'Til the butter melts

Pursuing the cruising dream in 32' of sailing ketch

Sailing! (Escape from Velcro Harbor)

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We went SAILING!  Really, like, in our own boat, outside the harbor and EVERYTHING!  I have pictures…

Hard to believe, given how generally hard-core I am about sailing, but it had been over a month – since January 24th – of hanging at anchor and chillin’ to the island grove, not moving a muscle toward giving Sionna some exercise.  Yes, I’d sailed the dinghy around the harbor a few times, but the big boat just sat, collecting moss.

So yesterday we decided to take part in what the harbor calls “Sail-away Sunday”.  It’s just an encouragement to get people to drop the mooring now and then, and use their boats (power or sail) for their primary purpose – movement.
We chose to head over to a local landmark called Sombrero Light.  It’s about 5 miles southwest of Marathon, and it’s tall enough (142′) to be clearly visible from there.  Visible, but you don’t get a feel for how big it actually is until you sail around it – which of course is what we did!

Smiles are a good sign when you’re sailing – it means you must be doing something right!

But that wasn’t all!  Because it was a nice evening, I suggested that instead of going straight back to the mooring, why don’t we drop an anchor outside – in the same area we anchored when we first arrived – and have some supper, watch the sunset, relax away from the hustle and bustle of the harbor…

But of course I had an alterior motive.  A dark, nefarious plan, the plot of classic “B” movie…
I wanted to anchor out for the night.

No neighbors (or at least no close neighbors), no generators running, no bright lights from the ball field by the marina, no traffic.

And Nicki, bless her heart, fell for it. Not only that, but just for fun instead of dousing sail and motoring in to anchor, we sailed in, furled the Genny (our headsail), headed into the wind and coasted to a stop. Nicki let the anchor go and ran the chain, while I got the mainsail down and out of the way, all in near silence, while the couple other boats in the anchorage looked on in shock, amazed to see a sailboat actually being operated like a sail-powered boat…  Glorious!

And the payoff?  Well a sunset, of course!

I’m not quite sure why, but there is nothing like a sunset over the sea to put your mind at ease. We’ve seen a bunch, but it never gets old.

So the wind picked up a bit overnight, but it was from the east so our ride at anchor stayed pretty easy, and it sure felt good to feel the boat moving to the water again.  I slept better than I have in a while, Nicki, not quite so good, but perhaps we just need to experience it more often?

That’s the story I’m going with.

And the cream on that?  This morning we had the chance to welcome an old friend into the harbor, and wish fair winds to new ones. “Dock’s Orders” (Here’s a link too their blog) has been in Marathon for 8 weeks, but they have finally escaped for some time cruising the west coast of Florida.  We followed Brad and Sandy all the way down the ICW from Hampton, VA last fall, and though we didn’t get to spend as much time visiting with them as we’d hoped (where did the time go?) we know we’ll see them again.

And last night a solid little boat named “Flora” arrived in the harbor, having traveled down from Fort Myers, but her crew is from Maine.  Dale was our neighbor at the house we rented for 5 years in Warren Maine, and his partner Ellen is a Mainer from Kittery – home of the best Cruller in the universe! (Lil’s Cafe, if you’re wondering!)

It’s a small world, cruising. You really never know when you’ll bump into someone you know, or met 1000 miles (or 10,000 miles!) ago.

And that’s a big part of the charm.

Author: s/v sionna

Living the dream in 32'. We left Maine on August 18th, 2016, and have gradually worked our way south until we felt warm enough. After spending the summer in Maine, working to replenish the cruising kitty, and rehabilitating an old house. we’re headed back on the boat, bringing Sionna back home to northern waters. Follow our blog here!

One thought on “Sailing! (Escape from Velcro Harbor)

  1. Nice!!!

    I hope your long-awaited mooring will be waiting for you when (if?) you return to VH…


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