothing - absolutely nothing half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats... in or out of 'em, it doesn't really matter. Nothing seems to really matter and the charm of it."  

River Rat, Wind In The Willows


Post #31 

10 Days in September....Here's a series of photos from September 2013 that, to me, capture the essence of why people do this.  "Cruising" is a whole culture in itself, and I am ever thankful that I planned, and waited, and saved, and worked, and planned, and figured out a way to spend so much time messin' about in boats... 

I am also thankful for the dozens of cruisers I've met in the past 6 months that have imparted so much of their cruising experience that has helped me to learn... then again, I continue to learn from my own mistakes... but lets hope I'll only make them once.
This series starts with yet another day trip to lovely Cumberland Island, where I have visited several times now... 

Dense jungle like growth, rich in wildlife... view from my anchorage.



Secret Shade Seeker...

Exploring Tiger Island nearby... Glory Days on the right.

Rich tidal marshes everywhere...

Back at home port, Fernandina harbor Marina


When an Osprey is overhead, it always stops me in my tracks... 





Sometimes people ask me, “What do you do with yourself all week long while you are down there on that boat?”…. 

It’s a simple question with a complex answer, cause I really don’t know where the time goes... but it goes, and it goes by too fast… I must admit, I spend a lot of time just looking and staring around … looking at the sky, the water, the birds, the sunset, other boats, and looking inside myself… 

Other biggies are walking, riding my bike, meeting new people, smiling at strangers, and planning out the meals for the day… reading, writing songs, singing, playing guitar, calling Mom, getting fish bait, fishing, and cleaning no fish that I never caught….

But there also seems to be an endless list of boat things that must be done… it’s not a chore, in fact it’s a passion that seems to never end… Here’s a typical list of things that have been completed lately…  test the sail reefing system, fix the torn insulation in the engine room, change the oil, change the transmission fluid, sand wood, do laundry, repair the flag burgee, repair the head, floss, address the fuel leak, order new fuel strainer, fill batteries with water, clean the battery terminals, change the fuel filters, get more olive oil, work on the blog, repair the hole in the dinghy, rig a jack line on the deck, put new fishing line on the reels, go to yoga class, repair the sanitation discharge pump, install a new bilge pump, install new LED bulbs, shop, mark the depths on the anchor line, clean out the anchor locker, reorganize the storage areas, seal the port windows that leaked, install wood plugs near every thru-hull valve, get more hose clamps, replace any worn hoses on the engine, get more fuel for the Mercury engine, go to Sailor’s Exchange store, explore prices on solar, wind, and generators, install the new compass, adjust the dock lines, adjust the stuffing box, check email, write poems, get spare spark plugs, shoot the bull with neighbors, fix dinner, peel shrimp, get ice, pump out the melted ice, get more ice, check the weather map, clean the cabin floor, tighten the cleats that need it, make a new table for the salon, mount the radar reflector, clean, clean and more cleaning … and well, that’s just the tip of the iceberg…. I spend a lot of time being grateful too.  It never gets old, and there is a unique satisfaction in completing each task no matter how small… So there.  Does that answer the question?  

Here's my "car"... I call her "Dazy"





Here's an old man and the sea... he smiled at me as he passed

Sittin' and staring again... to my right side

Sittin'and staring to my left side.... 


More Lessons Learned..
I learned another lesson on a recent day-sail outing with my neighbor buddy, Dave, pictured here.  We were headed out of the pass from Cumberland Sound directly out to the open ocean.  We had the current in our favor and the wind in our face... The combination of the two created some rather large swales that we had to dive straight ahead into... At first it was quite fun as Glory Days surged high on the crest of a wave and then dove deep into the valley of the next wave as we approached the final buoy before changing course to sail with wind on our beam... 



Long story short, waves were started to crest onto our bow.  Normally, that would be no problem, cause I had closed the front deck hatch... but regretfully, I failed to tighten down the hatch, or has is referred to as "dogging it down"... oops.... but when that big ass wave came over the deck, it opened my unsecured hatch up like a doorway and dumped a deluge of sea water into the forward cabin... maybe 20 gallons or so I would guess....hmmmm.... Skipper Joe learned again... my first action was to dog down the hatch so it wouldn't happen again, the second action was to get a huge towel and start sopping up the sea water... Dave was calm as a cucumber through it all as he is quite the veteran sailor of a Spencer 44 docked near me ... but Joe Greenhorn here, well its just another learning experience... dog it dude.



Thankfully, we lived to tell about it and it all turned into a Glory Day of sailing off the coast of Amelia Island for about 6 hours, 28 miles,... the next day, I set out my cushions and books to dry out in the September sun... another lesson learned...


 Safely back to the marina with Dave, my neighbor...

Returning to port here... 







1 comment:

  1. Nice write up, Joe, and great photos. Keep 'em coming!

    ReplyDelete