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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

On a ball... Boot Key Harbor

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I slept quite soundly throughout the night after indulging in a meal of Vigo Seasoned Rice and a tin of Lean Hormel Smoked Ham. It is now eight in the morning or so and the cabin is a complete mess.

I've got a plastic bag full of dirty dishes that needs to be washed. I had expediently collected the dirty dishes in the bag just to make some surface room in the galley the previous evening.

A plastic spray bottle containing undiluted bleach has tipped over and leaked all over the cabin floor but not before being partially soaked up by a mesh bag containing my dirty laundry. I've now inadvertently got what appear to be a number of unsightly tie-dyed black t-shirts...

A mesh bag full of dirty laundry needs to be taken ashore and laundered but is presently completely soaked with sea-spray and now weighs more than any one of my anchors...

My two gallon plastic shower bag that I had previously filled with water with the intent of setting up on deck in the sun to heat up had slid off the seat cushion in the cabin and spilled all over the cabin floor and into the bilge...

The V-Berth and all the bedding and stuff is completely soaked with sea-spray that had entered through an open porthole while under sail...

My tool bag is soaked from all the sea-spray and all the various screwdrivers and wrenches and whatever are now coated in a film of rust...

The bilge is virtually filled with water and needs to be emptied...

The inflatable dinghy needs to be brought up on deck and inflated... and the list goes on for awhile.

While gazing throughout the cabin and taking a mental inventory of all the things needing to be done, it occurs to me that first things must come first and so I brew a pot of coffee.

There are few things like coffee to get you going in the morning and as the cabin fills with the aroma of fresh brewing coffee, I turn the radio on to hear whats going on here in the Middle Keys.

I come across a radio program with the host chatting it up with local personalities and call-in listeners to discuss charter fishing, the local economy, and what impact the lessening of travel restrictions to Cuba might have on the tourist industry here in Marathon. I find the program entertaining enough and even enjoy the radio commercials for a change.

While sipping on my coffee, I start with the dirty dishes... a mundane task for sure but one that needs to be done. I am at least standing in one place while sipping on my cup of strong aromatic Puertorican coffee.

And so it goes... I take on one task after another and to my pleasant surprise the boat starts to look habitable once again. I even took the time to rinse my tools in fresh water and later wipe off the rust that had accumulated on these and later liberally spray WD-40 all over them and throughout the inside of the tool bag.

I later get a Tupperware dish and scoop out all the water in the bilge and soon enough am drying it out with a dish towel and spraying bleach on the bilge surfaces.

I am reminded of the time when a container of penne pasta had spilled out while under a prior sail and somehow found its way into the bilge and how I couldn't be bothered at the time to clean the bilge and how the pasta later fermented into a gawd awful stench and paste... it was a lesson learned.

The skies seem to want to clear up yet the winds continue to gust out of the east. There is the occasional thunderhead cloud rolling through and dumping more rain though.

I've done all that I could onboard the boat for now and what remains to be done is to inflate the dinghy and row ashore with my dirty laundry and sign in at the Marina offices.

I spread the dinghy out on the foredeck for the purpose of inflating the thing when I discover to my dismay that one of the pontoons has an air leak in it somewhere. I hear a hissing noise and find the puncture hole and it occurs to me that one of the cutlery knives that had fallen over while under sail must have somehow pierced the rubber inflatable.

I'm now wishing that I had purchased a low maintenance kayak instead. Nevertheless I inflate the dinghy as best I can and take my air-pump and mesh-bag of dirty laundry along with me to shore. After checking in, showering and doing two loads of laundry I hike a mile or so down the road to a local marine store for the purpose of purchasing a patch for the inflatable.

I'm shocked at the 67 dollar sticker price for the special patch kit so I purchase some generic all-purpose patch and glue for some six bucks or so and hope for the best. I am later fortunate that the patch does indeed stop the pontoon from leaking air.

Meanwhile the damned wind continues to blow hard out of the east and I later have a difficult time rowing that inflatable back to the boat. I am fortunate that a fellow boater offers me a tow to my boat. What the hell... my boat was just recently towed so why not the inflatable as well.

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