Thursday, October 3, 2013

On the hook

We did it! It was one of the hardest things we have ever done. It was hard to find a place on the boat for everything we wanted to take along with us on our trip around the Caribbean. It was a literal game of Othello, but we were persistent. Our scheduled departure was July 5th. We had a big going away party at the dock on July 26th. We finally left the comfort of our slip at Dinner Key Marina on September 28th. Not a day went by that a dozen people didn't crack a joke about my departure date. For those of you who thought you were being original with your comments...think again. My tolerance of all the comments (exhibit "A"), I render as proof of my good disposition.
So okay, for the last few days I would threaten Marie with leaving the dock and she would convince (by convince I mean a scandalous altercation would ensue and I would just back down less I end up in a cell next to OJ) me to stay another day, this went on for about 5 days.
Minutes before leaving the dock. Photo by Connie.
Patty, at the dock office, would just laugh every time I walked in. She didn't think I'd do it. As high tide approached on that fateful day, the most unexpected thing happened, I won the argument. We started the engine and a small crowd gathered, witnesses of this great event. We released the dock lines and slid back, out of the slip. If anyone would have x-rayed my insides at that very moment the medical books would have to all be rewritten. Balls in the throat, heart in the stomach, guts in a knot, etc. It was unnerving as we traveled down the channel with only inches to spare under my 7 foot plus keel. The tide gave me a little advantage. We rounded the end of the main channel and made our way towards the southern end of the anchorage. I had my eye fixed hard on the depth sounder. I was not able to calibrate it back at the marina because of the muck on the bottom, it's 3 feet thick. The sounder was reading 5.8 feet at times, remember we draw 7...Perhaps I plowed the bottom like slicing cheese. This is one time that I thought "maybe the rising sea levels aren't such a bad thing after all."
We picked a clear spot to anchor, as close to shore as possible, a full mile. I released the anchor slowly and let Mirador drift back as I paid out chain. I let out about 45 feet of chain before belaying the rode, and we came to rest about 120 feet directly in front of another sailboat. The sailor was out on deck just watching as I stripped him of his privacy...oh well. I hope he doesn't like to hang out "au natural".
This is the view from my backyard, what did you pay for your view?

Our new neighborhood.


After all was secure we decided to put the dink in the water and go back to shore. We awkwardly struggled, using a winch and halyard to lift the little beast. This was not a choreographed dance. Once the dink was in the water I handed Marie our British Seagull motor and she mounted it on the transom.
Yeah you heard me, British Seagull. I thought that with proper care I could keep that little motor running and show it off as we traveled. It is a curio. I went through it a week ago and had it running like a charm...on the a bucket. We were in the dink, I started the motor and off we went at a snails pace. From the noise coming from the motor you would think someone was skiing behind the boat. Marie and I could not communicate accept for sign language. A friend passing by was saying something and we did our best to read his lips. The wind was in our favor yet I barely had enough speed to steer. I was watching the motor like a hawk and I could tell the stream of cooling water was slowly diminishing. Just as we neared the marina the motor stopped. The Seagull has a pull cord that you wrap on top of the flywheel and give a brisk yank to start. I had to square up in front of the motor to be able to get the necessary leverage to pull the cord. Marie stood up and moved forward balance the boat. As I tried over and over to start the motor the cord would fly back like a whip and eventually it found its mark on the back of Maries thigh. She didn't know what hit her. "What hit me, what hit me?" she cried. Not sure just how angry she was, I decided to plea the 5th. I acted oblivious, less she insist on a "tit for a tat", and want to hit me back. We gave up on the motor and rowed the rest of the way in. I then realized that the British Seagull has its rightful a museum, someone's mantle, but not on my cruise.
Eva and Hadrian bailing out the dink.


  1. Hola Joaquin!!!!
    Felicitaciones --- dale!
    Buen viento y buena mar!!!!