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Free Range Human, Sailor, Writer, Artist, Videographer  

Friday, December 24, 2010

There Be Magic

Bound for Boca Grande and Cayo Costa State Park, her waterline had long since disappeared under the weight of gear and supplies making the HideAways southward slog along the Florida coast painfully slow. Her crew, lulled into the easy roll and rock of the boat, barely noticed the Venice Inlet to port in time to jibe towards its entrance.

Motor sailing while running before the wind into the narrow channel as the tide raced out piled swells nearly four feet high and pushed HideAway far too close to the rocks as she rolled almost to her beam ends. The outboard motor alternately roared in pain then quieted as its prop submerged. Accurate steering became a gamble at best. Her sleepy crew struggled to deal with the new dangers that easily could end the cruise with a loud crunch.

With no ceremony the channel deposited the wide-eyed HideAways into the calm of a small bay in smooth emerald green water that included a small island in full tropical splendor. Hearts racing and knuckles whitened by the experience, the HideAways ran aground taking the starboard turn towards Higel Park too wide. Pushing off the shallows with a pole left over from their Sea Pearl days the HideAways made their way towards the dock full of cheering sailors.

Happy Hour commenced immediately with sailors sharing their adventures enhanced a bit perhaps by bourbon and wine and snacks as the after-light of sundown graced the Eastern sky.

Higel Park during that era was a popular stopping place for boats traveling to or returning from Key West. You never knew whom you would find there and even the parrots could be caught sneaking a snack and a sip of your whiskey.

The Crow’s Nest was a short walk away where the hamburgers were large and hot, the beer ice-cold and the laughter constant. A stumble back to HideAway sometime later and instant slumber followed the fine meal.

And in the morning There Be Magic.