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Friday, March 11, 2011

Contemplating Daybreak While at Anchor off of Channel Key

Some moments command that they only be contemplated in total silence and daybreak certainly is one such moment... and pulling up anchors and raising sails as Mother Nature reveals the promise of a new day somehow feels disrespectful so I don't.

S/V Blondie-Dog at anchor off of Channel Key.

The following quotes are "courtesy" of
(... truth of the matter is that I swiped and pasted them without permission.)

With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

One problem with gazing too frequently into the past is that we may turn around to find the future has run out on us. ~Michael Cibenko

Don't let the past steal your present. ~Terri Guillemets

There is no distance on this earth as far away as yesterday. ~Robert Nathan, So Love Returns

You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present. ~Jan Glidewell

Would you keep a chive on your tooth just because you enjoyed last night's potato? ~From the television show Boston Common

I have memories - but only a fool stores his past in the future. ~David Gerrold

I can't wait all my life
On a street of broken dreams.
~Journey, "It Could Have Been You"

No man is rich enough to buy back his past. ~Oscar Wilde

It's but little good you'll do a-watering the last year's crops. ~George Eliot, Adam Bede, 1859

We seem to be going through a period of nostalgia, and everyone seems to think yesterday was better than today. I don't think it was, and I would advise you not to wait ten years before admitting today was great. If you're hung up on nostalgia, pretend today is yesterday and just go out and have one hell of a time. ~Art Buchwald

If you are still talking about what you did yesterday, you haven't done much today. ~Author Unknown

Don't let yesterday use up too much of today. ~Cherokee Indian Proverb

The past is a good place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. ~Author Unknown

Living the past is a dull and lonely business; looking back strains the neck muscles, causing you to bump into people not going your way. ~Edna Ferber

I tell you the past is a bucket of ashes. ~Carl Sandburg, "Prairie," Complete Poems, 1950

The past is never there when you try to go back. It exists, but only in memory. To pretend otherwise is to invite a mess. ~Chris Cobbs

Waste not fresh tears over old griefs. ~Euripides, Alexander

The past is a guidepost, not a hitching post. ~L. Thomas Holdcroft

We cannot carry our father's corpse with us everywhere we go. ~Guillaume Apollinaire, The Cubist Painters, 1913

The Past is the textbook of tyrants; the Future the Bible of the Free. Those who are solely governed by the Past stand like Lot's wife, crystallized in the act of looking backward, and forever incapable of looking before. ~Herman Melville, White Jacket

No yesterdays are ever wasted for those who give themselves to today. ~Brendan Francis

I need neither future nor past, but to learn to take today not too fast. ~Jeb Dickerson,

People are always asking about the good old days. I say, why don't you say the good now days? ~Robert M. Young

Having spent the better part of my life trying either to relive the past or experience the future before it arrives, I have come to believe that in between these two extremes is peace. ~Author Unknown

"Old times" never come back and I suppose it's just as well. What comes back is a new morning every day in the year, and that's better. ~George E. Woodberry

Opportunities fly by while we sit regretting the chances we have lost, and the happiness that comes to us we heed not, because of the happiness that is gone. ~Jerome K. Jerome, The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow, 188

When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us. ~Alexander Graham Bell

You have to wake up a virgin each morning. ~Jean-Louis Barrault

We can easily manage if we will only take, each day, the burden appointed to it. But the load will be too heavy for us if we carry yesterday's burden over again today, and then add the burden of the morrow before we are required to bear it. ~John Newton

If you have one eye on yesterday, and one eye on tomorrow, you're going to be cockeyed today. ~Author Unknown

Our past is like a footprint. It only confirms we were there. No burden on our future does it bear. Bring the rain, clear the pane of clutter. ~Jeb Dickerson,

Nothing is worth more than this day. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Today is the greatest
Day I've ever known
Can't live for tomorrow,
Tomorrow's much too long....
~Billy Corgan, "Today," Siamese Dream (Smashing Pumpkins), 1993

The living moment is everything. ~D.H. Lawrence

Rejoice in the things that are present; all else is beyond thee. ~Montaigne

Nothing ever gets anywhere. The earth keeps turning round and gets nowhere. The moment is the only thing that counts. ~Jean Cocteau, Professional Secrets, 1922

Let the credit card companies market as they will, the only thing that's priceless is Now. ~Caleb Baylor Hive, 2005

Eternity is not something that begins after you are dead. It is going on all the time. ~Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Forever is composed of nows. ~Emily Dickinson

Could we see when and where we are to meet again, we would be more tender when we bid our friends goodbye. ~Marie Louise De La Ramee

The other day a man asked me what I thought was the best time of life. "Why," I answered without a thought, "now." ~David Grayson

It is only possible to live happily-ever-after on a day-to-day basis. ~Margaret Bonnano

Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift. That's why we call it the present. ~Babatunde Olatunji

Trust no future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead past bury its dead!
Act, - act in the living Present!
Heart within and God o'erhead.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Psalm of Life

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is. ~Alan Watts

It's not what if, it's what now. ~Author Unknown

Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return. ~Mary Jean Iron

We are always getting ready to live but never living. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Not the power to remember, but its very opposite, the power to forget, is a necessary condition for our existence. ~Sholem Asch, The Nazarene, 1939

Children have neither past nor future; they enjoy the present, which very few of us do. ~Jean de la Bruyere

If you worry about what might be, and wonder what might have been, you will ignore what is. ~Author Unknown

Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness. ~James Thurber

We crucify ourselves between two thieves: regret for yesterday and fear of tomorrow. ~Fulton Oursler

Chasing the past, I stumbled into the future. ~T.A. Sachs

Seize from every moment its unique novelty, and do not prepare your joys. ~André Gide, Nourritures Terrestres

Why be saddled with this thing called life expectancy? Of what relevance to an individual is such a statistic? Am I to concern myself with an allotment of days I never had and was never promised? Must I check off each day of my life as if I am subtracting from this imaginary hoard? No, on the contrary, I will add each day of my life to my treasure of days lived. And with each day, my treasure will grow, not diminish. ~Robert Brault,

In today already walks tomorrow. ~Friedrich von Schiller

When I am anxious it is because I am living in the future. When I am depressed it is because I am living in the past. ~Author Unknown

The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness. ~Abraham Maslow

The future is always beginning now. ~Mark Strand, Reasons for Moving

I never think of the future. It comes soon enough. ~Albert Einstein

Life lived for tomorrow will always be just a day away from being realized. ~Leo Buscaglia

The future is no place to place your better days. ~Dave Matthews

The future is an opaque mirror. Anyone who tries to look into it sees nothing but the dim outlines of an old and worried face. ~Jim Bishop

If a man examine carefully his thoughts he will be surprised to find how much he lives in the future. His well-being is always ahead. ~Emerson, Journals, 1827

Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present. ~Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

I got the blues thinking of the future, so I left off and made some marmalade. It's amazing how it cheers one up to shred oranges and scrub the floor. ~D.H. Lawrence

One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon - instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today. ~Dale Carnegie

Pile up too many tomorrows and you'll find that you've collected nothing but a bunch of empty yesterdays. ~The Music Man

We steal if we touch tomorrow. It is God's. ~Henry Ward Beecher

God made the world round so we would never be able to see too far down the road. ~Isak Dinesen

Slight not what's near through aiming at what's far. ~Euripides

Life's a journey, not a destination. ~Aerosmith

If you wait for tomorrow, tomorrow comes. If you don't wait for tomorrow, tomorrow comes. ~Senegalese Proverb

The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time. ~Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Contemplating the Mechanics of the Heavens While at Anchor in Sunset Cove...

While confined to my boat and wishing that I were elsewhere during a recent front that blew on through, I had little to do but sip on a bottle of Merlot and contemplate the heavens late at night.

Periodically I'd climb up on that bouncing deck to check up on my anchor rodes and make sure that my anchors weren't dragging. But while up on deck, I'd invariably pause a few moments to gaze up at the millions of stars. More specifically I'd seek out the North Star for whatever reason.

Locating the North Star is relatively easy on a clear night... simply line up the two outer stars that make up the outside edge of the Big Dipper and draw an imaginary line from it. It will point up to the North Star.

However after noting the position of the Big Dipper in relation to the North Star throughout the night, I concluded that the earth has a counter-clockwise spin to it. Not only that but it clearly dawned on me why sunset is but an illusion.

The sun obviously doesn't set of course because we all know that it is stationary in relationship to the earth. The sunset illusion is simply the curvature of the earth getting in the way of one's sight line to the sun as the earth spins on its axis.

... hhmmm... it occurs to me that I's is purty smartz and with just a few more bottles of Merlot I'll soon have Einstein's elusive Unified Field Theory all figured out.

Parrots Fluttering about... The Caribbean Club, Key Largo.

Outside the Caribbean Club in Key Largo can be found a number of bird feeders and a large flock of hungry parrots feeding on bird seed.

Inside the Caribbean Club can be found a large number of thirsty Parrot-Heads all drinking cold beer while listening to Jimmy Buffett songs on the jukebox.

(ouch... my sincere apologies... RoCK ME!!)

Going Ashore and Watching Out for Falling Coconuts...

Key Largo is most certainly a delightful destination but local officials do seem to have a problem controlling an excessive population of wild monkeys.

Restaurant owners have even had to resort to posting signs advising patrons of falling coconuts. Evidently the monkeys enjoy amusing themselves by dropping coconuts on top of unsuspecting tourists heads.

