Monday, January 3, 2011

A New and Beautiful Year

January 2, 2011!

Another year has passed by...  Going to have to get used to writing 2011...with only 1 zero, it’s hard to remember. Guess I’ll have to practice, got a whole year to get it right. We stayed (camped) at Cayo Costa State Park for a night. We went to bed at, shit, 7:30pm, or something. We read and enjoyed the white sand beach and then made dinner. Our neighbor mistook poison ivy for some other vine...oops, Ha! We HAD to tell him. The couple thought that poison ivy had three leaves that all came out of the same petiole. Nope, not really. They were greasy looking leaves, too. She even iPhoned it. It was poison ivy, as declared by the iPhone Gods. He went and washed up and neglected to put away the rope that was still wrapped around the poison ivy. Poor guy. Unfortunately, this was day one of a four day trip. Hope, for his sake, that he’s ok. We enjoyed the time on land. 
We then headed for Cabbage Key to stay for two nights. First night was good, docked next to another sailboat with a couple in their late 50’s early 60’s. Good conversation. They stole all the hot water in the shower, though...terds. 

Cabbage Key Restaurant & Docks, simple Cracker style house-turned restaurant. 

We spent New Years Eve on the boat, cleaning up a bit, walking around the key, getting a “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” and generally being lazy. It felt good. Sun was warm, people watching was good, and we were at awe with the other boats and the people coming and going. Expensive boats, (probably) snooty people, and some funny stuff. We stayed on board until about 6:30pm and then mingled with some other folks. It was like each Captain had to ask about the others’ boat. One of the guys we talked to was an employee for USGS, Dan. He had paddled by all the docks earlier and I said, “Nice Kayak!” He was in a boat that looked just like my Mom’s grey kayak. He mentioned later that he saw our boat and thought... “hum, they’re different...” and he looked forward to meeting us. Apparently  in a line of fancy boats, when you see our 1974 Catalina, that’s what you think. We when to dinner and had a filet mignon and crab with shrimp bisque and salad. All topped off with their famous recipe (right...) of Key Lime pie for dessert. Great stuff. A DJ helped us dance the night away. He also decided to nap for a bit, after the huge meal and woke up just in time for the Ball Drop in Time Square. We went back up to the restaurant and had champaign and danced a bit. We met up with Dan and his wife, Liesel, a lovely German woman. We stayed up til 2:30am chatting. I gleaned a few things: 
  • Post cards are good to send out as a small gesture and to inspire folks. (I used to do this all the time, about 5 years ago, but have since lost the habit)
  • We are inspiring to other people just in our endeavor and spirit. (Just by doing this and being here, talking to people, it’s inspiring to folks to live their dreams or something)
Sunset at Cabbage Key on New Years Eve, looking east.

Key Lime Pie and Corona with Lime, Deeeeelish!

Great Egret that sat right next to our sailboat on the dock.

Great Egret...Up close and personal.

Brown Pelican chillin' on the water

Catchin' the wind. Osprey sail too!

We had a great time and left out on New Years Day. The wind was against us a bit (coming from the south). We got to Captiva Island and set anchor by a channel. A few waves and it was a bit choppy with passers-by, but over all it was a good spot once night fall came on. 
Our next day (today) was pretty good. We hit some smooth sailing, but the ICW (Intra Coastal Waterway) was really busy with boats and lots of people out on a Sunday. It kicked our asses with the waves and totally killed our momentum (us only having a 9 horsepower motor, and barely gassing it to save on gas). Pisses me off how fast people go! Anywho...We made our way to the end (on the Gulf side) of the ICW and the beginning of the Okechobee Waterway. Which has a bunch of locks to help folks cut across Florida. I read later that the last section of the ICW was called the “Miserable Mile” which was actually 5 nautical miles long, because it was a very tight squeeze, with lots of traffic, and very shallow on either side of the channel. We hit some BIG waves (wake) from huge yachts and speed racers. 
We’re going to stay a few nights at Glover’s Blight, a cool little area surrounded on 2 sides by Mangroves, one side by a marina and large resort, and one side by a channel that leads out. It’s super fancy and we’re sitting here listening to crickets and live music from the restaurant. Should be a good anchoring. 
We’ve got chores to do tomorrow: laundry, charge computers, phones, etc. and head for the post office to pick up our generator. Hopefully this will solve some of our electrical/energy issues. We’ve run low, sometimes, on juice to run our lights and our electronics. It’s time to change that. 

I’ve felt pretty tired after these sunny days (in the 70’s). The sun feel hotter and probably is. I feel constantly sunburnt or perhaps windburnt. I’m learning everyday that I have new sore muscles. The constant work of pulling ropes, pulling the motor or working it, and most of all, general balance! It’s totally kicking me in the butt! I definitely feel sore in some place, everyday. It’s a good feeling because I don’t get out onto land to stretch my legs or exercise much, no hiking lately. Although, anchoring and going ashore for errands...that’s hiking. That’s what we’ll be doing tomorrow. We’re gonna kick back tonight and watch The Wire (TV show on HBO), and then get up early to run around. Until next time...Good night. 

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