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Free Range Human, Sailor, Writer, Artist, Videographer  

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sailing Away The Florida Winter

After months of life’s less pleasant offerings the HideAways found a bit of spring in their winter under sunny skies, 80 degree weather, and easy seas this last Saturday in mid January.

Multiple weeks of absence from sailing has been known to cause the average sailing brain to corrode and sea legs to stiffen.  The boat seems to suffer a similar malaise mostly from enduring the snowbirds. The ones that prefer to poop on boats not so much the ones driving about in RVs.

On our first tack the jib sheet wrapped itself around a forward cleat perhaps in revenge of an immobile sailing brain forgetting to add a stopper knot on its bitter end letting it run free from the laughing block.  (Yes, the block was laughing, I’m sure of it)

We won’t talk either about the throw cushion and fender, both of whom left the boat for a swim without permission, warning or proper paper work.   They didn't get far.  It seems our man-over-aboard drills have paid off.

Later, anchored off the Gulfport pier, the HideAways settled in for a winter afternoon nap.   The capt, not often accused of planning ahead, stretched out on a variety of throw cushions employed poorly to soften the fiberglass cockpit while the-one-who-plans-everything wisely relaxed in her comfy berth below.  

In defense of the capt, sleeping in the cockpit has the advantage of the close proximity to Nature.  Imagine yourself anchored off a tropical shore on a global warmed January afternoon just a short distance from the beach, a white sandy one at that.

 A refreshing breeze gently rocks your boat under impossibly blue skies as kayakers investigate a nearby sunken wreck which seems closer now.  You awake to the ever so sweet fragrance of orange blossoms. If you have been to Florida in the spring you know how intoxicating these blossoms are – A true southern comfort.

Wait a minute… Orange trees don’t blossom in January!

The thing about orange trees though is that they grow on land. If you happen to smell them while asleep on in the airy cockpit of your boat you dream of running aground in an orange grove.  The two concepts clang together in such a manner as to wake the unsuspecting mind of a corroded sailorman. Great panic and confusion ensue not helped at all from an unnoticed change in wind direction.  A panicked glance below reveals an open package of wet wipes residing on the galley which some fancy smanchy ad man had doused in orange blossom scent.

Ahhh the life of the sailor – A perfect way to relax in the Florida winter.  Even the skeeters are smaller as we see in the video below-