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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Plugging GPS waypoints into my handheld while reminiscing about prior days...

S/V Blondie-Dog has pretty much run out of excuses to remain tied up to a mooring ball here in Boot Key Harbor.

My Nissan outboard motor can no longer be used as an excuse not to set sail since it has finally been repaired. In addition, a smaller outboard motor to push my dinghy to and from the docks was ultimately purchased and fixed... and lastly, a long-term parking solution for my car was recently found.

The only thing keeping the boat tied up to the mooring ball now is a favorable weather window. I've now come to terms with the fact that I don't need to prove whether or not my seamanship skills are up to snuff or whether they can cope with heavy seas. Forget that noise. No pain means no strain.

Trust me when I tell you that it's a big ocean out there and it's certainly no fun getting your ass kicked out in heavy swells. I am but a day-sailor at heart... so no, I make no apologies and I'll set sail when I think I can be somewhat assured of an enjoyable sail.

It now seems somewhat ironic to me but when I first arrived here in Boot Key some five months ago, I was casually informed that boaters for whatever reason, tended to stay in the harbor much longer than they initially intended.

I can also smugly recall thinking to myself that I certainly wouldn't be one of those boaters and that I'd soon be on my way elsewhere in very little time. Yeah, right.

Well one month turned in to two, then two into three and three into five. There always seemed to be a compelling reason why not to set sail. Nevertheless it occurs to me that the one compelling reason that makes cruising aboard a sailboat a worthwhile endeavor is companionship... as in having someone to share the experience with. That is however a bit of personal introspection that is still in the process of evolving.

In any event I've tired of the monotony of Marathon and of the sameness of it all. I've got island fever and yearn to set sail and be among the bright lights and beautiful people of South Beach, Miami... who knows... perhaps I'll even seek out gainful employment washing dishes somewhere.

So yeah, I spent a couple of hours yesterday studying my nautical charts and plugging in GPS waypoints into my handheld all the while remembering the many memorable sailing experiences throughout the Keys while aboard S/V BratCat some twenty years ago or so.