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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Finally pulling away from the H-1 Mooring Ball in Boot Key Harbor City Marina...

In spite of my best intentions, pulling away from the mooring ball in Boot Key Harbor City Marina and motor-sailing on out of that harbor had more than just a few last minute delays.

For starters there isn't an alarm clock to be found aboard the boat and as a result I didn't stir around until my bladder insisted in no uncertain terms that I get up. After that there was a little matter of brewing a pot of coffee because it's hard for me to function in the mornings without a tall mug of coffee in hand.

As a result daybreak that morning was now but a feint memory... but heck, whom am I kidding? I was sound asleep at that hour. So much for good intentions.

Well after sipping on my coffee and taking a last minute inventory of things to do, it occurred to me that perhaps it might be a good idea to go ashore and take care of a few things. There were more than a couple empty water bottles laying around that needed to be filled. In addition, my pantry box could use a few additional heat & go provisions.

Besides, there was an assortment of items that needed to be secured inside the cabin before raising the sails. The last thing one needs is for stuff to be spilling out all over the cabin floor as the boat heels over while under sail. Also among my last minute tasks to perform was to dispose of some smelly trash.

Inside a plastic shopping bag of smelly trash was an empty tin of smoked herring opened the night before. It's amazing how something as small as a tin of oily fish bodies can smell after awhile. So yeah, that trash certainly needed to be taken ashore and properly disposed of as well.

Needless to say it was somewhat past mid-morning when S/V Blondie-Dog finally pulled away from her mooring and it was with mixed feelings as I reached down to insert the mooring line ring atop of her mooring ball.

Now there was a little matter of negotiating some narrow channels and of motoring on out of the harbor. My Nissan 9.8HP outboard has refused to consistently work for one reason or another in the past and sure enough it stopped running on three separate occasions while motor-sailing out of the harbor.

It was definitely an emotional relief of sorts when S/V Blondie-Dog finally cleared the last harbor channel marker and was out in deeper waters. It was a relief that nevertheless did not last long.

No sooner had I pointed the bow into the wind with the purpose of raising the sails, that the Nissan outboard konked out on me yet once again. Only this time the motor refused to start up again.

I had nevertheless managed to raise the sails in the relatively calm winds and was now under sail and on my way to Moser Channel which cuts underneath the Seven Mile Bridge. This was one of those Go or No-Go moments.

A reluctant phone call to the outboard motor shop where I had had my motor previously serviced at reveals that I may have inadvertenly flooded the carburetor. I had periodically been squeezing on the fuel line bulb while motoring and may have over done it.

I get some instructions on how to check whether that might be the case and of how to proceed. It was relief of sorts when it was not suggested to me to place a call Sea Tow because that was not going to happen... whether I had insurance or not.

I do manage to restart the motor but it soon quits on me yet once again. It was pointless to bother placing another call to that outboard motor shop so I don't.

It was at that moment after re-checking my nautical charts that I, for better or worse, thought to myself, "Screw it... I don't need no damned motor to sail" and with that I lifted the motor on out of the water, disconnected the fuel line and continued on sailing.

Winds were light and out of the southeast which made for a most exhilarating and enjoyable sail underneath the Seven Mile Bridge and back up the Inter coastal. I later dropped a hook off of Channel Key around four in the afternoon or so.

I'd had enough sailing for one day and it was time to get out of the baking sun. I even blew the hell out of my conch shell for the heck of it later that evening as the sun was setting.

It felt good to finally be out of Boot Key Harbor.

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