Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Aye Captain

As was alluded to a few posts ago, Kintala is now crewed by Coast Guard approved Merchant Mariners; OUPV - Operators. It is the bottom of the totem pole so far as CG licenses are concerned, but it is enough for our purposes. Exactly what those purposes might be is still a bit of a question. But for now it is enough to have it done.

Apart from accumulating the required 360 days of underway experience, it took 2 months of effort to jump through the hoops. Six, ten-hour days of class spread over two weekends made up the primary effort. Then there was test day. Yes, we both passed with solid scores. Yes, Deb took less time than I did. And yes, she had the slightly higher score. She was (as usual) much more motivated than I. After years of government tests, all I really care about is scoring a “pass." It isn’t like they put the test scores on your license for everyone to see. Also, my long experience with tests issued by government agencies has led to the suspicion that much of what we were being required to know would have little to do with actually operating a boat in a safe manor. A suspicion that proved accurate. 

There was also the mandatory drug test, a physical, and another day given over to the first aid class. All I will say about the first aid class was that it was about 20 minutes of information crammed into a ten hours of instruction.

Oh, and don’t forget the effort to get a TWIC card. I had one of those as a professional pilot. For some reason that one doesn’t count for professional mariners.

We took a class rather than doing the course online for a couple of reasons. The primary one was of motivation. I have trouble with online stuff, quickly loosing interest. Having a room full of experience to share, as well as a set timeline to meet, was a better option. What came as a surprise was just how little experience there was in the room full of people seeking a Captain’s license. 

The class was large, 20 or so. Most were people who worked as deck hands on fishing charter boats who were looking to take up residence at the helm. One was a young lady who works as a deck hand on a big schooner doing day charters somewhere. She was working toward a 100 ton license. Only a few of us were gypsy sailors.

The first hint of just how thin the collective experience was, came early on day one. The class started out with the lights and shapes that commercial boats show when doing their commercial kind of stuff. There were also the rules on the lights all boats are supposed to show, and when they are supposed to show them. Our instructor asked how many of us had ever seen such lights out on open water. Three hands went up, two of them being Deb’s and mine. Class-wide there was virtually no experience with being under way or anchoring at night. 

As it turned out, there was very little experience with a lot of things. Virtually no one had any understanding of navigation that went deeper than punching a waypoint into a chart plotter. True as opposed to magnetic was a revelation to most, as was deviation as opposed to variation. Deb and I spent several hours tutoring those around us during the navigation practice sessions. I am fine with chart plotters. Kintala has nary a paper chart on her anywhere. But a deeper understanding of just what those chart plotters are doing in their little brain of chips is a good thing. Should that little brain go on the fritz it is likely some indication can be seen on the screen, so long as one knows the difference between what the thing is supposed to be doing as opposed to what it is doing, a situation familiar to anyone who has faced down the antics of a savvy instructor in a full motion simulator. Lest one believe that to be a "training only" kind of situation, it is also one I have seen many a time in an actual cockpit on a dark and stormy night. Yet there was not a single mention of using chart plotters or the various ways those things might lead one astray. It is a safe bet chart plotters are the only navigation anyone in the class is likely to use.

There was no mention of emergency navigation options, not even so basic as where Polaris might be found in the night sky, and what it actually means when one says, “The sun sets in the West.” About the most informative warning we got on navigation was to not trust that the position of channel markers as shown on the chart would be where they were actually located out on the water.

Yep. Got it.

I was getting a bit concerned about what would happen during the sessions on weather. Surely it was going to take days to cover the weather basics for people who likely had little clue. As it turned out I needn’t have been. The weather portion of the class consisted of how cold, warm, stationary and occluded fronts were displayed on a weather map. There was no discussion of what weather might be expected if one happened to be under one of those fronts as they passed through. Then there was a two minute review of the types of clouds, which wasn’t entirely accurate. That was it. There was not a single mention of isobars, lows, or highs. To be fair, the Coriolis effect was mentioned, but not a word was spoken as to how that led to air flowing in parallel to the isobars, with the result that air does not flow directly out of a high and into a low. Indeed, there was no mention at all of what a “high” or “low” was actually measuring. In a Captain’s class on weather there was not a single mention of the structure of the atmosphere, or how that structure evolved into the conditions we were expected to handle with aplomb.  

