Friday, February 11, 2011
THE FOLLOWING IS INTENDED FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY AND CONTAINS ADULT CONTENT.
Evenings here in the harbor have recently tended to be eerily quiet and tranquil. There have even been some nights when there was but a whisper of a breeze and hardly a ripple could be detected on the surface of the water. It would be on such nights when every distant sound was exponentially magnified as it traveled from one end of the harbor to the other.
Most nights are so clear that it is not uncommon to gaze up at the heavens and see a satellite silently streaking across the dark sky among the millions of distant stars. It was nevertheless on such a night the other evening when the serenity of it all was suddenly dispelled in but an instant.
For you see, it was around two in the morning or so when I happened to be awakened out of a fitful sleep to the murmurings of salacious moanings from across the harbor. My initial reaction was one of titillating amusement followed by a slight chuckle and the thought of, "You get it on girl".
It wasn't long before the salacious moanings then gradually escalated into a long continuous high-pitched squeal of sexual delight which in turn was later amplified into screams of uncontained sexual ecstasy.
That whole scene seemed to play out for a good half hour or so. Admittedly it was initially somewhat titillating at first but it later felt intrusive, then monotonous, then tiresome, then inconsiderate and lastly, downright distasteful.
To top it off this same scene repeated itself in its entirety once again around four in the morning... only this time there was nothing amusing about the situation from the get go. Eventually someone onboard another boat could be heard calling out across the harbor, "SHUT UP!!".
I too was tempted to call out as well and shout, "Yeah, Shut Up Dear!! We all know that it wasn't all that great because I'm way over here!!"... but I thought better of it and nestled myself back inside the comfort of the v-berth if only for a few hours of sleep.
Somehow Boot Key Harbor had a soiled feeling about it when I awoke at daybreak to brew myself a pot of coffee.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
It occurs to me that I ain't as young as I use to be. There was a time not too long ago when I could readily get up and down a basketball court and hang with the fellas at the Downtown Dallas YMCA for some five on five basketball.
Unfortunately for me that is no longer the case and not something that I would even contemplate doing in my current physical condition in spite of my lack of common sense at times. I'm simply not as limber as I use to be.
Anymore it seems as if it takes a good deal of effort just to ever so gingerly climb out of the v-berth in the mornings. All of which brings to mind the lower back ache that I've been coping with for the past couple of weeks.
For you see a couple of weeks ago I got an invitation to head on out to one of the ball fields here in Marathon for a little recreational softball one afternoon. Well it wasn't quite so recreational after all. There simply was too much bickering going around with teammates getting on each others case after every perceived missed play.
Mind you that I'm not talking about a bunch of young kids doing all the bickering either but rather a bunch of old geezers in their fifties and sixties... and don't doubt for a moment that these same old fuddie-duddies collectively and fervently believe that Glen Beck and Shawn Hannity of FOX Fabrication News Network are all somehow enlightened.
But this geezer talk is all noise insofar as backaches are concerned and this gratuitous commentary will simply have to wait for another day before becoming a blog entry in its own right.
It was in any event somewhat fun to get out on a ball-field and be a kid again. That was until a day or two later when I seemed to be hurting all over. It seemed as if every muscle in my body was aching. Who would of thought that a leisurely game of softball could possibly inflict so much discomfort upon a person?
My thighs were completely sore from running the bases and sprinting throughout the outfield. My arm was aching from having attempted to throw out a number of runners at the plate, and my back was killing me after having swung for the fences on every pitch while at bat.
I also doubt whether all those batting practice swings that I took before the game were of any help. Especially now that I've got a lower back muscle pulling on my spine all in one direction.
To make matters worse, I aggravated my aching back muscle when I finally took it upon myself a day or so later to take my outboard that was mounted on the transom of my boat to a marine mechanic for repairs.
That effort involved loosening the clamps that held the outboard onto the engine bracket and of then lowering it down into my dinghy and later muscling that heavy thing onto the backseat of my car only to later have to repeat the process in inverse order once I had retrieved it from the shop.
That Nissan 9.8 HP outboard easily weighed over a hundred pounds and it did indeed seem to take a toll on a lower vertebrate or two of mine. I'm still feeling the effects of carting that outboard around all of which reminds me of the time when I had previously aggravated a lower back muscle while living in Dallas a few years ago.