Dealing with Sea Predators while Cruising aboard S/V Blondie-Dog...

Belying the placid waters of Sunset Cove is a never ending frenzy of fish feeding on one another. It is also not unusual for the serenity of a quiet anchorage to suddenly be disrupted by a fish jumping high out of the water while attempting to elude a hungry predator wanting to make a meal out of him.

Well just the other day I happened to be in the water scraping barnacles off of the hull of my boat when to my great consternation, a bad-ass shark came upon me.

Fortunately for me that shark must have thought that I was of Mexican descent and thought better of making a meal out of me for fear of having his rear-end burning for weeks on end.

(memo to self: eat more jalapenos...)

Going ashore... Sunset Cove, Key Largo.

Sunset Cove is a delightful anchorage and as its name implies, is the perfect setting for watching the sun set in the evenings. Nevertheless my favorite part of the day happens to be early morning. More specifically, daybreak.

That's when I'm likely to have a pot of coffee brewing on my Coleman camping stove and when the anchorage is more often than not as smooth as glass. In addition, seagulls can also be heard at that hour of the morning squawking at one another in anticipation of feeding on unsuspecting fish.

These birds can later be seen gracefully gliding over the water and then suddenly swooping down out of the sky and diving straight into the water. It's always a captivating sight for whatever reason, to then watch these birds swallow their meals whole and observe the unfortunate fish slither on down the bird's throat and down into its gullet while later imagining that fish slithering even further on down into a pool of digestive fluids.

I suppose that this is what might be called "having a bad day" if one were to be that particular fish ... but if one were among the fortunate fish evading capture then one just might be inclined to breath a sigh of relief and utter out loud, "whoa... that certainly was a close call".

In any event S/V Blondie-Dog has been sitting at anchor in Sunset Cove for more than just a few days now which is not necessarily a bad thing.

My original plan had been to drop a hook here in the anchorage but for a day or two before proceeding with my sail on up to Dinner Key Harbor in Biscayne Bay. But since I'm not in any particular hurry to get anywhere, it wasn't hard to simply want to stay put for a few days.

Besides, a so-called "weak northern" had blown on through the Keys a few days earlier putting any immediate sailing plans on hold. That blow along with its 30 knot winds lasted a good three days and turned the serenity of Sunset Cove into something seemingly comparable to Lake Superior along with it's winter gale-force winds.

It goes without saying that it was most uncomfortable riding out that front along with all the white-caps in that cove. And it also goes without saying that I was quite relieved when the winds shifted and the waves finally died down sufficiently enough for me to dinghy ashore.

It's somewhat amazing the effect a day or two of gentle breezes can have on turbulent waters. Those high winds and heavy chop in the water are now but a distant memory all of which has me thinking about the following morning after having first arrived here in Sunset Cove.

I had taken it upon myself to sleep in and then leisurely get the boat squared away. This included mounting my 2-stroke outboard back onto the dinghy as well as performing other incidental boating tasks in anticipation of going to shore later that morning.

However my plans for that morning were suddenly changed when I happened to look out over the water some distance upon hearing a splash followed by a lot of squealing and laughter.

Now in the water clinging onto an almost completely submerged kayak were what appeared to be an adult male along with a young boy. The squealing and laughter of the two young girls in the other kayak had ceased by now as the adult would furtively attempt to climb back onto the kayak.

Evidently a joyous family game of kayak bumper-cars had abruptly concluded with the two young girls victorious after overturning their dad's and younger brother's kayak.

I then reasoned after a very brief moment of hesitation that those two needed help and needed it now. There wouldn't be anyone from shore coming to their assistance and that it was now all on me.

So after hastily pulling on a pair of khaki shorts over my boxer-shorts, I scrambled down into the inflatable dinghy and motored on over to the overturned kayak with its two prior occupants.

Nevertheless the dad for whatever reason, didn't seem all that receptive to my offer of assistance. I suppose it might have been because he had yet to exhaust himself attempting to climb back into that kayak. It was then that I felt compelled to inform him that he needed help whether he knew it or not.

The young boy however showed no hesitation whatsoever as he scrambled on into the dinghy all the while wearing a big smile on his face. The dad then evidently came to his senses upon seeing his son safely inside and climbed in as well.

It was somewhat of a slow ride to shore since the dinghy was now loaded down with three occupants and was towing a kayak filled with water as well.

Later while motoring to their beach-side lodgings and after a brief exchange of pleasantries it was disclosed that the dad and three children along with the wife who was sensibly ashore, were from Paris and on a family vacation throughout the Keys.

I suppose that the dad and son would have eventually drifted to shore on their own at some point but it certainly wouldn't have felt right for me to just piddle around on the boat as they endlessly clung onto that overturned kayak.