Roots on Land or Floating
The Keys are warm and balmy and very casual. It is nice to be spending some time relaxing and not moving to new locations. I feel like my brain is taking some time to process where we have been and are going. It can be unsettling to always be on the move without some sense of continuity.
Cruising on a boat is different than RV cruising. There are more variables that you need to consider. In an RV weather can be a problem but in most cases is not life threatening. RV repairs may be able to be put off but in the boat most repairs if not fixed soon could cause critical issues. We also have safety equipment not required for camping. Life boat, food and water rations, EPIRB, PFD (personal flotation device), Life lines, flares, spot lights, flags, etc. Also, learning procedures for man overboard situations and how to properly use the VHF radio certainly are not required for camping.
Living on a boat is absolutely enjoyable, however the time and brain power required to make the change from roots on land to floating on water are unknown. It is a different life that is closer to no frills living where simple chores are now all day events, i.e. grocery shopping, laundry.
The painting is one I did while in Apalachicola.
Jan 14 – move to Boot Key Harbor, Sister Creek
Winds subsided so we moved out of Faro Blanco and over to Sister Creek. Faro Blanco and the City Marina are about a mile from each other on the road, but to get there by boat, we had to sail down to the 7 mile bridge pass and around the island. It took us about ½ day as we maneuvered around crab pots and buoys.
Anchoring in Sister Creek is “Med Style”. We put two anchors in the channel and pull the stern of the boat around and tie off to the mangroves. Unless you have anchored like this several times and are proficient, it takes at least 3 crew and a dinghy to properly set your lines and anchor. Let’s just say we had a few more tense boating moments before we were settled. We currently have 6 lines to the mangroves and two anchors. Soon after being settled and safely anchored, Luke decides he needs to change the anchors. Then change the lines. If I was a drinker, I would surely be downing a 5th of something to calm my nerves.
Jan 15 – Sister Creek
Luke changes more lines and concerned about the abandoned “pirate” ship next to us. This abandoned boat is huge and heavy. If it broke loose of its lines in a storm, our boat could be smashed.
We woke up this morning and found the pirate ship about 10 feet from us. Another boating moment. Luke decides to move the boat over closer to our neighbors. For the next few hours we moved anchors and lines to put more room between us and the huge and heavy pirate ship. Luke is still not happy. Now we are too close to our neighbors and low and behold Luke apologizes to John and Valerie for our intrusion. They are most gracious and say it is no problem.
Jan 16 – Sister Creek, MLK day
We listen to the cruiser net and Luke wants to buy a bike. So, we motor off to a few boats that have bikes for sale. None of them were suitable. Ah Ha! An excuse to go somewhere… we walk down to the local bike shop but found nothing suitable so we took a taxi to Kmart. Still no bike for Lukey. While at Kmart, I bought a towel and soap so I could get one of those so greatly coveted showers before returning to the boat.
For our return trip, we agreed to walk back and get lunch along the way instead of paying a taxi. The Cracked Conch Diner was excellent. We hope to return there when Luke’s sister and BIL visit next month.
Jan 17, Tues, Sister Creek – #12 on waiting list
We stayed on the boat all day. I painted and Luke sewed. He made shade covers for the overhead windows in the cockpit and finished the no seeum screens for all of our hatches. My paintings were color studies. I also did some sketching of the pirate ship in prep of doing a few paintings plein air.
Jan 18-19, Wed, Sister Creek
Listened to Cruiser Net. Another big blow is headed our way.
We moved the boat again. Argh! Luke did not want to stay close to the pirate ship. No plein air painting for me. I missed my opportunity to paint the ship – lesson learned.
Jan 20. Friday, Inauguration Day, # 7 on waiting list
We were up early had coffee and headed into shore. Walked to Winn Dixie for provisions and took a taxi back. I met Philomena and asked her about the yoga class. Found out it is M, W and F at 10 and is free. I hurried Luke bak to the boat, unloaded the groceries, grabbed my yoga mat and mde it to the last 30 minutes of class. The location is an outisde community ampitheatre, mostly shaded with a cool balmy breeze. The instructor was amazing. I plan to attend yoga a much as possible. It is good for my soul.
Jan 21 Sat, Sister Creek, #7 on waiting list
We listened to the Cruisers Net. Then it was off the the marina flea market and much anticipated “walk” with Luke. We bought a device that closes your hatch when it rains.
The “walk” was very short. Luke decided he did not want to walk far. Knowing that we could be unable to leave the boat for days, I wanted as much exercise as possible. Did not happen. (sad face)
Jan 22 Sun, Sister Creek, #1 on waiting list but due to the storm it will probably be Tuesday or Wednesday before we get the mooring ball.
Hunkered down for the storm. I painted two abstract mangrove paintings and napped.
Jan 23 Mon, Sister Creek
3am the storm squall came thru. Luke and I are up to monitor storm. Back to bed at 4:00am. 10:00am still laying low due to high winds and limited quantity of dinghy fuel. It is a long ride to the closest fuel dock. The water is rough and it would be a miserable trip to get fuel.