Monday, April 4, 2011
Sailing from Key Largo along the Intercoastal and on up to Miami left me feeling somewhat flat and not feeling the same magic that I once experienced while sailing these same waters some twenty-some years ago while aboard S/V BratCat.
For whatever reason all I could think about was of making the most of every whiff of air to fill the sails and of scurrying on up to Miami all in two days. This two day sail felt more like a boat delivery if the truth be told.
Somehow all I felt was a small measure of satisfaction and of relief after having successfully negotiated the shallow channel waters and of not running aground. There simply was little magic this time around... all of which has me thinking of the joyful exhilaration that I experienced when previously sailing these same waters long ago.
Among my more memorable memories when previously sailing the Intercoastal was of anchoring off in Card Sound and later going ashore along with my then wife, for a delightful plate of crab cakes and cold beer at Alabama Jacks.
This previously quaint dockside bar & grill is still there but is now obscured from the sound by overgrown mangroves. The place has been expanded somewhat to accommodate larger crowds yet now seems to mostly cater to old disgruntled bikers of all things. Alabama Jacks no longer seems to possess the charm that it once did.
Another vivid memory when previously sailing the Intercoastal happened later that same evening when two jet fighters, evidently on a training mission from Homestead AFB, could be seen and heard flying low over the water and then screaming straight up into the night sky with their afterburners glowing bright orange.
S/V BratCat may well have unwittingly been a training mission target for all I know. Every halyard on that boat seemed to continue rattling for a good thirty minutes afterwards. Even the barnacles that had been steadfastly clinging onto the bottom of her hull all chose to release their tight grip after those two jets went vertical directly above the mast.
In any event there simply were no memorable moments this time around. Then yet again there were but I simply didn't notice any for lack of having a companion aboard to share in the experience.
The top image is of me aboard S/V BratCat coming upon a channel marker somewhere along the Intercoastal.