Though in Florida, there wasn’t any discussion about hurricane season or what powered those storms.  There was no mention of the NOAA hurricane center, nor of prog charts, marine weather via VHF, buoy reports, GRIB files, or any other source of weather information. Apparently OUPV - Operators are fulfilling their responsibility to their passengers by watching the weather forecast on the 6 O’Clock news.

Time was  spent on general boat issues. What seemed most important was how dangerous a line under stress can be. There was a video of body parts flying, it was mentioned many times in the review tests, and the actual test asked the same question about three different ways. Apparently a Captain getting a leg torn away by a parting dock or tow line is a true embarrassment. Maybe that’s why Captains are expected to stay in the wheel house and away from the deck. Another point of emphasis was that boats tend to back to port, and how to get a twin screw powerboat off of a dock. Apparently that is a “thing”.  (I wonder how one can garner 360 days of sea experience and not know that boats tend to back to port?)

Emphasized the most was navigational rules of the road. That seemed okay, but most of that discussion focused on whistle communications to set up passing scenarios for various situations. Interesting, to a degree, but two things occurred to me. The first was that a large percentage of the boats around us for the last five years were clearly being driven by people who had no clue that there were “rules of the road”. The second was that virtually everyone has a radio. All such whistle communications are optional so long as the crews involved talk on said radios. What are the chances that someone so unprofessional as to take to the waterways without a radio, is going to be professional enough to know what whistle signals are appropriate? In the half decade we have been full time on the boat, I have talked to dozens upon dozens of ships on the radio. Never once have I heard a whistle. 

All in all one might be curious as to just what filled those 60 hours of class time. Truth to tell, I haven’t a clue. We got through it. We passed the tests. That was the purpose of the exercise. So, was it worth it?

If nothing else, for several weeks we concentrated on little more that what it means to operate a boat in a safe and professional manor. Operating any vehicle safely boils down to two things. Know what is going on around you. Make the machine do what you want it to do. The details are less important than the attitude, the attention paid to the environment, and the commitment to get it right. A lot of the information was interesting, if not imperative. Some of it was archaic and mostly irrelevant. But all of it helped focus the attention on being the Captain, and not getting anyone hurt while doing so.

So yes, it was worth it.

But it could have been so much more useful, so much more informative. And it should have been a lot more interesting.  

Monday, March 19, 2018

Wake me not

Friday evening after work Blowin' in the Wind, home for Daughter Eldest and Family, dropped its dock lines and joined Kintala in the anchorage for the weekend. There may be, somewhere in the world, something better than having a family boat raft up that includes a gaggle of grand kids, but it is hard to imagine what that might be. Little ones scampered back and forth between the boats (with close adult supervision), there was that special, little one laughter over pelican antics, and the adult conversations centered about how much joy could be found just a few hundred feet off shore. The weather was quiet, the sky clear, and the water placid. It was a perfect evening and the start of what promised to be a wonderful weekend.

Saturday morning arrived cool and quiet, right up until the powerboat brigade started. The designated anchorage was off Pt McKay on the Manatee River, not very far from the boat yard. Anchoring there, as it turned out, was like pitching a tent in a perfect little meadow on Friday night, only to discover on Saturday morning that little meadow was smack in the middle of a Rally Car track. Within minutes the two boats were periodically banging into each other as an endless parade of wakes surged past, ricocheted off the shore, and struck from the other direction.



Now some might think that a newly minted Coast Guard Captain would have anticipated such a situation. After all, the Manatee River is pretty much a boat highway from multiple marinas to the Tampa Bay playground. I have been in such conditions many times before and should have known better. But, as the saying goes, “If I was perfect they would have to pay me more.”

We stuck it out by tying the boats tightly together with a solid layer of fenders in between. It worked, though a couple of hits were dramatic enough to be a bit scary. Not for the kids. They were hooting and calling out “Wake Hoe!” when spotting the bigger swells rolling through. The adults kept cautioning the little ones to hold on and sit down.

I try to be a live-and-let-live sort of person. Well, maybe it is more that I get as far away from most people as I can. That way they can live however they want without being much of a bother to me, and I can do the same without being much of a bother to them. The power boaters were just out having fun. Some were going fishing. Some were heading to a beach somewhere. And some were thrashing around just to thrash around. Nothing really wrong with that. We used to thrash around on massively overpowered motorcycles just for the shear exuberance of it all. I suppose the same can be said of powerboats. On the other hand…


After repeated bashings it was clear that there wasn't near enough space between Kintala and the power boat parade.  My imagination started seeing the blunt, weird looking shapes zooming by in a less than flattering light; loud, smelly, and banging across the water with the apparent haphazardness of those not caring much about anything except being loud, smelly, and banging across the water. There were no dolphins in sight. I hope there were no manatees about, they would have had little chance to survive. Pelicans and  cormorants fled the scene. At one point I took the little ones into shore so they could ride bicycles rather than get tossed around the cockpit.

