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Friday, March 4, 2011

When Cruising Becomes Another Word for Camping aboard a Sailboat...

Contrary to pervailing perceptions, cruising aboard a sailboat is not always a most joyful experience. In fact I would venture to suggest that it is somewhat comparable to camping and can even be thought of as camping on a boat.

Camping per se can most certainly be an enjoyable activity if only because one doesn't go camping indefinitely. It can be a temporary yet welcomed respite from the usual daily routine of living in a regular household.

In addition, camping can also most certainly be a nice break from the mind-numbing daily commute through heavy traffic to the confines of an office cubicle in some tall building wherever that might be.

So no matter how much discomfort and inconveniences one might have endured on a camping excursion, there is always the emotional relief at the end of it all of packing up the wet gear and of driving on back to good ol' home sweet home.

Not so with a liveaboard sailboat. There is no home-sweet-home other than one's own boat when cruising. And please do note that cruising is not to be confused with day-sailing either. The one big advantage that day-sailing has over cruising is that when the weather turns for the worst one can always head on back to the docks, tie off, go home and sail another day.

Cruising is another matter because there is no getting around the fact that the boat is one's home and that there is nowhere else to go when the weather gets nasty... all of which brings to mind present circumstances aboard my boat.

This happens to be day three of what was supposed to have been a "weak northern" blowing down this way through the Keys and I've been stuck aboard my boat wishing that I were elsewhere. Preferably somewhere with a nice cushy sofa that came equipped with a TV remote.

... and while I'm doing some wishful thinking, I also wouldn't mind if the place had a refrigerator full of cold beer and the makings for a couple of those humongous sandwiches that Dagwood would periodically fix for himself.

You surely know the kind of sandwich I'm talking about... it's one of those a tripple-deckers loaded up with ham, baloney, mustard, lettuce, tomatoes, crispy bacon, mayonaise and whatever else comes with it.

But heck, the tote box that serves as a pantry doesn't have any of that stuff so I'll just have to spread on another tin of Devil's Minced Ham on two stale slices of bread and make do.

Winds have been continuosly gusting a good twenty-five to thirty knots the past 48 hours and there has simply been just too much chop in the water to prudently want to load up the inflatable dinghy and head for shore.

The key word being prudent... there have been white-caps on the crests of the waves all throughout Buttonwood Sound. Besides, S/V Blondie-Dog happens to be presently anchored offshore a ways and it would be a heck of a long wet ride both coming and going.

The last thing that I need is for that AVON inflatable dinghy to get flipped over by gusty winds with me in it.

I suppose that I would somehow manage to cling on to that overturned dinghy and eventually make it to shore but it would most likely be at the expense of both my laptop and cell phone and I certainly wouldn't want that to happen.

Hopefully the winds will continue to diminish and shift on out of the south later today and if you happen to be reading this blog entry, it's because I somehow eventually did manage to make it to shore and post from the comfort of a nearby Starbucks with free Wi-Fi.

In any event I drank the last of my room-temperature beers last night and I also happen to be in dire need of a hot shower at the moment. I could also use a shave for that matter so I imagine that sometime today I'll pull up anchors and move in closer to shore.

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