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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sailing Off To Key West in Earnest...

Well I don't know about the next guy, but I for one can sense day-break as she approaches and sensing daybreak on the morning of my scheduled departure on out of Bahia Honda and on down to Key West was no exception.

And I'll be the first to admit that I was soooo tempted to just roll on over and sleep another hour or two but subconsciously kept thinking of the long day of sailing ahead of me and knew that the sooner I got underway, then the better.

So after setting a pot of water to boiling for my coffee, I purposely began stowing away any loose stuff about in the cabin. You know... stuff.... as in stuff like books, shoes, dishware and what-not... the kind of stuff that is be sure to fall off onto the cabin floor if not properly stowed. Stuff that is only too certain to then start banging up against everything else and making a lot of racket as the boat gets underway.

And with a large mug of coffee already brewed, I quietly raised the main, pulled up the anchor, let the jib out and just like that I was under sail and heading on out through the cut out section of what had once been part of the Flaggler Railroad Bridge.

I did briefly give some thought to hooking up the gas can to the outboard motor mounted on the transom as a safety precaution but quickly blew that off... as in I'm sailing on out of here the same way I sailed in... with no motor. Besides, both the wind and the swift channel current were both in my favor so there wasn't anything to really worry about.

And just like that Blondie was swiftly yet silently sailing on out of Bahia Honda. I doubt whether any of those campers at that State Park ever even knew when I had set sail that morning.

For all I know those campers were most likely nursing a hangover because after all there simply ain't much to do when camping other than shoot the breeze with fellow campers while drinking copious amounts of alcoholic beverages.

And if you don't believe me, just ask that German tourist that I previously mentioned in a prior blog entry... you know the one... the one with the big gut spilling on out over the top of his Speedos.

Well I do happen to half-ass things on occasion as my lady-friend up on Marco Island can attest to, and making sure that my handheld GPS had fresh batteries in it was one such task that I didn't quite get around to doing.

Perhaps I kinda-shoulda have changed the batteries in my handheld GPS before setting sail but I simply couldn't be bothered for whatever reason. Besides, it wasn't like I'd be out of sight of the Keys at any time. I'd simply set a course of 270 degrees and that would be that.

In any event, I do happen to have a pair of binoculars on board my boat that can be used for spotting distant radio towers and channel markers... and whether or not I mostly happen to use my binoculars for checking out all the hot babes frolicking about on other peoples boats is spurious speculation as far as I am concerned.

Well sailing is sailing and sail is what Blondie-Dog did indeed do a lot of. Winds couldn't have been any more perfect and Blondie was soon zipping by Big Pine Key, Sugarland Key, Saddlebunch Keys, Boca Chica Key, Stock Island and finally Key West.

It had indeed taken me some seven hours to sail into the Key West Harbor Channel and another hour or so to tack my way on up to Fleming Key before dropping an anchor. I'd sailed the whole day without motoring and I certainly wasn't going to bother hooking up the outboard motor after sailing all day.

I was admittedly quite exhausted by the time I finally settled in down below after anchoring. My face felt all fried-up from the reflexion of the sunlight upon the deck. It took a good while to finally cool off. One thing for certain was that I had no inclination of wanting to venture ashore that evening. I was simply too tired.

That seven hour sail from Bahia Honda was exhausting and I was certainly glad that I hadn't attempted to sail all the way from Marathon in one day. Ten hours of single-handling a sailboat on a hot sunny day would have simply been a little too much for any one person.

Bahia Honda, Florida Keys

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