Things settled down come evening. Pelicans and cormorants returned to do a little fishing. There might even have been a puff or two as dolphins nosed around to see what kind of damage had been done. It was a bit surreal that this was the same place it had been just a couple of hours before. It  seemed the wise decision to pull out first thing in the morning, before the Sunday madness erupted.

I was on Blowin' In The Wind when the lines were tossed, riding along for a run to the pump out station a couple of miles up the river. It was only their second time getting on an unfamiliar dock so having an extra pair of adult hands on board, just in case, seemed like a good idea. It turns out I was completely superfluous, unnecessary baggage. The grandsons (nine and five) are excellent line handlers and soon after leaving the pump out, Blowin' In The Wind was secure in her own slip. Deb picked me up in the Ding, we loosed Kintala’s hook from the river bed, stopped by the pump out as well, and returned to our old slip. (That the new head configuration pumps out so much quicker and easier than the old was was a pleasant surprise. It shouldn't have been. The new hose run is about half as long as the old one, with about 270 less degree of bending.)

Today it was back to addressing the few minor items, like the 2.5 inch hole in the foredeck left after removing the deck fitting that is going to find a new permanent home in a different spot. Right after laying down some glass Old Boss Not So New called to see if I could make a road trip to check the rigging on a boat. (The yard is pretty busy.) The long and short is that the "road trip" ended up being done in a 300 HP center console fishing boat.



So there I was skimming along the Bay with Old Boss Not So New's Boss at the helm, doing close to 30 knots, and leaving a pretty good wake behind my sailboating self. Since the whole purpose of this trip was to get somewhere to fix something before the weather moves in tonight, not to mention that two of us were on the clock at a combined rate north of $100 / hour, such speed seemed totally reasonable.

Live and let live.

Friday, March 16, 2018

At last...

After way too many days, weeks really…well, to be honest, months, Kintala is riding to her anchor rode once again. We got off the dock a couple of days ago, went out into Tampa Bay flying the jib, tacked up toward the bridge then back to the mouth of the Manatee River. Once there, it was a sail change and an easy, 4 knot deep run on just the staysail up the river and to the anchorage not too far off the boatyard. The kids can wave at us from the shore which is really kind of fun. Setting the hook must be one of those things that you don’t forget since the Mantus went down and dug in with little ado.




Though friends up north will laugh at this, a brisk north wind and temperatures in the low 50’s made it a chilly evening of sitting in the cockpit. Hot buttered rum was the perfect celebration of being out on the water once again. Though it isn’t the usual practice around here, Kintala’s conch horn echoed across the wavelets as the sun touched the horizon.

Though the water was pretty calm, stutter steps and grasping at hand holds was clear evidence that legs can forget what it means to live on open water. I kept bumping into things that were suddenly in my way, door jams, walls, and cabinet bits. And, truth to tell, I think my inner ear might have forgotten some things as well, like how to ignore being in a moving, swinging, bouncing house. Settling into the v-berth came with a slight sigh of relief though, within minutes it was clear that another thing that had been forgotten was the symphony of noises that a boat at anchor makes bow into winds gusting to twenty plus knots.

Which I am going to use as the excuse for doing absolutely nothing since the hook went down. Some stuff gets read, other stuff gets written, music fills the headsets and naps appear out of nowhere.. And yes, that is our new hammock strung between the mast and stay. 

Another delight has been the appearance of wildlife. Even though we live closer to the natural world than most even when in the marina, just a few hundred feet off shore it feels like the cosmos ignores the fact that humans are around. Yesterday evening a gaggle of a dozen or more pelicans went into a feeding frenzy just off the starboard side. It was a parade of the big birds all but hovering 10 to 20 feet off the water, then twisting and bending their wings for a kind of feathered cannon ball crash into the water. Some kind of tern were also in on the action, landing on the heads and backs of the pelicans hoping (apparently) to make off with a meal. I haven’t seen that happen before; it seemed kind of a bold move to me. The pelicans didn't seem to mind, which didn't surprise me. Pelicans are the stoics of the Aves family of animals; unruffled, capable, content, and completely at home in their environment.