I can well remember the incessant pain and discomfort of that back pain and of finally coming to terms with the fact that I did indeed need a deep tissue massage to complement all the muscle-relaxant and pain-reliever pills that I had been swallowing down by the hand-full every so often.
It just so happened that the Dallas Downtown YMCA were I frequented had a few trainers on staff instructed on how to perform muscle massages on athletes. These athletes were invariably marathon runners and the like.
I had never before shelled out any of my hard earned mulah for a massage before so I didn't quite know what to expect. Somehow the thought of someone other than a significant other massaging all my muscles to be a bit too seedy for me. So yes, this would be my first muscle massage ever.
I'm hobbling about and in some serious pain when I pay my fee for a massage session. I then make my way on over to another floor where the large dimly lit room with various massage tables are located.
Waiting inside that darkened room is the same sleazy looking Hispanic character that I'd seen many times before throughout the YMCA facilities. He was still wearing the same large, dark sunshades like he'd always had before as I struggled to climb up onto the table after showering.
It was at the moment that it somehow occurred to me that he perhaps couldn't see when he didn't reach out to take my receipt that I was extending out to him as proof of prior payment.
Not wanting to be politically incorrect, I politely inquire, "Excuse me sir, are you perhaps sightless"? , upon which he then stands erect and shouts, "No Man!... I'm not sightless!... I'm blind!!".
And with that, we both proceed to laugh are asses off. Turns out that he was a most delightful person to chat it up with and even better yet, he knew what he was doing insofar as massages were concerned. For the next hour, he proceeded to apply deep pressure all throughout my lower back muscle that had me in so much pain.
Within a day or two my back muscle had completely loosened up and stopped aching. It felt as good as new. (Hey Frank... hope all is well with you)
S/V Blondie-Dog finally has her outboard motor in working order again.
I do nevertheless say this with a bit of trepidation because that motor just might happen to hear me say pleasant things about her and decide once again to start acting up like a malcontent little kid.
It goes without saying that the last thing that I need at this moment is for that motor to start giving me any more grief and crappy attitude.
My four stroke outboard motor now happens to purr like a cat when put in idle, and when given a little gas, can wake up all the neighbors with all her loud screaming. In any event, both are most certainly delightful sounds to my ears.
But all this only happened after yet another complete overhaul of that motor and after yet another meticulous cleaning of the carburetor. It was an effort that went to waste because that carburetor was almost instantly clogged up yet once again... the only difference being that the carburetor was now encrusted with salt crystals and not varnish from ethanol gasoline.
I can understand gasoline and ethanol gumming up a carburetor to some extent but not salt since it could only mean one thing and that is "bad gas"... and that could only mean that I was somehow remiss in preventing that gas from getting contaminated in the first place.
It occurs to me that I should have replaced the gasoline in my five gallon gas tank in its entirety after my sail on down from Marco Island months earlier. While sailing, I had taken on some heavy seas and had ocean spray continuously crash down into the cockpit and onto the gas can while under sail.
It was only after a good while of sailing in those heavy seas that I noticed that the air valve on the can had been left in the open position and that a puddle of sea water had accumulated on top of the cap. There was no telling just how much water had treacherously seeped down into that tank.
That open valve was just one of a number of "oh f***" moments on that sail down from Marco Island that day. However, the very distinct possibility of unwelcomed salt water now residing inside my gas tank didn't register as a critical priority at that moment.
Nevertheless for whatever compelling reason, I had somehow elected to put that sailing ordeal completely out of my mind and later totally forgotten to check my fuel for water contamination.
In any event, the motor does work now and it was a delight to finally motor on out of the harbor the other day for a quick day sail on down to Bahia Honda Key and back. Winds were comparatively light and there was but a little chop in the water. These are the Keys so it goes without saying that both the sky and ocean were as blue as can be imagined.
My lady-friend visiting on down from Marco Island and I sailed out on the ocean side parallel to the Seven Mile Bridge. You may even perhaps recall the movie "True Lies" and of the action scene that seemed to last forever on that bridge with Arnold Swarztnegger and Jamie Lee Curtis.
(incidentally... *** damned, she was hot!!***)
That day-sail was my first delightful, easy sail aboard S/V Blondie-Dog and reminded me of the numerous occasions when I once sailed my AMF 21' sloop off the east coast of Puerto Rico some fifteen or so years ago. The only thing missing were some cold beers but that was by choice before slipping on out of the harbor.
So yeah, I've got my fingers crossed that my outboard is something that I can now rely upon at any given moment.