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Monday, October 4, 2010

Boredom in Boot Key Harbor...

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A certain sameness about Boot Key Harbor has begun to set in and each new day seems to resemble all the previous days that have come and gone. The novelty of Boot Key Harbor has already worn off.

Every day is basically the same daily routine. I pretty much wake up every morning at the first sign of daybreak. On some occasions I have to remind myself that I don't have to be anywhere and compel myself to role over and sleep another hour or so...especially if I might have over-indulged the previous evening.

When I do finally get to stirring around I'll poke my head out of the companionway to make sure that the boat is still afloat and I'll then set about to brewing an espresso cup of coffee.

I'd prefer to brew a regular pot of coffee but my coffee maker that I have stowed away somewhere on the boat requires AC current and there is no AC current to be found anywhere on the boat.

So I brew the same strong espresso coffee every morning in my small "Bialetti, Moka Express, Made in Italy" hoity-toity espresso maker that I previously discovered tucked away in a crevice somewhere onboard the boat. I can assure you that just the aroma of that coffee is strong enough to awaken any patient out of a deep coma.

While sipping on that coffee, I might turn on the radio and tune into a local station. The dial is most often set to a Country Western station of all things.

Imagine that... I most recently lived in Texas for some ten years and couldn't ever find myself wanting to listen to Country music while living all that time over there. Yet somehow Jimmy Buffet sounds just a bit too corny for my liking in the mornings.

The country music tunes all tell a story of some sort and have a comforting feel about them. I suppose that they remind me of what was once home.

After lingering about inside the cabin and sipping my coffee I'll gather up my laptop as well as my toiletries and row ashore to the marina facilities for a most welcoming shower.

I've got my car with me now so I use it to stow my dirty laundry among other things. My car now doubles as a convenient locker so that I don't have to worry about remembering to row stuff ashore all the time.

Stored in the trunk of my car can be found laundry detergent, jeans, shoes, brown socks, collared shirts, a bath towel and clean underwear among other items.

After showering I'll then head on over to the marina lounge and find an empty table. I'll log on to my laptop and check on in with what might be going on in the rest of the world.

I'll check for emails, then checkout the same old headlines on the CNN website, then later check out the Dallas Morning News web site and check in on the Texas Rangers to see how they fared the previous evening. Lastly I'll stop by and check out a few games and results of the latest international tournament.

Eventually it will dawn on me that I haven't had a thing to eat so I'll later row my dinghy on back to the boat to fix myself something to eat and then afterwards try to think of something clever to blog about and later take a leisurely nap in the heat of the afternoon.

My evenings for better or worse usually find me at the Hurricane Bar & Grill. The place has comparatively inexpensive beer, flat-screen TVs, air-conditioning and oh yeah... some serious eye-candy behind the bar pulling down on beer taps while pouring pitchers of beer.

You can very well say that I am bored. I'm missing having a purpose to get up in the mornings... I'm missing not being gainfully employed and often find myself recalling someone once declare that "Work Makes a Man".

Perhaps I should check in on one of those intensive three week courses on how to learn to drive a rig. I could possibly even find myself driving a rig throughout the hinterlands of Montana and Wyoming one day while listening to country music on the radio.

A Picnic Table Moment at Boot Key Harbor Marina...

Just up the road from Boot Key Harbor is a Chevron station where inexpensive tall beers in metal cans can be purchased at a reasonable price.

I purchase a tank of gas as well as an inexpensive four-pack, not that I have any intention of drinking more than two that evening. I'll figure out how to chill down the other two cans for consumption some other time.

It is somewhat around six in the evening when I head on back to the marina and elect to be sociable for a change and join up with my fellow boaters. I find a seat at one of the sheltered picnic tables and am soon chatting it up with other boaters who in turn have also brought a few cold beverages of their own to sip on.

Soon enough we are all engaged in talking about boating and where we'll all eventually be heading off to. We're chatting about Cuba and of its government bureaucracy and of its excessive boating fees and of US Customs regulations and sailing bullsh*t in general.

Not long thereafter, another fellow boater at my table sees a fellow seated all by himself at another table and jovially chastises him for not being sociable and for not having already joined our table and proceeds to invite him on over.

The fellow has a hard and somewhat downtrodden look about him yet readily joins our table. Soon enough the fellow is disclosing that no, he's not on a boat nor has ever even been on a boat before but is assuring all of us at that table that once he earns another paycheck or two he will soon be able to afford to purchase a boat of his own.

The downtrodden looking fellow then follows up that statement with a long tale of woe and of how his family is loaded with money and how he stands to inherit a gawd awful sum of money at some point and that he is too prideful to ask for any handouts from any of his family members.

A pall has suddenly descended upon that table. The jovial and insightful conversation about sailing to Cuba is but ancient history. There is an awkward silence as another boater and I exchange knowing glances across the table... a social blunder has occurred and it is too late to be rectified.

I later observe an impassive facial expression descend upon the boater who extended the invitation to the fore lorn fellow. He crosses his arms and in a direct no-nonsense tone proceeds to inform the downtrowden fellow... "As of now, our conversation has concluded. I am not in a position to help you. You are no longer invited to our table. I am asking you to leave."

The hurt feelings are quite palpable from where I am seated and after an awkward moment of silence I then chime up and inform the hurt and still seated fellow that he had been invited to our table under the assumption that he too was on a boat at the marina.

As a conciliatory gesture, I pull out one of my tall yet still chilled Budweiser beers out from its plastic convenience store bag and offer it to him. He had still yet to budge from his seat when I felt compelled to explain to him that the offer of the beverage was not good for consumption at the table but only good elsewhere.

Eventually the forlorn fellow abruptly gets up and strides off with his beer in hand. The other fellow boater at the table later complements me for my handling of the situation. Somehow that situation didn't come across as one of my finer moments.

In any event, any further jovial conversations about sailing have been completely stilted so I soon there after gather my bag, say goodnight to all and head off to the dinghy docks and later back to my boat.