In the next day or two we will be heading back to the dock for one more short stint. There is nothing major needing done to the boat, but we are going to help with the little ones as Son-in-Law needs to be away for a couple of days. 


Back to cruising. At last.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Once again

If you can’t point to something and say, “this is the problem,” when trying to fix something, the chances are pretty good that the something isn’t fixed.

Ed Note: We did in fact get off the dock today
and had a really nice sail in Tampa Bay.
That's what that white thing is for...
And so it was with the head modification. The first configuration should have worked, did work, but did not seem to be working very well. So the configuration got changed. It also worked, seemed to work a little better, and was a decidedly more elegant solution to the hose runs than the first one had been. There is a certain amount of wisdom in the idea that, “If it looks right, it is right”. The new configuration certainly looked a lot more “right” than the old one. It was enough to stoke the hope that the problem had been solved. Still, the more thought that went into it, the less likely it seemed. This is a low pressure, low volume fluid system. The things that were changed were 99% cosmetic. From the point of view of fluid flowing through lines, the first configuration was as “right” as the second. Still, it had been a longish work day, the project had already taken two more days than planned, and yours truly was just getting tired of working on the boat. The system had worked before the modification, the new “look” was better than the old, and I really, really wanted the job to be done.

But 24 hours later it was clear that wishful thinking wasn’t enough to call a job finished. The system was still not working as well as it should. The main give-away was the amount of pressure that was building up at the diverter valve. A little bit of pressure was expected as it is at one end of the anti-syphon loop. Turn the valve and what fluid was in that half of the loop would flow into the holding tank. But, even after the configuration change, when the valve was turned, fluid was doing a soft kind of explosion into the holding tank. There was also more pressure on the flush pump handle than was usual. Clearly something was seriously restricting the flow somewhere, likely something we had disturbed during the mod. That didn’t help much since, during said mod, we had pretty much disturbed the entire black water / holding tank run from flush pump to thru hull.

There were several likely candidates. One was the diverter valve itself. During the work it was discovered that the valve had suffered an internal failure. One of the seals had torn and was partially jamming the thing. It had been completely disassembled, cleaned, all seals had been replaced with new, and the valve reassembled. Since it seemed impossible to put the bits back together wrong it wasn’t likely the home of the trouble. Still, it was easy to reach, another plus for the new configuration. Since the problem had not existed before we started, had existed after we finished, and the valve was the one thing that had been touched the most, it seemed the best place to start. Disassembly proved that it was, indeed, impossible to put it together wrong and that it was working exactly as it should.

The curved plastic tube at the top of the anti-syphon loop, the tube that holds the Micky-Moused little valve itself, was the next easiest place to reach. Since things tend to fall away from the top of something, there was faint hope that this would be the place to find “the fix”. On the other hand, if one skipped looking there, Mr. Murphy would suggest that was where one really needed to look. So we looked.

And found nothing to fix.

Least attractive and holding the most potential for disaster was something jammed up in or near the thru-hull. It was also the only place left where the trouble could lurk. So it was with some trepidation that the clamps were removed, the heat gun applied, and a sharp knife was taken to the hose attached to the thru-hull shut off valve. Mine wasn’t the only sigh of relief when the hose came free without water flooding into the boat. There was another sigh of relief when the valve was slowly opened and water did, indeed, flood into the boat. The hose itself? Ugly. And clogged. Clogged with sheets of calcified “stuff” clearly knocked free from the inside of the hoses as they were twisted and bent into various configurations. There was also a plain, old fashioned clog where it attached to the thru-hull, the inside diameter of the line less than half the original. Open enough that the pump still worked before we messed with the hoses. Blocked enough that the debris cascading down from the hoses being moved was enough to do it in.

Something that was clearly wrong that needed to be fixed. A new length of hose and some flushing of the thru-hull, and the head seemed (don't want to jinx it) to, once again, be working properly.


One of the most used pieces of equipment on board. A parts cleaner from
Harbor freight into which the Merc jets go for cleaning. The whole carb
body fits in there as well. Four or five cycles later the carb is sparkling
and the jets once again let the fuel flow. Best $20 we ever spent.
Kintala is buttoned up once again. The Merc, after throwing a second fit that left fuel running out of the bottom of the engine cowl, had hands laid upon it and is also docile and cooperative once again. So, as soon as this bit of weather decides what it is going to do, the hope is to get off of the dock for a good couple of days worth of shaking things out. And, in a week or two, to go cruising…once again. 

Monday, March 12, 2018

Bucket list


No, not that one. It seems a bit silly to have a list of things one wants to do before one dies for the simple reason that no one knows when that is going to be. Imagine working on “the list” and having a hammer fall from somewhere. Bang. There you are looking at the next world (whatever that may or may not be). Then The Greeter (whomever that may or may not be) asks what you were doing when the earthly lights went out.

“Working on my Bucket List.”

“Well, that was a waste of time, wasn’t it?”

The Bucket list I’m thinking of has to do with boat jobs. Even then it isn’t likely the kind of list first comes to mind. This list isn’t a string of jobs one would like see finished. That list stretches to infinity or, at least, will last as long as the boat exists. No, this list is more about the size and complexity of the job being contemplated for the day. My favorite kind of jobs are those where everything needed to do the job; parts, tools, materials, rags, etc., all fit into a single bucket. And not a 55 gallon sized “bucket,” either. Or even ten. Five gallons, max. Three gallons, preferably.

We have had a string of ten gallon bucket jobs; teak work, bottom job, fiberglass repairs. They stretched on for days, then weeks, then months. Many days started early, ended late, and had few breaks along the way. A concern was how sore the body would be come morning, when the next day’s tasks start demanding attention. The last of the ten gallon jobs waiting completion was finished yesterday when a newly installed pump started up and the level of (clean) water in the holding tank started down. Kintala is now configured so as to carry waste water in her holding tank out of a harbor or anchorage, out where the whales and dolphins deposit their own waste water, and then empty the tank without the aid of a shore side suction pump. Such shoreside aid is nigh on impossible to find in the Islands and, after Irma, not that easy to find in Florida either.

With that task done, 3 gallon bucket jobs come to the fore, and are much more enjoyable. Polishing the cabin ports is one. Each port takes about an hour to remove, 1500 wet sand, compound polish, polish, wax, and reinstall. As each one is finished, the interior of the boat gets just that little bit brighter, looks just that little bit newer. One can look out a port and actually see what is around the boat, even at night. It is an easy task as well, no contortions into constricted boat chasms, no muscle cramps, and no worm clamp slices.

Three gallon bucket jobs are often routine maintenance, usually done without chewing up an entire day. Around Kintiala we try to average out work time to about four hours a day, at least that is the goal when not in refit mode. It would be nice to keep weekends free but, honestly, we don’t always know what day of the week it is. (And often don’t see any real need to bother with it.) “Ten to Two” is the goal for the start and finish of a working day while out cruising. Ten in the morning gives us time to get up, get going, get coffee, and greet the day. Two in the afternoon leaves plenty of the rest of the day to play, get out of the heat, write, read, and just enjoy living this life we worked so hard to find. It isn’t “time clock” time. There is no need to punch in or out. Get going, get it done, call it done, relax.

NOTE: After 24 hours it has become clear that the new head plumbing is not working as advertised. The overboard pump pumps, and the water goes where the water needs to go, but there is too much pressure on the flush pump. There is something not right. Reach for the 10 gallon bucket.

NOTE to NOTE: After much ado we could not find a single reason why the system was acting as it was. Low pressure, low volume fluid was going where it was supposed to go, when it was supposed to go there. But it was going with much reluctance. So the system was reconfigured to send the water to the exact same places, using the exact same fittings, in the exact same diameter hoses. All that was done was to turn things around so one angle of flow is now slightly straighter and there is about 2 feet less hose in a configuration that likely still has more than 20 feet of stuff. As a result, and for reasons that are a complete mystery, the system now works much, much better. But I still have no clue as to why that is.

Some days I really hate boats. The good news is that fixing whatever it was that was wrong turned out to be a 3 gallon bucket job. Which, all things considered, is a pretty good day.


Saturday, March 10, 2018

Redemption

For any of you who have read the years past of this blog, you may remember the travails of our oldest daughter and her family and the Little Boat That Couldn't. It was a time in both their and our lives we try not to think about much. It was as hard as hard gets.

Today we were finally able to put that chapter to rest as we motored out the gate of the boat yard in their new-to-them Ericson sailboat and headed into the river for its maiden voyage. Everyone had huge smiles on their faces and there were a few whoops and hollers from the bow as the kids urged Papa on at the helm.

Thanks to the excellent care given to this particular Ericson by the previous owner, and his graciousness in allowing them to buy it at a fair price, the family has once again found a home on the water, a life that few but us can understand, a life that resonates with them, a life that brings joy. It was indeed a day of redemption.

Ever try to get three kids to smile at the camera at one time? Then you'll understand this photo






Grandbaby #10 spent most of the first sail of her life sleeping





Saturday, March 3, 2018

Mutually Exclusive Muses

                                            - - random political muse - -

It always seemed likely that it would be the women of the nation that would save us from ourselves. Wasn't it inevitable that, at some point, they would rebel at the assaults on their civil rights, on restricting their access to health care, to discrimination in the areas of equal pay and insurance coverage, and to the constant threats to the health and welfare of their kids? But it is starting to look like it will be the kids themselves who save us from ourselves. Or, more accurately, the kids are moving to save themselves from us while dragging society to a better place, one we should have found a couple of generations ago.

Works for me.

                        - - don’t really care what goes on in the world / boat muse - - 


The last batch of teak is finished. The first batch was the dorade boxes cockpit seats, floor grate, and entryway pad, ten individual bits plus the keyboard of slats that make up the seat at the helm. Slats screwed and sealed directly to the fiberglass…not the best idea anyone ever had. The next batch included the port, starboard, and aft toe rail, just three bits but a lot of area. Another batch was cockpit table, drink holder, and cabin top hand rails. The last batch was the companionway / hatch bits, six that came off the boat plus the one at the top of the companionway, and three more odd bits at the storage shelves and engine panel at the back of the cockpit.


That is a lot of bits. 



Each of those bits was sanded clean of old varnish using 80 grit, repaired as required, and then smoothed in steps of 120, 220, and 320 grit. About half also got the 400 grit wet-sand treatment. Then there was a coat of prime, eight coats of clear with at least one session of 320 or 400 wet-sanding in there somewhere, one last session of 320 or 400 wet-sanding, and a final clear coat to finish it off.

(Note to self - if there is "another boat" in the future, pick one with a little less wood, maybe a lot less. Or maybe no wood at all. One must admit it sure looks pretty but even some rich people can't afford to keep it looking at that way by paying someone else. Hundreds of hours at a hundred dollars - or more - per hour?  Two slips away from Kintala lies one of the biggest and certainly the  prettiest boat in the yard. It is owned by a friend who has oodles of "resources" beyond anything most people can imagine, and he has been working on his teak for several weeks now. The next time a big, teak-glowing-in-the-sunset sailing yacht appears in an anchorage, remember there is a good chance the owner's hands show the callouses of making that happen.)


While doing the companionway, there was a gelcoat repair needed where the hatch slides on the house top. Thirty plus years of sliding back and forth had ground through to raw fiberglass on both hatch and cabin top. It opens much easier now.


The day when the last of the big projects is done and Kintala becomes a cruising boat once again is tantalizingly close. A young friend from the yard went to the top of the mast to fix the topping lift / back stay woogle. As it turned out having the topping lift crossing the back stay wasn’t much of a deal. Apparently there is little motion up there, the topping lift line wasn’t damaged at all. What was an eye opener was that the pin holding the bracket that holds both the back stay and topping lift to the mast head was missing the cotter key that stops the pin from falling out. Nearly five years since the mast went up, thousands of miles covered, with some of those miles in rough, pitching seas that made the rig shudder. It is anyone’s guess as to why that pin stayed put.



A missing pin
There is still reconfiguring the holding tank system to finish. Getting it done requires moving Kintala to a pump out since modifying a full holding tank system is a thought too ugly to consider. There are two options. One is a few miles away at a place called Regatta Point. It is a tight fit for a 42 foot boat. Well, tight for a 42 foot wayward wondering modified full keel boat without a bow thruster and driven by the likes of yours truly. Depending on the tide it is also a bit thin for a five foot draft.

The other option is a day’s sail to the north-north-east away. Then, of course, it is another day’s sail to the south-south-west back. There is a three day window before the next front comes through. Sure enough the wind is going to back half way through, which will put it directly on the bow going both directions; and blowing 20 knots.

It looks like Regatta Point, tight fit an all, will get the nod.

It has been a while since daily tasks included making nice with Mother Earth before attempting something as simple as finding a pump out. It has been a while since the daily life included anticipating when the water would run out, when the batteries might need a little generator support, how much range remained in the fuel tank, and where would be a good place to toss a hook with regard to tide, wind, and incoming weather. All part and parcel of living the life of a boat gypsy.

A life that doesn’t really care about what goes on on land.